In the B2B environment where core products and services are becoming more and more commoditised, more often than not, customers make their supplier choices on the process outputs that are most tangible and visible to them…………as suppliers, we live and die daily by the output performance of these critical and inter-related processes, as perceived by […]

We often hear The Marketing Manager bemoan ….. “ I know that of all I invest in advertising and promotion, only half works…………..wish I could say with confidence which half”. Whilst we don’t seem to hear or read about it as much, I think it fair to say that the Sales Manager’s counterpart lament would […]

Ever pondered how much your company invests to pay, incentivise, equip and fully mobilise the sales force to deliver the revenue budget they are set?  Ever wondered what impact reducing the investment by 10% would have on the ability to deliver the revenue budget?  What if the revenue budget was increased by 10%….what increase if […]

It costs seven times the blood, sweat, tears and dollars to win a brand new client as it does to maintain an existing client.  Heard that one before?  A million times, I bet.  This old adage has become so oft trotted out that most of us no longer even know where or who started it.  […]

We at The Next Level began our journey back in 2004. From our narrowly defined window into the corporate sales world, much has changed over the 17 years. The numbers are hard to come by, but by our rough ‘n’ ready reckoning, there are around 40,000 corporate B2B sales teams across Australia. For every such […]

Selling features-advantages-benefits has been around since Noah came off The Ark. There can’t be a B2B sales exec around who has not been exposed to some sort of FAB training. But couching the benefit in a way that truly and uniquely connects to the customer’s emotional reality is a skill that few have mastered. One […]

Ask just about any Head of Sales in B2B corporate Australia about the nature of the relationship between the Sales Execs and their respective customers and you will hear rhetoric about business partnerships and the training, leadership and expenditure invested to move beyond transactionally based sales relationships. Too often, though, once the first layer or […]

Itinerary routing for your on-the-road sales team Sales teams are returning to the road, as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic.  This is a great time and opportunity to review how this is done in your sales organisation, and the degree to which you let the sales team members determine it for themselves. […]

Fish, where the big fish are!  Go for the 80/20!  Don’t mess around with the small end of town – spend your time at the big end of town.  All laudable exhortations.  As a fledgling Sales Exec decades ago, I heard them all.  You probably did too, huh?  Calls to arms like this aren’t good […]

  The term “market” must be just about the most over bandied term in…ironically…marketing.  As Sales and Marketers, we use the term…occasionally…when we mean market.  Accidentally or with educated intent.  We also use it on occasion when we mean customer segment.  And sometimes when we mean value chain.  And sometimes when we should use the […]

I stopped counting and running ratios a few years back now, but at last count at least 50% of the B2B sales organisations I asked failed the value chain question. I find myself in workshops with heads of Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Finance, Operations seeking clarity from the group in terms of identifying their customers […]

The pendulum swing   It has been one crazy year, that’s for sure.  Most of us are still figuring out which behavioural impacts on our B2B sales teams arising from the pandemic will become permanent and which ones will be transient.  Many sales teams were forced “off the road” for significant periods.  The corollary saw […]

Many B2B sales organisations unwittingly set up their Sales Execs for mediocre performance by expecting them, via their charter of role breadth, to cover too much. So how does the organisation set the right breadth of accountabilities for the Sales and Service roles? Well, like many such considerations………..it depends. There is no one universal answer, […]

A good sales professional / account manager not only finds new win-win opportunities to sell additional products/services to meet the customer’s evolving needs, but also takes personal accountability as the “go to” point of reference for all issues and problems relating to ordering and delivery of the customer’s requirements. Right, huh? Well like many things……….it […]

The medicos tell us that it is good fundamental health and wellbeing practice to undertake a regular health assessment. You know the stuff…blood pressure, cholesterol, weight: height ratios, lifestyle questionnaires etc –  a simple and quick way to ensure our all-important health and wellbeing is on track. The same principles apply to B2B sales organisations. […]

Hire for sales attitude and aptitude – not technical knowledge?  Are we witnessing the commencement of the turnaround? When I started my career in sales in the good old days of the mid 80’s, the world for B2B sales organisations and professionals was so, so different to now.  We would not have believed it possible […]

What is the current reality telling us about what the next reality will look like for corporate field-based sales teams? For many B2B sales organisations, the first quarter of the current century will be punctuated by two cataclysms.  The GFC and …….. now………Corona/Covid19.  One of the manifestations for many B2B sales organisations following the GFC, […]

A long standing client of ours asked us about this recently.  Three things were bothering him in terms of productivity and cost-to-mobilise of his own sales team … Are there ways to rebalance our traditional reliance on the face to face visit and the phone, in order to rise above all the noise and clutter […]

Fairly benign question, huh?   As players in the space occupied by Heads of Sales throughout corporate B2B Australia, we would have all been taught a similar principle. And this principle would usually go something like this… An opportunity should be sourced for possible entry into the pipeline, by: applying standard company profile criteria of attractiveness […]

“How can I do my end of month sales forecast for The Exec, when you guys don’t input or update your % probabilities of conversion into your pipeline tracker!”… laments the frustrated Head of Sales to his brow-beaten Sales Execs at the monthly sales meeting. Sadly… a common lament. Yet so many imploring Heads of […]

Thought I would share the bones of a coffee chat I enjoyed with a beloved client a while ago, because the theme of one particular topic seems to crop up on a semi regular basis currently. I reckon that both the consumer and the B2B worlds are going app crazy these days. I am continually […]

Notice lately that the word “optimisation” seems to be creeping into Corporate jargon more and more?  I have – or at least I think I have.  Bit hard for me to tell, because I am heavily biased toward the word.  I am hearing it being used across multiple functions…optimise the collections process; optimising plant resources; […]

So, you have run your annual StO analytics. Thereby, amongst a range of productivity driving outputs, you will have refreshed which customers belong in your top class for targeting, your mid class and your lower class. Putting aside the granularity of the math around your methodology, you should also have essentially produced 3 sub-classes within […]

This post is the final in a 3-part series: “Making the emotional connection during the sales process …..more important than ever” To review part 1 CLICK HERE To review part 2 CLICK HERE Part 3 of 3: Let’s apply the same principle now to the B2B scenario where the emotional connection with the buyer is […]

This Bulletin is the second in a three part series. To review part 1 click here Making the emotional connection during the sales process ……….. more important than ever (part 2 of 3)   In this climate of negative buyer/consumer sentiment and talk of a new recession, making the emotional connection with the buyer is […]

  In this climate of negative buyer/consumer sentiment and talk of a new recession, making the emotional connection with the buyer is even more critical than ever for the aspirational sales professional.  The concept of making the emotional connection in the buyer conversation is certainly not new, but there seems to be an irony at […]

It’s tough…bloody tough out there these days…especially when you are a professional services provider selling to corporate Australia.  Double especially,  when your value proposition is not necessarily readily tangible to the target audience, and if it is, the target immediately considers the investment required as “discretionary”. The degree of difficulty in capturing the imagination in […]

A while ago, I found myself caught up in a meaty coffee conversation with some key sales leaders of a beloved client of ours … the Australian arm of a global healthcare giant.  We were discussing their recent history regarding sales team structure evolution … a few years back, the territories were based on geographic […]

In a B2B landscape, where many sales teams continue to come under RoI scrutiny ( a common scenario since the GFC , 10 years ago), an old outdated paradigm seems to be hanging on longer and better than it deserves.  Single point or single face Account Management.  The notion that the sales exec is the […]

“Sell the benefits not the features!”…..but are you REALLY making the emotional connection? Selling features-advantages-benefits has been around since Noah came off The Ark. There can’t be a B2B sales exec around who has not been exposed to some sort of FAB training. But couching the benefit in a way that truly and uniquely connects […]

  Follow along with the accompanying power point presentation and video clips as Glenn and the specialist panel discuss the topic : Sales team size and structure …Is it better to have specialist hunters vs farmers – or hybrids?    

Many of us have found ourselves in the position , selling a technical service , where the successful sales exec (hunter) needs a prerequisite level of technical and industry knowledge that does not come with a crash induction course.  When and how do you justify the addition of another such BDM, with the cost and […]

Many of us have found ourselves in the position , selling a technical service , where the successful sales exec (hunter) needs a prerequisite level of technical and industry knowledge that does not come with a crash induction course.  When and how do you justify the addition of another such BDM, with the cost and […]

How do we compare on sales team RoI? Run a very simple litmus test: Take the total revenue budget that you hold the sales team responsible for delivering Apply a cost-of-goods gross margin conversion ($GM) Take your total cost to company to fully mobilise the sales team (fully loaded including– wages, super, car, travel disbursements, […]

How do we compare on sales team RoI? Run a very simple litmus test. Take the total revenue budget that you hold the sales team responsible for delivering Apply a cost-of-goods gross margin conversion ($GM) Take your total cost to company to fully mobilise the sales team – fully loaded – wages, super, car, travel […]

Four meaty conversations with Heads of Sales last week provoked me to lament that many such sales leaders continue to struggle to reinvent the function of their sales teams to address the permanent change in their customer relationship  world, at this time, now approaching 10 years since the GFC effected that change.  The four chats […]

Four meaty conversations with Heads of Sales last week provoked me to lament that many such sales leaders continue to struggle to reinvent the function of their sales teams to address the permanent change in their customer relationship world, at this time, now approaching 10 years since the GFC effected that change.  The four chats […]

Hire for sales attitude and aptitude – not technical knowledge?  Are we witnessing the commencement of the turnaround? When I started my career in sales in the good old days of the mid 80’s, the world for B2B sales organisations and professionals was so, so different to now.  We would not have believed it possible […]