Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Selling Value: A Teachable, Learnable Skill

You know sellers have to bring more than product expertise and good rapport to the conversation if you want to articulate why you’re different and better, or in other words, sell value.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 9.55.05 AMTo many, “selling value” is an abstract, complicated concept. But, in this edition of the Sales Evangelist podcast, Corporate Visions’ Tim Riesterer makes it simple and concrete by sharing concepts from his latest co-authored book, “The Three Value Conversations.”

Listen as Tim explains the three “value moments of truth,” and the key skills needed to win in each:

  • Defeating the status quo and creating the buying vision
  • Building an executive-level business case
  • Executing value-based exchanges during negotiations to win larger, more profitable deals.

Enjoy the podcast!


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Monday, December 21, 2015

Corporate Visions Survey Reveals Top Challenges in B2B Sales Negotiations: Inability to Articulate Value and Lack of Faith in Solution Value

Survey Also Finds Almost Half of Companies Do Not Have a Formal Negotiation Skills Training Program to Give Sales Reps the Content and Skills Needed to Close More Profitable Deals

PLEASANTON, Calif., Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Corporate Visions, Inc., the leading marketing and sales messaging, content and skills training company, today announced results from a new survey polling more than 300 B2B marketers and salespeople about price negotiations. The data revealed the number one factor impacting margins is the inability of salespeople to articulate value. The second biggest problem respondents ranked was salespeople negotiating against themselves by not believing in their company’s price. Interestingly, despite these struggles and increasing pricing pressures, nearly half (45 percent) of companies polled admitted to not having a formal negotiation skills program to address this critical problem area.

“The newsflash here is that margin erosion isn’t just coming from customers putting pressure on price concessions,” said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer for Corporate Visions. “The survey indicates the primary problem is actually salespeople’s inability to create a perception of value and a lack of confidence to claim that value. It’s clear there’s also still a need for companies to provide formal negotiation skills training that’s not focused on the buyer’s tactics but rather, on the salesperson’s skills at capturing value.”

Additional noteworthy results from the survey include:

  • Of those companies that do formal negotiations training, 48 percent of respondents said their company focuses on late-stage dealings to avoid excessive discounting and save profit margins during the purchasing and pricing step near the end of the buying cycle. The other 52 percent said they are focused on identifying and plugging potential value or margin leaks that take place throughout the entire complex, multi-buyer sales cycle.
  • After the top two challenges: inability to articulate value (28 percent) and negotiating against themselves (21 percent) of respondents ranked the following additional negotiations problem areas:
    • Twenty percent of respondents believe giving away things of value without asking for anything of value in return is the biggest sales negotiation problem.
    • Fourteen percent said their reps are too quickly discounting to their lowest level of authority without regard for the psychology of concessions or a consistent company policy.
    • Nine percent believed the problem is waiting for the client to share budget and price instead of anchoring clients with a higher number.

“In today’s negotiations, buyers are in the high-power position because they have all the alternatives. Salespeople are in a low-power position because their alternatives are no deal or no margin, and those aren’t good alternatives,” said Riesterer. “As a result, companies need to make sure they help salespeople take more creative, counter-intuitive approaches to negotiations where they can actually use the low-power position to their advantage, as opposed to many skills training courses that recommend ways to regain power or retake control. Research shows efforts to raise power equality actually produce worse outcomes.”

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Biggest Factor to Closing Deals?

Your customer conversations are defined by three “moments of truth”—three distinct but adjacent sales dialogues that reps need to master to win more profitable deals.

Is your team equipped to master them?Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 9.55.05 AM

A Corporate Visions survey found that 85 percent of companies believe their team’s ability to articulate value messages is the single most critical factor to closing deals.

In this podcast, Corporate Visions’ Tim Riesterer details the three value conversations where your reps need to excel, demonstrating an ability to:

  • Create Value by defeating the status quo and differentiating your solution.
  • Elevate Value by building a business case that passes muster with executive buyers.
  • Capture Value by protecting your pricing and expanding deal size.

Tim’s podcast, based on insights from his new book, “The Three Value Conversations,” appears in two segments below:

  • To hear about defeating the status quo and differentiating your solution, check out part one: http://ift.tt/1NIVnnC

Looking to dig deeper into these pivotal sales conversations? Purchase “The Three Value Conversations” here.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Corporate Visions Names Jennifer Aaker and Juan Corsillo to Board of Directors

Social Psychologist, Author and Stanford University Graduate School of Business Professor Teams Up With Sales and Marketing Industry Veteran to Help Company Exceed Rapid Growth Goals

PLEASANTON, Calif. – December 9, 2015 – Corporate Visions, Inc., the leading marketing and sales messaging, content and skills training company, today announced the appointment of industry pioneers Jennifer Aaker, Ph.D. and Juan Corsillo to its board of directors. With more than 25 years of experience in their respective fields, both Aaker and Corsillo will help Corporate Visions exceed its next level of growth success in 2016 and beyond.

Currently the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Aaker is the co-author of the award-winning book “The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change,” and has served on the advisory board of early-stage startups and companies from ADAY to Google X. With an extensive track record of driving growth and business sustainability for leading multi-billion dollar publicly traded companies in the financial and business services sectors, Corsillo recently retired from his role as SVP of marketing and sales at United Rentals, Inc.

“The board is proud to welcome Jennifer and Juan, whose collective knowledge in social psychology and B2B marketing and sales will be invaluable to our company’s overall strategy in the coming years,” said Paul Murphy, chairman of the board for Corporate Visions and partner at Sentinel Capital Partners. “There is no doubt they will help solidify our overall position as the market leader in providing the content, training and skills – all backed by irrefutable decision-making science – to help customers have more effective sales conversations.”

Acquired by Sentinel Capital Partners in May 2015, Corporate Visions strategically selected these new board appointments to further expand its global presence within the B2B sales and marketing space. Since 2010, Corporate Visions has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 43 percent per year through both organic growth and four strategic acquisitions. The news also comes on the heels of last month’s appointment of three key additions to the executive team – Gloria Fan as CFO, Leo Hanna as EVP of international sales and Jennifer Zick as EVP of marketing.

“The appointment of both Jennifer and Juan further signifies the commitment we have as a company to the industry, our customers and our prospective clientele,” said Corporate Visions CEO Joe Terry. “We have very ambitious growth goals for 2016, and Jennifer and Juan’s expertise address critical areas that matter most to our business and will help propel us to the next level of expansion to serve our present and future world-class customers.”

As a social psychologist, Aaker’s research focuses on the psychology and rationale behind how people make use of time, money and happiness, and when and why those choices are associated with lasting value. She also empirically explores how small acts can create significant change and how those effects can be fueled by digital and social media. Noted for her early work on the dimensions of brand personality, Aaker’s current research is rooted in the psychology of choice and the shifting meaning of happiness. She also teaches courses at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). She is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the Society for Consumer Psychology and the Stanford Distinguished Teaching Award. Aaker earned a Ph.D. in marketing and psychology from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Art degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Corsillo is a seasoned sales executive with a proven track record of building world-class, high-performing and integrated sales and marketing organizations that drive industry-leading growth. Most recently in his role at United Rentals, Inc. – a position he held from 2010 to 2015 – he oversaw all sales-related activities at both the field and national levels, including pricing, sales operations, marketing and managed services offerings. Previously, Corsillo spent 17 years with the General Electric Company (GE Capital) in various capacities, where he held several senior commercial leadership roles, including chief commercial officer for GE Capital Solutions, CMO of U.S. equipment financing and SVP of sales operations of GE Capital Americas. Corsillo earned a Bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in entrepreneurship from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Sales Transformation That Sticks

If you train salespeople, you know all about the ambivalent feeling that sets in after an event.

In one sense, you’re fired up—your reps are energized, confident and excited to apply the great skills and concepts they’ve learned out in the field.

On the other hand, your optimism is tempered by a very legitimate fear: Namely, that in just a few weeks time, the skills your team just learned may already be eroding.

According to Corporate Visions research, only 23 percent of managers provide a significant level of coaching to the skills after their sales force has been trained. That’s why you need to be prepared to provide “virtual coaching” (link to Virtual Coach solution brief) to reinforce skills when your sales managers are strapped.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.05.54 AM

Corporate Visions’ Tim Riesterer and MobilePaks’ Chanin Ballance recently blogged about how great virtual skills reinforcement drives high adoption, keeps reps sharp on key skills and concepts, and ensures they don’t have to leave the selling workflow to get the learning content they need.

The two picked up on that topic again in a recent webcast, “Sales Transformation That Sticks.” If you’re serious about creating last behavior changes in the field for your team, so they can articulate value in the way they were trained, you need to give this a listen:

Webcast: Sales Transformation That Sticks

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Insights-based Selling: Everyone’s Doing It…Or Are They?

The traditional approach to insights is becoming commoditized. Here’s how to break from the cycle of “true but useless” information.

Insights are everywhere—at least, that’s the impression in the market. According to a recent Corporate Visions survey, 81 percent of companies say they use an insights-based approach to selling.

But are they actually?

Selling with insights has won such an enthusiastic following so fast that its sheer popularity has outstripped the market’s ability to define it. This has led to various standards—some rigorous, others lax—about what it takes to qualify as an insights provider today.

But, regardless of how companies internally define what insights-based selling is, and regardless of the quality of insights they’re actually delivering, you can bet on this: The approach has been roundly embraced as a key element of provocative selling. In other words, insights, rigorously developed or not, are saturating the market.

What are you doing to make sure yours get noticed?

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.03.41 AM

We’ve talked here and here about four different types of insights—and how not all of them are created equal. Some are simply better than others at revealing deficiencies or missed opportunities in a prospect’s current situation. Some are better than others at opening customers up to persuasion and activating buying intent.

In our survey, respondents deemed “anecdotal” insights (think in-house, tactical, best practices-focused content) to be the least effective in terms of achieving positive selling outcomes. Ironically, respondents said this insight type appeared most often in their campaigns and sales-facing content.

On the other hand, the survey revealed that so-called “visionary” insights, based on original, company-generated research and forward-looking market interpretations, were viewed as the most effective insight type, but were used the least of the four categories.

To be truly visionary, your insights-based message and content must be:

  • Original – Carry out primary research or market surveys to uncover market-related data. Ensure that they’re statistically relevant and sound.
  • Exclusive – Generate data points that are unique to you and that you can use as the foundation for developing counterintuitive insights about emerging trends in your market. You can then use insights, which you own, to carve out distinct positioning for your products.
  • Forward-looking – Develop a content-driven narrative on both sides of the lead handoff that asserts a distinct point of view—a perspective that shapes the conversation and leverages your findings to deliver unique interpretations of emerging issues, challenges and trends.

With insights so pervasive, the bar for qualifying as a credible insights provider is rising, and the traditional “insights” selling model of recycling third party analyst figures, re-packaging the findings and laying claim to the concepts is only going to commoditize your message—because your competitors all have access to the same information as you.

That approach doesn’t deliver insights. It delivers true but ultimately useless information. Well-thumbed analyst reports and established information won’t have the impact on more discerning prospects and customers, who are going to start demanding more rigor behind insights generation. As a result of this shift, companies are going to need to take more edgy, counterintuitive stands, supported by original, research-based rigor—otherwise, you may only be posing as an insights provider.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Corporate Visions Appoints Three New Veterans to Executive Team

PLEASANTON, Calif., Nov. 2, 2015 — Corporate Visions, Inc., the leading marketing and sales messaging, content and skills training company, today announced the appointment of Gloria Fan as CFO, Leo Hanna as EVP of international sales and Jennifer Zick as EVP of marketing. Fan will oversee finance, legal, HR, IT and administrative functions, while Hanna will lead all company sales activities, account management, and strategic reseller relationships across the EMEA and APAC regions. Zick will be responsible for the company’s brand, communications and business development teams and programs.

With more than 20 years of experience in providing financial, operational and business leadership to high technology companies, Fan has taken two companies public on the NASDAQ stock exchange and has deep expertise in M&A transactions. To complement Fan’s financial activities in the U.S., Hanna brings more than 20 years of sales and executive sales management experience in the enterprise software, cloud and professional services industries to Corporate Visions’ London office. Zick completes the trio of new hires to the organization’s executive team, adding more than 15 years of marketing experience with innovative, entrepreneurial and accelerated-growth companies.

“As a company, we’re deeply committed to helping our customers have more memorable and effective sales conversations to increase their bottom lines,” said Corporate Visions CEO Joe Terry. “At the same time, we’re also focused on increasing our global footprint to deliver our services to an even greater set of companies around the world. Gloria, Leo and Jennifer all bring a wealth of expertise to our executive team and I’m confident they will help us continue our strong growth by identifying new customers, partnerships and market opportunities.”

Fan most recently served as CFO at ClearEdge Power, Inc., where she led the sale of the company to Doosan, a $20 billion Korean organization. Prior to ClearEdge Power, she spent seven years in the solid-state lighting industry where she was CFO for both Pinecone Energies and Bridgelux. During that time, she raised more than $100 million from private placement and debt financing and participated in the strategic development of the companies. Previously, Fan spent seven years at UTStarcom as VP of finance and global business operations, where she led the company through its IPO, grew its revenue from $186 million to $4 billion a year and completed more than 10 M&A transactions. She earned a Master of Science degree from Purdue University and an M.B.A. from San Jose State University.

Before joining Corporate Visions, Hanna led Saba Corporation’s EMEA operations as GM and SVP for the region. Under his leadership, the company made the significant transition from a software licensing company to a cloud services provider. Prior to Saba Corporation, Hanna held senior sales and marketing leadership positions at Oracle, Symantec and Microsoft Corporation, with roles in the U.K subsidiary, EMEA and APAC leadership functions. Hanna earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computing from Leicester De Montfort.

Zick was most recently the head of marketing for PwC’s Salesforce technology practice, representing the fastest-growing and third-largest Salesforce implementation partnership. Prior to joining PwC, she was a founding member of Magnet 360, where she was responsible for all facets of marketing strategy and execution. Under her leadership, marketing programs influenced more than 70 percent of Magnet 360’s net new revenue each year. Zick is currently a board advisor for the Minnesota chapter of the Business Marketing Association, where she previously served as president and VP of events and development. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Minnesota.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Corporate Visions Survey Finds B2B Companies Agree Sales Conversations Have Biggest Impact on Closed Deals, But Still Primarily Invest in Sales Processes Instead

Data Underscores How Sales Messaging Can Be More Valuable Than Technology, Tools or Processes in Helping Organizations Achieve More Profitable Growth

PLEASANTON, Calif., — Oct. 28, 2015  Corporate Visions, Inc., the leading marketing and sales messaging, content and skills training company, today announced the results of a new survey focused on marketing and sales messages and tools. The survey, which polled more than 430 business-to-business (B2B) marketing and sales executives globally, uncovered that although companies invest the most time and budget on sales process- related activities, respondents instead identified messaging and sales conversations as being the most important factor for driving more profitable, closed deals.

“The results reveal a striking contradiction between what companies believe will drive the greatest value and where they are investing most of their time and money,” said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer at Corporate Visions. “While it’s important that salespeople know where to show up and how to structure an opportunity, it’s clear in this survey that companies know that what is more important is actually what they say when they get there.”

Here is a detailed look at the survey results:

Investment Priorities
The largest number of respondents (34 percent) ranked the sales process (making sure salespeople know what to do and how to do it when it comes to managing accounts and opportunities) as the area their company spends the most time and budget on, followed by:

  • Product training (reps are taught to know their solutions’ capabilities and features in a way that makes them an expert source) – 27 percent
  • Messaging and field conversations (ensuring reps know what to say and how to say it to differentiate and articulate value) – 26 percent
  • Automation technology (giving sellers the latest and greatest automation and selling-related technologies and tools) – 13 percent

Perceived Impact
The majority of respondents (61 percent) selected reps’ ability to deliver a distinct point of view that uniquely positions their solutions as the most important factor for successfully driving deals to a profitable close, followed by:

  • Having a great sales process in place and having it consistently followed – 19 percent
  • Equipping reps with the best enabling technology and tools to increase productivity – 9 percent
  • Making sure reps know the ins and outs of their entire product portfolio – 11 percent

When given two choices and asked to select the one that had the most impact on moving a prospect to action and closing profitable deals, the vast majority of respondents chose the non-technology or tools-related option. Responses were as follows:

  • Understanding the key metrics executive decision-makers use to run their business (94 percent) versus contract applications (6 percent)
  • Linking your prospect’s business initiatives to your business value (93 percent) versus RFP response tools (7 percent)
  • Sharing market insights (86 percent) versus gamification tools (14 percent)
  • Managing the tension in your sales negotiations to help you secure more value (89 percent) versus email automation tools (11 percent)
  • Contrasting a prospect’s status quo with a change scenario (82 percent) versus CRM systems (18 percent)
  • Sharing a distinct point of view (68 percent) versus top-notch ROI tools (32 percent)

“For the remaining results, respondents indicated it was what salespeople say – not what they do or the tool used – that is most impactful,” said Riesterer. “This data further underscores the need for companies to focus on developing more effective messaging and training their salespeople to deliver those messages in a way that differentiates them and their solutions.”

For more information and an analysis of the survey findings, please view this infographic: http://cvi.to/1PLnBPk.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Producing a Video That Focuses on Your Customers & Creating a How-To as New Method of Marketing

You’ll find some video production companies out there that focus too extensively on making videos all about their clients. While there isn’t anything wrong with showing things about yourself in reasonable doses, a marketing video should never be about them exclusively. With more focus recently on nurturing relationships with customers in corporations, it’s time you took the same initiative. You need a marketing video focused more on helping the customer rather than yourself.

Here at Joyco Productions, we’ll help you with this approach if you’ve always thought a marketing video means being exclusively about you. You have some specific approaches to being more personal so your prospective customers feel like you’re talking only to them.

Solving a Problem for Your Customers

The point of making a video for your customers is solving a problem for them with a product you’re selling. No matter what you product is, it should always solve a problem that’s never been adequately solved by anything else on the market. In your video, making this clear already captures viewer attention so they know it’s about them.

Your backstory is fine, as long as you keep it brief in the beginning. Using our creative expertise, your own brief personal story can set things up for addressing your customers personally.

Showing Testimonials as Proof

When you make claims of solving a problem for your customers, you also need proof of how it’s already worked for others. We’ll help you compile footage of other test customers who’ve already tried your product. Then we’ll add that footage to your marketing video as testimonials.

With testimonials from real customers, you have a powerful way of speaking directly to your viewers. At the same time, create a narration style as if talking to a friend. Show some empathy for what your customers are likely going through rather than constantly mentioning how great your company is. Using proper integration of the personal and customer testimonials, the evidence will speak for itself how great you are. You’ve also taken the first step in nurturing more personal relationships with your customers by putting the spotlight on them.

If you need a marketing video for your business in Denver, you’re possibly instantly thinking of conventional production methods that everyone you know uses. This might mean a video telling about your background, taking a tour of your company, or introducing you and your staff. While these methods still work as methods of storytelling, another method is available as a new form of telling a story.

Here at Joyco, we’re getting many requests for how-to marketing videos where you tell a story about how your product works. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean focusing squarely on your product. Any type of how-to giving information that’s valuable to your customers is a popular trend.

How do you approach a how-to marketing video so it’s entertaining and not dull? We’ll help you create one and prove that a how-to is sometimes a compelling method in providing information your prospective customers can’t find anywhere else.

Demonstrating How Your Product Works

The most popular how-to method is showing real-time use of your product so those watching see proven results. If you have a product that provides results within a short period of time, doing a one-take demonstration of what it does is one of the best how-to methods. When you apply the result to a real-world situation, you bring a much more powerful marketing edge.

Making this how-to element successful is ably showing how easy it is to use your product. You’ll need a demonstrator who easily uses your product in an adept way without mistakes. In some cases, this could be yourself as the creator of the product, or an actor who’s learned how to use your product effectively.

A How-To with Useful Facts

Even if you don’t have a product and only a company service, providing entertaining facts in how-to format also works well. Whether it is in animation or live-action form, we’ll help you come up with entertaining ways to provide facts pertaining to what you offer. You can back up all your facts with testimonials from past customers, or factoids done in fun or humorous ways.
One of the most popular videos in this realm is by Blendtec where they put a guy in a lab coat and put a wide variety of things in their blender, some things would surprise you, take a look!

Keep in mind that Business2community.com points out that 70% of all beauty product buyers will view how-to videos this year to influence what they buy. Ultimately, any product works as long as you show demonstrable results.

Contact us at Joyco Productionsso we can create a powerful marketing video as a new and refreshing approach to introduce who you are and how to use your product or service.


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