November 25, 2016 01:00 AM
“Challenge your prospects and customers” has become a selling mantra in recent years, as companies look to use edgy messaging to create the urgency to change and differentiate their solutions. This is the recommended approach for when you’re the outsider trying to defeat the status quo.
November 21, 2016 06:52 AM
Is your outreach other-serving… or self-indulgent?
That question, or ones like it, seem to be at the core of internal sales and marketing conversations today. They reflect a growing worry about the ways in which both sales and marketing professionals are reaching out to clients and prospects in our increasingly connected world.
November 18, 2016 08:17 AM
Email: We love it. We hate it. Either way, it’s one of the first technology tools many of us ever incorporated into our everyday routines, and today it’s a mainstay of modern life. Up until now, from a business standpoint, you’ve most likely thought of email in two ways: 1) as a basic communication tool, and 2) as a sales prospecting tool that enables your initial cold outreach efforts.
November 14, 2016 01:00 AM
John Stumpf had a favorite slogan: “Eight is great.”
November 14, 2016 01:00 AM
“So you haven’t resigned, you haven’t returned a single nickel of your personal earnings. Instead, evidently your definition of accountable is to push the blame to your low-level employees who don’t have the money for a fancy PR firm to defend themselves. It’s gutless leadership.”
November 11, 2016 01:00 AM
How you take care of your employees tells more about your company and you as a leader than anything. Commitment to your people helps drive their commitment to the vision and creates ambassadors for your company, so when you or your company is criticized, they will defend you.
On the contrary, treating your people like fungible assets that can be replaced at any time will have negative effects:
November 7, 2016 01:00 AM
As a sales leader, increasing your team’s productivity is one of your biggest challenges. Growing revenue without adding salespeople can seem like an insurmountable task. However, there are a whole slew of actions you can take to give your reps more customer-facing time.
November 3, 2016 11:00 PM
Being in a sales position isn’t an easy job, especially when it comes to selling high-ticket products and services. To succeed in high-ticket selling, you must be able to communicate the right way with buyers looking to make a big investment. It takes years of practice to effectively communicate with clients in this field as they expect you to be at the top of your game, ultimately knowing your product, competitors and customer.
November 2, 2016 12:00 AM
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf came under harshcriticism from all sides after 5,300 employees and managers at the bank’s retail division were fired for their role in purposefully opening unauthorized accounts in the names of their customers in order to reach daily and weekly quotas and earn incentives.
November 2, 2016 01:59 PM
Can we dial it back on the “what millennials want” talk?
You can’t pick up a magazine (we’re guilty) or attend a trade show these days without running into yet another discussion on the likes and dislikes of people born between 1982 and 2002 (the officially unofficial definition of millennials).
They like free snacks at work. Who doesn’t?
They need regular naps. Again, who doesn’t?
They want to learn job skills quickly and advance even quicker.
November 2, 2016 03:37 PM
There’s a fine line between winning and losing. Victory can be decided in the small details others often overlook or deem unimportant. Not paying attention to those details can cost you. Big time.
November 2, 2016 03:59 PM
Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, has explored the irrationality of people’s decision-making processes in best-selling books. In his latest book, “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivation,” he explains that what drives people is far more complicated than most of us understand – and why business leaders would be wise to take a closer look.
October 31, 2016 07:24 AM
A few years ago I was selling medical software to manage cases in vascular labs. I was working on a closing a $2-$3 million deal - the largest deal the company had ever seen – and I was heavy in discussions with the client. The bosses back home had made it clear this deal needed to close and soon.
October 28, 2016 12:00 AM
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation.”
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.”