August 29, 2016 12:00 AM
So there we were… the War Room.
August 26, 2016 12:00 AM
Every entrepreneur needs a healthy amount of self-esteem. After all, if they didn’t believe in themselves, they wouldn’t bother launching businesses.
But there’s a difference between self-esteem and hubris. Those who build monuments to themselves often live to watch them fall. It has been thus since the Tower of Babel, and it shall be thus long after we’re all in the ground. It’s perfectly natural to be excited about the launch of a new venture, but there are right and wrong ways to celebrate.
August 22, 2016 12:00 AM
The following story derives from conversations with “Pat,” a sales team member, after our several interactions with a customer in the medical equipment industry. Given Pat’s impressive selling expertise, I decided to probe his thinking after each sales call we made together in order to gain insights on why he reacted in certain ways.
August 19, 2016 12:00 AM
When customers understand their problems, it’s easy for salespeople to lead them through discovery, because customers don’t need salespeople to shine the light of insight on visible problems. A salesperson can simply confirm the value of their product by asking generic questions.
August 18, 2016 12:00 AM
Some of the biggest, most damaging security breaches in history occurred in 2015.
August 15, 2016 12:00 AM
Most sales organizations are not unlike a college class being graded on the Bell Curve. Typically, 20 percent are top performers – these A+ performers get it done with minimal support. The D’s and F’s in the bottom 20 percent are either new or need to find another line of work. Middle performers represent over half the sales force. They have enough success to keep them around, but there’s definitely room for improvement.
August 14, 2016 04:58 PM
Lead validation is the labor-intensive process of listening to recordings of phone inquiries and reading form submissions generated by SEO, PPC, email marketing and other Internet marketing campaigns, to separate true sales leads from non-leads such as spam, sales solicitations, customer service inquiries, etc. Ideally leads are validated in real time, so leads can be handed off to sales quickly.
Our own lead validation data, culled from agency and client campaigns, indicates that as many as half of campaign-generated inquires are not sales leads.
August 8, 2016 12:00 AM
So Just What Is Sales Equity?
To borrow a phrase from the financial industry, “equity” (the value you receive) is simply your “asset” (what you get) minus your liability (“what it cost you”):
August 5, 2016 12:00 AM
Digital marketing has gone mobile. And thanks to smartphones and click-to-call, consumers are responding to search, social, display and other digital ads and campaigns by calling businesses by the billions. These calls, while often the most lucrative type of conversion, are also the most difficult for marketers to measure and optimize, and that can result in a series of potentially damaging issues that can hurt your ROI. Here are six dangers of not attributing customer calls to digital marketing.
August 3, 2016 12:00 AM
Data quality and data access plague analytics – especially in sales and marketing. Let’s face it, whether your role is sales operations or marketing analyst, your data is constantly questioned at best, or simply wrong at worst. Does this sound familiar?
August 1, 2016 12:00 AM
When it comes to the productivity, effectiveness and overall success of sales teams, data is key. Having accurate and useful data can make or break a sales team, but on the other side of that coin, focusing too much time and resources gathering, analyzing and reporting data can be a hindrance to a successful sales cycle as well.
July 29, 2016 12:00 AM
“We spent $2 million on a selling system a few years back and our reps won’t put it into play. So we’re looking to drop another $1.5 million on a new program.” A senior sales executive from a major cell phone carrier was talking sales training with me, at a global conference.
“What selling system are you using?” I asked.
Turns out it was one of the top three in existence.
“Can I point something out about your training?” He shrugged, nodded and said he was interested.
July 28, 2016 05:49 AM
PowerPoint was originally created to improve and enhance presentations. With over 30 million PowerPoint presentations made each day, it has evolved into the default mode of all business communications. Ironically, with its success comes major pitfalls. PowerPoint often undermines the presenter and the product or service she is selling. We are all guilty of quickly slapping a deck together, and then running to the meeting, without a second thought.
July 25, 2016 12:00 AM
Gamification has become a popular method of improving sales because it works. Putting measurement devices such as leader boards, point totals, and scorecards in places where they are typically not found has been shown to improve performance. As Paul Graham of Y Combinator notes, “Merely measuring something has an uncanny tendency to improve it.”
July 22, 2016 12:00 AM
More than ever, marketing departments are feeling pressure from CEOs and sales vice presidents to prove the return on considerable marketing investments. Producing attention-capturing campaigns doesn’t cut it anymore without an ROI.
Where does that leave you? Probably in a position similar to that of Michael Troiano, CMO of Actifio.
July 18, 2016 05:00 AM
As Frank Sinatra crooned, as far as love and marriage are concerned, you can’t have one without the other. It turns out the same holds true for marketing and sales — though even Ol’ Blue Eyes would have had a hard time writing a rhyming ditty around that pair of words.
July 15, 2016 12:00 AM
Whether you are a business leader or individual contributor, figuring out how to keep your value proposition relevant in a growing era of technology (robots, kiosks, apps, etc.)is going to be critical for ongoing survival. That is why I wrote the Seven Personalization Principles Model (7-P) to help illuminate how organizations and individuals can customize and personalize to winin the new economy.
July 14, 2016 12:00 AM
As I prepare to write this article, a hundred things are running through my mind. First it’s June and the quarter close. Simultaneously I’m scanning my email “clutter” file to make sure MS Outlook still knows better than I do what is clutter and what isn’t. Intermittently, snippets of recent prospect and client conversations interject.
July 13, 2016 12:00 AM
I’m sure many of us have unsuspectingly picked up the phone only to be ambushed by a fast-talking sales pitch. Despite making our best effort to extend professional courtesy, we simply don’t have time to listen to a sales pitch most of the time. The result is that we will typically do our best to end the call as quickly as possible so we can get back to work. Whether we are “in a meeting,” “late for our next meeting” or we simply choose to hang up, we will rarely feel any guilt about our narrow escape.
July 11, 2016 05:26 AM
A disturbing trend that I am seeing in the marketplace is an escalating level of apathy at the senior executive level as it relates to the effectiveness and value of their sales organizations. In other words, more and more executives seem to be throwing in the towel when it comes to salespeople actually being able to move the revenue needle. As I dig deeper, I see two fundamental causes for this:
July 8, 2016 12:00 AM
The world of sales has changed significantly in recent years, mainly driven by advancements in technology. The sales organization has been influenced by technology available to customers, which has drastically increased the amount of information accessible to buyers to help them with purchasing decisions.
July 3, 2016 12:00 AM
There’s a persistent “myth” in software development: great developers are 10X more productive than average developers. I call it a “myth” in quotation marks because there’s disagreement around that statement in the software community. For one thing, it’s hard to precisely measure the difference. Is it 2X, 3X or 5X instead? And second, the adoption of agile management has tended to emphasize the productivity of teams and to downplay the notion of the solo rock star programmer.
July 1, 2016 12:00 AM
iPads and other tablet computers are rapidly changing the sales game and helping sales reps achieve their goals faster and smarter. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, 94 percent of the Fortune 500 and 75 percent of the Global 500 are either testing or deploying the iPad.
June 27, 2016 12:00 AM
The pit in cold callers’ stomachs should growl with hunger every day. Hunger can’t be taught or nurtured. You’re either born hungry or you’re not. You’re either fully consumed by a visceral, bone-deep desire to succeed or you’re not. ‘Content’ is a dirty word in sales. It’s usually the incipience of losing interest in selling.
June 27, 2016 02:47 PM
As we were headed to press with this annual issue on technology and its impact on the worlds of sales and marketing, the Tribune Media Company, owners of such notable newspaper brands as the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Baltimore Sun, announced it is rebranding the company as “tronc.”
No, that’s not a typo. It’s really tronc — with a small “t,” as in “tribune online content.”