Friday, January 3, 2014

SkyPlanner presents 50 sales tips for 2014 from Salesforce, the most innovative company in sales.

At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we are never satisfied with what we already have. That's not to say we don't appreciate the ongoing relationships we have with our existing clients, but growth is important to us and growth is a direct result of successful sales practices. And as Salesforce partners we have a great resource in a customer company that is constantly changing the way businesses sell to existing and potential customers. Below are 50 of's top 100 tips for improving your business's sales in 2014. We are chomping at the bit to start implementing them as we speak and we hope they can help your enterprise reach new heights in the coming year, as well.

Sales Pricing
1. Customers don’t buy features. They invest in outcomes. 
2. The most successful salespeople know that price is neither a feature nor a benefit. 
3. Push yourself to move away from bringing up price in your conversations with customers. 
4. Get to the business of explaining how you can help the customer with their desired outcomes. 
5. No matter how low the price, if the product or service doesn’t help the customer achieve their desired outcome, low price means nothing.
6. If you can’t land the customer at the profit margin your business plan is built upon, then that particular customer is not worth having.
7. Maintain a strong pipeline of prospective buyers. 
8. Never attempt to close a sale until the customer has identified to you the benefits they want and the needs they have. 
9. As tempting as it can be to close a sale quickly, the pressure of the price discount is many times what emerges when you close too early. 
10. Strive to know at least three customer needs or desired benefits. 

Sales Hiring
11. Take the time to check the candidate’s previous performance claims by speaking with their former sales managers. 
12. The very first hire that you make should be at the managerial level and someone who possesses complementary skills to your own. 
13. Don’t hire a stereotype of a salesperson.
14. All of your salespeople don’t need to be in the same demographic. 
15. Hiring is a question of prioritizing which one component is mission critical and focusing on just that one aspect.
16. A typical sales leader gets hiring right about 50% of the time. 
17. Don’t rush to hire.
18. [Sales managers] hire fast and fired slowly, and it should be the reverse. 
19. Any position can be narrowed down to include six critical functions. 
20. Bring in a trusted friend or colleague to asses that person and see if they’re a cultural fit for you. 

Sales Enablement
21. How well companies define and manage sales enablement can determine how predictable their revenue is.
22. When you have a multi-tiered sales effort, the first thing you want to do is understand the market. 
23. For sales enablement, a critical success factor is simply understanding. 
24. Research by CSO Insights clearly shows that many teams need to get better at selling solutions, outcomes, and business value. 
25. Salespeople today are the differentiator. 
26. Develop a clear charter for sales enablement that balances strategic with operationally oriented functions. 
27. Every company has a vision. But can your sales reps clearly articulate it? Probably not. 
28. If I had a dollar to invest in a sales effort for a company, it would go to building inside sales process and execution.
29. Organizations that consistently achieve or exceed their sales goals have a vibrant sales enablement function making strategic contributions. 
30. Responsive sellers position their people and resources with the deepest product knowledge and industry expertise closest to the customer. 

Sales and Marketing
31. Automate your outbound and benchmark the results. 
32. Stop distracting people on your landing pages with visual embellishments or motion. 
33. Garbage data in, garbage results out. 
34. Build advocates and mobilize them. 
35. Customer point of view. Always. 
36. Webinars, as a form of content marketing, are a great vehicle to educate and inform potential buyers.
37. Today’s buyers do a tremendous amount of their purchasing research long before they ever speak to a salesperson.
38. The buyer's journey is no longer a standard funnel. 
39. You must take a few steps back and look at your product or service positioning from your customer's perspective. 
40. When you're sending emails, you live and die by your subject line. 

Social Selling
41. The modern sales professional doubles as an information concierge -- providing the right information to the right person at the right time in the right channel.
42. Social selling is not just a small-business play. 
43. Make each sales rep responsible for monitoring a certain number of competitors using LinkedIn. 
44. Salespeople should only use social to the extent that it helps them sell more. 
45. Social opens a secret door that puts you right in front of decision makers. 
46. Join LinkedIn groups. You are 70% more likely to get an appointment with someone on an unexpected sales call if you cite a common LinkedIn group, than if you don’t. 
47. By the year 2020, 85% of the buyer-seller interaction will happen online through social media and video.
48. Social selling in the enterprise has to start with strategy. 
49. B2B customers are now making first contact with suppliers 57% of the way through their decision process. 
50. Tweet less and talk more to the customers and contacts that really matter. 

If you're interested in the final 50 tips please visit here to download Salesforce's free e-book. We've already done it here at SkyPlanner and we highly recommend it.