Bob Apollo

There is no Viva in Aviva online

Online shopping should be a painless experience, right? Aviva, the UK insurance company are certainly trying to convey that impression in their current ads starring comedian Paul Whitehouse. Unfortunately, their online systems appear to be programmed by comedians with rather less talent.  I’ve been using...

The Buyer’s Journey Revisited … Part Two

In my previous article on the Buyer's Journey, I set out our latest thinking on the nature of the B2B Buying Process. In this article, I want to examine some of the implications of the Buyer's Journey for the B2B sales and marketing...

The Buyer’s Journey Revisited … Part One

The concept of the buyer's journey has been around for a number of years. Hugh Macfarlane's "The Leaky Funnel" inspired a number of our early sales and marketing alignment assignments, and was one of the first books to suggest shifting attention away from driving...

B2B Sales: could it be time to ban BANT?

BANT, in case anyone is unfamiliar with the anonym, stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline.    It’s commonly used in the sales qualification process.  But I’ve come across a few too many situations recently where sales people were routinely rejecting marketing leads because...

Can you agree on what an ideal B2B prospect looks like?

It’s an old story, but one that I still hear far too often. Salespeople complaining that marketing never generates any decent leads.  Marketing getting frustrated that sales never follows up on the leads they have created.  And, amusing though the idea might at first...

Are you really adding value?

I’ve lost track of the number of companies who proclaim that they are embracing a “value-added” strategy in order to differentiate themselves in an increasingly commoditised market. They often see it as their best chance of breaking away from relentless pricing pressure and a...

is your sales + marketing aligned – or falling behind?

Is your sales and marketing aligned?  If not, you are running the risk of falling behind.  Sometimes the signs of a lack of alignment are obvious. Marketing spends money generating leads the sales force never follow up whilst sales people "reinvent the wheel" because...

Does your sales pipeline need a massive clean-up operation?

BP has been getting a great deal of adverse publicity for the recent massive leak in their Gulf of Mexico oil pipeline.  It’s taken an age to address the underlying problem.  The clean-up operation is clearly going to take ages and cost billions.  The...

What really motivates people?

What really motivates people?  Dan Pink is a contrarian thinker who always challenges me to think from a new perspective.  I think that you'll really enjoy this video...  

People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it…

I came across Simon Sinek's work through a blog post by Augie Ray of Forrester.  Sinek is the author of Start With Why.  In the following video, he explains why great leaders, and great companies, don't start with what they do, but with why they do it. To take just...

Sales people: can you resist the itch to pitch?

Jill Konrath's "SNAP Selling" identifies the "itch to pitch" as one of the most damaging habits sales people can possibly fall into - and my own observations suggest that it's one of the most common and dangerous ways of driving an otherwise promising sale off-track and...

Jill Konrath’s SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled...

Jill Konrath is the acclaimed author of “Selling to Big Companies”, and an acknowledged expert on the new sales strategies that are required in the face of the dramatic changes that have taken place in B2B buying behaviour.  Having enjoyed Jill’s previous work, I...

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...

New Posts