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Outside In Thinking

outsahyd – in – thing-king’

  1. Thinking about your problems from a new, fresh external perspective.
  2. Thinking about your business through a lens of customer value.

2017 BESMA Awards Judging

Garry Mansfield, Founder of Outside In, has been asked to judge at this year’s BESMA Awards – run by the Institute of Sales Management (ISM). Read more

The world has moved on … have you?

Let's consider opportunity management for a moment. The old world had a few things that were seen to be good practice 20 years ago. At the time they were used by the most forward thinking companies to outperform the rest. Today, things have moved on and for companies...

DealSheet : Top Sales Tool Award 2017

We are delighted that DealSheet, Pre-call Plan and +motivate have again been recognised in 2017 as a Top Sales Tool by Smart Selling Tools. DealSheet is an simple-to-use application that extends the capability of your CRM system (Salesforce and Microsoft CRM/365),...

Structured account planning

Are you considering your next step for account planning on one of your key accounts? Maybe you have been asked for your 'latest account plan' and don't quite know where to start. This short 4 minute video will help you. It explains the key steps in b2b account...

Growth in 2017 – where to start

A new year brings new starts and for some a real hope that this year something will change. Something will drive greater success, greater growth, a step change in the way “they’ve always done it”. However for some 2017 won’t be any different.

Motivation and Me

Blog: It’s been almost a week since I attempted to host my first webinar at Outside In Sales & Marketing.

iNspiring sales performance

How sales managers can build an inspiring sales culture, one that will develop sales performance, encourage, guide and motivate.

How to engage a stage 2 buyer in :60

Read this article for ideas on key sales tools you can use at the mid point of the buying process, to help buyers progress their procurement process.

How to engage a stage 1 buyer in :60

Read this article the key sales tools you can use at the very first stages of the buying process, to help buyers progress their procurement process.

When opportunity knocks

Garry Mansfield, MD Outside In Sales & Marketing talks to the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management about opportunity management.

Do you have the insight to manage sales? 

Do you have enough information to give you confidence in your opportunity pipeline and forecast? For many of our customers this is a significant challenge and research has found that less than a third of leaders are happy with the quality of pipeline data. Inspection...

Making winning moves

Garry Mansfield, MD Outside In Sales & Marketing talks to the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management about opportunity management.

Business Case Analysis

Let’s consider how a business case is used and how business case analysis will add value to your discussions.

Business Case Impact

Your customer will have a good reason to complete their project, can you quantify the business impact?

Business Case Story.

I want to tell you a story... When considering change, a company will typically require a business case as part of the buying process. Without one it can be challenging for a company to understand the value of an investment. This is especially true for situations...

Top performers focus on Winnables

Top performing sales people better control of where they invest their effort. A disciplined approach to qualification helps them to focus on winnable deals.

10 areas for Marginal Gains in Sales

  I completed my first 100 mile ride recently and it got me on to thinking about what I had learned in the process. Of course training was key, mental strength important and nutrition critical amongst many other things. It made me reflect again about the...

To improve sales get a leader not a manager

Do you need to improve sales performance? If the answer to this is YES you will need to successfully deliver and sustain change. To make change stick you need more than a sales manager to lead the team. Sales management is great but is it enough? Sales management is...

5 Steps to Sales Performance Management success

An effective approach to Sales Performance Management is a fundamental requirement for success. Effective performance management should be a positive forward looking experience that adds value to an individual, when this is done right it will raise the performance bar...

Controlling pipeline slippage and the bow wave.

Are you controlling slippage and the bow wave in your pipeline and forecast? A 'bow wave' happens when deals that are forecast to close in a particular month then at the time you were expecting them to close they slip, when they reach the forecast close date again...

Is your partner a good bet on this deal?

Right out of the box, let's acknowledge that selling via partners is different to selling direct. Direct selling is often less complex than channel/partner/alliance sales. It's you against a competitor to secure the contract from a...

Sales Playbooks alone are not enough to improve performance.

I am hugely excited about the new Sales Path capability in Salesforce, this brings sales playbooks as standard to Salesforce mobile and soon afterwards we hear to the desktop platform. Sales Playbooks in the form of customised processes exist already in Microsoft...

You must decouple Sales stages and probability. Today.

Let me get something off my chest. I fundamentally do not agree that the further you are through a set of sales stages increases your chance of winning. It just doesn’t.   The value of Sales Stages Sales stages are a useful, STAND ALONE, indicator of where in the...

Big companies can’t innovate

See the original article here <HBR ARTICLE> Maxwell Wessel makes some great points in this article and the subsequent two parts of the series. We have experienced similar issues when working with clients of ours on offer/proposition development projects....

High performance DNA

In a recent engagement with a client the question was asked - "what does high performance mean for our sales team?" I am sure they are not alone in seeking an answer to this question. If you are building a sales organisation that delivers complex solutions to...

Challenger Selling & OISM Discussions Framework

According to the authors of the Challenger Sale the one thing you can do to smash your quota and crush the competition is to turn your organisation into a teaching organisation (more here) New buyers are much better informed and they seek more than product...

Challenger Selling. A View.

  Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson in their book, The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation (2011) outline their findings from a study of over 6,000 sales reps across 45 dimensions of sales performance. In essence they fly in the face of...

Sales Training alone is pointless

Sales Training alone is pointless. We  have all done sales training. Some of you will have done many different flavours of sales training during their long career as a sales professional. We have for sure. Most courses take a similar format with two or three days in a...

OUTSOLD!

An old boss of mine in the mid 90's had a great point of view when one of the team lost a deal. His rationale was this - either you shouldn't have gone after the deal in the first place or you were just outsold! Harsh but true, one of your competitors played the game...

The B2B Buying Process Explained

Underpinning the Deal Sheet approach is the B2B Buying process we developed at OISM. This is shown in summary below and it helps to focus activities into the relevant stages of the prospects buying process... rather than try to get the prospect to try and fit with...

Customer focused sales or pitching?

How many times have you seen a salesperson leave a sales appointment knowing little more about the customers situation relative to when they went in? Failure to really understand the situation drastically reduces win chances. This is quite common for those sales...

5 barriers to understanding customer needs

We have written previously about the value of time invested early in the sales cycle to truly understand customer needs. This helps you as the salesperson to make your conversations relevant to the buyer and it helps them be confident that your solution will deliver...

Why you need to manage opportunities better?

The top achievers understand that all deals are not equal. A disciplined approach to opportunity management will help you to win more and win bigger. There are not enough hours in the day to chase and win every deal. Chasing deals you won’t win will increase your cost...

Why bother with Sales Stages?

Getting deals to move through the pipeline towards final [successful] close is THE role of sales people. In our experience the more you align the sales stages [your sales process] with those in the clients buying process the better will be the velocity of your...

New Research: Buyers priorities

Recently the Aberdeen Group published some research titled “Sales Intelligence: What B2B Sellers Need to Know Before the Call,”. They spoke to buyers in 215 companies (b2b)  and captured from them the key requirements they have when engaging with a sales team. It...

“My-Solution My-opia”

In taking your offer to a client try to avoid "my-solution my-opia" (Where you as the seller are short sighted in relation to the clients true perspective). This can leave you looking through rose tinted glasses. There are reasons why the buyer doesn’t always agree...

Sales Discipline : Twice as Good?

We  did some research into Sales performance in 2010. Particularly into what the best performers did that the rest did not. It was clear that high performing sales organisations outperform the rest in a number of aspects in the sales process. Not least the ability to...

What does Value mean in B2B Sales?

When thinking about your value proposition consider some of the following: Value is determined by what is means to the customer not what marketing literature says it is. This means the customer will have a business case outlining the benefits minus costs elements of...

Why B2B Sales Cycles are getting longer?

For B2B sales organisations the challenge associated with lengthening sales cycles is not going away, infact it is getting worse for many. The value of shortened sales cycles comes from faster revenue and profit realisation but also a lower cost of sale. Sales cycles...

B2B Buying cycles – How long?

When a contact engages with you by agreeing to a meeting you now have a prospect in your sales funnel. You are now committing to a number of meetings, phone calls, actions and activities that will last some time.  But, how long is typical for B2B Sales and therefore...

Do you have a commodity, solution or value offer?

Where you engage in a buying process will determine the scope you have to succeed. The optimal point for prospect engagement differs for each of our clients,  they will have a different place in the buying process where they target direct engagement. Commodity...

Deal Qualification Best Practice

We know instinctively that we need to qualify our pipeline for best results. After all you cannot chase every deal with the same level of rigour and discipline. A systematic way to choose where to invest time and energy has been shown to be a key differentiator of...

Discover performance in 10 conversations

Our Discovery process covers ten core 'conversations'. When we say conversations they are more fundamental topics that are explored in detail rather than 10 short, singular conversations. In the diagram below you can see the key elements. Why these areas? We focus on...

Managing Sales Performance Reviews

How do you manage performance in sales and marketing? Specifically, how to approach and plan for success? Effective and disciplined sales management (based on a consistently applied performance framework) is absolutely essential for those seeking to raise the bar on...

Customer Experience 5 – Engage

Customer Experience 5 - Engage Whilst most organisations measure customer satisfaction the majority fail to engage their customers and change perceptions. We recently contacted over a hundred customers to ask them about B2B sales and marketing performance. The high...

Customer Experience 4 – Focus

Customer Experience 4 - Focus Focus your transformation activity to minimise costs and deliver results Once you have identified the key issues to address the time has arrived to implement change. There are many approaches available on how you might approach your...

Customer Experience 3 – Understand

Customer Experience 3 - Understand Data Collection is just not enough for improved results. Many organisations believe that it is enough to complete a customer experience survey and ‘tick the box’. If they have done a survey this is enough. Some feel that by surveying...

Customer Experience 2 – Listen

Customer Experience 2 - Listen Our benchmark study in 2009/10 found that 100% of the ’best’ organisations collected customer feedback where as under half of the ’rest’ did so. Once the programme has been set up and aligned to the key priorities of the organisation it...

Customer Experience 1 – Strategic Alignment

Customer Experience 1 - Strategic alignment There is significant value to be realised from customer retention.  Most Business to Business (B2B) organisations are facing the reality of the recent  economic downturn. Technology is changing the nature of customer...

Customer Experience – Why bother?

Customer Experience. Why Bother? What is the value of a Customer Experience program? For the best performing organisations, capturing the voice of customer is vital for shaping future performance. In our research we found that 100% of high performing...

What differentiates high performers?

What do high Performance sales & marketing organisations do that others don't? We asked ourself the same and set about researching this questions. Recently we undertook a benchmark study, contacting over 100 people in B2B sales organisations. What they said...

B2B sales and buy process alignment

In b2b the sales and buy process alignment is key. In recent posts we have looked specifically at the buying process but how does this relate to the typical B2B sales process? The sales process for your business should reflect the way you sell. Some important...

The B2B Buying Process 3- Why You

This final stage in the buying process is about balancing the risk and reward. It is here that the decision is made. Lets reflect on the process to date. Stage 1 of the process is about understanding the needs of the organisation and the reasons why change will create...

The B2B Buying Process 2 – Solution

The buyer knows they need to change, but what do they do next? We have already looked at stage 1 in the buying process, the Why Buy On completion of this stage the buyer is motivated to change and they have the approval, resourcing and funding in place to make it...

The B2B Buying Process 1 – Why Buy

Why do I need to buy something? and will I commit the necessary resources to sustain the change? We find that many less experienced salespeople are hooked on the solution, product brochures, demos and company presentations. At this stage in the customer buying process...

The B2B Buying Process – Overview

The art of selling is making it easy for a prospect to buy from you. So often we see businesses failing to align their actions to a clients buying approach. They often unsuccessfully push through on a standard sales process rather than tailoring their approach to...

Relevant conversations will extend your Contact base

Meeting a senior executive once is easy. Demonstrate value and it is possible to meet them again and again. Getting “higher and wider” in target customer accounts often helps to unlock new budgets and opportunities, although achieving this is not always...

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