[Peter Gilbert] Two trillion dollars worth of transactions every day. Planet Earth is open for business. And it never stops. Businesses selling to consumers. Businesses selling to other businesses. The global economy is expanding rapidly. Each year over fifty million businesses are created. It's chaotic, hyper-competitive. What does this mean for sales?
[Peter Gilbert] The old debate about whether salespeople are born or made rages on, but it is really a non-argument these days, and great salespeople require a combination of natural talent and the skills acquired through training, practice, coaching, reading, continuous self-improvement and motivation. Here are a few suggestions on working smart
[Peter Gilbert] Since the emergence of organised selling, generations of salespeople have been steeped in the traditions of FAB (features, advantages and benefits) and the old favourite, the USP (unique selling proposition). These simple concepts served generations of salespeople well. However, markets have changed, rendering these familiar, rather product-centric tools all but obsolete.
[Peter Gilbert] Amazingly, I still receive a stream of advertisements, articles and promotional material promising to reveal “The Secrets” that will guarantee success in sales. As Jeff Foxworthy, well-known ‘Red Neck' comedian, said of Victoria's Secret (purveyors of sexy/scanty lingerie): “Victoria's Secret doesn't have a whole lot of secrets anymore.” I suspect that this applies, at least in some degree, to sales as well.
[Peter Gilbert] Personality tests are a popular component of many organisations' hiring processes. As these tests contend to measure traits and characteristics that remain stable over time, it is intuitive to believe information regarding candidates' individual differences in these areas would be helpful when making selection decisions. Yet evidence supporting the usefulness of personality tests in the hiring process has been called into serious question.
[Peter Gilbert] Much of what we know about sales and selling originates in the US. As the early pioneers spread out across America and created many new and essentially rural communities, the first salespeople, the peddlers soon followed. This American experience has been, to some degree, mirrored in many other countries, including South Africa.
[Peter Gilbert] It is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to differentiate themselves by what they sell. If they are unwilling to differentiate themselves by how they sell, then they will, by default, end up differentiating themselves by how much they sell it for.
Peter Gilbert commented on How to recruit top notch sales peopleThis article makes many good points, but doesn't highlight how big the problem really is, and some industries are worse than others. Real Estate probably tops the list, and one well known company told me that 15% of their agents deliver 78% of revenues. So they must be getting it wrong 70% or more of the time, and they continue to use the same hiring techniques they have used for 30 years. Using readily available tools, such as profiling and structured a scorable interviews, they could shift from 70% wrong to 90% right!!