Productive Insights


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Three Leaders, One Lesson

The fundamental things apply in basketball, bed-making, and becoming the safest company in America. In 1965, Kareem Abdul Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) and his fellow freshmen at UCLA beat the varsity in the opening scrimmage. Interesting, to be sure, but not necessarily remarkable. Except that the UCLA varsity was a two-years-running national NCAA champion and the odds-on favorite for a

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Is Differentiation Really Worth the Effort?

Do you wonder whether differentiating your company will yield a significant ROI? Maybe you wonder whether your company can be differentiated at all. Most owners, presidents, and CEOs would agree that the short answer to the question “Does Differentiation Add Value?” is “yes.” So, then the focus moves to the question behind the question: “Is Differentiating Our Company Really Worth the

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Online Marketing: Hard-Earned Insights

How can we understand the wizardry that is today’s marketing–and what it can, and cannot, do? Thanks in part to steadily improving online functionality, marketing has changed dramatically in the past ten years. And, thanks to the pandemic, marketing has changed even more dramatically in just the past year. We’ve all seen it “in the news.” But here at Productive

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