UNREASONABLE IDEAS: the inflexion-point blog

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionaries

Twitter loses its crown as most preferred B2B social media platform

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 17-Apr-2014

B2B Marketing have just published a comprehensive 60+ page survey of business social media - and one of their key conclusions is that LinkedIn (94%) has replaced Twitter (89%) as the B2B marketer’s favourite business social media platform.

The preference gap widened dramatically when marketers were asked which social network was most effective in supporting their business goals. More than twice as many - 45% - chose LinkedIn, compared to 20% that chose Twitter.

Perhaps this should come as no great surprise: as the survey pointed our, fluffy justifications for social media investments won’t pass muster any more. Business social media is increasingly expected to deliver hard business benefits.

So what are the implications for B2B marketing?

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Topics: Business Social Media, B2B Marketing

Crossing the Chasm - moving up through the gears

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 15-Apr-2014

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 recently published 3rd edition reflects this.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, Crossing the Chasm, Scalable Systems

Neil Rackham really wanted us all to be SPIV sales people

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 10-Apr-2014

One of a series of articles celebrating the continuing relevance of SPIN Selling

I had the chance to listen to Neil Rackham, creator of the best-selling SPIN Selling, at the Portsmouth Business School a couple of weeks ago. He proved an extremely engaging speaker - and he shared a closely-guarded secret: SPIN Selling should really have been SPIV selling.

For those of you unfamiliar with SPIN Selling, the four-letter acronym stands for Situational, Problem, Implication and Need-Payoff questions. It resulted from years of research into the winning questioning habits of top-performing sales people.

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Topics: B2B Sales, The Challenger Sale, Crossing the Chasm, Skills Development

Aberdeen Group makes compelling case for sales and marketing alignment

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 9-Apr-2014

“Improving sales and marketing alignment” has been close to the top of CEO priority lists for years - and with good reason. Most people would agree that sales and marketing organisations that work well together are likely to outperform their poorly-aligned peers.

But organisations sometimes struggle to come up with the hard data to back up this belief. It’s a subject that the Aberdeen Group has monitored over many years, and their latest Research Brief offers compelling evidence of the benefits of sales and marketing alignment.

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Topics: Sales + Marketing Alignment, Aberdeen Group

Why onboarding is so critical to successful B2B sales recruiting

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 8-Apr-2014

Other than making sure you recruit the right people in the first place, how you go about on-boarding new sales people makes a huge difference to their chances of ultimate success. Yet far too many companies seem to believe that a little product training is all that is required to equip a new hire to succeed.

It’s a subject that deserves more attention, and that’s why I was very pleased to be asked to contribute to Brainshark’s excellent new eBook “Prepare Your Sales Force: Ideas for Enabling B2B Reps With More Effective Onboarding and Training”.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, The Challenger Sale, Sales Enablement

Why the Sales and Marketing conversation should never be about you

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 18-Mar-2014

I was delighted to be asked by the founders of the admirably named Witty Parrot to contribute to their collection of 25 “Sales Productivity Tips from the Experts”, featuring a bunch of really smart people. The book has been a runaway download success - you can download your copy by following the link at the bottom of this article.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, Thought Leaders

Don Draper and the new sales 101

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 6-Mar-2014

If you ever questioned whether marketers could teach sales people anything about selling, I urge you to watch one of my favourite Don Draper moments. If the video isn’t displayed below in your copy of this email, you can reach it by following this link: http://youtu.be/5y4b-DEkIps

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Topics: B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, Thought Leaders

Amazon’s shamefully shoddy strategy

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 26-Feb-2014

Over the years, I’ve found much to admire about Amazon. They have generally made it easy for me to buy from them, and on the rare occasion they have messed up, they have always been quick to fix the problem. They have become my preferred place for online purchases.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, B2B Sales

Sales Enablement: the essential bridge between B2B Marketing and Sales

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 5-Feb-2014

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.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, Sales Enablement, Forrester

Crossing the Chasm and the mitigation of risk

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 29-Jan-2014

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.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, Crossing the Chasm





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