Using Marketing to Innovate the Organization

The purpose of the Sales and Marketing functions is to drive revenue for the organization.

Below you will find Sales and Marketing Strategies for driving revenue that can be Applied in any industry. You will also see how to use Marketing to improve the organizations relationship with internal and external customers.

1.Market Research & Competitor Analysis

Before businesses can sell anything, they need to determine if there is a market for their products and services.

Most businesses will not necessarily be creating new product categories. As a result, they will be entering into a market place that already exists. This is true if you are a re-seller or distributor of products and services. Once you decide that there is a market for your products and services; you need to study your competitors.

Image via smartdraw.com

You can see who your competitors are by

Using Market Research to differentiate your products and services on a Website

What if companies could use Market research as an online sales and marketing tool, putting the analysis on their website? Justworks is doing just that.

Using Your Sales Team as a Direct line of Customer Intelligence

There are certain things that come up when customer raise objections. Over time, Sales people will be able to see patterns of these objection. Objections are raised about pricing, bad past experiences, budgeting, being happy with a competitor and product inferiority. While Reps need to be able to handle objections; if they keep losing the sales for the same reason, they need to share this information with the marketing and product development teams.

2.Surveys

Surveys can be a great way to get information about prospects and customers. You can ask specific questions that can provide information on what the prospect is looking for. Also you can ask questions about when the prospect is looking to make a purchase. This information can be stored in CRM software. Surveys can be done through direct mail, email or online through internet polls.

3. Using Inbound Marketing & Creating Buyer Personas

I want to define Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing is Marketing based on getting found by customers. It’s customer-centric. With Inbound Marketing, businesses create customer-centric content based on customers needs. Content could take the form of blogs, videos and SEO.

Inbound Marketing is very different from Outbound or Traditional Marketing. In Outbound or Traditional Marketing, businesses would: buy advertising such as TV or Display ads to interrupt prospects, cold call or cold email to get their [message out.

4 Basics of Inbound Marketing & Sales

image via http://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing

Using Marketing for Lead Gen and Demand Gen

Digital Marketing/Content Marketing/Social Media Marketing 360

4.Create a blog within your website focusing on customer pain points discovered in your buyer personas.

Image via http://www.garrisoneverest.com/inbound-marketing-2/how-to-implement-inbound-marketing/

Content Repurposing

Repuropse blog content in the following ways: On SlideShare,

YouTube videos, podcasts, ebooks, whitepapers, newsletters, webinars etc…

5. Big Data & Analytics

image via https://marketingtruth.wordpress.com/category/analytics/

There are plenty of ways for marketers to measure the reach of their content and track customer behavior with marketing analytics. Many of these resources can prove to be quite expensive but in some cases make sense to purchase. However, there are plenty of free sources for marketing analytics.

6. Referrals/Testimonials from Customers

Referrals and testimonials from your customers is one of the best ways to get leads because they remove doubt from the prospects mind about your capabilities to perform. Referrals could take the form of a video, a recommendation on LinkedIn or a SlideShare presentation. I have the last two that I listed. Referrals and Testimonials should speak to the quality of your work.

7. In person testimonials at trade shows

Providing customers with great products and experiences is a great way to get customers to help market your products and services.

An example of this is illustrated by Hyundai

8.Customer Loyalty programs

Customers are usually delighted to provide referrals and testimonials for companies and products that work. That being said, you need to show your appreciation to customers who put their name and reputation on the line for you.

9. Business Networking

Attending networking events at your local chamber of commerce or at a professional association can be a great way to meet potential prospects and to generate leads. At these events you can talk informally and exchange business cards. You can briefly discuss who you are and what you do then move on; remember you want to network with as many people as possible.

10. Email Marketing

Email lists can be purchased from a list broker or self-generated from your address book. You can also use services like Constant Contact & Mailchip that allows people to enter their email addresses if they want email from your business. This is known as allowing them to opt in. Before proceeding with an Email campaign make sure to get permission from people through an opt-in email. If you do not get peoples’ permission to send them email it can be considered spam.

Email is a cheaper item than mail. You can have a wider reach to your customers. I would suggest creating a message that is compelling. Make sure to use pictures and colors that look appealing.

11. Social Media/Customer Service issues on Social Networks

Today, many people and organizations are using Social Media to get their message out. If you are not using Social Media you are missing an opportunity. The major Social networks are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook tumblr, & WordPress. These networks have similarities in the sense they are designed for people to communicate. Here is how to get started on these platforms.

Customer Service issues on Social Networks

In my post Building the Brands of Tomorrow, I stated that one of the things that companies needed to do to build the brand of the future is to listen to their customers. This means handling customer complaints promptly. We are in the digital age. In this age, social networks are the wave of the future. Today’s consumer is an empowered consumer. Today’s social consumer can quickly share their thoughts about a product or an experience on Facebook, Twitter, Google and many other networks. Brands need to be present on social networks to interact and engage with the empowered consumer. More and more consumers are consulting their social networks for product recommendations.

Improving the customer experience using Marketing

The Customer Experience and Customer Journey is being disrupted by technology. The technology comes in the form of social channels such as the internet, mobile, social media, publishing platforms, audio books and video on demand and voice.

All of these channels have the effect of giving consumers instant access to information about products and services. Mobile is becoming the biggest channel with 6.2 Billion Devices projected globally by 2020 According to Ericsson’s Annual Mobility report.

The way customers request information is changing. They may approach Sales, Marketing and Customer Service or an independent source for information and help choosing a product.

Using Social Media for Growth

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-takeaways-from-my-bizheroes-chat-dan-galante

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/organic-ways-double-social-media-traffic-website-dan-galante-/

12. Blogging- WordPress, Tumblr, Medium & LinkedIn

Blogging is a great way to build your brand and market your products to the masses using Inbound Marketing. Writing a blog allows you to demonstrate your expertise through writing. Blogging helps to provide prospects and customers with valuable information. Providing valuable information helps to position you as an expert and a resource. (Content Creation)

Popular blog posts formats are:

Writing a blog is great way to share your ideas and market your expertise in an area. I began blogging back in November 2011. Blogging had connected me with so many great people around the globe. I began publishing on the WordPress platform. In this post, I am going to discuss how to set up your blog on WordPress and Tumblr.

image via zanderchance.com

WordPress & Tumblr are great publishing platforms where users can create customized & branded content which includes domain names. For tips on setting up a blog click here.

Here is how to write & publish a killer blog article on these platforms.

image via singlehop.com

Writing on LinkedIn’s long form post is similar to writing blog posts. Your goal is to engage your readers & build an audience. Let’s explore the features of the LinkedIn publishing platform.

13. Content Repurposing & Curation

High quality content created on a blog has amazing potential to be shared, increasing blog readership. However, just creating content; sharing it in its original form on many channels multiple times will continue to yield diminishing results. Results are diminishing because Social Networks and the blog-sphere continue to be bombarded with content. As a result, too much quality content will be overlooked. Now if you are reading this confused what to do next, relax you are not alone. When I started blogging I thought the very same thing. Here is where content repurposing can help.

Content creation is one of the best ways to engage an audience, making it essential to content marketing. However, we simply cannot cover every single topic in our industry. This is where content curation comes in handy, content curation is where you share the work of others in your industry. Content curation can enhance your content marketing efforts in the following ways:

14. Obtaining Content from Customer Service & Sales Teams

Once brands convert prospects into customers, they still need to focus on and support customers post sale. Here is where Content Marketing can help. Brands can use Content Marketing for customer retention, cross-selling and up-selling. To take advantage of this, brands need to involve both their Sales and Customer service team in their Content Marketing strategy.

15. Trade Show Marketing

It is important to attend industry trade shows either as an exhibitor or an attendee. Trade shows are a great way to keep up to date with trends in your industry. This will allow you to hone your expertise which your customers pay for. Trade shows are a great place for you to get leads because customers go to them looking to make purchases either at the show or soon after. If you are an exhibitor, require attendees to give you their contact information to see a demonstration of your product. This can be the start of an informal conversation which you can follow-up on later.

16. Advertising

Businesses can advertise their products and services. The advertising can be a spot on the radio, television, Social Media, print and billboards. Television ads can be short commercials that appear on TV shows or they can take the form Infomercials which are at least a half hour in length.

Television has been a preferred method of advertising for years because television has a massive audience. The internet is also a great way to advertise. You can use pay-per-click advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. (LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads,Google AdWords) This is an effective method because you can specify who you want to see your ad by different demographics such as Geography, Age, and Profession. You can also use keywords to trigger your ads.

17. Print

Placing ads in newspapers can also help your business because newspapers have many readers. Newspapers are usually in print and online. Your advertising on this platform could take the form of a classified ad or article marketing. Industry trade magazines also fall into this category. Billboards can also help your businesses visibility.

18. Direct Mail

Direct mail can be a great way to find prospects. You can create a message with pictures and compelling copy. The idea is to piqué the interest of your prospect and to include a card with paid postage that they can send back requesting more information. You can use CRM software to track your results and fine tune who to target.

Direct Selling and Outside Sales Strategies

Sales can teach you many things.

Here is a list of what I learned from selling.

Creating a Sales Plan supported by CRM software

In my last post, I spoke about how to identify your target market and how to build a prospecting list. In this post, I will cover how to develop and implement a sales plan. Also I will cover how the sales funnel works and how it relates to sales success. The Marketing function of an organization can use marketing automation for related their activities as ACT! and Salesforce offer marketing automation software.

19. Handling Customer Objections

Sales 101 A guide to getting started

In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections in order to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them.This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also it is imperative that you address any questions the prospect has immediately.

However, objections will come up from time to time.

20. Becoming your own Sales Manager

Anyone who is in inside or outside sales has to meet sales quotas/sales goals of a certain type. The role of a Sales Manager is to hire, mentor, train and motivate the Sales Team. A Sales Manager is also accountable for setting the sales goals of their team and making sure that these goals are meet and exceeded. Sales Managers are provided with salary and an override of the teams total sales. Each Sales Reps goals make up a piece of this total sales goal. A Sales Manager’s duties will vary by the size of the organization and its structure.

Now you are asking “ How could I be my own Manager of Sales?

21. Tracking and using Sales Data

Math and Sales Data are essential to improve the sales efforts of Sales Reps. The use of Math and Sales Data can provide a wealth of insights in terms of how effective a businesses sales campaigns are doing.

22. Receivables, and Collections

When we deal with customers, it is important to get them to pay their invoices in a timely manner. What a timely manner means is dependent on your company’s payment policy. Are these customers C.O.D or are they net 30, net 60, net 90 or longer? This payment structure is based on the length of the sales cycle.

What can we do to make sure that customers pay their invoices on time?

23. Customer Relationship Management

In sales, we all have to deal with difficult customers. Today, I am going discuss how to deal with difficult customers. In a previous post, I discussed how to get customers to pay on time. Each situation needs to be put in context. In other words, why were the customers being difficult? Were they being difficult because you screwed up their order or service call?

24. Creating Sales & Marketing Content to engage Customers

In my last post, I covered how to make a cold call where I described about how to make an on the spot sales & marketing presentation. Now I will cover how to develop and deliver a customer centered sales & marketing presentation to a decision maker when you are on an appointed call.

25. Developing Your Presentation

When you start to develop your presentation, it

There are three learning styles, Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic.

65 percent of learners are Visual but this is not everyone. In the presentation below, I provide you with ideas and strategies to

1. Collect information on your buyers learning style

2.Create presentations and content that will engage buyers with content that is optimized to their learning style making it more engaging

3. Create differentiated presentations and content for all learners when buyer learning styles are unknown.

Getting people to pay attention to your message and brand is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s attention economy. This is especially true when making a Sales and Marketing presentation. When making a presentation using PowerPoint/Slide-decks, are you inundating your prospects and audience with slide after slide of visuals? While visuals are important, too many of them can overwhelm your prospects and audience. Remember the goal of your presentation is to inform, persuade and engage your audience to take action based on your message. You do not want overwhelm and/or bore your audience.

Bonus Content/ Additional Content

Create employee advocacy programs by providing a great talent brand.

image via LinkedIn

Brand Safety , Brand Building, Marketing Campaigns, Product

Organic Sales, Marketing & Social Media Strategies for Growth

CEO’s & CMO’s Looking to increase Sales? Here’s How

Small Business Marketing 101

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to 24,000+ followers on LinkedIn and 19,000+ on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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How to be a CMO & Create the Marketing Function of an Organization

EY-the-average-cmo.JPG

image via http://www.ey.com/gl/en/services/advisory/ey-dna-of-sales-and-marketing-leaders-reinvention-of-the-cmo#.WCsll-YrLIU

The role of CMO needs to focus on more than just marketing to increase sales as seen in this chart.

Image via http://blog.marketo.com/2007/04/are_you_a_cmo_o.html

To have success in the CMO role, you need to: get executive buy in on authority and the ability to make changes, otherwise you are doomed to fail.

Brand Message and Content Marketing

From a brand stand point, the brand messaging need to be in alignment. It should not take a genius to understand what your product does and how it will help the customer. To achieve this goal, you need to do the following: Audit, understand and improve Brand message, voice, sales, marketing collateral, print and digital properties.

Do the above before starting a content marketing program if the organization sells products because you will need to build and create a content tilt to be found by customers in search.

Developing Sales Processes and Shortening the Sales Cycle

Sales Managers hired; should train sales staff properly and hold Reps accountable to hit Revenue Goals. If you are tasked with creating/building out the marketing function of the organization, make sure that support staff are trained by the Sales Manager to handle inbound leads. Sales staff should be trained on objection handling, prospecting, product knowledge, making Sales, post Sales follow up and obtaining repeat business.

SMarketing

Have marketing partner with Sales. Go on Sales calls to understand customer objections /pain points to improve messaging and product. The goal of any Sales and Marketing program is to shorten sales cycles and increase Revenue.

Defining Your Target Market and Sales Channels

Audit, understand, and improve the sales structure of the organization, sales operations and sales processes. Define Sales Rep territories, compensations and commission structure using analysis that includes data from customer acquisition costs and ROI.

Decide if you will sell your product directly to customers or through re-sellers. Some companies do both.

Sales Management/Sales Reps

Hopefully if there is Sales Leadership at the company when you arrive, this will be handled. If no Sales people are present, start this process yourself and hire a seasoned rep or Manager from a larger competitor. If Sales leadership is there but has not done the above, give them a Sales Leadership improvement plan, look for a seasoned replacement and fire them. This applies to Sales Reps as well.

Market Research

Understand customers and buyer behaviors.

Share buyer personas and research with the sales staff.

image via smartdraw.com

Have sales staff complete a competitive analysis on how your company stacks up against your competition in the marketplace.

Product Development

Use Market Research to collaborate with product to come up with ideas for new products, features, promotions and pricing strategy.

Crossing the Chasm and Selling into New Markets

image via http://4.bp.blogspot.com/

Identify new markets to sell into. If Sales are stagnant, find a way to get in front of your customers before they become customers by using pricing in a crossing the chasm style analysis.

Proving you’re a CMO

Position marketing a source of revenue rather than a cost by putting marketing at the center of the organization. Showing how marketing can make an impact on the income statement beyond increasing sales. Show how marketing makes the organization run better.

Talent Branding

Improve the talent brand by creating a job site with employee stories. This job site will increase the amount of applicants and reduce recruitment advertising costs. Write more appealing job descriptions.

Attempt to make the organization the company of tomorrow by making it cross functional.

Company Revenue and Financials

Ask about the financial health of the company i.e. Churn rate, burn rate, Profitably, funding etc…

image via pinterest.com/explore/churn-rate

Ask the CEO about cash flow and if they can commit large amounts of cash to developing/executing marketing programs.

image via http://www.accountingcoach.com/financial-ratios/explanation/4

Data Driven Decisions

Above all, CMO’s need to use Data from Financials, Sales, Revenue and Analytics to make marketing decisions. The Data needs to be used continuously to justify marketing decisions and to pivot when marketing programs are not working.

The duties of the CMO will vary by industry and company size but these are the basics that a CMO must do to be successful.

What do you think makes a successful CMO? Comment and Share.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 16,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 11,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

Will EdTech/E-Learning CEO’s/CMO’s Improve Learning for Teachers & Students?

p1000303-1.jpgEdTech & E-Learning companies are doing great work. However, I have identified a gap in their marketing strategy that could leave them vulnerable to competitors. None and in some cases very few of the people in the Marketing function of the organization were former Teachers. You can do a search on LinkedIn to verify this.

I acknowledge that EdTech & E-Learning has former Teachers in the Sales and PD functions.

Why it is not Good enough to just place Teachers in Sales

Sales teams have to use consistent company messaging when presenting products to prospects and customers. Also, PD teams are not skilled at Sales and objection handling.

Market Research /SWOT

One Company, a major competitor of all of the others in the space, has Teachers working in every Marketing function which is an edge they can use against the company in a “we were Teachers once” Marketing campaign.

Teachers need to be in the Marketing function of the organization because they are the practitioners who can make the product messaging more credible and compelling. This new improved messaging will help build connection with the buyer because the buyer sees a Teacher-to-Teacher connection.

Our Teacher’s, Students & School administrators deserve better resources that are constructed by former Teachers at every level.

Why Hire Teacher practice experts in Marketing?

  • They are the customers and understand the pain points better than any market research -should be in leadership roles
  • Healthcare does this with Doctors, Dentists
  • Tech does this with programmers and engineers.

Why not EdTech!

Additional Teacher Skill sets that will be useful in Marketing

  • Can increase Sales because they are the customer and understand the pain points because they have experienced them in the job
  • understands how people learn
  • skilled at tailoring content for understanding based on learning needs
  • Today’s marketing is about educating customer and earning the right to market to them as teachers can educate customers
  • This is the best market research/ buyer persona there is!

My Qualifications

I would be an excellent fit for a Marketing role due to the following:

  • Teacher Practice expert with 6+ years of experience (SPED & GEN ED, part time, Adult ED and full-time experience)
  • Former Outside Sales Rep which allows me to create messaging to preemptively stop most sales objections
  • Can help with Sales Enablement/coaching/go on selected sales calls to improve the sales process
  • Experienced EdTech Marketer
  • Can build a better talent brand by building out your career site with employee stories
  • Create and establish new markets along with helping to create new product offerings that complement existing ones
  • Experienced online audience builder
  • I have built up a large audience with 11, 000+ followers on WordPress
  • Over 16,000+ followers on LinkedIn along with a following of 1,900+ on an EdTech Twitter handle @NYEDTechTeacher
  • Understand the customer behavior and pain points of Teachers and Principals

Support I need from EdTech & E-Learning Companies

I am asking EdTech and E-Learning companies for the opportunity to come on-site to speak about my qualifications. This will help me demonstrate how I can help them improve the learning experience of our students.

Support I need from Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents

Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents, comment below about the improvements you would like to see from EdTech & E-Learning companies. Please share this article and ask for change. I can’t do it alone. If I can join the Marketing function, I will help to improve EdTech and E-Learning to help the learner of tomorrow.

It is all about making our students lives better.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Here are the slides.

 

How Businesses will Increase Sales by Improving How they Hire Marketing Staff

the-power-of-smarketing-1-638

image via http://www.slideshare.net/NashvilleTechCouncil/the-power-of-smarketing-40266445

Sales reps can only be as good as the product and message they represent. Before companies can hire Sales reps, they need a great product with messaging that conveys the benefits to customers. Sales Reps need support from marketing in the cross functional organization of tomorrow. The messaging should be able to prevent customer objections. Unfortunately, this is where many Marketing departments fall short.

image via Salesforce.com

Many people that get hired in marketing, lack a sales background and have no idea on how to handle customer objections.

In addition, many people in Marketing lack the background and understanding of how people learn. Teachers and psychologists have this training. Understanding how people learn can make product messaging more effective because it can be presented in multiple formats. Many people in marketing lack practitioner experience and as a result marketing is not as effective as it could be. Practitioners are especially underrepresented in the Marketing function of many EdTech companies and this needs to change. Now I will make a case for hiring Sales Reps, Teachers and Industry practitioners in marketing.

Case for hiring ex Sales Reps

  • Knows how to handle objections which can be applied to message
  • Experience dealing with customers, knows customer pain points
  • Sees how end-user uses the product
  • Can increase sales using Sales expertise to make messaging customer centric
  • Can assist with Sales and Marketing Alignment as companies need to work cross functionally
  • Understands the issues Sales Reps face and has the credibility of being a Rep when collaborating with Sales Teams

Experienced obtaining , qualifying and converting leads to Sales ie Lead Gen/Demand Gen

Hiring Industry practice experts

  • They are the customers and understand the pain points better than any market research should be in leadership roles
  • Healthcare does this with Doctors, Dentists
  • Tech does this with programmers and engineers.

Why not EdTech!

  • Can increase Sales because they are the customer and understand the pain points because they have experienced them in the job

This is the best market research/ buyer persona there is!

Case For hiring ex Teachers

  • understands how people learned
  • skilled at tailoring content for understanding based on learning needs
  • Today’s marketing is about educating customer and earning the right to market to them they educate their customers

Why it is not Good enough to just place them in Sales

People in Sales are not involved in the creative process and cannot change their cards and company messaging.

They cannot address weaknesses in messaging and product.

The Marketer of Tomorrow

Has all of the above in their background or at least a Sales background at a minimum.

My background

I have Marketing experience along with all of the above in my background.

In the EdTech Industry, I hit all of the above and I am qualified for a job in marketing especially being the industry practice expert. In healthcare I have two out of three. For all other verticals, I have two out of three because I was in Sales, I taught and understand how people learn.

Are you ready to increase Sales by improving Marketing? Your sales teams deserve better!

Change today!

How have you increase Sales by improving messaging? Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 16,000 followers on LinkedIn and over 11,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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10 Things a Sales Leader Needs to Do or Have to Be Successful

Deciding to go into sales management is a very big step for a sales person. Recently, I received an offer to serve as a sales trainer or de-facto sales manager; based on my time in field sales and my blog.

What are a VP of Sales, Sales Director and Sales Manager?

Well they are leaders.

The first thing that a sales manager needs to do to be successful is to lead people and serve as an example. During my time in sales, especially during training, I went to these sales leaders when I had questions and needed help. (Before taking the position, you should make sure that you can believe in the product and that you can sell it yourself because when the sales team cannot do it they will look to you for help!)

The second thing that a sales leader needs to have to be successful is a successful track record as a sales person. Did you notice that I said successful and not a rock star? This will take us to the next thing a sales manager needs to have to be successful.

The third thing that a sales manager needs to have is empathy and patience. This comes into play when training new sales people. They may go into the field and get shot down or they might be developing slower than you would like. The easy thing to do would be to say deal with it. Another easy thing to do would be to fire them. This is the wrong thing to do. (At least the in the beginning.) The sales manager needs to support their sales people by debriefing with them and communicating with them. (Think, Babe Ruth was never a manager in baseball even though he was a star; he lacked the patience to do the job.)

The fourth thing that a sales manager needs to do is to go around with their sales people to meet customers. The sales manager needs to do this directly when possible. Delegating this task sends the wrong message to the new person. It says that the sales person is not important. If you must delegate this task, make sure the sales rep goes out with a seasoned sales rep that is successful so they can pick up their positive habits.

The fifth thing a sales manager needs to do is to teach sales people the following: sales planning, how to make a cold call and how to handle sales objections.

The sixth thing that a sales manager needs to do is to make sure that their sales people have knowledge of: the company’s products, how to provide customer service, how to keep customers paying on time, develop relationships with customers, how to up-sell and cross-sell, how to demonstrate value, not selling on price and how to handle difficult customers.

The seventh thing the sales manager needs to do is to make sure that the team knows how to develop and deliver a sales presentation that answers customer’s questions and objections.

The eighth thing that the sales manager needs to do is to let the sales people to know its ok to ask for the order after they make their presentation. The sales manager also needs to teach the sales people the following: to generate leads, to convert these leads into sales, to follow-up on sales, earn referrals and testimonials and to make the quota. Only if the sales team makes their quota will the sales manager make theirs. The sales manager can motivate their team to sell with sales contests. This a great way to promote healthy competition among the sales team. (A side note, touch base with your team on a weekly basis. However, reduce the amount of sales meetings that you have. Especially if your team has to travel long distances to attend. The last thing that you want to do is take money away from yourself and your team by keeping them out of their territories. I would recommend one to two meetings team meetings a month. The rest of the meetings can be handled via conference call, email and co-traveling. Sites such as GoToMeeting can facilitate meetings.

The ninth thing to do is to assess your team’s strengths’ and weaknesses’;  working with the team to correct them.

The tenth and last thing that a sales manager needs to be successful is be able to repeat steps one to nine multiple times as sales people are promoted, fired and leave to go work for another company. When firing someone make sure to meet with them face to face and explain the situation. No one likes to hear this news over the phone or via email. You will need to learn how to interview and recruit people as well.

These are the 10 things that a sales leader needs to do or have to be successful.