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SELL THE DIFFERENCE: Establishing your Unique Solution Value

What we’ve got here is failure to differentiate…

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 13-Sep-2016

Let’s face it, establishing a distinctive, differentiated position for our products and services is hard and getting harder in an increasingly crowded, over-communicated-to market. It’s probably accurate to say that it’s never been harder to stand out from the crowd.

Geoffrey Moore recognised the problem in “Crossing the Chasm” more than 20 years ago - a book that has been recognised as one of the few timeless classic texts on B2B marketing. Moore offered a simple framework for crafting a unique and relevant value proposition targeted at a well-defined audience.

But in today’s hyper-competitive world, I’ve found that it’s worth expanding Moore’s original framework just a bit to ensure that we’re capturing the raw insights we need to craft compelling communications and conversations…

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Organisations have personas too!

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 14-Apr-2015

The idea of buyer personas seems to be sweeping the world of B2B marketing - another example of a business-to-consumer concept being embraced by the business-to-business world. Anticipating how different types of stakeholders are likely to think and behave is clearly helping to improve the quality of marketing messages and initial sales conversations.

But in complex B2B sales, we’re not just selling to individuals, but to teams of people within organisations, and I wonder if we haven’t been missing an important implication that is unique to B2B: those organisations have personas too!

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Why 100*1% is infinitely more valuable than 1*100%

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 19-Nov-2014

The numerically gifted amongst you might be scratching your heads at this point. At face value, one hundred times one percent adds up to exactly the same as one times one hundred percent. And from a purely mathematical perspective, of course, you’re right…

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Sales and Marketing alignment - necessary but not sufficient

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 30-Oct-2014

Most CEOs would like to see their sales and marketing teams working more effectively together. Many have “improving sales and marketing alignment” on their must-do list. But they are likely to be disappointed by the results - unless they focus on the real problem…

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Lessons from JFK’s inaugural about sales and marketing messaging

Posted by Bob Apollo on Fri 11-Jul-2014

On a bitterly cold winter’s day 53 years ago in January 1961, the newly elected President John F Kennedy set out his agenda for change in an inaugural address that was carried around the world.

More than half-a-century on, his address is considered among the finest presidential inaugural speeches in American history, and contains the memorable and oft-quoted appeal to his fellow Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

It’s an inspiring thought, and one that can serve to inspire a more enlightened approach to the way we communicate with our prospects and customers…

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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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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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How can B2B sales + marketing work more effectively together?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 10-Jun-2013

I recently suggested that marketing needs to "fieldsource" more ideas from sales. The message obviously struck a chord, because Brendan Cournoyer, Content Marketing Manager at Brainshark, asked if I'd respond to a handful of follow-up questions for his readers.

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7 Prescriptions for Aligning B2B Marketing, Selling and Buying

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 4-Jun-2013

The recent Sales 2.0 Conference in London seemed to me to be a great success. The auditorium was full for the opening address, the speakers were insightful and the audience was engaged and lively. I was able to make a modest contribution to the days proceedings by sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past 12 months about aligning the B2B marketing, selling and buying processes.

There’s no doubt that there’s still a great deal of room for improvement, as evidenced by 4 disturbing statistics:

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

Posted by Bob Apollo on Fri 17-May-2013

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.

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