October 27, 2014 07:57 AM
As an increasing percentage of consumer and business-to-business purchasing decisions and sales transactions are made on ecommerce platforms, it’s understandable that company leaders might wonder, “Do salespeople still matter?” After all, these days, customers can go online to view product photos or service demonstrations. They can access price lists and delivery and scheduling options. Do they still need to talk to a salesperson?
October 24, 2014 07:57 AM
In life, subtle conscious and unconscious decisions often have a profound impact. In business, one such decision is accepting “no” too quickly when in reality it’s the wrong decision for both parties. “No” can have multiple meanings from “No, not today” or “No, I am not sure” to “No, I am not the decision maker.”
October 23, 2014 05:56 AM
As we stare down the end of 2014, does this story sound familiar?
Going into the fourth quarter, a division of a large company had the chance to meet annual sales of $300M for the first time. In December, the SVP of sales told everyone to do “whatever was necessary” to achieve that number. They succeeded. At the kickoff meeting the entire sales staff received plaques with $308,000,000 proudly displayed.
October 20, 2014 12:00 AM
The big thing in many marketing departments is to create personas — fictional characters that embody all the traits of your prospects. These personas have names, demographic and psychographic attributes, plus a detailed look at their key performance indicators.
October 16, 2014 12:00 AM
The traditional model of lifetime employment, so well-suited to periods of relative stability, is too rigid for today’s networked age, Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn and two co-authors state in “The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age” (Harvard Business Review Press).
They promote a new employment framework — an alliance based on how they can add value to each other. “Employers need to tell their employees, ‘Help make our company more valuable and we’ll make you more valuable.’ ”
October 15, 2014 09:04 AM
As people who believe selling can and should be an honorable profession, it is discouraging to realize that the perceptions of salespeople haven’t improved much over the last 50 years. Perhaps this explains why recent changes in the selling landscape are in response to new buying behaviors. This presents a challenge to sales organizations. Those that can better align with these new buying approaches will enjoy a sustainable, competitive advantage.
October 14, 2014 12:00 AM
In his new book “Summit: Reach Your Peak and Elevate Your Customers’ Experience,” F. Scott Addis, an experienced business executive and recent Inc.“Entrepreneur of the Year” finalist, ties business success to elevating the customer experience. He offers these recommendations and key differentiators:
October 13, 2014 08:00 AM
No matter the product, service or industry, mission or corporate philosophy, nearly every business is bottom line-driven. And, there is no shortage of ingenuity as to how companies try to glean more profit out of existing processes. Every so often, a new technology emerges that radically changes the productivity landscape and industry’s related profitability potential in kind. Some notable advancements, of course, have included the assembly line, telephone, fax machine and the Internet.
October 10, 2014 12:00 AM
Strategies to improve salesforce effectiveness have historically come from two sources: consultancies and internal analytics groups doing manual analysis. The approach to optimizing salesforce effectiveness is now undergoing a paradigm shift, as innovative organizations internalize a rigorous and consistent process for using advanced data analytics. To effectively leverage advanced analytics, organizations need to have three kinds of tools:
October 9, 2014 12:00 AM
Most companies make a critical mistake when classifying accounts by considering those that currently spend the most money as their best clients. In her new book “Nonstop Sales Boom: Powerful Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After Year” (AMACOM), sales consultant Colleen Francis emphasizes that not only are all accounts not created equal, the ones currently spending the most money are not necessarily your best.
October 8, 2014 12:00 AM
Investing in a global marketing strategy can be a major undertaking, both in terms of actual costs (localization of campaign assets) and productivity costs (employee time), but the return on investment can be exponential when it comes to opportunities for increased revenue and market share. However, getting globalization right is critical, because now more than ever, global marketers are on the frontlines of revenue growth and need to consider the impact on sales their campaigns generate.
October 7, 2014 12:00 AM
With all of the talk these days about the “customer experience,” and the voice of the customer (VOC), there is little doubt who holds the upper-hand in the sales equation. According to a survey of more than 1,450 executives at B2B companies worldwide by business consultancy Accenture, 85 percent of executives say the customer experience is important to their companies’ strategic priorities; 88 percent indicate they are investing more in this area year over year.
October 6, 2014 12:00 AM
With more mobile devices than humans in the world and over a billion people participating in social networks, today’s customers are more connected and networked than ever before. They’re also more knowledgeable and better informed.
October 3, 2014 12:00 AM
When trying to communicate a complex product story articulating your differentiation is key, but oftentimes it’s just not enough. Here are five steps that help your company tell their product story loud and clear.
October 1, 2014 12:00 AM
Let’s face it, millennials get a bad rap. In the past, we’ve been quick to dismiss this generation as lazy, narcissistic and self-concerned. But smart businesses know there’s two sides to every story, especially when it comes to building a 21st century sales organization.
September 28, 2014 12:00 AM
September 26, 2014 12:00 AM
Although sales and marketing are often working toward a common goal (increased sales), in many organizations they are not necessarily partnering together to achieve these results. On one hand marketing is working hard to define the company’s core messaging and increase demand generation, while on the other hand sales is striving to close deals. Though these initiatives are well intentioned, they are not always as effective as they could be. So, how can companies get the results they are looking for?
September 25, 2014 12:00 AM
“Camaraderie” is a word that gets tossed around in business environments a lot. Managers want to build it; employees generally cringe at managers’ attempts to build it. Camaraderie happens naturally and never as quickly as some would like.
September 22, 2014 07:12 AM
Business markets today move at lightning speed, and companies are looking to experts to help them leverage new video technology to make them more competitive – not just in their own markets, but also in attracting and retaining valuable employees. A recent study conducted by Ragan Communications found that 71 percent of companies are currently producing videos to communicate with employees; nearly two-thirds of those plan to increase their use in the coming year.
September 19, 2014 12:00 AM
How often have you planned on having 30 minutes or so for a first meeting with a prospect, only to find that the time is cut short? Maybe they got busy. Maybe something came up. Maybe the truth is that they don’t recall agreeing to a meeting in the first place, or have forgotten why they wanted to talk to you.
Here are some tips to help you salvage the opportunity:
September 15, 2014 12:00 AM
“We need to grow the business.”
Sounds simple, right? Kind of like when a sports coach says “We have to win this game.” And yet, how do you keep scoring points – both in business and on the field? The power of perspective gives you the strength to grow and to win.
What is this elusive, but all-important concept of perspective?
September 12, 2014 12:00 AM
A bad hire is not only bad for business, it can also be very costly. International talent management experts estimate the average cost of a poor hiring decision to be equal to 30 percent or more of that hire’s first year’s probable earnings – that could result in costs upward of $50,000 for replacing a senior executive. Factor in productivity loss and lost opportunities, morale implications, turnover and recruiting costs and the price tag starts to skyrocket.
September 10, 2014 06:04 AM
When it comes to marketing initiatives, getting the biggest “bang for the buck” is essential. Accordingly, defining and analyzing the success of everything from tradeshow participation to social media campaigns are critical. At the same time some marketers wonder at what point did return on investment (ROI) become the holy grail of measuring success? Other business expenditures such as rent, additional administrative support staff, office supplies and workplace facelifts have no impact on productivity or revenue, yet they don’t face the same scrutiny.
September 8, 2014 06:01 AM
The sales world can be a lot like dieting and working out. Sales, like dieting and working out, takes dedication, commitment, discipline and knowing when you are off track. If you have tried every diet and none has worked, it’s not the diet – it’s the dieter. Similarly, I tell my clients if you have tried every sales strategy and none has worked, it’s not the strategy, it is the person implementing the strategy. It’s time for a new approach, one that you can stay committed to and that will produce results.
September 5, 2014 08:01 AM
Conventional wisdom says you can’t go wrong hiring the sales veteran with the heftiest Rolodex and a record of gold-plated sales deals. But if you’re a small, growing company, measuring candidates by their contacts, years in the trenches or multimillion-dollar contracts is a ticket to failure. The well will soon run dry, and you may be stuck with an overpriced sales professional who doesn’t sell your company’s solutions consistently.