February 25, 2013 10:30 AM
In researching our cover story topic, we discovered Funnelholic.com, a fun and insightful B2B blog by Craig Rosenberg, an independent consultant based in Northern California. In his Jan. 5 post titled “Ridiculous ramblings about the marketing automation market,” Rosenberg talked about the changes this new software platform has already experienced.
We reached him on the phone. Here are some of his thoughts from that discussion.
What are we talking about when we talk about marketing automation?
February 25, 2013 10:52 AM
SMM:Your new book, “To Sell Is Human,” offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling and states that everyone is in sales in one fashion or another. Who will benefit most from it?
February 25, 2013 01:00 AM
It’s the all-too-familiar statement that sales managers hear from their salespeople: “I need to give my client this discount or we’ll lose the job. We’ll make up the margin on higher volume from the client.”
February 22, 2013 01:00 AM
Successful marketing increasingly depends on well-timed, relevant and proven content being delivered to prospects. The trend of buyers researching products well before they engage with a representative is only going to increase. This, combined with the sheer volume of marketing communications and vehicles, has led to an ever-growing need for marketing automation and lifecycle tools.
When chosen and employed correctly, these tools boost effectiveness by:
February 18, 2013 01:00 AM
The question for 2013 is not so much what is the state of marketing automation, but rather, what difference does marketing automation make to a company’s growth? We call this Revenue Marketing, which means marketing is making a measurable contribution to revenue. This is the ultimate promise of marketing automation, from which sales and marketing teams benefit most.
February 15, 2013 01:00 AM
Working recently with a client in selecting and implementing a CRM system, it struck me that sales organizations haven’t moved past traditional metrics, sales process, recruiting, training and coaching. There’s a new sales landscape that really isn’t so new. It left the station when the Internet arrived, and has moved full speed ahead with the increased availability of product/service information on websites and through the plethora of social media. Buyers no longer rely on salespeople as a primary resource, and they are for more empowered by their knowledge.
February 11, 2013 01:00 AM
Objections can cause doubt and confusion for prospects and salespeople. This can frustrate your team members and cause them to avoid objections. But as you know, objection avoidance can lead to fewer sales.
As part of your sales coaching, help your team members embrace the philosophy that objections are a welcome and natural part of their sales conversations. When they learn the value of objections, they’ll be open to discovering more effective ways to leverage them to facilitate prospects’ buying decisions.
February 8, 2013 01:00 AM
There was a time when a salesperson could fulfill a unified role as a vendor, trusted advisor and challenger. But today’s hypercompetitive market requires the salesperson to play two distinct yet complementary roles – that of Consultant to the customer and Strategist to both the customer and his or her own organization.
February 4, 2013 01:00 AM
A new approach to selling has developed through the use of social networking sites. Social networks allow sales representatives to generate stronger leads, eliminate the gatekeeper from the process and set up solid appointments to introduce their products or services.
February 1, 2013 01:00 AM
Sales is a process, especially in a consultative sales environment, and depending on the industry, your sales cycle could be multiple months long. CEOs in far too many cases step in to take control or manage the sales process, particularly when sales don't happen. I have seen it all. CEOs doing the sales training, CEOs being on initial sales calls, CEOs coming to the rescue. It can cause panic and fear with the sales staff and otherwise utter confusion both internally as well as with prospective clients.
January 29, 2013 01:00 AM
In 15 years of analyzing company perceptions about their own customer values based on blind surveys, we have turned up a disturbing finding: in our study of over 100 organizations, less than 5 percent of companies actually “sell” what’s most valued by their customers.
January 22, 2013 01:00 AM
January 21, 2013 01:00 AM
I’ve been involved in winning business in the recessions of every decade since the 1970s. During all that time, there has never been a tougher environment for anyone who needs to win business than the present day. It’s not the recession that’s different; things may feel difficult but there have been worse recessions in my business lifetime.
January 14, 2013 01:00 AM
Sales forecasts impact much more than sales management – they have a direct bearing on overall performance, marketing and sales budgets, and planning for service and product delivery, to name a few.
Too often, flimsy sales forecasts increase risk in all those areas. In this context, forecasts are flimsy when they are inaccurate, lack visibility or fail to deliver the right number of correctly qualified leads needed to support target numbers.
Fortunately, there are four clear fixes that make sales forecasts more accurate and robust.
January 13, 2013 01:00 AM
A woman is expecting a baby, therefore the family is probably in search of more space, a family car or minivan, etc. A man takes a new job in a new city, therefore he is probably looking to buy a new condo or house, switch his insurance provider, etc.
January 13, 2013 01:00 AM
Editor’s Note: “Consistently better sales presentations could be the most important New Year’s resolution your team could make,” Rutgers Business School Professor Marc Kalan stated in an article that posted here on Monday. He introduced the need for strong personal presentation skills, beginning with organization and a personal passion. In Part II, we move into individual skill areas to enhance your physical presence and abilities to maximize the focus and attention of your audience.
January 7, 2013 01:00 AM
Part I of III
January 2, 2013 01:00 AM
After two decades in sales and as a sales executive, plus an additional three years of heavy research into sales performance development and growth, I have found the most effective way to truly improve and sustain sales performance is to improve sales conversations. The way to improve conversations is to improve the responses salespeople provide for any given question or situation.
December 17, 2012 01:00 AM
To make the most of your tablet investment, focus on the device’s unique capabilities. The following five tips will help you improve the productivity and effectiveness of your salespeople while distinguishing the buying experience in the eyes of your customers.
Make CRM user-friendly.
December 16, 2012 01:00 AM
Sales and marketing have a strong relationship. We rely on each other. We need each other.
However, Romeo and Juliet we are not.
But Romeo and Juliet we must become because our mandate is clear: partner or perish.
Here are two points that show the chasm that has long plagued marketing and sales (GoldMine blog):
50% of marketing spend is deemed ineffective by sales
70% of leads generated via marketing are not actively pursued by sales
December 11, 2012 01:00 AM
Every year, there is a last-minute scramble as businesses try to figure out a unique holiday gift for clients, partners and employees. And every year, holiday corporate gift giving produces some pretty wacky gifts. According to a recent survey of our Tango Card clients, folks reported receiving a ham, a lamp (“the world’s ugliest”), even a car wash and wax package as holiday gifts. Not exactly the types of gifts high on a customer’s (let alone anyone’s) wish list.
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.