In B2B, Salespeople usually have to generate 75% of their own leads, and they have to prosecute all of them. Who are your salespeople and how will you manage them?

A freebie can cost you more than money: a reputation for poor customer service

All customers love a freebie! Right? But, what happens when your good intentions backfire, and you’re left looking like the bad guy, as well as being out of pocket? This week, Hugh shares a few personal stories and examines the relationship between discounting and customer service. He looks at the common mistakes companies make when trying to provide deep discounts, and how to offer these discounts without disappointing your customer.

How to shape the buyers’ need

Buyers buy what they think they need. Rather than focusing your efforts on selling the qualities of your solution, why not shape buyers’ need for your product, and let the product sell itself? Yes, that’s right, let your solution sell itself. In this blog, Hugh shows you how to differentiate yourself before the sale, without discussing your product, or its virtues, at all.

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

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

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

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

B2B Complex Sales: process is no substitute for emotional intelligence

Many sales leaders believe that having a sales process is important - as evidenced by the over 300 million references on Google to the term. But in most complex sales environments, having an over-prescriptive sales process can actually damage your chances of winning. I’ve seen too many situations where a sales person is so keen to move to the next stage of the defined sales process that they fail to ask the questions or, (even worse) actually listen to the answers they have already been given that could give them clues about where the buyer was and READ MORE

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