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Winning Conversations Series Article #3: “Competitive Differentiation: Nine Messaging Tools Every Business Needs”

You Don’t Need a Better Sales Process

A lot of organizations spend their time, effort and energy on the mechanics of their messaging. Very few companies focus on the formulation of the messaging itself—and they’re missing an incredible opportunity to create value for their customers and solidify a strong competitive advantage.

The following nine messaging tools will show you how to build a compelling story for your company that will help you differentiate yourself from your competition and turn more prospects into customers. With the tools to 1) find your story, 2) build your story and 3) tell your story, you’ll create a significant advantage in the marketplace that will help you protect your price and continue to grow your business. Download “Competitive Differentiation: Nine Messaging Tools Every Business Needs”


Winning Conversations Series Article #2: “You Don’t Need a Better Sales Process”

You Don’t Need a Better Sales Process

So many companies are looking to improve the sales performance of their teams. Their usual self-diagnosis? “We need a better sales process.”

This is usually followed by a request for a program to reshape their sales process, in hopes that it will help them rise above the economic pressures and rapid commoditization in the market. This isn’t the best solution. That’s because it’s not about the sales process. It’s about having the right message, one that clearly explains to customers why you’re the best choice for them. In this second article in my new Winning Conversations series, I’ll show you why the right message will help your company stand out, no matter how many other companies are operating in your niche—and even if you’re not the lowest-priced option. Download “You Don’t Need a Better Sales Process”


Winning Conversations Series Article #1:
“Shorten Your Sales Cycle with the Power of These Four Types of Insights”

Shorten Your Sales Cycle with the Power of These Four Types of Insights

There has been a lot of talk lately about insights and how they can be used within the sales process. When they’re used correctly, insights have the potential to significantly outperform standard facts-and-features-based selling and earn your team and you more wins—as long as your team really knows how to create provocative insights that drive decisions.

In this first article in my new Winning Conversations series, I’ll show you and your team how to create the four types of provocative insights that move prospective customers to action and shorten your sales cycle. Download “Shorten Your Sales Cycle with the Power of These Four Types of Insights”


“The 5-Step Blueprint to Accessing C-Level Executives—and Convincing Them to Choose You”

The 5-Step Blueprint to Accessing C-Level Executives—and Convincing Them to Choose You

Recent research has shown that up to 80% of buying decisions are being shifted to the executive level. Are you and your team equipped with the right tools to reach—and engage—the C-suite executives who will give the ultimate “yes” or “no” on your deal?

In my latest article, I’ll share with you my 5-Step C-Level Conversation Blueprint which will show you how to 1) gain access to the C-level executives you need to work with and 2) help your team close more deals by creating relevant and compelling executive-level conversations. Download “The 5-Step Blueprint to Accessing C-Level Executives—and Convincing Them to Choose You”


“Can Value Really Be Your Greatest Competitive Weapon? Yes—If You Know How to Use It”

Can Value Really Be Your Greatest Competitive Weapon?

Can you quantify the value you bring to your customers? Can you communicate it in terms they can understand? Or are you simply selling products and services that you believe your customers need?

At first glance, that may not seem like a serious problem. After all, isn’t that what successful businesses do, meet their customers’ needs? While that may be true, simply meeting your customers’ needs isn’t going to separate you from your competition, especially competitors who undercut your prices in order to steal your customers. Instead, the key to growing your business without cutting prices lies in your ability to meet your customers’ needs while demonstrating and delivering value over and above your competition. It all begins with one simple principle: understanding how to communicate distinct value within your marketing and sales process. Download “Can Value Really Be Your Greatest Competitive Weapon?”


“3 Strategies to Move Stalled Deals Forward”

Why You Want to Avoid a Competitive 'Bake-Off' at All Costs

Every buying decision comes down to two big questions: 1) Why change? 2) Why you? Too many executives, marketers and sales people make the critical mistake of focusing their message solely on answering the second question—who you are and why you’re better than the competition. However, even if your customers agree that you’re the right choice, they may not agree that it’s time to do something different. The status quo is comfortable, and it’s safe. I’ll show you how to develop compelling and provocative “Why Change” messages that 1) challenge your prospects’ status quo and 2) move them to say “yes” to your proposals. Download “3 Strategies to Move Stalled Deals Forward”


“Why You Want to Avoid a Competitive ‘Bake-Off’ at All Costs”

Why You Want to Avoid a Competitive 'Bake-Off' at All Costs

Too often, proposals end in a competitive “bake-off,” in which any number of companies line up to work with a large customer, proposals in hand, ready to battle it out in a spec war, a features war or, in the worst case scenario, a price war.

While many companies accept this as reality, it doesn’t have to be your reality, even if you work with large customers who operate in a highly bid-driven RFP/RFQ environment. Instead, it’s important to realize that, if you are competing in a bake-off, it’s usually because you’re coming in to your customer’s buying cycle too late. Discover how to avoid this treacherous scenario in the article below. Download “Why You Want to Avoid a Competitive ‘Bake-Off’ at All Costs”


“Think You Know Your Company’s Competitive Advantage? Think Again…”

Think You Know Your Company’s Competitive Advantage? Think Again...

“What’s the number one reason I should do business with you rather than your competitors?”

Do you have a good answer to this question? Many of the CEOs I work with think they do, but they’re often wrong. Did you think “good customer service”? Or perhaps “quality,” “reputation” or “knowledgeable staff”? If you did, then you’re not alone—but here’s the problem: Those qualities aren’t differentiators. They’re platitudes, and they do very little to give you a true competitive edge that convinces your customers to choose you over everyone else. When you lack that edge, you give your customers little reason to do business with you, other than price. Download “Think You Know Your Company’s Competitive Advantage? Think Again…”


“The Lost Art of Persuasive Conversations”

The Lost Art of Persuasive Conversations

The number one problem I find when working with marketers and sales professionals is that their marketing and sales messages rely on information rather than persuasion.

It’s a teacher’s job to inform. A marketer or sales professional must persuade. In other words, you can’t afford not to create persuasive conversations. The marketplace demands it—and your customers demand it, too. Most importantly, if you don’t present your ideas persuasively, someone else will—and that person will get your customers. So how do you put together a persuasive conversation—one that closes more deals? Find out in “The Lost Art of Persuasive Conversations.” Download “The Lost Art of Persuasive Conversations.”


“Ignite Your Company’s Marketing with Storytelling”

Author Malcolm Gladwell has sold more than three million copies of his breakout book, The Tipping Point, and a million copies of each of his subsequent books. Considering that these are business management books, not mainstream biographies or novels, this sounds like quite a feat.

So, why has Malcolm Gladwell been so successful? Gladwell tells great stories. What can we learn from Malcolm Gladwell’s success at selling ideas? How can we become better storysellers? Purchase “Ignite Your Company’s Marketing with Storytelling” for $1.99


“4 Steps to Developing Marketing Materials That Inspire Action, Not Just Interest”

Recent research has shown that less than 50% of our customer communications, content and sales conversations are relevant to our customers’ needs.

And in today’s consumer-driven marketplace, delivering irrelevant messages means that you’ll get tuned out. In this article, you’ll discover four steps to create persuasive, customer-focused marketing resources that inspire not just interest, but action. Purchase “4 Steps to Developing Marketing Materials That Inspire Action, Not Just Interest” for $1.99.


“The 6 Deadly Mistakes You’re Making with Your Marketing Message”

When marketing messages are done right, they attract prospects who are primed and ready to make a decision.

However, when your marketing messages fall short, they may end up repelling potential customers and hurting your competitive position, making your sales team’s job difficult, if not impossible. Are you derailing your sales process by making any of these deadly mistakes with your marketing messages? Purchase “The 6 Deadly Mistakes You’re Making with Your Marketing Message” for $1.99 and discover where your marketing may be falling short. You’ll also discover how to turn these mistakes into wins for your company.


“Six Steps to Creating Sales Conversations That Win More Deals”

In this price-driven economy, the conversations you have with your customers are your best opportunity to set yourself apart and edge out your competition. In other words, your company’s best chance for success lies squarely in the hands of your sales people.

So how do you make sure all the members of your sales team—despite their varying levels of skill and experience—are having the right conversations with your customers? In this article, you’ll discover six steps for giving your sales team the messages, tools and skills they need to move their sales conversations forward at every step within the customer buying cycle. Purchase “Six Steps To Creating Sales Conversations That Win More Deals” for $1.99.


“Competitive Differentiation: Nine Messaging Tools Every Business Needs”

The Lost Art of Persuasive Conversations

A lot of organizations spend their time, effort and energy on the mechanics of their messaging—the channels that get their message out there, such as social media, websites or direct sales processes. Very few companies focus on the formulation of the messaging itself.

If this is happening in your organization, you’re missing an incredible opportunity to create value for your customers and solidify a strong competitive advantage. The nine messaging tools in this article will show you how to build a compelling story for your company that will help you 1) differentiate yourself from your competition and 2) turn more prospects into customers. Download “Nine Messaging Tools Every Business Needs.”


“Creating Healthy Cash Flow in Your Business: The Eight Cash Flow Drivers”

One crucial factor that can make or break your business is its cash flow—how much money is coming in and going out of your organization. However, despite the importance of having cash available, we’ve discovered that very few companies really dig into the specific levers that are driving both cash flow and overall profitability.

In this article, you’ll discover how understanding these eight cash flow drivers will help you and your leadership team stay focused on what really matters to your bottom line. You’ll also learn how to manage these factors effectively and move your business toward more consistent positive cash flow, securing a long-lasting future for your company. Purchase “Creating Healthy Cash Flow in Your Business: The Eight Cash Flow Drivers” for $1.99.


“What Type of Leader Are You? Visionary or Integrator?”

Successful organizations have two types of leaders at their helms: Visionaries and Integrators. These two roles couldn’t be more different in terms of how each thinks, focuses and operates.

When you pair a Visionary with an Integrator, the exciting combination of different skill sets produces extraordinary results. Creating this synergy begins by understanding which of these two roles compliments your skill set, then locating another leader in your complimentary role. Together, you can move your company forward faster than you thought possible. Creating this synergy begins by understanding which you are: a Visionary or an Integrator. This article will show you how to leverage your role to produce better results in your business. Purchase “What Type of Leader Are You? Visionary or Integrator?” for $1.99


“Solve Your #1 Problem: People”

Solve Your #1 Problem: People

Does your leadership team get caught up in “people issues,” those discussions about employee problems that eat up valuable meeting time without really accomplishing anything? People problems are a huge drain on your business, both in the lost time discussing these challenges and in the lost business opportunities that result when you don’t have the right people doing the jobs they’re meant to do.

One powerful solution, popularized by Jim Collins in his best-selling book, Good to Great, emphasizes getting the right people in the right seats, which means matching the right organizational structure with the team members who will thrive in those positions. You owe it to your team members as individuals—and to your business as a whole—to make the changes that put the right people in the right seats. This article will help you get started. Download “Solve Your #1 Problem: People.”


“What Is Leadership? Five Disciplines Every Leader Needs to Master”

McArdle Business Advisors Leadership Article

There are plenty of theoretical articles written on exactly what leadership means. However, what most leaders need, more than anything, is a practical set of tools for building a healthy, growing organization.

Becoming a strong leader who can move his or her organization forward begins by focusing on five concrete and simple disciplines that will help your company reach its full potential. After all, it’s one thing to reach your goals and yet another to realize exactly how great your company can be. These five disciplines will help you and your company become the healthy, thriving organization it deserves to be. Download “What Is Leadership? Five Disciplines Every Leader Needs to Master.”


“Are You Running Your Business or Is Your Business Running You? Six Components to Better Strategic Execution”

McArdle Business Advisors Article Many business leaders spend their days overwhelmed, tired and buried in the day-to-day of their organizations, unable to see beyond tomorrow. If this position sounds familiar, you know how impossible it can be to drive your business strategy forward. You spend your days putting out fires, instead of leading your business—and your people—as you should. It doesn’t have to be this way. This article asks you to examine the health of an organization in six categories, what we call the Six Key Components. As you focus on strengthening each of these components, you’ll clear all of your obstacles to growth and pave a path toward a healthy, lasting future. It all starts with the Six Components detailed in this article. Download “Six Components to Better Execution.”


White Paper: Five Steps to Overcoming the Three Biggest Challenges to Profitable Sales Growth

McArdle Business Advisors White Paper Growth has long been a major driver for any sales force. Recent economic pressures, global uncertainty and the resultant cost-sensitive customer have created a tough sales environment that demonstrates little opportunity for growth, no matter the industry. Organizations are clearly seeing the effect of these economic pressures in their sales numbers. Key studies indicate that in 2010, 40.6% of sales reps did not make their sales quota, a number remained consistent through 2011. Additionally, win rates are near all-time lows at 46.4%. In other words, securing business has become more difficult than ever—across the board. Companies who hope not only to stay afloat but excel in this current economic environment need to create overarching, strategic change. This change starts in the field, with the way that their representatives interact with their customers. This paper will reveal the five steps any organization can use to take their customer conversations to the next strategic level and overcome the most formidable challenges to profitable sales growth. Download “Five Steps to Overcoming the Three Biggest Challenges to Profitable Sales Growth.”


Books

The Six Deadly Marketing Mistakes

The Six Deadly Marketing Mistakes

Are you wasting time and money on marketing that simply raises interest—but fails to generate action?

Many companies throw away their marketing dollars—and tie the hands of their sales force—by making six deadly marketing mistakes.

These mistakes create marketing messages that your prospects simply tune out, making both your company—and your products and services—invisible. In today’s competitive environment, “invisible” quickly translates into “insolvent.”

I’ll take you through the six deadly marketing mistakes most companies make. I’ll also show you how a few simple adjustments can significantly improve your results—and create marketing strategies that get results.

Buy the Six Deadly Marketing Mistakes on Amazon.com


Webinars

Solve Your #1 Problem: People

Take a moment to consider where you want your organization to be in 6-12 months. Now ask yourself: Do you have the right team to get you there? In this webinar, you’ll discover how to solve the #1 problem that holds companies back from achieving their goals: their people. When you have the right people in the right seats, executing your vision becomes significantly easier. You’ll spend significantly less time on your “people problems” and more time realizing your company’s vision at the highest level. Purchase this webinar in MP4 format for $4.99. You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.


Accelerate Your Business: Six Keys To Better Strategic Execution

Want better results from your business, better results from your people and better results from your time? During this presentation, you’ll discover a set of simple, practical tools to align the six components of your business to help you 1) master the moving parts of your business, 2) focus your available resources in one, unified direction and 3) get immediate traction in your market. To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download “Accelerate Your Business: Six Keys To Better Strategic Execution.” You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.


Uncovering and Communicating Your Competitive Advantage Through Your Marketing and Sales Strategy

Think you have your arms around your company’s competitive advantage? Think again. When I ask the CEOs I work with to share their company’s advantage, they tell me things like “customer service,” “quality” or “reputation.” Here’s the hard truth: everyone uses language like that. Those three qualities aren’t differentiators. They’re platitudes—and they do very little to 1) give you a true edge over your competition that 2) convinces your customers to choose you over everyone else, even when you’re not the lowest-price provider in the field. To create a real competitive advantage for your company, you need to move from vague and imprecise messages to ones that are solid, meaningful, relevant. Discover how in this webinar. To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download “Uncovering and Communicating Your Competitive Advantage.” You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.


Ignite Your Marketing and Sales with the Power of Storytelling

Every marketer and sales professional—whether they know it or not—is in the story business. In other words, if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it. If you’re finding it difficult to stand out from your competition—or if you can’t seem to get your prospects to act on your proposals—storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool. Without it, though, you may struggle to attract interested leads, let alone close new business. Discover how to leverage this powerful tool to your advantage in this webinar replay. To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download “Ignite Your Marketing and Sales with the Power of Storytelling.” You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.


The Six Deadly Marketing Mistakes—and How To Fix Them

Are you wasting time and money on marketing that simply raises interest—but fails to generate action? Many companies throw away their marketing dollars—and tie the hands of their sales force—by making six deadly marketing mistakes. These mistakes create marketing messages that your prospects simply tune out, making both your company—and your products and services—invisible. In today’s competitive environment, “invisible” quickly translates into “insolvent.” Discover whether you’re making these mistakes—and how a few simple adjustments can significantly improve your messaging and set up your sales team for easier, quicker wins: To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download “The Six Deadly Marketing Mistakes—and How To Fix Them.” You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.


You Don’t Need A Better Sales Process—You Need A Better Sales Message

I’ve had a number of clients recently who want to improve the sales performance of their teams. Their self-diagnosis? “We need a better sales process.” This, I tell them, isn’t the best solution. In fact, a few years back, a McKinsey study revealed that 75% of the efforts at companies using one of the hottest sales process methodologies in the field—solution selling—were deemed failures within three years. That’s because it’s not about the sales process. It’s about having the right message, one that clearly explains to customers why you’re the best choice for them. The right message will help your company stand out, no matter how many other companies are operating in your niche—and even if you’re not the lowest-priced option. Discover more in this Executive Insights webinar. To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download “You Don’t Need A Better Sales Process—You Need A Better Sales Message.” You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.


Four Reasons Why Your Sales Strategy Isn’t Working

If your sales numbers aren’t as spectacular as you hoped they would be, it’s probably not your strategy that’s to blame. It’s more likely that your messaging is undermining your team’s performance. So many organizations are still using conventional sales messaging techniques, ones that do very little to convince your customers that they’d be crazy to do business with anyone else but you. Download this latest Executive Insights webinar and discover the four messaging mistakes that may be holding your team back: To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download “Four Reasons Why Your Sales Strategy Isn’t Working.” You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.


Move Your Prospects to Action by Breaking the Status Quo Barrier

Every buying decision comes down to two big questions:

  1. Why change?
  2. Why you?

Too many executives, marketers and sales people make the critical mistake of focusing their message on answering the second question—who you are, what you do and why you’re better than the competition. However, here’s the problem: Even if your customers agree that you’re the right choice, they may not agree that it’s time to do something different than they’re doing now. If you want to significantly grow your business in 2014, you’ll need to challenge your customers to do something different—to take action. In this Executive Insights Webinar, you’ll discover how to develop compelling and provocative “Why Change” messages that 1) challenge your prospects’ status quo and 2) move them to say “yes” to your proposals. To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download “Move Your Prospects to Action by Breaking the Status Quo Barrier.” You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.


3 Strategies to Avoid Price Wars and Close More Deals

Focusing your sales and marketing on value is a powerful way to avoid those deadly price wars that erode your margins and reduce customer loyalty to dollar signs. By focusing on the real, measurable, bottom-line value that your product or service offers your customers, you give your team the chance to win new business without using price as a weapon. However powerful this approach can be, if you fail to equip your sales and marketing team with the tools they need to leverage value, it’s an approach that’s destined to fail. In this Executive Insights Webinar, you’ll discover 3 ways to demonstrate how your solutions create real and quantifiable business value for your customers. You’ll also discover the 3 mistakes many businesses make while putting these strategies into practice—mistakes that undermine their team and cost them deals. To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download “3 Strategies to Avoid Price Wars and Close More Deals.” You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.

Creating C-Level Conversations That Close More Deals

A recent study from the company Sirius Decisions reveals that executives value having business conversations 4 times more than they value having product conversations. However, executives also report that only 24% of sales people they encounter understand their business, leaving a whopping 76% unprepared to have these high-level business conversations that executives are seeking. (Source: Forrester Research) In today’s tough business environment, even modest investments can require executive-level approval. Is your sales team equipped to create the right conversations with the C-level executives whose approval they need to book business? In this Executive Insights webinar, you’ll discover a 4-step blueprint to help your sales team create compelling, executive-level conversations that close more deals To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download “Creating C-Level Conversations That Close More Deals.” You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.

Shorten Your Sales Cycle with the Power of Insight

Provocative selling is a bold new method that pushes your customers to understand their business challenges in a new way, with your product or service aligned as the solution. It has the potential to significantly outperform standard facts-and-features-based selling, earning your team more wins, bigger wins and faster wins—as long as your team knows how to create the provocative insights that drive decisions. In this Executive Insights webinar, I’ll show you the four types of insights available to your team—and how your team can create the effective insights that provoke faster decisions in your prospects and customers. Armed with these skills, your marketing and sales team will understand how to engage your prospects more quickly and easily, while moving them toward a quick decision to shorten your sales cycle, increase your win rate and close more deals. To download this webinar as an MP4 file, right click on this link and choose “Save Link As:” Download this webinar. You may also want to download our instructions for viewing and transferring to your iPad/iPhone.