Productive Insights

21
Jun

Do You ‘Earn’ the Right to Close?

Do you earn the right to close? We find that probably 75 percent of salespeople and other business developers do not. They may think they do because they show up, ask a few “probing” questions, and make presentations—often elaborate ones—as if to say, “I’m here. Isn’t that enough?” Showing up is of course essential—in fact, one rule of thumb people like

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24
May

Unstick Your Strategy: Free Up Your Emotions

Research, analysis, number-crunching, decision trees—these are a few of the traditional components of strategic planning. But we’re just now learning about how powerful a little understood, new-kid-on-the-block component can be. Why do some strategic issues stick around too long and how can this new kid on the block help to cut them loose? Usually, key executives and managers know what they

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22
Apr

Oh, No. Not another Sports Analogy

Oh, yes, here it comes. But this one is different: It’s about golf! We are often hired to train a company’s new business developersin consultative selling skills and to develop customized sales processes to get them up to speed as quickly as possible. And we love doing it. But sometimes companies ask us to wait to train their current sales team

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22
Mar

Stop! Don’t Slash Sales and Marketing

The first quarter of 2022 is almost over. Where does your company stand? Check out these 11 proven ways to cut costs and sharpen sales—six of which don’t require any additional investment in sales or marketing. It’s true. Slow, challenging, or uncertain times call for greater investment in sales and marketing, not less. But few businesses bite that bullet. They blindly cut

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16
Feb

Is Your Sales Team Ready for 2022?

Your answers to just two questions can help to identify a solid path to top-line growth this year. Consider these two “either-or” questions about sales growth. Your answers can help you and your team make the most of 2022. Which question points you to the most opportunity? Question #1 Find more opportunities to quote (more first meetings) or improve the success rate on opportunities

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24
Jan

Are You in a ‘Hidden’ Business? Should You Be?

Sometimes the obvious money-maker isn’t the biggest one. Do you have another business hiding in plain sight? McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was known for asking MBA students what business they thought he was in. Hmmm. Let’s see. Fast food, maybe, or hamburgers? Yes, Kroc explained, but that’s not all. Kroc knew that the real money was the real estate business portion of his

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17
Nov

Can B2B Telephone Campaigns Still Lead to Growth? Glad You Asked!

The short answer is “yes.” A more thoughtful—and useful—answer is “yes, and . . .” Have you ever tried to get new business by “cold calling” prospects on the phone? What about calling customers to see about their current or future needs? Or calling into a new market to gain intelligence about its potential? Maybe you’ve thought about doing these things,

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21
Oct

Making Conflict in Sales and Marketing Productive

Healthy conflict can lead to healthy sales—if managers know how to guide the process or get help if they don’t. Children are admonished to “play fair” and show “good sportsmanship”—and rightly so, we believe. They learn, or we hope they learn, to use these principles to guide their behavior and, at least on the playground, to reduce serious conflict. But

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16
Sep

Boost Your Top Line to Boost Business Value

Here’s how to do it. Productive consultative sales training and process development can make the difference. Do you know IRV? If you’re a business owner or senior executive, you should. Why? One thing small and middle-market businesses are all about is increasing their value. And IRV is a straightforward way to use sales to increase that value in three ways—and to

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17
Aug

An Often-Overlooked M&A Tool: Sales Integration

Companies spend all sorts of pre-M&A time on alignment. But what about after the merger or acquisition deal is sealed? There is still work to be done, especially in sales. When companies make acquisitions, they have a lot to do, from identifying redundancies in staffing, processes, and procedures to selecting which survive and which can be reduced or eliminated. Even

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