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Outbound Sales: A Winning Game Plan for Your Small or Medium Business

Can you imagine the outcome of a game on any given Sunday if the coach didn’t bother with a game plan? Somehow drawing up plays in the dirt like in the playground seems unfathomable. The odds of winning are negligible. The odds of the head coach keeping his job are no better.

A key part of being professional is the commitment to preparation. It became almost legendary that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden was up everyday at 3:11am. His typical workday was one of exhaustive review of game films, strategy sessions and running practices. It’s grueling to get to the top, and stay there.

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Our Problem with Sales Forecasting and How Big Sales Data is Changing Our Outlook

A company won’t grow without sales and sales can’t happen without support. But “support” or “admin” tasks have a tendency of slowing down sales people – the more they sell, the more admin work they create, resulting in a sales history that resembles a sine-wave more than a hockey stick.  Can Big Sales Data be the saviour for your admin-burdened sales team? 

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Become A Real Geek: Learn The True Tech Lingo [Infographic]

A full glossary for geeks or those living with geeks.
[Read more...]

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Big Data for Sales

Let’s play a game… Would you rather have your sales team spending their time:

A. Inputting data

B. Talking to customers

C. Researching new or existing customers

D. Networking with potential customers

E. Planning their next month’s sales calls

If you answered B, C, D, or E congratulations, you’ve won. Please continue reading.  If you answered A, I’d like to paraphrase the age-old “infinite monkey” problem.

An unlimited number of Salespeople, typing into an unlimited number of CRM’s will still not make their quota.  And here’s the mathematical proof.

What your salespeople AREN’T doing is costing you dearly. If your organization is considering how to leverage big data for sales it’s time to stop considering, and start moving forward.

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Getting Things Done: Why GTD for Sales is the Answer

Why don’t salespeople use SFA or CRM as much as you’d like them to? Because it’s just a database. And databases alone don’t provide much value to salespeople – especially if they are difficult to interact with.

Getting Things Done: GTD for Sales

 Photo courtesy of dennisreimanncreative commons license

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5 steps to effective messaging

Your messaging has to be about influencing sales. Whether someone is hearing your message for the first time or the fiftieth time, if it’s not answering “Why should I care?”, you’re really polluting the airwaves with more useless noise. Impact messaging is a function of saying the right things, at the right time, in the right places, and to the right people that gets them to act.

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Growing Sales with Smarter Systems

Technology has a long and storied history of over-promising and under-delivering. How paperless is your office today? Despite not yet achieving the paperless office, making ongoing process efficiency improvements is the real promise technology holds. If you think about it, paper is simply an output. Someone makes the decision to click print. The real process burden, and laborious time suck are the inputs. In the sales process for instance leads and prospects still have to find their way into the system.

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Complicate for Profit, Simplify for Action.

The 4-Hour Body

“To earn a fortune in the diet and exercise industries, there is a dictum: complicate to profit. To grow, however, you need to simplify.”

Tim Ferriss, “The 4-Hour Body”

The same principle applies to Enterprise Software, the more complicated it is, the higher the consulting fee can be.  Which is a win for shareholders but not the stakeholders (users).  

By simplifying the product one improves the likelihood of it being understood and integrated into habit.  This is the goal that we are working to achieve with voltageCRM. 

Stay tuned for more…

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Going to a Trade Show? Leave the Gimmicks at Home and Get Down to Business

English: A "one free internet" coupon. To be given to winrars.

It’s pretty tough being in the sales business and not having to attend a trade show or two in the run of a year. It’s all about wheeling and dealing, schmoozing and boozing, and trying to outshine the competition.Trade shows exist on a spectrum from the Las Vegas extravaganza to the Springfield county fair. No matter the size and scope of an event there’s a few things that never change for most sales professionals…

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Don’t let churn burn down your business.

You ring the bell, pop the cork, crack a cold one, or at least toss out a few high fives with every win. Celebrating the sales wins is easy because you’ve usually endured being on the losing end a disproportionate number of times. Once you’re over that fleeting sense of jubilation, consider how hard you worked to ring up that win. How often do you consider what each new client’s life-time value is? For that matter have you calculated what their life-time value is?


graph shows U.S. foreclosure trends (average sales price)

You’ve expended time, energy and resources to win that new client. In many cases you’ve build a meaningful, productive, and mutually profitable relationship. Beyond the initial purchase, there are often significant ongoing profits to be earned by maintaining this relationship. Look in the mirror and ask how you might be sabotaging the success of your business by turning that relationship into an afterthought. Pouring time, energy, and more resources into wooing and dazzling new prospects needs careful consideration.

Churning through customers is costly in many ways:

  • You lose good references

  • You lose future referrals

  • You lose reputation

  • You lose credibility

  • You lose resources trying to win new customers

No question the size of you organization, the types of products or services you sell, the type of market you’re selling into are all variables that play into how you choose to manage customer relationships. Regardless of the many variables, it’s imperative for your organization to have some kind of metrics, or ability to measure the value of the customers. The customer may be King or Queen, the customer might always be right (not always), but not every customer is created equal. Ask yourself if you’re getting fair value in return from each customer based on the value they’re returning to your business.

One of our favorite sales bloggers in Jonathan Farrington, and he looks at customer care as addressing three distinct sets of inter-related requirements:

  • Customer

  • Staff

  • Organization

Farrington does a great job of breaking down the importance of customer care, and how to strike the right mix and balance for these key business requirements in the aptly titled it’s time to “Love the One you’re With”

Remember once they are lost, those customers are generally impossible to win back. Don’t let too much customer churn be the ignition that’s burning down your business


It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” – Henry Ford