March 19, 2015 10:44 AM
Managers are paid to do what they do best—engineer new products, market them, optimize internal processes and lead teams. They will remain untrained at interviewing job candidates, but it’s time to stop handicapping them by arming them with interview questions that yield mostly irrelevant information, says Andy LaCivita, founder of Milewalk (milewalk.com), an executive search firm and human capital consulting organization.
March 19, 2015 10:26 AM
I have always tried to avoid writing the formulaic editor’s note that inventories the content of the issue and tells readers how entertaining and educational it all is. But as I read through this issue’s pages before we went to press, what struck me most is how entertaining and educational the content is.
March 19, 2015 10:53 AM
The fact that we keep talking about getting sales and marketing to collaborate more effectively is an indication that we are far from solving the problem (or should we say, taking advantage of the opportunity). Here are five specific shortcuts to help your organization (or your clients) accelerate their path toward sales and marketing collaboration nirvana.
1. Common objectives
March 19, 2015 11:50 AM
As buyers become more immune and intolerant of inefficient product purchasing and services for their organizations, many vendors appear to be taking the “quantity over quality” route with their sales methods, rather than refining their approach. According to the “What’s the Future of Sales” report from SAP, business buyers now receive an average of 64 approaches by salespeople over the course of a week. In some countries, the figure is much higher, with Mexican and Indian business buyers receiving 107 and 95 communications each week, respectively.
March 19, 2015 10:37 AM
In 1978, Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp., sent an email promoting DEC machines to 400 users via the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the network that became the basis for the Internet. What would have then been a complete novelty for recipients resulted in $13 million worth of sales for DEC machines — and a few complaints — and email marketing was born.
March 19, 2015 11:45 AM
The shifting B2B buying process means that reallocating sales and marketing budgets is a good idea for many companies. Where to shift resources and how to know if it’s working are two important questions to tackle.
“Seasoned executives and sales leaders often struggle to accept the reality that long-standing ‘truths’ about how to best serve customers no longer apply,” states a McKinsey & Company report on how business customers buy.
March 19, 2015 10:46 AM
The good news is that high performers are more satisfied with their jobs and less likely to leave a company within the next six months than low performers. The not-so-good news is not by much.
A study by Oxford Economics and SuccessFactors, a provider of HR cloud-based solutions, indicates that one in five high performers is likely to leave in the next six months (versus one in four of employees overall who are likely to leave in the near term). And less than half of high performers are satisfied with their jobs.
March 19, 2015 11:46 AM
The information-rich, social world we now occupy has changed the buying world beyond recognition. The availability of information online has seen broader web searches (75%) and vendor websites (73%) become a more popular source of information over traditional “direct” approaches, such as events or conferences (54%) (see chart above). As the digital landscape grows and evolves, this shows no sign of slowing down. Social networking and blogs top the list of channels used more now than 12 months ago, followed by web searches and vendor websites.
March 19, 2015 11:35 AM
Employee recognition programs are only as effective as the rewards you choose. The most effective rewards take top performers to a happy place—a favorite hobby, a relaxing break from the daily grind or a happy memory of a job well done. Recognition doesn’t always have to be overwhelming. Small expressions of gratitude often leave the biggest impressions. Create work that is challenging, link recognition to company values and be authentic. That’s a good start.
March 19, 2015 10:32 AM
Too often in business, words and phrases become so interwoven into the daily lexicon that they become bigger than themselves. That is to say, these terms are dropped into conversations without anyone stepping back and asking, “What exactly do you mean by that term?”
March 19, 2015 10:51 AM
The one thing that gets between you and your customers saying “yes” to what you are selling is your salespeople moving their lips. In fact, recent research by analyst firm Sirius Decisions shows that 71 percent of sales leaders identify customer conversations as their biggest challenge to hitting their revenue targets.
More specifically, the problem stems from the inability of reps to link your solutions to your prospects’ business problems and then to articulate value.
March 19, 2015 12:00 PM
Cultivating high performance
March 19, 2015 11:25 AM
Corporate event planners relish the opportunity to swap horror stories about problems with a venue at the last minute and how their MacGyver-like instincts kicked in to help them salvage the situation.
March 19, 2015 08:24 AM
Salespeople need to establish competency, but social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson says in their rush to do so, they may unwittingly be shooting themselves in the foot. The author of “No One Understands You and What to Do About It” lays out a better path to successful conversations.
March 16, 2015 06:27 AM
Shifts in the business-to-business buying process have transformed selling as we know it. In the past, salespeople had a fair amount of control. They were given a territory, a pricing structure, a margin target and a set of products and services they could offer, and then sent off into the wild blue yonder. They were responsible for managing their territory and producing results. Sales management provided oversight, facilitated requests back to corporate to ensure that orders were expedited, and generally stayed out of the way, unless additional support was needed to help underperformers.
March 13, 2015 12:00 AM
Few of the salespeople on your team aim for mediocrity. Most dream of reaching the top of their field. But top performers do much more than dream. They develop a series of realistic goals that propel them from where they are now to where they want to be. Next, they continue raising the bar, setting increasingly ambitious goals until they achieve their ultimate vision of success. In every case, this process begins with a realistic self-assessment.
March 9, 2015 12:00 AM
In just the last few years, sales enablement has been evolving from a disparate set of informal activities into a centralized, strategic corporate function — complete with dedicated resources and budgetary line-items to prove it. According to SiriusDecisions, companies are now spending more than ever to increase the effectiveness of their sales force, with sales enablement budgets doubling to more than $2.4 million in the last two years, and sales enablement technology spend increasing 69 percent over the same period.