September 16, 2013 12:00 AM
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 13, 2013 12:00 AM
September 10, 2013 02:17 PM
One benefit of the bottoming out of the economy in 2008 and the subsequent slow rebound is that businesses have placed renewed emphasis on their lead management systems, which in good times are all but ignored, says Kevin Quiring, Managing Director of Sales and Customer Service, North America at Accenture.
In a recent interview with eMarketer (eMarketer.com), Quiring cited four immediate challenges faced by B2B companies that are looking to better manage their leads.
September 10, 2013 02:22 PM
Thirty-five percent of workers and 30 percent of chief financial officers in an Accountemps poll cited frequent recognition of accomplishments as the most effective nonmonetary reward. Thanking people for their hard work and commitment is the key to making them feel appreciated.
September 10, 2013 12:51 PM
Events and content marketing are a natural pair, since content creation and promotion can help you make the most of the time and effort that goes into producing an event. Event content — blog posts, social media updates, email marketing, etc. — should start well before your event begins.
September 10, 2013 02:46 PM
The Incentive Research Foundation’s 2012 Pulse Survey (conducted in September 2012) indicates that spending trends stabilized compared to the previous four survey periods.
• A whopping 63% state they have a negative perception of the current air transportation environment and its impact on their incentive travel plans. (The sliver of hope is that number is down from 71% who expressed a negative perception of the state of air transportation in a March 2012 survey.)
September 10, 2013 02:25 PM
Searching for that elusive means to increase results from your middle performers? How about cutting an album of inspirational songs?
Or, if you’re not a dot-com millionaire with your own sound studio, you can lean on Andrew Mason. This summer, the founder and former CEO of Groupon released “Hardly Workin’,” a seven-song album that he says is intended to be “motivational business music targeted at people newly entering the workforce.”
September 10, 2013 12:55 PM
Sales managers complain that their salespeople don’t read, don’t study and don’t work on improving themselves as sales professionals. It’s valid criticism, says S. Anthony Iannarino, President of Solutions Staffing and a regular blogger at TheSalesBlog.com. Iannarino offers three ways that managers can help change their sales force.
September 10, 2013 01:04 PM
As massive open online courses (MOOCs) storm the academic world, the discussion of their impact is ignoring what could become their most valuable application, says workplace futurist Jeanne Meister, writing on Forbes.com. The new learning style’s most important legacy could be its impact on the world of corporate training, which is a $150 billion industry.
Two MOOC elements that Meister says are particularly well-suited to corporate learning and development:
September 10, 2013 02:27 PM
September 10, 2013 03:18 PM
Former New York Times foreign correspondent Elizabeth Becker circled the world to report on the global impact of travel as a product. Her book, “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism,” was published earlier this year.
September 10, 2013 02:35 PM
It’s that time of year of again — time for corporate holiday gift planning. Yes, planning — is the optimal word. For too many, the word is panicking, because most people don’t actually plan their corporate gifts.
If you intend to provide memorable corporate gifts to employees, clients, partners, vendors or anyone else, here are a few things you should be thinking about:
September 10, 2013 12:52 PM
The term “coach up” has become trendy in athletic circles, as in, “We’ve got some kids with raw skills, now we just have to coach them up.”
Business has never been bashful about applying sports jargon to the management role. Sales coach Marc Wayshak (marcwayshak.com), author of “Game Plan Selling: The Definitive Rulebook for Closing the Sale in the 21st Century,” offers a three-point plan for coaching up underperforming salespeople.
September 10, 2013 02:20 PM
September 10, 2013 01:11 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 10, 2013 03:15 PM
If you’re going to invest in an incentive travel program, build in a budget for the little extras that enhance memorability, says Min Choi of Mercury Insurance Group, which takes about 100 top sales reps and their significant others on a recognition trip each year. “Participants are blown away by the little things,” he says.
September 10, 2013 01:02 PM
I’m disturbed by the increasing amount of misinformation that’s available on the Internet around the subject of business-to-business selling. I’m not suggesting
it is disinformation, which intentionally deceives. It’s just that so much of what is available — what you and your people are reading to gain insight and knowledge — is simply wrong.
September 10, 2013 12:59 PM
Decades of research shows that women behave differently than men as shoppers in consumer settings, bringing an open mind to the purchasing process whereas males tend to be mission-and-task-oriented. But does the different approach carry over to how senior women make business-to-business decisions? Deloitte LLP executives Cathy Benko and Bill Pelster were surprised to discover there wasn’t much research to answer that question, so they conducted some.
September 10, 2013 01:16 PM
How many times have you sent staff on, or have been sent on, training courses? How many times did the learning last beyond the initial “enthusiastic implementation” period — and make a direct contribution back in the workplace? Experience tells us that this is hugely variable and that training remains a big part of training budgets globally. Yet there are real alternatives that can deepen learning insights for long-lasting behaviors — and that can make an immediate and direct impact in the workplace.
September 9, 2013 12:00 AM
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 6, 2013 12:00 AM
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 3, 2013 12:00 AM
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 30, 2013 12:00 AM
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 26, 2013 12:00 AM
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 16, 2013 12:00 AM
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