How Customer Objections are Sales & Marketing Tools

AAEAAQAAAAAAAANiAAAAJDU3MDM0MjMwLTJhNDUtNDQ5MS1iYjJkLWNhNGMwODY5NWZmOQ

Image via dreamreport.net

Many people who are new to Sales think that if a Customer does not ask questions or raise Objections during a Sales call; the Sale is moving forward. They find themselves surprised when the customer does not want to buy when they ask for the order. This assumes the Sales person has the courage to ask for the order.

Why Customer Objections are Sales Tools

When the Customer does not ask questions about a product or service it demonstrates a lack of interest. Sales objections are sales tools because the customer shows interest by asking questions. These questions allow the Sales person to build rapport and trust with potential customers. They get to demonstrate their product knowledge and expertise. Without any customer objections or questions, reps have no way to measure their progress during the sales call; making it impossible to pivot. This makes it hard to make sales and build a relationship with the customer.

Why Customer Objections are Marketing Tools

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.

How Marketing can Help Sales

Based on the feedback from Sales, Marketing Teams can Create and improve Sales/Marketing Collateral to address potential objections.

On issues of one product being better than another, the product team can: see how the product can be improved, or help provide Sales with Market researchposition materials to illustrate how the product is better.

competitive_analysis_-_matrix_l

image from smartdraw.com

Screenshot (26)

image via justworks.com

Customer objections are Sales and Marketing tools because they provide customer intelligence that can be used to sell more/improve products.

Do you think Customer objections are Sales and Marketing tools? Comment and share how you have handled and used customer objections.

Advertisements

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.

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 the 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 & 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 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.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAATWAAAAJDg3MWM4YWM0LWMyMWYtNDQwOC04OGU0LTg0NDVhYWQ3MzE1Mw

Steps to becoming your own Sales Manager with Activity-Based Selling

Image via Salesforce.com

In order for Sales Reps to be successful in sales, they need to think like a Sales Manager. To be able to do this they need to be able to track their own numbers and activities in the Sales pipeline. Using a system such as Activity-Based Selling, it is now possible to see your numbers in real-time along with pending deals and actions needed for the next step. This kind of Sales analysis will help you be successful.

There are five tasks in the Activity-Based Selling system that you need to master to become your own Sales Manager which includes: 1.Meeting and Exceeding your Monthly quota, 2. Creating and implementing a daily sales plan 3. Prospecting for new leads and customers, 4.Turning in timely reports, 5.Using Sales CRM to aid in accomplishing the above.

Below, we will see each of these steps in more detail.

1.Meeting and Exceeding your Monthly quota

To be successful as a Sales Rep, it is imperative that you meet your monthly sales quota. In order to meet this quota or goal it is important to know what it is. To achieve this goal it’s important to have a conversation with your manager about how you will be evaluated and what numbers you will need to hit.  The monthly sales quota that you receive may seem overwhelming at first.

Image via http://salesmanagement.org

Therefore, you should break it down into smaller parts. For example, a $100,000 per month quota divided by 20 working calendar days means that your sales must be a minimum of $5000 per day on average. To exceed the monthly goal, double the daily goal.

Now before you can dive head first into calling on customers and prospects you’ll need to have belief in yourself and the products you offer, product knowledge, competitive analysis of how your product measures up to competitors and at least a basic understanding of how to handle objections; if you are new to sales.

Image via http://smartdraw.com

Common objections voiced by prospects include: pricing, loyalty to a competitor, bad prior experience, not being the decision maker and wanting to think it over.

Images via www.scpgr.com, www.areyouresourceful.com

2.Creating and Implementing a Daily Sales Plan

 Once you are assigned a Sales territory, it is important to understand its demographics. As a Sales Rep in a new territory, you want to know: the number of prospects, the geography of the territory and the locations of prospects on a map. Using this information, the next step would be to divide the number of prospects by the 20 calendar working days in a month to come up with the amount of daily calls needed to visit everyone in the territory. Use a map to determine the order of people you will call on. As a Sales rep, you will want to call on people near one another to manage your time effectively. Write this plan out and go over it with your manager and most importantly make sure to use it every day.

3. Prospecting for New Leads and Customers

 

Image via www.nateleung.com

Now that you are executing your sales plan, it’s important to get in front of the people who could say yes to your offering. To be able to do this effectively, it is essential to be able to handle objections during sales calls. To have success, handling objections are the key to obtaining more sales from appointments. As you hone your selling skills, you will find it easier to make presentations and ask for the order. Once Sales are made it is important to make sure customers are satisfied with their purchase. You have earned the right to ask for more business, testimonials and referrals only after the sale and successful implementation of the product.

4.Turning in timely reports

Image via www.merapi.holes.es

As a Sales Rep, it is easy to get lost in the details when you are running a sales territory as there are many things to manage at once. However, you are still responsible to turn in your reports and update your records for customers and management; incomplete records can hurt your sales and your performance evaluation.

5.Using Sales CRM to aid in accomplishing all of the above

Sales CRM software allows you and your Manager to track all Sales pipeline activity which allows you to make informed decisions on all actions for all required interactions on pending deals.

Sales CRM enables Sales Reps to become their own Sales Manager, tracking their numbers and comparing them to other time periods gaining valuable insights on what is going well and what they can do to improve. This kind of Sales analysis and reflection enabled by Sales CRM is essential for sales success.

Major Sales CRM providers are:

Salesforce,

Image via Salesforce.com

ACT!,

Image via FlexAct.net

Oracle and

Image via docs.oracle.com

HubSpot

You can sign up for free trials and/or product demos by clicking the links above.  

What Sales CRM are you using? Comment and share your experience 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 a Start Up, 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 15,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. 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.

 

 

 

Getting to Yes when the Answer has been No:Dealing with Rejection in Sales and Business

Dealing with rejection in sales and business is tough.  I remember my time in outside sales in New York City. I would make a lot of cold calls or try to up-sell or cross-sell products to existing customers. I remember days in the field when the answer I received was some form of no. Sometimes no matter how perfectly we execute the sales process, the answer is going to be no. Even today in the business I am building, I face a lot of rejection.

Many people would think to themselves I can’t take this rejection I should just quit. Well their right at least in the short term. After you have made five or six sales calls with no results, take a short break. Take a walk and do some deep breathing. Try to remember that it is your offering that is being turned down and not you! Unless the prospect says “I hate this guy”.  This happened to me on one occasion.

You should take a short break after being rejected for the following reasons:

1 At this point in your call plan you are probably frustrated and are not thinking clearly. This will ruin any chances of making sales for the rest of the day.

2 Taking a break allows you to vent and refocus.

3 Reflect on past successes you’ve had. Remember, you made sales before and you can do it again!

After you have cooled off, try to think over the last calls that you have made. Reflect on what went well and what did not. Take this information and go on to your next calls with a positive attitude as if nothing has happened. Remember, your prospect does not care about how your day is going.

During my time in outside sales, I would have to call on certain prospects as many as 10 or 12 times before I could make a sale.  In terms of cross-selling and up-selling, you have to build relationships with your customers. It is not going to happen over-night. This is true when you are selling items that require a large investment from your customers or prospects.

Some of my biggest sales successes have come during my last few calls of the day. When you feel spent, take a short break and then keep going. You never know when you are going to get a yes. If you quit then the answer is always no. Remember, always ask for the order.  I was cursed at and thrown out of buildings; if I could keep going so can you!

 

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.