It’s undeniable. Summer is officially winding down, and fall is kicking off nicely here in the Pacific Northwest. In homes all over the US, it’s the time of year when we all hang up our white clothes, after a long Labor Day weekend, and get back to work. Just like you, this time of year signals a collective focus on grinding out deals so we can end Q3 by meeting our own sales goals and then usher in the holiday season on a high note.
As you prep to crush Q3 quotas, we thought it would be a great time to support your efforts with some truly impactful sales knowledge. We’ve looked through this summer’s top trending content and collected- both internally AND from other sales thinkers & doers – several pieces that will get you into the right head space for a strong September.
“Use This Ridiculous Sales Stat for Non-Stop Sales Growth”
Author: Jill Konrath
Source / Organization: JillKonrath.com
If you’re in sales and you don’t know the name “Jill Konrath”, then you’re not paying attention. Jill is a world renowned sales thought leader with clients ranging from IBM to GE, Wells Fargo, and Microsoft. These companies bring Jill in to help them accelerate their sales cycle and win bigger contracts. Jill knows her stuff. We’ve even brought her in as a resource for our own sales strategy.
In this post, Jill cites research that reveals that businesses are 60% of the way through their buying process before they contact a sales person. From Jill’s perspective, there are two ways this affects the sales process. The first is that IF a company contacts you, they are virtually ready to buy, which positions you as their problem-solving hero. The second (more frequent) option is that most businesses may not contact you at all. Jill says that its time that we “get off our butts and initiate contact” with those with the highest likelihood of being a fit for your solution. And, she suggests that you do so as early in the buying cycle as possible to ensure that you are viewed as a resource, ally, and trusted partner – and have the greatest impact on the final decision.
“Tech Spend Trends: Welcome to the 2015 IT Budget Games”
Author: Peter Tsai
Source / Organization: Spiceworks
Spiceworks is well known for creating some great content around IT spending (not to mention a platform of tools every IT professional can use). They publish regular reports on IT department budgets all over the world – the bottom line is that the IT spending numbers game is tricky.
In this post, they uncover some key budgetary challenges facing IT departments all over the globe. While IT departments aren’t pinching pennies in 2015, they also aren’t banging down doors to ink deals on overpriced technology stack solutions. The big takeaway here is that IT departments will be working towards efficient IT spending. As a sales person, you need to be a few steps ahead of the game by gaining real insights into your target account’s spending initiatives… before they reach out.
“My Data is Sexier Than Your App”
Author: Christine Crandell
Source / Organization: Forbes
Last month, our very own CEO Henry Schuck was tapped by Forbes’ Christine Crandell to chime in on the current state and future outlook of B2B marketing technologies. According to Henry, without data the outlook isn’t so hot.
Henry goes on to say, “Predictive analytics is great but just knowing who the next likely buyer is doesn’t help if marketers can’t call them, email them, or put ads in front of them.” If MarTech vendors are not using hard, quality data to drive leads and revenue, these marketing programs have zero shot at making any impact for your sales team.
“When Do You Introduce Price in the Sales Process?”
Author: Matt Heinz
Source / Organization: Heinz Marketing
Heinz Marketing is well known for their distinctive voice in the B2B marketing and sales acceleration space. They often chime in on sales topics that help B2B sales people in the tech space get tangible results from their efforts, and this post on price introduction is no exception.
In this blog post, the author, Matt Heinz is right – price is tricky to navigate. That’s because there is emotional and psychological baggage that comes with the word “expense” or “cost.”
“Price is tricky. It’s one of those hard questions many sellers are worried about introducing at all, let alone too early such that it kills the deal.”
The operative word in the above quote is “worry,” which can also be very easily interpreted as fear. On the sales side of things, your “worry” or “fear” is all tied back to a lack of understanding of your product’s value proposition and how you position pricing in the framework of a sales conversation.
Matt goes on to say that the “that’s too expensive” objection is always attached to something else. Interestingly enough, expense is often attached to fear on the buyer’s end. By fully understanding the value of your offering, when you actually pitch price you are not just pitching a number, you are pitching an outcome – a real solution to a troubling and complex business problem.
In short, kill your prospect’s fear by offering real, tangible value that they cannot ignore.
“3 Common Sales Funnel Disasters (And How to Avoid Them)”
Author: Leo Dirr
Source / Organization: InsideSales
InsideSales has proven to be a valuable resource for our sales and marketing teams alike. From insightful blog posts to in-depth sales research, they provide the sales community with research that has the potential to fuel effective sales strategies at every point in the complex B2B sales cycle.
The post launches right off with a few startling statistics about some pretty significant challenges for the B2B sales person. For instance, well over half of all forecasted deals don’t close. Additionally, a CSO Insights report, referenced in the post, states that less than 60% of all sales people met their quotas in 2013. Yikes.
According to InsideSales, there are three major mistakes sales people make when managing their funnels: 1) Wasted Time, Shattered Dreams (chasing bad leads), 2) Wild Guesses Galore (using bad sales data to make inaccurate guesses about next steps in the sales process), and 3) Fictional Sales Forecasts (blind optimism about the future of a deal).
Interestingly enough, these mistakes are all wrapped in bad data & processes, which set sales professionals up for failure every day.
End Q3 Strong with the Right Data at Your Fingertips
Now that you’ve seen the best B2B sales content this summer has to offer. It’s time to put it to use to improve your own sales conversations and processes.
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