John Cousineau

B2B Salespeople Deserve Better

Bill Gates wondered: how many teachers get useful coaching? What he discovered surprised him: 'until recently, 98% of teachers only ever got one word of feedback: satisfactory'. In a recent TED talk, Gates suggests it's time we give teachers what they deserve: meaningful feedback. The...

Is b2b sales productivity complicated? Or complex?

According to a recent HBR, wise executives tailor their approach to leadership to fit the complexity of the circumstances they face. They manage differently when a situation's complicated than when it's complex. They also use data differently. This, of course, begs the question: how correctly...

7 Ways Top Performing Sales Reps Resemble Those Who Play Team Sports

Fascinating conversation with a sales leader several months back. They'd just turned over 1/3 of their sales team because their numbers were 'speaking to us in strange ways'. Determined to avoid making the same mistake again, they ran some tests. The aim was to...

How Practice, Done Right, Can Perfect Practices in B2B Sales

Perfect Practice offers 42 rules for getting better at getting better. Written by 3 educators, it offers insights on the importance of feedback in improving effective execution in the 'flow of the work'. Many of their key findings highlight the importance to B2B sales performance...

Sorry, ‘Just Do It’ won’t ‘do it’ when it comes to sales performance

One of the classic 'silver bullets' sales managers like to fire when the pressure's on to produce more revenue? 'Try Harder'. Put another way, as Nike would say: 'Just Do It'. For a lucky few, it can work. For the unfortunate majority, it's typically...

The 8 Ingredients of a Tasty B2B Sales Productivity Bouillabaisse

Had a fascinating chat recently with the lead for a multi-billion dollar firm's sales performance improvement initiatives. It's their firm's number one business growth strategy for 2013. His biggest challenge? Where to start. It's tempting to offer up a recipe for optimizing the productivity of...

The Science of Succeeding Predictably in B2B Sales [Lessons from Moneyball]

One of the statistical pioneers of Moneyball, Paul DePodesta, spotted 'the tendency of everyone who played baseball to generalize wildly from their own experience. People always thought that their own experience was typical when it wasn't.' Might the same be true of B2B sales? One...

3 Keys to Empowering Employees [and why it matters]

In a recent article, John Hagel notes that the empowered employee is coming, it's inevitable, and asks: is the world ready? As companies increasingly struggle to compete for leading talent, he sees savvy firms succeeding by becoming more performance-centric, by design. Technology is required...

4 Keys to Creating a Flat Army [of Front-Line Folks in Sales Execution]

In Flat Army, Dan Pontefract outlines his take on why it's important, today, for firms to become connected and engaged. In his view, it's time to connect the dots between leadership, engagement, learning, technology, and collaboration as a path to improved business performance. He...

5 Things You Can Do to Solve Tough [Sales Execution] Performance Problems

When poor sales performance persists, and everything you've tried hasn't worked, it's tempting to sit back and say 'that's just the way it is'. It's probably the #1 reason sales performance problems DO persist. Skepticism. The Power of Positive Deviance is a generalized look at...

It’s Hard to Fix [Sales Execution] Mistakes You Can’t See

The life of a sales person can sometimes seem like that of a juggler in a circus. Always many balls in the air. The best trained Reps are the ones who can simultaneously juggle more balls than their peers. One of the challenges with...

4 Keys to Choosing Wisely Your Paths to Improved Sales Performance

With complex problems, like uncertain revenue results from a sales team, choosing the most effective path to better performance can be really hard. Proving, afterwards, that you chose wisely can be even harder. In their forthcoming book – Decisive – Dan and Chip Heath offer...

Let’s see: how are B2B sales made?

Some of the most compelling pieces being used in B2B sales these days are visuals. Ones that help buyers and sellers come to agreement on what a buyer's situation looks like and what might be done to improve it are especially effective. Friend +...

4 Rules For Being Antifragile in B2B Sales Performance

In AntiFragile, Nassim Taleb explains what firms can do to lower their risks of catastrophic events, despite prevailing complexities and uncertainties. He describes such firms as the opposite of 'fragile' … ergo, Antifragile. They're firms that thrive on uncertainty by benefiting more when they're...

7 Rules for Perfecting Best Practices in B2B Business Development

Musicians know it takes practice to perform at their peak. The authors of Practice Perfect stress that practice makes permanent – so you had better get it right. So, based on what we've been learning with our clients, here are 7 rules for perfecting...

The Path to More Sales Conversations is Paved With Buyer Issues

We continue to see executive buyers prove, by their behaviors, their interest in engaging in sales conversations about the outcomes they're after for their businesses. They're curious to find effective ways to get outcomes that they're after. Some salespeople, on the other hand, continue to...

The Pulse of a Firm’s Learning Triggers the Adaptiveness of Its Practices

One of the common themes in conversations we've been having recently with business executives is how different things are today than they were 1, 3, or 5 years ago. Many say that sales which used to come predictably, and quickly are now taking...

When What’s Happening in B2B Sales Is Clear, Performance Can Improve

Jon Vander Ark of McKinsey is the co-author of Sales Growth. As a summary of their findings, Vander Ark and his co-authors recently suggested in the Harvard Business Review that "CEOs Need to Get Serious About Sales" by:a/ cranking up analytics to create greater...

Four Attributes of Adaptive Sales Organizations

co-authored with John Holland, Co-founder, CustomerCentric Selling In a recent presentation for Corporate Visions, Scott Santucci of Forrester Research noted that CEOs are increasingly worried that their selling systems are not adapting quickly enough to accommodate changing business strategies. In response, we're seeing savvy...

Learning [Fast + Continuously] Improves B2B Sales Productivity

co-written with John Holland, co-Founder, CustomerCentric Selling Some reflections on lessons we've been learning from our buyer-guided approach to business development. First, most folks doing business development aren't having nearly the success day-to-day that they think they're having. Buyers are more inclined to be encouraging…

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