December 10, 2012 01:00 AM
B2B prospect development – the combination of lead generation, lead qualification, lead nurturing and lead hand-off to sales – is a critical element that many marketing and sales teams are failing.
Optimized companies outperform average companies by generating up to five times the revenue based on comparable starting places. Their prospect development process is also characterized by:
A higher percentage of leads sent to sales are sales-ready
December 7, 2012 01:00 AM
Sales trainers often emphasize that in order to gain and maintain a level of competence in selling, salespeople must focus on the basics — Sales 101. That’s true, but there’s a wrinkle. If the basics are all your salespeople know and can do, competitive sales campaigns will be a battle among equals.
December 3, 2012 01:00 AM
A recent issue of Forbes magazine posed the question, “Are CMOs the New CIOs?” The article appeared shortly after the president of my company assigned me, an archetypal right-brained marketer, responsibility for our IT department.
November 30, 2012 01:00 AM
Sales jobs range from quick-closing, hard-selling, short-term, commission-only positions to the opposite extreme, where the persuasive element is much more subtle and takes place only a few times a year at the end of a long process. Similarly, many sales positions require little technical background, while others require the salesperson to be a technical expert in a particular product or service.
November 26, 2012 12:24 PM
Bulova's Precisionist Watch Winner
Congratulations to Peter Barnet, CEO of Promosis Inc., the winner of the Bulova Precisionist watch!
November 26, 2012 01:00 AM
Let’s be honest: we’ve all endured a “death by PowerPoint” sales pitch and prefer a dialogue over a monologue any day. Would you shed a tear at PowerPoint’s imaginary funeral? Would you miss the days of creating slide builds over building relationships? Yeah, me neither.
November 23, 2012 01:00 AM
In our November/December print issue, sales trainer Mark Hunter shared six things that salespeople would like to tell their manager. Here are those six and six more.
Sales managers, read this list and ask yourself if any apply to you. If you’re a salesperson, you can agree with any or all, but in the end, don’t use any of them as an excuse as to why you can’t accomplish something. Great salespeople are able to find success no matter what is going on around them.
November 19, 2012 01:00 AM
The battle for the success of your company is all about revenue, and it is being lost. Every day, I talk with executives who report revenue is coming up short, being left on the table and can’t be sustained. Profits are lost early in the sales cycle and at the close. Numbers are not being made despite much effort and huge investment. Why?
November 16, 2012 03:11 PM
I know that seems mundane to many of you, but I feel a little more grown up. A little more professional. A little more empowered.
You see, when it comes to cell phones, I have obstinately been a Luddite, clinging to my circa-2006 flip phone while my kids upgraded and then upgraded again to paperback-sized smartphones with HD screens and cameras that outperform most SLRs.
November 15, 2012 01:00 AM
Sales training is great. Many of the hundreds of companies that provide sales training do a great job. Their content is dynamic. Their speakers are inspiring. And their track record is impeccable. Their sales training teaches valuable skills and produces immediate results.
Unfortunately, 30 days after the training, very little behavior has changed.
November 12, 2012 01:00 AM
The accelerated speed of communication and our ability to access information with just a few keystrokes is changing everything – including the way we buy and sell. In the meantime, our economy has become borderless as the reach of global companies has altered the competitive landscape. As consumers, we have access to more information, faster – and feel, as a result, that we can make many of our buying decisions without ever talking with a salesperson.
November 9, 2012 01:00 AM
1. Don’t let email control you
The inherent instant gratification of clearing your inbox provides a brief feeling of accomplishment, but it’s really not productive. Using email is just one part of work. Determine how much time you want to spend in your inbox on a given day and don’t exceed it. When you first open your inbox in the morning, star/flag emails that must be dealt with today, but make sure to focus on your top leads and work priorities first before diving into your Inbox.
November 5, 2012 01:00 AM
“They’re driving me nuts!” aren’t the words most would expect to hear from a director managing a high-performance team. But as any sales manager knows, while top salespeople are essential to the company’s success, these high performers can also be “high maintenance,” causing problems that soak up management time and impact other team members.
November 2, 2012 12:00 AM
I have some sad news: the chief marketing officer is dead.
Fortunately, I’m talking about the CMO position rather than a particular person. But the decline of the CMO’s influence is an alarming trend in companies that claim to put the customer first but in reality continue to be product-driven.
October 26, 2012 12:00 AM
When presenting a proposal to senior decision makers, they most appreciate directness, clarity and sound thinking, so the most important step in putting together a strategic sales presentation is to be absolutely clear about what you want your listeners to think and do at the end of your presentation. The second most important step is to clearly structure your material so that it leads your listeners exactly to that point. A clear message and structure make your strategic sales presentation more persuasive.
Step 1: Write the headline
October 22, 2012 12:00 AM
Every salesperson worth his quarterly bonus has an elevator speech in his head. These persuasive two-minute presentations are most handy when you surreptitiously find yourself one-on-one with a VIP prospect who never would have invited you into his office to make a full presentation.
October 19, 2012 12:00 AM
This is the coolest sales and leadership strategy ever invented! It is completely revolutionary. It is rarely practiced. B2B marketers and sales leaders can use this to get people to follow you almost anywhere, and to get people to buy almost anything. It can change the course of your sales, your business and your life!
What is it you ask?
Make sure you are sitting down before I tell you.
OK, here it is…
October 18, 2012 12:00 AM
I know, it sounds a bit silly. Afraid of what?
Well, here is the thing. In my experience, many salespeople are actually afraid of rejection. Why?
October 15, 2012 12:00 AM
Marketers spend around $20 billion each year on Web and CRM analytics. That’s a lot of cash
Marketers know analytics ranging from website abandon rates and CTR, to conversion rates and even repeat visitors. But when the phone rings there is a fairly large black hole, void of rich analytics data. This is what call analytics providers seek to provide.
The idea behind call analytics is simple: pull data and analytics from calls. Call analytics can optimize marketing and improve sales performance.
October 12, 2012 12:00 AM
When Acumen Management Group undertakes consulting engagements with clients, we always sit in on their Monday morning sales meetings. We know that these gatherings are among the best ways to build a high-performance sales organization. Done correctly, they help put everyone on the right track for the week ahead and help sales managers establish the discipline, control and accountability that every team needs.
October 4, 2012 12:00 AM
Many companies have taken cost-cutting initiatives over the last few years. In uncertain times, some leaders carefully select their growth opportunities and position themselves to capture market share. Others optimize their sales force effectiveness to improve competitiveness.
One common mistake companies make is to reduce costs across the board by a fixed percentage, which weakens the competitive position. Let’s instead review a few best practices.
October 3, 2012 12:00 AM
You’re aware of the benefits of giving business gifts at the holidays and you may have reasons of your own as well. It never hurts to review some of the more important gift-giving tips to maximize their effectiveness. We found these, oddly enough, at the website of the Journal of Dental Technology (jdtunbound.com). Smart gift-giving should put a smile on everyone’s face.
October 2, 2012 12:00 AM
Fay Beauchine has seen the concept of employee engagement and workplace motivation evolve. In tackling the duties of various executive positions at Minnesota-based Carlson Companies and before that Northwest Airlines, she has been on the front lines of improving employee performance.
She is currently the president of the Business Loyalty Division of Aimia a worldwide purveyor or loyalty management programs.
October 1, 2012 12:00 AM
When coming to an agreement about the value of your product or service to a prospect, dropping price is a shortcut to building value; it in no way enhances the value of your proposition and in some cases can actually devalue your offer.
Try this exercise:
September 28, 2012 12:00 AM
Many business leaders use crowdsourcing for idea generation and problem solving. Now, some HR directors and employee engagement specialists are promoting crowdsourcing — the concept that a group of individuals can be significantly smarter than its individual components — as a means of providing performance reviews and employee recognition.