Phoenix Rising

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Stop Blaming Sales!

Phoenix Rising

All about how sales is the reason that product launches and marketing efforts fail - why our marvels of innovation never achieve the recognition (or revenue) they deserve. Sales is marketing's customer. Marketing's role is to give sales the tools and training they need to sell the company's solutions. If sales isn't responding - then marketing is responsible.    But in general, if a sales rep isn't eating the dog food it means they don't think their customers will either.  Lack of sales training. 

Revenue's Down, Let's Fire Sales

Phoenix Rising

In response to their flat (and somewhat declining) revenue, they've cut back their company resources across the board - but they've specifically reduced headcount in sales.    Why would you cut sales when you need to drive revenue?     I asked some questions and here's what I learned: The company released the bottom 15% of the sales force, the non-producers. The company also cut all sales resources in their top three emerging target markets.  Cutting sales.   That surprised me.  Think about it.

Market Launches: Don't Forget to Invite Sales

Phoenix Rising

Sales involvement makes or breaks market launches.   If the sales force isn’t on board with your approach – revenues won’t flow.    Involve sales from the beginning, you’ll be more successful. The reps will test your story, figure out the best sales strategies and bring in those all important first deals. Make sales buy-in a priority. When sales offers feedback during the launch planning, they feel part of the team. Train for Sales, not Techs.   Always remember, sales reps are driven by the potential to make money. 

Sales & Marketing - How to Kick Butt Together!

Phoenix Rising

Sales involvement will make or break market launches. If our sales force isn’t on board – revenues won’t flow. So how can we get sales more involved in our launches?   Bring sales thought leaders into the launch planning right from the start. Let them help you work with the customers to determine the best sales approach, customer profiles and the key messages that compel action.  Part of any launch plan should be to get buy in from sales on all facets.  Arm sales. We all know sales reps are driven to make money. 

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

through their own research, without talking to sales—until late in the journey. Align marketing with sales: as buyers complete more of their journey online and sales pros get involved only later in the process, close. Focus marketing and sales resources within chosen vertical. normal point of sales/marketing contact. CEO, CFO, and VP of Sales/Marketing.

A Lesson From a Ski Hill

Phoenix Rising

My skis left the tracks in this super glue and the next thing I know - I'm face planted on the groomer with a yard sale all around me. I learned a lesson at Squaw Valley yesterday. It was a rough day. Over a foot of our famous Sierra Cement and more coming down.    Sierra Cement is heavy, heavy snow - think skiing slurpies. It changes with every inch - sometimes you move along, sometimes you get grabbed and stop suddenly.    It's an art to find your balance and stay down the hill when you're getting thrown all over the place. My point? 

Keepers of the Truth

Phoenix Rising

  Ask yourself- when was the last time you made a decision based on real-world audience input, instead of the opinions of your executive team, or that engineering manager or sales leader? Reality comes from our markets, not ourselves. seek customer, prospect and partner feedback before I ever begin to brainstorm a strategy.    Clients often ask me why I don’t take their word for where they are and what they do.    It’s not that I don’t believe them. I do.    We’re too busy managing the day-to-day in our overloaded lives.

Legends

Phoenix Rising

  •    Our product is just too cool. •    We can’t win in that market, so why bother trying. •    Our sales cycle is unpredictable, but that’s just our business. •    We have to discount to beat that competitor. •    Changing plans will just disrupt our business. •    We’ll just have to cut expenses to keep profit margins. •    We can’t grow in a down economy, everybody is hurting. Legends keep the past alive in our world. That's why they are dangerous.

Use eMarketing to Change Your Marketing Game

Phoenix Rising

eMarketing is a powerful revenue tool - for marketing and sales.    Noone knows that better than Ardath Albee, author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. Today's B2B marketers have more opportunity to positively impact sales revenue than ever before. Thanks to Web 2.0 we can attract prospects, begin our customer relationship, inform and entice qualified buyers - without ever directly engaging more expensive sales resources to nurture buyers along the way. Your marketing and sales teams will benefit,  just as my client have

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

through their own research, without talking to sales—until late in the journey. Align marketing with sales: as buyers complete more of their journey online and sales pros get involved only later in the process, close. Focus marketing and sales resources within chosen vertical. normal point of sales/marketing contact. CEO, CFO, and VP of Sales/Marketing.

Use eMarketing to Change Your Marketing Game

Phoenix Rising

eMarketing is a powerful revenue tool - for marketing and sales.    Noone knows that better than Ardath Albee, author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. Today's B2B marketers have more opportunity to positively impact sales revenue than ever before. Thanks to Web 2.0 we can attract prospects, begin our customer relationship, inform and entice qualified buyers - without ever directly engaging more expensive sales resources to nurture buyers along the way. Your marketing and sales teams will benefit,  just as my client have

The Path of Least Resistance

Phoenix Rising

We filter everything we say or do in our business through lawyers, diminishing our marketing and sales power to avoid some crazy litigation claim. Is it human nature to take the easy way out? I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Wondering if we compromise to bypass the argument if we disagree with our co-worker or let that guy be abusive to his terrified child in the grocery line because we don't want to get involved. Somehow, I don't think that's what our Founding Father did.  What happened to our adventure spirit? Then there's our litigation avoidance.

Absolute Power

Phoenix Rising

We promote them with our spending dollars, our votes, our fascination with their lives (and those tabloid sales). Power is an ugly drug, a drug that many of us crave, some of us capture and we all believe we can manage oh-so-well. We point to those who slip and fall on the slippery slope of power, ridicule them and make jokes, knowing that we would never follow in their footsteps.    We behave as if those who slip and fall are the exception to the rules. Tiger is NOT the exception. Gosh how I wish he was. Sooner or later, we start believing our own press. 

Ready, Fire, Aim

Phoenix Rising

We cover the proverbial wall with marketing and sales campaigns - assuming something will stick.  That's kinda backwards, isn't it? catch myself doing it all the time. I get an idea, remember something I need to do, all while I'm in the middle of something else. I'm distracted by the new thought, so I get up to go fix whatever, grab whatever, do whatever, so I can come back and focus. But then sometimes I can't remember where I was going or what I was going to do. 50+ mentalpause may be partially to blame. But not really. Plan, take aim and then do.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Phoenix Rising

The well-dressed woman raging at the sales clerk for not having the lipstick she wants in stock. Aretha had it right about respect. We want it, we need it and we don't get enough of it. That makes for an interesting situation doesn't it? What happens in our society when one of the basic foundations of a civilized world - respect and courtesy - is a rare commodity? I'm not saying we're all disrespectful. know lots of people who are kind and courteous gentle men and women. What a crisis that is. Our mothers would be ashamed of us.   First they argue with me.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

through their own research, without talking to sales—until late in the journey. Align marketing with sales: as buyers complete more of their journey online and sales pros get involved only later in the process, close. Focus marketing and sales resources within chosen vertical. normal point of sales/marketing contact. CEO, CFO, and VP of Sales/Marketing.

The Thin Line Between Persuasion and Manipulation

Phoenix Rising

What if I said that sales and marketing's job is to 'manipulate' perception in the market?   We bend our audiences' beliefs through the stories and information we share, through the brand or image we create, through the sales discussions we guide so carefully.    So where's the line between sales and marketing persuasion - and manipulation? If Madoff's story were true - the results real –  would it be viewed as manipulation - or persuasive sales and marketing? How did you react when you read the word manipulate?

Stop Blaming Marketing!

Phoenix Rising

My recent post Stop Blaming Sales received a few comments from sales type folks -  asserting that I was 'right on', that marketing should not be given responsibility for websites, for corporate positioning - that marketing was pretty much worthless. I was kinda surprised by those comments - they were pretty far out of context from my own thoughts as I created that post.    I can also tell you that while many sales people think they can do marketing -it's not that easy and most great sales people aren't really marketers. My point? 

Keep Your Eye on the Revenue

Phoenix Rising

Otherwise sales will be slow,your sales team will grow disinterested and you'll just plain fail. Here are some ideas: Sales momentum programs. Stay in touch with your sales force. Do you think your market launch is 'final' once you drop the press release announcing your new product or company'? Wrong. Great launches continue for weeks or months after the press release. usually have a minimum of a six month post-launch plan for any client, sometimes longer than that. You're probably thinking, "Once it's public, it's public.

Is Fear Really the Great Motivator?

Phoenix Rising

To Sell More, Scare your Customers Spitless also sparked a little Twitter debate when I ranted about it. I was a bit surprised by a few Tweets declaring FUD as an accepted sales tactic and fear as a great motivator.   I think it's time we took a hard look at our own marketing and sales tactics. I saw an article in BNET last week that just plain ticked me off. sold mainframes against IBM in my formative 20's. I cut my teeth on FUD. I won deals against it, and I didn't use FUD to do it. Solve a problem for, or offer an opportunity to, your customers.

They Chose Lemonade!

Phoenix Rising

It surpassed both of their sales within a year to become the hottest seller and lead the market. As I've been talking about finding the opportunity in a crisis, I realized some of my friends are perfect examples of finding light in the midst of darkness. So today isn't all about business - it's about people who chose to make lemonade when they were given big fat lemons. Take my dear friend Amanda (Yes, some of the names are bogus). Did she curl up in a ball and give up?    Nope. She had the transplant and has never looked back.  They were wrong. Everything!

Accentuate the Positive!

Phoenix Rising

I decided to go looking for signs of positive sales and marketing amid the SuperFUD we discussed yesterday. These leaders seem to believe that a positive sales approach will win. hopped out to some high-tech websites, a traditional FUD bastion. have to admit I was surprised to find a positive and upbeat focus. Leaders in PC's, a tough industry, are positive.    HP is helping kids to 'Study Hard and Learn Big' 'Designed with You in Mind' is a core theme of Dell's enterprise business - that carries over to kids and other users as well. 

Powering Momentous Launches

Phoenix Rising

  Then, on the big day our Press Release  hits the wire and  we start selling our hearts out, having trained the sales force the day or week before.   We gather supporting evidence before we 'launch', strengthening our sales and marketing efforts.  Their sales force had only seen early demos of the product. Only the VP of sales had been involved in creating the go-to-market strategy. Here's what we DID do: Brief sales.   Which, by the way, they shared with the rest of the field sales force. Nope, not even.

If you Can't Say Something Nice, SHHH, Say Nothing!

Phoenix Rising

  Do you like it when a sales rep starts telling you how bad all the alternatives are except the thing he wants you to buy -  his product.   Especially if that sales rep is really aggressive.   When you talk about your competition – other than when positioning alternative categories vis a vis your solution - you're spending scarce marketing dollars or sales resources on your competition.  So says the wise Thumper. Who's Thumper?      Ah come on, you remember Thumper.  Directly, that is.    How?

The Enemy is Out There

Phoenix Rising

Why is it that when companies begin to struggle, heck, sometimes even when they are doing well - the internal battles are waged? I see Sales and Marketing battles, Marketing and Engineering battles, Sales and Finance battles - everyone blaming others for all the issues, taking little responsibility themselves.  Sales and Marketing. Sales doesn’t sell solutions, they just discount instead of selling value.”.   Countered by: “Sales & marketing don't appreciate the innovative technology behind our product.”. The enemy is out there folks!

Stop with the 4 Letter Words!

Phoenix Rising

Yes, a sale and revenue still is the ultimate goal here.). So stop with the argument that they want technical sales information. I brought the soapbox out to talk about both 3 and 4 letter words - those pesky acronyms that seem to permeate technical and complex B2B product marketing.    I just spent some time reviewing materials from a potential new client. It   was a deep dive into the cloud computing world.    Which is fine.    But it was ALL deep dive. Not a true customer benefit to be found - and I looked for one, any one.

Less is More

Phoenix Rising

Or could that website, sales tools or collateral content use a major diet? Less is More has become their sales and marketing rally cry - they're excited about the idea of a laser focused communication strategy versus their traditional scatter-gun approach.  I'm working with a new client that's really exciting. Great solutions, great market opportunity, on-the-money strategy and they get the "So What?" approach to solution marketing and selling. Repeat that to yourself again. Then review all of the customer-facing aspects that are your business.

The Ugly Baby (Product) Dilemma

Phoenix Rising

Yet when we looked closely, they were starting to lose money on nearly every sale of this same system. We become emotionally attached to our products.    I know, that's not the professional approach.    But it's true and we all know it. We conceive them, bring them to life, nurture them along then proudly put them on display for all the world to see, and of course buy. Often they become a version of our 'children' That's a great kind of commitment. But sometimes that adoration blinds u s. Our fresh new baby ages, gets wrinkled and dull.

A Shiny Needle in the B2B Marketing Haystack

Phoenix Rising

So, that could include blogs about any aspect of B2B marketing--online, events, direct mail, SEO, SEM, social media, email marketing, white papers, video--PR, even sales-oriented blogs, as long as they address marketing and not strictly sales.   There's so much information available across the web.It's a tough task to find the most relevant content for your own B2B efforts. Even aggregrators compile too much information - making the search for B2B Marketing content feel like that proverbial hunt for the needle in the haystack. Here's the scoop.

Please Don't Bet Your Business on Those Numbers

Phoenix Rising

Include sales folks too - they often have a great gut feeling about their specific subject/market area. I just spent some time with one of my clients. The goal was to identify the best target market profiles for a new product they are launching in the fall. The team argued in detail about the quantitative market data from a leading industry analyst. Which was the biggest opportunity?    I finally had to jump in and rain on their parade. happen to know that the data came straight from their competitors - who made up whatever they wanted to look good in the survey.

Transformation is All Around Us

Phoenix Rising

Market expansion: Let's say you've decided to expand your sales focus and address a new market. A business associate sent me an HBP newsletter on business transformation, a subject near and dear to my heart. Since it was HBP, I expected a positive upbeat view of all the upsides companies can enjoy thanks to the ever present opportunity for business transformation. Boy, was I ever surprised! Here's the gist of the article's message. Changing a company is tough: only about 40% of transformation programs succeed, according to McKinsey research. Trigger events matter, too.

Which Comes First: Lead Nurturing or Inside Sales?

The Point

For a long time, “ lead nurturing ” was thought of as something you did with the leads that sales didn’t want. The theory was: leads come in, the sales team gets the hot ones, and the rest go to lead nurturing. It’s when a prospect first expresses interest that nurturing can help highlight hot leads, filter out the junk, and increase the rate at leads engage with sales.

The B2B Value Sale is Actually Three Distinct Sales

Avitage

Companies trying to execute a B2B solution or value sale must overcome selling problems that start at the prospecting stage and persist to the end. Symptoms include too few quality additions to the sales pipeline, protracted and lengthening sales cycles, and low win rates. But even with active buyers there are opportunities for B2B sales professionals to up their game.

Sales Management End of Year Checklist

Your Sales Management Guru

Sales Management End of Year Checklist.  . Depending upon the person and the conditions in their sales organization each article may or may not be pertinent. decided to start with a Sales Management End of Year Checklist.  If you have other ideas or suggestions please comment within the blog so that all of our readers can benefit. ?       Evaluate your sales team. 

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7 Storytelling Tips for Sales Teams

Type A Communications

October 25, 2016 by Carla Johnson The biggest beef I hear from sales teams or sales-driven organizations is that they can’t get people to pay attention, make decisions or quit. Sales Storytelling Carla Johnson sales storytelling Type A Communicationsread more.

July is Sales Leadership Month

Your Sales Management Guru

July is Sales Leadership Month. As a sales leader you must always have a vision and action plans for a rolling six months, this is why July is the perfect month for anyone that has sales management responsibility—so why not name it Sales Leadership Month !  Ok, it is not an act of government and it is only Acumen’s opinion, but let’s explore why I feel that way.

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5 Essential Elements to Include in Every Sales Pitch

Webbiquity

Effectively closing sales is the bread and butter of your business. According to researchers at the University of Florida, 20% of all salespeople make 80% of all sales (also known as the 20/80 rule or the Pareto principle ), which makes securing a spot in that top 20% crucial to running a competitive and profitable business. First and foremost, ditch the the “sales pitch.”

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Please Don’t Let Your Sales Reps Nurture Leads

The Point

Bear with me as I relate a quick story about lead nurturing: A few months back I became a sales lead. Perhaps I was an SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) at one point in the conversation, but no longer. I’m also a perfect candidate for lead nurturing. And secondly, and more critically, these kinds of “touching base” phone calls are the worst possible use of a sales rep’s time. But no.

5 Prospecting Strategies for Obtaining Sales Context

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

Sales Context is an important part of any conversation, as it directly correlates to the potential of a sale. With 54% of sales reps not making quota this year according to SiriusDecisions, it’s imperative that you teach your team to make the most of Sales Context, the information that can influence a sale. Sales Prospecting Call Strategy B2B Sales Success

3 Sales Emails Proven to Boost Reply Rates by 8x

Vidyard

If you’re like most sales reps, you know how hard it is to stand out and get noticed. So how can sales emails cut through all the noise, increase click-through rates by 5x and send open-to-reply rates soaring by over 8x ? This sales email allows you to speak to your prospect directly. The post 3 Sales Emails Proven to Boost Reply Rates by 8x appeared first on Vidyard.

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