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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.
July 18, 2016 05:00 AM
As Frank Sinatra crooned, as far as love and marriage are concerned, you can’t have one without the other. It turns out the same holds true for marketing and sales — though even Ol’ Blue Eyes would have had a hard time writing a rhyming ditty around that pair of words.
July 15, 2016 12:00 AM
Whether you are a business leader or individual contributor, figuring out how to keep your value proposition relevant in a growing era of technology (robots, kiosks, apps, etc.)is going to be critical for ongoing survival. That is why I wrote the Seven Personalization Principles Model (7-P) to help illuminate how organizations and individuals can customize and personalize to winin the new economy.
July 14, 2016 12:00 AM
As I prepare to write this article, a hundred things are running through my mind. First it’s June and the quarter close. Simultaneously I’m scanning my email “clutter” file to make sure MS Outlook still knows better than I do what is clutter and what isn’t. Intermittently, snippets of recent prospect and client conversations interject.
July 13, 2016 12:00 AM
I’m sure many of us have unsuspectingly picked up the phone only to be ambushed by a fast-talking sales pitch. Despite making our best effort to extend professional courtesy, we simply don’t have time to listen to a sales pitch most of the time. The result is that we will typically do our best to end the call as quickly as possible so we can get back to work. Whether we are “in a meeting,” “late for our next meeting” or we simply choose to hang up, we will rarely feel any guilt about our narrow escape.
July 11, 2016 05:26 AM
A disturbing trend that I am seeing in the marketplace is an escalating level of apathy at the senior executive level as it relates to the effectiveness and value of their sales organizations. In other words, more and more executives seem to be throwing in the towel when it comes to salespeople actually being able to move the revenue needle. As I dig deeper, I see two fundamental causes for this:
July 8, 2016 12:00 AM
The world of sales has changed significantly in recent years, mainly driven by advancements in technology. The sales organization has been influenced by technology available to customers, which has drastically increased the amount of information accessible to buyers to help them with purchasing decisions.
July 3, 2016 12:00 AM
There’s a persistent “myth” in software development: great developers are 10X more productive than average developers. I call it a “myth” in quotation marks because there’s disagree­ment around that statement in the software community. For one thing, it’s hard to precisely measure the difference. Is it 2X, 3X or 5X instead? And second, the adoption of agile management has tended to emphasize the productivity of teams and to downplay the notion of the solo rock star programmer.
July 1, 2016 12:00 AM
iPads and other tablet computers are rapidly changing the sales game and helping sales reps achieve their goals faster and smarter. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, 94 percent of the Fortune 500 and 75 percent of the Global 500 are either testing or deploying the iPad.
June 27, 2016 04:07 PM
Late last year, Medtronic Surgical Innovations had a new product to sell that required the certification of more than 350 salespeople in North America with an aggressive timeline —  roughly 90 days. The group considered one-to-one training, but given the tight timeline and the fact that it coincided with the end of the year and related holidays, it determined that it simply wouldn’t be possible.
June 27, 2016 08:12 PM
That emergence of B2B ecommerce that you’ve heard so much about? It’s here, experts say, and if you’re not alert, it will pass you and your company by. “You can easily streamline your B2B sales by NOT implementing a B2B ecommerce model. Your competitors will take care of the orders for you!” tweeted Brian Massey, cofounder of website optimization company Conversion Sciences.
June 27, 2016 03:59 PM
The eLearning Industry ( estimates the worldwide market for mobile learning products and services will reach $12.2 billion by 2017. The online corporate market is expected to grow by 13 percent per year up to 2017. Today, 77 percent of U.S. companies offer online corporate training to improve the professional development of their employees.
June 27, 2016 08:22 PM
It happens every year...One workplace study or another releases survey results that show 70 percent or more of employees are disengaged at work. The most recent research by Gallup shows that employee engagement is strongly connected to business outcomes essential to an organization’s financial success, such as productivity, profitability and customer engagement. Engaged employees support the innovation, growth and revenue that their companies need.
June 27, 2016 03:45 PM
In athletics, a coach’s post-game talk is an integral piece of a squad’s season-long effort to learn and grow. Why should it be any different in the world of business?
June 27, 2016 08:31 PM
Companies that include gift cards in their incentive programs are realizing remarkable results and finding new technological solutions that help manage their programs and decrease capital costs. We’ve spoken to companies who are seeing an ever-increasing percentage of their consumer reward points going to gift cards, and recently have seen a huge increase in the demand for digital product. There are many reasons why gift cards are a popular and effective motivator.
June 27, 2016 03:43 PM
Orlando held on to its ranking as the top meeting destination in the U.S., as rated by Cvent, a leading event management technology company. Chicago, which was No. 3 in Cvent’s 2015 rankings behind Las Vegas, swapped places with Las Vegas this year. Atlanta and San Diego rounded out the top five.
June 27, 2016 04:04 PM
When it comes to emerging sales technologies, a platform approach is a top criterion for success. According to Accenture’s Technology Vision 2016, you need personalized and flexible selling platforms to increase adoption by sales teams.
June 27, 2016 03:54 PM
Power-Gear Sound
June 27, 2016 04:06 PM
Is it better to sell face-to-face? Absolutely, says Doug Devitre. Whether your customer is an individual, a committee, or a group of decision makers, there is no better replacement for showing up in person. But that’s not always possible. Today’s technology, with screen-sharing capability and other remote presentation options, provides some hidden and not-so-hidden benefits. In his book “Screen-to-Screen Selling,” Devitre shares insights for better remote sales strategies. Here are some of his tips:
June 27, 2016 03:56 PM
Here are just a few of the comments we heard and came across while researching this cover feature package on investing wisely in B2B sales and marketing technology: “B2B marketers are doubling down on various marketing technology tools in 2016 as they look for new ways to attract the sector’s increasingly savvy customer base.” (eMarketer)
June 27, 2016 12:00 AM
The pit in cold callers’ stomachs should growl with hunger every day. Hunger can’t be taught or nurtured. You’re either born hungry or you’re not. You’re either fully consumed by a visceral, bone-deep desire to succeed or you’re not. ‘Content’ is a dirty word in sales. It’s usually the incipience of losing interest in selling.
June 27, 2016 02:47 PM
As we were headed to press with this annual issue on technology and its impact on the worlds of sales and marketing, the Tribune Media Company, owners of such notable newspaper brands as the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Baltimore Sun, announced it is rebranding the company as “tronc.” No, that’s not a typo. It’s really tronc — with a small “t,” as in “tribune online content.”