Bob Apollo

Shaping our customer’s “why”…

I recently shared my thoughts about applying Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” concept (also known as The Golden Circle) to the sales process - you can read the article here. I used Sinek’s framework to make the point that our best customers don’t just bu...

Starting with “Why”

In September 2009, Simon Sinek took the stage at a TEDx event and delivered an 18-minute presentation that has now been viewed around 50 million times across a variety of different sites. In it, Sinek offered a model for inspirational leadership that h...

Is your thought leadership really “thought followership”?

If you agree with my definition of thought leadership as something that causes the reader to think and act differently in some meaningful way, then the vast majority of this stream of lazy regurgitation is thought followership at best.

Why should your customers migrate to your new solution?

If - like many of the clients I work with - you are an established enterprise software company, it’s likely that your initial success will have been based on selling a perpetually licensed on-premise solution. And even if you’ve developed a new cloud-b...

In search of the perfect sale…

Is there such a thing as a “perfect sale”? A sale in which we got the highest possible price in the shortest possible sales cycle with the least possible effort, and in which our customer got far more than they hoped for whilst spending far less than t...

Sales training: should we emphasise technique or thinking?

I’ve been talking about the long-term impact of conventional sales training programmes with clients, and their experience seems to be patchy to say the least. One obvious conclusion is that if sales training is to have any chance of being effective, it...

Are your sales people leading with gain or pain?

Most B2B-focused sales people have been taught that it’s more effective to promote the projected “benefits” of their solution than to subject their prospects to a tediously detailed presentation of the features of their product or service. There’s a na...

Targeting prospects who are “trying but struggling”

An uninformed and superficial review of the principles of “challenger®️ selling” might lead some people to conclude that it depends on introducing a problem or opportunity that our potential prospect has never previously given any active consideration ...

Are you selling “me-too” or “breakthrough”?

Have you ever wondered why so many apparently promising B2B sales opportunities end with the prospect deciding to either stick with the status quo or choose the cheapest from a set of apparently similar options? Or why even if they do have a ...

Situational awareness – a critical factor in B2B sales

As regular readers will know, I’ve been a long-standing advocate of establishing repeatable sales processes, but please bear with me while I take what might appear to be a contradictory position: In today’s typical complex B2B sales environments, there...

Understanding the buying decision mindset

Are your prospects Satisfied with the Status Quo, Painting by Numbers, Pursuing a Vision, Busy Going Nowhere or Searching for Guidance? I recently wrote about the phases B2B prospects tend to go through as their buying decision process evolves, and the...

Harnessing the power of hindsight…

Sales opportunities can go so wrong in so many different ways. Sometimes, they go wrong due to events or circumstances that were genuinely unpredictable or completely beyond our control. Sometimes (more often than some sales people might care to admit)...

Creating a new axis for SPIN® Selling

Like many people of my generation, I was brought up on SPIN® Selling. It’s a little chastening to reflect on the fact that the book was first published nearly 30 years ago, but it (as Neil Rackham himself pointed out in a recent APS conference) remains...

Where is your prospect in their buying journey?

One of the main reasons why apparently well-qualified sales opportunities fail to close or move forward is that the sales person is so intent on pursuing their sales campaign that they fail to accurately diagnose where their prospect is in their buying...

Critical to B2B sales success – stakeholder assessments

One of the most common reasons why apparently promising B2B sales opportunities get derailed - often at a late stage in our sales cycle...

Why having a budget isn’t always a positive qualifier …

John Holland of CustomerCentric Selling® makes an interesting point in a blog article. Many sales people who have been brought up on an over-literal...

Thinking about what could go wrong…

Let’s face it, many (maybe most) “average” sales people seem to be incorrigible optimists. When assessing their chances of winning an opportunity they tend...

Book review: Digital Sales Transformation

It’s probably no exaggeration to suggest that B2B selling is facing a crisis of confidence. I hear it all the time from new clients....

The Enduring Relevance of “Crossing the Chasm”

With over a million copies sold, Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” guide to marketing and selling disruptive products to mainstream customers is still one...

Opportunity qualification is a continuous process

If you’re involved in complex, lengthy and high-value B2B sales environments, you can’t afford to regard opportunity qualification as a one-off exercise. You need...

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