Your Post-Pandemic Sales Reset: Top 3 Recommendations

By Hope Eyre

A long-time client who’s on his fourth company since we started working with him called me last week. He’s a VP who joined his current firm during the pandemic, so he’s never actually met the sales force that reports to him.

Are you a leader whose sales organization needs to adjust to post-pandemic market conditions or changing company priorities?  Continue reading for our top three recommendations on getting started.

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The 60-Day Sales Discovery Challenge in 5 Simple Steps

By Rachel Cavallo

I spend a lot of time interviewing sales leaders to diagnose their sales challenges. The number one theme I hear? Their teams don’t know enough about their customers. They don’t ask the right questions, don’t ask enough questions, and don’t apply what they learn to sell more.

Typically, my question back to them is, “So what are you doing about it?” I’m a firm believer that teams will rise to the expectations of their leaders, but those expectations need to be clear, succinct, and consistently applied and measured.

I also know that it takes 30 to 60 days of consistent focus to change behavior (the behavior of the sales professional AND the leader). Widespread, long-term change is daunting, though, so, here is my challenge to you… Take a 60-Day Sales Discovery Challenge with your team.

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Do You Run a Sales Team or Just a Group of People Who Report to You?

By Rachel Cavallo

Whenever I work with a group of salespeople, I notice one prevailing theme.  They love to interact with each other and share ideas.  When we give salespeople an activity that involves sharing their experiences and asking for feedback from their peers, the level of engagement and enthusiasm skyrockets... especially when teams are dispersed and are working remotely and virtually. To build on that, most surveys that we receive post sales training show that the sellers want more opportunities to share with and learn from their peers.

If sellers love collaboration and learning from each other, shouldn't sales leaders be running their teams to foster these dynamics?

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Top 10 Account Planning Mistakes to Avoid

By Masami Middleton

In B2B sales, driving revenue from existing accounts is far easier than landing net new customers. With so much opportunity available, why do mature sales organizations still “wing it” with their Account Planning process?

According to CEB/Gartner research, only 28% of sales leaders believe their account management channels meet their cross-selling and account growth targets. Thoughtful, intentional account plans provide real strategic insight and actionable game plans for account teams to meet growth targets. For sales managers, account plans provide an excellent foundation for consistent coaching conversations, insight into forecasts, and an overall way of staying engaged with customer activity.

Account Planning is the process of determining the best way to grow and add value to existing accounts. While many organizations engage in both Account Planning and Territory Planning (systematically determining how to optimize impact over a portfolio of accounts), the purpose of this post is to explore the deep dive Account Planning process to dissect one account at a time.

If your team is currently digging into Account Planning (or about to), here are 10 common mistakes to avoid.

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4 Lessons After 6 Months and 100+ Hours of Virtual Sales Training

By Erica Abt

Like many of you, our Symmetrics Group team spent the majority of 2020 getting smarter about the functionality of tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and WebEx, so that we can more effectively work with our clients in the virtual world.

On the various platforms we studied things like: How to manage chat questions and live chat conversations, launch polling questions, build surveys, and manage virtual break-out rooms for group exercises. Our objective was learning how to best imitate an effective in-person training experience.

Though our team has worked virtually for years, we still faced a learning curve to make sure the virtual training experience felt easy and seamless to participants.

After several months of delivering 100+ hours of only virtual training and workshops to clients across a variety of industries, our Symmetrics Group team regrouped to reflect on what we had learned and where we had opportunities to improve. We arrived at four key lessons.

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Creating a Customer for Life in Volatile Times

By Rachel Cavallo

What if TODAY, during this crazy pandemic, is the day that you create a customer for life?

If you’ve sold to small or mid-sized businesses, you’ve inevitably run into THAT customer who isn’t going to buy from you no matter how low you drop your price or how superior your offering is.  This customer is fully dedicated to one supplier because that company helped his business in a fundamental way – either by helping him get his start, or saving him from a fate that threatened his business.  He has relentless loyalty and implicit trust in this supplier.

What if TODAY is the day you create this kind of loyalty with customers? Not just “right now” loyalty, but enduring loyalty that your customers will talk about 5 or 10 years from now? The kind of loyalty that gets you out of the price game and into the value game?

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Sales Leaders: Assess Skills Gaps Now to Avoid Pipeline Issues Later

By Hope Eyre

We suspected this would happen, and then we got confirmation from the Sales Ops team at our largest client.

“Some of our best sellers have become some of our worst,” they said.

The client was describing a subset of sellers who had historically been star performers based on the strength of their relationships; especially those who had relied heavily on face-to-face socializing.

“It’s the ones who never had to lean into any technology, because they were successful without it,” the lament continued. Pipelines already under stress were absolutely going to be affected.

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4 R’s of Building Trust and Customer Relationships in a Virtual Environment

By Rachel Cavallo

What if today’s unprecedented circumstances could actually help us to build stronger relationships with our customers? What if today, when faced with insurmountable barriers like quarantine and social distancing, we could actually get to know our customers better and be the type of sellers we always say that we want to be – the type of sellers who genuinely care about our customers’ success, who empathize with their challenges, and who bring vital information that is insightful and highly relevant to the situation our customers face today? But how?

The general presumption among sellers has long been that if you really want to develop relationships, you have to get face-to-face. While we find that many sellers interact with their customers over email, text, and phone, they really rely on those face-to-face moments in the office or over lunch to build strong relationships. But maybe today, when we take away the “easy” part, we’re actually left with what really matters… it’s not the lunch or the warm smile and firm handshake (Yikes! Where’s the sanitizer? Will we ever do that again?), it’s the trust and the value that really matter… that’s what builds and sustains a firm foundation.  We can build solid relationships remotely… in fact, we might even be able to do it better – we just have to adjust our approach.

The fundamentals don’t change. We believe there are 4 key components – We call them the 4 R’s: Be Relevant, Be Real, Be Relatable, and Be Reliable.

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Why Using Behavioral Assessments to Hire Sellers Requires Caution

By Hope Eyre

I drive too fast. This according to approximately 11 police officers and my boss, who recently banned me from renting cars and made taking Uber a condition of my continued employment. (In Dallas on business, I dutifully delivered him to DFW in a Dodge Challenger with a Hemi engine and evidently he had issues with his passenger experience.)

So what can we predict about my behavior the next time I’m behind the wheel? That depends on a number of factors, some of them random. I’ll get to how this relates to hiring sellers in a minute.

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Break Through the Proverbial Brick Wall of Sales with Transformative Thinking

By Joni Santos

Picture this – You’ve been nurturing a deal for quite some time – much longer than the average deal, as a matter of fact. It seems that no matter what you say or what you do, you can’t make headway with this new prospect.

Every meeting you schedule is moved or cancelled. Every email you send goes unanswered or is met with a combative response. Every recommendation you make adds fuel to the rapidly spreading fire of negativity and ultimately ends with a resounding, “NO!”  

You’ve hit the proverbial brick wall of sales. It’s almost as if you and your prospect are speaking different languages.

The problem may be that you really are speaking different languages. Sure, your spoken language is the same, but what about your brain language? Let me explain…

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