Marketing Scores Leads, So Why Doesn’t Sales Score Opportunities?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 23-Apr-2012

I'm delighted that Swayne Hill, Co-Founder & SVP of Field Operations at Cloud9 and author of the excellent Data-Driven Sales Management has agreed to let me republish another of his thoughtful articles - this time asking "Marketing Scores Leads, Why Doesn't Sales Score Opportunities?" - as a guest contribution to the Inflexion-Point blog. I really like the methodical way in which Swayne thinks about these matters, and I think you will too. Over to you, Swayne:

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A Must Read: Swayne Hill on Creating a Dynamic B2B Selling Process

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 17-Apr-2012

I'm delighted that Swayne Hill, Co-Founder & SVP of Field Operations at Cloud9 and author of the excellent Data-Driven Sales Management has agreed to let me republish one of his latest articles, entitled "Battle-Tested Method for Creating a Dynamic Sales Process" as a guest contribution to the Inflexion-Point blog. I hope that you enjoy his perspective on a critical aspect of B2B selling as much as I have. Over to you, Swayne:

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3 proven ways to shorten your average sales cycle

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 8-Mar-2012

The length of the average sales cycle is a concern for many B2B sales leaders, and with good reason: successfully shortening average sales cycles enables sales organisations to increase sales capacity without having to increase sales resources. From everything that I’ve observed, the key to systematically shortening average sales cycles lies in selling smarter, not harder - and I’d like to share 3 proven ways that could help your organisation achieve the same:

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Resolution #1 for 2012: Fight the Flab in Your Sales Pipeline

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 3-Jan-2012

Happy New Year to you all. Let’s be honest - for many of our customers and clients, 2012 is shaping up to be a tough year. A year in which they are going to be reluctant to spend money unless they can see a clear return. And, just as many of us are having to rein back from seasonal over-indulgence by going on a diet, I’m going to suggest that your most important New Year Resolution must be to Fight the Flab in Your Pipeline

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Why It’s Time to Stop Celebrating Sales Heroics

Posted by Bob Apollo on Fri 9-Dec-2011

There’s an end-of-quarter scene that’s about to be played out in companies across the world. The sales forecast so confidently predicted at the beginning of the quarter has been steadily eroded. Deals have dropped out, fallen in value or lost to a competitor. The quarter is at risk. Management is under pressure. Then - at close to the last minute - the superhuman efforts of one or a handful of your best sales people rescue the situation. The heroes are applauded. And then the process starts all over again.

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3 Questions B2B Sales Leaders must ask about every Q4 Opportunity

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 10-Nov-2011

I’m sure that your sales organisation is straining every sinew to ensure that they close the quarter and the year with the best possible sales results - so I’d like to put forward 3 questions that you ought to insist on answers to for every opportunity in your Q4 sales pipeline…

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6 Critical Milestones in the B2B Buying Decision Process

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 26-Oct-2011

Most of us are used to thinking of managing our sales pipeline through a series of sales stages. But this approach presents a real danger of confusing sales activity with genuine progress in the prospect’s buying decision process. There are compelling reasons why sales pipelines should track the key steps in the buying decision process - and why sales managers should insist on observable evidence of the prospect’s progress before allowing opportunities to be advanced to the next stage…

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B2B Marketing: Why the Number of Leads You Generate is Irrelevant

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 13-Oct-2011

When I ask many B2B marketing departments how their success is measured, the most common answer is “the number of leads generated”. But if you’re involved in selling high-value products or services with a lengthy and complex buying process, this is a metric that could lead you to make entirely the wrong resource allocation decisions. Here’s why…

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4 things you could be doing NOW to maximise Q4 sales

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 4-Oct-2011

It’s October already, the 4th quarter has arrived, and the end of the year will soon be upon us. If your organisation is involved in high-value complex sales cycles with multiple stakeholders, there’s precious little time left to ensure that you end the year on a high having beaten your sales targets and set yourself up in the best possible shape to carry the momentum forward to 2012. I’d like to suggest 4 things that you could be doing now if you’re to maximise your Q4 revenues…

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15 Questions You Must Answer for Every Opportunity in Your Pipeline

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 27-Sep-2011

Every sales pipeline includes opportunities that are never likely to close, and that - for as long as they remain in the pipeline - will divert resources away from your more attractive opportunities. I’ve found the following 15 questions to be extremely helpful in sorting out the true potential from the unwanted clutter, and I hope that you might find them equally useful…

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