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Sales: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
The 7 Stages of the Sales Cycle
The seven stages of the sales cycle are represented in nearly every salesperson's sales process, regardless of what he's selling.
5 Ways to Maximize Sales Success
Every salesperson comes up with a unique approach to the sales process. These individual strategies are usually a version of one of these five basic sales approaches.
What are B2B Sales and How do They Work?
B2B is short for “business to business.” It indicates sales made to other businesses, rather than sales to individuals. The latter is referred to as “business to consumer” sales.
How to Handle Objections in Six Easy Steps
Knowing how to handle objections is a basic sales skill that all salespeople should master. Don't worry; it's not as difficult as you may think.
26 Questions That Sell
Asking your prospect a series of open-ended questions during your presentation can get your prospects to sell themselves. These examples will help you get started.
Five Rules for Selling Any Product
The basic rules of how to sell never change, regardless of what product or service you're selling. Break these sales rules at your peril.
What is a Sales Manager and Do You Want to Be...
Sales managers are responsible for keeping their sales teams producing. Managing a sales team isn't easy, but it can be extremely satisfying for the right person.
5 Sales Skills You Should Master
Anyone can learn to be a good salesperson by acquiring and honing a few basic sales skills. In fact, you'll find these skills helpful in many aspects of your life.
What Does Customer Relationship Management...
CRM, or customer relationship management, is the strategy that a company uses to keep its customers happy and loyal. A good CRM benefits both the company and its customers.
Phone Scripts That Work for Sales
A well-written phone script can help your cold calling efforts immensely. Cold calling is hard enough without being forced to ad-lib. By using a script you'll always have the right words on the tip of your tongue.
7 Ways to Write Thank-You Notes
Saying “thank you” when someone does you a favor is just good manners. It's also incredibly important in sales because the first thing you must sell is yourself.
What Is Consultative Selling?
Consultative selling describes a selling technique in which the salesperson acts as an expert consultant for his prospects.
Sample Contract for a Service Rendered
Here's a contract template that you can use to create a personalized service contract. It works well for any business that sells professional services.
How to Train Salespeople
There are two types of training that fall under the umbrella of “sales training.” The first is teaching the mechanics of sales: how to go about selling in the general sense, with an emphasis perhaps on the sales techniques that work best for your industry. The second is company-specific training: details about your products and services, the sales process that your team is expected to use, tools and resources, etc.
How to Cold Call
Cold calling: the dreaded sales technique that can make even hardened salespeople shake in their shoes. In fact, cold calling doesn't have to be an ordeal. Here's how to cheerfully turn your cold leads into warm prospects.
What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a critical part of the sales process. It's the first step in the sales cycle, so a shortage of leads will affect the entire process.
Elements of a Great Sales Plan
Have you created a sales plan for yourself yet? If so, do you revise it on a regular basis? An up-to-date sales plan is one of the best tools a salesperson can have.
What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is still the most common method salespeople use to get in touch with new potential customers.
How to Close a Sale
The most important step in the sales process is also one of the most neglected. I'm talking about the close, of course. Every salesperson should attempt to close every sale with no exceptions.
Sample Testimonial Request Letter
The customer testimonial is a powerful marketing tool. Here's a letter that you can send to new customers to request a testimonial from them.
8 Tips for Succeeding at Sales Calls
Sales is a numbers game. The more potential clients you reach, the more sales you will make. But this doesn't mean you can ignore quality in favor of quantity. Deploy a few basic strategies and you can make every sales call count!
How to Identify Qualified Leads
Not everyone on Earth is a prospect for your product or service. If you're pitching to people who truly don't need or can't buy what you have to sell, you're wasting your time. So take a few minutes to qualify your leads before launching into a full-bore sales presentation.
How to Create a Sales Campaign
Want to sell a lot of something quickly? The sales campaign is a great way to get a quick infusion of sales.
3 Types of Commissions in Sales Jobs
Not every sales team gets the same kind of compensation. Sometimes a salesperson is paid a flat salary regardless of his sales record. Other salespeople are paid only if they sell successfully.
What is Active Listening?
Active listening is a communication technique that increases understanding and rapport between speaker and listener.
5 Unique Selling Propositions and Why They Work
Some of the best slogans of the past and present include a USP (unique selling proposition). Here are the best of the best and why they work so well.
What is Business Networking?
Business Networking is a skill and a low cost method of marketing that is used to build new contacts through connecting with other like minded individuals.
What is a Quota?
Sales quotas are the goals set by each company to determine how much the sales team is expected to sell for a given period of time.
6 Tips for Better Cold Calling
The more effective your cold calling, the fewer calls you'll need to make in order to get the sales you need. Try these tips for better cold calling.
Sample Referral Request Letter
This referral request letter helps to prime the pump and (hopefully) create an ongoing source of warm leads. You can fill in the parenthesized words with your own information. Just don't neglect to kick regular thank-you notes and a few leads back to your helpful referrer!
Things NOT to Do While Cold Calling
Cold calling is a powerful prospecting tool, but it works much better if you avoid these common mistakes.
How to Interview Salespeople
When you're hiring a new salesperson, a little due diligence on your part can help you to secure a highly-skilled team member. The candidate's answers to your interview questions are important, but they're only one possible source of information.
Cold Call Openers
The first few words you utter during a cold call are by far the most important! If you have a good opening statement, you'll grip your prospect's attention and they'll actually ASK you to tell them more. If you don't, you'll get a lot of
3 Basic Closing Strategies
The most important step in the sales process is also one of the most neglected. I'm talking about the close, of course. Every salesperson should attempt to close every sale with no exceptions.
Consultative Selling Techniques
Consultative selling is a popular sales technique because it's less aggressive and more client-centric than traditional
56 Questions for Sales Candidates
Interviews are an opportunity to see how well a sales candidate can sell under pressure. Having a solid list of questions to ask is crucial.
7 Qualities of Successful Sales Managers
Do you have what it takes to be a successful sales manager? The job requires a very specific skill set and qualities that are very different from the typical salespersons'.
Get Leads Free at the Public Library
Why not save a bit of your sales budget by picking up some lead lists for free? Your local public library probably subscribes to several business directories. You can get all the information you need just by picking up a library card.
Sample Sales Process Checklists
A sales process checklist helps salespeople to conduct each step in the sales cycle at the appropriate time. It also helps sales managers to find out where the process is breaking down for troubled salespeople.
The Benefits of Benefits Statements
Benefit statements are a simple way to tap into your prospect's emotions and sway them into buying. But without the proper groundwork, they're meaningless.
Developing a Sales Training Plan
A sales training plan can help you save time and money, while providing the sales team with the skills they need to thrive.
19 Ways to Make Cold Calling Better
Want to make cold calling both more successful and more fun? Try these cold calling do's and don'ts to boost your response rates and your morale.
6 Plans a Sales Team Needs
Planning is an important part of selling well. Here are some plans every sales team needs to have in order to thrive.
Giving Sales Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are always tricky, and sales performance reviews can be some of the most difficult.
How to Increase Sales
Increasing your total number of sales starts with increasing your total number of leads. That's because, as you've probably heard several times by now, sales is a numbers game – your success is directly based on how many prospects you talk to.
How to Get Referrals
Referrals – otherwise known as getting someone to give you warm leads to new prospects – are valuable for salespeople in all industries. Yet it's incredible how few salespeople actively canvass for referrals.
How to Spot Buying Signals
Buying signals are the way prospects tell you, consciously or not, that they're interested. Do you know how to spot the most common buying signals and how to respond?
What is a Gatekeeper?
A gatekeeper is the person responsible for keeping a decision maker from being bothered by irrelevant callers.
Before You Start Prospecting for Leads
Prospecting is the first step in the sales cycle. But that doesn’t mean that the first thing you should do is grab the yellow pages and start dialing. A little pre-prospecting work will help you come up with leads that are actually compatible with your product or service.
Motivating a Sales Team
Salespeople aren't hard to motivate if you just think about what's most important to them, and most salespeople care most about the same two things.
6 Effective Sales Management Techniques
Managing salespeople is not exactly easy. Here are a few strategies you can deploy to keep your sales team producing happily.
Anatomy of a Cold Calling Script
Good cold calling scripts are built along similar lines. It's up to the salesperson to flesh out that framework with individual details about herself and her products.
How to Handle Some Common Cold Calling Objections
Prospects can be quite clever about rejecting cold callers without coming right out and saying no. Here are some ideas for coping with common stalls.
5 Steps to Implement a Sales Strategy Change
Getting a sales team on board with a new sales strategy isn't easy. Here's a five-step plan to win a true buy-in from your salespeople.
Choosing Words that Sell
People like to feel comfortable. And they usually feel comfortable around other people who are like them. So it follows that, as a salesperson who is trying to build rapport with prospects, you'll want to match your word choice to your prospects.
What is Warm Calling?
Many salespeople fear cold calling, but they feel much more enthusiastic about warm calling. A warm call is simply a call to a warm lead - someone who already has a connection to the salesperson in some way.
How to Get Sales Appointments
The #1 most common rookie salesperson mistake is trying to sell their product and close the prospect in a single cold call. When you pick up the phone and start cold calling, or walk into a neighborhood and start knocking on doors, the goal should almost always be to get an appointment with the decision maker.
Setting Short-Term Goals for Your Career
Picking out some short-term goals and planning how you'll achieve them can change your life significantly. Such goals are closer in time than your major goals and thus require less commitment to reach, yet they can be just as significant.
Sales for Small Business Owners
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Starting Your First Day in a New Sales Job
First impressions last a long time, so your first day on a new sales job is the most important one. Using these strategies will help you make the best possible impression on your new manager and fellow salespeople.
What is WIIFM?
Experienced salespeople will often joke, “Everyone's favorite radio station is WII-FM.”
17 Great Presentation Tips
Anytime you make a presentation – whether it's to a prospective customer, the local Chamber of Commerce, or your CEO – you need to plan ahead and know what you're going to do. Just having a game plan and doing a little rehearsing beforehand will make your presentation easier.
5 Skills of Great Sales Managers
Do you want to be a better sales manager? No matter how good you are, there's probably room for improvement. Try sharpening the skills on this list and you may just go from good to great.
4 Free CRM Applications
Customer relationship management - or CRM - is a necessity for salespeople, and hundreds of options exist at many levels of complexity. For the new adopter, free crm applications are a good place to start.
Track Your Sales Metrics
How many cold calls did you make last week? If you can’t answer that question with an exact number, you have a problem.
In-Person Cold Calling
Door-to-door sales usually doesn't work if you want to close a sale on the spot, but as a prospecting strategy it can be quite effective.
Easily Find Free Sales Leads Online from...
Professional business associations can be a great source of free sales leads and they can be found online. Find out how easy it is to get free sales leads from professional business associations and other industry or trade associations that are online to increase your sales and your business.
2 Strategies to Increase Sales Revenues
Success in sales comes down to one thing: selling enough to make a profit. That's going to be every salesperson's and small business owner's goal. But there are two very different strategies you can pursue to get to that point.
Cold Call Tracking Sheet
A cold call tracking sheet will help you to determine how well your calling strategy works and how many calls you need to fill your sales pipeline.
Writing the Elevator Speech
If someone asks you about your job, it's a perfect opportunity to create a sale out of thin air. A good elevator speech is a powerful sales tool for this situation.
Why You Should Join the Chamber of Commerce
Your local Chamber of Commerce is an excellent resource. How can you turn down a combination of B2B networking opportunities and free leads?
9 Communication Skills for Salespeople
Salespeople must have top-notch communication skills to survive, let alone thrive. Rate your communication skills by asking yourself these questions.
Good Sales Compensation Programs
Salespeople need good sales compensation plans to guide and motivate them. Bad sales compensation plans just motivate them to start job-hunting.
How to Write a Thank-You Note
Thank-you notes aren't just for friends and distant family members. Business thank-you notes can help you accomplish some amazing things.
Powerful Qualifying Questions
Know how to qualify prospects, and you'll save yourself a lot of time later in the sales cycle. These questions can help you turn leads into prospects.
Emotional Selling
Just about everybody buys based on emotion and then uses reason to justify the decision. Even professional buyers aren't immune to emotional selling.
What is Direct Selling?
Direct selling refers to sales that occur through independent sales representatives, usually not from a store but from the customer's own location.
Sample Voicemail Scripts
Do you have a hard time getting called back by prospects? These voicemail scripts for different occasions may help increase your call back ratio.
The Four Pillars of Sales
Salespeople need certain kinds of support to thrive. Just handing a salesperson a phone and a list of leads isn't enough.
What is a Lead?
Salespeople and marketing types both toss the word 'lead' around a lot, but they don't always agree on what it means.
When to Use Closing Techniques
Closing techniques are hotly debated between salespeople. Some prefer to close heavily throughout the sales process, while others insist that sales techniques are a crutch for weak salespeople.
Types of Sales Pitches
Sales pitches are not one-size-fits-all. The right type of pitch will vary depending on your circumstances.
6 Strategies for Productive Sales Meetings
Sales meetings are not a salesperson's favorite part of the job. And many sales managers also consider sales meetings a necessary evil. Yet a well-planned and conducted sales meeting can have an amazingly positive effect on the sales team.
7 Traits of Star Salespeople
What sets the top-tier salespeople apart from the rest? Star salespeople tend to share a few traits that help them to accomplish far more than the average salesperson can.
8 Tips for Hiring Salespeople
Hiring a salesperson who isn't going to succeed is a waste of your time and theirs. Every manager will make a hiring mistake sooner or later, but by paying close attention during each stage of the process you can minimize these mistakes.
How to Become a Professional Salesperson
Are you a professional salesperson or just a salesperson? Professionals in any field meet a certain standard for behavior and ability.
3 Ways to Build Rapport
Prospects won't buy from you unless they trust you enough to think that you're telling the truth about your product – namely, that the product will benefit them. Building rapport enables you to develop that level of trust between you and your prospects.
Close the Sale – Intermediate Closing...
Once you've mastered the basic art of closing a sale, it's time to review some intermediate-level strategies. These closes aren't necessarily more difficult than the basic closing strategies, but they tend to be more complex.
Close the Sale – Advanced Closing...
These closes are a bit trickier to apply than the basic or intermediate closes. They require more setup time or a willingness to push the prospect a little harder. But when used wisely, they can seal the deal with prospects who otherwise wouldn't buy from you.
4 Classic and Effective Sales Techniques
Sales has borrowed heavily from social psychology to develop a few old but useful sales techniques. Do you ever use these approaches in your sales strategy?
Telling a Sales Story
Telling a story is a time-honored way to sell. Here's a format that will help you to write a story that sells in just a few minutes.
What is a Complex Sale?
The complex sale is one that includes a complex buying team - meaning that the salesperson must influence more than one decision maker. The more expensive your product is, the more complex sales you'll face.
Providing Great Customer Service
If you want to retain your customers – and encourage them to refer more customers to you – you'll need to give them a reason to do so. And excellent customer service is a pretty good reason.
7 Business Uses for a Smartphone
Cell phones in general are extremely useful for salespeople, who often spend a lot of time on the road and value being able to stay in touch. Smartphones take this convenience a step further by enabling you to have access to a wide range of useful tools and information.
Creating Your LinkedIn Profile
Your profile is often the first thing any LinkedIn visitor sees from you. If you don't want it to be the last thing they decide to see, you'll need to do it right.
6 Great Referral Sources
Existing customers aren't the only people who can send you referrals. Try looking around a little and other referral sources will leap out at you.
Increase Your Sales Team's Productivity
As a sales manager, it's your job to keep your team producing. In fact, status quo isn't enough... most sales managers need their sales teams to do ever better, in order to keep their own bosses happy.
Business Gift Etiquette
Knowing the fine points of business gift etiquette can help you choose gifts that will be received in the spirit you intended.
Closing Cold Calls
You probably know all about closing sales, but how good are you about closing cold calls? It's just as important to close your cold calls because prospects aren't likely to ask YOU for an appointment.
7 Ways to Motivate Yourself
The best salespeople get the job done without relying on other people to nudge them along. If you want to be a great salesperson, you've got to learn how to motivate yourself.
What is AIDA?
AIDA is a very old sales and marketing process, but it can still be effective today.
Understanding The Product Creates Sales Success
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Nearly all sales
Types of Objections
Objections are a basic and necessary part of the sales process, but they come in a variety of flavors. It's wise to get to know them all.
4 Powerful Sales Questions
Asking questions and really listening to the answers is the strongest tool in any salesperson's kit. But some questions are more useful than others.
4 Ideas for Sales Management Success
Are you having a hard time getting your sales team to perform up to requirements? Salespeople are notoriously hard to manage, so you may need to reach into a different box of tricks in order to motivate them.
Alternatives to Cold Calling
Hate cold calling? You do have other options to generate those leads. You may not be able to completely stop cold calling, but you can at least reduce your phone time substantially.
4 Common Sales Management Obstacles
Many executives fail to understand the nature of a sales manager's role. Without meaning to, they place roadblocks that make the sales management job much tougher than it needs to be.
How to Sell in 30 Minutes or Less
Your first meeting with a prospect will likely be short. A new prospect won't give up much time when he doesn't know if you have anything to offer.
Before You Become a Sales Manager
Is sales manager the career choice for you? Your potential challenges vary depending on whether you're now a salesperson or a manager in another field.
How to Add Value to Your Sales
Value-added selling is a powerful sales approach when used correctly. Here are some ways to add value to your sales.
What is a Whale?
In sales terminology, a whale is a prospect at least 10 times larger than your average sale. With B2B sales a whale prospect is often a company that's far larger than your own.
What is Opt-In?
What is opt-in? It's a method used by marketers and salespeople to ensure that they're not spamming prospects.
5 Common Prospecting Errors
Getting enough good leads to fuel your pipeline is crucial to sales success. Yet there are common prospecting errors that can hold salespeople back from finding the prospects they need.
What is a Unique Selling Proposition or USP?
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a quality that makes your product or company different and unique.
7 Voicemail Message Tips
Hate leaving voicemail? These tips can help you leave voicemail messages that will have leads actually returning your call.
Develop Your Own Cold Call Opener
The cold call opener is probably the most important part of your cold call. The opener determines whether a prospect will listen to what you have to say, or simply hang up.
5 Ways to Improve Your Sales Skills
Like all professionals, salespeople must keep learning and honing their skills. Your company might help, but in the final analysis you and you alone are responsible for your sales training.
Developing a Sales Strategy
If you've never developed your own sales strategy, now's a good time to start. A good sales strategy allows you to target your selling and waste less time and energy.
What Is Qualifying?
Qualifying your leads is an important part of the sales process. It enables you to weed out non-prospects before you go to the trouble of pitching to them.
Are You a Candidate For a Pharmaceutical Sales...
Pharmaceutical sales – aka pharma sales – is the business of selling drugs and pharmaceutical supplies to doctors and hospitals. The pharmaceutical industry is huge and growing ever larger, so there's an endlessly growing need for more pharmaceutical sales reps.
Selling by Listening
Salespeople who listen more than they speak can be far more successful than talkative colleagues, because prospects tell you how to sell to them.
Tying Sales Compensation to Sales Quotas
Getting your sales team to meet or even exceed their sales quotas can be as simple as setting up the proper reward structure.
How to Pitch to the CEO
If you've managed to nail down a sales appointment with a CEO or other C-suite executive, you need to be ready to put in some extra effort. CEOs are looking for some very specific results from a sales meeting.
How to Break Out of a Bad Sales Slump
A great strategy to get you out of your worst sales slumps.
Prospecting That Gets Results
Sales prospecting is the first step in selling. All the closing skills in the world won't help you if you can't set up enough appointments.
Where to Find Qualified Prospects
The more qualified prospects you find, the more sales you can close. Having a lot of leads is not enough - they have to be GOOD leads.
Before You Make Your First Sale
If you're considering a career in sales, or if you've recently started your first sales job, you need to make a few preparations in order to keep your transition as smooth as possible.
How to Ask the Right Questions
Most salespeople understand the need to ask questions, but do they ask the right ones? Good sales questions meet certain criteria.
6 Tips for Managing a Virtual Sales Team
A good virtual sales team is full of happy salespeople who make a lot of money for their company. A bad virtual sales team is a disaster both for the salespeople and the manager who's responsible for them.
5 Creative Ways to Find Leads
Do you run out of leads before you run out of month? Try these creative ways to find leads and keep your pipeline humming.
What is Mirroring?
Mirroring is a rapport-building technique that can be quite helpful in a sales situation - if you don't overdo it.
How to Keep Confidence Up When Sales Are Down
Your state of mind has a major effect on your success in sales (or lack of it). Developing an emotional bond of sorts with your prospects is a huge part of selling. If you're feeling anxious or you're convinced you're going to fail, prospects will notice it no matter how hard you try to fake an upbeat mood.
Book Review: Loveworks
Loveworks is an expansion of the theory that Kevin Roberts first proposed in his 2004 book Lovemarks. It backs up the basic theory with research findings and case studies.
How to Prep for a Sales Job Interview
You want to get a sales job (or get a better sales job). So you've been submitting applications and have finally gotten to the interview stage. Congratulations! Now the prep work begins.
Selling Tip: Learn the "Box-Step" Sales...
A great selling tip for anyone selling primarily in a retail environment. If you ever have a customer that you've spent a lot of time with and just can't tell whether they are ready to buy or not, then check out this simple sales technique that you can quickly use to take your customer's temperature -- it works over ninety percent of the time to help close a sale!
How to Do Less Cold Calling
Do you hate cold calling? You may not be able to quit entirely, but it's possible to cut back on cold calling while keeping your sales high.
Basic Business Networking Tips
If you build it, they will come. A good business network can get you sales from people you'd never be able to reach on your own.
Controlling Your Sales Cycle
Every sale goes through the same seven-stage cycle, from prospecting all the way through to asking for referrals from the new customer. But the length of this cycle can vary greatly depending on the product or service you're selling.
Curing Cold Call Anxiety
If you dread making cold calls, you're suffering from the highly common syndrome of cold call anxiety. Don't worry, your condition is absolutely curable if you follow this treatment plan!
Build a Winning Sales Presentation
A sales presentation that's all about you and your company is boring - but one that focuses on your prospect is far more enticing.
Calculating Your Sales Activities
Keeping track of your sales activities can be tedious, but the results are worth it - a steady pipeline of sales and a commissions check you can count on each month.
Overcoming Your Fear of Selling
A brand new salesperson or small business owner often struggles with an emotional reaction to the sales process. It's not an easy job at first because it requires a fairly assertive process to succeed.
7 Tips for New Salespeople
If you've recently started your first sales job, congratulations! Here are some tips for settling down into an exciting and profitable career.
How Email Can Expedite the Sales Process
Email can be a more powerful mode of communication than a phone call, especially if you run into a hitch during the sales process.
Preparing for Cold Calls
Preparing for cold calls only takes an extra few minutes, and it will get you much better results over time.
How to Create a Sales Forecast
Do you know how to create a reasonably accurate forecast for your sales? If not, you're subjecting yourself to needless worry and uncertainty. Knowing how to forecast your sales helps you to predict what sales activities you need to pursue now.
LinkedIn for Salespeople
A recent article in the Richmond Times Dispatch ponders the best practices salespeople should deploy when using LinkedIn. Lapp refers to social media as a
Closing with Confidence
Closing the sale can be an anxious moment. Once you've mastered the necessary tools, though, closing becomes much easier and much more pleasant.
7 Benefits of a Good CRM
CRM programs have been around for a long time, but many sales teams have been slow to adopt them. Maybe it's time to consider a few of the benefits.
Looking Like You Mean Business
Selling yourself is the first step towards selling your product, so projecting the right image is a critical part of sales. How you look, sound and act affects how other people respond to you. If you want prospects to buy from you, you need to look the part.

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