September 30, 2013 11:00 PM
“Breaking Bad,” the popular cable TV show about a high school chemistry teacher turned meth king, completes its run this fall. Given the fact that books were written about the leadership lessons of fictional mob boss Tony Soprano at the height of that show’s popularity, it’s no surprise that similar analyses are popping up about what can be learned from Walter White, the meth magnate played by Bryan Cranston.
September 30, 2013 04:18 AM
The old adage, “people love to buy, but hate to be sold” is rephrased from the seller side to “salespeople love to win, but hate to lose.” Sales management might say “I want to help salespeople win, but win the right business.” The key is the hot pursuit of a win can backfire if salespeople are going after deals that aren’t profitable.
So how can salespeople, sales managers and organizations increase win rates and reduce no-decision rates?
The short answer: discipline.
September 30, 2013 11:00 PM
“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip take us,” wrote John Steinbeck. I thought of this sentiment while putting together this issue’s cover story on incentive travel.
It’s encouraging that this timeless mode of rewarding top performers has rebounded slightly after being felled by the double whammy of an economic collapse in 2007-2008 and an all-out hammering in the media.
September 26, 2013 11:00 PM
In “Outliers,” a fascinating look at what separates high achievers from the rest of us, author Malcolm Gladwell cites a study that suggests it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to develop expert-level performance.
Who’s got 10,000 hours to spare?
September 23, 2013 11:00 PM
Marketing a business online has never been more important or difficult. Changes are happening at the speed of light and chief marketing officers need to stay current with the latest trends.
Here are some facts from a survey of 3,000 marketers done by Michael A. Stelzner in the May 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report sponsored by the Social Media Examiner:
September 22, 2013 11:00 PM
Profitable growth is the top goal of every company. What will a marketer say if you ask, “What is the most important contribution you make to driving profitable growth?” What if you ask a salesperson the exact same question about marketing’s role? Will the answers be the same?
Nope. But, you probably already guessed that. A recent survey conducted by Sales & Marketing Management magazine sheds new light on the specific gaps and agreements between the two teams.
September 15, 2013 11:00 PM
Whose brand are your clients in a long-term relationship with, your firm’s or your salesperson's? This is a question that many enterprise sales organizations face and, at times, struggle with. Why the struggle? Unfortunately there is no clear-cut answer. If your enterprise relies on relationship marketing – that is, you emphasize retention and upselling over the purely transactional in your communications – you need to mesh the enterprise brand and the sales professional’s personal brand.
September 12, 2013 11:00 PM
September 10, 2013 02:18 PM
September 8, 2013 11:00 PM
I frequently ask sales managers, “How often do you coach your sales reps?” And the response that I most often receive is, “I talk to my reps all the time.” Well of course you do. You talk to your reps all of the time, but is that the same as coaching them?
September 5, 2013 11:00 PM
How are you differentiating your company during bids for large, long-term contracts against highly qualified providers? The stakes are raised when all bidders are capable of providing a high-level of service, ongoing support, and competitive pricing.
September 2, 2013 11:00 PM
Having been involved in the sales of digital goods in some form or fashion for the better part of two decades, it’s easy to see technology-enabled shifts are culminating in fundamental changes in how marketers engage and increasingly drive sales. Cloud-based delivery, Web- and mobile-based interaction, marketing automation (starting to live up to the promise of what we used to call one-to-one marketing back in the 90s), and the broad adoption of subscription and other fractional ownership models are definitely the most documented of these shifts.
August 29, 2013 11:00 PM
Too often the practice of public relations, particularly in the B2B world, is limited to news releases and trade events aimed at promoting specific products or services. Yet it can also be a powerful tool for achieving larger branding objectives, while affording employees the opportunity to become recognized as experts in their industry.
August 25, 2013 11:00 PM
We’ve all had it happen to us, and it’s one of the most frustrating experiences in business.
You met with your prospective client, and it was an exciting and productive meeting. You established good rapport, you listened well and learned their major issues, you talked about your unique value propositions, and you felt confident that this sale would move forward to signature. You followed up with a thank-you note, and you proceeded to the next step in your sales process.
August 15, 2013 11:00 PM
You have a great new CRM system. It provides solutions to all – or most – of the challenges that your sales team is currently working through.
So why aren’t they using it?
Selling your sales team on a new CRM system might be one of the hardest sales you have to make. Sales teams can be stubborn in their ways and slow to accept change. But chances are your problem isn’t really with the sales team. The problem is with how you’re selling them.
Look Beyond the Sales Team
August 13, 2013 11:00 PM
It’s nearly September and I’m already talking about next year’s sales goals. But we all know that very soon we will all be working on next year’s budgets and thus next year’s sales goals.
August 11, 2013 11:00 PM
Here’s some advice that you don’t hear many sales managers share with their teams: Stop wasting your time following up.
David Newman, founder of Do It! Marketing and author of the new book by the same name, says it’s advice that should be given more often. He has grown tired of hearing statements such as, “Nobody ever buys on the first, second or third appointment,” or “Most sales are made after the eighth contact, but most salespeople stop after the third contact.”
August 8, 2013 11:00 PM
News that Verizon, Google and other companies turned over detailed user information to the government has heightened the debate over the pros and cons of Big Data.
August 4, 2013 11:00 PM
Did you know that the majority of buyers believe they are at least 60 percent done with their buying process before they seek out a salesperson? At least, that’s according to a slew of recent research from top-tier industry analysts. But beware — if you buy into these results, you could be misled regarding the messaging and training support that marketing and others need to provide salespeople.
July 31, 2013 11:00 PM
Authors and leadership consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman (zfco.com) gathered data from nearly 50,000 leaders and discovered that the ability to inspire creates the highest levels of employee engagement and commitment.
July 29, 2013 11:00 PM
What did you learn today?
We’re asked that question constantly when we’re kids, but for whatever reason it’s not posed as much in adulthood.
Consultant Kevin Eikenberry says regardless of your title or standing in your organization, you should continue to ask yourself the question — and hopefully have a strong answer. He offers these tips for fostering ongoing learning and professional development:
July 28, 2013 11:00 PM
When ESR seeks to understand why our clients’ sales organizations aren’t performing to expectations, we see the same inhibitors again and again:
• Unqualified people in sales and sales management positions
• No demand creation and/or generation process
• An absence of tools, value messages, competitive information and playbooks
July 25, 2013 11:00 PM
Three out of four companies formally recognize employees, but too many fail to tap into the focus that employees put on their jobs. Instead, they reward people for tenure or arbitrary achievements (employee of the month), or their recognition efforts are limited to particular groups like sales.
July 21, 2013 11:00 PM
If you’re engaged in the sales process, then you’d better be using effective negotiation strategies for every qualified lead – from discovery until the final agreement. If you wait until it’s time to close the deal, you may fall way short of your goals and your chances of building a long-term client relationship will quickly fade away.