Our Favorite B2B Sales Blog Posts of 2015

It’s that time of year for review articles. The best of type stories. 2015 has been a really exciting time for the sales productivity world thanks in a large part to the major CRM players. The Salesforce appExchange has helped launch many excellent sales tools to enhance and expand the capabilities of Salesforce. So in the spirit of giving, enjoy these blog posts and have a Happy Holiday Season and Prosperous New Year!

The Cold Caller Who Came in from the Storm

Posted on November 18, 2015 by NIck Polito, Director Growth Initiatives HG Data

HGData_LongLiveColdCallingCold calling is dead! Long live cold calling!

We’ve all seen the headlines reporting that cold calling is dead. Gartner Research predicts that by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their buying relationship without human interaction. And I’m going to predict that 99% of us loathe the telemarketers that call during dinner. Therefore, it might surprise you that a high tech, Big Data and analytics company like HG Data, includes telemarketing as part of its sales and marketing strategy. I know this to be true, because I cold call for HG Data.

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19 Shocking Sales Stats That Will Change How You Sell

 LinkedIn Publisher, Authority on Digital Talent Acquisition, Recruiting, Sourcing @StaffingRobot



I try to read as much as I can, and every morning I put aside 30 minutes to check out the latest posts from my favorite blogs and writers.

In 30 minutes, you can only take in so much. Some posts I read thoroughly, others I open and close again within a matter of seconds. My favorite ones, I share with my team to use.

Often, my sales-related decisions rely a lot on guesswork: When do I send? What will they read?

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eGuide to 12 Bad Habits that Destroy Inside Sales Productivity

Use intent data to anticipate your customers’ needs


Historically, B2B marketers have tailored and targeted their campaigns to specific job titles or seniority levels. Early on, it made some sense from an efficiency standpoint to focus on those titles high enough up the corporate ladder to control purse strings, but job titles and seniority only tell part of the story as to how decision makers carry out the consideration and purchase process.

Awash in data, predictive models, charts, and graphs, it can be easy for marketers to forget that those data points — those dots on the graph — are actually people as well as key B2B targets. They have their own personal predispositions that can have great influence over the decisions they make in a business setting. In many ways, it’s remembering the people behind the decision-makers that can help B2B marketers harness the right data to engage and nurture those customers through the funnel.

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The 5 Types of Sales Prospect Persona Profiles [Infographic]

This entry was posted in Sales Prospecting and tagged , , , on by .

You may already know your buyer personas inside and out. But what about your sales prospect personas?

Think about it this way – you spend hours on the phone reaching out to potential buyers. In that time, you’re bound to notice some similarities. So, take advantage of this fact. Since it’s your job to connect with these people, it helps if you understand their different personas and how to sell to them.

Here are a few common scenarios:

  • You’re hearing, “Ask me again in six months”
  • You’re coordinating with 5 or more people
  • You’re trying to answer tough questions

Check out the infographic below to learn how 5 common sales prospect personas can help you address these issues, and more.




10 Bad Habits that Destroy Inside Sales Productivity (Part 1)

By |February 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments


Inside sales is a competitive field where professionals need to bring an incredible work ethic to the job each day. Unfortunately, some find that their habits can hurt their sales productivity and their careers.

Here are the first 5 bad habits that every sales professional should focus on eliminating. Look for the next 5 in Part 2 of this blog post.

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10 Bad Habits that Destroy Inside Sales Productivity (Part 2)

By |February 24th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments


Inside sales is a competitive field where professionals need to bring an incredible work ethic to the job each day. Unfortunately, some find that their habits can hurt their sales productivity and their careers.

Here are the second 5 bad habits that every sales professional should focus on eliminating.

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Broadleaf Customer Video

B2B Sales Executives: Are you a coach or a manager?

[fullwidth background_color=”” background_image=”” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ padding_left=”20″ padding_right=”0″ hundred_percent=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]real-time-sales-coaching_small

Becoming a B2B sales manager is the pinnacle of achievement in a sales department. You can be managing a small team or overseeing the entire sales department for your company. The job carries a lot of responsibility including that of motivating and helping your team grow as sales representatives.

It is easy to get swept up into the details of managing a sales department such as daily statistics, attrition rates, and tracking new clients. Often, upper management looks to you for the bottom line. However, while these tasks are important, your primary focus should be on developing your team.

It is not enough to just manage them. You need to coach them to success.

What is the difference between a B2B sales manager and a sales coach?

Managers focus on the numbers instead of the people. They are taskmasters instead of leaders, and while some of their sales reps can do well on their own, others need encouragement and help learning the best practices for interacting with clients.

On the other hand, a sales coach spends time with team members working with them on planning their approach to customers, offering feedback on what they are doing right and going with them on sales appointments to help them improve. They plan time to develop their people with a goal of success in order to drive sales.

A sales coach encourages their people to grow without taking credit for their sales. This is a positive effort that cements a team together. Sales people like being coached because they learn what they are doing right and what the next step is in their growth.

12 Bad Habits Whitepaper

Coaches are teachers

A good analogy is a baseball coach who works with their players on their skills, and then watches them during the actual game to see where they still need work and to cheer them on when they do well.

When you narrow it down there are three keys for being an effective sales coach:

  • A coach spends time asking questions and listening
  • A coach gets to the root of a problem, rather than trying to make quick fixes to symptoms
  • A coach  teaches responsibility, teamwork, and rewards personal growth

Sales techniques are generally not taught in school; they are learned on the job. Therefore coaching someone to improve their skills is how they learn.

Sales Dialing Automation Software Provides Options for Real-Time Telephone Coaching


Spending time with sales representatives during sales calls is one of the best training and evaluation tools for a sales executive. For traditional field sales teams, this is common and routine. However, inside sales executives have a more difficult time evaluating sales reps during the sales call.Listening to recorded conversations and role playing are common tools for coaching telephone selling skills, however, both options lack that “real-time” interaction. Some sales dialing software tools provide sales coaches the ability to listen to the call in real time. Sales executives can also speak to their sales reps using a “whisper” mode.
ConnectLeader Director of Sales and Business Development, Mark Lynch authored an article for the ECSell Institute on the benefits of real-time sales coaching.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]

View Webinar Recording: From First Day to First Sale

How to have your new reps hitting their numbers in record time.

View the Recorded Webinar


One of the keys to achieving aggressive growth is the ability to significantly compress the amount of time it takes to have new sales reps hit their numbers.

This live webinar will feature Edwin Castillo, Board Member and Advisor for Playboox and former VP of Sales Training at Salesforce.com.

Sales executives and managers will learn best practices for developing onboarding programs and sales productivity tools that will have your new sales reps achieving quota in record time.

Our Featured Speaker: Edwin Castillo 


As the former Vice President of Sales Training at Salesforce.com, Edwin brings a wealth of knowledge and practical experience regarding best practices for how to design, implement, lead, and evolve top-tier Sales Enablement and Training programs that help drive superior performance and achievement of aggressive growth targets.

He has expertise in the areas of onboarding, sales university development, sales management training, enterprise deal management methodology training, strategic account planning, inside sales training, and training certification. He has led development and deployment of these initiatives at companies like BlueCoat, DocuSign, Juniper Networks, ServiceNow, Apttus, Appirio, and Wells Fargo, among many others.

Edwin is responsible for defining, developing, and delivering Playboox consulting strategy and programs with a commitment to helping our clients drive measurable and transformational change. He has a JD from Hasting College of Law at U.C. Berkeley.

View the Recorded Webinar

Sales Acceleration Dialing Solutions Help Acquire New Customers

StateofSalesforce_borderSalesforce.com recently published a State of Sales Report for 2015. They surveyed 2300 sales executives who indicated their top 3 sales objectives are to acquire new customers, grow value of existing customers and create deeper customer relationships. Sales dialing automation tools are designed to help companies generate new revenue by increasing sales productivity.

The sales executive’s primary job is to generate new revenue and acquire new customers. Revenue growth is typically related to increased spending in the form of hiring new reps, expanding marketing expenditures or increase sales productivity through coaching, training, and investing in better technology.

Sales acceleration dialing solutions increase revenue growth and decrease the dependence on hiring new reps.

Sales acceleration dialing solutions help inside sales reps make more calls and have more conversations in less time. These solutions typically lead to productivity increases ranging from 30% to 800%. So how can these tools help sales executives meet their top 3 objectives?


 Sales reps selling to businesses need to identify and speak with potential buyers. Sales reps often make the mistake thinking they can influence the buying decision solely with email or social media communications. This may be true for highly transactional sales or ecommerce websites, but for B2B sales reps in industries like high technology and business services, a telephone conversation is a necessity to engage and qualify the customer prior to conducting a discovery call or demonstration.  Business sales are often more complex and sales reps need to understand the buyer’s needs in order to recommend the best solutions. For these companies, the telephone is the most cost-effective method for conducting these conversations.

Envision Technology Advisors Increases Sales Productivity by an 8-to-1 factor

Envision Technology Advisors offers best-in-class technology services for businesses and organizations of all sizes. They know technology and understand the value technology can provide a business when properly implemented.

“You can put a rep on the phone and have them dial 100 people, they’re going to spend a day getting that done, said Knapp. “Or you can put that same rep on the phone and have ConnectLeader dial that same 100 people and get it all done in an hour. I’m picking up an 8-to-1 efficiency gain.”

Todd Knapp, CEO, Envision Technology Advisors


4 ways B2B Marketers can benefit from sales dialing


Sales dialing solutions are commonly used by B2B Sales teams to accelerate their sales process. In particular, sales dialing tools make telephone calling easier by eliminating the mundane tasks that make “cold calling” so unpopular. Depending on the application and type of technology, sales dialing automation can increase productivity from 25% to 800%

Since B2B marketers play a large role in generating and qualifying inbound leads, sales dialing automation tools can help them boost their own productivity. A new whitepaper from ConnectLeader suggests 5 ways B2B Marketers can benefit from sales dialing.

These 4 benefits include:

  • Generating more leads by promoting events and trade shows
  • Qualifying leads faster
  • Reaching out to media and analysts
  • Boosting channel partner programs

Download Whitepaper


[fusion_text]Posted by John Ferguson, Senior Consultant with ASLAN Training

John can be reached at jferguson@aslantraining.com
JohnFerguson_SalesProspectingSpending too much time on low probability prospects can put a serious damper on your sales execution and the receptivity of your audience. A sales team that is not effective at qualifying prospects before they begin their sales process is a bit like someone holding a heavy metal concert for a group of classical music enthusiasts. You may have gotten people’s attention, but they aren’t going to like what they hear. Prospecting is one of the most critical activities for any sales team, but it needs to be handled effectively in order for your reps and your organization to reap the maximum benefit.

Why Prospecting Matters and How We Get Distracted From It

Sales Prospecting is one of, if not the single most important activity that sales reps can engage in. It represents the very top of the sales funnel and the first activity that needs to be completed in order to establish new sales.

It seems counterintuitive, then, that many sales reps seem to be opposed to prospecting. They constantly make excuses not to do it, claiming they have other concerns to tend to, that they don’t get paid to prospect, or that they are already filling their quota. They end up putting it off indefinitely until it never ends up happening. Even the sales reps who don’t postpone their prospecting are often hindered by a less obvious foe: low probability prospects.

Avoiding Low Probability Prospecting

One of the most important things for a sales rep to learn is how to avoid low probability prospecting, or targeting prospecting efforts towards those who are not well qualified. There are several kinds of unqualified prospects; in some cases, prospects may be unqualified because they do not currently have the budget for what you are selling, but will, soon. Other prospects may appreciate the value of what you offer but don’t have a need for it right now. Although it is certainly worthwhile to keep these prospects in mind for future efforts, it is important for a sales rep to be prospecting for those who are currently qualified to purchase what they are offering.

Envision Video Testimonial

How can a well-meaning sales rep avoid the trap of low probability prospecting? It’s not always easy. Even the most seasoned sales reps have moments where they are engaging with a prospect they thought was qualified, but ends up not being a good fit for their products or services for whatever reason.

One of the easiest ways to avoid low probability sales prospecting is to use quality prospecting processes. Prospecting tools, such as CRM platforms, are designed to help make it easy for sales reps to determine whether or not they are targeting prospects that need what they are selling. With the right CRM, you can develop a sophisticated buyer persona, allowing you to set out your guidelines for a perfect prospect:

  • Need: there should be an issue or problem that your service or product can help address
  • Willingness to act: will the prospect be willing to purchase what you have to offer any time soon?
  • Decision-maker access: do you have access to the one who is capable of making this kind of decision?
  • Priority: does your solution rank high enough in the organizational priority list?
  • Budget: they should have enough money to afford what you are offering

These are five things needed for a prospect to be qualified, but these characteristics are only the beginning. Sales reps also have to work to make a connection and relationship with the prospect so that your business can be considered a suitable vendor with whom the prospect will choose to spend money.

Remember that for any organization, a sales rep is not the only method for prospecting. The creation and utilization of marketing content through marketing automation platforms can be a great asset for helping with qualifying prospects in the early stages. Also, make sure to ask for referrals from past business partners or groups to aid in your qualification process.

The potential for prospecting is endless. Once you and your sales team understand that saying “no” to a prospect isn’t the end of the world, you will succeed in your efforts to find qualified customers for your business and stop wasting time on low probability prospecting. Take a few minutes to review your pipeline and sales activity from the previous year and it should be easier to identify and highlight some of the low probability prospects from your pipeline and learn to focus on the ones that have the best chance of helping you meet your sales goals.

ASLAN for Life: Life is full of prospects where you can invest your personal time and effort. Choosing who and what you will serve determines the measure of success at the end of the race.

– See more at: http://www.aslantraining.com/blog/sales-prospecting-earning-presidents-and-benjamins-faster#sthash.nfTL8pl3.dpuf[/fusion_text]