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SELL THE DIFFERENCE: Establishing your Unique Solution Value

7 Simple Prescriptions for Successful B2B Sales Pipeline Management

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 21-Jun-2011

Rick Page - in his book of the same name - reminds us that when it comes to winning Complex Sales, “Hope is Not a Strategy”.  Of course he’s right - and when it comes to managing B2B sales pipelines I have also become convinced that Inconsistency Cannot be a Foundation. Here’s why...

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Why CRM Data is So Important: The Elephant in Your Pipeline

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 2-Jun-2011

How accurate is your sales forecast? According to the latest survey data from CSO Insights, less than 50% of pipeline opportunities close as forecasted. So why have all the massive recent investments in CRM systems failed to improve the situation?

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5 Reasons Why B2B Companies Must Think Like Private Equity Investors

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 14-Apr-2011

The always thought-provoking SiriusDecisions blog recently considered the impact of private equity investment on B2B marketing, and the implications of private equity’s focus on generating swift and strong returns. It strikes me that the same focus and discipline could and should be usefully applied to any B2B marketing environment, regardless of current or future ownership. The bottom line? Don't spend money on stuff that doesn't drive revenue...

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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...

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Why You Need to Sell the Problem Before You Can Sell Your Solution

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 16-Mar-2011

Solve the ProblemRecent research by CSO Insights, SiriusDecisions and others confirms what a growing number of sales managers have observed: for many sales organisations, more sales are lost to “no decision” than to the competition. Here’s why B2B sales people need to focus on selling the need to solve the prospect’s problem before they sell their solution...

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5 Reasons Why Sales Process Trumps Sales Heroics

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 1-Mar-2011

SupermanMost companies, at some stage in their early lives, while they are struggling for validation and desperate for revenue, have good reason to be grateful for acts of sales heroics that served to bring those all important early orders in and keep the lights on.

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Forrester Confirms Continuing B2B Sales and Marketing Alignment Gap

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 1-Feb-2011

Forrester’s latest research “B2B Sales and Marketing Alignment Starts with the Customer” confirms the dysfunctional and damaging gap that still exists between sales and marketing in the vast majority of B2B organisations.

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SiriusDecisions: A B2B CMO's New Year's To-Do List

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 6-Jan-2011

SiriusDecisionsRegular readers of my articles will know that I’ve often been inspired by the unique research-led insights generated by SiriusDecisions on the subject of B2B sales and marketing. I’m delighted that John Neeson, Managing Director and Co-Founder of SiriusDecisions has kindly agreed to let me share his recent article on “a B2B Chief Marketing Officer's New Year's To-Do List” with you in full...

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12 Inspiring Insights on B2B Sales and Marketing from 2010

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 29-Dec-2010

12 InsightsDuring the past year I've benefited from the insights of people and organisations that have made telling contributions to raising the standard of B2B sales and marketing. As we approach the New Year, I'd like to share a dozen of the best with you - in the hope that some might stimulate your own ideas about how you can realise the potential of 2011.

I'll start with three video clips, in which Simon Sinek explains why people don't buy what you do - they buy why you do it, Dan Pink reveals the surprising truth about what really motivates people, and Steven Johnson suggests that chance favours the connected mind.

I'd then like to highlight three articles inspired by the ground-breaking research of Sirius Decisions - suggesting that bigger pipelines aren't always better, explaining why investments in social media  must be accompanied by thought leadership, and reminding us why we need to understand where our offering fits on the demand spectrum - is it a new concept, a new paradigm or an established category?

Donal Daly of the TAS Group offered some fresh perspectives on B2B sales success by sharing 5 facts about how B2B sales cycles are changing and suggesting that there are only two reasons why you lose a sale.

McKinsey published a stream of fascinating findings through the year - my attention was drawn in particular to measuring the value of word-of-mouth marketing and their explanation as to why too much sales contact can cost you business.

Finally, the excellent research done by CSO Insights suggested how organisations might boost sales performance in 2010 (and beyond) and inspired my own article on the 7 reasons why CRM systems so often get forecasting wrong.

I'd like to conclude by wishing you, your family, colleagues and friends a peaceful and prosperous New Year - and hoping that some of the ideas I've shared might contribute in some small way to your success in 2011.

Regards, and Best Wishes!

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Why Bigger Pipelines Aren’t Always Better

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 20-Dec-2010

PipelineIn a recent webcast, Sirius Decisions shared some preliminary results from their 2010 Sales Pipeline and Forecast Survey - a study conducted jointly with Cloud9 Analytics. As ever, their research makes for fascinating and thought-provoking reading.

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