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SELL THE DIFFERENCE: Establishing your Unique Solution Value

Are you fooling yourself about your funnel?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 8-Mar-2016

CSO Insights’ annual reports have always been a source of much inspiration, and this year is no exception. Their 2016 Sales Behaviours Study - involving over 1500 respondents - is the first one to be released as part of the MHI Group (you may recognise them as Miller Heiman), but the conclusions have lost none of their edge - or their power to shock.

Funnel Management is a classic example. At face value, the surveyed organisations appear to have a relatively high level of satisfaction with their Funnel management process - 71% reporting that it was “good enough”. But when you dig into the underlying data, it becomes clear that the surface finish of satisfaction conceals a great deal of complacency.

In fact, the latest study concluded that suggested that the survey respondents were actually wildly optimistic about their funnel management capabilities. Here’s why…

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The #1 sales issue: inability to communicate value

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 14-Jan-2014

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.

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CSO Insights prove that lead scoring improves revenue performance

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 19-Jun-2013

One of the most common sources of friction between poorly aligned sales and marketing organisations is sales’ perception that the quality of leads generated by marketing is poor - and marketing’s frustration at sales inability or refusal to follow up on the “leads” they have generated.

It’s a stand-off that must be resolved, and one of the best ways of doing it is through the adoption of a lead scoring system that clearly defines - to the satisfaction of both parties - what a “good” lead looks like, and what sales commits to do with it.

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

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 15-May-2013

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

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The management skill that’s missing in two-thirds of sales organisations

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 17-Apr-2013

Miller Heiman’s always-excellent research programme has thrown up another compelling statistic: only 34% of all the sales organisations surveyed believed that their management team was “highly effective in helping the sales team advance sales opportunities”.

Well, you’ve got to wonder: if the majority of sales managers can’t perform that basic task "highly effectively", what value are they adding to the process? And what’s stopping them from supporting their sales people more effectively? To put the statistic into context, in “world class” sales organisations, the figure is not 34%, but 93%.

Stop behaving like a "forecast accountant"

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What’s holding your business back? Try this 12-point action framework

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 17-May-2012

What would happen if you were able to double your sales and marketing resources overnight? Assuming that you haven’t already saturated your target market, how confident are you that you could at least double your revenues - and how long would that take? What if you were able to quadruple your resources?

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Applying Smarter Metrics to your Sales and Marketing Funnel

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 15-May-2012

According to some of the latest reports from Sirius Decisions, CSO Insights and other leading B2B research organisations, the best-in-class sales and marketing organisations are as much as 5 times more effective than the average in converting inquiries into sales - as well as maintaining significantly faster average annual revenue growth.

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B2B Buying Cycle Alignment: 4 in 5 sales organisations must do better

Posted by Bob Apollo on Fri 13-Apr-2012

CSO Insights have just published their 2012 Sales Management Optimisation study.  As always, the conclusions from their latest research make compelling reading - and provide B2B sales leaders with much to think about.

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Sales Leaders: Are you really training your sales people to succeed?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 7-Feb-2012

CSO Insights have just released their eagerly-awaited annual review of the state of sales performance - reflecting detailed inputs from over 1,500 sales organisations from around the world. Their latest report suggests that B2B sales leaders could and should do more to equip their sales people to succeed through more relevant and effective training.

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Why Sales and Marketing Alignment Really, Really Matters

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 9-Jan-2012

According to a recent Aberdeen Group report, “alignment of marketing and sales goals is a key strategy for many organisations seeking revenue and customer growth amid economic and market challenges”. Poorly aligned organisations are quickly falling behind their best-in-class competitors in the critical areas of revenue growth, sales productivity and return on marketing investment. But how can you tell if your organisation has an alignment problem?

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