Training Won’t Solve Your Sales Performance Problem

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 11-Jan-2011

Sales Fitness ProgrammeGyms and Sales Training Companies both seem to benefit from New Year’s Resolutions. But just as signing up for gym membership won’t do you any good unless you keep up an exercise routine, taking your team through sales training won’t improve their performance unless you consistently reinforce the principles they have been taught.

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The Sale Isn’t Over When You Book the Order

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 4-Jan-2011

GoalWe all know how challenging it can be to win new business. Gaining a new customer’s commitment is justifiable cause for celebration. But you need to remember one thing: the sale isn’t over when you book the order.

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B2B sales people: You get delegated to the person you sound like

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 7-Sep-2010

Art of ConversationThe quality of any conversation, whether business or social, is largely determined by who we choose to talk to, what we choose to talk about and the form of language we choose to use.

But in the business domain, and particularly as a sales person, your choices have another important impact - because if you get these choices wrong, and whether you like it or not, you’ll end up getting delegated to the person you sound like.

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There are only 2 reasons why you lose a sale

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 18-May-2010

I'm happy to share the second in our series of guest blogs from Donal Daly, CEO of the TAS Group.  In this article, first published in his Sales20Network blog in April 2010,  Donal explores the factors that affect sales win rates - and concludes that there are only two reasons why you lose a sale.  

I am sure you'll enjoy his perspective - over to you, Donal...

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McKinsey and the end of the Road Warrior...

Posted by Bob Apollo on Fri 7-May-2010

As we emerge from the downturn, it’s clear that we’re going to have to find new and better ways of reaching and satisfying our customers.  The May 2010 edition of the McKinsey Quarterly reports that “the way businesses buy from and sell to each other is changing”.

No great surprise there.  The article explores three trends that McKinsey’s analysts heard from senior sales executives.  Now the nature of McKinsey’s sample is such that the results reflect the experience of some of the world’s largest and best established companies – but my own observations suggest that a growing number of successful up-and-coming organisations are already embracing their recommendations.

The “end of the road warrior”?

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Reversing the Decline: How to boost sales performance in 2010...

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 4-Feb-2010

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Gartner: Enterprise CRM "no longer a priority" for CIOs

Posted by Bob Apollo on Fri 22-Jan-2010

Gartner have just revealed the results of their annual survey of CIO priorities.  It makes fascinating reading when compared to last year’s report.  IT spending for the coming year will increase by an average of 1.3% - but that is compared to a dramatic decline of 8.1% in 2009.  2010 IT budgets are back to the levels of 2005 – half a decade’s growth in budget has been wiped out.

From managing resources to managing results...

According to Mark McDonald, Gartner Group VP and head of research for Gartner Executive programs, the role of IT is changing from merely managing resources to taking responsibility for managing results, while the technology focus is shifting from heavy owner-operated solutions to “lighter weight” hosted services.

Business process improvement remains the #1 business priority, followed by reducing costs and improving workforce effectiveness (promoted from last year’s #4 to #3).  But the real change in priorities comes on the technology side.  Last year, enterprise CRM was the #2 technology priority.  In 2010, it does not even make the top 10.

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Are you REALLY Customer-Aligned?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 13-Jan-2010

What was your 2010 New Year Business resolution?  The one I've been hearing most often from Chief Executives and Sales and Marketing leaders is to "get closer to their customers" - which seems like a laudable objective.

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Stanford research shows that sales grow when bonuses are eliminated

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 24-Nov-2009

Recent research from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business suggests that companies that eliminate bonuses for achieving sales quotas generate more revenues.  According to Professors Nair and Misra, the benefits can be significant – in one case stimulating a 9% uplift in revenues.

As 2010 approaches, that sort of sales uplift could make the difference between achieving your revenue goals for the year - or falling short.  It’s a powerful argument for reviewing your sales compensation plans now, so that you’re ready for the new business year with a set of principles that can optimise your sales performance.

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What if product marketing saw itself as "problem solving marketing"?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 9-Nov-2009

I was reflecting on a thought-provoking blog by Dave Brock, who asked "what would happen if we saw things the way our customers saw them?".

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