About Bob Apollo

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So far Bob Apollo has created 44 blog entries.

How to use sales rep scorecards to drive sales performance

  Creating sales rep scorecards will help you improve sales performance by sending clear expectation signals, identifying coaching opportunities and inspiring healthy competition.  The single biggest reason you will lose top talent is poor management.  Assuming people are compensated competitively and other basic needs are looked after, if they are not clear about what’s expected of them or how their success is connected to the company’s progress, they will probably leave at the worst possible time. In the mid-2000′s, Jack Welch wrote about his ‘Rank and Yank’ performance management model where performance is assessed across the ’4-Es’ (Execution, READ MORE

3 out of 4 companies are taking the wrong approach to sales coaching

As you can imagine, I get to speak to a fair number of B2B-focused CEOs and sales leaders - and I can’t recall any of them ever disagreeing with the principle that effective sales coaching is an absolutely critical skill for first-line sales management. But the latest research from CSO insights suggest that 3 out of 4 companies are taking the wrong approach to sales coaching - an approach that is clearly holding back both individual rep performance and overall revenue achievement. Three approaches to coaching In the research that formed the basis for their recently-published 2013 READ MORE

B2B Complex Sales: why sales people should NEVER demo their product

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a product demo that seems to go on interminably until you feel that you have lost the will to live? Ever felt that the sales person is simply lobbing feature after feature at you, desperately hoping that that at least one of them will be of interest? Ever believed that they aren’t going to let you out of the room (or off the call) until they have shown you absolutely everything? Well, you’re not alone. That’s exactly how most prospects that have been subjected to a classic “everything READ MORE

7 Prescriptions for Aligning B2B Marketing, Selling and Buying

  While the practice of aligning the B2B marketing, selling and buying processes has seen a lot of development in the recent years, there’s no doubt that there’s still a great deal of room for improvement, as evidenced by 4 disturbing statistics: 80-90% of all the materials generated by marketing for sales consumption remain largely or completely unused Sales people are still wasting dozens of hours per month (re)creating materials to support their sales activities Only 1 in 8 of all meetings with sales people are rated as in any way “valuable” by prospects There’s a growing READ MORE

Connecting the Buyer’s Journey, Your Pipeline and Your Revenue Goals

The changing shape of the buyer's journey has introduced a raft of new issues for sales leaders who are trying to manage sales pipelines and generate accurate revenue forecasts. Prospects are leveraging the internet and business social media to do their research - and engaging sales people later in the decision making process. In fact, the latest research from the CEB suggests that the typical B2B buying-decision process is 57% complete before a salesperson is even actively involved. By that time, the prospect is a long way down the path of scoping their needs, establishing their priorities, READ MORE

What have you learned from your top sales performers?

What is it that your top sales performers do better than anyone else? Part of the explanation may, of course, be simply that they are more naturally talented, or have a greater emotional intelligence when it comes to decoding complex sales relationships. But they will also have accumulated a set of winning habits and behaviours that the rest of your sales team could benefit from. And your ability to leverage that learning could make all the difference when it comes to achieving or exceeding your revenue goals. As Miller Heiman’s 2013 sales best practices report points out, READ MORE

The real reason sales people struggle to close opportunities

  Alec Baldwin has got a lot to answer for. And, no, I’m not talking about his appearance in “Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat”. I am, of course referring to his role as Blake, the alpha dog motivational salesman in the film “Glengarry Glen Ross”. By the way, you can blame the IMDb website for the “alpha dog motivational salesperson” tag. It’s a laughable description. But it’s somewhat relevant, because the role he plays in that film is, by the standards of effective salesmanagership, completely barking. Blake’s Seven becomes 3 For those of you unfamiliar READ MORE

Bridging the gap between marketing messages and sales conversations

  I wrote late last year about the idea that “you can create brilliant content marketing and still miss the point”, and I want to develop the thought that there are still far too many dangerous disconnects between the marketing messages propagated by organisations and the conversations their sales people are actually having with prospects. If anything, the issue has been compounded by the elevation of content marketing to a stratospheric pedestal as the latest saviour of B2B marketing. Now, there’s no doubt that compelling content offers a critical underpinning to much of today's most effective business-to-business READ MORE

How to turn every sales person into a top story-teller

  What sets top sales people apart? What is it that they do better than the rest? There are, of course, a number of factors, but one that we frequently observe is that top sellers are great story-tellers. They put their points across not by pitching their products, but by sharing relevant, situation-specific anecdotes and stories that their prospects can relate to. Your most experienced and effective sales people - and your senior executives - probably have a stock of these stories. Telling them seems perfectly natural. They use their stock of stories to give direction to READ MORE

22 make-or-break sales and marketing predictions for 2013

What are the key trends that are likely to impact B2B sales and marketing in 2013? OpenView Labs recently published 22 predictions. Funnel Coach, Bob Apollo was among the contributors and here he summarizes their key headlines. I was pleased to be asked to be one of the contributors. You can read all of the opinions in the full blog post here, but just to give you a flavour, I'd like to share the headlines below. Inevitably, some of the predictions are at odds with each other. Which do you agree with? Which are likely to have the most READ MORE

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