Bob Apollo

What motivates a salesperson – the results are in!

Regular readers will recall that I've been pleased to republish a number of guest blogs from Donal Daly of our partner the TAS Group. Here's an article that he first published a couple of months back on the Sales20Network that I am sure you'll...

B2B Sales: From Always Be Closing to Always Be Qualifying?

Alec Baldwin’s performance as Blake in the film Glengarry Glen Ross immortalised the “Always Be Closing” attitude that for many has come to exemplify everything they hate about pushy, predatory sales people. In any sort of complex, high-value sale, particularly one that involves multiple stakeholders,...

There are only 2 reasons why you lose a sale

Regular readers will recall that I've been pleased to republish a number of guest blogs from Donal Daly of our partner the TAS Group. Here's an article that he first published a couple of months back on the Sales20Network that I am sure you'll...

According to McKinsey, too much sales contact can cost you business

There’s a short article in the latest McKinsey Quarterly on “the basics of business-to-business sales success”.  It captures the conclusions from their survey of more than 1,200 purchasing decision makers in small, medium and large organisations across the US and Europe who are responsible...

5 Facts about how b2b sales cycles are changing…

Inflexion-Point has recently established a partnership with the TAS Group to offer their Dealmaker platform to clients who want to combine clear market focus, systematic sales process and best-practice sales execution. I'm delighted that Donal Daly, CEO of the TAS Group, has agreed to contribute...

McKinsey and the end of the Road Warrior…

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...

You can’t offer a complete solution until you understand the whole problem…

Many B2B-focused organisations to prefer to talk in terms of delivering “solutions” rather than selling products.  CEOs speak about becoming solution-driven rather than product led.  But, as I’ve observed in a previous article, that transition is by no means straightforward – or necessarily appropriate. The...

McKinsey Measures the Value of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Your customers, and your prospects, have opinions - and they are fascinated by the opinions of their peer groups and others they have come to trust for advice.  They no longer have to rely simply upon the views of people and organisations they already...

Gartner says high-tech marketing spending is rising again – but the pattern is changing

According to the latest research from Gartner, marketing spend amongst high-tech and technology providers is on the rise again in 2010 – after a year in which more than half of these vendors cut their marketing budgets. But the resurrection of high-tech marketing budgets doesn’t,...

Most of your marketing efforts are probably wasted too…

Are you involved in selling high-value, complex products or services to a business audience?  I recently suggested that most of your sales efforts are likely to be wasted - you can read the article here.  But there's no reason to let marketing off the...

B2B sales: It’s the economics, stupid…

In Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential election campaign, a sign famously hung in his Little Rock campaign headquarters with the following simple message: "it's the economy, stupid". In today's risk-averse buying climate, the message to ambitious B2B sales professionals seeking to win the votes of...

B2B sales: In the void between pain and ambition

Is your offering a discretionary purchase for your customer?  Do you often find yourself having to create needs?  Does your true competition include not only other similar vendors, but also other completely different projects, and the possibility that the prospect will decide to "do...

B2B Sales: Eliminating the barriers to the buying decision journey…

The past year has provided abundant evidence that driving sales people to "sell harder" and hoping that this will boost revenues is an out-of-date and ineffective strategy in a world of increasingly well-informed and generally risk-averse B2B buyers.  It's clear that sales people are...

B2B Sales: Elevating your prospect’s need for your solution…

In today's business climate, useful or important needs might help to get a vendor considered or evaluated, but only urgent needs will get them bought. So it's become critical that sales people are able to elevate the prospect’s need for their solution. This ability to identify...

Evangelising your vision of a better future…

Thought leading companies are able to evangelise a better future for the markets and prospects they address, and to articulate a clear and compelling vision of the role that their organisation intends to play in helping them achieve it. Companies that accomplish this rise...

Re-Architecting the B2B Sales and Marketing Process for a New Decade

According to CSO Insights’ recently published annual sales performance optimisation study, the number of sales people making quota and the percentage of sales organisations achieving their revenue targets both declined faster in 2009 than at any time during the past 16 years. Sales organisations are reporting...

Is your Solution a New Concept, a New Paradigm or an Established Category?

Last week I took part - together with 30+ senior sales and marketing executives from the technology sector - in an excellent discussion hosted by Richard Eldh of Sirius Decisions on the topic of sales and marketing alignment.   The audience included experience of everything...

Reversing the Decline: How are we going to boost sales performance in 2010?

CSO Insights recently released their annual Sales Performance Optimisation study – and the results make for sobering reading. Their global survey of more than 2,800 companies revealed dramatic declines in average sale performance. According to CSO Insights, the percentage of reps making quota fell from 58.8%...

The Jungle, the Dirt Road, and the Highway…

An experienced VC once described the stages that he saw B2B companies going through as the jungle, the dirt road, and the highway.  During the initial “jungle” phase, whilst the company may have successfully sold their initial product offering or service to early adopter customers,...

Gartner: Enterprise CRM no longer a priority for CIOs

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...

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