Bob Apollo is the founder and principal consultant behind Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners, one of the UK’s leading B2B sales and marketing performance improvement specialists. Bob works with promising early stage companies to help them “Cross the Chasm” from early adopters to mainstream markets, and with established organisations to refocus their sales and marketing activities and revitalise revenue growth.
LinkedIn Profile: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/bobapollo
Website URL: http://www.inflexion-point.com/Blog/
I hope the headline caught your attention - it was intended to. After all, aren’t fresh leads the lifeblood of any company that depends on winning new business to grow? Of course they are. I left half the headline out.
Miller Heiman’s always-excellent research programme has thrown up another compelling statistic: only 34% of all the sales organisations surveyed believed that their management team was “highly effective in helping the sales team advance sales opportunities”.
I wrote late last year about the idea that “you can create brilliant content marketing and still miss the point” and I want to develop the thought that there are still far too many dangerous disconnects between the marketing messages propagated by organisations and the conversations their sales people are actually having with prospects.
It often feels nowadays that you can’t turn anywhere without tripping over a Big Data message. Everybody seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. And there’s no doubt that big data is going to be important.
Alec Baldwin has got a lot to answer for. And, no, I’m not talking about his appearance in “Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat”. I am, of course referring to his role as Blake, the alpha dog motivational salesman in the film “Glengarry Glen Ross”.
In a recent article (“Competing in a digital world”) on the McKinsey website, authors Sarrazin and Sikes identify four lessons that they believe business in general could and should learn from the software industry. It’s an interesting perspective, and indicative of the pervasive role that software is playing in value creation across a growing range of businesses and industries.
What sets top sales people apart? What is it that they do better than the rest? There are, of course, a number of factors, but one that we frequently observe is that top sellers are great story-tellers. They put their points across not by pitching their products, but by sharing relevant, situation-specific anecdotes and stories that their prospects can relate to.
Imagine how much effort and resource is wasted every year in creating and submitting sales proposals to prospects that end up buying nothing, were never likely in the first place to buy anything from the vendor, or stand no chance of ever being profitable.
Why do companies buy from your organisation? Is it because of the power of your brand, or the features and capabilities of your products, or your unbeatable value for money?
Regular readers and clients will know of my enthusiasm for the principles contained in "The Challenger Sale" - which are in turn based on an exceptional body of research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board's Sales Executive Council.