Latest "Guest Blog" Posts
By Tim Searcy
Ahh meetings—those wonderful illusions of productivity, collaboration and focus. Meetings are the standard reaction to sales management crisis just as running an IV is the standard answer in an emergency room.
OK, you are going to have a meeting because you are in a crisis. What are you going to meet about?
Enthusiastic yelling, leading and hours of meetings will only create the illusion of problem solving. Instead, you need information. There are three types of information you have to get a stranglehold on right away in a sales crisis: pipeline, prospects and potential.
1. Pipeline. The pipeline is defined as the list of real opportunities for which you have credible, verifiable information including all of the following:
- Dollars. How big is this, how soon can we see it, and how long will the opportunity continue to pay us and is there a bigger payout later? But even more important than that is the rock solid assurance that a trigger event has occurred that will make certain this deal happens, and an unshakeable knowledge that a budget of sufficient size has been allocated to do the work. Without these, the dollars are dreams, not dollars.
- Dates. When the deal is going to close is less relevant than when it will bill. More importantly, what control do we have on moving the dates forward versus waiting for things to happen? Sometimes a prospect will make accommodation or we can directly impact how quickly actions can take place by what we do.
Comments have been pouring in about your preferred “brain food.” Gini Deitrich, one of our favorite guest bloggers, has chimed in with her two cents, as has my friend, Scott Collins, Present of SRA. Take a look and share your own.
There’s so much to read out there that it’s important to home in on what really serves your needs. Here are the blogs and reporters that I read daily:
I also subscribe to SmartBrief leadership, and daily entrepreneur and social media newsletters for new ideas and articles.
And, of course, I read YOU!
And from Scott:
Here are some of my favorite information sources to share with your readers.
Vistage: I utilize a pretty wide variety of their speaking resources to enhance what we are doing. Sometimes I read additional information from them, sign up for their newsletters, etc.
New strategic facilitator: We are going to engage the services of Harry Kangis (developer of the “One Page Strategic Plan”) to facilitate a completely redesigned strategic planning process. I felt like we needed to do something very different to “shake things up” given our desire to accelerate our transformation…now was the right time.
LinkedIn: I have gotten some very good ideas through various LinkedIn groups as well as introductions to additional thought leaders.
By Gretel Going
When I asked Tom if he thought his audience would benefit from an article on b-to-b lead generation, his answer was an obvious “yes,” so here I am. I do a ton of web, social media and content work with Tom, and he tells me that people ask him all the time to share some of his savvy trade secrets. Against his better judgment, I’m going to do exactly that in this post. Enjoy…
Most people think of LinkedIn as a great place for networking, researching contacts and searching the job market, but it’s true value as a lead generation tool has yet to be fully realized.
With a highly-engaged community, quality discussions and the ability to generate an incredible amount of traffic and leads, LinkedIn can be an incredible sales tool for b-to-b companies when used strategically. I only wish it hadn’t taken me three years of using it to figure it out.
Before I go into my tips for using LinkedIn, let me clarify: I don’t believe that “So and so sent me a message on LinkedIn and now we’re talkin’ business” qualifies as a case study on using LinkedIn for lead generation. The event must be uniquely limited to the platform at hand, whereas in that example, the same thing could have easily happened over email (or Facebook, or Twitter, or…you get it). Now, if the person got a hold of you on LinkedIn because they happened to see your contribution to a discussion in a group there, or arrived as one of your shared connections, well, that’s another story altogether.
You know you’ve done something right when one of your readers starts writing poetry about your work. Check out the fantastic poem about RFPs below! No, really.
The other day I spontaneously started writing a poem triggered by your observations on the RFP process. Enjoy and feel free to share with your readers.
To all the people at Hunt Big Sales, thanks for the inspiration, motivation and information!
The Pollack PR Marketing Group
He ate and drank the precious Words,
And got our Team excited;
“A Big Consumer Brand” He said,
“And we have been invited!”
“Oh, this is great,” the Team rejoiced
“We’d love to work on that…”
Needless to say, all jumped aboard
In 15 Seconds flat!
Four weeks of Research, Toil and Thought,
Went into our Response;
We made our Deck look really good,
We pitched our Pros, (we cloaked our cons);
We answered every Question whole,
Obeying each Decree;
We even gave some great Ideas
Away to use – for free!
Alas, a teensy-weensy Fact,
Omitted in their Doc;
The Reason why we were invited
Was not because: We Rock!
Nor for the Breadth of our past Work
Our History transcends;
Neither our matching Expertise,
Or even ‘cause we’re Friends.
No, our Proposal’s Heft and Strength
Served very different Ends…
First Copy went to Paul and Mike
Messrs. Sarbanes and Oxley
(Methinks in Times of Bailout Boons
‘Tis an outmoded Proxy)
Next: Round up good Ideas for free
Not one – a whole Buffet!