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How to motivate your sales team (apart from paying them incentives)

Contrary to popular belief, money alone is not a good way to motivate your sales team. While money is a strong motivator, there are things you as a sales leader can do to motivate your team which are not linked to money and incentives. Celebrate personal milestones A common feeling most sales individuals have, is being under appreciated. You could be paying them a handsome salary and compensating them for their target achievements but it’s easy for sales individuals to get ‘lost’ in a large team. A great way to show you still treat all your team members as individuals is to celebrate personal milestones. It does not have to be a big party, a big gift or an awesome speech. Just a letter/email

How to exercise patience in selling (because it is a virtue)

One of the principal traits that we endorse and also try to pass on to sales teams is patience. What most sales individuals do not realise is that reaching out to prospects on a repeat basis ticks them off but also makes a sales individual look desperate. We are not saying don't 'follow up' with your prospects, we recommend doing it with a plan in mind. The well used 'follow up' is a carefully exercised process. So what is the best way to make sure you are not wasting man hours ‘following up’ and are showing the right amount of patience? Step 1: Qualify and know your time lines Proper qualification is the first step in making sure you are chasing the right prospect. For larger deals, underst

4 websites that can make your content viral

We wrote about how you need to create a buyer persona before you start working on your marketing plan. Once you have your buyer persona in place, you can work to target your persona via different content distribution channels and make sure your message gets to your prospective buyers. While the distribution method you chose will rely on your buyer persona, We have a list of 4 websites that can help your content go viral. What is important to remember is that not all these distribution channels will be useful to you (based on buyer personas) so make sure you expend your money and time on the right channels. Twitter A common myth about Twitter is that the 160 character limitation makes it unfi

Handling RFIs smartly

Request for Information (or RFIs) are designed to allow organisations to compare products. RFIs are essentially primers for making an informed decision when buying new products or services. The truth is, a majority of RFIs/questionnaires are poorly designed and do everything but help organisations make an informed decision. What is wrong with the way most RFIs are answered? A typical RFI has a quick introduction to the company, the project timeline and details on the project the organisation needs a product for. Most RFIs dwell extensively on features that the company is looking for in a new product. Here in, lies the first problem with RFIs: Features. Features are useless without a business

Do you know when to fire your prospects?

Do you end up hearing bad news at the end of your POCs and wonder if you should have not bothered in the first place? Do your prospects keep asking for quotes but never end up buying? If you are building the right business cases and your funnel is well designed, you might need to start firing your prospects. As controversial as the statement sounds, you only have x amount of hours in a day and only so many days in a month. Your quota is not going to fix itself, so you need to fix your pipeline. ​​ Fixing your pipeline starts with choosing the right opportunities to go after. Would you rather spend valuable time on the right prospect or on everyone who looks seemingly interested in your solut

6 questions to build a business case (infographic)

While most sales individuals get to what a prospect needs in a solution many fail to understand why they need it. An ideal business case should contain the following information: The status quo Problems with the status quo The impact of those problems on the prospect’s business The trigger behind initiating the change Must haves that the new solution should contain and why they are must haves Everything else like who the decision maker will be, the numbers involved and time lines are irrelevant to the business case. They only serve as additional qualifying parameters. Here is our infographic inspired from the earlier blog post.

The negotiation fails infographic

We spoke about the negotiation fails in our earlier blog post. You can read through that here. If you are short on time, here is an infographic to speed up your uptake.

Are you a sales dinosaur?

Dinosaurs went extinct millions of years ago. However our experience has shown that a lot of dinosaurs can still be found in the world of sales. If you feel left behind or don’t know what some of the new generation sales terms mean. You might be a sales dinosaur. Sales has moved a long way in the last decade and many sales leaders are still stuck in the 2000s. Sounds like you? Not sure? Worry no more! Here is the check list: You don't know what social selling is and your team does not use it! Having a polished LinkedIn account is one thing. But wondering what to do with it or failing to harness its power is another! Cold calling, automated emails or old fashion prospect is no longer enough.

5 negotiation fails that you should avoid

Negotiation is an art. The best Sales individuals love negotiating with prospects. While negotiating is not always part of closing a sale. Negotiation is an art that most sales individuals will need to perfect during the course of their sales career. Here are 5 mistakes that sales individuals make while negotiating with prospects. 1. Not being comfortable with silence An error made by sales individuals is talking (either out of nervousness or apprehension) before the prospect can react to an offer. This only weakens the sales individual's position and results in the prospect holding out for a ‘better’ offer. Instead of creating an awkward silence during the conversation, make it clear that t

3 assumptions that are costing your sales team

Don’t assume anything. That is what we preach and teach at InsideSelling.org. In fact, assumptions are one of the major reasons for sales being delayed or dropped. Below is a list of 3 common assumptions made by sales individuals that lead to loss in revenue. Assumption 1: The prospect knows what he wants Yes, the market is competitive and prospects are becoming aware of products and services like never before. Having said that, not every prospect truly knows what he needs. In some cases, prospects are looking to replicate a solution they have been recommended or have come up with through a Google search. Assume nothing and simply ask the prospect what he needs and most importantly build a b

Using the mutual success plan to close more sales

Our last blog post talked about running a successful proof of concept (POC). During the course of a POC a vital document is the mutual success plan. Far from being a document, the mutual success plan is a roadmap for a successful POC. We strongly recommend going through our blog post on running a POC before you start reading about the mutual success plan. Anatomy of a mutual success plan Below are images that show a complete mutual success plan that is based on a SaaS help desk software. How much could you figure out from the images above? Hopefully a lot! The overview Instead of throwing a fancy powerpoint presentation at the problem, the overview section clearly outlines the major business

How to run a kick ass POC

Do you work for an organisation that offers a free trial? Do you get customers that want to try the product before committing to it? Are you selling a SaaS product? If so, you will end up doing a proof of concepts on a regular basis. Proof of concepts (POCs) are a vital part of the sales ecology and often make or break great deals. While each organisation has it's own way of running POCs, there is a fundamental structure that can be followed to ensure POCs are a success. POC's can be categorised into 4 major stages. Discover Hopefully you have already done a good job of getting the business case from the prospect and have now identified that they are ideal candidates for a POC. In this sta

Building personas for your inbound inside sales process

Why build buyer personas? The inbound inside sales methodology starts with identifying who your target audience is. This is important because you want to attract the right audience to your website or product. To put this into context, would you want primary school children visiting a website that talks about tax saving? Absolutely not! Building personas is important to make sure that your content, offering and sales pitch are all aligned. What does a buyer person look like? Before we start talking about persona's lets look at what a persona looks like. Download the blank template here. Building a Persona The simplest and most effective way to build a persona is to fill out each section from

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