Archive for May 28th, 2010

A booklist for someone very new to sales

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A list for someone very new to sales

Reg Nordman

Last week I had two requests (Thank you David and Michael), for very different reasons, asking me what books would I recommend for someone new to sales to help get them quickly up to speed. I get this question often and never felt I had my “best’ answer. So I finally:

  • laid out a selection process,
  • set out the requirements (Easy to read and digest , did I mention real short,  proven in the trenches, only a few, and seriously effective),
  • then looked at my 800 plus  reviews

So,  in May 2010 I have made the inaugural , just add water and stir,  list of Getting Started in Sales books. I make no guarantee that I have not missed your gems, hurt many writers feelings (but being sales people they have tough skins) and I could change my mind tomorrow if a new book comes across my desk. So drum roll please:

2010 Getting Started in Sales book list:
1. Art Sobczak has been at this the longest – he calls it Smart
Calling- but if you read very carefully it is much much more- sales efficiency tag
http://www.regnordman.com/2010/05/10/smart-calling-eliminate-the-fear-failure-and-rejection-from-cold-calling-art-sobczak/

2 The Leaky Funnel – Hugh Macfarlane – sales effectiveness tag
http://www.regnordman.com/?s=Leaky+Funnel

3. It’s Not Rocket Science – Mitch Gooze  – sales effectiveness tag
http://www.regnordman.com/2007/07/31/its-not-rocket-science-mitchell-gooze/

A serious student of sales success (desire to be a top 5%er? ) understands that this is a continuous journey of learning. These books just get you started.

Comments?

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Thoughts on hiring a sales person, what companies forget about

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Thoughts on hiring a sales person, what companies forget about.

Reg Nordman

We have had numerous discussions about how companies seem to hire the wrong sales people.  This comes up so often that I feel the need to comment, since it is done so regularly.

Usually the situation comes up because a company exec believes they need to add new sales DNA into their company. They may have been doing all or most of the selling up to now, and feel that they need to go onto other things. These are all good things. But the symptom that it is about to go wrong is the implied or expressed belief that once they add a sales person, the problem is resolved. In our experience the problem is about to be exacerbated.

Rocket Builder has heard many common myths about sales people, here are just five

  1. All salespeople are the same.
  2. All selling is the same.
  3. Any salesperson can fit in any company.
  4. Being sales driven means I can do things the same as always.
  5. Getting out there and selling is the only sales training needed.

Beliefs like this usually lead to this profit killing sequence:

  1. Placing a general ad for sales people – “lets just put it out there”
  2. Changing the candidate requirements mid stream – “no one met what I wanted”
  3. Accepting candidates at random – “they worked for a really big company and did well”
  4. Making the wrong hire – “Seems the best of those I talked to, I have a feeling about…”
  5. Wasting six months of effort, wages and profits before firing the new hire – $$$$
  6. Return to step one.

To help you make your “better” choice for adding sales people to your mix you need a process.  You certainly have a product development and bug fixing process.  Why not a sales hiring process for something this key?A  logical process like the one Geoffrey Hansen, Rocket Builder has. He says:

  1. Select your market
  2. Select your requirements for that market
  3. Deliberately target candidates who meet the requirements.

Sounds like it would be a good coding practise. Of course,  in using this process effectively there is much well thought out detail involved, which is where Rocket Builders helps companies. It is in the execution and details that you find the secret sauce.  If you do this right, then you, Mr/Ms. C- Level,  can:

  • add new sales DNA to your company,
  • go on to doing those 101 other things you want to do, and
  • know that your money machine is working away.

In this business,  prevention is so much cheaper than rework. It just might save your company.  Comments?

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The Design of Everyday Things. Donald A. Norman

The Design of Everyday Things. Donald A. Norman. 1988. ISBN 9780465067107. This is the classic text on design. All players in the tech industry need to read this.  An early quote,”  Each time a new technology comes along, new designers make the same horrible mistakes as their predecessors. Technologists are not noted for learning from the errors of the past. They look forward, not behind, so they repeat the same problems over and over again.

Norman spent a lot of time in Apple’s early days as VP Advance Products Group, and the rest is history.  A fascinating easy to read writer, he fills the book with concrete examples of horrid mis design, drawn from all around us.  And he is right, present wireless devices are horrid.  While reading this you will become sensitized as to how bad design permeates our life.  From the huge (Chernobyl and Challenger) to the almost trivial (bathroom taps), you will start to see what he sees. Computer programs of course come in for a lot of abuse. (My favorite is the brutal treatment we receive from telco and Revenue Canada voice mail systems.  Enjoy. (He has other  books , Emotional Design, The Design of Future Things and Living With Complexity)  By the way his website http://www.nngroup.com/ is a bit of a surprise.   a sample of his writing https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://jnd.org/dn.mss/LWCChapter1.pdf

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