Tag Archives: b2b sales process

A B2B Sales Executive’s Summer Reading List

[fusion_text]summer_reading_listIf you are planning on a vacation this summer, or will be spending a lot of time traveling for work, you may find yourself with a few hours of downtime. This book list offers suggestions of books that will peak your interest, stimulate your business thinking and give you insight into how to boost your sales for the rest of the year.

Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com

Aaron Ross

Learn how author helped Salesforce.com become a CRM powerhouse by instituting a predictable revenue machine. He shares his best practices about hiring, coaching, and retaining top salespeople.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Ashlee Vance

This book offers a look into the life of Elon Musk, written by veteran technlogy journalist Ashlee Vance. Vance interviewed Musk as well as his associate to get the inside story on his companies, PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity. Vance looks at Musk’s story and compares him to other historical inventors such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Huges and Steve Jobs.

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

Lazlo Bock

Bock, the head of People Operations at Google, discusses why Google is considered one of the best places to work, and looks at methods of changing the interface between managers and employees in the workplace to make work a more rewarding place to be. Using a playful approach, Bock offers insights into how to stretch the boundaries of the employee relationship with management for the improvement of the workplace.

Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry

Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff

This book tells the behind the scenes story of the success and fall of Blackberry, once a leader in cellphone technology. Acclaimed journalists, McNish and Silcoff tell the story of this compelling business story.

The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million

Mark Roberge

Learn how software startup HubSpot mastered the science of developing a B2B sales process built on small, incremental steps. Learn how to deal with the hurdles that can derail business growth.

The Three Value Conversations: How to Create, Elevate, and Capture Customer Value at Every Stage of the Long-Lead Sale

Erik Peterson, Tim Riesterer, Conrad Smith, Cheryl Geoffrion

12 Bad Habits That Destroy Inside Sales Productivity Whitepaper


This book provides tools to differentiate yourself from the competition and maximize sales interactions along the entire sales funnel. Offering hands-on, practical concepts, lessons include how to create value for prospects and engaging them on all levels in the buying cycle.


The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing: New Tactics, Tools, and Techniques to Compete in the Digital Economy

Kim Ann King

This guide touches on all aspects of the B2B marketing process from getting your message out, working with sales personnel and generating demand. King discusses cutting-edge marketing tips around automation, personalization and experimentation as well as how to leverage SEO, mobile and customer insight. Excellent comprehensive guide.

Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer’s Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business

Adelle Revella

Revella’s action guide as to how to understand the customer experience and how they make decisions, as used to develop marketing techniques delves into the driver of customer-focused marketing. Developing buyer personas involves in-depth research into what the customer wants, and then how to apply that knowledge to content creation and marketing.

Design to Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility (and How You Can Too)

David Butler, Linda Tischler

Learn how Coca-Cola uses design to help grow its revenues by combining scale with agility to respond to marketing conditions. Look behind the scenes to understand how this is done through case studies from Coca-Cola and applying this process to your own company.


The 3 Qualifying Questions Inside Sales Reps Must Ask


3 qualifying questions inside sales reps must ask

One of the most critical and challenging jobs of an inside sales rep is to ask the right qualifying questions.

Every business and sales executive has a different objective and process, but these three basic qualifying questions apply to any B2B sales situation.

Question 1: What is the unmet Critical Business Initiative (CBI)?

Why are we talking? For instance, the ConnectLeader inside sales team wants to know if their prospect wants to grow faster, increase productivity, or increase sales without adding headcount.

  • How is this measured? In dollars, numbers, percentages?
  • What would be the impact if you could do more at the same level?
  • How fast can you make a difference?
  • What was your past performance?
  • How much do you want to improve?

Pro Tip: This is a great point to add a sense of urgency. “If you can increase revenue by xx% in just xx days, how will that help your organization grow?


Question 2: What is the buying process?

How can you avoid delays and best prepare for successful on boarding or installation? Your goal with this question is to know who needs to be involved in the buying process and if there are any barriers to closing the sale.

Are there IT, legal, finance or other risks? 

Pro Tip: Moving the deal along. There are often competing priorities within an organization. You need to get your project on the fast track and treated as a top priority. Be careful not to expect this priority. Act as if you’re second in line.

Question 3: Who are the key buying personas involved in the buying process?

In my experience, there are at least two people involved in any sale. For a technology sale that usually means the business driver (sales, marketing, HR) and technical/administrative (IT/Legal/Finance).

Who else will benefit from the solution your product or service provides?

Often buyers have both personal and business motives for making decisions. Understanding those motives will help move the deal along.

Pro Tip: Typical Buying Motives by Function:

  • Sales Team = Better quota attainment
  • Sales Management = Increase revenue
  • Finance = Higher margin, better return
  • Marketing = Better campaign lift

Bottom Line

Asking the right questions when qualifying will help smooth the way to a faster and more profitable sales process.[/fusion_text]