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SalesPOP! Top Contributor Spotlight: Lisa Magnuson

Lisa loves being a top contributor to SalesPOP! for a variety of reasons. “The quality of the SalesPOP! blog is very high,” she says. “I’ve been asked to be a contributor to many E-newsletters and blogs over the years, but SalesPOP! is the best by far. The target audience for SalesPOP! is very similar to my target audience.” She also appreciates our staff. “I especially appreciate Martha Levitsky and her professional and timely communications and organization. And lastly, John Golden is featured in my latest book so that’s a nice tie-in as well.”

Lisa has a fierce love of sales, and tells us why. “I absolutely love sales, sales management and executive sales leadership,” she says. “Why? I love both the art and the science aspects (which seems to be unusual) and wake up each day motivated to help my clients improve their sales approach. I give a lot of credit to Xerox and the unbelievable training and support that I benefited from during my years there.”

Top Line Accounts

In her consulting through her company, Top Line Sales LLC, Lisa’s primary focus is on Top Line Accounts–large accounts that really bring in the revenue. Her interest in this area goes back to her early days. “My interest in really big customers and prospects started early in my career,” she relates. ”Xerox had a very strong national accounts program and I worked with them in various ways over the years learning the ins and outs of account strategy, team selling and all the other aspects of whale hunting. As a consultant, it was a natural fit to build my business around this niche. Landing large accounts is transformation for companies (a game changer) for many, many reasons.”

When should a salesperson start thinking about heading to the executive level of a prospect company, as opposed to just staying with a mid-level buyer? Lisa explains. “For the long answer, I would recommend my book The TOP Seller Advantage: Powerful Strategies to Build Long-Term Executive Relationships. The short answer is that most complex sales today include the need for an executive sponsor. It’s critical to find the windows of opportunity to engage that sponsor.”

Pre-Call Planning

Lisa strongly recommends pre-call planning before making a call that could mean a big deal. She explains why this is so important. “Pre-call planning is the number one thing that sales organizations can embrace to improve close ratios. Most sellers believe that they already do pre-call planning. However, rarely do I find the discipline around pre-call planning that is necessary to move the dial. Pre-call planning should include both a tactical thought process and a strategic thought process. For example, thinking about Win Themes™ prior to an important call demonstrates a strategic thought process.”

Her Own Buying Experiences

As a sales expert, Lisa has an interesting approach to her own buying experiences. “I’ve had many amazing sales experiences as a buyer, as I put a lot of effort into setting the buying experience up for success,” she says. “For example, identifying the best providers, sharing important information up front so that they are in a good position to offer the most value and talking with several possible providers and references. On the flip side, one of the ways I help my clients is putting them in the mindset of their customer. I have an exercise that I do during my training sessions where attendees take on the role of the buyer. It gives them a 360 degree view of the sales process which is extremely effective.”

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