University of New Hampshire’s New Sales Minor Employs Leading Technology from Selleration to Develop Student’s Selling Skills

Group of students using laptops and other devices in classroom.

New York, NY: Selleration, a leader in sales readiness solutions and the developer behind the UPtick™ platform, a sales simulator platform that aids in on-boarding, identifies skill gaps, and predicts sales effectiveness, is expanding their technology-based Sales Training at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), in support of its new Sales Minor. Part of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics curriculum, sales simulations will be included in two introductory Sales classes, the Business of Sales and Foundations of Personal Selling, both focusing on personal selling skills.

This is the first semester the University is offering a Sales Minor, an exciting addition in view of research indicating 50% of all business school graduates entering the workforce identify professional selling as their starting career*. Linked In data reveals over 25% of UNH graduates, and over 35% of Peter T. Paul College graduates are employed in Sales and Business Development, propelling the school forward to address these career needs. Of over 4800 colleges and universities in the US, less than 4% currently host recognized sales programs.

The UPtick™ platform’s sales simulations add experiential element to intro classes

“UPtick offers a safe platform for students to experiment while being introduced to the basic concepts of consultative selling”, said James McIlroy, Director of the UNH Sales Center and a lecturer of Marketing at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. “Right now we are using it with both our Business and non-Business UNH students taking introductory courses. Gamification of simulated role play is an effective way to encourage learning and improvement through feedback and iterative exercises.”

The US Department of Labor reports that in 2017 there were 14.4 million employed in Sales or related occupations. There were another 360,000 to 1.5M sales Managers. U.S. News and World Reports list a median income of $57,140 for Sales Reps in their Best Jobs 2018 rankings, with Sales Managers earning a median of $117,960 with only 2.8% unemployment rate. These numbers promise a bright future for UNH Sales Minor graduates.

The UPtick™ platform made by Selleration is used by leading companies to develop consultative sales skills in a safe environment, paving the way for greater sales success. It is the only system that offers scalable, automated role plays, uniquely combining assessment with training to find and address gaps in sales skills, producing a higher functioning sales force. Headquartered in New York City, more information can be found at selleration.com.

*Florida State University Executive Sales Institute Executive Summary from “Research Shows that Sales Center Education makes a Substantial Difference after Graduation in Student Performance”.

Contacts
Janice Roberts at Roberts Marketing Group at 510.251.8655 or
janice@roberrsmarketinggroup.com

Trash Talking Your Competitor? Why That Could Be Killing Your Sale

While running through your product’s features, it is only natural that your potential customer will have objections. They might ask whether you have a competitor and how your product or service compares. Regardless of how experienced you are, it’s super easy to fall into the trash talking trap. After all, your marketing team has made certain you not only understand the details of your own offering, but also the limitations of those offered by your competitors.

For those of you who are fairly new to the profession, don’t fall into the trap! Trash talking can be as much of a CLE (Career Limiting Event) as too many cocktails at the company holiday party. Why?

Speaking Negatively About Your Competitor Moves Your Customer to a Negative Mindset

As you are working to build rapport and establish yourself as a trusted advisor to your potential customer, the last thing you want to do is go from helpful to hurtful. By focusing on all the positive ways your product can be their solution, you are helping them visualize a fruitful partnership that will also benefit your customer’s position within their company. They aren’t just buying your product, they are also buying you. Business is always personal.

If you are trash talking someone else’s company and/or offering, your customer could assume that this behavior is your modus operandi and that you speak about everything in a gossipy manner. Additionally, if you’re talking about a solution that your prospect already has invested in, you run the risk of insulting your prospect’s procurement IQ.

Criticizing Other Products Puts You In the Position of Defending Your Product

By throwing out negative aspects of a rival product, you may actually be inviting criticism that’s directed at your offering – and creating sales objections that could limit you from closing a sale. It’s very likely you know the competitive landscape better than your customer.

For instance, if you have a groundbreaking offering that forges a whole new direction and you point out that no competitor’s offering works the way yours does, the customer will likely question if your approach is really necessary at all.

Also, when you start bringing up product and services issues and limitations they haven’t considered, you could be undermining their confidence in selecting any offering – including yours. Which will send your deal back to the early consideration phase, rather than closer to a close.

Blowback Can Unnecessarily Create Negative Social Capital Within Your Industry.

In these times of short employment stints and unexpected mergers, your social capital is essential to your long-term sales success. If a potential customer shares your trash talk with a competitor, that competitor may develop a negative perception of you and might assume you are not to be trusted.

Today’s competitor could be tomorrow’s customer, co-worker, maybe even the unthinkable – your boss. Jobs may not last, but relationships do. Starting relationships on a positive note can help you not only close your current deal, but deals for years to come.

Need help developing new positive strategies for overcoming objections? Maybe it is time to have your selling effectiveness analyzed by Selleration’s UPtick system and get free strategies to help you close more sales!

 

 

3 Essential Sales Technology Tools for Managing a Remote Sales Team

It used to be that all a sales manager had to do to manage and coach a rep was to swing by their cube, listen to them make a few sales calls, and take them to lunch. Times have changed.

In 2017 43% of workers spent at least part of their time working remotely which can present a sales management challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of sales technology tools which can make life easier for everyone in a sales organization.

Slack

There’s a reason the internet had an absolute meltdown when Slack was down for a few hours earlier this year. It’s instant messaging and file sharing combined. When a team works remotely, the tough things to maintain are: communication and camaraderie. Slack makes it easy to do both.

Not every question or thought deserves an email. Slack allows team members to chat without having to become Facebook friends, mix business and personal via texting, or relying on Skype. It also centralizes all work-related conversations and is searchable. Plus, it has security features like 2-factor authentication by default and is controlled by a single company administrator.

UPtick™ Sales Management Platform

One of the toughest things to do remotely is know the strengths and weaknesses of a rep. When your team is bi-coastal you can’t exactly swing by a rep’s cube for some one-on-one time. The UPtick™ Sales Management Platform gives you an in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses of every rep on your team, and offers personalized virtual coaching and sales training.

So you can not only set sales goals, but you can set goals for sales improvement based on each of your reps individual needs. Reps enter challenging virtual selling environments, and pitch virtual customers. Reps and their managers get to see their  Selling Intelligence™ score – an at-a-glance rating of their overall selling ability similar to an IQ score – and track it over time.

The software hasn’t got much of a learning curve, and can help sales managers discover hidden abilities and deficits in their sales team – even if the team is scattered all over the world.

Asana

While project management tools like Basecamp and others have been around for quite some time, many of them duplicate functionality in (and are as pricey as) Salesforce.  Asana is designed for all those tasks essential to keeping a remote sales organization working smoothly- that aren’t pipeline related.

It’s essentially a way for managers to keep tabs on tasks without pestering reps. With it reps can not only create their own to-do lists, they can collaboratively manage tasks with people near and far.

What tools do you use to help manage your remote sales team and keep communication flowing? Let us know in the comments!

 

Is It Time to Throw Your Onboarding Process Overboard?

Staffing decisions are THE most important decisions sales managers make. As every sales manager knows, a few bad hires can drag down your team’s overall sales performance, morale and affect their reputation as a manager to higher ups in the company. If your onboarding process isn’t working, take this  very valuable lesson from HR departments at tech companies: test first, interview later.

Don’t Settle for Less Than Competency

We have all been in meetings discussing a new hire and heard a decision maker say, “I just have a good feeling about him.”, or “I know she isn’t the most qualified, but I just really like her.” Those works have probably even come out of your mouth. While it’s important to have a good rapport with colleagues, friendships aren’t a factor in reaching quota. So what do other industries do to make smarter hires?

HR departments within tech companies and technical staffing organizations use “talent competency models” to measure potential hires. These models measure the applicants skillset and weigh it against the requirements of the open position. The goal of this approach to hiring is to never settle for less than competent employees.

By removing all the gut feelings and approaching hiring from a more analytical perspective, it takes the emotion out of the equation and makes it easy to never settle for less than competency.

Talent competency models are used heavily for jobs that require technical expertise, like engineering. But, hiring salespeople is hard, right? It’s soft skills that can’t be measured! Sales reps just need to be outgoing, and friendly people – right?!?! Wrong. Imagine if a tech company hired that way.

If You Think Selling Competency Can’t Be Measured, You’re Wrong.

Sales effectiveness and selling skills CAN be measured, and there are tools available for companies to easily create their own talent competency models based on profiles of their top performing sales reps. Creating your own sales talent competency model not only makes it easier to hire people, it could save you from the headache of choosing a bad hire from the deluge of resumes in your inbox.

More than 50% of applicants for a typical job fail to meet the basic qualifications for that job (Wall Street Journal)

The UPtick™ sales management platform is the sales technology tool you need to develop your own sales talent competency model. Here’s how it works: prospective hires enter sales simulations and demonstrate their selling skills (or lack thereof) inside a simulated sales environment. Their performance generates a Selling Intelligence™ score across core sales skills areas. Sales management can then measure their score against that of top performers within the company.

Instead of making hires based on gut instinct, or performance within a sales team which may be quite different than the company’s, sales management can make an informed hiring decision. Test it out for yourself and discover your Selling Intelligence™ score:

 

How to Avoid Hiring Your Next Fire (Hint: Google Does It This Way)…

Recently I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking to heads of sales and sales development about the needs of their organizations. Eventually the topic turns to their hiring practices. In most cases they describe a very rigorous process with having multiple people in their organization conduct interviews, checking references, and verifying W-2s. Many say they only hire experienced salespeople with more than 10 years in the industry.

Continue reading “How to Avoid Hiring Your Next Fire (Hint: Google Does It This Way)…”