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Here’s How you Should Answer When Someone Asks ‘What Do You Do?’

 

It’s a question asked at trade shows, bars, churches, PTA meetings, in online dating chats day after day after day. One of the most ubiquitous questions on Earth. A subtle nicety we ask to start a conversation.

“So, what do you do?”

The answer is usually some bland riposte that sounds like it’s regurgitated through a meat masher.

“I’m the Regional Director of Sales for a technology company.”

“I’m the Marketing Manager at a wholesale company.”

“I’m the Senior Vice President of who gives a darn.”

how to answer what do you doThese are ridiculous answers. No one wants to hear your name, rank, and serial number. You’ve probably got your answer to that question on repeat. I’m going to challenge you today to come up with a different answer (to put on repeat).

Here’s a really good way to answer the question… wait for it… with a question of your own. Frame your answer in a way that incites further conversation. Answer with some level of passion for what you actually do and leave a question mark at the end.

For instance, if I met you at a luncheon tomorrow and you asked me, “So Garrett, what do you do?”

My answer might be: “Well, you know how some companies (maybe even yours) really struggle to land sales meetings with their ‘dream clients’?”

…and then pause.

Your response might be one of the following:

  • “Yeah. We don’t really have that issue.”
  • “Not really. What do you mean?” – an invitation to engage in meaningful conversation
  • “Yeah. We have that issue.” – BINGO

No matter what your answer is, there’s a back-and-forth volley that happens. If I had said, “I’m a Marketing Director at a company called SalesStaff,” the conversation comes to a grinding halt and ends with awkward head-nodding.

So, tell me (in the comments), what do YOU do?

6 Never-Ending Tasks that Will Always Remain Incomplete for B2B Sales Professionals

 

A career in B2B sales is a labor of love; it’s a passion for bringing stellar products to those who will find the most value out of them. Part of that labor of love is continuing to do the things that will make you successful. These are not items on your to-do list, but tasks that need to be tended to at all times. You will never be able to ‘check them off’ as complete nor would you want to.

incomplete tasks b2b salesFinding New Sales Prospects

One of the oldest pieces of advice for sales success is some iteration of making prospecting calls every day – some say 10 calls in the morning, some say 30 minutes at the beginning and end of each day. It doesn’t matter how or when you prospect for new sales opportunities, but you must. It’s easy to be intoxicated by a full pipeline, but keep in mind that it’s cyclical and if you don’t prospect today, your once-full pipeline will be empty tomorrow.

Following Up on Sales Opportunities

If you do the first thing right, you should be able to maintain a healthy pipeline at all times. That means that there will always be some follow-up to do. Sending emails, making calls, always be advancing deals. Again, don’t fall into the trap of ‘shiny new ball’ syndrome. Just because you have new sales opportunities entering your pipeline, you have to find a way to tend to the opportunities that are on a longer buying cycle. For more on great follow-up techniques (with email templates), download Be a Follow-Up All-Star: The 1-2-3 Method.

Building Relationships with Prospects and Clients

This is similar to the above directive, but I’d like to draw a difference. Following up happens when there is an active opportunity in the pipeline. Relationship-building happens any time you feel like it, but it is a task that is never finished. Relationship-building involves a phone call or an email or a handwritten note to say, “Hey. I was thinking about you…”

I remember a story I read in the classic book by Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People, about one method he uses for relationship-building. Dale, when he met someone new, would allude to their Zodiac sign by saying something like, “You strike me as very creative. You must be a Pisces.” The new acquaintance would respond, “No, I’m a Scorpio,” or some such. Dale would then ask when their birthday was. He’d secretly write down their birthday and every year, that person would receive a handwritten birthday card from Mr. Carnegie. But it doesn’t have to be that formulaic; a simple email that says “Hey John – I read this article and thought about you” works wonders. Much like in real life as in business, you build a relationship on familiarity and frequency.

Staying Up-to-Date on Industry Trends

We don’t live in a vacuum. The only constant in the world is change. A keen B2B sales professional is never finished researching his industry, his product, his competitors, etc. These days, that information is easy to get, you just have to be willing to find it.

Setting and Adjusting Goals

A sales professional without goals is a like an archer without a target. You must always be setting and adjusting your goals – daily, weekly, quarterly, and annually. Extra points if you have your goals written down and displayed in a place you will see them every day.

Personal Growth

Within the context of business and life, personal growth should be a priority. Know who you are. Become great. Heed the advice of author Jerry Bruckner: “To change your life is really very simple; all you have to do is ask yourself: ‘What can I do right now to improve my life?’ And then start to do it – now!"

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How to Write Explosive Titles for Your Blog Articles

 

Tease your readers. If you listen to radio shows, you know the art of the tease. You'll often hear the sports radio host, before they go into commercial break, say something like, "And when we come back, we'll hear what Mike Ditka has to say about the Bears demise this season." Professor Lowenstein of Carnegie Mellon covers this topic in his passage from 'The Information Gap Theory of Curiosity':

"Curiosity comes when we feel a gap 'between what we know and what we want to know'. This gap has emotional consequences: it feels like a mental itch, a mosquito bite on the brain. We seek out new knowledge because that’s how we scratch the itch."

The essential premise is that you need to create a gap with your title – a gap that purports a lack of knowledge, only to be solved by a satisfaction of knowledge for the reader.

The formula is pretty simple. Just mind these edicts for writing a great title for your blogs:

explosive blog titlesHave a working title as an outline to write from, but wait until you are finished to cement your title.

A ‘working title’ is a title that you work off of to create your article. It’s healthy to have a ‘working title’ as a guide for what you are about to write. It’s not the final version of the title, simply a placeholder that directs your efforts. As this Hubspot article explains, it’s different than a topic. A topic can go a million different ways, but a working title hones in on the direction of the post. As an example, if you are writing an article on Twitter marketing (the topic), a working title could be ‘Crafting Effective Twitter Posts’.

Opt for accurate titles over vague ones.

Vague titles work against you. You think you’re being cheeky and mysterious, but, in reality, you’re giving your audience nothing to grab on to. Accuracy is vital when you create a title. Why? It sets the proper expectations. Using the above Twitter marketing example, a too-vague title might be ‘5 Ways to Do Twitter Right’. Explain what it is you’re going to share with your reader, succinctly and accurately. You'll lose readers' trust if you set improper expectations with your title.

Make the title sexy and enticing.

You better your chances of good readership if you have a bit of ‘wow factor’ in your title. There are lots of cool and interesting ways to make a title enticing. Use intense language. We did it in this blog with the word ‘explosive’. Powerful expressions (and sometimes even ones with a negative connotation) have impact. Moderation is the key on powerful phrases though. If all of your posts are ‘explosive’ then none of them really are. Let your buyer persona guide you. Find a lexicon that resonates with them.

So, how might we spice up our Twitter marketing working title?

  • "5 Completely Brilliant Ways to Draft Tweets that Get Clicks"
  • "The Closely-Guarded Secret to Creating Powerful Tweets"

The goal is to entice. Give them something that makes the gears start to turn. Make them think you know something they don’t. Create the ‘Curiosity Gap.’

If possible, optimize for SEO.

We’ve all seen blog titles whose only goal is SEO. They look funky and read weird (ie. B2B Twitter Marketing: What Does your B2B Twitter Marketing Say about You?” If you are able to optimize for SEO well with your blog title, cool. But clarity should always be your #1 priority.

The shorter the better (but it’s not always possible).

Look, if your title is too long, it might get cut off in many formats (think email, or search engine results). Eighty characters or less is a good mark to shoot for. Again, don’t compromise accuracy or impact for a shorter title.

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‘Hey, Your Name is Jim, Too!’ – Establishing ‘Incidental Similarity’ in the B2B Sales Process

 

incidental similarity b2b salesSome B2B salespeople have a stern to-the-point demeanor and others are more amiable and friendly. Neither is right or wrong, but the following information will help the latter type, especially.

Let’s talk about this research study from the University of British Columbia about social connectedness and incidental similarity. The study effectively concluded that incidental similarities between buyer and seller are sufficient enough to form a personal connection and increase the probability of a purchase. Incidental similarities can be a number of things that may appear coincidental:

  • The same first name
  • The same birthday
  • The same hometown
  • The same alma mater

All of these tidbits of information are usually easily attainable from Social Media.

Specifically, incidental similarities refer to the inconsequential facets of our lives that we have in common with another person. These shared characteristics help in meeting a person’s essential need to belong. They may seem unimportant on the surface, yet in the framework of a buyer-seller relationship, they can be building blocks for a meaningful connection.

This is another way to use the tenets of social selling to create commonalities. Superior salespeople instinctively know the huge effect incidental similarity can have. Think about real life… Meaningful connections are frequently made first on the basis of some common value or characteristic. It’s why good salespeople put such a high premium on establishing relationships, not just pitching their product.

The study from the University of British Columbia has uncovered some specific details on the effect of incidental similarity:

“Our research has shown that the existence of incidental similarities attributes to such positive outcomes as increased liking, persuasion and cooperation between individuals. Furthermore, our research shows that within the context of a sales relationship, buyers’ favorable attitudes and intentions to purchase both increase when an incidental similarity exists.”

It’s a strange social phenomenon, this desire to fit in. The desire to have something in common with others can bleed its way into the B2B sales process — even though, logically, it really shouldn’t. There’s a sense of connection created by incidental familiarities even though they are shallow and commonplace. For example, in a group of 70 people, the chance two people have the same birthday is 99.9%.

So the next time a salesperson calls you and mentions that he pulls for the same football team as you, it’s probably not a fluke. He probably leveraged social selling and saw your Tweet about Tony Romo. You should leverage social selling to create incidental similarity too. It pays.

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20 Productive Ways to Use that Extra 30 Minutes between B2B Sales Meetings

 

b2b sales meetingsIf you're anything like me, you often have a rogue thirty-minute block on your calendar that you don't know what to do with. Sometimes you click around for a while figuring out what to do next and 10 minutes into aimless clicking, you realize that you have less than twenty minutes until your next meeting. Sound familiar?

As a B2B sales professional, there are quite a few things you can do to stay productive in those thirty-minute blocks. Take a look at some of our ideas.

  1. If you haven't in a while, update your LinkedIn profile with new information, videos, etc.
  2. Write something that has longevity. It could be a blog article, an email template, or whatever else, but write something that has extended use.
  3. Call a list of five prospects that you have identified. You should have a list of prospects available, so that at any given time, when the mood strikes, you can make a few calls.
  4. Follow up on a few of the most important opportunities in your pipeline.
  5. Set up a Social Media listening campaign (on Hootsuite, or Tweetdeck, or any Social Media monitoring platform). Monitor for terms and phrases that are pertinent to your business or even better ones that indicate interest in your type of solution.
  6. If you’ve already done #5, find some potential prospects on Twitter or LinkedIn and reach out to them.
  7. Plan the rest of your week (or month) or update your to-do list.
  8. Spend some time with a colleague that needs a little help. Drop by and offer some tips or words of encouragement.
  9. Spend some time with a colleague that is excelling. Pick their brain a bit about what has made them successful.
  10. Write and send personalized, handwritten notes to a few of your best clients or prospects.
  11. Unclutter your desk or your workspace. It always feels good to work from an organized space.
  12. Set up a news feed of all of your favorite sources on Feedly (or some other content aggregator).
  13. If you’ve done #12, learn something related to your business. Whether that’s reading a few articles or a Wiki page, learn something new.
  14. Write an uplifting email to peers or subordinates. Recognition always goes a long way with colleagues. Take a moment to thank them.
  15. Scan your competitors’ websites and see if there are any new developments.
  16. Figure out how many sales appointments you need to reach your goals. (Use our Sales Appointment Calculator)
  17. Research trade shows that you or your company should look into.
  18. Organize and categorize your sales pipeline.
  19. Read a chapter of one of your favorite sales-related books.
  20. Reflect. It’s a luxury but a necessity to take some time to reflect on what you’ve done right and what you can do better.

You could browse your inbox aimlessly or click around on the web without purpose for a half-hour, sure, but what good is that? Maximize your time and those once-unlabeled thirty-minute blocks will pay off in spades.

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The 3 Most Important Questions You Should Ask B2B Lead Generation Companies

 

lead generation companies 2We’ve been at this for a while with lots of new innovations in the B2B lead generation space upcoming in 2015. We have presented our appointment setting and lead generation solutions to prospective clients thousands of times. We’ve answered just about every question a prospect can ask related to lead gen. Those are our credentials for knowing which questions you should definitely ask any B2B lead generation or appointment setting company you’re thinking about working with.

In fact, at the bottom of this article, you can download our tell-all documents which encompass a total of 36 questions you should have in your hand whenever you engage B2B lead generation companies. For now, here are the three questions you should be especially keen to:

What is your pricing model? Pay for performance? Monthly fee?

This will likely flush out in the course of the sales process with lead generation companies, but you need them to be very specific on this point. A pay-for-performance model (like SalesStaff’s) is definitely more advantageous for the client. There is a guarantee that the vendor is contractually obligated to uphold. In this model the vendor bears some of the risk with the client.

Alternatively, some companies might offer a pricing model which is pay-for-time, or the monthly retainer model. This is where the vendor works on a set monthly (or hourly) fee with no production guarantee. It’s not necessarily a BAD model, but it comes with no guarantee. You pay the retainer and the vendor will produce what they can – maybe 3 sales appointments, maybe 300. You simply have no idea and you are relying solely on the market demand for your product and the capabilities of the lead generation vendor.

(More on these two pricing models in our article: A Tale of 2 Outsourced Demand Generation Models )

Is there a fee for contact data associated with the campaign?

When you are in the buying process with B2B lead generation companies, you should ask about any other fees – setup fees, initial program fees, and fees for contact data which will be used in the campaign. Often, B2B lead generation companies will charge for the data that fuels the campaign – the list of prospects that they will engage on your behalf. Know what the charge is and, as a secondary question, you should ask if you supply the contact data, can the fees be waived. (SalesStaff does not charge for the database which will be used to uncover leads or sales appointments.)

How do we reject a sales lead/appointment?

Any B2B lead generation worth their salt has a concrete process to redress any failed appointments or leads. This becomes especially pertinent if you are working with B2B lead generation companies that feature a pay-for-performance model. Be sure to ask what happens if a sales lead is not qualified, a sales appointment is a no show, etc. You have to be comfortable with the process for rejecting leads before engaging.

As I said, there are a number of questions you need to be sure to ask, but these 36 below are must-haves:

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8 Critical Questions to Answer about Your Customer Experience

 

Guest Post by Mitch Henderson from Clear Seas Research

customer experienceClosing the feedback loop with your customers is a necessity in today's complex marketplace. For a good company to transcend and become a great company, there has to be an understanding of the entire customer experience. Simply stated, by becoming more customer-focused and delivering a superior customer relationship experience, your organization can stand out from the crowd.

Here at Clear Seas Research, we specialize in providing third-party customer experience research to help evaluate our clients’ relationship with their customers at all touch points from initial awareness to repeat purchasing and brand advocacy. We conduct independent research for many clients in different industries. Our proficiency puts us in a position to share a few questions that every company should be asking about their customer experience.

  1. How well does your business model meet customer needs/expectations? Right, wrong, or indifferent, companies are biased when evaluating the customer experience because they are viewing it from their own lens. It’s critical to adopt the mindset of your customer and evaluate your customer experience from their point-of-view.
  2. What can be done to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and customer retention? We all know that age-old maxim that it costs eight times more to earn a new client than it does to retain an existing client. Does your customer experience lend itself to an expanding or renewed relationship with you?
  3. How do you perform relative to competitors? Most mature businesses know who their competition is. They can reel off a list of their competitors at will, but you need to know how you stack up against your competitors in key areas. You need to define the areas where you have a competitive advantage. You also need to determine what the prevailing attitude towards your competitors is and how that stacks up against your customer experience.
  4. What areas for customer service improvement should be addressed? Companies like Zappos and Warby Parker have built their success on the shoulders of great Customer Service teams. It’s crucial to put some of your best resources into your Customer Service department, but before that can happen, you need to assess what that experience looks like from your client’s perspective. When they need help with your product, how do they get it? Is it easy for them to get a resolution? What is the response time? All of these questions need to be addressed independently to ensure that your customer is ecstatic about the treatment they receive from your company.
  5. Are your customers reacting positively to recent changes? Companies are always in flux in their processes – perhaps a new website or web portal, or a new organizational hierarchy. Whatever the case, have the changes you’ve made left a positive or negative impression on your customers? Have changes made it easier or more difficult to interact with you?
  6. Do customers believe your performance has improved over the past twelve months? It’s so important in today’s business climate to know what the prevailing attitudes are towards your company. You’ve made great strides – you think – in the last twelve months, but do your customers benefit from those trends? You have to get your finger on the pulse of your ‘approval rating’ over a snapshot period of time to progress.
  7. Is your content marketing strategy providing customers with the information most desired/valued? You’re a subject matter expert in your field and you try to be an authority in your field by releasing information to your audience that you hope resonates with them… but does it? Are you giving them content that they need or do they interpret your content as empty fluff? Are they able to easily access your content through your publishing channels or are you missing a chunk of your audience?
  8. Is your level of involvement in social media in line with customer expectations? Customers expect to be able to interact with companies and brands on social media. Is your social media presence obligatory or functional? Do customers feel like your social media presence is in line with their expectations? Social media is a two-way street which can damage or prop up your reputation. You have to take a step back and understand how clients view your social media activity.

Getting a true and accurate reading on your Customer Experience is tricky. Clients may show you smiles but are they saying something else when you hang up the phone on your weekly check-in with them? At Clear Seas Research, we develop a customized research solution to determine what your clients REALLY think about their experience with you. We’ve found that the third-party approach is effective because clients are more likely to be forthcoming when they are not talking to you directly. The results we provide our clients enable them to better engage with customers to develop stronger relationships that will stand the test of time, ultimately resulting in more business for the company.

Contact Clear Seas Research to learn more about how to provide your customers with the most engaging total experience to foster more brand advocates.

mitch henderson clear seasMitch Henderson is the co-CEO of Clear Seas Research. Clear Seas provides specialized resources to conduct customized and syndicated marketing research solutions with well-defined scope and duration. Their insights help clients understand preferences, attitudes and behaviors of their customers. Clear Seas engagements create lasting, meaningful and decisive performance advantages for their clients.To find out how Clear Seas Research can be of service to your company, click here. Connect with Mitch Henderson on LinkedIn.

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The 2 Keys to Earning Access from the Gatekeeper

 

access from gatekeeperYou think gatekeepers live in a vacuum? All of the techniques you’ve used to bypass the gatekeeper in the past… they rarely work anymore.

I recently called on a CEO I met through a mutual acquaintance at Dreamforce and his gatekeeper, Maria, answered the phone. “What’s the purpose of your call?” she asked. I mentioned that the CEO and I had met at a conference and the name of the mutual friend who had introduced us.

She put me on hold… and then came back and said the CEO was unavailable. I left Maria with my contact details and figured I’d been blocked and that the CEO would scarcely remember my name, much less remember me from the message that Maria MIGHT place on his desk. Find out what happened at the end of the article.

I walked down the hall and talked to one of our own gatekeepers about how people get through to our CEO. What do they say? What did the ones that crashed and burned do wrong?

She cited some real-world experience for me. Apparently, cold callers have a habit of lying. She recounted that many claim they had already spoken to the CEO, which simply isn’t true. Some are arrogant and pushy, some are out-and-out offensive in their attempt to supersede her. Most callers, though, try to lay on the schmooze in a vain attempt at getting through to the CEO. Some call relentlessly, which has the opposite effect.

The overall impression I got in talking to our own gatekeeper is that she can detect a sham almost immediately. You’re not going to get away with pretending that you and the CEO are frat buddies.

So what happened with Maria? Maria’s boss called me back within the hour. He was interested to reconnect as we had some mutual interests. It was surprising. After he and I were through speaking, I thought about Maria and other admins that work tirelessly to protect their bosses from salesy people that might disrupt their day.

The moral of the story?

The keys to gaining access from the gatekeeper are these:

  1. Be honest. Even if you are calling cold, just be honest about why you are calling. Anything less starts the relationship on a bad foot. Adopt the mindset that gatekeepers are not your opponent; they’re important people in their organizations that empower executives to do their jobs. The secret to getting past them isn’t deceiving them.
  2. Get a referral if possible, or mention a specific connection. If you have had a connection with your target, mention it. Any common ground helps. The most effective connection is a referral from someone you both know. Perhaps you can speak to a member of the CEO’s staff and get a referral up the chain. Or you might look the target up on LinkedIn and see that you have mutual connections from whom you can ask a referral.

There really is no gimmick… and there’s no substitution for honesty and familiarity in the relationship-building process.

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Use Social Selling Because 90% of CEOs Don’t Respond to Cold Calls or Emails

 

social sellingSocial selling is a thing now, apparently. I'm half-kidding, of course, because it was a thing from the moment it was available. Why? Because marketers and salespeople are always seeking new channels where their prospects are talking and accessible. So it's not just 'a thing' anymore, but a skill that the 21st century B2B sales pro should definitely have in his or her tool belt.

There are some amazing stats out there that overwhelmingly support the necessity of social selling in your sales process:

  • 90% of CEOs said they never respond to cold emails or calls (Source: InsideView)
  • 78% of salespeople that use social media are outperforming their colleagues (Source: Jim Keenan) – more on this here

In short, CEOs are the hardest segment to reach… that’s obvious. They are dealing with the high-level challenges of running a company and scarcely have time to field a call or an email from someone they don’t know. However, the responsiveness of C-Level executives on social media tends to be a bit higher. That doesn’t mean you should go out and Tweet every CEO on your prospect list. Instead, take advantage of the opportunities social media affords you as a seller. Opportunities to:

  • Find out what the executive is interested in and what they are posting about
  • Connect with them in a meaningful way
  • Share some of you knowledge with them
  • Ultimately, establish a rudimentary working relationship with them

In the below video narrated by social selling expert, Ranjun Chauhan of Hearsay Social, he says, “Salespeople say to me all the time ‘I’m on LinkedIn.’ Listen, a LinkedIn strategy is not a social selling strategy.”

It’s a great excerpt from Hootsuite University where Ranjun outlines a 6-step daily social selling process:

  • Listen and monitor social media across several networks to get a comprehensive view of what’s being said
  • Identify prospects through the listening process
  • Follow up with the prospect
  • Find a topic of mutual interest, then respond
  • Engage as an expert by sharing insight you’ve gained in working with other customers
  • Become a trusted advisor

Heed the advice and go where the CEOs are (and where they are most likely to see you and trust you).

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The 10 Best B2B Sales and Marketing Blogs of 2014

 

As a sales and marketing blogger, I like to read what other influencers in the space have to say. Needless to say, I read a lot of other sales and marketing blogs with my Feedly account. But there are a few that stand out this year as my favorites. I thought I'd share them with you here.

If you're not subscribed to these blogs, you probably should be. My criteria for this list is simple... I like them. More than that though, I like them because (1) there's a ton of valuable thought-leadership, and (2) they post a regular, consistent stream of content.

Hope you had a productive 2014. Here's looking at you 2015. Our best wishes for a Happy New Year to all of our faithful audience.

A Sales Guy

keenanportrait

Some writers touch you with their content, and some touch you with their style. Jim Keenan does both for me. His style makes for absolutely easy reading, simple yet poignant. He always calls it like he sees it and pulls no punches with his Dennis Miller-esque rant style.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: Why Sales People Fail (When the Company is to Blame)

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Jill Konrath

jill konrath teal 640x800I was first introduced to Jill's work when I picked up one of her books many years ago on a recommendation from a friend. Her books are great, and her blog is killer. It's rich with all kinds of content - video, articles, you name it. Her style is first person and if you read a few lines, you'll see that she oozes passion for sales.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: Dealing With the "Current Vendor" Sales Objection

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Inside Sales Experts Blog

Bridge Group LogoTrish and Matt Bertuzzi are absolute standouts in the world of inside sales. Thought leadership abounds on this blog from Trish's company, The Bridge Group. Honestly, I'm a huge fan and I have never missed a post since I began reading this blog around 2009.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: Lead Response Arms Race: Ready, Fire, Aim.

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Score More Sales

lor richardsonLori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the “Top 30 Social Sales Influencers” worldwide, and for good reason. She continues to write about the intricacies of sales in a style reminiscent of a professor that loves to teach.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: 7 Tips to Score More Sales This Week

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Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Blog

jeffrey gitomerWho doesn't like Jeffrey Gitomer? The dude brings a no nonsense style and is always profound - saying so much in so little space. I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff this year at an AA-ISP event and he was every bit as fascinating a character in real life as he seemed to be from his writing.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: Sales Weapons To Deploy In The War On Your Competition

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Anthony Iannarino

headshot anthony iannarino copyAbout the best compliment I can give is that I draw a lot of inspiration for my own writing from Anthony. He states that his goal for the blog is to provide actionable information, and his articles are every bit as actionable as he hopes they are.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: The 7 Things You Must Leave Behind to Get Ahead

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The Funnelholic

funnelholicIf you haven't heard of this blog by Craig Rosenberg, where have you been living? Under a rock? He brings in great guest authors and between them and his own posts, this is a can't miss on your list of great sales blogs.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: Humanize it

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Matt on Marketing

Matt Heinz 200x300Matt Heinz is one of those rare breeds that truly gets the intricacies of both sales and marketing. Most of us tend towards one or the other, but he brings some great balance in his blogs on marketing and sales, and how they interact with one another.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: Six rules for more effective sales lead follow-up

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Seth Godin

seth godinEvery generation has it's standouts in business writing, and some of those personalities (see Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie) transcend the mold of business writer. They are observers whose lessons can be seen from a much broader perspective - lessons that transcend business and enter into the realm of 'life lessons'. Seth Godin is one of those writers.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: The tyranny of lowest price

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Hubspot

hubspot logo for noThe best of the best for real-world sales and marketing advice which is pertinent and actionable. There are to-dos after every post I've read. Not only is it actionable but they employ an army of writers, so there's information on just about every topic related to sales and marketing.

One of my favorite posts of 2014: What Every New Sales Leader Should Do In Their First 6 Months

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Taking a look back at our own blog articles, here are the three most viewed from 2014 for your viewing pleasure:

The 3 Commandments of Selling on Value Rather than Price

describe the image“George, we can provide your sales team with sales leads for only $20 each. Cheaper than anyone else.”

“George, we can accelerate your team’s sales pipeline and do the heavy lifting involved with putting your salespeople in front of highly-qualified targets so they can do what they do best, close more deals.”

Read More


INTERESTING STATS: Who’s to Blame for Sales Departments NOT Closing Qualified Prospects?

hubspot logo for noIn another edition of our INTERESTING STATS series, I was looking at the results of a recent report from Demand Metric and Showpad. The survey was based on data from a survey of 182 marketers, sales professionals, and presidents/CEOs (not a large sample by any means, but serviceable, I suppose). Reportedly, 67% of respondents work for B2B-focused companies, 25% for B2B-B2C hybrid companies, and 8% B2C-only companies.

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11 Reasons Why B2B Sales Prospects “Want to Think it Over”

describe the imageIt becomes clear that “I want to think it over” is more of a stall tactic or masking some real reason, than an actual objection. In fact, to some extent, salespeople can control all of these factors except number 11. By making value-building a first priority, you can avoid some of these pitfalls.

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