September 1, 2014 12:00 AM
When Sales & Marketing Managementmagazine and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Foundation initiated a comprehensive survey on the use of incentive travel, they knew that some of the most illuminating information would come from non-users of this motivational tool. The research provided valuable insights into why 55 percent of the 278 respondents stated they do not use incentive travel.
August 27, 2014 12:00 AM
When sales leaders seek growth, many turn first to new avenues – new customers, new geographies, new products and other untapped sources of revenue. However, there often is considerable growth potential in the existing customer base. Current customers have already shown they need your product or service and want to buy from you. Significant growth can come from getting them to buy more of what you sell.
August 22, 2014 12:00 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, and nearly two-thirds of companies plan to increase their use of video in the coming year.
August 18, 2014 07:18 AM
“If a salesperson tells me something won’t work with customers, there’s a 95% chance that they’re right.
If a salesperson tells me something will work with customers, there’s a 50% chance that they’re right.”
It is not unusual for independent research to uncover that many, if not all, “differentiators” salespeople have been stressing don’t resonate with prospects.
Here’s an example:
August 13, 2014 12:00 AM
It’s a far too common scenario: You build the capability of your marketing department by hiring agency support but then find yourself buckling under the weight of managing the agency. Rather than focusing on strategy, leading and promoting your department, you begin spending considerable time ensuring the agency gets what it needs to succeed.
August 11, 2014 12:00 AM
While it is all well and good – even honorable, really – to associate selling success with being a trusted advisor, what does it take to earn that status with customers in today’s buying environment? Research by CSO Insights, the Aberdeen Group, and others has shown that just telling salespeople to be trusted advisors has not worked: win rates have fallen, no-decision rates have grown. Customer behaviors seem to be saying that they don’t trust salespeople’s intent, and don’t see them as a credible advisor.
August 6, 2014 12:00 AM
Not long ago, I was conducting a leadership conference with a number of managers and sales executives. At the meeting, one of the managers shared with the group the following story about one of his tenured salespeople. During a typical field day, they were doing “rounds” to catch up with some of their existing customers, as well as trying to connect with some potential customers that they were unable to get time with to discuss their products.
August 4, 2014 12:00 AM
The Picture Superiority Effect says concepts are much more likely to be remembered if they are presented as pictures rather than as words. In fact, research has discovered that visuals are recalled six times better than words alone. But what kind of visual support works best? Is there a superior picture approach that maximizes the Picture Superiority Effect?
August 1, 2014 12:00 AM
When the term “innovation” is used, it is often mixed up with “invention.” While an invention is typically linked to research and development, the term “innovation” is about marketing and sales. It goes back to Joseph Schumpeter in the 1930s. He distinguished innovation from invention: The core of an innovation is the commercial use of an invention. Hence, adding the “commercial” to innovation may sound like a tautology. However, it underlines that it is about new ways of bringing existing products and services to the market.
July 30, 2014 12:00 AM
In today’s rapidly changing and exceedingly competitive business environment, it is imperative to continually uncover new and innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve and, most importantly, not get left behind. To outperform the competition, breakthrough thinking is mission critical – the kind of out-of-the-box ideation that expands horizons and provokes epiphanies. It is about the kind of thinking that can take a company from good to great, or from failing to wildly successful.
July 28, 2014 05:15 AM
It’s a far too common scenario: You build the capability of your marketing department by hiring agency support, but then find yourself buckling under the weight of managing the agency. Rather than focusing on strategy, leading and promoting your department, you begin spending considerable time ensuring the agency gets what it needs to succeed.
July 26, 2014 12:00 AM
We are often asked, “What are the biggest changes in the sales arena over the last several years?” The answer is simple: the rise of Procurement, which, in many organizations, has moved into a much more powerful and visible role.
July 25, 2014 12:00 AM
Energy efficiency, as a driver in commercial architecture and construction, isn’t going away any time soon. Green construction and LEED Certification for commercial property are becoming more and more standard as energy costs rise and owners emphasize environmental responsibility as a marketable feature of their brands.
Finding customers for energy-efficient windows for high-rise buildings is easy in the more environmentally conscious construction arena. But marketing, selling and making money on these opportunities is where it gets tougher.
July 23, 2014 12:00 AM
SnapRetail, a marketing automation solution provider for independent store owners, struggled with what many companies face – a sales and marketing disconnect. While marketing was producing a lot of high-quality content to support sales conversations, sales had no way of easily knowing what content was at their disposal to use for lead nurturing and educating prospective buyers.
July 23, 2014 12:00 AM
Creating high-quality content in one language is challenging enough, but today, many businesses need to create content in multiple languages in order to reach their global customers online. How can you ensure the best possible translation quality, so that your company appears favorably in search results to customers all over the world?
Here are some important tips for boosting your global SEO by working with professional human translation providers:
July 21, 2014 12:00 AM
It’s not always easy to reach a consensus with your team. It can be even more difficult if everyone is trying to agree on a decision using information laid out in an Excel spreadsheet, with line after line of numbers failing to fully illustrate the pros and cons of a decision.
July 18, 2014 05:44 AM
The US Army trains its best fighting brigades by pitting them in war games against an elite unit called OPFOR (stands for “opposing force). The brigades-in-training get every advantage: better intelligence, better technology, more manpower. Yet OPFOR almost always wins. Why? Because OPFOR systematically employs a powerful learning tool: the After Action Review – or AAR.
It’s the same with sales. The best way to get better at your craft is to conduct consistent and thorough debriefs of your action.
July 16, 2014 12:00 AM
Sales numbers are down and you’re starting to sweat. As a sales manager, you must act quickly to turn things around when you first see the numbers dip. You need to diagnose the problems and make changes immediately so your team doesn’t fall short of the sales goal for the quarter or year.
To help managers get to the root of their sales troubles, I’ve identified 12 common problems that can lead to a sales slump. By pivoting quickly and making a few key changes to your team and its process, you’ll see a boost to your sales.
July 14, 2014 12:00 AM
More than 15 million businesses and organizations are now part of Facebook. Many corporations also have company Twitter pages. In the financial world, these pages are typically followed or liked by customers and employees. Major financial institutions with large customer bases and thousands of employees might have impressive numbers of likes or follows, but all too often, posts or tweets are stagnant, void of real interaction and results.
July 10, 2014 01:16 PM
In a world where more people own cell phones than toothbrushes, one risks being labeled a luddite if you push back at all against technological advancements. I listened with great interest as I spoke with a number of sources for this issue’s cover feature on the race to turn smartphones into multipurpose corporate HQs.
The capabilities of these pocket-sized computers are astounding and the software platforms that are being developed for business and personal use only enhance their utility.
July 7, 2014 12:00 AM
Merely mentioning the word “negotiation” can evoke fear, stress and anxiety. But for many, the intent is quite simple: to discuss and ultimately agree on a deal. Whether it’s a multimillion dollar contract or just deciding where to meet for lunch, life is rife with negotiations. And the negotiation process is a lot like a chess game where strategy reigns supreme – one thoughtfully considered move at a time. Make a careless, short-sighted, ill-conceived move and suffer the perilous consequences.
July 3, 2014 12:00 AM
Having a strong sales team that can deliver results is crucial to success. However, there are many factors that can cause a sales team to be ineffective. Anything from email bouncebacks to losing a lead because someone did not properly follow up can be frustrating for sales personnel.
To save the frustration, not to mention time and costs, here are some simple systems to implement:
July 2, 2014 04:06 PM
In her book, “Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports In 5 Minutes a Day for Business,” Seattle sports broadcaster Jen Mueller states that a lack of sports knowledge can cost you money. You don’t need to be able to break down Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, but knowing enough to realize that a fast break isn’t referencing a quick trip to the locker room is a good start.
June 30, 2014 12:00 AM
Sales enablement is a nebulous, often undefined term in the world of sales. Since no single definition of sales enablement exists, companies and industry organizations are defining sales enablement on their own terms.
June 27, 2014 12:00 AM
Being a sales manager is like trying to be two places at once. You’re simultaneously expected to be both a full-time sales rep and a full-time manager. You’re responsible for hitting your own sales numbers in addition to being held accountable for the numbers of each of your team members.
It’s a tough job and a real balancing act. But, through my decades of experience I’ve identified a few key skills to execute success on every front.