Tag Archives: sales

Marketing: The Concept vs. Marketing: The Department

I see much debate on LinkedIn groups about marketing (and have started a bit of this myself, I must admit). A lot of the issue boils down to the concept of marketing vs. the reality of the marketing department in most organizations. Let me explain. The concept of marketing is reflected in the 4Ps of […]

B2B Self-Education – Jumping the Buying Process

Following up on my last blog post about the trend of B2B buyers to self-educate rather than rely on suppliers’ salespeople for information, I saw two interesting statistics from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) this week. The first is that B2B buyers, on average, are more than half way through (57% to be precise, according […]

Self-Education and Lengthening Sales Cycles in B2B

I have been following two interesting trends in the B2B world.  First is the lengthening sales cycle and the second is the increasing tendency of B2B buyers to self-educate, often not even talking to a sales person until late in the buying process. Let’s look at the lengthening sales cycle first.  According to a survey […]

The Day-After-Labor-Day Syndrome

When I was the manager/director/vice president/head of marketing for B2B companies, the day after Labor Day was often a crazy day.  Why? I frequently had sales executives call because the year was two-thirds over and they had only one-third to one-half of their sales goal on the books.  The conversation went something like this: Sales […]

The VP of Sales & Marketing Fallacy

I seem to see more and more job listings for a Vice President of Sales & Marketing.  Not a Vice President of Sales and a Vice President of Marketing, but combining the two functions into one job.  I suppose this is a result of the weak economy and companies merging the two positions to reduce […]

Market Need vs. Customer Need

If you’ve been a business-to-business marketing manager for more than a few months, you have undoubtedly had an experience like this: Sales person walks into your office to tell you about the great meeting he/she just had with a potential customer.  The customer recommended that your company revamp its product or marketing approach because you’re […]

Firing Your Customers

I have a client that is firing some of its customers.  I’m sure that got your attention!  I know: Why would a company turn away sales, especially in a soft economy? The company is a business-to-business firm that serves the ultimate buyer through brokers.  The company considers the brokers its customers since the broker owns […]

The Buying Funnel

As marketing and sales professionals, we often talk about the sales funnel, especially in the business-to-business world, where a sale can take months or years to go from inquiry to culmination.  The sales funnel typically starts with initial contact with the prospect, proceeds through qualification, validation of need, possible solutions, proposal and closing the sale.  […]

Every Conversation Is an Act of Persuasion

I reported to a sales executive in a former life and the headline of this article was his favorite saying (at least it is the thing I remember when I think of him).  I used to believe the expression applied only to the sales process, but now feel it is applicable to EVERY conversation.   When […]

Why People Buy – The B2B World

My post last week about Consumer Hedonic Discovery (CHD) raised a question in a discussion group about similar approaches for business-to-business (B2B) marketing and sales.  Although I have spent many years in B2B marketing, I am not familiar with a B2B process similar to CHD. The typical consumer package good (CPG) purchase is relatively simple […]

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