Why We're Donating Royalties from Insight Selling to the American Heart Association
By Mike Schultz

ari

On September 28, 2011, my wife and I went to our 18 week ultrasound to find out if our first child would be a boy or a girl.

We found out it was a boy, and that he had a special heart.

Our unborn son was diagnosed with a critical aortic stenosis with evolving hypoplastic left heart.

Which means if he made it to birth, he’d have half a heart, need at least 3 open heart surgeries, and likely have a very difficult life.

There was a new, cutting edge surgery, though, that might allow our son to have a whole heart. This complicated heart surgery would need to happen before he was born.

We ended up doing it. Twice.

Our son was born and we named him Ari. He’s since had two major open heart surgeries, has had scar tissue cut out of his heart twice, and has had 3 out of his 4 heart valves moved or replaced...

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Sneak Peek of Insight Selling
By Erica Stritch

insight selling

The sales landscape has shifted in the last few years.

Buyers are more informed than ever, competition is stiffer, and products and services are increasingly seen as replaceable, leaving most sellers at a loss for the best way to add value and differentiate.

Yet, some sellers continue to win consistently.

To find out what these sellers are doing differently than the rest, we undertook a massive research effort. In our study, we looked at 700 B2B purchases made by buyers who represent $3.1 billion in annual purchasing power.

We found that the sellers who win harness the power of ideas. And in our new book, Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently by bestselling authors Mike Schultz and John Doerr, we share exactly how they do it...

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Essentials of an Effective Account Planning Tool
By Mike Schultz

account planning tool

In The Benchmark Report on High Performance in Strategic Account Management, we analyzed data from over 370 companies that engage in formal strategic account management. We asked about the top challenges that limit account growth and found the number one difference between high performers and the rest is: having an effective strategic account planning tool.

Only 19% of high performers reported having an effective account planning tool as challenging compared to 53% of everyone else (see graph to the left).

The challenge of having an effective tool does not, however, exist in a vacuum.

Companies that don’t have an effective tool often don’t have one because they’re not committed to account growth as a systematic process, and they don’t commit to account planning as a necessary component of account growth success.

In any case, if you don’t have an effective tool you use across all accounts, it’s virtually impossible to make real progress in growing accounts systematically.
 

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Unique vs. Distinct: What Really Matters for Differentiation in B2B Sales
By Mike Schultz

differentiationWhen people talk about differentiation, the word they most associate with it is 'unique.'

Now, the word 'unique' is fraught with problems and danger.

The first reason is because what people say is unique often isn't actually unique. In fact, it comes across as pretty common.

For example, one company might say, "What makes us unique is our depth of experience. We only have people with 20 years of experience working on our projects."

Or another company might say, "Well, our technology is customized specifically for your industry."

Even another company might say, "Our level of customer service is truly the best in the industry."

Oftentimes, these things are valuable, but the definition of the word 'unique' is being without equal...

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Networking Skills: 3 Ways to Get to the Real Decision Maker
By Ago Cluytens

network

We've all been there.

Someone reaches out to you. They're enthusiastic. Ask for information. Want to talk to you on the phone. Ask for a proposal. Tell you they're "genuinely interested" in what you're offering. And "need something concrete to discuss in a meeting that's coming up."

And then...nothing.

The sale doesn't move forward. No decision is made. No further action from your side required. And "they'll be back in touch when they know more."

Here's the thing: sometimes the people we start talking to are not the people we should be talking to. Sellers I speak with often talk about the need to develop their networking skills to "go around someone and get to the real decision maker."

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