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White Papers – Professional articles for sales professionals
Get a comprehensive and hands-on idea of sales topics like our Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Studies, Guides for Sales Managers, White Papers on Sales Controlling and much more.
Find below an outline of the subjects:
Download:Active Sales Controlling 277 KB
Control cost, sales time and resources by lining up your sales opportunities along a structured sales process. Use your best resources for the best opportunities which have best chances to be closed successfully. Do not use any longer resources for projects which you lose after a long sales cycle just before the deal is closed.Read a white paper which puts you into a position to establish a turn key system within your organisation and which leaves no question open.Beyond Passive Resistance: Motivating Salespeople To Adopt Change 71 KB
Beyond Passive Resistance: Motivating Salespeople To Adopt ChangeThe market constantly changes, and any agile, growthminded sales organization recognizes the necessityof changing along with it. However, no matter how innovative and effective the projected change may seem,individuals must implement it in order for the initiative to be successful.Bob Miller – Co-Founder of Miller Heiman Inc. How to Build a Top-Notch Sales Force 670 KB
In his typically precise and straight-forward manner, Bob analyzes what is necessary to build up a Top-Notch Sales Force starting from hiring the best and most suitable people, training and coaching them in the right way and avoiding common pitfalls in managing them. Read more about the attitudinal qualities he sees mandatory for a good salesman and how to develop the right profile for new candidates. Follow his advices how to keep them motivated, develop them to top performers and retain them within your organization.
The Best Practices of today’s Sales Management - Read nowChoosing and Working With Strategic Accounts 262 KB
When you work with a regular account, you provide a widget or service and get paid for doing so. The only connection between your company and the company to which you sell is that widget. So, when another company comes along that sells a widget or service for a few pennies less, the company to which you sell will probably turn around and buy the cheaper one instead, resulting in lost business for your company--which you’ll have to make up for by replacing this lost business with a new account. And, the cost of replacing an account is ten times more than keeping an existing customer.Connect With Executives 219 KB
Sales professionals admit that nearly half of all opportunities are lost as a direct result of not winning the approval of the senior decision-maker. Miller Heiman research shows that senior-level executives say that most sales professionals are ineffective at getting them to say “yes” to their proposals. Research also revealed that scrutiny involved with approving proposals has intensified while buying processes have become more complex, with decision-making responsibility moving higher in the organization to the executive level, making it more difficult to sell.Cracking the code to Winning Government Contracts 169 KB
Like most sales leaders, you’ve probably thought about pursuing lucrative federal government contracts. But if you have ever responded to a government Request For Proposal (RFP), you may have found it overwhelming in its technical detail, loaded with obscure criteria you weren’t sure you could meet, and filled with prices so low that you doubted you could break even.Create a Competitive Edge 582 KB
The value of differentiation cannot be overemphasized. A successful differentiation strategy can help you overcome price competition and sell on value. In this article, we feature tips that provide actionable advice for differentiating yourself to meet the needs and motivations of your prospects.Cross-Selling and Up-Selling 103 KB
WINNING SALES ORGANIZATIONS “SELL SMART”It can cost four times as much to sell to a new customer as an existing one. By taking advantage of existing relationships and ongoing contacts with customers, companies can sell more products and services, reduce the cost of sales, and enhance customer loyalty.Cross-Selling and Up-Selling 1.1 MB
Find Hidden Revenue by Cross-Selling and Up-SellingIt can cost four times as much to sell to a new customer compared to an existing one. By taking advantage of existing relationships and ongoing contact with customers, companies can sell more products and services, reduce the cost of sales, enhance customer loyalty, and drive revenue.In this issue are featured tips on Cross-selling and Up-selling. These articles define what cross-selling and up selling really mean; address the correct timing and key steps for successful cross-selling and up-selling; and discuss how these can help you bring dormant accounts back to life.Dealing with the Sales Talent Shortage 202 KB
The sales talent shortage: It can result in difficulties ranging from high turnover to lost revenue. It’s a reality many organizations face right now, and the problem only promises to expand in coming years. According to Bill Golder, Sales Vice President for Miller Heiman, there are three drivers for the sales talent shortage: demographics, commoditization and the specialization of sales organizations.Defining Sales Talent Management: An HR Execs’ Approach 224 KB
Freescale’s 2005 revenues totaled $5.84 billion on the back of a 900-person sales team promoting its semiconductors in an ultra-competitive market.Freescale accomplished its goals, in part, by bucking many negative sales talent management trends. While 63 percent of respondents to Miller Heiman’s Sales Performance Study report they do not have an effective process for hiring qualified sales professionals, Freescale has a proprietary model. And, while only 45 percent say they benchmark the traits of their top sales performers to help make hiring decisions, Freescale has identified 11 core competencies. What’s more, despite increasing turnover at many corporations, Freescale has not lost any of its top sales executives in the past year, giving it a clear advantage amid a dearth of qualified sales talent.Driving Your “B” Players to the “A” Team 67 KB
Top performers make a company work. It’s more than their impact to the bottom line; it’s the way they work for an organization as a whole - whether it’s by taking on a leadership role, or developing honest relationships with customers.When you have top performers, they “generate a lot of energy, enthusiasm and excitement. They help fuel a healthy culture,”says Bill Golder, sales vice president for Miller Heiman, Inc.Fast Forward: Process + Dialogue = Successful Negotiation 224 KB
When you speak with someone who isn’t aware of the way in which negotiation plays a part in the sales process, he might describe a scenario like this: Two people sit across a table from one another, eyes locked, fists balled, neither of them willing to give an inch--because each knows that, in the end, one of them will not get what he wants. Of course, that kind of “negotiation” gets you nowhere.Five Steps to Successful Sales Negotiations 149 KB
Make Each Sales Negotiation Successful.While there are a number of approaches used by salespeople, successful negotiators know the power of a collaborative approach, with gains for everyone. They know they need to see things from the other person’s perspective, to work jointly with the client to create agreements that truly satisfy the critical interests of everyone involved.Funnel Management 270 KB
Miller Heiman’s award-winning Sales Performance Tips (formerly Miller Heiman eTips) have been helping serious sales professionals around the world win business since 1998. Miller Heiman’s newest white paper series “Best of Miller Heiman Sales Performance Tips” includes carefully selected tips that address a pressing topic faced by sales professionals.HBR Reprint Changing The Way you Persuade 154 KB
Managers typically use a one-size-fits-all approach when trying to influence their bosses and colleagues. New research shows that's a mistake. Persuasion works best when it's tailored to five distinct decision-making styles.How Sales Leader Can Ensure Forecast Accuracy 265 KB
Attitudes about forecasting can differ radically from organization to organization, and even within organizations. Some perceive forecasting as nothing more than making a wild guess; others realize that buy-in to accurate forecasting is critical to the overall success of the organization. It’s not about gut feelings. It’s about science, disciplined thinking and planning.Landing Big Deals 250 KB
How lean is your funnel? Do you have the ability to focus and fine-tune your time allocation? Those are necessary skills when it comes to closing big deals: They take attention, effort and confidence-and a well-defined process and strategy to bring them in.There are certain steps you can take for more consistent success.Learn From Losing Golder 621 KB
Everyone who has ever been in sales can remember the feeling of winning their biggest deal. In business, there aren't many things like winning a big deal that can create that kind of excitement and triumph to an organization. But when it comes to the deals that got away, most individuals - and organizations - seem to have amnesia. In fact, it's amazing how quickly we all move on without another word on lost deals, as if they never existed. The irony is that these deals typically took longer and used more resources than the ones we won.Leveraging Sales Talent 466 KB
This article is based on a executive-level presentation presented by Al Rainaldi, executive vice president of Profiles International, to an audience of Miller Heiman clients during the 2005 Miller Heiman User Conference, held October 12-14 at Lake Tahoe, USA. Miller Heiman and Profiles International have partnered to develop a series of benchmarking and assessment tools designed specifically for sales organizations. These tools, when used collectively with Miller Heiman sales processes, help develop and support enterprise-wide sales systems for consistently finding, winning, and keeping profitable business.Levers for Strategic Planning 447 KB
By Sam ReesePresident and CEOWe’ve barely crossed the threshold into autumn, but it’s time to think hard about next year. Although the change of calendars is still a few months away, right now is the right time for intensive growth planning and strategizing. That way, when January rolls around, you and your sales team can hit the ground running.Of course, that’s easier said than done. Many organizations rely on inadequate, fragmented methods of preparing for a future that will be here all too soon. Often, the biggest problem is the large gap between those working up from the bottom-that is, the field team-and those working down from the top-the corporateleadership team. The field tends to forecast conservatively, worrying about actually making its numbers. Leadership, on the other hand, is usually more generous with its projections because it’s rewarded for its overall sales wins.Life Beyond the Product Pitch: Why Customers Really Buy 384 KB
Most would agree that it’s easier to win new business from a satisfied customer than it is to acquire a new client. Both present plenty of challenges, but by focusing on our client’s “concept” of what they want to fix, accomplish or avoid, we can greatly improve our win rates for new business and generate continued added value for our existing clients.Making An Impact With High-level Executives 205 KB
Miller Heiman’s award winning Sales Performance Tips (formerly Miller Heiman eTips) have been helping serious sales professionals around the world win business since 1998. Carefully selected tips are featured in Miller Heiman’s newest white paper series “Best of Miller Heiman Sales Performance Tips”. Each paper includes 3 to 5 tips that address a pressing topic faced by sales professionals.Megatrends 169 KB
No question about it: The business landscape is changing dramatically, and smart sales organizations need to change with it.Major trends—think of them as “megatrends”—in four key categories are driving that shift. Those categories are:• Demographic• Technological• Regulatory• SocialMiller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study Exec Summary 2005 368 KB
What does it take to be a successful selling organization in today’s marketplace? That’s the question recently posed to a global audience of sales professionals during Miller Heiman’s annual sales effectiveness survey, conducted in the Fall of 2004. Receiving more than 3,400 responses, Miller Heiman initiated a research effort to isolate specific challenges and opportunities facing sales organizations throughout the world. Benchmarking data against the previous year’s results, the 2005 Miller Heiman Sales Effectiveness Study is considered one of the most comprehensive, statistically valid studies of its kind.Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study Exec Summary 2006 206 KB
Why Sales Performance Research?For the past 3 years Miller Heiman has undertaken a comprehensive annual research study of sales practices, success metrics and Winning Sales Organizations (WSOs). Over this time, more than 7,000 sales professionalshave participated in the study, making it the largest continuous research project dedicated to sales performance in the world. Participants benefit by gaining access to information and insights we feature in our publications. Even more significantly, the research results support benchmarking exercises that enable companies to understand how they compare to their peers and how they can better identify areas for improvement.Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study Exec Summary 2007 267 KB
Over the past four years, Miller Heiman has been surveying sales professionals from thousands of companies around the world, collecting and analyzing data, and learning why some sales organizations consistently outperform others. The study, in which more than 13,000 have participated to date, includes sales representatives, managers and executives involved in complex, business-to-business sales. It is considered the world’s largest ongoing study of complex business-to-business practices and performance.Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study Exec Summary 2008 482 KB
Every year for the past five years, Miller Heiman has surveyed sales professionals – executives, leadersand representatives – to better understand what differentiates the most effective sales organizations.This global study contains the input of more than 17,000 participants to date and is considered the world’s largest ongoing study of complex, business-to-business selling and sales management practices.Negotiate 296 KB
At Miller Heiman, we understand that complex sales situations must be navigated by salespeople who know how to successfully handle every challenge – from overcoming objections in difficult negotiation scenarios to achieving win-win solutions that fit both parties’ interests and needs.This paper includes four articles that address the negotiating challenges faced by sales professionals.Process Excellence: Inject Science into the Art of Selling 650 KB
Standards and process permeate nearly every functional area in business, from accounting, finance and operations to IT, human resources and now, even marketing. And for good reason. Processes and standards enable management to control the controllable so they can focus attention and resources on the more difficult issues that stagnate sales and revenue and disappoint shareholders. Standard process drives predictability, consistency and efficiency, and when properly integrated across the organization, radically improves sales performance.Despite the tremendous benefits that standards and process can deliver, sales organizations have been much slower than other disciplines to move down this path. …However, the transition from “art” to “science” in sales is not easy. It requires a sound foundation, strong commitment and precise coordination for widespread cultural adoption. That’s the big challenge.The Art & Science of Big Deals: A Four-Part Strategy 565 KB
As every sales professional knows, “big deals” can determine the survival or demise of one’s career. And every sales leader knows a big deal can promise huge revenue infusions that can make or break a quarter. Further, how you pursue and manage a big deal may well determine exactly how big it gets.Big deals - your organization’s most important transactions - are not only highly valuable, but highly complex as well. Read more about a four-part strategy for managing big deals.The new normal - selling
Once upon a time there were sales organizations which were selling their products in secure and stable times. Great products were designed and manufactured and they sold off quite nicely. After a while, companies realized that designing and manufacturing great products is no longer good enough. The better sales organizations started to adopt and implement “solution-oriented sales skills”. They trained their people on how to sell full service solutions rather than products. Mediocre and sub-average sales organizations and those performing below average vanished over time. The better ones survived… for a while.