An argument for collaboration: Technology is erasing the lines between inside and outside sales teams.

Inside sales teams and outside sales teams have traditionally sold in different ways.  Inside sales teams sold over the phone or fax or walk-in orders.  Face-to-face interaction with customers was transactional and generally uncomplicated.  Outside sales teams sold primarily in person and were responsible for larger volume accounts.  Existing and emerging technology, however, is challengingContinue reading “An argument for collaboration: Technology is erasing the lines between inside and outside sales teams.”

Preventing Attrition Part 3: Not Every Customer is a Good Customer

Attrition happens when companies underestimate the importance of customer selection.  Sales teams often spend time and money on customers who don’t share the same strategic priorities–the things they will and won’t do to win.  Strategic misalignment results in  customers leveraging suppliers for pricing and largess with no intention of developing an authentic long-term relationship.  AContinue reading “Preventing Attrition Part 3: Not Every Customer is a Good Customer”

Preventing Attrition Pt. 2: Time and Bad Planning

Attrition occurs when a salesperson fails to appreciate the scarcity of time–especially with medium to high value clients.  As a result he may take a client’s time for granted, haphazardly plan his meetings, and succumb to complacency’s assurance: “Relax, you’re no worse than the competition.” For example: A salesperson is assigned to a medium orContinue reading “Preventing Attrition Pt. 2: Time and Bad Planning”

Preventing Attrition Part One: Avoid the Competency Trap.

During a recent conversation a colleague speculated as to why client attrition happens.  “Sometimes the competition buys the business,” he said,  “and we might be complacent at some point.”  These can be deal breakers.  Most customers, however, are willing to forgive the occasional service gaff or price negotiation unless it goes uncorrected or unaddressed–especially ifContinue reading “Preventing Attrition Part One: Avoid the Competency Trap.”

Up next: Amazon begins beta testing audio ads (slide deck in post).

Amazon is currently beta testing audio advertisements.  According to Ad Age magazine the decision is partially an effort to compete with Pandora and Spotify.  Anonymous sources also report that the beta-test is potentially a new way to shape consumer behavior.  Lululemon, one of a small number of invitation-only participants, hopes that consumers will buy moreContinue reading “Up next: Amazon begins beta testing audio ads (slide deck in post).”

The World’s Worst Boss

I’m sure you’re reading Seth Godin’s blog.  This from a 2010 entry: “The world’s worst boss That would be you. Even if you’re not self-employed, your boss is you. You manage your career, your day, your responses. You manage how you sell your services and your education and the way you talk to yourself. OddsContinue reading “The World’s Worst Boss”

Do conversion metrics kill authenticity and loyalty?

We’re buying a new dryer.  Gas to electric conversion.  I called a local electrician: “It’s a great day at XYZ Heating and Electric, how can I make you smile today?” And that was it.  Phony.  Forced.  Scripted.  Designed to do one thing only: Convert the call to a lead.  Made worse by the rep’s systematicContinue reading “Do conversion metrics kill authenticity and loyalty?”

E-Commerce Expert Will Housh Shares Advice and Insights for Contractors.

This is an exceptional interview with Will Housh (@willhoush, HVAC.com).  Will is an e-commerce pioneer in the HVAC industry.  He has honed his e-commerce expertise for over 10 years.  During the interview he shares insights and lessons learned as well as best practices and recommendations for contractors who are excited to make the e-commerce leap.Continue reading “E-Commerce Expert Will Housh Shares Advice and Insights for Contractors.”

“I need to get out of the weeds.”

“It’s not a proxy of your seriousness that you’ve filled every minute in your schedule.” –Bill Gates “I need to get out of the weeds,” the salesman said.  His manager nodded in agreement.  “I’m spending all of this time doing my job and it’s starting to eat in to my personal life.  We have aContinue reading ““I need to get out of the weeds.””