April 24, 2015 12:00 AM
According to research by SirusDecisions, less than one out of 10 B2B companies report good alignment between sales and marketing organizations. If you don’t think this hurts your business, think again. The lack of integration of sales intelligence with sales and marketing systems causes the biggest gap between top sales performers and under-achievers.
April 20, 2015 05:52 AM
What's the best way to reach my prospects? How do I get past the gatekeeper? How many touches do I need before talking with someone? What do I do when the prospect’s assistant wants to put me into voicemail?
Sales leaders are constantly bombarded with these questions, because getting meetings with target prospects is the #1 business development challenge for most sales reps. Some sales managers say to keep calling. Others tell their teams to send emails or to connect with prospects on LinkedIn. The latest advice is retro: snail mail.
April 17, 2015 12:00 AM
With customer context that shows what a customer already knows and their level of engagement, sales reps can be that first responder. They can reach out to the right prospects at their precise moment of interest. They can get maximum insight into a customer’s pain points, which, in turn, enables them to engage more successfully with prospects by leveraging an ‘insight-selling’ approach.
The result? Sales reps can close more deals – faster – and more cost effectively.
April 13, 2015 12:00 AM
We live in a time of unprecedented connectivity. Take for instance our readily available access to the Internet, as granted to us by our smartphones and tablets. The steady but sudden proliferation of these devices has made for one of the greater technological advancements in our lifetime, and the impression left has been indelible. Eighty percent of adults now own smartphones, with nine out of 10 preferring to keep those devices beside them at all times.
April 6, 2015 12:00 AM
Fueled partly by this industry’s continuing obsession with the 1992 movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” the myth of the hotshot sales pro retains much of its power today. Who doesn’t want to be the Al Pacino figure, closing with a wink and a smile as the Jack Lemmons of this world look on in envy? Like all the best myths, there’s a grain of truth to it. Charisma, natural talent, and determination will carry you and your team a long way.
April 3, 2015 12:00 AM
Few of the salespeople on your team aim for mediocrity. Most dream of reaching the top of our field. But top performers do much more than dream. They develop a series of realistic goals that propel them from where they are now to where they want to be. Next, they continue raising the bar, setting increasingly ambitious goals until they achieve their ultimate vision of success. In every case, this process begins with a realistic self-assessment.
March 30, 2015 07:28 AM
Along with being a vehicle for announcing important company developments, online news releases can also be a powerful tool to help B2B companies dramatically increase incoming customer inquiries, fresh leads, and new sales opportunities. They can also energize offline sales, activate old or uninterested prospects, and stimulate the beginning stages of buyer’s journeys from new customers.
Here’s how to do it:
March 20, 2015 12:00 AM
At the same time that businesses embrace technology that allows them to connect wirelessly, sell remotely and send marketing content automatically to prospects based on expressed interests, many of them also continue to cling to the timeless tactic of trade show marketing.
March 19, 2015 10:26 AM
I have always tried to avoid writing the formulaic editor’s note that inventories the content of the issue and tells readers how entertaining and educational it all is. But as I read through this issue’s pages before we went to press, what struck me most is how entertaining and educational the content is.
March 19, 2015 08:24 AM
Salespeople need to establish competency, but social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson says in their rush to do so, they may unwittingly be shooting themselves in the foot. The author of “No One Understands You and What to Do About It” lays out a better path to successful conversations.
March 16, 2015 06:27 AM
Shifts in the business-to-business buying process have transformed selling as we know it. In the past, salespeople had a fair amount of control. They were given a territory, a pricing structure, a margin target and a set of products and services they could offer, and then sent off into the wild blue yonder. They were responsible for managing their territory and producing results. Sales management provided oversight, facilitated requests back to corporate to ensure that orders were expedited, and generally stayed out of the way, unless additional support was needed to help underperformers.
March 13, 2015 12:00 AM
Few of the salespeople on your team aim for mediocrity. Most dream of reaching the top of their field. But top performers do much more than dream. They develop a series of realistic goals that propel them from where they are now to where they want to be. Next, they continue raising the bar, setting increasingly ambitious goals until they achieve their ultimate vision of success. In every case, this process begins with a realistic self-assessment.
March 9, 2015 12:00 AM
In just the last few years, sales enablement has been evolving from a disparate set of informal activities into a centralized, strategic corporate function — complete with dedicated resources and budgetary line-items to prove it. According to SiriusDecisions, companies are now spending more than ever to increase the effectiveness of their sales force, with sales enablement budgets doubling to more than $2.4 million in the last two years, and sales enablement technology spend increasing 69 percent over the same period.
March 6, 2015 01:00 AM
National Salesperson Day is the first Friday in March. To honor hard-working sales reps everywhere, Brainshark, Inc., a company delivering content-driven sales enablement solutions that close more deals, has gathered tips from top-performing reps on best practices that can help raise the bar for sales performance and turn “B” and “C” reps into “A” players.
March 2, 2015 06:58 AM
I think the greatest challenge we face in the learning & development (L&D) world is whether the audience we design and deliver content for actually use the learning in the field. In my experience the content is generally good, and improves year after year. Trends such as mobile technology and gamification can extend the life of a learning initiative, increasing the impact that L&D budgets have on their target audience. Even with new delivery methods for learning design, are you certain that your people are applying the content? Who knows?
February 27, 2015 01:00 AM
At a recent conference, I noticed an industry shift that is about to become a movement: Some Value-Added Resellers (VARs) are choosing to become a new breed of “consultants.” These born-in-the-cloud progenies have shifted allegiance from the vendor with the highest sales incentive program to the end-user client who is willing to pay for their unbiased expertise. This simple shift in the reseller’s role is going to change the future of channel incentives for these VARs.
February 25, 2015 01:00 AM
While it is commonly understood that physically sending an item out of the country is an export transaction, under U.S. export controls laws the actual scope of what constitutes an “export” is much broader. The effects of this broad concept of exporting upon businesses – including their sales and marketing activities – are significant.
February 23, 2015 01:00 AM
Zig Ziglar said that every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust. I’d propose a sixth: no insight.
February 20, 2015 01:00 AM
Most likely, what your boss, peers and team members expect you to do is exactly the opposite of what you need to do to be truly successful in your role. And, even more harmful, if it’s what others expect from you, it’s likely what you expect from yourself.
When you signed up for this job, you were told that you were in charge of the sales results for your company. The variables that you use to achieve those results are known as the 9 Ps of marketing.
February 16, 2015 09:06 AM
There’s a reason why 30 percent of American companies are spending upward of $10 million on apps and mobile web this year, according to the Adobe Mobile Marketing Survey. Deals aren’t going down exactly like they used to, and while an effective sales rep still needs to make interpersonal connections to win a prospect’s trust and inspire purchases and contracts, even the most gifted sales team won’t be able to reach KPIs without adopting the new way of closing deals.
February 13, 2015 01:00 AM
Every so often, in our attempt to align and find common ground with an individual, we unknowingly take over the conversation. Think of the last time you were in a discussion about a vacation destination. As the other person told you about his trip to a place that you also had visited, did you become eager to share your story too? It is okay in a social setting, but not in the world of sales.
February 9, 2015 01:00 AM
Sales teams are the lifeblood of every organization as they are tasked with acquiring market share and growing revenues and profits. Ensuring that sales teams are equipped with the right sales content and tools, at the right time and location, is critical in order to realize the highest yield out of a sales opportunity pipeline in the shortest period of time. As the use of mobile devices by sales teams continues to increase, organizations are finding that they are improving sales engagement at the point of customer/prospect conversation.
February 6, 2015 01:00 AM