Bob Apollo

Answering your customer’s three critical questions

In today's challenging and uncertain business climate, your customers have good reason to be cautious. They are unlikely to initiate new projects unless they see them as being strategically relevant, tactically urgent, and capable of deliveri...

A New Normal – or a Better Normal?

It’s become common for commentators to refer to the fast-evolving reality of B2B selling as the “new normal”, and I’ve often used this phrase myself. But in some interpretations, seems to imply an acceptance that we’re going to have to learn to live wi...

Is your ‘coach’ a mobiliser or an immobiliser?

Most conventional sales methodologies encourage salespeople to find at least one coach inside the potential customer’s organisation who is willing and able to give them honest feedback and guide them through the decision-making and approval processes.I...

Should we be selling ‘solutions’ or outcomes?

Many sales methodologies claim to have a uniquely effective approach. Yet, and perhaps inevitably, each methodology has its strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots. None of them can credibly claim that they offer a universal “one best way”.

This is why (some) B2B customers are still buying in the current climate…

There’s no doubt that the vast majority - if not all - of discretionary, could-put-it off until later B2B purchases are being deferred in the current climate.If your prospects don’t feel they have to take action, they won’t, and no amount of bluster or...

Reprioritising your target accounts

Having a clearly defined and actively worked new business target account list is a key strategy for anyone who is responsible for proactively developing their own territory (or who has BDR resources focused on their behalf).Generally, having a small ac...

Keeping your sales pipeline flowing

I recently ran a webinar with Paul Everett of The Marketing Practice - one of the UK’s most respected B2B marketing agencies, and with a growing international footprint.We decided to address one of today’s most pressing questions: how can B2B sales org...

Establishing Value in Challenging Times

There’s no doubt that our customers and our own sales organisations are facing challenging - many would suggest unprecedented - times. Many purchases that would have seemed routine or inevitable are being deferred or cancelled.Many discretionary projec...

Do your customers have a ‘survive’ or a ‘come back stronger’ mindset?

There probably isn’t a single industry or organisation that isn’t being affected in some way by covid-19. A few sectors - healthcare and food retail amongst them - are seeing increasing demands for their services and increasing stress on their ability ...

‘Why do we have to spend this money now?’

Even before the current crisis, many opportunities that had been confidently forecast by salespeople were failing to close. This was and still is particularly true of strategic decisions that need to be approved by a group of stakeholders rather than s...

When the Status Quo isn’t the Status Quo Anymore

In most complex B2B sales environments, our most significant and consistent competition typically hasn’t come from another conventional “competitor”: it has come from the status quo. For our customers, status quo is familiar. It is often comfortable. A...

Getting the right people on your sales bus

In his widely acclaimed Good to Great, Jim Collins shows that lastingly great organisations pay particular attention to not only getting the “right people on the bus”, but also making sure they are in the right seats (= roles) - as well as taking proac...

Discounting is a sure sign of sales failure

For many sales organisations, December is both the end of the sales quarter and the end of the sales year. Individual salespeople and entire sales teams are under pressure to deliver. Unfortunately, many won’t.In acts of desperation, many believe they ...

Stretching your customer’s value gap

Whenever your customer sees little meaningful difference between their current situation and their future potential, they will be inclined to stick with the status quo.And whenever they see little meaningful contrast between the various offerings being...

Understanding your customer’s decision journey

It’s falsely comforting to think of selling as a process in which one step follows logically after another. But although rigidly defined processes might be the best way of running a manufacturing production line, they completely fail to reflect the rea...

Understanding B2B Buying Behaviour

In any high-value complex B2B sales environments involving new projects with multiple stakeholders, the buying behaviours and motivations that drive your customer’s decision-making journey are inherently complicated and may be impossible for the averag...

Avoiding the Value-Added Trap

An earlier version of this article was first published in the November 2019 edition of Top Sales Magazine.Every sales organisation likes to believe that what they are selling is valuable. But there are many interpretations and definitions of what value...

Sales people need to act like personal trainers, not bartenders

In a recent article for the CEB, Andrew Kent posed the question “Are your reps bartenders or personal trainers?” It’s a great question, a wonderful analogy, and a concept that deserves a broader exposure.Kent was contrasting the difference between trad...

Assumptions kill opportunities

I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on a number of QBRs with my clients, and as an outside observer I’m struck by how common it is for salespeople to make untested assumptions that directly affect the accuracy of their sales forecasts and the outcomes…

The why, how, what and who of sales checklists

When Harvard Medical School Professor (and BBC Reith Lecturer) Atul Gawande published his “Checklist Manifesto” nearly 10 years ago, it soon became apparent that the application of simple checklists - which have transformed patient outcomes in healthca...

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