Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Expand Your Comfort Zone To Develop Existing Accounts And Land New Ones

Speak at Events Attended by Target Market Decision Makers and Influencers

Most people have stage fright so they’re glad it’s you on stage and not them.

My example: As a 29-year-old sales rep and working for a F500 tech company, I was invited by an industry association to meet with its members.  Rather than discussing features and benefits of my product line, I chose to present a strong business acumen that spoke to how CEOs in the audience could improve the typical KPIs for their industry by implementing solutions that leverage my category of products and services.  Within a week of my presentation the president of a company, [whose VP level executives had never responded to my approaches in the past,] invited me to discuss how I could specifically help his business. He signed a long-term contract and we delivered on our promise.

By John Bernardi

Saturday, April 14, 2018

One Brand UVP for Each Persona

If your goal is to earn a price above your category's median price, you will need a Unique Value Proposition for each of your targeted personas. If you try to get by with one UVP, it will be average at best because you will be trying to shoehorn each persona into the same UVP that's convenient for you. Persona based Brand UVPs will create buyer interest in speaking with you. Each proposal's executive summary will require its own Proposal UVP in order to win profitable sales opportunities.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

You Need a Unique Value Proposition

A unique value proposition will maximize your brand's value without price concessions. Create a brand UVP for each important buyer persona you serve. Strong brand UVPs can be the core of your content marketing strategy.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

It's All In The Execution

Unless you invest in resources who are willing and able to consistently implement your marketing and sales programs and campaigns, why spend the money developing these programs and campaigns? As a business leader, ask yourself if you are the root cause of resistance to change.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Doing What's Important Gets You To The Next Level

It's important that a company be organized so that each person can focus on "what's important" to their level of the organization. This means that "what's urgent" is consistently addressed by daily business practices.

Until this baseline is set, the company is not prepared to move to the next level.

By John Bernardi

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sales Compensation Plans Should Foster High Business Acumen

Sales Compensation Plans Should Foster High Business Acumen

Sales Acumen Is Not The Same As Business Acumen
Sales pros with high sales acumen know how to qualify and nurture prospects, and how to close deals.  They don't rely on leads generated by the marketing process, so they have a plan for approaching the right suspects in search of new prospects.  They interpret and respond well to objections and know when to persist or move on.  Only after understanding needs do they recommend a solution. Following up on each sale conveys authenticity and by quickly resolving issues they earn renewals and referrals.

High Business Acumen Is A Key Differentiator
Business acumen blends perspective in Finance [P&L and balance sheet], Market [opportunities and threats] and Strategy [goal attainment methodology].  Business acumen elevates a sales pro's position to partner when they earn the right to collaborate with customers to solve a business problem.

Sales Pros With High Business Acumen Understand How Their Company Wins
Sales compensation programs should encourage participants to develop both business and sales acumen. In addition to motivating short term behavior, these programs should also support the company's business strategy that doesn't vary much from year to year.

Participants understand that sales overhead [salary, benefits, memberships, certifications and expenses] is covered when they fully implement the process, and build a strong customer portfolio and a healthy sales funnel.  Real time feedback will keep participants on track to meeting this basic requirement.

Depending on the nature of your business, you can add the right incentives such as:

  • Situational incentives i.e. off-season sales, new accounts, new market segments, etc.
  • A % of gross profit is paid for closing large opportunities if the sale exceeds targeted %GP, includes a plan to close the deal, and the proposal leverages a unique value proposition.
  • Achieving Annual Quota earns a budgeted commission with YTD payments.
  • Participants who exceed their quota are eligible to earn a share of Company Net Profit Contribution where NPC = [Total Gross Profit - Total Sales Overhead].

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Business Strategies Based On Sales Models Limit Growth

Business Strategies Based On Sales Models Limit Growth

Are you a CEO whose company implements a sales model as its underlying business strategy?  Does it provide a comfort zone that enables you to focus on the transactions that populate your P&L rather than continually nurturing the health of your customer and market portfolios?  Do you have the necessary knowledge, belief, patience and risk tolerance to invest in a growth strategy?

Growth Strategy Matrix

Are your marketing people really marketing assisted selling tacticians who create content, run promotions and  coordinate events instead of leading the growth strategy?

What level of marketing competency has your company achieved?
  • Marketing novice
  • Marketing apprentice
  • Marketing practitioner
  • Marketing master
What level would you like to attain?