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Sales Plans vs. Sales Forecasts

In previous posts I’ve touched on some very general points about sales plans, and I’d like to start with the basics here. What’s the difference between a sales plan and forecast (or is there one)?
The answer is a resounding yes. A sales plan and a forecast are absolutely separate documents and both are critical to success.

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Why Do We Do What We Do?

I had a client meeting recently that got me thinking about why we do what we do.
Assuming you are in a for-profit business, one of the reasons is already clear. But why did you choose to do what you’re doing as opposed to something else to achieve the same financial goals?

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Know What You’re Selling…

Regardless of the product or service you are offering, that is not what your customer is buying…. Knowing what you’re selling is a critical factor in maximizing your sales effectiveness….

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The Importance of “Trust” in Business

Trust – yep, that wins over anything else.
It’s interesting how sometimes just talking about what you do can lead to insights. I had coffee earlier this week with someone I met at a networking event – he was interested in knowing more about Chicago Sales Strategies, and more specifically – Value Based Sales. Read more about our conversation – and the importance of trust in business- here:

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Strategic Sales Plans

Sales is not like any other department in an organization, and their incentive plan cannot simply be lumped into an overall HR budget. Their incentive plan is directly linked to the business plan.
In many ways, salespeople are some of the simplest creatures in the world – show them how to make money and get out of their way. The problem is, it is critical to ensure that you as a business owner are incentivizing the correct behaviors. Let’s look at a few scenarios:

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Value Based Sales Part #2

Yes, I consider Value Based Sales (VBS) so critical to a company’s success that I’m writing about it yet again- and indeed, I plan on revisiting it occasionally. I suggest that VBS will not only improve your close rate, increase your margins and revenues, but also increase customer satisfaction!
Doesn’t that sound great? Make more money and increase customer satisfaction? You’re probably asking yourself: “how is that possible? My customers want the best offering out there for the lowest price possible!” While that may be true, nobody wants to just throw money away. Most customers will spend more if the value is there. Let’s dig deeper:

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Sales Organizations – What is the Best Structure?

Sales Organizations – What is the Best Structure?
While the scope of your business will play a large factor in determining your optimal structure, there is one critical mistake many business leaders make (both large and small). The sales organization must be a part of the sales plan, which is in-turn linked to your business plan. This forces you to look at the existing organization when making any changes to either your business or sales plan.
Let’s look at some of the considerations that should go into determining your best structure.

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Independent Representatives

Let’s talk about working with Independent Representatives.

Human nature says that salespeople are going to sell whatever is easiest to make them money – this goes double for independent reps! If they’re not selling your product, it’s because on the “time – sales continuum” you are not competitive versus their other options. Read on to learn about some of the reasons this can happen.

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Sales Plans

Sales plans – where do they go wrong? There are typically two “misses” to most sales plans right off the bat: aligning the sales plan with the business plan, and addressable market. Check out the full blog post for more information, and feel free to contact us to discuss this more in detail. You can contact Rick directly at +1 (847) 648-6018.

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Sales Channels in Action

As I mentioned in the previous post, while I have some personal preferences in channel strategies, I put them aside when I am working with a client – I want to ensure I truly provide the best channel for their specific business needs. In the case of this company, the VP of sales strongly dislikes the Rep model. He much prefers the Direct model (and I agree that there are some good reasons for this). However in this case, it is the absolutely wrong strategy – here’s why.

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“Choose Growth’s outside sales expertise has been a great compliment to our inside sales focused business.”
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highly recommended
“I have recommended Choose Growth to many clients and their feedback has been stellar. Rick (Choose Growth’s CEO) is a talented business coach that brings effective problem solving, tactical execution and strategic thinking to all engagements!”
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“Choose Growth helped us through a very difficult transition. Not only did we survive but came out stronger on the other side.”
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instrumental in our transformation
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“With Choose Growth’s Value-Based Sales and technical sales training, we have been able to expand our share of training spent with key clients.”
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wicked smart sales
“I have known and worked with Rick (Choose Growth’s CEO) professionally for several years. Rick is a passionate, talented and wicked smart sales strategist and business growth expert.”
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delivers profitable results.
“Rick (Choose Growth’s CEO) brings a global perspective to all his clients and has an uncanny ability to solve very complex sales and marketing issues adroitly and develop a strategic business model that delivers profitable results.”
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