May 22, 2015 12:00 AM
70 percent of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, according to Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProf’s latest B2B Content Marketing report. With the use of custom content on the rise, many have predicted that in 2015, brands will begin to truly think like publishers. That means producing content that stands on its own merits – content that can attract and maintain an audience.
May 20, 2015 06:12 AM
Take personalization to a higher octave. When the Bellas realized their standard renditions of all-female classics weren’t making the cut, they found the key to their comeback was to switch up their repertoire and personalize their performance for the crowd. Taking a note from the Bellas’ success, effective marketing campaigns require personalization and knowing your audience.
May 18, 2015 12:00 AM
The benefit of eliminating the trivial many from your work schedule is that it leaves room for the most important tasks. For sales, few things are more critical to long-term success than getting out into the field and learning about your customers’ businesses. Greg McKeown offers an example in his book, "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less," from the non-sales world that exemplifies how frontline reconnaissance can pay off by providing new perspectives.
May 15, 2015 06:03 AM
As the founder and CEO of Recruiter.com, an online platform that helps companies hire great employees and candidates find jobs that they love, I’m tasked with evaluating and implementing the right tools for my team. Recently I decided to kick my CRM to the curb in the hopes of finding one that better suited my company’s specific needs. I started my search and quickly realized there are quite literally hundreds of CRM tools out there. It quickly became overwhelming deciding which would best meet my needs.
May 12, 2015 12:00 AM
In a business’s life cycle, everything from attracting and retaining customers to meeting and beating prices can get in the way of long-term success. But a recent survey by the Corporation for Enterprise Development throws another factor into the mix that affects vendors in a big way: cash flow.
May 11, 2015 12:00 AM
I’m sorry to say – but most sales and marketing leaders on LinkedIn do not have a strategy. They have a shopping list of tactics that need to be completed. But, there’s no cohesive strategy.
May 6, 2015 03:55 PM
Ken Schmidt participated in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history. The longtime motorcycle enthusiast’s association with Harley-Davidson Motor Company began in 1985, when he was asked to work with the then-struggling manufacturer to help restore the company’s image and create demand for its motorcycles.
May 4, 2015 06:41 AM
If you have ever received a sales call during dinner, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve had a bad experience with selling. Unfortunately, the same negative reaction you experienced while eating green beans with your family is now commonplace – at all times of day – in the current selling environment. In most business models, the sales department is fixated on selling. The problem with this approach is that people no longer want to be sold. They want to be educated on how a product or service will benefit them.
May 1, 2015 12:00 AM
Despite the increasing buzz around inbound marketing, smart sales and marketing professionals know they cannot get by on just inbound methods alone. As the attention has shifted to inbound marketing, outbound marketing has faded to the background. That isn’t to say that outbound marketing is dead, but outbound tactics from the last century are not enough today.
May 1, 2015 12:00 AM
In the lobby of my son’s residence hall at the University of Nebraska, similar to residence halls at a number of major colleges around the U.S., students are greeted each morning by stacks of newspapers that are free for the taking: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY and the Omaha and Lincoln dailies.
April 29, 2015 08:04 AM
In Part I of this article, we discussed how every company wants a more effective sales force, but few know where to start. Sales leaders often try the “throw it up and see what sticks” approach of launching a half-dozen or more initiatives simultaneously, hoping one of them is the real root of the problem.
April 27, 2015 12:00 AM
Every company wants a more effective sales force but few know where to start. Seeking quick results but unsure as to what is broken, sales leaders often launch a dozen or more initiatives simultaneously, hoping one of them is the real root of the problem.
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.