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.
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.