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Bob Apollo
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Great topic, David. In more enlightened sales and marketing organisations, the rigid dividing line between the functions is disappearing, and being replaced by a more collaborative approach. But there's still more work to do. The content - context axis is a particularly interesting example. There shouldn't be a rigid separating line here, either: whenever marketing creates a piece of content (whether that's a blog article, a presentation, a white paper, etc.) it's always useful to anticipate what sort of sales conversation you want to stimulate - and to give the sales team a series of potential talking points to pursue. This becomes a virtuous circle: if marketing adopts the principle that no piece of content gets released without its accompanying talking points, and works with sales to develop them up front, they tend to produce better content - and the sales people certainly end up having more productive conversations.
Ardath Great suggestion, and let me add another one: I've found Mind Mapping to be a great technique for helping sales people prepare for a wide-ranging yet well-targeted sales conversation - Mind Mapping helps to eliminate any impression that the sales person is following a linear script or plan, and enables them to drill down into areas of particular interest.
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I'm with Carolyn. It's the brands you have most respect for that suffer the most from this sort of disrespectful behaviour. And - while we're on the subject - I believe we should be lobbying the legislators to mandate a one-click unsubscribe. All this multi-step nonsense is both unnecessary and hugely irritating.
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2011 on Is BMW an email spammer? at Web Ink Now
Ardath, I'm absolutely with you on this - my only observation is that the potential to step back (albeit for different reasons) exists at almost every stage in the buying decision process. And to Pseudo Peter, a big thank you for uneducating me about the buying process. I had no idea I was so ignorant.
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I suspect I'm with the majority on this: never ask for a retweet for anything that is primarily designed (even if wrapped up in faux altruism) to further your own interests in any way. Use it very sparingly only when there is a compelling cause that needs to be promoted, and think twice before even doing that. I think this is one of those instances where, no matter what the data tells you, it's better to do what feels right.
Guy, the world was much richer for your presence, and much diminished by your passing. At least you've been wearing the appropriate footwear all this time. I remember hiring you once to speak at a conference. When I told one of my industry buddies he said "you must be brave!" and I'm glad I was. You were funny, acerbic and your joke about the shuttle cock shocked my US colleagues into a stunned silence, as did many of your other remarks. Needless to say, the audience loved it - as your audiences have always loved you. Adios, amigo...
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2010 on Some words for Guy at Stuff for Guy
Great post. Sales people not only need to help their customers solve problems - they also need to help them manage change. The process starts - and is sustained - by asking smart questions and giving intelligent answers. Don't stop until you are sure you've got to the root causes of both the problem AND why they haven't solved it yet...
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