Little Things that Make a Big Difference in Sales and Marketing Success


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Most people have heard about the Pareto Principle: that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Pareto developed the principle when he noticed that 20% of the pea pods in his garden produced 80% of the peas. You hear about the 80/20 rule in a lot of contexts and I talked about how the Pareto Principle applies to sales and marketing in a 2010 blog post titled: The Four Pillars of B2B Marketing Success.

This 80/20 formula sounds very exciting but consider that there are things you can do where your effort is multiplied way more than the 80/20 formula. For example:

  • Initiating contact with a strategic alliance partner that can bring in 50 times the revenue of the typical sale.
  • Making that one extra phone call that resurrects a stalled major deal.
  • Spending an extra hour to hone your value proposition in a way that is crystal clear to the target audience.
  • Investing 30 minutes to create new headlines to conduct A/B tests against your existing online or pay per click ads – this can lead to big gains in response rates.
  • Conducting a time-study analysis to identify areas where you get a large return on your time investment versus those areas with a small payoff.
  • Sending an email to a former boss, colleague or customer to heal a riff (this can have a huge payoff in both financial and psychological terms).

Note that all these items refer to actions, not thoughts. You have to do something to get the results. And while your sales and marketing results may vary on each of these actions, there are undoubtedly a few things you can do with small slices of time that have the potential for a big payoff for you and/or your company. Often, these activities aren’t pleasant but they are quick. As the doctor or your mom told you when they ripped off the Band-Aid, “this will only hurt for a second.” So get the quick hurt out of the way quickly and reap the benefits.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Ryan
Christopher Ryan is CEO of Fusion Marketing Partners, a B2B marketing consulting firm and interim/fractional CMO. He blogs at Great B2B Marketing and you can follow him at Google+. Chris has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.


  1. I’ve spent hours incalculable in meetings where a group tried to solidify a value proposition or tagline. It can make you want to pull your hair out but as you say, it usually ends up being worth that extra hour or so just to cut through all the clutter and get to the heart of your benefit offering.

    Also agree on healing rifts with those you have past conflicts with. It’s never good to have anyone out there, big or small, who may try to spread negative information about you.


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