Do your sales people actually know how to sell?

From the keyboard of Doug Cowan  |  August, 2013.

Most sales people have never been taught how to sell. They have learned what they know about selling through informal means. Here are four typical methods that most have been exposed to:

  1. On-the-job (OTJ) learning.
  2. Watching more experienced sales people.
  3. Interactions with their sales manager.
  4. Tips and tricks, or suggestions from popular web-sites or blogs.

These methods of learning have been fine for many people, especially when markets were robust and active, and there was lots of buying activity. Times have changed dramatically and there is a new business reality.

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What are Your Sales Managers Doing?

From the keyboard of Doug Cowan  |  August, 2013.

Most executives would agree that their sales managers have a greater influence on sales rep performance than almost any other factor. A good sales manager can raise a sales team to top performance, while a bad one can make life miserable for all, with predictable results.

It is true that training and coaching from senior managers can develop people into capable sales managers. Yet, without a directed performance plan, many sales managers spend time on activities that bring too few results.

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Selling in a Downturn

From the keyboard of Doug Cowan  |  August, 2013.

Selling in a downturn can be a very difficult and stressful time for many sales people. Success is often found in doing some straight-forward activities that look obvious but get lost when the pressure is on.

Here are eight suggestions to help sales people get through recessionary times and come out stronger than they were going in.

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Are you Winning or Losing the Sale?

From the keyboard of Doug Cowan  |  August 2013.

At any stage in your Sales Process, you need to be able to answer the question, “Am I winning or losing the sale?” It is too late to discover as the sale is Closing that your prospect prefers the competition, not you.

Many buyers today are very careful about how they interact with sales people in competitive buying situations. They work hard not to disclose their leanings or preferences. Their aim is to keep all sellers engaged in the buying process right up until the end in order to generate lower prices, concessions, and give-aways.

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