Sales Success Feed

Fix These Two Behaviors that Sabotage Sales

Somrat Niyogi

 Today’s guest post is by Somrat Niyogi, CEO and cofounder of Stitch. 

 

 


Do your salespeople fail to follow your sales process? Are they bogged down by administrative tasks? Are their sales pipelines sluggish and inconsistent?

If your organization is suffering from any of these problems, it’s time to take a look at your relationship to your CRM system.

CRM systems are flawed. They act as a repository for information but aren’t designed to help salespeople actually sell, be more productive, or simplify sales activities. In fact, the number one question sales leaders ask me is how can they effectively use technology in a way that helps their salespeople follow the sales process.

I believe that the solution is to use CRM data in a “smart” way and introduce automation to the sales process. We call this “intelligent sales automation.” Here are two problematic behaviors we see in salespeople and how intelligent sales automation addresses each one.

Problem #1: Salespeople typically choose to work on the deals that they know are closest to closing.

Naturally, salespeople want to invest time in closing deals that are easiest or most likely to close so they can get their commission check and/or meet quota; however, this means that deals and relationships that appear earlier in the funnel are generally ignored. This has two consequences: 1) early-stage opportunities and relationships can run cold (sometimes permanently), and 2) salespeople must start from square one each month or quarter (or whenever quotas are reset) to rebuild their pipeline.

Your salespeople are not necessarily losing touch with early-stage deals on purpose. What they need is a tool that prompts them to follow up with a particular contact at the optimal time, meaning when that contact is likely to be in buying mode.

Your CRM system is a great place to store information and create to-do lists, but it is simply not capable of assisting salespeople at this level. By contrast, salespeople who use Stitch find that the prompts help them reengage with prospects at ideal times. This contributes to a more robust and consistent sales pipeline.

Problem #2: Salespeople frequently fail to enter data and information into CRM systems.

Salespeople want to spend as much time as possible on activities that will help them close deals, reach quota, and collect their commission. Similarly, sales leaders also want salespeople to prioritize selling activities; the more time spent on selling activities, the better the chances of bringing in more revenue.

Sales leaders, however, have an added need to capture data related to sales activities, because this data helps them track the sales pipeline and roll out sales forecasts. When data is inaccurately entered into or missing from the CRM system, sales managers don’t know what’s happening with pending deals, and it’s impossible to predict revenue streams. 

With traditional CRM systems, the burden is on the rep to take time away from selling activities and devote time (up to 19 percent, according to a CEB study) to administrative tasks such as data entry. With an intelligent automation platform, however, salespeople are prompted to enter information at precisely when new information becomes available. Auto-fill capabilities make it faster and easier to get data into the system. The data in the system improves, and forecasting becomes more accurate. 

For salespeople, a well-defined and optimized sales process can be the difference between success and failure. Although traditional CRM systems fall short, sales intelligence automation actually helps salespeople and sales managers do their jobs more effectively and efficiently so that everyone wins.

Want to learn more about how you can take steps to increase sales productivity and get more out of your CRM system? You can contact us at ceo@stitchapp.com.


Why Sellers Must Focus on Relationships, Not Their Networks

Joanne-square-250x250Today's blog post is by Joanne Black, America’s top referral sales expert. Visit www.nomorecoldcalling.com for more articles, tips, and free resources. You can also find Joanne on Twitter: @ReferralSales.  

 

 

George thought he’d nailed the link between social selling and referrals, but as it turns out, he had merely bought into the popular misconception that social media would do his job for him.

George knew lots of people who surely knew lots of people. So he decided to use email and LinkedIn to ask his vast network for referrals, but no one responded. The problem was that George had forgotten about the social part of social selling.

Sales is social, but too many people forget that the quality of their relationships, not the quantity of their connections, really counts. You can collect LinkedIn connections like baseball cards and get nowhere, or you make the connections you already have stronger.

Yes, George knew a lot of people, but he hadn’t been in touch with many of them for a year or more. He had contacts, not relationships. Now he needed to reconnect on social media and schedule time to talk – to find out how their circumstances had changed and in what ways he might be able to help them.

“That’s a lot of work,” he said.

Of course it’s a lot of work, but it’s our job as salespeople. If bringing in new business was as simple as pushing a few buttons, we’d have to find new careers.

Stop Typing and Start Talking

Who doesn’t love a good shortcut? While there’s much to be said for efficiency, however, you can’t get caught taking shortcuts when it comes to conversations.

The art of conversation is your competitive advantage. Conversation is the key to problem solving and relationship building, which are at the core of social selling. It’s also become an increasingly unique skill set. The digital world, as great as it is, has left an entire generation of salespeople afraid to pick up the phone and have real conversations. Text messages with truncated words or 140-character Twitter posts do not facilitate the kind of meaningful, effective dialogue that increases sales conversions or gets you referrals.

People do business with people, not with robots or tweets or any other fancy technology. Social media is the place to start a conversation and begin a relationship, not to pitch your services or ask for referrals. That’s like walking up to someone and saying, “Hey, do me a favor,” without even asking how the other person is doing.

Show up online as you would in person. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean social etiquette is off the table.

Referral Selling IS Social Selling

There’s a direct correlation between your personal connections, ability to generate referral introductions, and sales success. Referral selling is the most personal, most social kind of selling you can do. When I refer you, my reputation’s on the line, so I need to be sure you’ll take care of my relationship as I would.

Social selling is a great way to expedite the first few important steps in prospecting: researching potential clients and identifying referral sources. Engage people on social media, then pick up the phone and take the conversation offline. Find out how your referral source knows the person you want to meet. Explain the business reason you want an introduction, and then ask how you can reciprocate.

It’s never too soon (or too late) to ask for referrals, help someone, contribute to a conversation, say thanks, or just catch up. Step out from behind the technology curtain and discover the real world. It’s waiting for you.


My Favorite Quotes from David Meerman Scott's New Book

One of the best things about hosting a conference for B2B sales leaders is that I get to meet very astute thought leaders and experts. In San Francisco earlier this year, I met David Meerman Scott, and I instantly felt a connection with his message. He spoke passionately about the new rules of selling, and he energized the audience as he enthusiastically participated in our chief networking officer’s challenge to tweet selfies of all the new people we met during the event.

During one of the breaks at the conference, we took some time to record this quick interview, in which he shared some of his background on how he got started in sales and how his early experiences shaped his worldview. I was struck by how many of his ideas about effective selling came from the formative experience of working as a sales rep for a Wall Street firm, back in the days when the salesperson owned the information and had all the power in the sales relationship.

Today I’m excited to announce that David has released a great new book, The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business. If you are in sales or marketing, I encourage you to order your copy today and discover what you need to be thinking about to be successful this year and beyond. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book so far:

On cold calling…

“Many organizations are still operating as if it were 1986, and they continue to focus massive investments on interrupting people with an army of salespeople making cold calls.”

On capturing customers…

“Content is the link between companies and customers. You are what you publish. You have to stop thinking like an advertiser of a product and start thinking like a publisher of information.”

On the new sales cycle…

“Because of the infinite amount of information available on the Web, buyers now have more information than sellers, and therefore buyers have the upper hand in negotiations.”

On social media…

“The secret to building a following on social networks is that there is no secret. You must participate.”

On sales and marketing alignment…

“Break down the walls between sales and marketing, and your business will improve. We are no longer in a world where marketing passes the baton to sales and sales leaders are seen as the primary measurement of marketing’s success.”

Great thought leaders are always thinking several steps ahead. I am impressed by David’s insight and the very real value he offers all of us who are operating in sales today.

What are some of your biggest current challenges as a seller? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


Why Knowing Your Customer's Business Isn't Enough

LaVonKoener_smToday's post is by LaVon Koerner, chief revenue officer of Revenue Storm, a global sales consulting and revenue acceleration firm.

 

 

How many times have you been told to understand your customer’s business? Well-meaning sales trainers and coaches often imply that, if you have a thorough understanding of the current points of pain within your customer’s business, then you will be able to sell more to that customer. While this may have some impact with capturing just preexisting demand, it is less helpful if you are inclined or have a need to create new demand for your products and services. 

Here is where the cold business reality meets sales reality: you will never be able to understand your customer’s business better than your customer does. If you pretend that you do, you make yourself unnecessarily vulnerable. You are always just one step or one question away from being exposed. If your limited business understanding gets uncovered, any respect or sales advantage can quickly dissipate. Additionally, there may not be any flexibility in the customer’s current business structure and cemented plans to enable you to force yourself and your products and services into their preconstructed strategies. 

There is, however, a better approach that positions you on a level playing field with the executives in your customer’s company. This approach instantly puts you into an intense executive conversation in which you have a real opportunity to create demand. Once you expand your thinking and conversation beyond the customer’s business and step into the customer’s world and industry, you have instantly broken through a knowledge barrier and stepped onto a new stage.

Focusing on your customer’s industry will enable you to discuss what could beand not be encumbered or limited by what is. It is precisely in this discussion that new and often unthought-of opportunities can be put on the table. Here, the sales professional’s thought leadership carries real weight, and his or her innovative ideas will be heard and considered. This is where demand creation can most easily be accomplished.

The reason for this improved potential is simple: your customer’s expectations are lowered when it comes to matters of the future. Often, the customer has yet to sort out his or her own views about what new opportunities are unfolding and how to capitalize on them to gain competitive advantage in the industry. In short, in the absence of preconceived ideas of potential courses of action, the sales professional has a legitimate chance of making a case for some new course of action. Here, sales professionals can differentiate themselves not only from their own competitors but also from other executives within the customer’s organization.

To be clear, a spirited conversation about exciting possibilities, unfolding because of new and emerging industry trends, can disrupt the customer’s current status quo. These new colliding and often conflicting trends will upset the way your customer is currently doing business and open up new possibilities. Once spotted, the race is on. The first ones to identify these trends and act will often be able to capitalize on them at the expense of their competitors. Here lies the spark of invention, the catalyst for doing something new and really different. This is when a customer looking for an edge will pause to listen to you. This is the home of demand creation!

To learn more about demand creation, listen to Revenue Storm’s recent Webinar,The End of Sales As We Know It.


The Plight of a Sales Manager

LaVonKoenerLaVon Koerner is chief revenue officer of Revenue Storm, a global sales consulting and revenue acceleration firm. Join Revenue Storm at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Las Vegas on September 18, 2014.

 

 

No other role has undergone more change and is under more pressure to achieve greater results with fewer resources than that of a sales manager. Sales managers receive less support, training, and pragmatic tools for managing their ever-increasing number of direct reports and are expected to hit ever-increasing revenue targets in shorter amounts of time. 

The plight of a sales manager is intensified by the following:

  • Most sales managers have never been properly trained for the jobs to which they have been promoted.
  • Most sales managers have been revenue heroes but are unable to replicate their personal approach.
  • Most sales managers fall into the trap of closing business themselves because they do not have the time, methods, or science to develop such skills in their own people.
  • Most sales managers live a hectic life of reactively running from person to person and from pursuit to pursuit in hopes of finding a way to make their numbers.
  • Most sales managers have no coach, no coaching process, no developed coaching skills, no coaching governance, and work for a company that has no coaching culture.

Given these points, is it any wonder that sales managers are experiencing one of the highest turnover rates of any position in the corporate world? Here are two seemingly counterintuitive principles that aspiring managers should practice, although the principles may be both uncomfortable and unconventional. 

Be in the Game but Not on the Field

If you’ve watched or played sports, you may know that, when the manager of a sports team crosses into the field of play, you will immediately see a flag or hear a whistle signaling that a foul has been committed. In the business world, there are no flags or whistles to identify the violation of an important business-management principle. This judgment is left to the self-policing of a disciplined manager.

Generally, sales managers fall into one of two camps: the Post-Game Clips Manager, who focuses on the post-game analysis, or the Star Player Manager, who runs onto the field to ensure that the big plays are successful. While these two types of managers may seem very different, they both make the same mistake: trying to achieve short-term results rather than develop their people for repeatable gains. Both of these management styles are doomed to failure in the long term. Their misguided plans, no matter how well intended, will eventually come up short. 

In order to be in the game but not on the field, one has to be committed to the value of coaching. Coaching brings you into the game while not being on the actual field of play. If the manager does not have frequent and consistent coaching sessions built upon a well-designed and healthy coaching culture, then the chances of this principle being implemented are slim to none.

Following this principle allows the manager to advance the pursuit while still advancing the talent. Only coaching can produce both short-term and long-term sustainable results.

Be in Touch but out of Reach

Technology can be a wonderful thing. It enables managers to increase their span of control while reducing their time of control. Managers who feel constant panic from being behind and overwhelmed covet immediacy. 

As with all good things, however, too much can turn bad. Our marvelous new technological capabilities must be used with restraint. Immediacy and speed can become the adversary of intimacy, and quickness will be the enemy of quietness. Managers who deliberately make themselves unreachable by turning off their cell phones for set periods of time will be better positioned to develop their team and strategize for success. In our fast-paced, plugged-in world, there is no substitute for deliberate contemplation of people and issues.

Managers who spend quality time one-on-one with their people will reduce time to performance. How long does it take a manager to transform a new hire from a “cost center” to a “profit center,” which is when the new hire achieves increased self-sufficiency and role proficiency? This simply cannot be accomplished without uninterrupted, dedicated time focused on helping an individual overcome his or her personal challenges and skill deficits, so he or she can break through to the next level of performance. 

Leadership is not possible without vision, and vision is not possible without careful and thoughtful consideration. Stop the noise and think about the big picture. Take the luxury of dedicated time and apply it to a specific situation until breakthrough thinking is attained. Then, turn the technology back on and lead with the courage of your newfound convictions. 

Faithful adherence to these two simple but profound principles is key to raising your management proficiency.


The Sales Model of the Future: Interview with @Gitomer

I'm really enjoying my series of videos with top selling author Jeffrey Gitomer. He is a great thought leader who is always thinking about the future and energizing audiences with his enthusiasm and new ideas. In the video above, we discuss how mobile devices have changed the game of sales. As he points out, more than 70% of social is mobile. If you don't develop a mobile strategy now, you are dead in the water. Watch the video above to see his tips on how to develop a winning mobile strategy that will keep you selling successfully now and in the future.

If you want to learn more about how you can succeed in sales, I highly recommend you check out Jeffrey's virtual training center at http://www.gitomervt.com/

 


Ending the War between Sales and Marketing

BillWallaceToday's post is by Bill Wallace, vice president of Revenue Storm, a global sales consulting and revenue acceleration firm. 

 

 

Can’t We All Just Get Along? 

More than 40 percent of business-to-business (B2B) sales professionals missed quota in 2013, according to research from CSO Insights. The culprit, if you ask sales, is often the quality and volume of leads from marketing. Marketing, on the other hand, blames the sales team for ignoring leads and not working hard or fast enough to close them.

It’s a problem as old as business itself: sales and marketing just can’t seem to get on the same page. Group counseling with human resources, team-building events, and joint meetings have failed to get the two groups to perform seamlessly.

Getting Sales and Marketing on the Same Page

Often, the question then becomes, how can marketing and sales align? This question, however, is flawed. You can’t align the groups to one another; you can align them only to a common go-to-market strategy and sales process. This is the best way to create synergy and value for both departments, as well as for your targeted customers. 

Essentially, a go-to-market strategy bridges the gap between the business plan and your chosen markets. It helps define the type of marketing and sales messaging you want to use and answers these strategic questions, among others:

  • What is the basis of our innovation? Are we going to focus on product, process, or client business impact?
  • How will clients perceive our value? Do we want to be the low-cost provider, be the total solution, or guarantee business results? 
  • What do we want our brand to stand for? Are we the dependable purchase, the company that fixes operational problems, or advisors on important business issues?
  • How do we want our sales professionals to perform? Should they be premiere transaction providers, trusted specialists, or political insiders? 

This is an intentional approach to crafting how you will execute in the marketplace. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t know the right approach for their business or fail to communicate their chosen approach to the different functional groups. As a result, sales and marketing perform their duties in separate silos. This lack of alignment is expensive and hurts company performance. The resulting organizational drag creates results that are less than optimal, wasted resources and budget, and low morale. If we can reverse this, companies see substantial improvement on important performance metrics: sales cycles are shorter, market-entry costs go down, and the cost of sales is lower.

Once a common go-to-market strategy has been determined, each group needs to understand what success looks like. At this point, marketing activities MUST be aligned with the steps in the sales process. The sales process is the methodology that sales uses to work from an initial prospect meeting through a closed/fulfilled revenue opportunity. Each step in the sales process helps to improve the probability of winning new business – if thoughtfully executed. Marketing should review these steps in order to create key activities that will drive or support each step in the sale. This begins with initial targeting of accounts or key client contacts and continues to fulfillment and measurement of a new opportunity.

To reiterate: first the groups must be aligned to a common go-to-market strategy and then to the steps in the sales process. The next step is to review current marketing activities to determine if they are truly in lockstep with the sales process. Marketing’s effort can shorten sales cycles if it’s designed to bring value to the potential client throughout the buying path.

Aligning sales and marketing to a common go-to-market strategy and ensuring that marketing activities are supportive of each step in the chosen sales process is almost guaranteed to positively increase revenue, win rate, and margin.

This isn’t an easy set of tasks, but it can be done. Decide to end the conflict. Working together is fun; working against each other is misery. The good news is that there is a proven way to end the war, but it requires leadership and a willingness to take the gloves off.

Hear more about Sales & Marketing Convergence from Bill Wallace and Revenue Storm at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Las Vegas on September 18, 2014.


Honest Sales

Pownall 2Today’s guest post is by Chris R. Pownall, author of eight books, including Funny How Things Work Out

 



Having spent nearly 40 years working in technical sales, I feel reasonably confident about passing on some of what truly worked for me. I believe good, sustainable business can be built only on the basis of truth and honesty.

I recall my interview in 1967, when I was applying for the role of a trainee technical representative with a very well-known engineering manufacturing company. The interview was conducted by the area manager, and following the usual questions about qualifications and experience, he asked me how I would react if one of my major customers experienced lost manufacturing product because I was unable to supply a critical component when required.

“What would you say to your customer?” he asked. Without hesitation, I told him I would tell the truth, and I would explain what actions were been taken to rectify the situation. The area manager gave a big smile and commented that it was company policy to always tell the truth, and that was a strong indicator to me that I was applying for employment with a reliable company that had the kind of values with which I could identify.

Well, I was successful with my application, and as this was my first job in sales, I had to prove myself throughout a probationary period, and then I was tasked with maintaining existing business and developing new business across a wide range of industry sectors. I very soon discovered that I wasn’t selling the cheapest products on the market but some of the most expensive; therefore, I had to develop a sales approach built on honesty, trust, and product reliability.

From the very beginning, I never made any false or misleading claims about any of the wide portfolio of engineering products. Instead, I did my research, looking into many case histories, and built a catalogue of successful product applications that I could use in support of my sales pitch.

When I was cold calling, I would generally ask the potential customer to give me an opportunity to resolve any difficult sealing requirements, and I would attempt to provide a viable solution. Time after time, this sales technique proved to be successful, and many a door was opened in this way.

As my career progressed and I was promoted into sales management, I carried with me the same values regarding honesty and trust, both with my customers, as well as with the sales team that reported to me. I provided a lot of training – both technical and sales training – and I expected all my salespeople to study and work very hard in the pursuit of increased sales. I suppose I was a hard boss, but I never asked them to do anything I wasn’t prepared to do myself, and I always tried hard to support them when things weren’t going according to plan.

I required them to maintain customer records and operate an individual activity plan, which set out their sales strategy to grow the business within their area of responsibility. This all started before the advent of computers, and it was a little labour intensive, maintaining and updating ongoing sales activities. Some resisted, but the better salespeople bought into it, and they were the ones who proved to successfully advance their careers. I used to say to colleagues that I would rather have a brilliant salesperson for two years than a mediocre one for 10 years. The trick was to keep the good ones, and my record shows that a fair proportion of those I recruited advanced within the organization.

As my career progressed further, I became an industry specialist, and this required a great deal more study into products and applications. I attended many training courses both offered within the company and without, including the Cranfield School of Management. While I learned a great deal about professional sales techniques, I always held on to my basic philosophy that simple is good, and integrity and honesty is always the best policy.

Later in my long career, I was asked to work overseas, and my travels took me to many corners of the world. I remember the first time I was required to go to the United States, and while I relished the challenge, I realized that, in breaking new ground in the United States, where there are many indigenous manufacturing competitors, I would need to take something to the party. The first thing I did was research the key US competitors and do some product matching, and at the same time I looked for some unique selling points within my products that I could use to good effect when pitching against the US competition. I started using “value in service” and “cost of ownership” to promote my products, and I was able to demonstrate projected cost savings based upon quality and value rather than price.

On my very first visit to the United States, I had an opportunity to present to the chief engineer of a steel plant. He listened intently to my pitch and then set about questioning some of the statements I had made, and in all cases, I was able to substantiate the claims using third-party references of similar applications.

Toward the end of my career, when I became an industrial marketing director with responsibility for the global metallurgical industries, I started using return-on-investment (ROI) plans to introduce more advanced products. If I could substantiate projections from the customer’s operating data, I was able to put a value to the service advantages of the products I was promoting (value in service).

I have attended numerous external sales courses, where I encountered many gimmicky sales techniques that I considered to be designed to outwit sales resistance from potential customers. They were not for me. Of course, you have to have a good employer behind you, and I was extremely fortunate to serve almost 40 years with a company that had a very strong brand identity, plus the necessary values and standards to move the business forward in line with shareholders’ expectations.  

I stick by my simplistic approach, promoting value and honesty.


Communication Tips for Leaders of Global and Remote Teams

TristamBrown_200Today's guest post is by Tris Brown, CEO of LSA Global. Download his white paper, "10 Simple Steps for Successful Virtual and Global Teams."

 

 

Managing teams across multiple time zones and cultures isn’t easy. If you get it wrong, you can be plagued by everything from high turnover rates to low profitability. Although sometimes CEOs decide to rein in remote teams, that’s not always an option. Managing remote and virtual teams is an issue that’s only going to grow in importance. Consider the following:

  • According to a Forrester report, 34 million Americans work from home; this
    number is expected to expand to 63 million (or 43 percent of the US workforce) by 2016.  (US Telecommuting Forecast)
  • A poll conducted by Cisco revealed that 29 percent of college students believe that the ability to “work remotely with a flexible schedule” will be a “right” once they enter the workforce. (Cisco Gen-Y Study: Mobile Devices Valued More Than Higher Salaries)
  • More than half of respondents in a global study said managing virtual teams will be a vital future competency, but only 36.5 percent believed their managers had mastered the necessary skills required to manage virtual teams effectively. (Developing Successful Global Leaders)

When global teams hit the headwinds, they must rely on trust and commitment to stick together. So how can you build trust and commitment across time zones? One of our global-team clients has put together a set of guiding principles on how team members will interact with each other. The client says this framework helps keep the team focused, as well as more mindful of other virtual-team members.

Here are some questions to distribute to your team members to get them thinking about how they’d like to work together.

  • What constitutes a timely reply to an email?
  • Do emails with certain subject lines get priority response times over others?
  • What is the definition of “the end of the day” for teams working in different time zones?
  • What are common expectations around any of the following: deadlines, next steps, and instructions for follow up?

Working collaboratively, team members can agree to some common (yet powerful) definitions around these very simple communication practices. They can also come up with templates to respond to their peers when they feel communication is starting to go off track.

Above all, this exercise gets the point across to your team that you don’t want anyone to get bogged down by vague, ill-timed, or incomplete communication. When all members know that they have a manager who supports improved communication, they’ll be more open to bringing issues to your attention – before they become a habitual problem.


The Impossible $5.7 Billion Sales Target

BobUrichuck Today's post is by Bob Urichuck, speaker, trainer, founder of the Buyer-Focused Velocity Selling System, and best-selling author of Velocity Selling: How to Attract, Engage & Empower Buyers to BUY and Motivate Your Team in 30 Days.

 

Let me share the biggest target challenge I faced and met in my 50-plus years in sales and 20 years as a sales trainer.

Several years ago in Dubai, I met with a CEO of a major land-development company, who wanted my help to get back on target. It was late September. The company’s year-end target (December) was US $5.7 billion. Current sales were at $2.4  billion – not even 50 percent of target.

 I asked the CEO what was expected from me. The reply was “to conduct a day or two of training to get the sales team back on target.”

“Why don’t you just give me $25,000, and we’ll call it quits,” I said.

The CEO did not understand.

I explained how he would be wasting his money; a day or two of training will not change anything. To change attitudes, behaviors, and competencies, sales training has to be continuous or an ongoing process with management coaching.

I stayed to conduct two days of training on the condition that he follow up with the participants in the following two weeks, as they needed to decide on whether or not to continue the sales training. If the feedback was positive and they wanted to continue, I would provide him with a draft proposal for an annual, ongoing sales-training program.

Two weeks later, he requested a proposal that became a 30- to 50-day agreement with some very rewarding terms (a story on how to engage buyers on price and terms that I’ll reserve for another time).

In November, I was invited back to Dubai, and I committed to working with this company on a 30- to 50-day annual plan to train the sales teams on the Buyer-Focused Velocity Selling System and create a winning sales culture within the organization.

The challenge: I had fewer than 60 days to help this team more than double $2.6 billion in sales to $5.7 billion.

I learned that a “large sale” was considered selling an entire floor of a building.

Early in week two, I sat down with the CEO and suggested selling buildings instead of floors. His immediate response was that it would be impossible –  a word I like hearing, as it motivates me to prove people wrong, for I believe nothing is impossible.

Six buildings were quickly identified and priced, and six reps were selected. Together, we analyzed the database and identified all high-end buyers, matching buyers to sales reps by country, language, and other criteria.

Each sales rep also became an expert in one building, and a strong team with clear direction was created. At the end of the second week, I left the company to implement its plan while being an email or telephone call away.

In fewer than six weeks, before year’s end, the team exceeded the sales target of $5.7 billion. The rest was history! 

I facilitated it, and they did it! That is what bottom-line results are all about.