Your quick guide to tackling sales challenges

How the power of one request changed my life.

tripura-insights-venkataraman-subramanyan-power-of-one

I still remember that morning very clearly, it was my third trip to Mumbai, in my attempt to meet the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University to secure my transfer to the Pune Campus, during my engineering days. Pune had the reputation of a cosmopolitan student pool, better teaching faculty and a higher standard of education, which motivated me to seek this transfer. The previous two trips to Mumbai had not been fruitful and all I could build during those two visits was a relationship with the VC’s assistant. These multiple trips had also depleted my student finances so much, that I decided to sleep in the train station to save on money for my return journey.

I was at the reception of the VC’s office and saw him arrive in a white Mercedez. The assistant was kind enough to get me a minute’s audience, and the response I got from the VC for my request was a blunt No. I started moving out of his office, and in that moment of desperation, I turned back and said, “Sir, All it takes is one signature and you could change the entire course of my life”. I don’t know what came over him, he called me over and signed my papers for my transfer to Pune Campus. I still cherish the memories of all my friends during college who were far better than me and from whom I learnt a lot. As I think about all the work I am doing with various Sales Organizations, helping Sellers improve their Customer Engagement skills, through the art of persuasion and influence, I cannot still forget that single moment of persuasion, where I elevated the VC to help me change the course of my life.

Persuasion, Influencing, Negotiation and Selling ( PINS Skills) are more life skills than sales skills. What is your PINS story that changed your life? SalesSkillsAreLifeSkills #persuasion #influence #negotiation #selling #innovation #growthmindset #coachingsalesleadership #situationalleadership #situationalawareness

Proactive and Reactive Time Management

Proactive-and-Reactive-Time-Management

If time is a great leveller, how can you manage it better?

Open your calendar for the week and check what proportion of your meetings is proactively set by you (vs) reactively accommodated by you. In most cases, you would observe that the proactive nature of your calendar lags significantly behind the reactive meeting milieu.

How can your proactivity give you back more time for your leadership to shine?

The Best Sales Managers Practice Servant Leadership

The-Best-Sales-Managers-Practice-Servant-Leadership

In this moment of crisis, are your managers and leaders stepping up and adding value to you or are they just ratcheting up the number of reviews and making your life a virtual hell? When the times are tough, that is when your managers and leaders should be leading by example and coaching you to think possibility in an environment of positivity. Take a pause and think about your manager right now – are they truly adding value to you? If not, build a backbone and demand Value. Their job is to serve you to be successful.

#growthmindset #valuecreation #multipliergrowth #coaching #CoachingSalesLeadership

Never Do Something for Nothing

Never-Do-Something-for-Nothing

A foundational principle in human interaction is reciprocation. The shadow view of this principle in sales is: “Never do something for nothing”. It is amazing, how many times this principle is violated in sales situations. Think of unmonetized proof of concepts, unnecessary discounts during quarter ends or purchase rebate against cloud deals. If only we had the discipline to negotiate around value first, think of the many additional millions of dollars that every salesperson can achieve.

A brilliant book that helps you overcorrect on the other side of asking for more is #GettingMore by #StuartDiamond

Your Sales Gremlins

Your-Sales-Gremlins

In Sales, Time and Timing is Paramount. It is said that Time Kills Deals, therefore Salespeople need to operate with a sense of urgency and a bias for action. What salespeople need to guard against are the gremlins in their minds called “Excuses”.

Excuses are an ego defence mechanism that justify procrastination and the lack of action. What standard excuses are you consistently hearing in Sales Organizations for not getting deals closed ahead of time?

#SalesCoaching #Senseofurgency #biasforaction #timing #customerpassion #growthmindset

Measure the Power of your Questions

Measure-the-Power-of-your-Questions

Judge a leader by their questions, not their answers.

In Sales, the quality of the questions become even more important. What if your question itself is of tremendous value to your customer making them think differently? How have your questions reframed your customers’ reality lately?

#sales #powerfulquestions #reframing

Emotion Trumps Reason in Sales

Emotion-Trumps-Reason-in-Sales

It is well known that people decide emotionally and then justify rationally. In fact, emotion trumps reason always. Why is it then that sales organisations invest millions of dollars in value engineering / solution specialist teams who talk about rational value rather than solve for the emotional motivators? How can we stop putting the rational cart before the emotional horse?

#sales #growthmindset #peopledevelopment #emotionalmotivators

A Simple Reframing of Priorities

A-Simple-Reframing-of-Priorities

Should we pause to reframe? With our customers navigating the current difficult environment, how are you reframing their priorities? Should their current belt tightening be reframed to consider the connection of every employee to value creation for their customer? Should the savings on travel be reframed as an opportunity to invest in the capabilities of its leaders to manage in the grey? What could be other possibilities reframed for your customer to see opportunity in adversity?

#growthmindset #salesleadership #salesskills #salescoaching #beautifulconstraint

Sales Merry-go-round

Sales-Merry-go-round

It is the end of January and most Organizations’ that follow the calendar year would have completed their annual kick-offs and hunkering down for execution. Strangely, does the execution feel exactly like last year as if nothing much has changed? The leaders expounded on a set of new strategies, but the execution has not changed. This is where Organizations’ need to confront the social side of strategy – where everybody agrees but nobody does anything different. If this sounds true in your organization – it’s time to think deeper.

#growthmindset #missinglinks #leadershipdeception #moreofthesame #leadershipdelusions #leadershipblindspots

Manage your Seller’s Mental Health

Manage-your-Sellers-Mental-Health

Is your sales leadership unwittingly creating mental stress and agony for your sales team?

Research says that the biggest cause of stress for sales professionals is micromanagement by their leadership and the next biggest cause is their anxiety to achieve quota. Rather than dial up the reviews in these challenging times, leaders should focus on coaching their teams to maximise RoTI (Return on Time Invested) for their customers. This is best achieved by investing in the quality of customer experience their sales teams generate and by following a sales process that accelerates customers results.

Sales Leadership is a responsibility and with it comes your accountability to maintain the mental health of your sales team. How are you faring?

#salesleadership #mentalhealthawarness #mentalhealthweek #stressmanagement #anxietymanagement #crisisleadership #growthmindset

Mismatching – Psychology in Sales

Mismatching-Psychology-in-Sales

This week has been an interesting journey of discovering the pains and possibilities of mismatching. You would certainly be aware that mismatching is a psychological phenomenon in conversations, wherein the other person attributes the opposite of your intent.

In the field of sales, mismatching happens when you are waxing eloquent about your company’s capabilities and your customer looks completely unimpressed.

At a personal level, you could leverage mismatching to your advantage. For instance, when you tell your customer “I am sure that a million dollars in savings does not matter much for a company your size.” Plan to be pleasantly surprised by their mismatched response.

Mismatching, when creatively contrived and thoughtfully applied can lead to some surprisingly positive results.

How are you leveraging mismatching to gain more every day?

#psychologyfacts #conversationalintelligence #humannature #humanbehaviour #coachingsalesleadership

Five Disciplines to Becoming a Sales Superstar

Five-Disciplines-to-Becoming-a-Sales-Superstar

Five Disciplines to Becoming a Sales Superstar

  1. Mastering the 5 components of EQ.
  2. Gaining competence to build and articulate proactive insights.
  3. Mastering the ability to create value in customer terms.
  4. Mastering the ability to orchestrate your virtual teams to multiply value addition.
  5. Build the negotiation ability to claim a larger slice of value created

#WednesdayWisdom #Sales #SalesExcellence #Salesdiscipline #SalesInsights #SalesFoundations

Customer Value Creation

Customer-Value-Creation

Sales Tenet “If You are not different, you deserve to be commoditised. You get relegated to who you sound like. Every meeting is 3 parts preparation and 1 part execution”.

It is important for Sales Teams to understand how each team member is different and learn the art and science of leveraging these differences and sequencing them.

CustomerValueCreation happens automatically when there is a dance of insight between your sales team and your customer teams. Learning how to leverage your own differences can help you address the multiple layers of challenges as you navigate every customer deal towards closure.

#SalesPerformanceAccelerated #SalesManagement #SalesManagers #Accountteams #customercentricity #ProactiveInsights #Deals

Navigating your Customer’s Detractors?

Navigating-your-Customer's-Detractors

Sales is the systematic elimination of risks.

The seller must consciously mitigate the risks in the customer’s mind and influence their beliefs towards the solution on offer. Much like the popular board game of snakes and ladders, one wrong move can mean a precipitous drop to the bottom. Of course, your differentiation and uniqueness will be your ladder to success. I would be keen to hear the Snakes you have encountered in sales and how you have navigated around that? (Clues: Think politics, detractors, consensus, ecosystem, etc.)

#CorporateSnakes #WorldClassSelling #ValueSelling #PoliticalAcumen #SalesNavigation

Sales Professionals – Can you ‘Dia-logue’?

Sales-Professionals-Can-you-Dia-logue

There is nothing sweeter than our own voice – which is why 90% of sales people engage on monologues with their customers. I have been witnessing a lot of them lately. What is required is a dialogue – ‘Dia’ means free flow and ‘logos’ means meaning – therefore, a free flow of meaning within the conversation. In fact, the art of the sales conversation is to sequence and balance it – the first 80% with the focus on the customer and the final 20% focused on the salesperson.

How is your Sales dialogue making your customer smarter?

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