Bob Apollo

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provided abundant evidence that driving sales people to "sell harder" and hoping that this will boost revenues is an out-of-date and ineffective strategy in a world of increasingly well-informed and generally risk-averse B2B buyers.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

Are you REALLY Customer-Aligned?

What was your 2010 New Year Business resolution?  The one I've been hearing most often from Chief Executives and Sales and Marketing leaders is to "get closer to their customers" - which seems like a laudable objective. Who wouldn't want to?  However, it seems that...

The Keys to Sustainable Sales and Marketing

All the publicity surrounding the Copenhagen Climate Conference has reinforced the world-wide need for sustainable development.  It seems clear that this can’t be left to governments alone – we’ve all got a role to play, and a responsibility to avoid wasteful behaviour. Thinking about how...

5 Key Strategies for 2010…

The past year has proved challenging for some sales and marketing organisations, but others have seized the opportunity to rethink their plans, out-execute their competitors and win market share.  Our own observations, backed up by the latest research from the likes of McKinsey, Stanford, the…

5 Key Strategies for 2010 from McKinsey, Stanford, and more…

The past year has proved challenging for some sales and marketing organisations, but others have seized the opportunity to rethink their plans, out-execute their competitors and win market share.  My own observations, backed up by the latest research from the likes of McKinsey, Stanford, the...

Stanford research shows that sales grow when quotas are eliminated

Recent research from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business suggests that companies that eliminate bonuses for achieving sales quotas generate more revenues.  According to Professors Nair and Misra, the benefits can be significant – in one case stimulating a 9% uplift in revenues. As...

What if product marketing saw itself as “problem solving marketing”?

I was reflecting on a thought-provoking blog by Dave Brock, who asked "what would happen if we saw things the way our customers saw them?". As Dave points out, your capabilities as a vendor are irrelevant unless and until they can be connected to your…

Sales presentations should be conversations, not broadcasts

How many times have you sat and suffered through a dull b2b presentation, eagerly anticipating the final slide and an end to the relentless torture?  All too often, if your experience is similar to that of most people I meet. It seems that many presenters...

Why sales should never do win/loss reports…

Win-loss reports can provide remarkably valuable insights into the mind of your prospects and the ways in which they make their buying decisions. But you should never, ever, leave sales to conduct the interviews.  If you've ever been on the receiving end of their reports,...

B2B sales: Isn’t it time to help buyers buy?

Successful selling requires a combination of problem solving and change management - simply having the "best" solution won't necessarily get you the order. I first met Sharon Drew Morgen some years ago at a sales kickoff, where she presented her groundbreaking ideas on Buying Facilitation®. ...

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