Nothing is more contentious in a company than prices. Those on the front lines would usually like to see a lower price so that they can close more sales and move more units. Those in operations would prefer to see high prices to cover the costs. Finance enters and they too want to see upward…

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When measuring market volume, markets are usually measured by unit rather than transactions. While this historic basis for measuring markets has proven useful for many business people, sales and marketing teams in B2B businesses should consider replacing the unit sales metric with the transaction metric. The reason is that transactions are the points that sales…

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Variances in fortune telling continue to be told. On one hand, Forester reports an 2.3% increase on IT spending during 2002 over 2001 according to a Business Technographics North America Benchmark Study of 1001 Senior Business and Technology Managers. On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal reports declining prices for the semiconductor equipment industry,…

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Lather, Rinse, Repeat…Lather, Rinse, Repeat…Lather, Rinse, Repeat… We don’t just buy one bottle of shampoo in our lifetime. Likewise, we shouldn’t expect our customers to buy just once from our companies. Business-to-Business companies are increasing their focus on repeat and referral business. In many instances, this is a sound strategy in which to embark, but…

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It is said that Marketing is a luxury, especially in B2B or Industrial Markets. When the economic outlook is poor, many firms halt marketing since they view marketing as a wasteful extravagance. Classifying marketing as a luxury poses a problem in logical consistency however: If marketing is a luxury, why do companies participate in marketing…

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What questions should a business manager ask in the interview process in selecting a sales person? How should she create the sales force organization? What kind of training should the business manager provide for the sales force? What principals should go into constructing the sales force compensation plan? How does the sales manager motivate, manage,…

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According to Randy Kobat, Director of Strategic Planning of ADP, in Business-to-Business (B2B) industries, marketing is an important driver of success. For people like him, B2B is believed to be the next big thing in the marketing field. Yet, when I speak to VPs of Sales & Marketing, they often reply that marketing is less…

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Much to their detriment, many businesses in B2B markets consider issues of consumer buying behavior theory irrelevant. While much of customer lifecycle theory originates in B2C marketing, it can be profitably mapped into B2B marketing and sales. The basic sequence according to consumer buying behavior can be listed as follows: Goal Activation, Awareness, Attribute Learning,…

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My last article clarified the economics and effectiveness of advertising in raising brand awareness and familiarity. Because small businesses often initially limit their experimentation with advertising to magazines, newsletters, and sometimes web advertising, this article will focus on executing a marketing effort with these specific media. An old mantra of the advertising business is that…

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