December 4, 2013 12:00 AM
Sales and marketing professionals often rely heavily on a variety of third parties to help them meet their forecasted revenue targets and other objectives. These independent sales representatives, distributors, resellers and consultants are often a critical and indispensable cog in the indirect sales channels that exist in many industries, particularly with respect to international sales markets.
December 2, 2013 12:00 AM
If it were up to me, we would update school curriculums to include the art of speaking, the skill of writing and the science of how to engage and connect with people. Organizations and companies would have at least one-half of their training budgets devoted to leadership, networking, building relationships and communication. The result would be less stress, more engaged students and employees, and, most importantly, hard, tangible and positive results.
November 28, 2013 12:00 AM
Whether 2013 was a banner year for your sales and marketing organization or one preferably forgotten, it’s winding down. As we look toward 2014, it’s important to plan ahead to sidestep the past mistakes and build upon the triumphs. Mark Donnolo, Managing Partner of SalesGlobe, a sales effectiveness consulting firm, offers the following real-life 2013 bests and worsts.
November 26, 2013 12:00 AM
Tips for Time Management
Managing time can become an ingrained habit that can produce amazing sales results. In order to boost productivity, different methods can help sales teams best manage their time.
November 25, 2013 12:00 AM
This is the golden age of customer service. In a world of commoditization, many companies place an emphasis on customer service as a key means of creating a competitive advantage.
With companies such as online retailer Zappos enjoying exponential growth while touting a founding principle of “delivering happiness,” it’s no wonder that the conventional wisdom in business is that superlative customer service leads directly to loyalty.
November 23, 2013 12:00 AM
Everyone is talking about how salespeople must learn how to deliver insights to their customers, because the Internet has changed how people buy. By the time a customer engages a salesperson, they’re 60 percent of the way through their buying cycle and have done most of their research online. They don’t need more information from a salesperson; what they need is insight into what the information means.
But what is insight? Why is it important? And how do you deliver it?
November 18, 2013 12:00 AM
I spend a lot of time doing post-mortems on failed sales training initiatives. On one hand, it’s always upsetting to see a company waste its time and money. On the other, companies that experience failure are looking for answers, and that’s a positive thing. Here are some predominant reasons why sales training fails. And yes, it’s a long list.
November 15, 2013 12:00 AM
November 12, 2013 05:53 AM
It’s holiday event time for businesses, and as an early holiday present, Cassie Brown, Chief Experience Officer at TCG Events, shares the top five words you should hear from your event planner:
November 11, 2013 12:00 AM
“How can I get in the door?”
The question has to rank among the top five most commonly asked questions from business development professionals. No matter whether I am doing a keynote, workshop or one-on-one coaching, if I am speaking about business development the question of how to “get in the door” always comes up.
November 4, 2013 12:00 AM
Marketing puts a lot of work into generating leads, but despite the effort, lead conversion rates often disappoint. That’s because, providing the sales team with quality leads is only one piece of the equation. Marketers also have to provide sales with the knowledge to help them convert those leads into customers.
October 31, 2013 09:07 AM
As the blathering bozos in Congress say (when they’re not reading from Dr. Seuss books), I yield my column this month to the distinguished gentleman Michael Chasen, who helped build the education software startup Blackboard into a booming business that sold for $1.64 billion in 2011.
Chasen summarized five brilliant rules for authentic B2B brand communications recently, and I didn’t have room for it in our special section on the topic, which begins on page 30. I share it here with you.
October 31, 2013 11:00 PM
For many sales organizations, training salespeople is one of the largest investments made in performance improvement. From the onboarding of new hires to annual training events for the rank and file, billions of dollars are spent each year to improve the skills of employees. In fact, U.S. businesses spent more than $62 billion on training in 2012.
October 28, 2013 07:23 PM
According to basketball expert Brian McCormick, Tim Duncan has a problem – a consistency problem. While you don’t hear much about it, Duncan only shoots 60 to 70 percent from the free throw line despite being one of the NBA’s best players. What’s really interesting, however, is why Duncan struggles from the line.
October 24, 2013 11:00 PM
When launching a new company or rebranding an existing one, businesses seek to find a name that distinguishes them from competitors and increases their recognition. In a crowded marketplace, it’s critical that consumers be able to find and remember a business easily.
The dilemma: if your company name is a generic description of what you do, like Orange Juice Inc., how do you stand out as unique and memorable? Alternately, if your name has no association with what you do, how will consumers intuitively find you?
October 17, 2013 11:00 PM
A new study conducted by the Incentive Federation confirms that the non-cash incentives market is thriving with 74 percent of U.S. businesses spending $76.9 billion annually on incentive travel, merchandise and gift cards. The study also reveals that half of this market is driven by smaller businesses (between $1 million and $10 million in annual revenue), whose budgets may be tighter, but whose total volume generates $39 billion annually.
October 14, 2013 11:00 PM
October 12, 2013 11:00 PM
B2B marketers are facing an inevitable transition to mobile platforms. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. But the opportunities inherent in mobile solutions dwarf the challenges. Some of these opportunities include:
Mobile applications allow for always-available, up-to-date product information. These devices are highly interactive, touch-based platforms. As with most digital environments, real-time analytics are available
October 10, 2013 11:00 PM
Most companies recognize their direct competition but frequently underestimate the indirect competition and completely overlook the invisible competition. Invisible competitors don’t look or feel like competition and, by definition, are not obvious at first.
October 6, 2013 11:00 PM
In many spheres of life, timing is everything – and nowhere is this truism more relevant than in B2B sales. Sometimes an executive decision maker can be ready to pull the trigger on a purchase, while at other times, the sales cycle can take months or even years. For this reason, arming your sales reps with as much timely and accurate sales intelligence as possible can spell the difference between success and failure, between closing and walking.
October 3, 2013 11:00 PM
One of the mainstays of group incentive travel programs is the theory that they are excellent camaraderie builders for high performers. What’s more, they provide an opportunity for participants to rub shoulders with corporate executives, and allow those at the top to express their gratitude for a job well done.
September 30, 2013 11:00 PM
“Breaking Bad,” the popular cable TV show about a high school chemistry teacher turned meth king, completes its run this fall. Given the fact that books were written about the leadership lessons of fictional mob boss Tony Soprano at the height of that show’s popularity, it’s no surprise that similar analyses are popping up about what can be learned from Walter White, the meth magnate played by Bryan Cranston.
September 30, 2013 04:18 AM
The old adage, “people love to buy, but hate to be sold” is rephrased from the seller side to “salespeople love to win, but hate to lose.” Sales management might say “I want to help salespeople win, but win the right business.” The key is the hot pursuit of a win can backfire if salespeople are going after deals that aren’t profitable.
So how can salespeople, sales managers and organizations increase win rates and reduce no-decision rates?
The short answer: discipline.
September 30, 2013 11:00 PM
“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip take us,” wrote John Steinbeck. I thought of this sentiment while putting together this issue’s cover story on incentive travel.
It’s encouraging that this timeless mode of rewarding top performers has rebounded slightly after being felled by the double whammy of an economic collapse in 2007-2008 and an all-out hammering in the media.
September 26, 2013 11:00 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?