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Sales Strategy
Six Steps for Planning a Sales Performance Turnaround PDF Print E-mail
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Sales Planning - Sales Strategy
Written by Joe   

The Manager’s Guide to a New Sales Territory Plan

Planning

If you are a sales manager who has just been assigned to a new sales territory, it is crucial that you act quickly to turn performance around. When a sales territory is assigned a new manager, it is almost always because the old manager had been following a set of tracks heading straight towards inefficiency and sales disaster. This means that the status quo has not been working, and it is going to be up to you to turn the train around, establish a working sales methodology, and start your territory onto the road to success.

In order to make this happen, you need to act quickly and correctly during your first 90 days as manager. The six steps listed below are the first things you should do. 1. Don’t listen to anyone!
This is only a slight exaggeration. Of course you want to listen to your sales reps, but you need to take everything that they say with a grain of salt. You need to form your own opinions and estimations about where your sales territory stands, and where it needs to go. Since each of your sales reps are going to have an ax to grind, it’s best to form your own analysis rather than depending on hearsay.

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Turn Off the TV Get Out and Sell! A Sales Plan for a Down Economy PDF Print E-mail
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Sales Planning - Sales Strategy
Selling in a Down Economy Logo

During tough economic times like these, salespeople tend to let the following three thoughts dominate their minds:

1. All of my associates or employees are plagued by recession blues.

2. The news media is constantly moaning and groaning about the doom and gloom status of the economy.

3. To top it off, my customers are getting sucked into this negative attitude as well, making it harder than ever to prop up sales and keep my business running smoothly.

All of these things may be true, but you need to remember that this is not the whole story. These three facts are things that you have no control over. No matter how much time you spend worrying about them, you won't be able to solve the problem. Instead, concentrate on things that you do have control over.

Turning Off the TV.

Don't look at the media. The media is always going to be negative because that's what sells. Don't get sucked into this kind of thinking and spend all your time worrying about factors which you have no control over.

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How a Down Economy Alters Customer buying Philosophy PDF Print E-mail
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Sales Planning - Sales Strategy

Get Inside Your Customers' Heads

Understanding your customer is always key, but it is never more important than when you are selling in a down economy. Improve your sales territory planning by getting hip to changes in customer philosophy that accompany recession-time business.

During a recession, salespeople need to recognize the changes that occur in customer philosophy. When the economy gets tough, customers need different kinds of products than they do during a booming economy. They start to look more critically at products that they intend to buy and they will no longer do business without knowing how the product will either cut their costs or increase their revenue in the short term. While this can become a difficult situation for sellers who intend to continue making zero-effort sales, for sellers who are willing to get inside of their customer's heads this can be a great opportunity to increase sales on products which directly target their customers' concerns. Here's how to get inside your customers' heads:

Ask the Customer More Questions!

This sounds easy, and it is!You should already have a standard protocol of questions that you ask every customer in order to understand that customer's very specific needs and concerns. Add to this list of questions a few that deal with how perceived changes in the economy may be effecting their company. For example: "How are the current changes in the economy effecting your buying practices?" On the one hand, you might be surprised to hear that their sector has been hardly effected at all by the recession. If this is so, you might need to change little about your current strategy. However, you NEED to ASK for this information. You can assume nothing.

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