July 30, 2015 12:00 AM
In this era of Big Data, we’re inundated with messages to use data to drive personalized and predictive experiences for customers. But for many, the gap between this data-driven vision and reality is large and growing; according to Forrester Research, most organizations are using a mere 12 percent of their data to make marketing decisions.
July 27, 2015 12:00 AM
In a joint study on decision making, research psychologists Irving Janis and Leon Mann describe a wartime phenomenon called the “old sergeant syndrome” — when infantry on the frontlines, having witnessed the deaths of many comrades, are known to actually delay making decisions that might protect them from a similar fate. Though anecdotal, the old sergeant syndrome illustrates just how powerful the human preference for staying the course can be.
July 24, 2015 12:00 AM
Content is no longer exclusive to the marketer’s toolkit. There is a common need for good content to support both marketing and sales goals; content that spurs engagement, drives conversion and meets the needs of your customers.
Video is a powerful tool that can work across departments and across the sales cycle. For marketers, video is often a key component of the marketing mix. Its purpose is focused on positioning the brand, promoting products and services and generating leads for the sales team.
July 22, 2015 12:00 AM
It’s no secret that modern marketing campaigns rarely launch without being accompanied by a major online advertising push. The positions of digital marketer and social media manager have become standard at just about every large American company.
The question is: why?
July 20, 2015 12:00 AM
Today there is a phenomenon known as the “Google” effect. That is – technology advances are producing a society where people expect all their technology interactions to be as accurate, fast and reliable as Google. At the same time, consumers are more empowered than ever before, with the ability to research product reviews in milliseconds and competitors just a click away.
July 17, 2015 12:00 AM
While even the word “negotiation” can evoke fear, stress and anxiety for many, the intent is quite simple: to discuss and ultimately agree on a deal. Whether it’s a multimillion dollar contract or just deciding where to meet for lunch, life is rife with negotiations. The negotiation process is a lot like a chess game where strategy reigns supreme – one thoughtfully considered move at a time. Make a careless, short-sighted, ill-conceived move and suffer the perilous consequences.
July 13, 2015 12:00 AM
Highly effective field sales management is the single most important driver of overall sales force performance. We see it time and again: when a company with an average sales team brings on a great manager, that manager elevates the performance of the entire team. In military terms, an excellent sales manager is a “force multiplier” as he or she enhances the effectiveness of each individual rep, leading to significantly higher rates of incremental growth.
July 8, 2015 06:05 AM
For many B2B organizations, summer is an important mid-year turning point – a time to assess sales success, look toward meeting end-of-year goals, and/or plan for your new year. As social selling takes on greater importance in the sales process, organizations – including marketers, trainers and sales enablement professionals – can use the summer months to help sales teams get savvy about social selling, and lay the groundwork for strong sales, whether you’re wrapping up the year or gearing up for the new year.
July 6, 2015 10:13 AM
Sales and marketing professionals know that the bar for effective sales and marketing engagement has never been higher. We’ve responded with audience-focused campaigns, salesforce and marketing automation, and content targeted to each buyer who influences a sale. Many companies have invested in buyer personas, data mining apps and social media listening posts.
And yet it’s hard to find buyers who say that we’ve made their decisions any easier.
July 1, 2015 12:00 AM
In the ongoing battle for market share, brands pour over metrics and tweak strategies to increase customer loyalty. The stakes are high, customer acquisition costs are expensive and most businesses can’t afford to lose sales to competitors. With prices commoditized in many industries, today’s battleground is centered squarely on customer experiences.
July 1, 2015 12:00 AM
When you’re pregnant (or when your partner is pregnant), you start seeing pregnant women everywhere you go. Something similar happens every time we put together our annual summer issue, with its focus on technology’s impact on sales and marketing.
June 29, 2015 02:28 PM
Sales negotiations can go awry quickly, and in any number of ways. While there’s no surefire way to barter a positive outcome, avoiding a handful of common mistakes can decrease the likelihood of the negotiation getting derailed. In a blog post on HubSpot.com, sales management consultant Jeff Hoffman shared the four worst mistakes reps make when they negotiate.
June 29, 2015 02:41 PM
When people land on your website, you want them to do something — something that progresses your specific goals. Encouraging a prospective customer to take a desired action is one of the hardest tasks that markets face. “You need to focus less on beautiful design or amazing copy and more on creating a powerful and compelling call to action,” says blogger, author and social media strategist Jeff Bullas (jeffbullas.com).
June 29, 2015 03:13 PM
As technology continues its frenzied leap forward, you’ve never had more tools at your fingertips for reaching your market, engaging your customer, closing a deal or hitting your numbers. With so many products to choose from and limited time for research, you may be inclined to stick with popular, big-name solutions rather than trying something you’ve not heard of before.
June 29, 2015 03:19 PM
It’s easy to jump to the sales tool du jour in the hope that it will boost your numbers. Too many companies have discovered the hard way this is a mistake. Eric Estrilla of Sales Benchmark Index (SalesBenchmarkIndex.com) says the sales tools you implement across your sales operations should be defined by overall organizational needs, which are defined by your product, marketing and sales strategies.
June 29, 2015 03:16 PM
The emergence of new tools ultimately kicks technology that was once considered indispensable to the curb. Is it time for voice mail to hang it up? M.I.T. research fellow Michael Schrage posed the question in an in article for Harvard Business Review (HBR.org). “A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper,” Schrage states.
June 29, 2015 12:00 AM
By 2020, nearly 50 percent of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. They are diverse, tech-savvy, socially connected, and more comfortable “job jumping” to find professional fulfillment. The way Millennials evaluate job opportunities is very different from past generations. Although they require new levels of flexibility, office perks and management styles, the potential return on investment is enormous.
June 29, 2015 02:49 PM
Used to be if a presenter constantly checked his watch it was a signal that things weren’t going so well. Now it can mean your audience is completely engaged.
MeetingPulse, a suite of web-based audience engagement tools for meetings, has introduced the first-ever meeting software integration with wearable technology, currently compatible with the Pebble smartwatch and soon to be Apple Watch-ready.
June 29, 2015 02:40 PM
“Leaders must start taking it personally that customers are departing from their business,” states Jeanne Bliss in her new book, “Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How To Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine” (Wiley). “They need to care about the ‘math’ between customers in and customers out — because that delta drives growth.
June 29, 2015 02:59 PM
If you’re uncertain about the popularity of consumer electronics in the U.S. and around the world — and we can’t imagine why you would be — spend a day at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show, which is held in Las Vegas each January. The show’s growth over the years has forced its expansion from “merely” filling up the Las Vegas Convention Center, to spilling over into several exhibit halls at nearby casinos. The numbers from CES 2015 are staggering:
• More than 170,000 attendees
June 29, 2015 02:33 PM
Video has immense potential in B2B marketing, but many companies have been slow to adopt it, states Chuck Kapelke in a story for B-to-B Marketer,a publication of the Business Marketing Association. He provides these quick tips for better use of video:
June 29, 2015 02:29 PM
If your salespeople think their prospects are hard to impress, try having them sell to venture capitalist David Wells of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “Within the first eight words, I’ve decided whether or not to keep listening,” Wells told Allison M. Shapira of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Communication Program when asked what he’s thinking when he hears a startup pitch.