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?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Are Your Sales Reps Emotionally Involved?

Emotionally Involved Sales Pros Win More Big Deals More Quickly. They Also Earn Repeat Business And Referrals.

Emotionally involved sales reps are better equipped to differentiate themselves. It starts when they invest time researching a business and its power base prior to making contact.  The knowledge gained enables a solid customer-centric conversation, which sets the stage for a prospect to ask how your product or service can provide the value and benefits they need.  This knowledge can be weaved into your proposal and price negotiations.

Emotional attachment continues after the sale and throughout the customer relationship cycle.  As customer ambassador, the sales rep ensures extraordinary support and listens to customer ideas for product/service enhancements, new products and services, and suggestions for improving your touch points and making it easier to do business with your company.

When sales reps have a lot invested, it is more difficult for them to give up. What are your chances of real success, if you can't get emotionally involved?