Guest Post: Don't Shoot The Messenger... Buy From Them

Posted by Peter Ostrow on Jul 23, 2014 12:10:00 AM

This post is the third of three guest blogs contributed by Peter Ostrow, VP and Research Group Director of the Customer Management and Sales Effectiveness practice for the AberdeenGroup, a Harte Hanks Company

The previous blog posts in this series have introduced Sales Enablement as a must-have that’s essential for modern marketing and sales teams that hope to keep up with the pace of change they see in the B2B buyer’s journey. Tell a better story than that of your competition. Make it all about the customer’s needs, we’ve proven this with data. Get in front of your buyer with every relevant app loaded on your tablet, the research finds. All true, and all tied together with one truism: content-driven marketing is everything, except that you also need content-driven selling to fully seal the deal as often, and as effectively, as Best-in-Class companies.

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World Cup Marketing Lessons

Posted by Julie Zisman on Jul 10, 2014 1:06:00 AM

I was not at my desk last Thursday afternoon. Just like millions of other soccer (football) fans, I was standing in a bar watching the US team do their very best win their match in the World Cup, Round of 16. Note that all of my colleagues were standing next to me. After all, we are a Belgian based company. Half the San Francisco office walked out the door wearing red, yellow and black and the other half was draped in red, white and blue.  

I grew up playing soccer (football), and look forward to the World Cup contest every four years. This year, I’m blown away by the number of new US soccer fans. People turned out to viewing parties in unprecedented numbers. The show the fans put on was almost as good as the soccer match and I noticed a few marketing lessons that all B2B companies should consider. 

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Only One Thing Matters. Do You Know What it Is?

Posted by Peter Ostrow on Jul 8, 2014 2:03:00 AM

This post is the second of three guest blogs contributed by Peter Ostrow, VP and Research Group Director of the Customer Management and Sales Effectiveness practice for the AberdeenGroup, a Harte Hanks Company

Do you remember the great chemistry between Jack Palance and Billy Crystal in “City Slickers”? Jack’s rugged character, Curly, shared a famous “one thing matters”  philosophy that aptly applies to this blog series on Sales Enablement: the only thing that really matters in B2B enterprises is the customer. No longer do we sell products; customers buy solutions. No longer is hitting our quota number the only pursuit; it’s all about the buyer's journey. Let’s face it, much as it’s a great time to be a New England sports fan, it’s a wonderful time to be a customer. It’s nearly impossible to buy a bad product or service, thanks to the democratization of the customer voice, because none of us can get away with delivering anything other than top-box-checked satisfaction ratings.

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Guest Blog: Why Sales Enablement is No Longer a Nice-to-Have

Posted by Peter Ostrow on Jun 26, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Every Action Has an Equal and Opposite Reaction 

This post is the first of three guest blogs contributed by Peter Ostrow, VP and Research Group Director of the Customer Management and Sales Effectiveness practice for the AberdeenGroup, a Harte Hanks Company.

If the title of this blog doesn’t fulfill your daily quota of worn-out corporate aphorisms, here’s another: “The only thing that’s constant in business is change.”  There is, however, a reason why these phrases persist: they are accurate, relevant, and can help us succeed.  In the case of the latter, you’d have to have lived in a cave (another overcooked metaphor) for a couple dozen years to not understand the tidal shift that B2B selling has experienced, due to the consumerization of enterprise technology use. If it seems that every week a new platform, application, or consultative selling model has replaced yesterday’s hot topic, that’s because the pace of innovation and data management has reached unprecedented levels.

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5 Tips for Better Summer Sales Conversations

Posted by David Du Pre on Jun 19, 2014 1:30:00 AM

It’s that magical time of year when the weather gets better, and your prospects are often focused on things like family events and vacations rather than what they should be buying from you. As an accomplished sales person, you still want to make your quota and achieve corporate objectives, but it can be difficult to reach your goals during the summer months. Here are a few tips for making the most of the season.

Get Out of the Office

Your prospects want to be out in the nice weather as much as you do. Offer to take them somewhere out of the office for an afternoon treat. One company recently sent an Ice Cream truck to impress our team in Ghent. That kind of attention creates a memorable moment across multiple stakeholders for the next time you need buy-in on a purchase decision.

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The New Era of Sales: How to Wow Today’s Hyper-Informed Customer

Posted by Pieterjan Bouten on Jun 10, 2014 2:00:00 AM

Remember the saying “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM?”

Choosing the least risky technology option was a mainstay throughout the last few decades,but it’s no longer the case. Big names hold less value than they once did due to rapidly evolving technology, disruptive products and customers with unlimited access to information via the Internet. Welcome to the new age of the savvy, hyper-informed customer.

So, how does this impact the roles of today’s sales force and marketing department? A recent study by the Corporate Executive Board found that 60% of the buying processtakes place before there is any real engagement with a sales representative. In the new era of sales, customer knowledge reigns supreme. With research and reviews only a click away, customers have become comfortable making decisions based on widely available information, and may have little time or desire to listen to a marketing or sales pitch.

Buyers will wield their knowledge so it’s marketers and sellers beware: Be prepared or lose to your competition. TapResearch data illustrates this trend in action, revealing that nearly 50 percent of sales professionals have been outsmarted by a customer during a sales meeting. What can your organization do?

Enjoy the rest of the blog on Wired Innovation and learn three best practices to engage the hyper-informed customer.

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