About Bob Apollo

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So far Bob Apollo has created 44 blog entries.

B2B Sales: You need to focus on the workarounds that aren’t working

In most “solution selling” methodologies, B2B sales people are encouraged to uncover their prospect’s issues, rather than leading with their products. But there’s a potential problem: any organisation, any stakeholder, always has many more issues that they would like to address than they could possibly have the have money, time, or inclination to deal with. That’s why so many issues stimulate so many apparently positive sales conversations that end up going absolutely nowhere. The prospect is interested enough to talk, but not motivated enough to act... One of the ways of dealing with this, of course, is READ MORE

2020-06-30T12:07:55+10:00By |Evergreen, Skills|

Are your sales people merely communicating value – or creating it?

One of the problems with creating generic “unique value propositions” is that they are just that - generic. They might be a useful basis for communicating mass-marketing messages, but they are not a suitable basis for a truly productive sales conversation. To be truly effective - and to have real impact - your sales people need to be crafting uniquely customised value propositions for each individual prospect (and often each significant stakeholder). If that sounds like hard work, it is. But here’s why it is worth it… Your prospects are tired of generic value propositions that do READ MORE

Crossing the Chasm – moving up through the gears

One of a series of articles celebrating the lasting impact of “Crossing the Chasm” It’s more than 20 years since Geoffrey Moore published the first edition of “Crossing the Chasm”. Since then, it has become a classic, and has cemented its position as the one must-have book that every B2B technology marketer needs to have read. I’ve been applying the principles since 1991 - the year in which the book was first published - and the timelessness of the core concept is striking. But the world has moved on in a number of significant respects, and the READ MORE

2020-10-13T20:04:48+11:00By |B2B marketing blog, Velocity|

Sales Enablement: the essential bridge between B2B Marketing and Sales

What is the primary role of B2B marketing in today’s business environment? It’s certainly no longer just about the traditional “awareness and preference”, or how many website visitors you attract or how many as-yet unqualified enquiries you generate. In fact, many of the traditional marketing focuses, priorities and metrics are downright dysfunctional in the modern B2B landscape. There’s no point in generating even more “leads” that the sales force can’t be motivated to follow up. And there’s even less point in being rewarded or applauded for doing so. A new primary role for marketing Particularly in the READ MORE

2020-06-03T11:04:29+10:00By |B2B marketing blog, Sales|

Crossing the Chasm and the mitigation of risk

When Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” first appeared 20 years ago it became an instant hit and an inspiration to successive generations of technology marketers. In fact, I can’t think of any single book that has had a more powerful (or, in the early days, disruptive) impact on how I think about taking technology products to market. Moore explained that the adoption curve for new technologies is marked by a profound disruption in customer behaviour between early adopters and the pragmatic buyers that represent the vast majority (and all of the profits) in most B2B markets. The READ MORE

B2B Sales: empowered customers require empowered sales people

There’s abundant evidence to prove that today’s internet-savvy customers are much better informed and far more empowered than they were a generation ago. And it’s affecting B2B every bit as much as it is B2C. Your prospects are able to learn about issues, find out about the experiences of others, research potential solutions and establish buying criteria without ever feeling the need to speak to a salesperson. The new B2B buying decision journey The vast majority of today's information gathering is digital, and several studies have shown that the average B2B buying decision journey is around two-thirds READ MORE

2020-06-03T11:04:29+10:00By |B2B marketing blog, Sales|

Three things you must understand when prospecting for new business

Most organisations are critically dependent on their ability to find and win new business. So why is it that so many prospecting efforts fail to uncover enough of the right sort of opportunities? Why is it that so much effort is being wasted targeting “prospects” that are never likely to buy? Why is it that so many sales people’s pipelines are stuffed with “opportunities” that may at first appear to be interested in what you have to offer, but which end up soaking up sales resource while going nowhere fast? The performance gap I’ve conducted a number READ MORE

2020-06-03T11:04:29+10:00By |B2B marketing blog, Sales|

B2B Sales+Marketing: you end up talking to the person you sound like

Sales training traditionally encourages B2B sales people to “call high” - in fact, it’s hard to keep track of all the articles and publications focused on selling to the C-level (a simple Google search reveals over 100 million hits). “Thought leadership” is no less fashionable amongst the B2B marketing community (over 200 million hits). But if you want to engage at the right level, and stay there as opposed to being bumped down the decision-making stack, you need to bear one simple principle in mind at all times: you’ll end up talking to the person you sound READ MORE

The #1 Sales issue: inability to communicate value

For three years in a row, the highly influential benchmark and advisory firm Sirius Decisions has reported that the number one revenue inhibitor in complex B2B sales environments remains the average sales person’s inability to communicate value. You’d hope that we would have made more progress in solving this. I believe one of the reasons that we haven’t is that most of the effort has been spent focusing on the value of our solutions and not on the cost to the prospect of not dealing with the problem. Personalising our value Of course, we need to find READ MORE

Why B2B Marketing in 2014 must be about Content + Context + Conversation

Content Marketing has emerged as one of the key growth areas for B2B Marketing in 2014. It seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. And yet, as Doug Kessler so eloquently explains, we are in the process of drowning in a deluge of drivel masquerading as thought leadership. It’s just that Doug didn’t use the word “drivel”. More on that later. Diverting the deluge of drivel How can we avoid contributing to this deluge of drivel? David Meerman Scott - referring to a conversation with Greg Alexander at Sales Benchmark Index - highlighted the important linkage READ MORE

2020-06-03T11:04:30+10:00By |B2B marketing blog, Sales, Tactics|
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