Archive for April, 2010

Journeymen, Mavericks & Superstars: Understanding Salespeople at Startups

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment
Today, someone shared with me an article on the different types of sales people and when to recruit which type of sales person. I enjoyed reading this article. Hope you enjoy the same as well. 
Also, where do you think you and your key sales people fall-in ?
Do let me know. 

Categories: sales, Startups Tags:

Are you an “18 second manager” ?

Today, I listened to an interesting video on listening skills by Tom Peters.

Hope you enjoy listening to this and learn from the video !!!

Are you an 18 second Manager ?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

How easy is it to do business with you?

April 5, 2010 2 comments
Today I visited a private bank in Bangalore. There was a person who wanted to open a savings account with the bank and deposit some money. The bank manager went on to inform him that the bank can open a savings account and accept his deposit only if an existing customer of the bank recommends.
Here is someone who walks up to your office offering business and the manager almost refuses the business or is willing to do business on conditions.
I think this is what happens to a lot of other organizations as well. As the organization gets more process driven, the processes can stifle your growth and it can become difficult for your customers to do business with you.
I think it is now time for us to stop and take stock of the situation and ask questions like:
·         Do we make it easier for our customers to work with us or the other way around?
·         Do we make customers wait in queues to do business with us?
·         Do we make them fill-out form after form?
·         Do we make it difficult for the customer to reach the right person within our organization?
·         Do we have multiple people talking to a customer, each talking about a different product/service?
·         How easy it is for our customers to understand the contract?
·         Can they understand the language of the contract themselves or do they need lawyers for this?
·         How long is the contract negotiation process?
·         How do we treat our customers once they sign the contract?
·         How easy is it to start using the product/service that we have sold to them?
·         Does the customer already know whom to contact in case something did not work?
·         How easy/difficult is it for the customer to receive invoice and release the payments?
·         How easy is it for customers who want to give repeat business with us?
·         How easy is it for customers to refer new vendors/customers/partners to us?
·         Do we reward customers who spread the word about us and bring in new business for us?
·         How difficult is it for customers to find the product that they want in your store (online or offline)?
I can go on and on with the list of questions, but the crux of the matter is this:
“Make it easier for your customers to do business with you
This can improve your customer satisfaction and will result in customers who would love to do business with you at every available opportunity and will also refer new customers for you.

They could be the best sales team that you could ever hire. 

Categories: customer service

Sales Compensations


An effective sales team is always highly motivated. Most important way of motivating your sales team is through their compensation plan.
This is also one of the most important aspects of the sales strategy that can have a big impact on the morale of your sales team and also to the sales they clock-in.
We need to consider different aspects before deciding on the compensation plans.
·         Competitive landscape and the compensation offered by competitors
·         Position of your product on the product lifecycle on the BCG matrix
·         Profitability of your product
·         Sales cycle time for your product
·         Complexity of the sale involved
·         Is your product/service a commodity or is it customized solution
·         Is it a one-off decision for your customers to buy your product or are they looking for a long term relationship
·         How critical is your product/service for your customers
·         Does your team sells products or solves customer problems
A good compensation plan needs to consider most of these aspects. These can also help you decide how often (frequency of payment – monthly, quarterly or annual) should you incentivize your team.
Components of the compensation plan:
Ideally a compensation plan should include the following components:
  1. Fixed pay:
  2. Variable pay (paid monthly, quarterly or annually)
  3. Training budget
Training budget is an important aspect which a lot of organizations forget to include as part of the total compensation package. Understanding the training requirements for your sales team and helping them improve their skills via thoughtful training will go a long way in keeping the sales team motivated and committed to the organization.
Having an optimal compensation plan is key to have a successful, happy, motivated sales team.