IF YOU ENJOY THESE ARTICLES, PLEASE SHARE THEM ON LINKEDIN AND TWITTER AND WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES (AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO SUBSCRIBE)

SELL THE DIFFERENCE: Establishing your Unique Solution Value

Forget sales methodology wars - just pick the bits that work for you

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 15-May-2014

The authors of sales methodologies have a vested interest in positioning their approach as being distinctively different from the competition - after all, they have books to sell and (often eye-wateringly) expensive courses to fill.

Sometimes that positioning rises to ludicrous levels - as when one leading provider persuaded the Harvard Business Review to publish an article proclaiming “the End of Solution Selling”. Many of the arguments revolve around petty semantic definitions.

But, as someone wiser than me probably once said, “semantics don’t get you sold”. The truth of the matter is that many of these methodologies are more similar than they would have you believe. Is it really, as some cynics might have you believe, just another case of “same old s**t, different colour”?

Read More

The HBR dismantle the “sales machine”

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 22-Oct-2013

As I pointed out in a recent article, we’re going to need fewer, smarter B2B sales people. But that’s not all: we’re going to need to support them in a much smarter, less prescriptive sales environment - at least that’s the position put forward in the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review.

I admit it: I used to be a process evangelist, but I’ve become increasingly wary of the perceived benefits of implementing a rigid, prescriptive sales process in which every sales person is expected to follow a set of narrowly defined “best practices” - and to waste a deal of their time documenting the fact they have followed each step in their CRM system.

Unleash your sales people's creativity

Read More

Exclusive McKinsey Interview: Finding the Mountaintops in Your Markets

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 19-Jul-2012

Homayoun Hatami of McKinsey is one of the co-authors of the widely acclaimed “Sales Growth - Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders”. I shared some of the key findings from the book in one of my latest blog articles - and recently enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with Homayoun and learn more about his experience of using micro-segmentation to uncover market hotspots.

Read More

The Harvard Business Review explores what makes a great tweet

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 21-Jun-2012

Twitter is a runaway success, with more than half-a-billion registered users, and a community that spans both business and consumer interests. But what makes a “great tweet”? The May 2012 edition of the Harvard Business Review highlighted some fascinating research into user perceptions from a survey covering over 1,400 users people who were particularly technology-focused and news-centric - so more likely to represent a B2B audience than the average Twitter profile.

Read More

How much Sales and Marketing effort will you waste in 2012?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 17-Nov-2011

Everything suggests that 2012 is going to be a very difficult year. Economies around the world are slashing growth projections, unemployment is rising and buyers are behaving in an ever more risk-averse fashion. Against this challenging climate, can you afford to be wasting a single ounce of sales or marketing effort?

Read More

Are you prepared for an Olympic sales performance in 2012?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 8-Nov-2011

It’s November already - less than two months to go before the end of the year. I’m sure that your sales team is very focused on closing as much business as they can in 2011 - but how is 2012 looking? It may be shaping up as an Olympic Year for the UK - but is your organisation's sales performance going to be in the running for a gold medal next year?

Read More

12 Key Initiatives that Could Accelerate Your Revenue Growth

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 31-Oct-2011

What are the factors that separate many of today’s top-performing B2B sales and marketing organisations from the rest? Having outstanding products and services that are truly relevant to a well-defined target audience is clearly important. But when you look at the factors that truly separate the fastest growing vendors from the rest, it’s often their ability to execute that really impresses. They have the ability to align their entire sales and marketing organisation around a common set of winning strategies and tactics.

Read More

B2B Sales: Top Sellers are Storytellers

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 14-Jun-2011

Is your sales process characterised by lengthy buying cycles with the involvement of multiple decision makers? Are buying decisions frequently delayed or postponed? Are you finding that you are losing to a decision to “do nothing” as often as you lose to a conventional competitor? Then you’re not alone...

Read More

B2B Sales: Are Some of Your Prospects Frogs in Boiling Water?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 19-May-2011

You’ve probably heard the frog in boiling water anecdote. So the theory goes, a frog that is placed in cold water and gently heated will be slowly cooked to death, whereas one that is dropped into boiling water will leap to safety. Is it possible that your prospects behave in the same way?

Read More

10 Questions You Must Ask of Your Organisation

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 29-Mar-2011

What are the key factors that determine whether your organisation is going to be able to realise its full potential? The quality of your people and of your product offerings is clearly critical. But if you have a B2B focus and are competing in high-value, complex sales environments with lengthy decision making cycles, I’d like to suggest 10 questions you should be asking of your organisation...

Read More