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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 10:38 AM
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.
March 19, 2015 11:35 AM
Employee recognition programs are only as effective as the rewards you choose. The most effective rewards take top performers to a happy place—a favorite hobby, a relaxing break from the daily grind or a happy memory of a job well done. Recognition doesn’t always have to be overwhelming. Small expressions of gratitude often leave the biggest impressions. Create work that is challenging, link recognition to company values and be authentic. That’s a good start.  
March 19, 2015 10:32 AM
Too often in business, words and phrases become so interwoven into the daily lexicon that they become bigger than themselves. That is to say, these terms are dropped into conversations without anyone stepping back and asking, “What exactly do you mean by that term?”
March 19, 2015 10:36 AM
March 19, 2015 11:30 AM
March 19, 2015 10:51 AM
The one thing that gets between you and your customers saying “yes” to what you are selling is your salespeople moving their lips. In fact, recent research by analyst firm Sirius Decisions shows that 71 percent of sales leaders identify customer conversations as their biggest challenge to hitting their revenue targets. More specifically, the problem stems from the inability of reps to link your solutions to your prospects’ business problems and then to articulate value.
March 19, 2015 12:00 PM
Cultivating high performance
March 19, 2015 10:57 AM
March 19, 2015 11:25 AM
Corporate event planners relish the opportunity to swap horror stories about problems with a venue at the last minute and how their MacGyver-like instincts kicked in to help them salvage the situation.
March 19, 2015 08:24 AM
Salespeople need to establish competency, but social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson says in their rush to do so, they may unwittingly be shooting themselves in the foot. The author of “No One Understands You and What to Do About It” lays out a better path to successful conversations.
March 16, 2015 06:27 AM
Shifts in the business-to-business buying process have transformed selling as we know it. In the past, salespeople had a fair amount of control. They were given a territory, a pricing structure, a margin target and a set of products and services they could offer, and then sent off into the wild blue yonder. They were responsible for managing their territory and producing results. Sales management provided oversight, facilitated requests back to corporate to ensure that orders were expedited, and generally stayed out of the way, unless additional support was needed to help underperformers.
March 13, 2015 12:00 AM
Few of the salespeople on your team aim for mediocrity. Most dream of reaching the top of their 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 9, 2015 12:00 AM
In just the last few years, sales enablement has been evolving from a disparate set of informal activities into a centralized, strategic corporate function — complete with dedicated resources and budgetary line-items to prove it. According to SiriusDecisions, companies are now spending more than ever to increase the effectiveness of their sales force, with sales enablement budgets doubling to more than $2.4 million in the last two years, and sales enablement technology spend increasing 69 percent over the same period.
March 6, 2015 01:00 AM
National Salesperson Day is the first Friday in March. To honor hard-working sales reps everywhere, Brainshark, Inc., a company delivering content-driven sales enablement solutions that close more deals, has gathered tips from top-performing reps on best practices that can help raise the bar for sales performance and turn “B” and “C” reps into “A” players.
March 2, 2015 06:58 AM
I think the greatest challenge we face in the learning & development (L&D) world is whether the audience we design and deliver content for actually use the learning in the field. In my experience the content is generally good, and improves year after year. Trends such as mobile technology and gamification can extend the life of a learning initiative, increasing the impact that L&D budgets have on their target audience. Even with new delivery methods for learning design, are you certain that your people are applying the content?  Who knows?
February 27, 2015 01:00 AM
At a recent conference, I noticed an industry shift that is about to become a movement: Some Value-Added Resellers (VARs) are choosing to become a new breed of “consultants.” These born-in-the-cloud progenies have shifted allegiance from the vendor with the highest sales incentive program to the end-user client who is willing to pay for their unbiased expertise. This simple shift in the reseller’s role is going to change the future of channel incentives for these VARs.
February 25, 2015 01:00 AM
While it is commonly understood that physically sending an item out of the country is an export transaction, under U.S. export controls laws the actual scope of what constitutes an “export” is much broader. The effects of this broad concept of exporting upon businesses – including their sales and marketing activities – are significant.
February 23, 2015 01:00 AM
Zig Ziglar said that every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust. I’d propose a sixth: no insight.
February 20, 2015 01:00 AM
Most likely, what your boss, peers and team members expect you to do is exactly the opposite of what you need to do to be truly successful in your role. And, even more harmful, if it’s what others expect from you, it’s likely what you expect from yourself. When you signed up for this job, you were told that you were in charge of the sales results for your company. The variables that you use to achieve those results are known as the 9 Ps of marketing.
February 16, 2015 09:06 AM
There’s a reason why 30 percent of American companies are spending upward of $10 million on apps and mobile web this year, according to the Adobe Mobile Marketing Survey. Deals aren’t going down exactly like they used to, and while an effective sales rep still needs to make interpersonal connections to win a prospect’s trust and inspire purchases and contracts, even the most gifted sales team won’t be able to reach KPIs without adopting the new way of closing deals.
February 13, 2015 01:00 AM
Every so often, in our attempt to align and find common ground with an individual, we unknowingly take over the conversation. Think of the last time you were in a discussion about a vacation destination. As the other person told you about his trip to a place that you also had visited, did you become eager to share your story too? It is okay in a social setting, but not in the world of sales.