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The world is emerging from COVID lockdowns, but employees continue to operate differently than they ever used to. Managers are challenged with improving their team’s performance and maintaining a positive workplace culture while most continue to work remotely. Our new report on managing for improved workplace performance addresses issues that are critical to managers of sales and non-sales teams alike. We look at: The future of incentive travel, a key component of many sales managers’ motivation efforts How the pandemic year changed employee recognition Why 2021 requires a new type of sales management Our cover story features insights on motivation and making work matter from Michael Patrick F. Smith, a playwright and musician who worked for a year in the oil fields of North Dakota to test himself and exorcise some demons from his past. Smith has written a book about his experience, and it’s surprising how many of the lessons that he took away from his year toiling as an oil field "swamper" are applicable to managers who work in a completely different environment.
As businesses settle into a completely remote work world, managers are wrestling with how to keep their teams engaged, motivated and productive. Leading with honesty, openness and empathy are more important than ever. "Everyone will remember how their boss responded during this time. Did they focus on you at a human level?" said one workplace consultant. Other topics: Futures, not foosball, get workers excited How top-performing companies use incentives
AI FYI: How the Technology Is Impacting B2B Sales and Marketing If you’ve got a handle on how to incorporate artificial intelligence into your sales and marketing efforts, you’re doing better than most. Many of those who have poked extensively under the hood of the emerging technology say that incorporating it into B2B practices will be a process that could take years. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention now and even begin to introduce AI-driven tools into your go-to-market strategies. Our latest Focus Report explores how to maximize the capabilities of AI in marketing and sales while remaining conscious of potential problems AI can create. How is AI impacting hiring decisions? Why do six out of 10 marketers using AI confess to experiencing minimal impact on their marketing efficiency and effectiveness thus far? Is there a roadmap for incorporating AI into B2B sales and marketing processes?
Some aspect of meeting virtually is here to stay, but B2B sales and marketing professionals are eager to return to trade show environments and live marketing events. In-person events produce stronger leads, present opportunities for unplanned encounters and provide a means to build trust in a way that cannot be duplicated virtually. This Focus Report explores why businesses are ready to return to exhibit halls and what these events in a post-pandemic world will look like. With an understanding that hybrid is here to stay, we learn from experts how to make it work with trade show and marketing efforts.
What worked for so many years when compensating sales professionals is no longer sufficient. Given today’s tight labor pool and a rush by entrepreneurial types to start their own businesses, putting a comprehensive package of pay, benefits and extra perks together has never been more important. SMM's Focus Report on sales compensation looks at how to get compensation right and hold on to your best salespeople. Articles address: Why a competitive salary is merely table stakes 4 shifts in sales compensation How to combat the Great Resignation Why gaining insight on what drives reps nuts will help you keep your team intact
Many companies profess to make coaching and skills training a priority, but how many actually do? A recent State of Sales Coaching report indicates there is more preaching than teaching occurring in B2B sales environments. That’s a dangerous trend in a time when The Wall Street Journal reports that companies are struggling to fill sales roles. This focus report explores what a coachable culture is and how to get there if you’re not already. Other articles include: How to Scale Your Coaching Capabilities With AI 3 Steps to More Effective Virtual Coaching Coaching for Stronger Teams In a Hybrid Environment
Our collection of stories looks at how managers can help employees cope with the anxiety, stress and other challenges that come with the extended WFH world.
Technology plays a vital role in companies’ go-to-market strategies. The tools in each sales team’s tech stack can be the difference between blowing past competitors or falling short of quota - again! Choosing the right technology is among the most important decisions that sales leaders make. It’s used for everything from onboarding new hires to providing veteran rainmakers with highly qualified leads and the data to create the kind of tightly tailored messages that close deals. But how to make the right decisions?   In our newest Focus Report on technology for B2B sales, we take a closer look at how businesses are using technology to reinvent their sales process to reap the rewards of more effective onboarding, enhanced targeting, improved forecasting and shorter sales cycles. The collection of stories on sales technology examines: Research from Gartner on what new software purchases are making the most impact for B2B sales Best practices in the trend of automated demos Seven technology disruptions that will impact sales through 2027 Technology’s role in one sales trainer’s push to teach lawyers how to sell Why sales leadership will never be replaced by technology
As companies implement long-term or even permanent WFH policies, managers need to consider how to keep remote workers on track, recognize accomplishments and maintain a strong corporate culture. Our new special report takes a closer look at managing for peak performance in a remote world. We look at what changes managers have made during 2020 and why companies may want to think twice before shifting to permanent remote teams.
Is the officeless world inevitable or overblown? That may yet be determined, but managers should be adjusting to the work-from-home trend whether it’s temporary or permanent, and no matter if it’s for part of their team or companywide. Valuable lessons have already emerged from the few months that nearly everyone who is still working has been doing so remotely. Our special report covers these important topics: How companies are building corporate culture when teams are not together Tackling low morale among remote workers (It’s more prevalent than many realize) Fostering creativity from afar What jobs are best suited to remote offices
Many companies kick off the calendar year by bringing their sales team (and sometimes sales support staff) together for a few days of planning, practicing and pumping the team up. Sales kickoffs set the tone for the rest of the year, which is why it’s critical to make the most of them. Our latest Focus Report takes a closer look at how to put together an impactful kickoff that provides significant ROI. Experts and sales leaders we spoke with share insights on: The key ingredients for the most effective sales kickoffs Why recognition and celebration are essential components of kickoffs Why you should avoid virtual kickoffs at all costs Why the voice of your customers should be highlighted at your kickoff Strategies for smarter territory planning
COVID-19 has upended B2B commerce. Customers are asking for price cuts, flexible payments and freebies. Those businesses facing a significant downturn are pressured to be as accommodating as possible. Is a price cut the right move? What is the long tail of this immediate challenge?
The latest Focus Report from Sales & Marketing Management has tactics to increase productivity. Learn how leaders are empowering their sales teams for maximum impact, how the rating system for self-driving vehicles can be applied to sales automation and more.
It wasn’t long ago that fans of the National Basketball Association could be excused for turning off a game if a team was leading by 15 to 20 points in the first half. Such leads were mostly insurmountable, even with a half to play. No longer. The latest regular season, which ended in mid-April, featured a record 38 comeback victories by teams that trailed by 20 points or more during a game. The previous record for victories after trailing by 20 or more was 30, set last season. Sales managers whose teams fell well short of first-quarter revenue goals take heart. If NBA squads can reverse course and come out on top when trailing by 20 with only half the game left, it’s possible, even in the world of complex B2B sales, to make adjustments and still meet this year’s sales targets. Sales slumps are a certainty. How sales managers and sales reps respond to them impacts a slump’s length and severity. Sales management veterans we spoke with and others who have commented on the internet state that a prolonged drop in sales should be viewed as an opportunity to review a B2B company’s go-to-market strategy from start to finish. Does a marketing campaign need to be refreshed? Is lead generation falling short? Are reps failing to secure enough initial meetings? Is low motivation a problem? If you’re losing market share to a competitor, it’s imperative to figure out why — fast!
It’s been a component of sales almost as long as sales itself has existed, but what exactly is sales enablement and what does it look like when it’s done well? For many, the term sales enablement leads to discussions of tech stacks and software as a service (SaaS) that companies invest in to shape their go-to-market strategies. However, those we spoke with said sales enablement is much more than software. It has taken on such an important role that many B2B companies have created sales enablement positions that are separate from the marketing and sales functions. In our new Focus Report on sales enablement, you’ll learn: The evolution of sales enablement and why it matters more than ever How to create sales enablement centers of excellence How sales enablement can help companies weather economic downturns ​​How to be prepared to seize every revenue moment
Shifts that occurred during the pandemic and that continue to change the work world have made managing and motivating teams more challenging than ever. Here’s how to keep employees positive, productive and performing at high levels.  
In a world that has shifted to more virtual B2B sales and marketing, the question "What’s in your tech stack?" has never been more important. A new Focus Report from Sales & Marketing Management looks at some technological trends that are fueling success. The report includes these stories: 7 Technological Advances Shaping the Future of Sales and Marketing Sales Teams Embrace AI-Powered Conversation Analysis Experiential Sales: The Strategy of the Future That’s Here Today The Past, Present and Future of Enablement Technology
Can Channel Partnerships Rescue You From a Recession? B2B sales and marketing teams continue to play things close to the vest as uncertainty about the strength of the economy persists. Whether or not a serious economic downturn is inevitible, there are numerous reasons why now is a good time to form new channel partnerships. A win-win strategy that can put more qualified leads in your pipeline and help you expand to new markets, channel partnerships are an increasingly key component of many companies’ go-to-market strategy. Our new Focus Report, "The Channel Partnership Playbook," takes a closer look at how companies are boosting their bottom line by forming strong relationships with other companies. Learn about the different types of strategic partnerships, tips for developing channel partnerships and how to keep channel partners engaged and motivated to reach well-defined goals.
The pandemic year has businesses focusing on reaching the right prospects with the right message through the right medium. This Focus Report takes a closer look at companies’ digital marketing transformation. Learn why experts we spoke with say it’s more than just buying digital tools, it’s rethinking the way you’re working. The report includes: Forrester’s survey on what marketing technology companies are investing in Marketing’s expanding role in the sales process Why TikTok is a viable channel for B2B marketing Selling directly without ruining channel partner relationships Breathing new life into virtual events Download this Focus Report to learn more.
The shift to less face-to-face interaction with customers and prospects isn’t a 2020 development. Buyers have increasingly embraced completing their own research for years. A Sales Benchmark Index survey from 2017 reported that in nearly 75% of sales situations, customers prefer not to meet in person. Though many field sales reps are already accustomed to using web meetings or phone calls to navigate some of the sales process, what is new for a large percentage of sellers is 100% reliability on virtual interaction to sell. And there are some industries that still rely on printed catalogs and handshakes to close deals — "knuckle and hand kinds of businesses" as one source we spoke with calls them. What does it mean for B2B sales managers as they strategize for 2021? Is it necessary to train sales reps on new skills? What components of an existing sales process transfer well to virtual interactions? What should sales kickoffs look like?   Download this Focus Report to learn more.
COVID-19 has caused managers to rethink everything from recruiting and onboarding to client interaction and go-to-market strategies. We look at what being "digital ready" requires and why some pandemic-induced changes are likely permanent. Other topics: How the best sellers can help their customers thrive 6 steps to adapt to the new economic reality Preparing to fire up the revenue engine post-COVID
An MIT Sloan School of Management study shows that companies with technologically savvy leadership perform better in terms of revenue growth and profitability than those whose leaders lag in technological know-how. Yet only 17% of C-suite leadership at nearly 2,000 companies surveyed are digitally savvy. The new Focus Report from Sales & Marketing Management looks closely at what this means for overall performance and how B2B companies can improve their digital savviness at the top.
In a world where nearly half of all B2B buyers would prefer a rep-free buying experience, the timeless mantra of selling - "Always Be Closing" - is, well, not so timeless. The new ABCs of selling are "Always Be Credible," says C. Lee Smith, CEO of SalesFuel, a sales intelligence and enablement firm. To get facetime with B2B purchase decision-makers, salespeople need to be viewed as trusted advisors. They can’t earn trust unless they are first perceived as having a high degree of credibility, Smith says. A new sponsored Focus Report from SalesFuel and Sales & Marketing Management examines: How sales professionals can develop the sort of credibility that opens prospects’ doors Why building credibility starts before you even meet a prospect Research on what buyers want from sellers (It goes way beyond product knowledge) 6 tips for building a strong online presence The report also features contributed articles from sales experts Anthony Iannarino on how today’s successful salespeople gain buyers’ confidence, and from Jeffrey Gitomer on the secret to getting all the referrals you could ever hope for.
Workers are quitting their jobs at some of the highest rates in years. Those employees who do stay mostly still work from home, presenting little face time with managers and colleagues. Cash bonuses go toward daily bills and are soon forgotten. Recognizing and rewarding employees, channel partners and other business associates has never been more important. Our Ultimate Guide to Non-Cash Incentives features:   Dozens of non-cash recognition ideas from name brand merchandise, gift card and experience providers Valuable insights on recognition trends, including a look at travel rewards in this uncertain time Industry research to help set realistic expectations for incentive and brand loyalty campaigns
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