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October 24, 2016 05:37 AM
When it comes to predicting if a business-to-business (B2B) account will cross from strong to at-risk, pay special attention to how well your corporate and customer-facing teams are performing in the area of account support.
October 21, 2016 12:00 AM
Today’s customers expect more out of their buying experiences than ever before. These customers are also more intelligent than ever – with the explosion of available information creating a 24/7 buying and customer service mentality, and informed consumers expecting an experience that makes them feel known and valued by the companies with which they engage.
October 17, 2016 09:23 AM
Landing a large, technical sale is like going deep-sea fishing and hooking a really big marlin. You’re straining at the rod, trying to reel the fish in, and you need help – someone to grab a net, another person to keep the sharks from grabbing a share, and someone skilled at the wheel. In a complex technical sale, the account manager also needs to be able to rely on a wide range of overlay resources – engineers, architects, network design consultants, financial people to help with financing the deal, maybe marketing resources as well.
October 14, 2016 12:00 AM
Although extremely important in determining businesses’ ability to meet its revenue targets, surveys show that nearly 60 percent of sales forecasts are largely inaccurate. More troubling is that businesses might risk their stock value, reputation and well-being on forecasts derived from something slightly better than hunches. Data analytics and predictive algorithms are quickly reshaping how organizations can more accurately assess their ability to achieve revenue, but many of these approaches don’t solve for one of the most crucial variables: people.
October 13, 2016 12:00 AM
The hard-selling closing techniques of the past may be dead, but the need to ask for commitments from the client is not. Here are some powerful tools to help you ask for commitments that lead to the close without violating your client’s trust.
October 12, 2016 12:00 AM
Companies are struggling to train as many salespeople as they want on the skills they need, but it’s partly a product of their own doing. According to a new joint survey between my company, Corporate Visions andSales & Marketing Management magazine, nearly 80 percent of companies say they are not able to train as much as they want primarily because of pressure not to take salespeople out of the field.
October 10, 2016 12:00 AM
Traditional salespeople need to learn that what they say doesn’t always go. But they would be forgiven for holding onto this mind-set, especially if they started their careers in the 1980s and 90s, when sales success was, by and large, deemed to be dependent on instinct, gut feelings, and a natural ability to forecast customer trends. The reality is that, until recently, the majority of salespeople have been starved of useful, coherent information about their customers.
October 7, 2016 12:00 AM
In a past survey, the Association for Talent Development revealed that a whopping 87 percent of managers become such without prior management training and education. This sets them up for seagull management – they fly in, crap on people and fly back out. By crap, I don’t mean that they necessarily treat people badly. What I do mean is that they aren’t delivering much value to their people. That is, doing things for them – not to them. You will then create the opportunity to blow past sales management and focus them on sales leadership.
October 6, 2016 12:00 AM
Ray Bloom is the founder and chairman of IMEX Group, which organizes the largest worldwide exhibitions for the incentive travel and meetings industry, including IMEX America, which is scheduled for Oct. 18-20 in Las Vegas. Sales & Marketing Managementcaught up with Bloom recently via email.
October 5, 2016 12:00 AM
Finding news stories, blog posts and other content about “the problem with user reviews” isn’t hard. Reviews and rankings connect with so many disciplines – marketing, hospitality and increasingly lawyers and legislators – that virtually everyone now has a stake in them. But what seemed relatively simple as a brilliant business idea to connect companies and their customers through the value of review data and the communities that exchange it has become complicated by questions of fraud and defamation.
October 3, 2016 12:00 AM
Stereotypes about generations of people are nothing new, necessarily. The Silent Generation thought of young Baby Boomers in a certain way, and now Generations X and Y are thinking of millennials (generally defined as individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century) in specific terms that often include adjectives like “narcissistic,” “spoiled,” “entitled,” “idealistic” and “lazy.”
September 30, 2016 12:00 AM
It happened again. I accepted a LinkedIn invitation from someone I didn’t know, sent a personal response to greet my new connection, and immediately received a cold calling message from someone looking only for lead generation:
September 26, 2016 12:00 AM
In the movie “The Martian,” Matt Damon’s character, Mark Watney, is teetering on the razor’s edge. He has extremely limited resources and one slip could be the difference between survival and failure. The same is true of many channel partners whoteeter on the edge of business survival. As a vendor, understanding your partners’ economic needs and challenges, and creating and maintaining partner programs that take those vulnerabilities into account is critical to the success of both partners and vendors. 
September 23, 2016 12:00 AM
True story: I called one of my dream clients weekly for 75 weeks and left 75 voice mail messages before he finally picked up his phone on week 76. When I asked him for an appointment, he replied, exasperated, “You’ve called me a million times!” He was unimpressed with my pigheaded, relentless pursuit of the opportunity to serve him.
September 19, 2016 07:03 AM
Several years ago, Donald Rumsfeld, then Secretary of Defense, spoke about “known knowns, known unknowns’’ and the dreaded “unknown unknowns.’’ Rumsfeld omitted one category, however, and that is unknown knowns.
September 16, 2016 07:30 AM
You’re at the proposal stage and, so far, everything appears to be on track to make the sale. That’s why it can come as a huge shock if the deal doesn't close. It will leave you wondering where things went wrong. Here are a few of the most common indicators that it was your proposal that failed to seal the deal.
September 13, 2016 04:37 PM
His father Rick taught a generation of public television viewers how to take in Europe. Now, Andy Steves, 29, has a successful tour guide business targeted to millennials and a new guidebook of his own. We talked about the incomparable value of travel and how his generation likes to go about it.
September 13, 2016 12:00 AM
It is uncanny how life events so often intersect with a topic I am writing about in this magazine, or maybe it’s just evidence that the concepts involved in leading work teams and producing peak performance are ubiquitous both in and out of workplace settings. The latest example involves my youngest child, who began her senior year of high school this fall. She volunteered for Link Crew, a transition program for incoming freshmen in which upperclassmen serve as mentors who help calm freshman fears and ensure a strong first year of high school.
September 13, 2016 12:00 AM
Nine. That’s the number of attempts it usually takes to reach a cold prospect. Yet too many salespeople give up after two or three tries  And while repeat business and referrals play a big part in most industries, attracting new regions and verticals is critical for growth. The key to further success will always lie in getting more opportunities to show why your solution or service is not just better, but better for them. Here are four tips to secure that first conversation and stop leaving new business on the table.
September 12, 2016 12:00 AM
One of the common complaints I’ve heard from sales executives is that their people aren’t strong closers. To me this is a reinforcement of the fact that far too much emphasis is placed on closing. It’s as though a strong ending can salvage a poor three-act play.
September 6, 2016 07:09 AM
Every year we ask sales leaders, “What’s your biggest challenge with sales compensation?” and every year we get the same answer: quota setting. Quotas are a hassle for all involved: from the people in finance and sales leadership who set the goals to the frontline sales reps who have to achieve those goals. But, unless you want a Wild West situation in your sales organization, you should probably set quotas, and set them correctly.
September 2, 2016 12:00 AM
The rate of technology change is accelerating with thousands of ideas, apps and innovations bubbling up to help meeting planners, exhibitors, venues and other meeting participants do their jobs better. Here are seven event technology trends to monitor.
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.