• [Seminar Recap] – Agile Selling with Jill Konrath

    Agile Selling with Jill Konrath header

    Wednesday’s seminar with Jill Konrath, author of Agile Selling was 30 minutes of powerful selling value! If you missed it, don’t sweat it. Make a priority to listen to our recording by clicking here.

    We touched on several topics of her upcoming book including important factors in the purchase decision, goal setting, understanding your competitors and a new way to use LinkedIn. Since there were many subjects talked about, I like to recap our conversation below. (more…)


  • 5 Ways To Reduce Cost of Sales

    How To Reduce Cost of Sales

    Of all the metrics in the sales and marketing world (and there are a lot of them) probably the most misunderstood is cost-of-sales.  Many sales managers view cost-of-sales as a labor cost; pay smaller commissions and your cost-of-sales goes down.

    That’s naive, though, because sales costs are only meaningful insofar as they affect profitability.  Cutting costs in a way that cuts into revenue (a more common situation than you’d think) is stupid.  Your goal is to make sales costs more efficient, not just smaller.

    More important, much of a company’s sales costs are hidden inside the budgets of other groups: specifically marketing, R&D and IT.  Because of this, creating the most efficient cost-of-sales requires a broad approach. Here are some suggestions:

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  • Outside vs. Inside Sales: Business and Individual Perspectives

    The sales team is a vital component of any successful company, and having top-notch personnel in this department can make or break a company. Though the lines are increasingly blurred, sales roles are typically divided into two types, inside sales and outside sales. Someone who is well suited to an inside sales role may not like outside sales at all, and vice versa. Companies who hire inside and outside salespeople should make sure their applicants know the difference, and place new hires in roles that suit their skills. Companies should also know which sales style works better for their company so they can hire and train salespeople accordingly.

    Let’s start with some basic definitions, even though most these definitions will likely be mixed or downright muddied in many real world sales roles.

    Outside Sales: According to the Department of Labor, an employee is considered an outside salesperson if their primary duty is to make sales and they spend most of their work time away from the company’s place of business. Anyone who travels most of the time to meet up with clients and make sales face-to-face is likely qualified as an outside salesperson.

    Inside Sales: Inside sales once happened mostly over the phone. Now they might happen over Skype, email, or other online communication services as well, but the principle is the same: inside salespeople work at a desk. Their main channel for making sales is through telecommunications.

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  • How To Build and Optimize Sales Forecasting Templates

    Sales forecasting is a critical business function for every company, but sales forecasting templates and tools most definitely aren’t one-size-fits-all. The key to successful sales forecasting is to continually improve the methods you use so that the forecasting model evolves to fit the unique needs of your business.

    Using an evolving sales forecasting models doesn’t mean starting from scratch, though. There are some excellent free sales forecasting templates available online for businesses just starting to build their model. A few basic elements need to be in place for a forecasting model to even get off the ground, and even businesses with an established forecasting process should take time to regularly review and improve their processes.

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  • How to Motivate a Sluggish Sales Team

    How To Motivate A Sluggish Sales Team

    Sales is a high-pressure field, and maintaining motivation, energy, and drive is incredibly important for success. It is normal to feel discouraged when a deal doesn’t work out, but the ability to stay upbeat and productive when the going gets tough is what sets apart truly great salespeople. Sales team leaders and managers have a responsibility to help their teams stay motivated even during difficult pushes and slow seasons.

    Psychologists who study motivation speak in terms of two general categories of motivation that influence everyone: intrinsic motivation, and extrinsic motivation. Career analyst Dan Pink does a great job explaining how these affect business in his TED Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation.” Understanding these motivation types can be a great tool for sales leaders.

    1. Intrinsic Motivation is driven by a desire to learn, grow, and master skills, and by the belief that by pursuing an activity, it is possible to reach personal goals.

    2. Extrinsic Motivation comes into play when money, social acceptance, or negative consequences like punishment are the main drivers behind a given activity.

    Everything from a pat on the back to a structured financial reward system can be used to increase both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors for a sales team. The best sales leaders should always be learning more about what motivates every individual on their team, but there are a few basics that tend to be consistent across sales teams in every industry.

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  • 5 Indispensable Tools That Complement Base CRM

    No sales professional is an island. Maintaining a competitive edge and developing strong customer relationships requires the right combination of tools at your back. There’s never been more options available for reps, but to make the most of the plethora of new resources, you need to have tools that work together in harmony.

    Part of what makes Base CRM such a useful system for sales teams is how well it works with other top business tools. It’s common for active sales reps to use a suite of programs and devices to stay at the top of their game. What’s uncommon is for a CRM to complement and integrate with so many of them.

    Here are just some of the tools that Base can amp up for your sales team.

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  • Goal Setting for Sales Leaders

    Goal Setting for Sales Leaders

    Virtually all sales leaders require their team members to set goals, but a surprising number of sales leaders fail to set goals for themselves believing that if their team members reach their goals then the sales leader has by default reached his or her goal.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    If fact sales leaders have a much more difficult goal setting task than their team members, for as a team member must only set their own goals, the sales leader must set overall team goals, work with each individual seller to help them set their goals, and then the team leader must set goals for themselves beyond simply monitoring the team member’s goals.

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  • 5 Free Ebooks For Sales Managers

    At Base, our mission is to make you and your team 10x more productive. To support that, we’re constantly adding new resources on Base adoption, CRM in general as well as sales management best practices. In this post, we’re highlighting our 5 favorite ebooks written specifically for sales managers.

    They’re all available for download now right here. If you have a sales management topic we haven’t covered yet, but would like to see added to our library, please let us know in the comment section below.

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  • Why Sales People Hate Their CRM (And What We’re Doing To Fix It)

    Anyone who has spent time in a sales department has heard groaning over a company’s CRM. In fact, between 25 and 60% of CRM projects fail to meet expectations according to a variety of studies conducted over the past decade. Even with these large numbers of dissatisfied customers though, rarely does a CRM roll-out go so poorly it makes international news. Unfortunately for Avon Canada they earned headlines a’plenty after their bungled CRM initiative. The company is eating a $125 million dollar loss after herds of their salespeople left the company because they released an overly complicated CRM.

    While Avon Canada stands alone in CRM infamy, it points to an important problem and a lesson we all need to learn: shoddy CRMs hurt sales and a bad CRM will cause you to lose good people too. Salespeople, like the ones who bailed on Avon Canada, hate their CRM for common and predictable reasons and in this post we’ll take a closer looks at those pain points and look at options for alleviating them.

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  • [Interview] The Future of Sales Technology With Jim Benton of ClearSlide

    Jim Benton is the COO at ClearSlide, a leading sales technology company that improves customer-facing interactions by providing real-time visibility and analytics for both salespeople and managers.  Base CEO, Uzi Shmilovici met Jim at a 2013 Techweek event in Chicago. Since launching The Forecast Club earlier this year, we thought Jim would be the perfect guest for our first San Francisco event. The two share a passion for helping sales organizations be effective and productive.

    During the fireside chat, part 1 of which we’re publishing here today, Shmilovici and Benton chat about a wide range of topics including how to use technology effectively in sales organizations, and how ClearSlide built their sales team from the ground up.

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