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31
Articles and Write up / How Buying Departments Destroy Salespeople?
« on: December 03, 2014, 04:46:39 PM »
The dreaded buying department is the nemesis for too many salespeople.

In fact, not only do many salespeople dread it, but most marketing teams do as well.

Why?

It’s simple – the masters of the buying department know how to get the best of the vendor sitting across from them.

Truth is there is no reason for anyone to fear the buying department.

Buyers are only doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They are trying to get the best price possible. Unfortunately, they tend to place way too much emphasis on price rather than other things, because this is the easiest way to measure their success. The real problem is vendors give into the demands of the buyer.

Just because the buying department demands a lower price doesn’t mean they should get one.

When the vendor gives the lower price based on the demands of the buyer, the only thing that is assured is the buyer is going to demand another discount.  Why?  Because it worked the first time.

Reducing a price is not something that should be done merely because of a request.  Discounts should be seen as a non-starter. Period! Lower pricing might be an option at some point, but only if the makeup of the offer is changed to warrant a lower price.

A discount should never be given merely because the buyer demands it, regardless of the level of pressure the buyer exerts.

Buyers are sharp. A buyer who does not know how to take advantage of a salesperson is not going to last in their position for long.  A buyer’s demand should not be met with anything other than a confident “no” from the salesperson.

A single “no” is not going to stop the buyer from demanding a better price, but it is going to put a line in the sand and confirm to them the price on the table is the correct price.

Your offer is based on the expectations and intended outcomes the buyer and the organization they represent have presented to you.  Thus, the offer should be seen as a perfect match for the level of value they expect to receive in return. Offering a discount means the offer you initially put together was not correct.

Do you see how offering a discount can undermine your credibility?

When the buyer persists in getting a lower price, your response after the initial “no” must be to get the customer engaged with you in understanding their needs.

What is ironic is many times the buyer has little knowledge of the benefits and desired outcomes from what you’re selling.  The reason is simple – buyers are paid to buy, not to use.  This is why you owe it to them to ask questions that will shed more light on the needs and desired outcomes of the end user.

Ultimately, if the buyer is still insistent on a lower price, the only option you have is to amend the product offering by removing something of value equal to the amount the price is going to be lowered by.

When you take this approach, you’re giving yourself credibility in your eyes and the buyer’s eyes.

The buyer now sees a direct correlation between your price and your offer.  This might sound trivial, but it’s huge.  Over the years, many buyers have shared with me how rarely do they meet salespeople who hold firm on their price/value offer.

Once a buyer understands and sees you don’t move on the price/value relationship, they will begin to leave you alone.  They will leave you alone, because they can be more successful in getting lower prices by pounding on other vendors rather than you.

Yes, buying departments do destroy salespeople, but only because salespeople allow themselves to be destroyed.

Key to avoiding it is by simply not changing your price/value relationship, even after the buyer demands it.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

32
Articles and Write up / 7 Techniques to Overcome the Fear of Selling
« on: October 09, 2014, 04:19:15 PM »

7 Techniques to Overcome the Fear of Selling

Being afraid to sell is something that impacts nearly everybody, whether they have the word “sales” in their title or not.

Here are 7 techniques you can use to overcome the fear of selling:

1. Don’t set goals you can’t achieve.

By setting goals that stretch you, but are achievable, you will increase your confidence.

2. Remember that you’re not “selling;” you’re having a discussion.

Each time you meet with someone, you’re having a conversation, with the idea being to gain another insight you can help them with.

3. Your role is to help the people you meet, and one of the best ways you can help them is by having them buy what you offer.

4. Remember, people are far more interested in you than they are in what it is you have for them.

This makes it no different than when two people meet for the first time.

5.
At the end of each week, celebrate your success regardless of what it is.

Don’t allow yourself to go into a weekend feeling bad.  By celebrating your success, you’ll be in a better mood to start the next week.

6. During each conversation you have with a person, learn one new piece of information you can then use to start the next conversation with them.

7. Earn the right, privilege, honor and respect to meet again with each person you come in contact with.

With an objective like that how can you not be successful?   The positive impact you will have on each person will pay off, not just today, but also tomorrow.

Yes, these are 7 things you can do right now to help you overcome the fear of selling!  The real question is, “Will you do them?”

Source: Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.”

33
Articles and Write up / 7 Tips for Fourth Quarter Sales Success
« on: September 25, 2014, 11:54:03 AM »
7 Tips for Fourth Quarter Sales Success

There is no quarter that poses more opportunities and, at the same time, more obstacles as this one.

I’ve always felt you need to have one strategy for the year and another one for the 4th quarter, due to how different it is.

Below are 7 tips to help make it successful:

1. If you deal with accounts on a regular basis, make calls now to find out what days the people you work with may not be available.

Make this call now and you will be amazed at the positive response you get from them.  Customers will be shocked, yet very pleased, a vendor they work with cares this much to find out so early in the quarter what their plans are.

2.
Block the calendar immediately with all holidays, vacations days, etc. for everyone in the organization.

This sounds basic, but I’m amazed at the number of salespeople who get blindsided by vacation days people are taking at the end of year.

3. Verify when the fiscal year end is for each of your current customers and key prospects you might be able to close.

Knowing when a customer’s year-end is can help significantly with understanding what your selling strategy should be.

4. Learn from your own management how all orders will be handled the last two weeks of the year.

If finance is going to be doing something at the end of the year to manage the number, it is essential you know now not later what the adjustments might be.

5. Be pro-active in getting any new customer set up with regard to credit, etc.

We’ve all been in situations where a customer is not able to get their initial order as soon as they would like due to delays in getting credit verified.  This situation is only made worse in the 4th quarter, due to the number of holidays and the difficulty in getting information requests in a timely manner from banks, etc.

6.
Determine now where you are with regard to your quarterly number.

Build out your quarter plan to get you to “x%” beyond your goal.  You need to determine what the “x” should be.  I typically say 10%.  The reason is simple — regardless of how well you plan, there will always be weird stuff happening in December.

If you wait until late December to realize you’re not going to make your number, you’ll be too late.

7. Determine what % of your business is going to be “repeat” versus “new.”

Key is to focus earlier in the quarter on the new business, as this is typically harder to get and requires more time.  Repeat business tends to be easier to get, so if something has to lag toward later in the quarter, let it be the repeat business.

There you go — 7 things to help you be successful in the the 4th quarter!  It’s up to you to be intentional about going out there and making your number.

Source: Mark Hunter

34
We Crush Our Event ROI at Dream force Each Year—Here’s How We Do It!


If you’re even slightly targeting sales and marketing professionals, Dreamforce is the one event that you must not only attend, but also have a strong booth presence. Dreamforce is, without a doubt, a great branding and lead generation event. It pulls a huge swath of this key target audience to San Francisco each year and allows you to meet face-to-face with thousands of customers and prospects.

If you have a booth at Dream force this year, we’d like to share with you a few tips on how we’ve consistently crushed our goals related to our booth’s traffic, leads generated, and quality of leads.

Offer something truly interesting

we’re continuously expanding our solutions to offer sales, marketing, and everyone in the enterprise with accurate data, insights and connections, so as we enter an event of this scale, we like to introduce and showcase new products to the attendees. We’re well known within the Salesforce ecosystem, so we can take advantage of the massive exposure and create as much buzz as we can around product launches and announcements. In fact, last year, we launched “InsideView for Marketing” and were overwhelmed with interest at Dreamforce.

This year, we’re announcing…well, why spoil it. You’ll have to stop by our booth (North Hall 1106) to find out.

Three reps and a laptop will not drive leads

Each year, our primary goal at Dreamforce is to get people to explore what we do, mostly through pre-event programs, on-site product demos and deep, one-on-one conversations with attendees. Sure, we’re there to meet people and shake hands, but we want to engage with people, not just scan badges and go for quantity of leads. One quality engagement beats 100 random leads every time.

Always be closing

On our sales side, we treat Dreamforce as a closing event, since so many sales and marketing decision-makers are there in person. If you don’t go in with a purpose and a clear set of goals, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve what you’ve set out to do, which in our case is create awareness, build pipeline and drive revenue—all very quickly and all with our key sales and marketing targets.

Each year we build on and learn from our previous year’s approach by gathering feedback from our entire organization. It’s truly a team effort and we’re always excited to do more to surprise and delight the attendees!

Preparation ensures money well spent

Last year, there were a few things that we did at Dreamforce 2013 that were completely new to us and which also changed our event process moving forward. First, we leveraged Dreamforce resources to hire professional booth staff, which increased our reach tremendously. For a nominal investment we were able to capture 400% more leads than the year before, which led to more and more qualified opportunities for our sales team.

Of course, to increase their effectiveness, we spent time training the hired staffers on our product, pitches and one-on-one product trainings so that, when they arrived, they were informed and powerful brand advocates. Most importantly, they were an extension of our own employees: They dressed like us, were friendly and knowledgeable, and vastly increased our reach.

Interactivity drives engagement


We also leveraged video product demos around our display, which kept our employee staff from having to scan thousands of leads and allowed them to spend more time on qualification. The demo videos helped us to focus on the people that were interested in learning more about our product while also giving everyone a quick overview of our newest product release.

Always be social

Also, social buzz is a must! InsideView had one of the most popular hashtags at #DF14 – check it out for yourself: #IVDF14. Using it as our social marketing core, we were able to connect our social programs, giveaways, internal incentives, session alerts, prize contests and more. This gave us added visibility and interest at the event, which is very important, especially since we’re a company focused on social selling!

Hard work pays off

There’s no doubt that events, especially big ones, are time consuming, stressful and chaotic. But if you you’re organized, have a strategic plan and concrete goals, and collaborate across your whole team, you’re sure to have a successful event.

Source: InsideView Blog

35
Data, Information, and Knowledge: Knowledge


Today’s post is part of a mini-series from Denis, beginning with Data, Information, and Knowledge.

Knowledge is built up over time in layers. You don’t learn to write a novel before you learn your ABC’s and good sentence structure. You don’t learn cost accounting until you’ve mastered arithmetic, algebra, a lot of accounting basics, and maybe some law, too.

So what makes us think that we can know everything we need to about a sales deal from a quick qualifying call? Qualifying takes time and lately we’ve seen a whole industry — marketing automation — grow from the understanding that developing a qualified lead takes multiple steps that have to be nurtured. It also doesn’t stop until the deal is done because things change and what was once considered qualified might cease to be.

But qualifying a lead is not closing it. Qualifying is literally table stakes and what takes a lead and a deal to closing might not simply be that great demo you gave or your price or anything else that you as a vendor control because what you control is supply. What about demand? One of the parts of qualification is identifying demand after all. Are you doing enough to understand it?

To understand demand you need real insight, knowledge of the customer’s internal situation. Let’s face it, we’ve all been in sales situations where everything lined up — the customer had a need, a budget, approval, and we believed we were the favorite vendor. Then the deal went sideways or pear shaped as the British say (and I don’t understand). For days and months the deal stayed in the forecast until it became a joke, more wish than reality.

Perhaps at some point the deal finally closed but it could just as easily have gone to no decision and the pantheon of deals that coulda, shoulda, woulda, but didn’t. Maybe sometime later you found something on page six below he fold that made you stop and say Aha! Maybe the company was acquired, leadership changed, or a key person involved in your deal’s decision process went to a competitor.

Perhaps that item put the deal back in play too or maybe it signaled that it would never happen or perhaps the same sales process would need to be performed again by another rep in a different territory. Wouldn’t it have been better if you could have known this earlier? Were there signs you missed? Maybe there was something you could have done differently or maybe you could have redeployed your resources to more productive efforts.

The point is that in the moment, while you had plenty of deal centric information, you lacked the true knowledge that could have enabled you to make better sales decisions. You had your supply locked in and you thought you understood demand — certainly you had all of the numbers in place. But demand isn’t strictly about numbers. It’s definitely data driven but if the only data you collect is numbers, you might want to think about casting a broader net.

Non-numeric data, about people and their motivations, is all around us if we choose to look for it and when combined with the numeric, it can provide a more rounded understanding of customer demand. In fact, the combination is what results in true knowledge about a deal. A quote from a CEO, financial results reports, the quarterly sales of a key product or that product’s market can all combine to add greater depth of meaning to your basic information about a deal.

The information that rounds out your perspective on a customer and a deal is not always found in spreadsheets, it is not always numeric and when it is you might not be able to do math with it — for instance you can’t add or subtract phone numbers. The point is that there is more information that you can tap into to get a deal done but you have to look for it in different places. Once you had to skim articles in magazines and newspapers or hire a clipping service to do it. Those were slow and tedious processes that often delivered the information needed to contribute to true knowledge, but too late to be useful.

The Internet changed all this and today we can employ software devices to crawl the net and collect information about the customers involved in our deals. When we do that we can quickly augment the information we have to produce real knowledge — knowledge that our competitors may not have.

So, if the leads you have don’t seem to get the job done, it might not be because they aren’t very good, it may simply mean that neither sales not marketing knows enough yet. Tools like InsideView are designed to uncover the remaining information that can give you real knowledge and in this highly competitive marketplace, an inside view of a deal is never a bad thing.

36
Your sales lead just got promoted. What should you do?

by Jason Rushin |  CRM Intelligence, customer intelligence, Customer Success, outbound prospecting, prospect outreach, Prospecting, Relationship Management


Anytime a sales lead has an interesting moment, it’s an opening to reach out to them, engage, make conversation, and, obviously, try to convert them into a closed deal. An interesting moment can be anything from a corporate event, like good earnings or an acquisition, or a personal event, like a job change or a published article.

The hardest part is quickly being alerted when an interesting moment takes place, but there are tools to help with that. What I want to focus on here is how to capitalize on a specific type of interesting moment: the job promotion.

So, assuming that you received a timely alert to a lead’s promotion, here are some tips for turning it into a deal-progressing event.

1.   Offer your congratulations.

They’re probably getting a lot of congratulatory emails, but it’s a great opening to lob in a call and an email. Keep it short and be sure to remind them of who you are. And, remember to be clear on what’s in it for them to do anything more than just ignore your message.

2.   Understand that they’re probably overwhelmed.


If they are a decision-maker, overwhelmed might be an understatement. A new role generally means new responsibilities, new people, and lots to think about. Their old responsibilities might not even be related to their new ones, so it’s important to remember that you’ve probably just dropped a few rungs on their priority list. But, that’s your opportunity to help them by either taking something off of their list or helping them with their transition.

3.   Ask for a meeting to see if their new perspective makes you more interesting.


A promotion can open up a person’s area of responsibility, give them more access to more people, and make them privy to decisions that were formerly above their pay grade. That could all be great for you. Again, it’s letting them know that you’re helping them make the transition and look like a rockstar in their new role.

4.   Ask them to connect you with their replacement.


Promotions are good excuses to get things off of your plate, so your lead might not be your lead any longer. Try to get them to connect you with their replacement or whomever will be taking over the related project. It’ll cut out much of the new person’s vetting of you if you’re referred directly.

5.   Ask for permission to use their name to open other doors.

If they don’t connect you with others, ask them directly if you can use their name when reaching out to others. An email or voicemail that starts with, “Molly Smith asked me to contact you…” is always best. But, lacking that, it’s still above board to say things like, “I was working with Molly Smith on this project and I think that you’re now leading it…”

6.   Stay in touch and keep them in the loop.


If they’ve been responsive, it’s a great idea to keep them periodically aware of your progress, or to ask for help in making progress. Better to reach out every couple of months than to try to get them to remember you a year later when you’re grasping for an entry. If they still have oversight or involvement in the project, then definitely keep them in the loop, just so they remember who you are and why you’re so great.

37
Articles and Write up / 6 Confessions of the Professional Buyer
« on: September 17, 2014, 05:28:40 PM »
6 Confessions of the Professional Buyer

This is a hot topic because it happens a lot. Buyers take advantage of salespeople.


Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with a number of buying departments, many times as part of the sales training I’m doing for their salespeople.

There are six confessions professional buyers have shared with me regarding how they take advantage of salespeople:

1. “My goal is to always keep the face-to-face meetings short.”

Keeping meetings short helps keep the salesperson guessing, and when they start guessing, they tend to offer better deals. Just as the salesperson is about to leave the office, I always make one more quick request to test them and to put even more doubt about me in their mind.

2. “Making demands via voicemail is a great way to get more from the salesperson.”


Making demands using voicemail prevents the salesperson from trying to counter the demand. By not putting it in writing, it also allows for last minute changes to get an even better deal.

This one hurts, because I personally fell victim to it early in my sales career. As a new salesperson, I was eager to make an impression. I felt I could do it by delivering excellent customer service. The problem was the customer service I was giving was in the form of concessions.

It didn’t take long for the customer to know they could make demands of me when I was sitting across the desk from them—and also by way of voicemail. One buyer, in particular, took advantage of me by always leaving me a voicemail 10 minutes after I left his office. I don’t even want to calculate how much I cost my company—and to think it was all because I thought I was doing the right thing.

3. “When I am slow to respond to a salesperson’s email or phone call, they start to feel like I’m not interested.”


The longer it takes me to respond, the more the salesperson will come to believe the offer they made is not good enough. Simply waiting a couple of days to respond to an email can often scare the salesperson into believing the offer isn’t good enough.

4. “I’m not going to put anything in writing unless I absolutely have to.”

When something is put in writing, it eliminates the ability to make last-minute changes to get even more out of the salesperson. At the same time, however, I always demand the salesperson put everything in writing to give me the power of knowledge, so I can use it against them.

5. “It’s great to make the salesperson believe I’m considering multiple vendors.”

Even if there is not another vendor, the salesperson doesn’t need to know it. Just by saying things like, “We’ll compare it with the others,” I know I can usually get a better price from the salesperson. No matter how much I may want to do business with them, I don’t let them get that sense from me.

6. “Slow is better. I never admit I’m in a rush to buy anything.”

Advisor Selling Book Cover 6 Confessions of the Professional Buyer photo

Salespeople always believe a slow buyer is an unmotivated buyer. It is amazing how the offer will get better when I take my time making a decision.

Want to know more about dealing with professional buyers and other vital sales techniques?

The above is an excerpt from the book I recently co-authored with Matthew Hudson called Advisor Selling.

38
Articles and Write up / Data, Information, and Knowledge
« on: September 17, 2014, 09:01:15 AM »
Data, Information, and Knowledge

by Denis Pombriant of Beagle Research Group. Denis is a top CRM market researcher who advises end users in CRM selection, deployment and use while also publishing a steady stream of analysis on many of the industry’s most popular topics and emerging trends. ( InsideView | Customer Success, Data, Marketing, Sales 2.0, Sales Data, Sales Intelligence, Social CRM)

Augmenting what we know with curated data produces new insights


There is still a lot of confusion in the market about data, information, and knowledge. Too often we use the terms interchangeably and while that might sound like a small issue, these words frame our mindsets and color our understanding of the marketing and sales process.

This trio is really a hierarchy of increasingly refined concepts and along with the refinement comes real power to affect sales situations. Data is the lowest level because it lacks context. While it is important, and the whole Big Data industry swoons over it, data without context is almost meaningless. In marketing, the name of the game is turning data into actionable knowledge.

First off, context turns data into information. So while a phone number is just a phone number, knowing another bit of data, like who owns the number, turns the common phone number into a key piece of information about a customer.
In the marketing and sales process we are always trying to capture context, to add data to data or data to information to build up what we know about prospects so that we can figure out how to spend our precious time and resources. And knowing is a far from arbitrary word because it represents the level of understanding that decision-makers routinely need to go forward with confidence.

It wasn’t always that way. Before the Internet and Big Data revolution, having actionable knowledge in business was relatively rare. You could develop knowledge long after it would have been useful. In the moment, the best we had was a handful of information and gut instinct so decisions were made by HIPPOs. Ever hear of a HIPPO? It stands for the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. Unfortunately, opinions can often be wrong but too often that’s all there was. And HIPPOs? Lacking credible knowledge, we often deferred to the highest paid person who also had the most grey hair, a marker for experience, and that is what often substituted for knowledge.

Today, it’s all different or at least it can be. Big Data and analytics deliver information by the boatload but that has its problems too. Analytics is so efficient that anyone with a computer and a bit of software can sift the Internet stream and come up with more or less the same information. That means going into a sales process, every rep is more or less equal and, ironically, we might all still be searching for that bit of difference making knowledge.

Knowledge is available but it is also in the mind of the beholder. For example, a sales person armed with a base level of information about a prospect plus a fact as benign as a company’s quarterly filings or the CEO’s statement of direction might be able to combine all of it with his or her specific product knowledge to discover an opportunity. Interestingly, that knowledge might only be in the mind of the sales person so it actually rises to the level of intellectual property. It can be as valuable as your product plans, patents, processes, and procedures.

This kind of knowledge is what the most competitive businesses use today to outfox their competition. But notice that the information that drives knowledge is only partly represented by numerical data that you can process through an analytics engine. The contextual information like the CEO’s statement of direction is not quantifiable and a person, not an algorithm, has to unpack it to derive meaning.

All this suggests that we need to expand our data analysis options from just dealing with quantitative data to including the qualitative data that, so far, only humans are good at deciphering. Combining the two provides greater insight than either one alone and that’s how information turns into knowledge.

39
A Good CV/Resume / Guide Line for Interview
« on: September 16, 2014, 02:35:14 PM »
Conducting an Interview by HR Expert

When conducting the interview, the interviewer should use the following outline:

Establish Rapport


    Help the candidate relax with brief, casual conversation.
    Maintain appropriate eye contact.
    Listen sympathetically.
    Avoid direct criticism.
    Reassure the candidate after an awkward disclosure by commending the openness, honesty, and willingness to face up to a problem.
    Remain neutral; do not speak approvingly of questionable conduct.

Control the Interview

    Keep the purpose of the interview clearly in mind.
    Decide in advance what questions to raise in light of the job requirements and the candidate’s résumé.
    Keep to the planned agenda and allocate time appropriately.
    Politely return to the original question if the candidate’s answer was evasive.
    Persuade the candidate to elaborate on suggestive or incomplete responses by:
        Asking follow-up questions.
        Repeating or summarizing the candidate’s statements in a questioning tone.
        Maintaining silence.
    Make smooth transitions from one topic to another.

Document the Interview


    Take notes for reliable recall. Note points to follow up on later in the interview.
    Note dress, behavior, or facial expressions, if relevant.
    Wait until after the candidate has left to write down evaluative comments.

Elements of Good Interviewing

Meeting the interview goals requires the following on the interviewer’s part:

    Interpersonal skills, which put a job candidate at ease and elicit the most accurate responses.
    Preparation helps an interviewer cover all job-related questions and avoid saying things that might violate antidiscrimination laws, create an implied employment contract, or misrepresent the job.
    Objectivity requires the interviewer to be impartial and unbiased. Interviewers must evaluate a candidate based on the factors that predict future job performance.
    Good recordkeeping supplies the information needed to compare different candidates and documents the screening process in case a rejected candidate challenges the hiring decision.

Interview Types

Interviews may be structured and unstructured where structured interviews generally provide the interviewer with the information needed to make the hiring decision. All candidates are asked the same questions, rather than tailoring the questions to target a specific individual.

Interview questions should accomplish the following goals:

    Determine a candidate’s qualifications and general character, in relation to the job
    Expose undesirable traits
    Clarify information
    Provide other job-related data
    Reveal inconsistencies

Job-Related Questions

Develop interview questions by examining the job description and determining job demands in each of these following areas:

    Skills and abilities, including technical skills, communication ability, analytical ability, and specialized training
    Behavioral factors: motivation, interests, goals, drive and energy, reliability, stress tolerance,

Evaluating candidate responses


As important as it is that questions are job-related, it’s even more important to know how to evaluate the candidate’s response.

The interviewer should not feel that a candidate’s first answer to any of the questions must be accepted as the only answer. When the interviewer feels an answer is lacking, the interviewer should ask layered questions until reaching an answer with a satisfactory amount of information.

Questioning Techniques

The best interviewers employ a flexible questioning technique to elicit pertinent, accurate information

Close-ended questions are most commonly asked in interviewing and are the most commonly misused questions.

Open-ended questions often yield better results than close-ended.

Behavioral questions are open-ended and request specific examples of past behavior.

.

Negative-Balance Questions

Interviewers often assume, albeit incorrectly, that a candidate who is strong in one area is equally impressive in all areas. This is not always the case.

Reflexive Questions

Reflexive questions help interviewers calmly maintain control of the conversation no matter how talkative the interviewee.

Mirror Statements

Mirror statements function as a subtle form of probing in conjunction with silence

Loaded Questions

Loaded questions are inappropriate as they may lead to manipulation by the interviewer. Obviously, the interviewer should avoid absurd, loaded questions.

Half-Right Reflexives

Half-right reflexives can be utilized to glean specific answers and determine an individual’s propensity for specific work-related incidents.

Leading Questions

Leading questions allow interviewers to lead the listener toward a specific type of answer. Leading questions are often useful, but like closed-ended questions, the interviewer must use leading questions appropriately.

Question Layering


A good question poorly phrased will be ineffectual and provide the interviewer with incomplete or misleading information. However, question layering allows an interviewer to thoroughly probe and answer on many different levels.

Additional Input Questions

Additional Questions

Employers should try to include questions that go beyond a candidate’s technical competence or knowledge.

The interviewer should probe for qualities needed to succeed at the job:

    Organizational skill
    Willingness to put in the extra time and effort necessary to complete a project

Relevant and job-related questions might target the following:

    Incomplete information on application form
    Work experience or education
    Gaps in work history
    Geographic preferences
    Normal working hours
    Willingness to travel
    Reasons for leaving or planning to leave previous job
    Job-related achievements
    Signs of initiative and self-management
    Specialized knowledge or expertise
    Meaning of former job titles

Improper Interview Questions

following:

    Race
    Religion
    Creed
    Sex, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions
    Marital status
    National origin
    Ancestry

Other laws prohibit questions about military background, age, disability, or union membership. Generally, do not ask about:

    Medical or mental health history
    National origin and citizenship status
    Height, weight, or physical characteristics
    Disability
    Membership in professional or civic organizations that would reveal national origin, race, gender, religion, or any of the other protected classes under fair employment practice laws
    Military service history
    Marital status
    Sexual orientation
    Age
    Receipt of unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, or disability benefits
    Child care situation, family planning, or number of children
    Religion or religious beliefs

The following are samples of questions which should be avoided. This is not an all-inclusive list.

Personal Data

    "What is your maiden name?"
    "Do you own or rent your home?"
    "What is your age?"
    "Where do you live?"
    "What is your date of birth?"
    "Are you married?"
    Questions which tend to identify an applicant's age as over 40.

Education

    The dates of attendance or completion of elementary or high school.

Citizenship

    Birthplace of applicant or of applicant's parents, spouse or other relative.
    "Are you a BD Citizen?" or "What is your citizenship or that of your parents, spouse or other relative?"
    Questions as to race, nationality, national origin, or descent.
    "What is your mother's tongue?" or "What is the language you speak at home?"

Family

    Applicant's marital status.
    The number or ages of children or dependents.
    Provisions for child care.
    Pregnancy, childbearing or birth control.

Medical

    Questions which indicate an applicant's sex.
    The applicant's height and weight.
    Applicant's general medical condition, state of health, or illness.
    Questions regarding HIV, AIDS, and related questions.
    "Have you ever filed a workers compensation claim?"
    "Do you have any mental or physical disabilities or handicaps?"

Associations

    "Have you ever been arrested?"
    Applicant's credit rating.
    Ownership of a car.
    Organizations, clubs, societies or lodges which an applicant belongs to.
    Religious obligations that would prevent an individual from being available to work on Friday evenings, Saturdays, Sundays or holidays.
    Asking an applicant the origin of their name.
    "Do you speak __________________?" (unless a requirement for the job).
    "Do you have any physical or mental disability/handicap that will require reasonable accommodation?"

Note: I am neither expert nor researcher, just learning from you all. You are welcome to share your comments (as I am in learning stage).

Source: Linkedin Post by S M Altaf Hossain Commander,BN (Retd)
Head of Admin, The Cityscape International Ltd, Gulshan, Dhaka

40
Public Health / Caffeine: The Silent Killer of Success
« on: September 10, 2014, 10:47:19 AM »
Caffeine: The Silent Killer of Success
Dr. Travis Bradberry|Coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & President at TalentSmart

For many people, this tip has the potential to have a bigger impact than any other single action. The catch? You have to cut down on caffeine, and as any caffeine drinker can attest, this is easier said than done.

For those who aren't aware, the ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are high in emotional intelligence. These individuals are skilled at managing their emotions (even in times of high stress) in order to remain calm and in control.

The Good: Isn’t Really Good

Most people start drinking caffeine because it makes them feel more alert and improves their mood. Many studies suggest that caffeine actually improves cognitive task performance (memory, attention span, etc.) in the short-term. Unfortunately, these studies fail to consider the participants’ caffeine habits. New research from Johns Hopkins Medical School shows that performance increases due to caffeine intake are the result of caffeine drinkers experiencing a short-term reversal of caffeine withdrawal. By controlling for caffeine use in study participants, John Hopkins researchers found that caffeine-related performance improvement is nonexistent without caffeine withdrawal. In essence, coming off caffeine reduces your cognitive performance and has a negative impact on your mood. The only way to get back to normal is to drink caffeine, and when you do drink it, you feel like it’s taking you to new heights. In reality, the caffeine is just taking your performance back to normal for a short period.

The Bad: Adrenaline

Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight or flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state, your emotions overrun your behavior.

Irritability and anxiety are the most commonly seen emotional effects of caffeine, but caffeine enables all of your emotions to take charge.

The negative effects of a caffeine-generated adrenaline surge are not just behavioral. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that large doses of caffeine raise blood pressure, stimulate the heart, and produce rapid shallow breathing, which readers of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 know deprives the brain of the oxygen needed to keep your thinking calm and rational.

The Ugly: Sleep

When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, focus, memory, and information processing speed are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Your brain is very fickle when it comes to sleep. For you to wake up feeling rested, your brain needs to move through an elaborate series of cycles. You can help this process along and improve the quality of your sleep by reducing your caffeine intake.

Here’s why you’ll want to: caffeine has a six-hour half-life, which means it takes a full twenty-four hours to work its way out of your system. Have a cup of joe at eight a.m., and you’ll still have 25% of the caffeine in your body at eight p.m. Anything you drink after noon will still be at 50% strength at bedtime. Any caffeine in your bloodstream—with the negative effects increasing with the dose—makes it harder to fall asleep.

When you do finally fall asleep, the worst is yet to come. Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates and processes emotions. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with an emotional handicap. You’re naturally going to be inclined to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink to try to make yourself feel better. The caffeine produces surges of adrenaline, which further your emotional handicap. Caffeine and lack of sleep leave you feeling tired in the afternoon, so you drink more caffeine, which leaves even more of it in your bloodstream at bedtime. Caffeine very quickly creates a vicious cycle.

Withdrawal

Like any stimulant, caffeine is physiologically and psychologically addictive. If you do choose to lower your caffeine intake, you should do so slowly under the guidance of a qualified medical professional. The researchers at Johns Hopkins found that caffeine withdrawal causes headache, fatigue, sleepiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people report feeling flu-like symptoms, depression, and anxiety after reducing intake by as little as one cup a day. Slowly tapering your caffeine dosage each day can greatly reduce these withdrawal symptoms.

41
Articles and Write up / Completing Customer Profiles
« on: September 10, 2014, 10:20:14 AM »
Completing Customer Profiles  by Jason Rushin

Sales people have been demanding better leads for a long time and today marketing is in a position to provide them. Marketers have discovered that the kind of data they collect is as important as its volume. It is no longer enough to create programs that capture a small set of demographic data about a customer and hand it over to a sales rep.

A few years ago sales people were happy with a name, title, and a phone number and with that they’d schedule a meeting to capture what was really important — need, budget, the identities of the other decision makers, and more. But today sales people don’t have time to invest in this basic data gathering and with high quotas managers want more meetings that advance sales processes rather than performing simple qualification. So all this has caused marketing to re-think its processes to meet sales’ demands.

Today marketers collect a variety of data through multiple techniques to enrich the leads that they ultimately hand over to sales. This approach also weeds out leads that might look strong but that will never close. With nurturing and enhanced collection feeding more data to analytics the refined leads that marketers are delivering to sales people are a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, that’s not enough any more.

In addition to all the data we collect and analyze to produce sales information, we also need to be mindful of the current situation in target accounts. By definition, situations change almost daily and the information about change, when added to data already collected through other marketing channels can produce a potent combination.

Change information comes in many forms — press releases, earnings reports, news items, analyst reports, and much more. When added to what we already know about our territories and target accounts, it can turn a pile of so-so information into powerful sales knowledge that approaches intellectual property. If you view IP as the sum or a company’s research, knowledge, patents, processes and the like, then you really should add sales knowledge. The knowledge you can develop about your markets and target customers, in relation to your own knowledge, designs, and plans is unique. You own it, no one else has it and it is a competitive weapon.

42
Create Your Social Selling Strategy in Just 3 Steps

if you’re in sales or marketing, you can’t go a day without hearing the term “social selling.” In a nutshell, social selling is knowing who your targets are before you engage with them. And by “knowing,” it means the 2014 version of knowing, not the old title+company+industry that used to pass for knowing your targets. The 2014 version is knowing their needs, knowing if you have any mutual connections, and knowing any recent news or events that are relevant—all before you even reach out to them.

If you’re looking for an edge over your competitors or want to energize your lead-to-revenue process, social selling could provide the bump that you need, since the stats are in its favor. For one, social selling can increase your engagement rate by up to 84 percent. For another, only 10 percent of executives respond to unsolicited emails. It’s easy to get started, even if you want to give it a try on just a single campaign. Of course, you do need the ability to find accurate, relevant, timely data first, but we’ll assume that you’re up to the task.

Let’s get started!

1)   Build your list

Start by building your list as you always have, based on company size, location, industry, etc. Then, identify your key targets based on level and job function. Try to keep the list as Developing a social businesstargeted as possible. Starting with “Fortune 1000 companies” or “services industry” is going to cast too wide of a net, and social selling is a pinpoint tactic, not a broad, generic shotgun approach. Think about it this way:  if you’re throwing a weekend picnic, do you invite everyone you’ve ever met in your life or just the circle of friends that can fit in your back yard? Social selling uses deep, specific, and relevant information to tip the balance in your direction. Trying to find, parse, and act upon that type of information for thousands of leads isn’t going to work.

2)   Listen and engage

First, you want to find out what’s happening with your targets and even with the individual leads. News is a good example, like a target company entering in a partnership with another listen to customerscompany, or an earnings release that missed estimates. Both good and bad news are equally valuable to you. You might also have specific types of news or events that are specifically relevant to your offerings. Say that you’re selling data security services. You might want to key in on news events related to data breaches, of which there have been many recently. The news triggers that are interesting to you might be unique to you, so look for what you can leverage.

Next, dig into the “social” side, since this is social selling after all. Look at the company’s Twitter and Facebook feeds for any tidbits of information. Companies tend to push out smaller news or niche items via those channels, rather than full press releases. This step can get tedious, unless you have the right information readily available and easily accessible. That’s why it’s important to both narrow your list and have the right tools to quickly and easily gather this information.

3)   Connect and win!

Again with the social, check your own social networks to see if you have any connections to the company and the individual leads. If you’re a good sales rep, you’ve been checking LinkedIn and Facebook for years, but there are new tools out there today that help you see the social and professional connections of everyone in your company, giving you another connect online through social networks to close more dealslayer of hundreds or thousands of potential connections. Finally, you need to hone in on those targets and leads with the best set of connections, criteria, and news to get:

- A warm introduction through a mutual connection…
- At a company that fits your target criteria…
- With a lead to whom you can offer a relevant, timely discussion about a key business issue that they’re dealing with.

That’s social selling. Now go do it!

Source: by Jason Rushin | Sep 4, 2014 | Closing, CRM Intelligence, customer intelligence, Funnel, lead qualification, Leads, Sales 2.0, Sales Data, Sales Intelligence, Sales Strategy, Sales-Marketing Alignment, Social CRM, Social Media for Sales, Social Selling

43
Articles and Write up / 3 Things Your Sales Team Never Has to Do Again
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:38:48 PM »
3 Things Your Sales Team Never Has to Do Again; By Rebecca Brown / in AppExchange , Cloud , IT , Sales


Ask any salesperson what his or her favorite part of the job is and you’ll probably never hear the answer “fighting for leads” or “creating proposals.” Salespeople like to sell. They love being face-to-face with potential customers, helping them find solutions, and—most importantly—closing deals.

We’ve identified some smart solutions to help them do just that—close more deals, more effectively. Find sales apps on the AppExchange and make sure that your team never has to do these three things again.

1) Fight for leads


Distributing leads fairly and consistently is a huge and often difficult task to manage and track, but it doesn’t have to be. Productivity apps like Distribution Engine conquer the challenge using intelligent round robin assignment, sharing leads according to priority, rep availability and quota-based weighting. The result? A satisfied, motivated team that can focus on closing deals, not clamoring for leads.


2) Build proposals the hard way

Putting together a proposal with the right product solutions for a prospect shouldn’t be complicated, but so often it is, causing undue frustration on your team. Make it as fast and painless as possible with Configure Price Quote (CPQ) apps like SteelBrick CPQ, which simplifies the process and guides reps to the best products and most accurate pricing for their customers.

 
3) Delay closing a deal because they have to sign it in person

Sure, it’s important to have as much face time as possible with prospects and customers. But once a prospect says yes, don’t delay getting started because there’s no time on her calendar to ink the deal in person. There are plenty of contract management tools out there that help salespeople close deals faster. for example, helps reps send documents securely and get signatures from anywhere, on any device, and can be managed and tracked within Salesforce.

44
Articles and Write up / 7 Principles for Individual Sales Success
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:35:12 PM »
7 Principles for Individual Sales Success; By Mark Hunter
You should only read this if you believe that your level of success is largely up to you.

Yes, it’s impacted and influenced by external events, but it’s not your sales manager, employer, customer, product, partner, bank manager or religious leader who ultimately determines your destiny. It’s you, and in difficult selling times, that’s the first principle that you have to accept.

There are few professions where the inner strength of the individual protagonist is as critical as that of an individual salesperson. During each sales call, you put your own credibility—and that of your company—on the line. Most likely, you are the primary arbiter of success or failure, and you always face the risk of failure or rejection. But when you win, the sense of achievement and personal gratification is amplified just because you are always putting yourself out there.

1. Ambition

To achieve your ambition, you first need to be very clear as to what it is. There are two main questions you should ask yourself;

    “Do I know what I really want to achieve?” and
    “Is my goal ambitious enough?”

A ‘shoot for the moon’ goal is a wonderful motivator. By figuring out your personal outrageous goal—conceived in a moment of suspended reality—you see what might be possible. Then you can plan to achieve that ambition by breaking it down into attainable and realistic steps. Winning sales professionals do this in small ways every day as they strategize how to maximize revenue from an account, or win a specific deal. Then it is the art of the possible, planning the realization of the ambition. (Trying to measure your ambition might be hard—here’s a way to think about it.)

2. Commitment and Resilience

How badly do you want it? Will you stay the course? Invariably you will see seemingly ‘lucky’ people for whom everything just works out. Evidence of their hard work is sometimes hard to see. Enduring hardship is frequently the bedfellow of success, so you’ve got to be committed to your goal and both resilient and relentless in its pursuit. When you continue to do the right thing, and stick with it, good things invariably happen.

3. Honesty and Integrity


These are two of the least understood, and most undervalued, personal and business assets. A reputation for being honest or having high integrity is priceless. It brings trust and openness, deeper relationships and more productive engagement. Trust is ‘truth delivered over time.’ It is hard to win but easy to lose. The sustained value of these assets cannot be overstated.

4. Inquisitiveness and Learning

In sales, as in life, it is better to be interested than it is to be interesting. You need to be inquisitive and curious about what matters to others and less focused on what ‘interesting’ stuff you have to say. When you have earned the right—you can then be interesting. 

If you are in the right job/company/industry, being interested in your customers’ business/industry/market comes easily to you. You have a natural passion for what you do, choosing to continuously self-improve. Without this passion to learn, you will find it hard to be naturally inquisitive. Then you’re possibly in the wrong job/company/ industry—and probably stuck in mediocrity.

5. Empathy and Perspective


Without empathy, you can’t possibly appreciate what’s important to your customer or your own support team. Remember the last time you complained about your marketing / product department, ‘I just don’t understand why we never seem to get ... [Insert leads, new features, competitive analysis, better pricing]. Usually when you start a sentence with ‘I just don’t under stand why ...’, it’s usually just that—you don’t understand. Arrogance is usually bred from ignorance, and that’s never pretty or productive. Consider the other Perspective. (This is the fundamental to Account Planning. Read this.)

6. Vision: Innovation and Leadership

Ambition without vision is dangerous and usually counter-productive. Vision elevates ambition to a higher place, one where your insight, founded on innovative thinking and thought leadership (informed through inquisitiveness and learning), propels you to the front.

7. Enterprise

You’ve got to work hard, really hard—no, really, really hard. Come up with the right strategy to fulfill your ambition, and then through your own initiative and resourcefulness, determine how you best execute your plan. Unless you have the requisite Commitment and Resilience you won’t reach the uncommon heights you’ve visualized in your ambition.

When you put these principles together—Ambition, Commitment, Honesty, Inquisitiveness, Empathy, Vision, Innovation, and Enterprise—you can choose to A.C.H.I.E.V.E. your goals.

45
Articles and Write up / 6 Ways Buyers Gain The Upper Hand With Salespeople
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:26:40 PM »
6 Ways Buyers Gain The Upper Hand With Salespeople ; By- Mark Hunter

There isn’t a salesperson alive who hasn’t encountered a purchasing agent who is “difficult.”  (And that’s a polite way to say it!) For most salespeople, few things can be more challenging than having to go toe-to-toe with a professional buyer. The sales process can be a minefield of tactics and tricks that help buyers get the upper-hand on unsuspecting sales reps.

However, just like a trick or tactic, it loses its effectiveness if you see it coming.  So to make sure you’re prepared, here are six things purchasing agents and buyers love to do to get you, the salesperson, to cough up a better deal.

1.  Regardless of how attractive your offer might be, they simply reject it without giving a reason

Buyers love to do this by way of a late afternoon email that is short and to the point. Their objective is to merely see if you will blink, and guess what most salespeople do? They blink and offer a lower price or more attractive deal.shutterstock_79071637

2.  Delay giving any response


For some buyers, saying “no” to a salesperson can be hard, so the way they work around it is they simply don’t give any response.  If the salesperson is presenting the offer face-to-face, the buyer says they’ll have to analyze it and get back to them.

Their comment might be something like, “I’ve got to run some numbers on it and compare it with some other things we’ve got going on, so I’ll get back to you.”  This sets up the delay, which a sharp buyer will stretch out until the salesperson comes back with a better offer.

3. During a face-to-face meeting, buyers are quick to look for any sign of body language that indicates you don’t believe in the price

A basic rule buyers use is to watch the salesperson’s facial expression and eye contact when they are talking about price or presenting their offer. If the salesperson can’t give the buyer eye contact, it indicates one thing—the salesperson doesn’t believe in their own price.

If the salesperson’s body language is not firm, then it means there is even more price wiggle room. The beauty is that many times the buyer doesn’t have to do anything other than remain silent. The salesperson who is already doubting their own offer winds up offering a concession without the buyer even saying a word.

4. Have competitors’ information on their desk when you come into to meet them

Few things scare a salesperson more than seeing their competitors’ information sitting on their customer’s desk. Many buyers collect sales materials with one intention—to use it against someone else.

5.  Provide salespeople with economic newsletters and other information that indicates how bad things are

I’ve known many buyers who will, on an annual basis, distribute economic news or other articles indicating how the only way for businesses to survive is by cutting their prices. Some will paint amazing pictures of distress merely to see how much they can extract from salespeople.

6.  Buyers love to say: “Your price is simply too high, so I’ll have to buy from your competitor”

What they don’t tell you is that they don’t have a clue what the competitor’s price is and that the last thing they want to do is go through the hassle of setting up another vendor. The amount of work it takes to switch vendors can quickly eat up any cost savings, and that doesn’t even take into consideration all of the other issues that could arise from switching.

Selling effectively and profitably when working with buyers can be done, but you have to be diligent in paying attention to the tactics buyers use. You can overcome these tactics by refining your own selling skills and boosting your confidence.

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