2016 was a big year in sales and marketing. In order of popularity, here's a collection of our most-read posts from the last 12 months:
Why talking about your company, products and services won’t get you the sale
OK – hands up – how many of you have proudly invested in your “company presentation”, insisting your sales team includes it at the start of every customer meeting?
Typically, it will go something like, “Here’s how we started – here’s our staff – here’s our locations – here’s our products and services…” and so on. What a great way to bore a customer to death!
The world of B2B sales is cut-throat.
Because of the large amounts of capital involved, and the fact it's often "someone else's money" (i.e. the company's, not our own) means that the B2B arena is full of highly competitive sales people who are good at what they do and who are out to win deals at any cost.
So, for every highly successful B2B salesperson, there are several who simply can't keep up and who fall by the wayside. Or who simply "survive" rather than thrive.
To help you avoid being one of them, here are 10 reasons your B2B sales technique might be failing...
When sales teams fall short of target – invariably it’s Marketing’s fault because the leads were no good!
Similarly - when Marketing is queried on why revenue targets have not been achieved, it's Sales' fault for not effectively following up the leads that were provided.
I've had 4 episodes this past week that have made me reflect on the power of content marketing - assuming it is done well.
I want to share them with you and add some commentary - in case they help your thought processes to move forward. Hopefully the examples will give you some insights and tools to improve the outcomes of your content marketing program.
What this reinforced for me - you can't just "write content", and then hope. You need a strategy, you need the best tools, and you need the best tactics.
As buyers continue to change how they buy, sales people need to keep evolving.
But how - and why?
In short - the salesperson of the future will be the one that adapts his/her selling processes to match the new way in which buyers buy.
There's lots of disrupting influences in the B2B marketplace at the moment - the move to the cloud, social media, globalisation etc. These issues are disrupting commerce - but the accompanying change in how buyers buy in particular is disrupting and making irrelevant the "old ways of selling".
Social selling is a new approach to the sales process that is going to stick around for a while - it’s not just a passing fad.
Because social selling is not just a new approach to selling - it’s actually an adaptation to a new phenomenon that’s redefining how B2B customers actually purchase - it’s called social buying.
Marketing strategy has been shifting over the last decade, and it has to – because both businesses and consumers are buying differently.
Traditional marketing campaigns are no longer as effective. TV ads get skipped, magazine advertising is being largely ignored, and consumers online have such a short attention span that they barely even glance at the ads for longer than half a second. Direct mail still works, but once it’s sent, it’s over – it goes in the bin, along with your marketing spend.
Many B2B firms are developing both "content marketing strategies" and "social selling strategies".
Is there a link - or an overlap?
We think there is!
Is your B2B demand generation program a stream of disconnected campaigns, with Marketing organising for a bought/rented list to be called down, given some offer - and then achieve a success rate of around 3%?
What happens to the information you gleaned (if any) from the other 97%? Perhaps they are willing to buy from you - but just not yet!