Five Metrics You Must Track to Improve Sales

We've all heard the saying from Peter Drucker, “What gets measured gets done.” Edwards Deming, a contemporary of Peter Drucker, also said: “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” Regular measurement and reporting keep you focused because you use that information to make decisions to improve your results. Your most critical measurements are called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). What KPIs do you measure? I was asked by a VP…

How Do You Generate Leads?

Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places? Finding the ideal prospect can feel a bit like looking for love. Where do you look? What strategy do you use? How do you sort through the reluctant ones to find the willing ones? As I thought about lead generation, I thought about how the young people in our firm go about dating, albeit, it was…

Two Simple Ways to Create Trigger Events Right Now

If you do, you will sell more. All sales transactions come down to three choices: Your prospect decides to buy what you offer; Your prospect decides to buy from a competitor; Your prospect decides to stay with status quo, which means a no decision. It’s all about the power of influence on the need to change. Human nature resists change. From fear of the…

Where’s Your Prospect in the Buy Cycle?

I just finished a new chapter on buyer personas for my next book, MERGE 2.0, for publication later this year. And I began thinking long and hard about how to find prospects on their buyer journey, and what trigger events move prospects into a buying mode. When you learn to use trigger events to your advantage, you can help prospects move through their buying…

DON’T LET RED FLAGS SABOTAGE YOUR SALE

Only weeks ago, a major supplier of information systems prepared to close a crucial sale to a large hospital network. Sam, the account salesperson, believed all that remained was contract signing and a celebration. Sam knew he had covered all of the concerns of hospital’s top management; he’d been meeting with the group for months. The head of IT, central to implementation; the head…

Three Ways to Unseat the Incumbent

A major prospect on your target list sent you an RFP (request for proposal) this morning. It is a sterling opportunity; one you’ve been tracking for years. Your enthusiasm is tempered somewhat. After all, this is an impersonal RFP. You’re not the only one on the list; a strong incumbent seems glued in place. Your wheels begin to spin, and many questions pop into your…

Want to Win More Sales? Walk Before You Run

An impatient lot, salespeople want to speed up the sales process, close deals faster, and move on to the next opportunity. This conclusion sticks in my mind after observing tens of dozens of sales teams in my career. Don’t misunderstand; I admire the strong and swift. But fast isn’t best in B2B complex sales. While it may seem a bit counterintuitive, one of the…

How to Win “Finalist” in an RFP Race

Business dreads the request for proposal, popularly called an RFP. However, in certain industries and for certain products, RFPs are the only ticket into the sales arena. Like many of you, I fall victim to the roulette odds of winning these golden opportunities for our company. With so many corporate consolidations, companies now pursue greater efficiency and standardization, so they run their purchases through…

The One Missing Link In Your Go-To-Market Strategy

In Internet time, five years is a lifetime. So much has happened since I first released MERGE in 2011. In chapter seven, Marketing Communications Promoting Your Firm’s Value, I discussed a go-to-market strategy for building your brand. Nowadays, buyers hold near-exclusive power because of the Internet. Research cites that 74 percent of buyers conduct more than half of their research online before ever talking to a sales…

Raising the Stakes on Channel Partners

You can’t be successful at business without understanding market distribution business models. With distribution now representing more than half of almost every industry's activities, the ability to optimize market channels has never been so important. At one point, third-party reseller channels were used primarily for simple sales. Long-cycle, complex business-to-business (B2B) sales seldom found their way into reseller channels. Then times changed. Today, more…

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