Powerful Sales Brain Trust Speaks on #1 Competitive Edge

Posted by Jill Konrath

October 24, 2014

Last Wednesday, I spoke at Dreamforce, the big SalesForce.com event that draws 130,000+ people globally. I talked about today's #1 competitive edge. (It's what my new book, Agile Selling, is all about.) I also lead a panel discussion on this topic, featuring this extraordinary brain trust. 

Left to right: Joanne Black (author of No More Cold Calling & Pick Up the Damn Phone), Debra Walton (Chief Content Officer of Thomson Reuters, HuffPo blogger & women's advocate), Trish Bertuzzi (CEO of The Bridge Group inside sales consultancy), Josiane Feigon (author, speaker, sales futurist and CEO of Tele-Smart sales training) and me.

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Topics: Agile Learning

Key Question Every Sales Manager Should Ask Their Interviewees

Posted by Jill Konrath

October 23, 2014

At Dreamforce last week, Bob Perkins of the AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals) interviewed me and Trish Bertuzzi on key learnings and takeaways. (Trish is the CEO & Chief Strategist of The Bridge Group, a leading inside sales consultancy.)

In it, I share a key question every sales manager should ask their interviewees. It's a topic I'll be speaking more about at the INSIDE SALES 2014 Conference November 6th in Minneapolis.

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Topics: Jill Konrath News, Sales Management

Why My LinkedIn Profile Isn't Good Enough

Posted by Jill Konrath

October 22, 2014

I have a confession to make. I haven't updated my LinkedIn profile* for 18 months. I know. Shame on me. I'm supposed be a leader on things like that, but I'm human too.

If you looked at my profile, you'd probably think it's fine. It doesn't read like a boring resume or make me look like a hungry, job-hunting sales vulture. It doesn't sound like a self-serving company brochure.

It's customer focused, showcases my expertise and establishes my credibility. It's my professional presence online. Even LinkedIn says it's well done. 

But here's the truth. My LinkedIn profile doesn't reflect changes I've made in the past year and a half. Worse yet, it's no longer meeting my objectives.

(FYI: It still says that I have a new book coming out in May, 2014 when it's already a bestseller. I didn't change anything because I want you to see what's wrong with it.)

Time to get some help! So I called in Wayne Breitbarth, author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success to scour through it with a fine-tooth comb. He recommended the following 5 actions to help me leverage LinkedIn more effectively. Some really surprised me!

Before we dig in, here's a quick look at the top section of my profile:

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Topics: Social Selling, Using LinkedIn

I Hate LinkedIn Profiles Like This ...

Posted by Jill Konrath

October 13, 2014

Every time I do a Sales Acceleration workshop with a new client, I go to LinkedIn to check out the profiles of people who will be attending. Invariably, I see Summary sections that read like this: 

  • Big Deal's innovative solutions are blah, blah, blah. Our extensive client list includes these marquis organizations. We specialize in all this stuff. 
  • Quota-busting sales professional with 15 years experience in technology sales. Doggedly persistent, tough negotiator and fearless competitor. 

Yes, that's a bit of hyperbole. But I think you get what I mean. And, my guess is that 85% of you who are reading this have a way-too-similar profile. 

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Topics: Using LinkedIn

One Mind-Boggling Sales Statistic

Posted by Jill Konrath

October 9, 2014

Two weeks ago I spoke at LinkedIn's SalesConnect Conference in San Francisco. Over 500 sales leaders came to learn more about leveraging LinkedIn to drive revenue.

Mike Derezin, VP of Sales at LinkedIn, shared one statistic that was mind-boggling:

Sales professionals who use social selling are 51% more likely to exceed their quota.

Got your attention yet? I sure hope so. At this point, you're probably asking, "So what exactly is this 'social selling' thing?" According to LinkedIn, the primary components are in the graph below.

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Topics: Social Selling

Join Me at Dreamforce 2014

Posted by Jill Konrath

October 5, 2014

If you're planning on being at Dreamforce this year, I'll be speaking there. This event is huge. Last year 130,000+ people came from around the world. Put on by SalesForce.com, it is THE EVENT for people in the sales space. 

I'm speaking on Wednesday morning. Here are the details:

#1 Competitive Edge in Today's Sales World

  • October 15th, 9 am PT (Wednesday)
  • Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 7

With today's escalating buyer expectations and ever-changing business environment, it's tough to stay at the top of your game. I kick off the session with a focus on the singular skill that virtually guarantees a successful career.

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Topics: Jill Konrath News

The New Sales Competitive Advantage

Posted by Jill Konrath

October 2, 2014

Constant change. As a seller, that's your life these days. New products and services. Changing market conditions. Evolving buyer expectations. New positions. Promotions.

To be successful, the new master skill for salespeople is rapid learning – of both skills and information. That's what I'm speaking about at lots of conferences these days.

Recently, I gave a talk at HubSpot's big INBOUND14 conference with over 10,000 attendees. Graphical notetaker Kelly Kingman drew up my speech. It starts and ends with elephants. And, there's a ton of good info in-between. 

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Topics: Agile Learning

Want a Nonstop Sales Boom?

Posted by Jill Konrath

September 30, 2014

If you've struggled with some ups and downs in your sales results, check out my recent interview with Colleen Francis. She's the author of Nonstop Sales Boom as well as a highly respected colleague.

In our conversations, she shares some insightful ideas that are guaranteed to get you thinking. 

JILL: Why did you decide to write Nonstop Sales Boom now?

COLLEEN FRANCIS: Over the last years, I've seen an increasing trend that is impacting most businesses I work with. Time and time again, prospects and clients will say to me, "We don't need you or any consulting help. We're having our best month or best quarter ever."

Of course I'm happy for their success. But all too often, a quarter or two later, we speak again and they say, "Now we're having our worst quarter ever, can you help us?" They're struggling but they didn't see it coming and couldn't prevent it.

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Topics: Sales Books

How to Close a Sale: The Only Thing You Need to Know

Posted by Jill Konrath

September 24, 2014

Have you ever heard the phrase "detach from the outcome"? It’s a tenet of Eastern religions. For many years it was a concept that I found totally unfathomable. After all, sales itself is about outcomes. Our income is at risk. We need to get the business.

But over the years, I’ve learned the wisdom of that message. In fact, the more I wanted to close a sale (or should I say – needed to close a sale) the less likely I was to get it.

Why? Because my focus was on me, not my prospect. And, whenever you need something that much, you push too hard for it. You short-circuit the process and go for the close before the time is right and your prospect is ready.

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Topics: Closing the Sale

Don't Send Prospecting Emails Like This – Please!

Posted by Jill Konrath

September 17, 2014

There's no way around it. Email has to be a core part of your prospecting strategy. Decision makers rarely answer the phone and seldom get back to you when you leave a message. But with the overwhelming amount of information flooding inboxes today, every single word in your email to a decision maker has to be carefully thought out.

Most of the salespeople I talk to really struggle with "what to say" in a prospecting email. Below is an example of a typical (bad) prospecting email I regularly receive from salespeople.

I know the guy was trying hard to get business, but all he got from me was a big DELETE. And, truth be told, he doesn't have a clue that he blew it because he worked so darn hard to craft the perfect message.

Check it out, then use my Email Message Evaluator to find out if your prospecting emails are up to the mark.

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Topics: Email Prospecting