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Category Archives: B2B Sales


Know Your Customer

by on December 21, 2012  

Know your customer to grow salesEarlier this year, IBM published the results of a study that was done by Forrester Research about how today’s empowered customers are thinking, and the importance of really knowing your customer.  The study was called Empowered Customers Drive Collaborative Business Evolution.

We often talk here at Score More Sales about acquiring new customers, and probably don’t do enough talking about retaining and growing the good existing business we have.

Jeff Ernst, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research narrates the overview

This study was done by interviewing nearly 400 U.S. and U.K. corporate leaders on how today’s buyers are changing the way we must do business.

Buyers have high expectations which are set by others in your industry – for example when front desk staff greet you buy name at leading hotel chains – you expect that everywhere. When they have your hotel room ready with your specific preferences – for me it is a softer pillow – you want all of your hotel experiences, whether with them or with their competitors to be as value-added.

Changing customer needs and expectations was the top external force driving the biggest need for change in the survey respondents’ own companies.  Universally, our heightened level of customer expectations are now an imperative.

So what to do about it? The study showed four areas to improve customer experience:

1)      Align the organization around the customer life cycle

2)      Drive capture and use of customer insights – focus on the right analytics for answers

3)      Deliver visible value at every touch point

4)      Align customer experience and technology initiatives.  IT needs to be a partner in this.

You can download the report here from IBM

Also to get closer to your customer’s interests, consider Joe Pulizzi’s 42 Content Marketing Ideas for 2013.

Better focus on our buyers and our customers will mean greater revenues and consistent growth next year.



IBMThis post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized as one of the “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012″ and one of “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management”. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips.

Experts Weigh In On Sales Influence

by on March 30, 2012  

Yesterday I moderated a very interesting discussion on what a B2B company needs in order to create an environment that can help develop sales influence among the ranks.

Hear the Focus roundtable audio with sales experts Jill Konrath, Jonathan Farrington, and Greg Alexander discussing their views.

https://www.hidefcorporate.com/wav/rec/30/conf50230_12219187.mp3|titles=Focus

Weigh in on the topic through a comment on the blog or on the Focus event page.

Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012 and speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for tips and strategies in selling.

 

Let’s All Champion Sales Resources! Sellers, See This

by on November 22, 2011  

There are three reasons you, as a seller, sales leader, or C-level executive should know about the Top Sales Awards voting process that is going on now.  This is the second year of the awards, put on by the JF Corporation. On December 15th there will be a virtual, dial-in ceremony co-hosted by Selling Power’s own Gerhard Gschwandtner and JF Corporation’s Jonathan Farrington.

1. As a professional, you need to know about some wonderful resources to help you grow business – and not just the same old ones you rely on. How often do you look for a new thought leader to hear from? The Top Sales Awards have nominated twelve – do you read their material? Do you know of all of them?

2. Once you find the right people to help expand your thinking on selling, what tools and assessments are you using in the business? Top Sales Awards has nominations for ten top sales assessment tools, and also for top sales tools and top sales websites. This is critical to know what is out there, especially if you are in a big corporate environment or live in a company silo. It’s a big world out there! One idea could change your income, or simply your perspective. Also check out the great articles, e-books, and webinars listed for top honors. It’s a treasure-trove of sales knowledge!

3. Finally, yours truly has been nominated – originally set to be a judge, instead the Score More Sales blog has been nominated as a Top Sales and Marketing Blog. We could not be more thrilled, and if you like our blog, we’d encourage you to vote for us here. Note that it does require a bit of effort to vote –you need to, at no cost, join Top Sales World and then go to the category and vote once each day until December 9th when polls close.  If you go to the effort of voting, please know how much we appreciate it – I personally thank you!

If you think of yourself as a lifelong learner, working to master your craft of being a business builder and master connector – you will never get bored, and you will always find something new to share and talk about. Learning new things can even be life-changing.  I don’t know about you, but I run from people and companies (and industries) who think they know everything.

Happy Thanksgiving to our many American readers – we’ll share more about some of the great websites that are mentioned in the Top Sales Awards in our next post.

Lori Richardson speaks, writes, and blogs about ways that B2B companies (and their salespeople) can grow revenues. Check out the blog and get our monthly newsletter with quick tips to grow sales. Sign up here for a no-cost phone conversation about your sales challenge or stumbling block.

Review of SNAP Selling Author and B2B Sales Trainer Jill Konrath Live

by on November 14, 2011  

It was a lucky double stroke of good fortune recently that sales thought leader Jill Konrath would be coming to town and that I was not on the road myself.  The organization she spoke at invited me to attend as I am a prospective member for them and also a friend of Jill’s. There was no plan to write anything afterward, but I felt compelled to since I think it would help others who are looking for corporate sales training or for a great speaker on selling for their association to learn from.

Jill first appeared on my radar in early 2006 after she launched her first book, best seller and award-winning “Selling to Big Companies” which helped smaller companies get their foot in the door to bigger companies.  It was a huge success, and put her in with the top sales enablement trainers and speakers in the world. Last year she wrote the (also best selling) book, SNAP Selling: Speed Up Selling and Win More Business With Today’s Frazzled Customers.  Although I’ve known Jill since 2006, I have never seen her “in action” training from the front of the room, so could only write about how much I enjoyed her books and award-winning blog.

Over the last 27 years I have been to hundreds of sales training sessions – first as a seller in the technology space, where I learned from the best of the best. Companies like IBM, Apple, and HP used to put on mammoth training sessions – where you’d go for a full week or more of sales training to learn all you needed to make sales. As an avid learner, and former teacher, I always loved this part of my career. Later as sales leader, then a trainer myself – in tech, then distribution, and finally financial services, there were hundreds more sessions.

So you can say I’m a tough critic, being taught by the “old guard” big names who have written dozens of books and, as I recall, seemed very impressed with themselves.

This leads me to my day with Jill Konrath at the front of the room. She is a confident presenter on a subject that she is a master of. Not only can she speak in the front of the room or train large teams, she writes eloquently and voraciously about business-to-business selling.

Her session started out very interactively – pulling the large room of people together working to understand the life of a crazy-busy prospect. It was brilliant in that not only did everyone really get to think (and feel) for a few minutes about what it really IS like to be so busy, but it also got the audience fully engaged.

Konrath asked the room full of small business owners and  professionals to give a shout out of their voice mail message as if she was playing them back on her phone – offering a loud, verbal “DELETE” after nearly every one of them (sometimes DURING some of them). A few attendees were taken aback, as if she should have been a little more polite about it.  I felt that uncomfortable feeling another speaker can get where you say to yourself, “Uh, oh – where is she going to take this next?”

She finished the role-play and brought the conversation full circle by speaking candidly with everyone, saying, “THIS is what your prospect’s life is like – and you are using old selling strategies to reach them – which is why you are working harder than ever and for lesser results.”  She had her audience’s full attention.

From there, Jill spent the rest of the time giving real examples of what DOES work – learning the language of your buyer while eliminating all of what she calls, “self-puffery.”  Konrath says going on and on about yourself and your company is “totally and grossly inappropriate” (one of my favorite phrases of the day).  Yet we see this all the time STILL.

Konrath’s usual crowd for sales training are B2B sellers and this group was professionals who don’t identify with being in sales – therefore the very first hurdle to get over that took some time in this session, which was handled in a very strong way. Konrath admitted she was not a “born salesperson” and that what she is teaching are skills that nearly anyone can learn. For people not in sales as a profession, they need to “get” that what they don’t like about sales is bad sales experiences – not admirable ones.

I’d love to see Jill in a full day with a room full of sellers – for now I can clearly say that her self-effacing style and roll-up-your-sleeves helpful examples are what resonate with attendees to get more out of their comfort zone and try her ideas for reaching “crazy-busy” prospects. While she is refreshingly approachable, she is also clearly committed to being tough with people on what they should stop doing or saying – and how their website and content needs to deliver messaging that resonates with your target buyer. She generously offers free resources at her website Jill Konrath. Subscribe to her Fresh Sales Strategies blog– she’s connected to the top resources in sales enablement today with huge readership of her newsletter. Her latest posts are about groundbreaking new research on sales effectiveness.

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Lori Richardson speaks, trains, and blogs to fast-growing B2B companies needing better sales conversion rates. Her company, Score More Sales also offers B2B prospecting services.  Subscribe to the Score More Sales blog, Sales Ideas in a Minute for twice-monthly quick tips that work.