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Visit the New and Improved Sales Cafe

We’ve moved! The Sales Cafe has a new WordPress site:

www.thesalescafe.com

Please click on the link above to continue to get the same smart and informative posts about the world of sales.

The Sales Cafe
A Place to Get Smarter about Sales

Today’s Special – Friday, April 1, 2011

A list of sales and marketing linksNo foolishness at The Sales Cafe today. We’ve got far too much reality to spend time creating silly pranks. A little too crankypants for you? Just working through our email offered enough hijinks for one day, even if it’s only one day a year. If you enjoy tomfoolery, the New York Times’ David Pogue serves up the best of the Web for the day.

©TOONrefugee.com

Here in The Sales Cafe, well, we’ve got a lot of work to do, like getting the new and improved site launched (really, that’s not a joke) and providing you with a short list of hot links (no jokes included):

1. Transform Your Salesforce from Inside-Out to Outside-In. Does your company operate Inside-Out or Outside-In? Do you even know what that means? Well, here’s a white paper from ELA Consulting Group that has all, well, many of, the answers.

2. Why Sales is Still Missing from Social CRM. Selling Outside-In requires a lot of communication with your customers. Makes sense that social media would be a great way for sales people to connect with current clients and prospects, right? Not yet, it seems. This article spells out why.

3. Why modern sales practices are illogical. Sales expert Sharon Drew Morgen gets right to the heart of the matter in this blog post:  If our sales practices achieve a less than 10% close rate, why are we still doing them? Morgen’s Buying Facilitation ™ offers a better solution.

That’s it for now. We are really hard at work creating a new site, with lots of features and interesting content. We’ll ask you to visit there soon.

 

 

Today’s Special – Spring, Surveys and Sales

It’s finally Spring! We don’t know about you, but here at The Sales Cafe, we are mighty excited and a bit relieved to hear the birds singing again. Not sure what to do with the moss from all the rain, but that comes with the territory.

There will be no moss growing when the new, improved Sales Cafe launches. We are behind the scenes getting the place ready to open. In the meantime, we thought we’d get the specials out for today — a mishmash of sales information including a Webinar, a survey of information and a survey to t to get your week in gear:

1. 10-minute Guide to Annual Reports Webinar. Here’s a show that we don’t want to miss. One of the most valuable tools in a salesperson’s box is the Annual Report. It always includes an income statement and critical information on trends, performance, objectives and goals for the coming year – all information a savvy salesperson can use to gain insight into budget allocation and decision-making priorities of key prospects and customers.

2. OneAccord SMB Business Survey Results. Things are looking up, according to consultant group, OneAccord. Fifty-five percent of the SMB leaders they surveyed are optimistic about their business strategy in 2011; 79% expect higher revenue growth.

3. Take the CSO Insights Survey. Take out your (virtual) No. 2 pencils! Finally, here’s a chance to participate in one of the industry’s most valued research:  the CSO Insights’ 2011 Sales Management Optimization survey. As a “Thank You” for your time, the folks there will send you a copy of a 100+ page study analysis when it is published in April.

Today’s Special – It’s a Sales 2.0 World

Here at the Sales Cafe, we have been obsessed for a whole week now. We can’t stop talking up both the notion and promise of Sales 2.0 we experienced at the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. Not sure just what Sales 2.0 is? Well, that’s been the hot topic over lattes here and we’d like to help out. Here are a few links culled from our time spent at the conference and researching:

Sales 2.0 Conference 1. 8 Impressions and Practical Tips on Sales 2.0. Direct from the conference, here is a fine wrap up of the buzz from the two-day forum. One of the most provocative statements came early Day 1 from conference host and emcee, Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and CEO of Selling Power, when he proclaimed: “Of the 18 million salespeople in 2011 in the USA, less than 3 million will be needed for these jobs in 2020.”

2. Sales 2.0 Technology. Okay, so there is not one single link we can post here to show a round up of the technology developing as a result of Sales 2.0. (If you know of one, please post it in the comments below.) Many would say that it starts with cloud-based, SaaS hero Salesforce.com. Others will tout the multiple CRM vendors who were (Oracle On Demand) and were not there. What’s a bit mind numbing is the tiny pieces of the overall puzzle:  data providers (Hoovers, OneSource, Jigsaw), presentation technology (Brainshark) and deal collaboration management software (Magnet), to name just a few.

3. Provocation-based Selling: proving pain does not close a sale. Speaking of provocative statements, our hero, Sharon Drew Morgen, takes on the ultimate business guru (and her very own hero), Geoffrey Moore, in a blog post that questions the “conventional hype that buyers must discover their pain in order to be ready to buy.” Essential reading and thought provoking for Sales 2.0 mavens.

And, finally, our other obsession is following the coverage, both online and onTV of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It could happen anywhere, really. The Sales Cafe offers a moment of silence for the people of Japan. Disaster has truly struck in the Pacific.

Today’s Specials – Sales 2.0 – Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We’re singing “Happy Birthday” in The Sales Cafe today! (But certainly not the version written by the famous Hill Sisters.) It’s the birthday of many famous (and infamous) people today and we’re always looking for a reason for a party and a piece of cake around here.

Amidst all the mayhem, we are looking to get some work accomplished. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. In addition to the birthdays, we’re worried about Steve Jobs–Apple will live on, but who’s thinking about Steve and his health?

And what about you? Who’s thinking about you? You might be surprised…

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

1. Google Yourself. That’s right, do it now. Type your name in the Google (or Yahoo! or Bing) search box and see what happens. Let’s hope you see only happy surprises.

2. What the heck is Sales 2.0 & Why should I care? Leave it to the Hubspot folks to get the guy who coined the term “Sales 2.0” to guest write a blog post about it that has some background and depth–instead of just the typical “it’s good for you, do it or hire me to do it for you” posts we so often find on the Web. (So, yes, you can hire Hubspot, but the piece also validates our brainchild “A Marketer in a Sales World.” We’re saving that for another day.)

3. 3 Qualities a Sales Rep MUST HAVE. Do you have what it takes, well, according to Geoffrey James, the sales guru over at BNET? To us, those are the three qualities just about anyone should aspire to have, no matter what their job title is.

Today’s Specials – Make a (Sales) Difference – January 6, 2011

The Sales Cafe is open again, for a new year and new ideas. We wanted to take advantage of the break and scour the Internet for the best links about sales to share with you, but ended up watching the first season of Psych while munching on homemade chocolate peppermint bark most of the time instead. (Thanks @mommommom!)

So we’re back and really ready to go. Our goal is to make 2011 the smartest year yet. And we don’t mean just looking smart, we mean acting smart. We want to make smart decisions in order to change outcomes. Today’s Specials focus on getting in the right frame of mind for making a difference in 2011, for yourself and others, by doing things like making one smartly placed sales call or changing your organization’s culture (which are just two of the topics we plan to cover in the weeks ahead).

1. Forget New Year Resolutions – Set Goals. First things first. We couldn’t agree more with Jeb Blount, sales guru and host of several sales blogs, including Quick and Dirty Tips, who offers smart advice for sales people to make that difference this year. Does that mean we can ditch our no-caffeine resolve and strive for the goal of making a great pot of coffee?

2. No dgrunts, no gomos. Next, we’d like to revisit the wisdom of the folks (well, the guy–Sam Parker) at Just Sell. We like their attitude of moving with a smile (smovers) and banning gomos (people who just go through the motions of working and living) and dgrunts (people who are disgruntled). It’s another inspiration for the year ahead.

3. To Hell With Resolutions! What’s on Your “Stop Doing” List? We love this take on goals for the year. What’s on our “Stop Doing” list? We like the one about always saying Yes and never getting it all done.

Please take a moment to tell us one of your goals (or “stop doings”). And, whatever you decide to do or not do, we look forward to the specials in the joy-filled and prosperous year ahead for all!

Today’s Specials – Focus – Monday, December 20, 2010

Today at The Sales Cafe, we are at a total loss–a loss of focus. Time is winding down for this whole holiday season and we’ve been feeling it. No amount of coffee seems to help or put us back on track. In fact, there is very little track to ride as so many people are either starting their vacations or winding down, watching the best ads of 2010 instead of updating contacts and events of the past quarter on SalesForcedotcom.

Today’s Specials focus on, well, Focus. Focus, people. If not today, then save this list for January 3, 2011.

1. Focus: A new book on simplicity in the age of distractions. Excellent ebook/course on focus. It’s as simple as that. Choose a free version or pay for the premium version. Now, if we weren’t so distracted, we would finish reading it.

2. Focus.com. This is a community and network of world class business and technology experts. Ask a question, get the answer in eight focus areas, such as sales, marketing, information technology, finance, customer service or HR. It may add to your procrastination options, but you’ll be smarter in the end.

3. How to Focus. When all else fails, go back to the basics and what you learned in school. That’s right, this link was written for students, but we are all students of life and if that’s what it takes to focus on work, so be it.

Finally, today’s holiday video is viral in the truest sense. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it and share it with friends. That’s the meaning of viral.

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