American Association of Inside Sales Professionals quarterly meeting — lessons from the pros!

At the 4th quarter Silicon Valley Chapter Meeting of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, Skip Miller, Author and Sales Trainer, reminded a roomful of 50+ Inside Sales Leaders & Sales Professionals some basic truths about selling.

1) Most participants had a tendency to ask “what are you looking for in a solution” and those kinds of questions. Skip says, “what caused you to look into our solution?”. SIMPLE tweak, enormous implications. He also pointed out that in 2008, the difference between the #1 golfer in the world and #150 (< 2 strokes/game). The difference in pay: MILLIONS.

2) There are two buying cycles in a typical sale — the user buying process and economic buying process. Typically, a user buyer presentation follows the traditional format of “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them”. The economic buyer wants to be validated! ASK THEM, TELL THEM, ASK THEM. Meaning–in a 30 minute call, ask questions for 15 minutes, when you’ve asked the right questions, TELL THEM, “yes, we can do that”, and then ask them how to move forward.

Koka Sexton, Social Marketing at Inside View also presented some game changing ideas about leveraging social media in sales campaigns. He challenged some of the traditional thinking that marketing should be using social media to sell and shared concepts/strategies that sales professionals are using on a daily basis. He went so far as to say that if you are not using these tactics, your competition is and likely you will be passed by. Think about the time when email first came out more than a decade ago–were you resistant to change? Think about the “LEAD SOURCE” in your CRM for deals you close. What % are Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, or other social networking sites? What percentage will it be 1 year from now, 2 years from now, or 5 years from now?

Fundamental sales methodologies haven’t changed dramatically in a hundred years. However, technology, access of information, and web 2.0 selling has changed the landscape. The trick for the top 10% of sales people is to keep up with the new technologies and leverage them better than the competition, and better than other sales professionals.

Are you currently a top 10%’er? What are you doing to insure that you are in the next few years to stay at the top! Check out http://www.aa-isp.org to learn more about the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals. National meeting to be held at San Francisco Hyatt in Burlingame February 10, 2011.

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