April 27, 2015 12:00 AM
Every company wants a more effective sales force but few know where to start. Seeking quick results but unsure as to what is broken, sales leaders often launch a dozen or more initiatives simultaneously, hoping one of them is the real root of the problem.
April 24, 2015 12:00 AM
According to research by SirusDecisions, less than one out of 10 B2B companies report good alignment between sales and marketing organizations. If you don’t think this hurts your business, think again. The lack of integration of sales intelligence with sales and marketing systems causes the biggest gap between top sales performers and under-achievers.
April 20, 2015 05:52 AM
What's the best way to reach my prospects? How do I get past the gatekeeper? How many touches do I need before talking with someone? What do I do when the prospect’s assistant wants to put me into voicemail?
Sales leaders are constantly bombarded with these questions, because getting meetings with target prospects is the #1 business development challenge for most sales reps. Some sales managers say to keep calling. Others tell their teams to send emails or to connect with prospects on LinkedIn. The latest advice is retro: snail mail.
April 17, 2015 12:00 AM
With customer context that shows what a customer already knows and their level of engagement, sales reps can be that first responder. They can reach out to the right prospects at their precise moment of interest. They can get maximum insight into a customer’s pain points, which, in turn, enables them to engage more successfully with prospects by leveraging an ‘insight-selling’ approach.
The result? Sales reps can close more deals – faster – and more cost effectively.
April 13, 2015 12:00 AM
We live in a time of unprecedented connectivity. Take for instance our readily available access to the Internet, as granted to us by our smartphones and tablets. The steady but sudden proliferation of these devices has made for one of the greater technological advancements in our lifetime, and the impression left has been indelible. Eighty percent of adults now own smartphones, with nine out of 10 preferring to keep those devices beside them at all times.
April 6, 2015 12:00 AM
Fueled partly by this industry’s continuing obsession with the 1992 movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” the myth of the hotshot sales pro retains much of its power today. Who doesn’t want to be the Al Pacino figure, closing with a wink and a smile as the Jack Lemmons of this world look on in envy? Like all the best myths, there’s a grain of truth to it. Charisma, natural talent, and determination will carry you and your team a long way.
April 3, 2015 12:00 AM
Few of the salespeople on your team aim for mediocrity. Most dream of reaching the top of our 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 30, 2015 07:28 AM
Along with being a vehicle for announcing important company developments, online news releases can also be a powerful tool to help B2B companies dramatically increase incoming customer inquiries, fresh leads, and new sales opportunities. They can also energize offline sales, activate old or uninterested prospects, and stimulate the beginning stages of buyer’s journeys from new customers.
Here’s how to do it:
March 20, 2015 12:00 AM
At the same time that businesses embrace technology that allows them to connect wirelessly, sell remotely and send marketing content automatically to prospects based on expressed interests, many of them also continue to cling to the timeless tactic of trade show marketing.
March 19, 2015 10:47 AM
SiriusDecisions, a leading global B2B research and advisory firm, surveyed over 200 B2B sales, sales enablement and sales operations leaders to understand the key obstacles to achieving revenue growth goals. A whopping 71 percent stated that it was the “inability of their reps to connect their offerings to the business issues of their buyers.”
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.