October 6, 2014 12:00 AM
With more mobile devices than humans in the world and over a billion people participating in social networks, today’s customers are more connected and networked than ever before. They’re also more knowledgeable and better informed.
October 3, 2014 12:00 AM
When trying to communicate a complex product story articulating your differentiation is key, but oftentimes it’s just not enough. Here are five steps that help your company tell their product story loud and clear.
October 1, 2014 12:00 AM
Let’s face it, millennials get a bad rap. In the past, we’ve been quick to dismiss this generation as lazy, narcissistic and self-concerned. But smart businesses know there’s two sides to every story, especially when it comes to building a 21st century sales organization.
September 28, 2014 12:00 AM
September 26, 2014 12:00 AM
Although sales and marketing are often working toward a common goal (increased sales), in many organizations they are not necessarily partnering together to achieve these results. On one hand marketing is working hard to define the company’s core messaging and increase demand generation, while on the other hand sales is striving to close deals. Though these initiatives are well intentioned, they are not always as effective as they could be. So, how can companies get the results they are looking for?
September 25, 2014 12:00 AM
“Camaraderie” is a word that gets tossed around in business environments a lot. Managers want to build it; employees generally cringe at managers’ attempts to build it. Camaraderie happens naturally and never as quickly as some would like.
September 22, 2014 07:12 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; nearly two-thirds of those plan to increase their use in the coming year.
September 19, 2014 12:00 AM
How often have you planned on having 30 minutes or so for a first meeting with a prospect, only to find that the time is cut short? Maybe they got busy. Maybe something came up. Maybe the truth is that they don’t recall agreeing to a meeting in the first place, or have forgotten why they wanted to talk to you.
Here are some tips to help you salvage the opportunity:
September 15, 2014 12:00 AM
“We need to grow the business.”
Sounds simple, right? Kind of like when a sports coach says “We have to win this game.” And yet, how do you keep scoring points – both in business and on the field? The power of perspective gives you the strength to grow and to win.
What is this elusive, but all-important concept of perspective?
September 12, 2014 12:00 AM
A bad hire is not only bad for business, it can also be very costly. International talent management experts estimate the average cost of a poor hiring decision to be equal to 30 percent or more of that hire’s first year’s probable earnings – that could result in costs upward of $50,000 for replacing a senior executive. Factor in productivity loss and lost opportunities, morale implications, turnover and recruiting costs and the price tag starts to skyrocket.
September 12, 2014 11:09 AM
High-tech workers love their incentive stock options, but Microsoft’s Michele Samoulides says that incentive travel programs are some of the software giant’s most effective motivators.
September 10, 2014 06:04 AM
When it comes to marketing initiatives, getting the biggest “bang for the buck” is essential. Accordingly, defining and analyzing the success of everything from tradeshow participation to social media campaigns are critical. At the same time some marketers wonder at what point did return on investment (ROI) become the holy grail of measuring success? Other business expenditures such as rent, additional administrative support staff, office supplies and workplace facelifts have no impact on productivity or revenue, yet they don’t face the same scrutiny.
September 8, 2014 06:01 AM
The sales world can be a lot like dieting and working out. Sales, like dieting and working out, takes dedication, commitment, discipline and knowing when you are off track. If you have tried every diet and none has worked, it’s not the diet – it’s the dieter. Similarly, I tell my clients if you have tried every sales strategy and none has worked, it’s not the strategy, it is the person implementing the strategy. It’s time for a new approach, one that you can stay committed to and that will produce results.
September 5, 2014 08:01 AM
Conventional wisdom says you can’t go wrong hiring the sales veteran with the heftiest Rolodex and a record of gold-plated sales deals. But if you’re a small, growing company, measuring candidates by their contacts, years in the trenches or multimillion-dollar contracts is a ticket to failure. The well will soon run dry, and you may be stuck with an overpriced sales professional who doesn’t sell your company’s solutions consistently.
September 2, 2014 05:29 AM
Laughing releases oxytocin, known as the “bonding hormone,” into the body’s system. When a salesperson and customer laugh together it builds trust and empathy and helps remove the customer’s body armor. Here are seven tips that can help you make the customer laugh.
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.