Tactics for Managing Marketing and Sales Roles

We need to cover what to do with your sales and marketing staff. They are the experts in developing new business and naturally resistant to any encroachment into their turf. The day you walk in and announce that everyone sells, their eyes will roll. It’s natural. They are the professionals, no one can do what they do. In this section, we’re going to discuss how to smooth the transition from an organization with siloed sales staff to a company where everyone looks for opportunities. To start, we define marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL).

Leads are individuals or organizations that are in the market for, or have expressed an interest in your goods and services. We break leads down into two types, the MQL and SQL. The easiest way to understand the difference is using Figure 6.3.

qualified-lead-grid Read more

The Future of Sales

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The constant news cycle centered around AI and machine learning forces leaders to consider where to apply this new knowledge and capability. Do we work strictly with existing data? What about security? Can it make my forecasts more accurate? And, if the robots are coming, when will they replace those pesky salespeople? What is the future of sales and selling? Read more

How to Become A Successful Sales Manager

World-Champion-Bryan-Sales-Manager

Two sales managers are promoted. Both are given teams of the same size, producing similar results, and are instructed to increase results. Both managers are given the same annual budgets, the same support systems, and report to the same VP. A year in, the VP notices a small gap in performance, but both teams are doing better, the VP is happy. Two years in, that small gap has grown and one team is clearly performing better, from the lowest sales rep to the top. The VP wants to know why? What is the difference? How does one become a successful sales manager?

Without interviewing or knowing the managers in question, I will give you one difference between the two. The best way to explain it is to think of a single sales representative and their new objective. Read more

Why Hire an Executive Coach

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Why hire an executive coach? I have one idea to answer this question. More of my fortune cookie wisdom.

It’s no fun to be introspective. Since it’s a challenge and a chore, hire someone to do the work for you.

Consider the flip side of my statement. Whereas it’s no fun to be introspective, it’s easy and great fun to point out the quirks and failures of others. It’s part of being human.

If you want to accelerate your performance while expending less energy, hire an executive coach. They’ll find it easy and you’ll get to your goal faster compared to going it alone.

Good stuff.

(see an example of my executive coaching programs)

Who holds the algorithms accountable?

magician_vase_trick

We are evaluating a new technological wonder, a soon to be indispensable part of this client’s martech stack. A proprietary algorithm that will power the growth of the company.

It reminds me of a story about how the machines are building their own algorithms and that gets me wondering. Who will hold the algorithm accountable? Read more

One Million Software Companies by 2027

I’ve been thinking about this quote from Jay McBain at Forrester, “I estimate there are more than 100,000 software companies (ISVs) today around the world — up from 10,000 only 10 years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised. . . to see that number grow to 1 million by 2027.”

Today, in the sales and marketing space there are an estimated 5,000 software companies. In 10 years that number could be 50,000? 50,000 companies that understand sales and marketing, selling and marketing.

Think about it. 50,000 companies emailing you about their solution. 50,000 companies calling you with ideas about how to improve your outcomes. 50,000 companies competing for your sales and marketing dollar. Assuming each of those companies have five sales people on staff, that’s the population of Akron, Ohio fighting to get your attention and sell you a solution, every day in 2027.  Read more

Millions of Millionaires

successful-self-made-millionaire

The newsfeed tells me that last year, 1.1 new millionaires were created in the US. That brings the USA’s total number of millionaires up to 15,356,000 according to Credit Suisse, the financial services company. What is your guess on the number of these new millionaires that got there following the advice of millionaire self-help gurus? I say very few. Read more

Send Me a Proposal – Working Through Price Negotiations

overcoming price objections professional services

I sit through sales presentations. Many of them. Sometimes it’s with a professional sales person in traditional selling appointments and other times it’s with senior executives and labeled business development, but in every case it’s a conversation about an exchange of dollars for products or services.

As the conversation concludes, there is a thing that happens with pricing. It’s not the early ballparking discussion that I’ve discussed here and here, but closer to the final negotiation, the “send me a proposal” part of pricing. In this article, I’m going to touch on this part of the pricing discussion which sounds something like, “You said it’s going to be around $50,000 and that sounds about right. Why don’t you put everything we’ve been talking about into a proposal and send it to me.”* Both parties are in general agreement and now it’s time get into the details before exchanging money and services.

This article is about that transition. Read more

More on How to Write a Proposal

how to write a proposal

Before you send your proposal, take one more close look. Is the only quantifiable element the cost of your solution?

In the spirit of my other thoughts on writing proposals:

Writing a Project Proposal Outline
When to Write a Project Proposal
Before you Send That Proposal. . .
Decision Making and New Business Project Proposals

I am adding one more element. Read more

Greg’s 5th Annual Consulting Update

Sales And Marketing Consulting Services

It’s that time again!

Greg’s annual business update.

If you’ve been on the list, this is number five in a series. Yep, I’ve just completed the fifth year of solo consulting. Each year I’ve take a day or two and sketched out my biggest learnings from the year and I share them with you. Read more