Last week we took a break from the Buzz so everyone could enjoy a happy fourth of July. This week, we’d like to wish a “Happy Fourth” to the US women’s national soccer team. They powered to their fourth World Cup victory over the weekend! What a nice way to celebrate our nation’s birthday. With the USWNT in mind, this week’s Buzz is about sports.
What is a persona? If you answered “an essential tool for understanding your customers,” you would be right—but that’s not the whole story. We get the word “persona” from the ancient Romans. It was their term for a mask worn by a stock character in plays. In a large theater, familiar masks made it easy to see what kind of a person each actor was playing, like “grumpy old man” or “soldier.”
Last week, I started talking about the most misunderstood word in the workplace. Yes, it’s “value.” First we dug into how identifying your organization’s values and sticking to them can help you build relationships on your team and with customers. Now we’ll dig into the mysterious world of selling on value.
What is the most misunderstood word in the workplace? I would argue that it is “value.” Two “ values” are important in sales: the value your product or service can bring to a customer; and the ethical values that underpin how you do business. Both of these are just as important as they are hard to understand. This week, we’ll try to get clarity on ethical values, and next week turn to selling on value.
If you’ve ever felt like the physical environment of your office impedes your creativity and productivity, you’re not alone. Managers can help their team work better by eliminating these dispiriting work situations.
Software as a service (SaaS) is booming. Respondents to a 2017 survey by BetterCloud said they planned to deliver 80% of their applications via the SaaS model by 2020 (next year!). Selling products and services has always seemed to be different, so how does the transition from products to services affect B2B sales?
Last week the Buzz talked about uncertainty. The opposite of uncertainty is confidence or trust. Trust is about feeling certain that something will happen, and it takes a lot of the worry and failure out of business relationships. There are endless ways to build trust, but here are a few that popped up this week!
The biggest risk in sales is a lack of information. This principle informs our DRIVE sales acceleration system. What kinds of information gaps are businesses able to solve? And which areas of uncertainty do you simply have to deal with?
Happy Easter! And Passover! But if you’re Greek Orthodox, well, you’ll have to wait until next week to celebrate. How to schedule the major religious holidays was one of the biggest conflicts in the early middle ages. Time and date are frankly confusing conventions, even today. From time zones to Daylight Savings to trying to get a meeting on a prospect’s calendar, keeping track of time is still a challenge.
It’s been a long time since the Buzz talked about design. No matter how good your message is, to be persuasive in sales and marketing it’s also important to look professional and be up-to-date visually.
You know how annoying robocalls are? Automated, robotic services are taking over a lot of boring and repetitive business functions. But sometimes, having a real human touch can make a major difference. That’s the case in sales, and we’ve gathered the evidence right here!
Usually, this column collects insights from sales, marketing, and management news around the Web. This week, though, we have news of our own! Following up the great success of the Phoenix Sales Method and DRIVE sales acceleration system, we would like to introduce our sophomore sales method. The OPOSSUM method was developed by former Brown University researcher Keeley Schell, Ph.D., after observing our most skilled salespeople in action for two years.
Resumes aren’t just for job seekers anymore. When you highlight your skills to build a personal brand, you can network not only in support of your own career, but on behalf of your organization’s goals. Here are some of our favorite resume, networking, and personal brand tips for 2019.
Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and Selection Sunday, so I’m impressed that you are reading this (and not finalizing your bracket for the office pool). But you know what? I want to talk brackets too. (I have an ulterior motive—my Blue Devils beat Mike’s Orangemen on Thursday.)
We’ve talked about questions a lot in the past—in particular, how asking great questions is an essential skill in sales. But don’t limit yourself to sales meetings and calls. Asking questions can transform every part of your work experience.
Three recent Maestro clients have been acquired this year—ItemMaster, GoCanvas, and Contactually—so we’ve been following a lot of news on the topic. While we’re justly proud of the ways we were able to help these companies position themselves and solidify their revenue streams, we are also wishing them good luck with the sometimes challenging process of merging two corporate cultures.
Case studies are one of the most memorable types of business writing you’ll encounter, but they’re also one of the hardest to pin down. They can be long or short, glossy and marketing-focused or dense and technical. (Oh, and the case studies you’ll see in business school are totally different from the ones you’ll see in marketing collateral.) Whichever type of marketing case study you’re trying to create, though, there are a few qualities that can really make it stand out.
Are you ready for a physics lesson? How about a sales-is-physics lesson? At Maestro Group, we often riff on Newton’s First Law by saying that “A deal in motion stays in motion, a deal at rest dies.” Sometimes, you can also learn from Newton’s Third Law: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Now, I’m not adamant about “equal” and “opposite,” but it is very important to be ready to respond to any client or prospect action. This week we were thinking about how flexible, responsive behaviors can be transformative in every area of business.
We’re implementing new approaches to project management at Maestro. In the process, we’re discovering that how we collaborate really differs across different types of tasks—whether it is writing blogs, planning webinars, or delivering sales training and evaluating salespeople. At the same time, working together turns out to be so essential in every area of the business. We just never saw it quite so clearly laid out before. This week’s Buzz is a celebration of teams that work together and learn new things together.
Slack devolved into pirate jokes at some point this week, so before I share some interesting pirate-related news, I have to ask you: What is a pirate’s favorite country? (You can check your answer at the end of the Buzz.)
“Free Pizza.” There tends to be a point in each person’s life where those words are the best thing they can possibly hear. The experience of getting free stuff that brings us a lot of pleasure conditions us to expect that free is always best. Sometimes, though, you get what you pay for.
To improve productivity and quality in your organization, feedback is key. Sometimes it’s difficult to assess team members objectively and fairly. And delivering the feedback is almost always challenging. Here’s how everyone can work together to get the best results from evaluations.
Many of the biggest technology innovations of the new millennium have involved replacing old hierarchies with distributed networks. From BitTorrent to Blockchain, it’s all about peer-to-peer. Recently we’ve come across a number of ways in which peer-to-peer can transform businesses and even our own sector of sales acceleration.
“George was a good little monkey and always very curious.” My colleague Kevin Sambat posted a thought-provoking piece last week on curiosity in sales. He’s not talking about the exact same kind of curiosity as Margaret and H.A. Rey attributed to the famous children’s book character. In fact, at Maestro we definitely do not recommend leaping off cruise ships, placing fake emergency phone calls, feeding trumpets to zoo animals, or basically anything else Curious George ever did.
Nobody’s perfect. Everyone can improve. Looking back on 2018 and ahead to 2019, there are places where Maestro has shifted direction. In the broader world of sales and management, there are things that got us chattering in the Buzz but now are no longer that exciting. So today let’s see how things are changing going forward. Put on your seatbelts, folks!
Webinars have been around for over twenty years, but their popularity has exploded recently. Video-conferencing technology keeps getting better and better, enabling more cool features and larger groups of participants. Maybe your organization already uses webinars or maybe you’re thinking about it. Maestro dived into the medium this year. We love it and can’t stop talking about webinars!
Venga Co-Founder and CEO Sam Pollaro needed Barack Obama to convince him to take the entrepreneurial leap. Ok, not directly, but in a round-about way. In 2009 the company Pollaro was working for closed down when its managing director was asked to join Obama’s administration.