BLOG: SELLING IN THE BREAKTHROUGH ZONE

10 of the best from 2017...

Posted by Bob Apollo on Sat 30-Dec-2017

As you reflect on 2017, and as your thoughts turn to what you seek to achieve for yourself and for your organisation in 2018, I hope that you might find some of our more popular articles helpful in shaping your thinking.

2017 has been a year in which the typical buying process for complex B2B sales has often become even more complicated, taken even longer and all-too-often resulted in a decision to stick with the status quo and do nothing.

It's been a year in which the gap between the top sales performers and the rest has often continued to widen, and in which it has taken even longer for the average new sales hire to become fully productive.

But it's also been a year in which new lessons have been learned and new skills mastered, and in which the best sales organisations have continued to make impressive progress...

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Why mastering value selling has never been more important...

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 1-Jun-2017

According to research conducted by SiriusDecisions, the #1 sales effectiveness challenge facing today’s B2B sales leaders isn’t product knowledge, lack of demand or basic sales skills: it’s their sales people’s inability to make a clear connection between their product capabilities and their customer’s business issues.

The impact can be seen in longer sales cycles, declining win rates, lower deal values and an increasing number of apparently well-qualified opportunities ending with the prospect deciding to “do nothing” and stick with the status quo.

If you recognise any of these symptoms, my latest on-demand webinar offers a powerful series of field-proven remedies for dealing with this value vacuum…

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Aligning our sales process with our prospect’s buying journeys

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 1-Sep-2016

In complex sales environments, the role of the successful salesperson isn’t just about prospecting, qualifying and closing. In fact, the most effective sales people are the ones who manage to successfully facilitate complex buying decision processes that involve multiple stakeholders.

And yet the sales pipeline stages in the majority of CRM implementations are still defined with reference to the completion of a linear sequence of sales activities such as “qualifying”, “demonstrating” and “proposing” that usually bear little relationship to the true state of the prospect’s often-complex buying journey, or the likelihood they will either do anything or choose your solution.

It’s no wonder that so many sales pipeline valuations are wildly optimistic, or that sales forecasts often remain stubbornly inaccurate, with “current quarter commit” deals that turn out to be nothing of the sort. If you recognise, or even suspect that you have a problem in these areas, it’s time to take action.

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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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Why Marketing needs to FieldSource more ideas from Sales

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 29-Apr-2013

For an industry that has embraced so many “lean” and “agile” principles when it comes to software development, it’s always surprised and frustrated me that many B2B software and SaaS businesses remain oblivious to the opportunity to eliminate a bunch of wasted, value-sapping effort in their sales and marketing process.

I think you probably have a sense of what I mean. Marketing creating sales tools that your sales people find ineffective or inappropriate. Sales generating their own content to fill the perceived gaps in what marketing has created. The dangers of wasting or duplicating effort are obvious. And that’s without taking into account the scope for customer confusion caused by conflicting messages.

Connecting the marketing message with the sales conversation

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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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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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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?

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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?

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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.

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