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Posts Tagged ‘Prospecting’

The ultimate goal of new software is to improve the way people work.  All too often is this the forgotten part of IT training because that responsibility is not part of the IT department.  IT wants to teach the features of how an application works.  It’s also because “hard” skills and “soft” skills are taught by different people or different parts of the organization.

Here is just one of many examples I’ve seen.  Company A builds a wonderful customer data base for front line salespeople to use.  The training focuses on how to enter customer’s into the system, access customer information and run reports.  However, company A  has never captured customer information in any detail.  It will take months or years to get all the information into the database.  Salespeople have never used this type of tool for prospecting or account management.  Marketing has never used a database program to do target marketing.

As a result, everyone goes through training and the program is seldom used and everyone forgets how to operate the program.  Does this sound familiar?

The solution is to teach how the job will change.  For example, how do I manage MY accounts using the new program.  This  includes how they salespeople will get the information to put into the program.  Salespeople are then taught only the program features they need for this task.

Photo Uploaded on May 9, 2007 by CellPhoneSusie

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Sales training often seems to be different versions of the same thing.  So what’s really new?  I think when you’re teaching prospecting or finding new business, you really should be talking about social networking.  This is especially true if your customers are under 30.  The picture above shows many of the sites that provide lots of free opportunities to network with people around the world.

I started searching for articles that would show the best strategy and what I found were a lot of promos for marketing help and offers to buy sales training.  Not as helpful as I’d like.  So I’m going to give it a shot.  Here’s what I’d do.

  • First, I’d set up a blog.  Write articles and invite others to comment on you are of interest that relates to what you’re selling or what you’re company does.  If, you’re in health care write about health care.  If you sell cars, write about cars.  Use this blog as your home base and as a way to establish you’re expertise.  Forget about selling at this point, you’re building your network of contacts. 
  • Second, put your blog address on your business card and emails.  As you do this keep in mind that what you write might be read by potential customers so keep it professional. 
  • Third, start by search for and commenting on similar blogs and see if you can do a link exchange in your blogroll.
  • Fourth, use lots of tags that will help others with your interests can find your blog.
  • Fifth, start to explore the related concepts and other free services.  Try a blog carnival.  Try a blog talk radio show.  Post your site on all the blog catalogs. 
  • Sixth, check your traffic.  What are people searching on and how do they find you?  Can you cater to those interests?  See if it leads you to other sites that you can model after.

I’m going to stop here and ask for your ideas.  What’s worked well and what should be guidelines to follow.  There are so many options and services it’s hard to choose.  Could this be a the new rotary club or chamber of commerce.  Give your thoughts.

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