Productive Insights

18
Oct

Scariest Sales Calls Ever!

“What is the worst sales call you have ever made, watched, or been subjected to?” A cringe-worthy question, to be sure, even scary this time of year. But it’s one worth spending a couple of uncomfortable minutes thinking about. OK . . . . Now, once you’ve zeroed in on the worst, or one of the worst, take a moment to

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18
Oct

Disruptor or Disrupted: Which Will Your Business Be?

n September, I moderated a panel on market disruption for about 40 middle-market business owners, CEOs, and presidents. Information and insights came not only from the expert panel members (listed below) but also from the senior leadership audience. The panel was part of a larger, day-long event attended by 125 C-suite leaders who networked, heard speakers, and shared experiences. The day

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21
Sep

Do You Uncover the Need Behind the Need?

In our experience, the very best salespeople–the 20 percent who outperform their colleagues significantly–have the ability to discover “root cause.” The root cause is the true problem a prospect needs to resolve. The remaining, and less successful, 80 percent can identify that problem only occasionally or not at all. And they usually don’t know how they did it. They tend to

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24
Aug

How to Invest Your Sales and Marketing Dollars

A prospect once came to us saying he needed more leads–80, in fact. Naturally, we wondered about the reason for such a specific number. After we learned more about his business, especially his goals and challenges, he told us: Since he hadn’t closed any of his last 80 leads, he wanted to get started on another 80. This example, though perhaps

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25
Jul

Sales and Marketing: Shake Hands!

At a meeting of the American Marketing Association’s Chicago chapter earlier this month, I began my talk with a critical question: “Has there ever been a time for sales and marketing to be more closely aligned than now?” I was speaking at a program on “Managing at the Speed of Change,” which we co-sponsored with Morningstar, the research and investment company.

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5
Jun

How Important Is Differentiation?

Is differentiation a nice-to-have business attribute or a must-have? In other words, is it a luxury or a necessity? Companies in mature markets have always felt the need to impact revenues by developing differentiation that creates unique value for customers and prospects. Today, however, fierce competition, unending channels of communication, and disrupters on all sides from non-traditional competitors affect companies at all stages. So, if developing value-added differentiation used to

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5
Jun

How ‘Flying Blind’ Can Lead to Better Prospecting

Typically, sales people love face-to-face meetings with prospective customers. But prospecting to get those meetings? Not so much. One way to avoid the obstacles that make reluctant prospecting all too common is to replace them with something more positive and powerful. Why are sales people so averse to prospecting? Well, common answers are fear of rejection, feeling “pushy” or “nosy,” or

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5
Jun

Do Your Salespeople ‘Live the Brand’?

A brand can be broadly defined as the “face a company shows to the world.” But it’s much more than that-or, at least, it can be. The question is how do you build and support a company brand to get the most out of it? There are many ways to build, adjust, and sustain a company’s brand. But they can

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5
Jun

Is Your Sales Team Ready for 2017?

Consider these questions about sales growth. Your answers can help you and your team make the most of 2017. Do you think you need to: Question #1 Find more opportunities to quote (more first meetings) or improve the success rate on opportunities you’re already working on? Question #2 Create more value for your prospects and customers, or improve the ability of

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5
Jun

Growth Questions for a New Year

For many of us, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is often one of reflecting on the year about to close and planning for the one about to open. Here are some thought-provoking questions our clients and prospective clients find helpful to make the most of their reflections. We hope you will, too. As always, we are here

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