Where’s the Beef? Lessons for B2B Sellers and Marketers from Arby’s®

By Warren Shiver

As a proud card-carrying member of Generation X, I distinctly remember the classic Wendy’s® commercials with actress Clara Peller asking “where’s the beef?” Yes, those were the days when we actually watched commercials on TV… and watched broadcast TV outside of live events.

If you’ve watched any broadcasted events lately, especially sports, you can’t help but notice the long-running (by today’s marketing standards) advertising campaign from Arby’s® claiming “We Have The Meats®”. Admittedly, your author hasn’t frequented an Arby’s® lately, but I can’t help but applaud their creativity and especially their focus on a core and differentiated value proposition. I haven’t seen the data, but I’m guessing there is a strong overlap between those who religiously tune into live sports and carnivores.

What can those of us in the B2B world learn from this great marketing?

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Changing the Tires on a Sales Team in Motion: Sales Transformation vs. Sales Disruption

By Masami Middleton

How many times have you heard the term “sales transformation” and thought it’s just consultant speak?  Or an ideal that’s impossible amidst your team’s never-ending hustle to make the number? 

If you are a seasoned sales leader, you’ve probably lived through all kinds of disruptive forces.  Mergers and acquisitions, business model changes, new competitors, and leadership or rep turnover. These factors can render your sales strategy, process, selling skills, or organization structure obsolete (or dated at best).

While many sales leaders recognize that a transformational change is in order for one or more of these areas, actually executing it feels like changing the tires on a car that’s moving fast.  But what’s the tradeoff? Would you rather change the tires now for future performance gains or skip it and risk a high-speed blowout on your sales team?

NASCAR pit crews change tires and re-fuel multiple times over 200-400 laps to give their racer the necessities to win.  We recommend a similar, sequenced approach to prioritize and execute sales initiatives across a transformation journey.

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The Power of Perspective: Navigating Multigenerational Impacts Between Buyers and Sellers

By Kelsey Peusch

A plethora of research and news continues to flood the media around Millennials, e.g., what makes them unique and how their numbers are mushrooming in the work force. As a sales leader, you should be interested not just in Millennials, but more broadly, the cross-generational dynamics between buyers and sellers and how it impacts sales effectiveness.

There are undeniable impacts on your customer’s business as well. From B2B sales and marketing to direct-to-consumer (B2C) engagement, multi-generational forces permeate all aspects of the buying process.

We are pleased to announce that on April 12th, Seismic, a leading sales and marketing enablement solution provider, will host a webinar featuring Symmetrics Group and T. Rowe Price. 

Together, we will demonstrate the multi-generational impacts between buyers and sellers, broadly in a B2B setting and specifically within the world of wealth management, where a massive wealth transfer from older to younger generations is currently underway. Are sales organizations, marketers, and financial advisors ready for this generational shift?

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7-Point Checklist to Grade Your Sales Management Cadence

By Masami Middleton

Great sales leaders demonstrate three things consistently.  They are great sellers, great coaches, and great operators.  We find that of these three traits, leaders are best at trait #1 (no surprise that skilled sellers get promoted to management), but typically fall short on traits #2 and 3 (coaching and operating).

We have published 16+ blogs on or around sales coaching – it’s a popular topic.  What’s less popular?  The mechanics of successfully operating a sales team.

The good news is, of the three leader traits, "operating" is the easiest to learn and most straight forward (albeit detailed) to implement.  It also supports coaching by putting structure around what you look for in your team interactions and how you help them get there.

We don’t care what you call your method of operations – cadence, rhythm, motions, cycle, sequence...  If you have a structured series of team and one-on-one meetings and interactions (over the course of a year, quarter, month, and week) that together help your team make their number and meet organizational goals, you are an effective operator.

Here is a 7-point checklist, with supporting examples, that you can use to give yourself an honest grade on how you operate your sales team. How does your management cadence stack up?

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The 60-Day Sales Discovery Challenge in 5 Simple Steps

By Rachel Cavallo

I have recently had multiple conversations with sales leaders who complain that their teams are ineffective at sales discovery.  Their teams don’t know enough about their customers.  They don’t ask the right questions, don’t ask enough questions, and don’t apply what they learn to sell more.

Typically, my question back to them is, “So what are you doing about it?”  I’m a firm believer that teams will rise to the expectations of their leaders, but those expectations need to be clear, succinct, and consistently applied and measured.

I also know that it takes 30 to 60 days of consistent focus to change behavior (the behavior of the sales professional AND the leader).  Widespread, long-term change is daunting, though, so, here is my challenge to you… Take a 60-Day Sales Discovery Challenge with your team with the following steps.

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Going for the WIN, Not the A+, in B2B Sales

By Rachel Cavallo

I admit it, I was that kid in school.  I sat in the front row, and I generally had my hand raised.  I studied every night and wouldn’t dream of coming to school unprepared.  Straight As were important to me, and I would do anything to keep my teachers or parents from seeing me unprepared or not in “straight A” form… 

Fast forward a few years (okay maybe more than a few), and I’ve had a realization working with a lot of awesome “type A” sales professionals … the real world of B2B sales is not at all about getting straight A’s – it’s about getting numbers on the board, and many of the things you have to do to win are completely contrary to straight A habits.

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Your Sales Pipeline Can Get You Fired

By Michael Perla


He was at a risk of being fired.

It was the sales pipeline.

It wasn’t growing fast enough … and it wasn’t four times his overall sales goal[i].

“Michael”, the VP of Sales said to me, “I’m worried that we don’t even get to tell our story … and we are unable to create or uncover new sales opportunities … it’s depressing”.

Growing the pipeline. I’ve written about the pipeline quite a bit over the years (here, here, and here). It’s a topic that consistently rears its head in almost any discussion with a sales leader and for many of those in the executive suite.

The pipeline in business-to-business sales is often the key barometer for how a company is doing. Think about it, do you have enough of a compelling offering and message that prospects or customers put you in their ‘consideration set’ for a project or to help solve a problem?

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Global Sales Program Roll-outs: The Good, the Complicated and the Overlooked

By David Szen

Sales organizations of all sizes have the desire to transform, train, and develop talent, but rolling out a sales program in a global firm can get hairy quickly. While global sales transformation initiatives are exciting and ideal projects for outside consultants (like us), there are definite pitfalls. Whether you are responsible for planning and rolling out a program, or a sales manager leading your team through it, you play an important role in the successful execution and adoption of the desired change.

Having participated in our fair share of these global deployments, here is a list of lessons learned, organized around “the good, the complicated, and the overlooked”.

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Sales Opportunities: Know When to Hold 'Em, Know When to Fold 'Em, Know When to RUN

By Rachel Cavallo

Walking away from the biggest opportunity you’ve had all year?  Walking away from an opportunity where you’ve already invested weeks or months cultivating the relationships and building your proposal?  Taking yourself out of the game?  For most sales professionals, these are some of the hardest decisions to make; However… they can be the decisions that make or break your year. 

They can be the decisions that keep you from wasting time on opportunities that aren’t real, investing valuable resources on opportunities you can’t win regardless of how awesome your pitch is, or spending countless business development dollars on a deal that will ultimately be discounted to the point it is barely profitable.

Why do sellers waste time on questionable pursuits and how do we focus them on the right deals?

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The 'Imperfect' Way to Sell

By Michael Perla


“The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

“The perfect solution never executed realizes no value.”

I’m always amazed in meetings with clients how much time is spent on wordsmithing[i] content.  It’s not that words don’t matter – they do – it’s just that fighting over different synonyms for the same concept feels pointless… or spending time trying to determine some perfect question to a prospect that accelerates the deal and saves the day.  Cut it out.

Anthony Iannerino recently wrote a blog entitled: “Stop Searching for the Perfect Way to Sell."  In it, he writes:

Selling is a complex, dynamic human interaction, which is to say, it doesn’t lend itself to a single right choice that covers all of the possible variables.  Because there is not one right choice for every situation, there is no perfect way; there are only choices.

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