• The Future of Sales Technology

    The Future of Sales Technology

    Do me a small favor. Google image search “sales software” for me. Seriously, head to Google Images and type in “sales software.” If you just shivered you’re not alone.

    The past is a scary place and those outdated legacy CRM databases have not adapted to the advanced needs of the modern day sales teams.  Yet before we look ahead, it’s important to understand the advancements in the sales world. Below are 4 ways we’ve seen the transformation of the sales industry:

    Static » Real-Time

    No longer is it okay to wait for a sales report. No longer is it okay to export sales data and then import it into an excel sheet. And no longer is it ok to wait until you’re in the office to follow up on that lead. It’s 2014. If I can get a pop-up notification on my phone that tells me if I leave now, it will only take 20 minutes to drive home, I should be able to get a pop-up notification that one of my deals has closed.

    PC » Cross-Device & Mobility

    Salespeople have been early adopters of tablets, smartphones, and even laptops. They’ve embraced technology so quickly that they usually purchase their own devices just to get ahead. A salesperson now will use up to 3 different devices to stay in touch with their prospect.

    Database » Productivity

    A CRM organizes your data. That’s it. Technology advancements have made it possible for an additional sales productivity layer, that goes a step further to help sales teams work in a more data-driven productive manner and focus on closing more deals. What tools will help you close more deals?

    Archaic User Interface » Consumer Grade User Interface

    There used to be this line between using consumer software and business software. When you’re in the office it’s business software, when it’s out of the office it’s consumer software. However, that line is becoming much thinner. Consider Twitter or even Uber. Thus, sales teams are finally starting to see better experiences with their business software.

    As our CEO has stated “If you’re using outdated technology that cannot adapt to the advanced needs of modern day sales teams, your competition will crush you.”

    If these advancements interest you, you’ll want to register for our webinar this week, The Future of Sales Technology. While being hosted by Base, we’re welcoming Clara Shih CEO of Hearsay Social, Gerhard Gschwandtner, CEO of Selling Power and Geoffrey James, Contributing Editor of Inc in a panel discussion. The focus will be on the discussion of sales technology. We’ve saved 200 seats thus far but look forward for you to join us this Friday the 26th.

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  • [Seminar Recap] – The 5 Mistakes of Sales Training

    The Next Generation of Sales Training Seminar

    Tuesday’s seminar with Ralph Grimse, partner at The Brevet Group was 30 minutes of insight into the future of sales training. I think we can all agree that there’s an opportunity for improvement in the sales training industry and The Brevet Group is well on it’s way to lead the charge. If you did miss the seminar, register to watch the on-demand video here.

    In order to keep it to 30 minutes, we focused on the 5 common mistakes that organizations make and ways to overcome them in order to sell smarter. I will recap the 5 mistakes below.

    #1 Lack of Customization

    Organizations need to make the sales training content applicable to each sales rep. Not every rep has the same sales experience. You’ll have reps with years of selling experience and reps fresh out of school but it’s extremely important to take it into account. The content that’s being developed and the training that’s being shared needs to impact all of your sales force.

    #2 Ignoring the Sales Manager

    Too often sales training focuses on the sales rep while the sales managers are ignored. It’s important that all management is bought into the sales training program because reps will often look for additional coaching and guidance from their sales managers.

    #3 Training Through a One-Time Event

    Time and time again organizations make the investment in the one-time sales training event. However, data has proved that this is not the way reps (and adults in general) learn.

    #4 Confusing Product Training with Sales Training

    Product training does not equal sales training. Yet, organizations think if they bombard their team with training of their own product it will qualify as sales training.  Sure it’s important for sales reps to understand the particular product, but it’s also crucial that reps learn “how” to handle their sales conversations.

    #5 Zero Emphasis on Execution

    Many organizations believe that if they build great plans the execution of the sales training will take care of itself. For example, it’s common for a sales organization to choose a new best-selling sales system they believe will transform their sales results but without the consideration of the approach and delivery nothing will come about.

    You can listen to the full 30-minute recording by clicking here. Afterwards join us for our next seminar by viewing our upcoming events.


  • Sales Training is Broken, Can it be Fixed?

    The Next Generation of Sales Training Seminar

    Traditional Sales Training is Broken

    You know the routine, sales results should be better and you believe you can get more out of your current sales team. So, you figure you might want to invest in a sales training program.

    According to IKO System, 94% of companies invest in some kind of sales training. Yet, data tells us that today’s sales training programs just don’t work. Sure, you might see a bump in sales but it has no lasting impact on sales performance. Did I mention the cost of bringing in a “sales expert” to talk with your team? (more…)


  • [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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