Why Sales People Should Earn More than CEOs

Why Sales People Should Earn More than CEOs

Okay, that’s a little bit too much. First, it’s a pride thing – most CEOs wouldn’t want to know that some sales person earns more than he does. Second, it sounds crazy on paper. Third, it sounds even crazier in real life.

But sometimes, reality is crazier than fiction. In fact, there’s a handful of CEOs who practically earn just a dollar – not a typo, that $1.00 — in salary! Meaning, some sales person in their company could go home to the kids and the wife and proudly proclaim, “Honey, I’m earning more than our CEO does! Get dressed, we’re having steak at the new restaurant down the street.”

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, are but some of famous CEOs who officially received $1 as salary. The late Steve Jobs also earned $1 dollar since coming back to Apple in 1997 until 2011. Of course, they didn’t go hungry despite being “underpaid” because they were also compensated in other ways, but when it comes strictly to salaries, these guys have sales people whose salaries are tens of thousands more.

But for the sake of argument, let’s try to justify why sales people should earn higher than CEOs.

Selling is Hard Work

 

While some people think sales people aren’t working as hard as say, the software developers or engineers, they actually are. Don’t let the dinners at posh restaurants and meeting at exclusive clubs fool you – business happens anywhere for sales people. It doesn’t mean that if a sales person is invited to a five star hotel for a luncheon meeting, he’s not working his behind off in trying to convince the prospect to buy the product or avail of the service. The HR hires people, the finance department takes care of the money, the engineering team does their own stuff. The sales people sell, and if selling means playing golf with the client, it’s not their fault. The luxury sales people enjoy just comes with the territory.  

Related: What are the Digital Downloads in Sales Outsourcing?

Selling is Talent (and companies pay well for premium talent)

Some would say selling is an art and sales people are artists who are out to perfect their craft. Other would say that there’s some science to it, too. But whether it’s an art or a science, you cannot ignore the fact that it takes talent to be just a good sales person (and even more to be a great one), and companies pay a good amount of money for great talent. Take a look at professional sports like basketball or baseball or football. The best players almost always earn the most, and deservedly so. You can argue that credit and equal compensation should also be given to trainers and anybody who helps them reach their optimum best, but really, it’s the athlete that does shoots the impossible three-pointer, hits the curve ball, and makes the difficult corner kick. That’s why you never hear a coach complain that he’s earning far less than the team star. Talent, man, talent.

Related: Have you Been Bitten by a Snake Oil Salesman?

Revenue is Directly Brought In by Sales People

 

It’s no secret that whatever the company earns is the result of the sales people doing their best effort. Increased sales could mean anything from widening the company’s lead in the industry to increasing the market share to even displacing a competitor. Of course, it takes everyone to get the job done, but without the sales people, who would sell the products?

Related: Top 5 Sales Blind Spots in the IT and Software Industry

 

Conclusion

And so, it leads us to this simple conclusion: sales people deserve to be paid proportionate to the profit they bring in for the company. Some sales people earn purely on commission basis, while some really earn a lot. But they deserve it. Do you think CEOs or company owners just pay them that much because they like them? Don’t you think anybody who owns a company would gladly pay less if they thought they can get the job done for a fraction of the cost? Of course, they do. It’s not even about being fair – it’s about being right, and paying a premium for such a talent as selling is the right thing to do.

More marketing ideas and tips, Check them out on our blog!

 

 
 

 

3 Reasons Nobody Likes Your Salespeople and What You Should Do About It

3 Reasons Nobody Likes Your Salespeople and What You Should Do About It

Think back to the last time you planned to buy a car. Did you dread setting foot in the dealership?

Most people do, and it is not because they are upset about buying a new car – it is because they do not want to deal with an irritating salesperson.

As a sales manager, you probably already know that some customers perceive your salespeople negatively before they even talk to them. Here are a few reasons why it happens and some tips to help your team overcome negative customer perception:

Dishonesty

The “used car salesman” types are largely to blame for the stereotype of salespeople being dishonest and saying anything to squeeze a few extra bucks out of their customers. As a result, customers have become

increasingly skeptical about dealing with salespeople. So, when one of your salespeople is selling to a new customer, you might observe to see if the customer seems doubtful of him.

What you can do to help your salespeople overcome perceived dishonesty?

Today’s customers are too smart to be fooled by a sleazy salesperson. The only way to earn their respect is by being straightforward with them.

Help your team earn the customer’s trust by letting them know to drop any “act” that they are currently using to try to win someone over and start being more genuine. When your salespeople prove their honesty, it shows

that they have integrity and are willing to do anything to help their customer, which can result in better sales.

Pushiness

People don’t like feeling forced to buy something. In fact, a recent survey showed that customers think “being too pushy” is the #1 most annoying habit of salespeople. “Not taking ‘no’ for an answer” came in close second, which should come as no surprise since it is a common habit of overly pushy salespeople.

What you can do to help your salespeople avoid being too pushy?

Your team does not have to be annoyingly pushy to achieve top sales results. Encourage your salespeople to start thinking of sales calls as normal human interactions in which they are trying to help the other person

solve a problem that he is facing. By shifting the focus to meeting customer needs, your salespeople will naturally build rapport and therefore increase their chances of making a sale.

That being said, make sure no one on your team neglects to pursue the sale. Doing this is not being pushy – it is their job. Just make sure your salespeople are being friendly throughout the conversation and that they recommend the best possible solutions for the customer. That way, asking for the sale will feel natural and appropriate.

Lack of understanding

Customers do not want to feel like your salespeople are using a tricky spiel to persuade them to buy something. Instead, they want to feel like they are being helped, understood, and given the best possible solutions.

If your salesperson does not try to understand his customer, that customer will end up feeling frustrated. Then, the sale will likely be lost because the salesperson failed to recommend the best product/service for his customer’s specific wants or needs. What you can do to help your salespeople understand their customers’ needs

Make sure your salespeople are listening closely to every customer. If they aren’t, offer training or role-play sales call scenarios with them and give them advice on how they can improve.

It might be tempting for them to focus more on planning their responses to what the customer is saying, but they should avoid doing so whenever possible.

Why? Because, when your salespeople actively listen, they come across as more likeable and trustworthy, which can help boost overall success in your sales department.

Remember, at the end of the day, your team will sell more if they can connect with your customers in a genuine way. So, make it your goal every day to inspire greatness in your salespeople, and coach each of them until they learn how to stop being pushy, coming across as dishonest or ignoring what the customer really needs.

Yes – training your team takes up some of your valuable time, but the top sales they can achieve as a result will make your efforts well worth it.

 

Author Bio: Dr. Christopher Croner is a Principal with SalesDrive, LLC – a firm that specializes in the selection and deployment of high performing salespeople through a sales assessment diagnostics system. This system uses 80 years of research in the personality traits of high-performing salespeople and is employed by more than 600 companies worldwide. Connect with him on Twitter – @SalesDriveLLC

Things You’ll Need to Know (Now) about B2B Marketing and Sales

Things You’ll Need to Know (Now) about B2B Marketing and Sales

We’ve written a fair amount of content about B2B marketing in this blog. But we believe, like other lead generation companies existing today, that there are still ideas left unexplored in the field.

The field is no doubt an evolving culture of innovation. New B2B lead generation and appointment setting strategies are introduced just as existing ones are losing steam.  In keeping to the ever shifting situation, marketers need to equip themselves with new insights they can use to stay relevant.

Fusion Marketing Partners CEO Christopher Ryan lays down a few important insights about the industry in this excerpt of his article for Social Media Today:

 

Monitoring performance

A guy named John Wanamaker, who was a pioneer of advertising in the early part of the 20th century, made the famous observation, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Too many modern B2B marketers are operating under the same constraints, and this is a shame because of the many ways we now have to monitor (and improve) performance.

Always be testing

As applied to marketing, the principle of not putting all your eggs in one basket means that you shouldn’t take for granted that what is working today will continue to work tomorrow.  Even if you are getting great results, continue to slice off a small part of your budget to test new media and methods. As an example, we had a client that was blissfully generating quality leads for their enterprise software (average sales price over $100K) at a cost of under $100 each.  Because of new competition, the CPL jumped to over $160. Fortunately, we had been testing several new media, including other pay-per-click and pay-per-lead sources, and were able to quickly bring the CPL down to an acceptable range.

The best gurus can’t predict test results

Speaking of testing, I was just on a webcast about landing page conversions with noted copywriter Bob Bly. Bob is as good as it gets when it comes to driving response, whether for lead generation or direct sales. At several points, he showed examples of how he had done multivariate or A/B testing on items such as headlines, layout, colors and other factors. Bob was gracious enough to admit that he was not always right when it came to predicting the winner. When you think about it, if he (or any of us) was always correct, why test at all?  It’s no coincidence that the best B2B marketers are the ones who test the most.

Market Research Tools

Read the full article here:  B2B Marketing: Six Need-to-Know Nugget

4 Tips for Reducing B2B Sales Costs and Maximizing Profit

4 Tips for Reducing B2B Sales Costs and Maximizing Profit

“Gain more, but spend less.”

This may be the common goal of every business. Logically, reducing the cost of sales is one of the best ways to increase profit. However, not many B2B companies realize this goal in their campaigns. If you believe that you are one of those companies, it’s about time you started evaluating your sales and marketing strategies in order to identify potential lapses that could be getting in your way.

Here are four tips for reducing sales costs and increasing business profitability.

1. Leverage your existing client base

Give yourself a break from finding new business leads and turn your attention to your existing (and past) clients. When was the last time you’ve worked with them? Are they satisfied with your service? Is there any chance for a repeat business?

Many companies spend too much time looking for new potential customers and qualifying them, thinking that it is the only way to grow. Ironically, they fail to notice and take advantage of repeat business opportunities with their existing and previous clients.

Smart marketers, however, recognize that the cheapest and easiest way to generate qualified leads, grow sales, and maximize profitability is to follow-up on past and present customers who are already familiar with their brand and with whom they have already built a relationship of trust. By doing so, they are practically doing less work and spending less money for pre-qualified business opportunities that are more likely to result in sales.

2. Monitor and regulate customer acquisition costs

According to Jack Schmid and Steve Trollinger in Chief Marketer, setting a budget for sales and lead generation starts by determining the current actual cost of acquiring a customer, and calculating its average lifetime value.

(lifetime value = frequency of purchase  x duration of loyalty x gross profit)

Do the math and set your budget right; it’s the key to ensuring a strong return on your sales expenditures.

3. Invest in marketing automation

Effective sales campaigns require effective sales tools. Marketing automation streamlines your sales and marketing campaigns (regardless of what and how many marketing channels you’re using) to create an integrated sales campaign.

Marketing automation gives you better insights into your potential customers – who they are, what they need, and where you can find more of them. Having this information will enable you to create targeted, personalized messages that appeal to your market’s current needs and interests.

By integrating marketing automation in your sales process, you can nurture sales leads more effectively and focus your efforts on sales-ready prospects instead of wasting your time and limited budget chasing poor leads. This then results in shorter sales cycles, higher conversion rates, and, ultimately, increased profit

4.Keep sales trainings up-to-date

In a fast-changing business environment, B2B sales and marketing organizations must see to it that they are up-to-date in terms of technology and approach. Sales tools and techniques that used to work five years ago may no longer be applicable in today’s business landscape.

Likewise, up-to-date trainings are necessary in order for sales and marketing professionals to stay competitive in their approach. Of course, training staff involves some expenses, but it is nevertheless a worthwhile investment in the long run. Once your campaign kicks off with highly-competent people calling the shots, you will easily make back the cost of training and keep your business running seamlessly and profitably.

So, there you go. Maximizing profit is just about as simple as minimizing sales costs. Whether you are in the early stage of the sales process (i.e., generating and qualifying sales leads) or setting business appointments and meeting potential customers, having the right strategy, tools, and people will enable you to gain more sales while spending less, just like what profitable companies do.

 

Don’t Stop Now: Why Your Marketing Shouldn’t Stop After the Sale

 

For marketers, the majority of marketing efforts are expended trying to attract new leads and prospects and convert them into customers. But what happens after they become customers? Some will mumble that it’s no longer their concern, and that the purchase marks the end of the proverbial marketing road. Other than a random up sell promotion here or there, existing customers are often given nary a second thought from the marketing department.

Even with the ease of running campaigns with marketing and CRM automation systems, too many marketers’ strategies begin and end at lead generation. This is surprising, given how much people love to quote the well-known stat that 20 percent of customers generate 80 percent of your revenue. Why not focus our brilliant marketing tactics towards selling more stuff to our already bought-in base?

Tapping into your customer base is an easy way to generate new and recurring revenue, and if you’re ignoring them, you’re just leaving money on the table. So create a communication plan, and look for opportunities to anticipate their needs and connect with them at key times in their customer lifecycle. Here are some ways you can do that.

Find the story in your data.

Your customer data is a minefield of valuable information that can help you be a good resource for your customers and possibly drive in new revenue. For example:

  • Enlist a churn score. Operationalizing a LACK of interest from customers can be even more valuable than monitoring the interest of prospects. Use this scoring methodology to send timely communication promoting how-to content or other resources that encourage them to begin interacting again. Develop a long-term plan for different levels of score – which correlate to different levels of risk for churn.
  • Through scoring or simple usage metrics, identify customers who haven’t logged in lately or engaged with your product or service and have an account rep give them a call.
  • If customers are engaging with certain support or instructional content, it may indicate either a lack of intuitiveness in your product or a desire to dig deeper into specific capabilities. Try sending out links to more advanced content or developing training courses or tune-up service specifically about that topic.
  • Revisit buyer personas.  We got them to buy once, but those same driving factors that made them buy are still important.  When do they like to be communicated with?  How do they consume content?  These elements are still critical to continuing and building a strong and lasting relationship.

Make sure you’re using your marketing automation system’s targeting tools so you can segment your communications for better results. Relevancy and timeliness are key in customer communications, and your data can help with both.

Upsell, cross-sell, smart sell.

Remember that 80/20 stat we talked about earlier? Here’s where that really makes an impact. You provide a valuable product or service that people want to experience. And if they are satisfied with their initial purchase and interactions with your company, it’s safe to say they’re favorably predisposed to buy from you again.

Again, mine your data for useful information. Discover what complementary products or services previous like-minded customers purchased. This is the dads buying diapers and beer from convenience store example. Look it up; it’s a thing! Are there any patterns relating to seasonality or time frame? Once you’ve seen the data, create an upsell and cross-sell strategy that takes those preferences into account. Anticipate your customers’ needs, and they’ll love you for understanding them so well.

Talk directly to them.

One of the best things about marketing to your existing customers is they already know who you are and what you offer, so you don’t have to spend time doing a whole lot of educating. Even better, they expect to hear from you.

Use your data and your marketing automation’s segmentation capabilities to develop targeted communications that speak directly to your customer segment. Address specific needs or desires to show you’re paying attention. And because you’re not nurturing them, you can be short and sweet with your content—even a bit sales-y, if appropriate. If you haven’t already, develop customer personas to help you be even more effective with your messaging.

Once you drop the idea that marketing is just for lead generation, you’ll uncover a wealth of new and exciting possibilities for boosting your revenue and creating stronger customer loyalty. Just like your traditional marketing plan, all you need is a good strategy, sound data and the ability to deliver the right content at the right time.

Andrea Becker  Andrea Becker is the VP of Marketing Service for LeadMD, specialists in  marketing automation and    CRM consulting services. Previously Andrea  brought her unique combination of creativity and hard-    hitting marketing  know how to positions as the one-woman marketing and sales engine of an  art gallery, the database marketing guru for a professional sports team and  senior marketing analyst for one of the  largest telecommunications  companies in America.

 

 

Sales Training – Get some Positive Value of It

We live in a world where people find it hard to succeed in the sales business. Whether we like it or not, the more we want the less we can achieve, and that’s probably because the competition is now more powerful than ever.

Are your customers’ buying decisions being impacted by rising price pressures? Are your advertising strategies getting old? Did it ever occur to you that your team might need sales training?

Here’s what happens when you’re not properly trained in the sales business.

Sales Training – Get some Positive Value of It

To begin with, management expectations concerning the services or products of the company are not being delivered through the ranks. Furthermore, expertise related to services or products are not being sent back to management. This lack of communication often leads to sales personnel working against different goals. Consequently, salespeople often lack poise in their capacity to market company services or products. That can lead to low morale and frustration, not to mention that they might go back to the tried-and-true selling ways. These methods were useless back in the days, and they still are.

General benefits of sales training

Sales training can significantly boost competence at the workplace. It can help your sales team get back on its feet, not to mention that it can awake interest in your employees. A mix of great technological innovations are currently invading the market, so it’s up to the sales person to find a way to stay updated and not fall behind. A competent sales trainer is an excellent coach that boosts communication skills and helps his team thrive for success. Now that social media networking is a central communication hub, it’s vital for your people to learn its value in the sales business.

 Sales Training – Get some Positive Value of It

Sales training values and ideals

Sales training is a function that is mostly secured in corporations that are driven by marketing goals. These entities are well-aware that sales training is meant to help people perform their jobs in the most fruitful way possible. When marketing has an important role in the values of a company’s hierarchy, sales training has a commensurate connotation. What exactly are the values and principles of sales training? Sales training boosts performance and it has the power to boost sales with the help of skilled sales people who are prepared enough to maximize the general effect of each and every customer encounter.

Sales Training – Get some Positive Value of It

Sales training outsmarts the competition

Individuals operating in the field of marketing and sales should learn to outsmart their competition. They can only do that if they learn to be one step ahead of their objectives and goals. In sales, it’s a race to the top of the pyramid where only the best ones will make it. An appropriate sales training program equips the sales people with an ideal set of skills, meant to help them devise creative ideas and formulate strategies to overcome the competition. This sort of skills consists of using the strengths of the product to gain a cutthroat advantage, even spot your competitor’s weakest spots and hit them where it hurts the most.

Dealing with buyers & customers

A product can be sold efficiently only if the salesperson knows the ins and outs of their customers’ expectations. A competent sales training program should be able to convey the necessary knowledge and skills on how to cope with each and every type of buyer and customer. Hiring a sales trainer can help you to instill smart strategies in your staff. Some of them might be college graduates with no experience in the sales business, but with a lot of potential. In order to make the most of a sales training program, it’s critical to support creativity and let future employees state their thoughts. Encouraging them to speak up boosts drive and self-esteem; at some point, those attributes will increase company revenue.

In sales, the goal of every salesperson is to maximize effectiveness and efficiency all at the same time. This additionally means boosting revenue, cutting down resources in order to attain sales goals. For that to happen, you need to enlist the help of a proficient sales training program to compel your employees be more concentrated on activities that add value. Using outstanding time management skills and finding new ways to get the job done fast without having to compromise on quality is the ultimate purpose of a sales training program.

The article is authored by a regular blogger and freelance writer Steve Brown. He mostly writes articles about Small business, sales and negotiation. He also writes for a site Phoenix-Training where you can find best options for training in Sales & Business Development.

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