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!
Did you know that - with all of our frantic content marketing efforts - we're actually sending our buyers into what's become known as "Content Shock"!
How much content are we actually consuming every day?
I'm reading a wonderful book entitled The Content Code: Six Essential Strategies to Ignite Your Content, Your Marketing and Your Business.
Early on in this book, I learned a lot about how our content consumption habits have changed over the past 100 years or so:
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".
If you already know how to sell, you'll be more successful using LinkedIn
Our recent blog post on why you need to STOP training salespeople in how to use LinkedIn was one of our most popular over the last 12 months.
Almost on cue, LinkedIn has just announced some new research validating our fundamental beliefs.
Our core premise is that "if you can't sell before you're taught how to use LinkedIn - you still won't know how to sell after you're taught".
Instead, teach them how to sell!LinkedIn's Sales Navigator is a great application - but it won't teach you how to sell! If you couldn't sell before someone taught you how to use LinkedIn, you won't be able to after you've been taught.
There's a morass of consultants lining up to teach you "how to sell via LinkedIn". People are talking about the new world of "social selling" compared to "traditional selling" - when in reality it's all just selling, albeit now in a social world.
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.