Learn to Win that Deal with Killer Sales Playbooks

Kaitlyn Myers | Mar 22, 2015
You’re a quarterback and you’re down by five points. It’s fourth and goal at the seven yard line with 13 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. You need a touchdown for the win—you need a play.
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March Madness Bracket: The Sales Showdown

Anastasia Bogomolov | Mar 18, 2015
Ah, March. As the snow slowly begins to melt, we’re nearing the start of something exciting – March Madness! The annual National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournaments captivate millions, and with eyes and ears glued to the game, the countdown to who is the best of 68 college teams.
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The Sales Process is not Black and White but that dress is definitely Gold and White

Kaitlyn Myers | Mar 3, 2015
Late last week a picture of a dress was shared on Tumblr that innocently asked for opinions as to what color it was. Most people stood firmly in their belief - you were either #teamblueandblack or #teamwhiteandgold. Photo credit swiked
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A Getaway to Get Work Done

Kaitlyn Myers | Feb 27, 2015
It’s always about this time of year that I start planning a vacation. Especially with all this snow in Massachusetts…don’t even get me started. Such cold, dreary weather can take a lot out of a person.
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Relaxed & Ready with Qvidian Proposal Automation

Kathy Geraghty | Feb 25, 2015
What makes you sweat? For Laura Zaremba of Travel Leaders Corporate, it used to be completing RFPs (requests for proposals). 
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Can Your Sales Reps Handle these Four Key Buying Objections

[GUEST POST] Can Your Sales Reps Handle these Four Key Buying Objections?

Feb 25, 2015
Below is a guest post by Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder of Alinean, a developer of B2B value selling and marketing tools. www.alinean.com The ability for your reps to “handle objections” is a key to achieving 2015 sales success, this according to a recent interview of Jim Ninivaggi, Sales Enablement Practice Director for SiriusDecisions.
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Kroll Ontrack with Qvidian Proposal Automation

Kathy Geraghty | Feb 19, 2015
Kroll Ontrack knows nothing is more critical than effectively managing information in an effort to safeguard and improve business continuity, brand reputation and profitability. Since 1985, they have been dedicated to protecting data, while managing it for legal and regulatory demands. In their effort to continue to provide cutting edge services, they have selected Qvidian for their proposal automation needs.
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What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

Amanda Wilson | Feb 17, 2015
Our need to communicate is fundamental. We are fascinated by how past eras were able to effectively communicate with one another when contemporary tools were non-existent. We read old, hand-written letters, dig up cave drawings, listen to past recordings - completely enthralled in someone's need to share a thought, feeling, or idea with another.
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Situational Guidance is a Sales Pro's Caddy

David Blume | Feb 2, 2015
Pick any top golfer – what makes them so great? Natural ability, a strong desire to win, lots of practice, the best coaches, trainers, and equipment? Well, if you give me Phil Mickelson’s $3,000 clubs and I’ll still hack my way around. Give Phil my $300 set and he’ll still shoot a 70.
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Back to the future

Don’t Get Stuck in the Wrong Decade: Use the Right Tools to Win Today

Anastasia Bogomolov | Jan 30, 2015
Here’s a fun fact: In Back to the Future II (if you haven’t seen it…well, you’ve just succeeded in making me feel like dinosaur), Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel back to the future from 1985 to October 21, 2015.
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Where to start?

We Didn’t Know What We Didn’t Know

Kathy Geraghty | Jan 29, 2015
Have you ever had that terrible feeling? You were new at something, had to succeed, but you didn’t know where to start? In fact, you were so new, you knew you didn’t even know what you didn’t know. I have. I bet you have, too.
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GUEST POST: Storytelling: The Next Major Sales Operations Innovation by Arshad Carim

Jan 26, 2015
Below is a guest blog post from Arshad Carim, a Principal at Qvidian partner Alexander Group, on the role of Sales Operations as Storyteller. Does your Sales Operations team focus only on classic functions like data management, reporting, enablement tools, sales comp, quota, territories, and the like? Does your sales organization cull the right insights from data and reports created by Sales Ops?
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Fresh proposal content

How Fresh Are Your Sales Proposals? Expire the Outdated…

Anastasia Bogomolov | Jan 23, 2015
We all like to think we’re great at what we choose to do, at our day job. The work we engage in defines who we are, and much of the time we really are good at it – with practice we nail down our craft; boosting performance and confidence. And in the proposal world, you’ve deemed yourself a proposal Jedi, mastering your skill one submission at a time.
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Our Top 5 Blog Posts from 2014

Our Top 5 Blog Posts from 2014

Amanda Wilson | Jan 7, 2015
2014 was a year full of exciting happenings in the world of sales execution. Here at Qvidian, our thinking caps were glued on tight as we worked on creating timely blogs to keep you in the know. And just in case you missed any of our thought-provoking content, here’s a list of some top performers – enjoy!  
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New Years Resolution Post

From “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” to Success in 2015

Kaitlyn Myers | Dec 30, 2014
There are all sorts of clichés when it comes to ringing in the New Year, especially about resolutions. It’s a clean slate, a fresh start, “new year, new you”, yadda, yadda. For the most part, making that promise to yourself, even boasting about it with others, is a generally nice idea. Having a resolution makes us feel good about ourselves and our future – yes we can! Unfortunately, people don’t really work like that. Our personal lives have no stop or pause button, and and we slowly grow at the turn of each year the same way we do the rest of the year.
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3 Conversations to Get Do Nothing to Yes by Tom Pisello

GUEST POST: 3 Conversations to Get "Do Nothing" to "Yes" by Tom Pisello

Dec 22, 2014
Below is a guest post by Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder of Alinean, a developer of B2B value selling and marketing tools. www.alinean.com As your prospects begin and advance through their purchase decision making process, at each stage they have different motivation and need progressive guidance to advance through each step.
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It is time to Personalize Selling

We’re All Just People, People: It’s time to Personalize Selling

Amanda Wilson | Dec 15, 2014
We humans are a unique bunch, every single one of us. And while lumping like-minded individuals into groups is reasonable in cases of personal interests – (foodies, for instance, enjoy dining out, but that’s not always the case, with some preferring to play chef in the comfort of their own home) – doing so only touches upon the group collective, dismissing key characteristic differences expressed by billions of DNA cells.
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Serving the Customer Experience

Serving the Customer Experience

Christopher Faust | Dec 11, 2014
Sales is all about the experience. That is, to the buyer it is all about the experience. You might very well have the best product, even a well-defined methodology, but if anywhere in the selling process it breaks down and delivers anything other than a positive experience to your buyer – you’ve lost that customer for sure.
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Want insights? Theres a playbook for that

GUEST POST: Want insights? There’s a playbook for that

Dec 3, 2014
Below is another guest blog post from Kyle Uebelhor, a Director at Qvidian partner AGI, on sales process playbooks.
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Beware of Creating a Bigger Gap

Beware of Creating a Bigger Gap

Amanda Wilson | Dec 2, 2014
As a marketer, I read a LOT of content. I’m an uber-consumer of blogs, whitepapers, guides, infographics, videos and anything else you put out there. I’m reading to not only find nuggets of good intel to help me do my job tactically and challenge my thinking, but also to learn about our customers, prospects and general market environment to drive our marketing strategy. Oh and I also read the occasional real-world content - you know, news and such.
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Align your 2015 budget to your biggest Sales challenges

It’s Time to Work that…2015 Budget

Anastasia Bogomolov | Nov 25, 2014
How to effectively align your 2015 budget to your biggest challenges
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Shift the Sales Performance Curve

Shift the Performance Curve: Make Your Middle Sales Performers Incrementally Better

Christopher Faust | Nov 20, 2014
Today’s increasingly complex and diverse marketspace calls for sales organizations to look for new and creative approaches to improve sales execution strategies and advancing revenue growth. A surprisingly simple way to impact sales performance entails improving the output of your middle sales performers. But will improving the middle’s performance make a real and quantifiable difference? Let’s investigate…
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Dear CRM Lets Just Be Friends

Dear CRM, Let’s Just Be Friends...

Anastasia Bogomolov | Nov 13, 2014
Here’s the story: Customer relationship management (CRM) promised to change how you do business, improve how you sell, and more. Sellers believed that with this technology alone, they would have better relationships with their customers, and marvel at new and organic growth. While a CRM database is essential, it’s not necessarily fulfilling the vision communicated when it was first introduced.
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The Missing Piece to Annual Sales Kick Offs

The Missing Piece to Annual Sales Kick-offs

Amanda Wilson | Nov 10, 2014
Sales kick-off meetings…we’ve all attended them, and we’ve all experienced at least a few that were excruciatingly bad. Here’s the all too familiar rundown: Some kick-offs try too hard to come up with a memorable event or activity. The awkwardness spreads from anything like iron chef competitions with sales reps and managers running around with cutlery and meat in their hands – to those that become a lashing session for sales leaders, laced with threats of how things will change and reps better watch out. No extreme is good.
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Pitfalls to Avoid When Implementing Salesforce

Pitfalls to Avoid When Implementing Salesforce.com

Amanda Wilson | Nov 7, 2014
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 LIMRA Annual Meeting in New York City. As anticipated, the event was full of thought-provoking discussions around today’s evolving "social sharing" culture and leveraging big data for marketing, illuminating a commitment to market shifts in the financial services industry.
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The Selling Revolution Is Here

The Selling Revolution Is Here

Kaitlyn Myers | Oct 29, 2014
Powerful ideas are not a thing of the past. They’re a thing of unforeseen necessity – of the future. Consider some life-changing powerhouses: The telephone, the light bulb, the Beatles, and the iPhone...what do they have in common? Each came about from the need for something different, each embarked on a crusade to change the present, to the future. Each started a revolution.
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3 Ways Sales Operations Can Be More Strategic With Sales Leaders

3 Ways Sales Operations Can Be More Strategic With Sales Leaders

Amanda Wilson | Oct 27, 2014
The role of sales operations is continuing to evolve. A title you might not have even heard of 5 years ago is becoming a critical part of a sales organization and proving to be as important and strategic to a company as sales leaders themselves. But as with any evolving discipline, making the shift from tactical to strategic can be a challenge.
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Accept Change as Permanent

Accept Change as Permanent: Out with the Old, in with the New

Anastasia Bogomolov | Oct 21, 2014
Ah, change...You may have noticed that here at Qvidian we talk a lot about this word. We acknowledge that change can be seen as an overused theme calling for a vague form of action, but we disagree – we think about it differently.
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Return on Sales Enablement

GUEST POST: Return on Sales Enablement: The Adoption Challenge by Tom Pisello

Oct 16, 2014
Below is a guest post by Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder of Alinean, a developer of B2B value selling and marketing tools. www.alinean.com This weeks’ Dreamforce event, with some 135,000 attendees, brought home the enormous investment organizations make in their CRM solutions and sales reps. But also begs the question – is the large investment in CRM and sales enablement delivering an adequate payback?
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CRMs Achilles Heel

Repairing CRM’s Achilles’ Heel

Amanda Wilson | Oct 14, 2014
Thank you Venture Beat for exposing what seems to have been the elephant in the room no one wants to discuss. Salesforce.com’s announcement at Dreamforce about their upcoming sales analytics capabilities is exciting. But while CRM has evolved into a critical back-end system for data capturing, its unfulfilled promise of better selling and more accurate forecasting is the unicorn we’re all trying to catch.
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The importance of being RESPONSIVE

The Importance of Being RESPONSIVE

Anastasia Bogomolov | Oct 8, 2014
Let’s be real - generic and broad promotional messages are a waste of my time and yours. Our time is precious, and we’re all more than ready to move past the never-ending clutter of useless and untimely emails. Delete, delete, delete…We’re hungry for relevant and valuable conversations, expressed through mutual interest and a form of genuine personalization – what we’re after is a connection.
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CX Day Customer Experience

Empower Sales to Deliver a Better Customer Experience

Deirdre Sommerkamp | Oct 7, 2014
Happy Customer Experience Day! I am celebrating the second annual CX Day with other CX professionals across the globe – over 2,800 of them! It seems like yesterday I was writing about the first annual CX Day and the critical role sales plays in Customer Experience (CX). CX awareness has certainly increased over the past year.
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Kickin It New School Less Content More Personalization

Kickin’ It New School: Less Content, More Personalization

Anastasia Bogomolov | Oct 1, 2014
In today’s age of information overload, content isn’t difficult to come by – it’s everywhere, in all forms. And the more content you consume, the more knowledge you digest…right? Personally, I’m not so sure. Instead, I often find that the seemingly endless stream of information is overwhelming, contradictory, and plain old wrong – leading to a diluted conclusion as opposed to the possibility of informed analysis. I’m not alone in this conundrum.
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Spreading the Love: Qvidian Welcomes New Customers to the Family

Alex Schutte | Sep 29, 2014
We’ve had a great year so far here at Qvidian; recording almost a 100% increase in net new customer sales compared to the first-half of 2013, and pushing out big, innovative releases for Qvidian Proposal Automation and Qvidian Sales Playbooks
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Adding compelling value

The Art and Science of Compelling Value with Dr. Tom Sant

Dr. Tom Sant | Sep 26, 2014
We all know it – the magic word in selling in today’s increasingly complex marketplace is value. They say that providing value cures all problems. Such stresses as price pressure, intense competition, slow sales cycles, shrinking margin all poof and disappear with the presence of value…right?
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Revolutionize Our Thinking

Let’s Revolutionize Our Thinking

Lewis Miller | Sep 25, 2014
As we all try and grasp this innovative age of buying and selling, we see the typical analysts' and industry experts' contributions to an early stage market. The objective is to write their way of thinking on the market to help shape how we see the goals, challenges, and solutions we struggle to articulate to put substance to an intangible concept.
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Be More Than a Hero

Be More Than a Hero

Lewis Miller | Sep 18, 2014
The first half of 2014 is officially in our rear-view mirror, and the end of Q3 is fast approaching. Sales leaders can be found pulling in last minute deals to make their numbers all over the globe. When asked if he was going to make his number for the end of Q3, a sales VP at a large technology firm said, “I just need to work with ‘Mike’ to pull in two big deals. He’s the guy to get things over the finish line.”
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Dear CRM, It’s Not You... It’s Me

Alex Schutte | Sep 11, 2014
Here’s the story: Customer relationship management (CRM) promised to change how you do business, improve how you sell, and more. Sellers believed that with this technology alone, they would have better relationships with their customers, and marvel at new and organic growth. While a CRM database is essential, it’s not necessarily fulfilling the vision communicated when it was first introduced. Here we go… Qvidian has received another anonymous letter. Things are getting complicated with CRM. Are you in the same boat? Send us your stories.
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Leadership matters – a lot. But it’s not that simple.

Anastasia Bogomolov | Sep 4, 2014
Yes, leadership matters. A successful leader possesses a variety of qualities that range – in no particular order – from integrity to confidence to decisiveness to the ability to delegate to positivity… the list can go on and on. And thanks to escalating content overload, the list does in fact go on and on, so much so that it’s now quite literally swarming with enough overused traits to arouse the curiosity of… Bueller… Bueller?
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Change Happens

Change Happens. Put it to Work in Your Sales Organization.

Amanda Wilson | Aug 29, 2014
In today’s evolving business environment, change happens more quickly than ever. And given the increasing complexity of the technology landscape and escalating competition, companies simply can’t afford to be stymied by each change they encounter – to survive, they must identify a way to harness changes and use them for the good of their bottom line.
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Executive Summaries: The Least Understood Part of Proposals

Executive Summaries: The Least Understood Part of Proposals

Steve Snow | Aug 28, 2014
Perhaps it’s the name that confuses us—Executive Summary. We hone in on the word summary, when the real focus should be on the word executive. Personally, I prefer the term Executive Overview.
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Rest and Relaxation

Rest and Relaxation: Your Sales Execution Secret Weapon

Anastasia Bogomolov | Aug 21, 2014
R & R – one underutilized letter (used twice) that packs a ton of necessity. While rest and relaxation isn’t always readily available in the U.S. (our friends in Europe tend to be a bit more fortunate in that department), clearing the mind of all that keeps us up at night is essential for the sanity of well…everyone.
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Keys to a Successful Technology Implementation

7 Keys to a Successful Technology Implementation [Part 2]

Aug 19, 2014
Here’s Part 2 from Qvidian customer, Bo Crader, Principal Consultant at Blackbaud, on how to successfully implement a new technology solution at your company. Be sure to check out his first three steps from Part 1!
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Refresh. Refocus. Review.

Refresh. Refocus. Review. Check-in on Sales Kick-off Initiatives

Kaitlyn Myers | Aug 15, 2014
It’s that time of the year again – the summertime calm before the start of the fall storm. And similar to those long past back-to-school jitters (sigh – the good ol’ days), the days and months ahead promise to both excite and overwhelm. You’ve set a good deal of meaningful and achievable goals and objectives in the beginning of the year (you motivated the reps, recognized top performers, communicated the company plan, trained the team well, and so on – you did it all!) – and everything seemed underway. There was real momentum in the air, and it wasn’t just you feeling it.
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the Need for Dynamic Guided Selling is NOW

Let’s All Agree – the Need for Dynamic Guided Selling is NOW

Amanda Wilson | Aug 5, 2014
Information overload is a thing of the present and future, creating pickier consumers and accelerating the need for superior customer service. SiriusDecisions published an excellent blog post last week detailing the need for dynamic guided selling – and we couldn’t agree more.
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7 Keys to a Successful Technology Implementation

7 Keys to a Successful Technology Implementation [Part 1]

Alex Schutte | Aug 1, 2014
There are more tools, technologies, and software applications in the marketplace than ever before; all waiting to solve the myriad of business challenges nagging you when you rest your sleepy eyes at night. Salesforce.com on its own has over 2,000 apps in its AppExchange with over 2 million app installs.
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Selecting Sales Technology Is like Ordering from the Cheesecake Factory

Selecting Sales Technology Is like Ordering from the Cheesecake Factory

Kaitlyn Myers | Jul 31, 2014
While on site visits last week, some of the Qvidian marketing team did what they do best: worked hard, played hard, and in the process, ate their way through enough sizzlin’ Southern cuisine to leave any foodie in a delightfully guilt-ridden coma. When asked what was on our plates, we couldn’t recall – just a whole lot of everything tasty.
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The Perfect Pitch

The Perfect Pitch: Making Your Point Clearly and Persuasively with Dr. Tom Sant

Kaitlyn Myers | Jul 24, 2014
Ever feel stuck on how to deliver a corporate capabilities presentation that engages the customer and opens deep conversations? What about differentiating yourself from the competition without coming across as self-centered? These are tough challenges but not impossible (yes, really!)
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Top 5 power words to use in selling documents

Top 5 Power Words to Use in Selling Documents

Kalli Gilbert | Jul 21, 2014
What’s in a word? Aside from the visual, communication is pretty much our only means of expression, and without words (written, spoken…what have you), our unique personas would certainly pack a lot less originality. And frankly, it’s fruitless to denounce words – they hold too much power.
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3 Ways to Prep Your Sales Team World Cup Style

3 Ways to Prep Your Sales Team – World Cup Style

Kaitlyn Myers | Jul 11, 2014
We’re just days away sports fans – the 2014 World Cup is in its final round! While the entire world waited for four excruciatingly long years, no one was more excited (and anxious) than the teams themselves. The World Cup is the biggest sporting event on Earth. The players feel it. The coaches feel it. 32 teams qualified – that may seem like a lot, but qualifying started over 3 years ago with over 200 teams fighting to represent their nations in Brazil. This part of the journey is arguably more difficult than the Cup itself.
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The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of the Parts

David Blume | Jul 2, 2014
Is selling an art or science? What about buying? I’m favoring art. That doesn’t mean you can’t codify and make elements of each process repeatable and measurable, but we’re dealing with human interactions and that throws a wrench in the works. As buyers we just don’t have the time to rationally assess and scrutinize every available option. And, sometimes we make illogical decisions. Even in the world of the consensus purchase, more primal, binary decision-making ‘rules of thumb’ or heuristics take over.
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Customization CAN drive ROI in Repeatable Sales Processes

Customization CAN drive ROI in Repeatable Sales Processes

Lewis Miller | Jun 26, 2014
Here at Qvidian, we firmly believe that the most effective leaders prepare their teams for success through a personalized selling experience. A large component of this stems from automation – however, our philosophy is that automation has the largest impact on ROI when implemented strategically with select processes and activities.
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Sales Cycles lengthening

GUEST POST: Longer Sales Cycles Drive Need for Change by Tom Pisello

Jun 24, 2014
Below is a guest post by Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder of Alinean, a developer of B2B value selling and marketing tools. www.alinean.com Sales cycles are taking longer than ever, lengthening by 24% over the past two years, this according to research by SiriusDecisions.
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Stop Selling Me

Stop Selling Me, I Want to Buy

Christopher Faust | Jun 10, 2014
We had a second meeting with a potential vendor recently as we’ve been seeking to implement a series of strategic sales initiatives. We had a very specific set of requirements, fully budgeted, and did our due diligence to identify the right potential partners.
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Sales Playbooks Toolkit

GUEST POST: The Essentials of Every Sales Leader’s Toolkit & How Playbooks Enhance Them by Eric Maurer

Jun 5, 2014
So your vision is set and you think you have a clear plan to achieve yet another “breakthrough” growth objective handed to you from the executive suite. Now you need to capture the minds and hearts of your sales team.
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Seeing the Possibilities: Increase Sales with a New Outlook

Kaitlyn Myers | Jun 3, 2014
The Belmont Stakes is coming up, and I’ve got horses and races on my mind. Especially all of the sights and sounds of Belmont: silks, carnations, blinders, and hooves on dirt. But blinders are interesting. Some jockeys use them to try and help their horses ignore the stands and all of their people and noise in order to focus on only what’s in front of them.
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Transform sales

Transform or Die - Reflection on SiriusDecisions Summit

Amanda Wilson | May 28, 2014
The Q team just returned from three days of sessions and conversations at SiriusDecision’s Summit in Orlando, FL. Besides the typical content-packed agenda of events like this, this year featured an award gala where Sirius clients were recognized for their achievements in driving change and ROI at their companies. The closing of the gala featured the entertainment of Eddie Money and various other stars from the 80s playing favorites like, “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take me Home Tonight”.
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Announcing Qvidian Proposal Automation Spring 2014

Latest Innovation from Qvidian

Karen Meyer | May 22, 2014
This week, the Qvidian team deployed the Spring 2014 Release of Qvidian Proposal Automation. This was a major milestone in our product roadmap vision - this release was entirely focused on the user.  With a brand new interface, this release drives collaboration within sales and proposal teams, as well as streamlines workflows for creating personalized sales documents faster than ever.  
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Perfect Execution

Improving Customer Experience (CX) Through Better Sales Execution

Deirdre Sommerkamp | May 20, 2014
I attended the CXPA Insight Exchange last week in Atlanta. As an active member of the CXPA, early adopter and practitioner of Customer Experience (CX), there is nothing better than being with my fellow members who deeply desire to advance CX management practices and develop, manage, optimize and envision how organizations interact with their customers.
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Punctuation: The Roadmap for Clear Writing

Steve Snow | May 16, 2014
Have you ever driven cross-country? How hard would it be to get from L.A. to NYC if there were no road signs or highway markings? There’s no telling where you might end up! Punctuation is the roadmap that helps readers navigate from point-A to point-B in your sales proposals and sales correspondence. 
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Breaking News Buyers Have Changed

BREAKING NEWS: Buyers Have Changed

Amanda Wilson | May 14, 2014
Is anyone else tired of hearing “the buying journey has changed?” It seems like every article or blog I read about shifting the sales and marketing approach all begins with that statement. We then go through a myriad of data points that support that statement to prove its right. And I’m part of the problem - guarantee you can pull up a few of my old blog posts or bylines and pull that line from one or two.
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importance of insight led selling

Insight Selling: the Critical Role of Sales Operations

David Blume | Apr 29, 2014
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a great sales forum in Chicago hosted by one of our partners, the Alexander Group (AGI). The event centered on the importance of insight led selling with an emphasis on the role the sales operations functions plays to support this shift in behavior.
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Agile selling

The Agile Selling Imperative

Amanda Wilson | Apr 23, 2014
Today’s sales teams are overburdened with the information they need in order to be successful. In an ever-evolving marketplace, buyers have evolved – but sales teams haven’t. The result is sales enablement and operations teams create more content and provide more information to sales teams who just don’t have time to sort through it all.
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4 phases

GUEST POST: The Four Phases of Best Practice Sales Operations Organizations by Matt Greenstein

Apr 17, 2014
Sales Operations, Commercial Excellence, Sales Enablement…whatever the group is called in your organization, the charter remains consistent: Make the sales organization more productive. However, Sales Operations must evolve with the business or risk being marginalized. Sales Operations evolves with the size, complexity and maturity of the business.
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Using Words with Purpose

Using Words with Purpose: Purposeful Language for Powerful Proposals

Steve Snow | Apr 15, 2014
What’s in a word…a phrase…a sentence…a paragraph? Frankly, quite a lot. Language is more than spelling, punctuation, sentence structure and grammatical phrasing. Language is about tone, feeling, understanding; effectively communicating ideas and thoughts with other human beings.
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Connect 2014

Highlights from Connect 2014 Sales Success Conference

Kaitlyn Myers | Apr 4, 2014
Earlier this week, Connect 2014 Sales Success Conference was held in sunny Orlando, Florida (which was a nice break from the cold winter we’ve had!). There was so much energy and excitement from the attendees and we hope everyone was able to continue the momentum!
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The Value Gap Alinean Guest Post

GUEST POST: Improving Value Conversations Essential to Sales Execution By Tom Pisello

Mar 25, 2014
Below is a guest post by Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder of Alinean, a developer of B2B value selling and marketing tools. www.alinean.com
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Accelerating Sales Rep Ramp Up

Accelerating Sales Rep Ramp-Up: 3 Strategic Approaches

Amanda Wilson | Mar 21, 2014
Sales is the only profession where we hire someone and expect them to not be fully productive for anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Can you imagine hiring an engineer who didn’t contribute code for that long? How about an accountant who couldn’t do your taxes this year - but next year will be ready to go.
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Don’t Use Content as a Substitute for a Conversation

Amanda Wilson | Mar 14, 2014
Organizations have been “enabling” sales teams with collateral and sales tools to the point of burdening them with too much information, never mind where to find all that content. There is a multitude of sales and marketing collateral loaded into a sales portal or intranet site, and countless hours are put into creating, editing, and producing this content. It becomes incredibly difficult to know if sales teams have even used the content and how effective it really is. Every sales organization has a similar story:
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Customer Hydration

Customer Hydration

Karen Meyer | Mar 10, 2014
Headed back from another great Forrester Sales Enablement Forum in sunny AZ and feeling an energy similar to what I experienced at last year’s forum. It’s a little different though. I started this year with two New Year’s resolutions: 1) drink more water and 2) understand our customers better. I’m happy to report I’m doing relatively well on both fronts. Both experiences, however, have been total eye openers for me.
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Customer Centric Communications

Customer-Centric Communications

Dr. Tom Sant | Mar 5, 2014
One of the all-time classic TV ads was the one for Wendy’s hamburgers where elderly Clara Peller lifted the bun, squinted at what she saw, and then bellowed, “Where’s the beef?” Great ad. Good question. It’s one that senior executives often ask themselves when they see canned presentations or boilerplate proposals from sales people. And they typically react by dismissing the sales person or tuning out the presentation.
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Innovators in Financial Services Crush Sales Execution Challenges

Innovators in Financial Services Crush Sales Execution Challenges

Amanda Wilson | Feb 26, 2014
In a previous post, I outlined the trends affecting financial services organizations today, and the impact they’ve had on sales, marketing and distribution teams. Since then, I’ve attended the annual LIMRA Distribution Conference for Financial Services and was able to speak with many leaders dealing with these challenges first hand.
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Chasing the Chirp

Chasing the Chirp

Christopher Faust | Feb 25, 2014
I woke up in the middle of the night recently to the insane and elusive chirping sound of a rogue smoke detector. I’m sure we have all experienced this at some point in life, and if you haven’t, I truly envy you. It’s the sound the smoke detector in your home will make when it desires a replacement battery. This vexes me to no end, that there could be a multitude of alternatives to solve the problem, but manufacturers stay with their status quo delivering the same products every year.
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Would Your Reps Score a Gold Medal in Sales Execution?

Would Your Reps Score a Gold Medal in Sales Execution?

Kaitlyn Myers | Feb 19, 2014
Just like in the Olympics, sales teams face big victories, and many times, defeat. There are times when everything seems to go right and then BAM! There’s a snafu and the deal stalls out or falls through. The conditions may have worsened – budget cuts, turnover, reorganization, competing vendors – but there still may be ways to have a successful run. Even in 60 degree weather, despite melting snow and ice, and malfunctioning bathrooms, Olympians are still managing to medal in Sochi. How do you overcome such adversities that are out of your control?
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Don't leave love or your sales goals to chance

Don’t Leave Love—or Your Sales Goals—to Chance

Kaitlyn Myers | Feb 14, 2014
Love is in the air—are your sales numbers too? Believe it or not, there are lessons from today’s slightly over-produced holiday (Valentine’s Day) that we can apply to effective sales execution.
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GUEST POST: Sales Playbooks Series: Three Playbook Pitfalls to Avoid - by Kyle Uebelhor of AGI

Feb 13, 2014
Below is another guest blog post from Kyle Uebelhor, a Director at Qvidian partner AGI, on three of the most common playbook pitfalls to avoid.
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Sales Execution Challenge in Financial Services

The Sales Execution Challenge in Financial Services

Amanda Wilson | Feb 6, 2014
There are unique sales challenges facing the financial services industry today. Advisors are under pressure to respond to a consumer audience that is more educated and empowered than ever. However, the industry as a whole has been laggard at adopting new sales practices and tools to enable agents to make that shift successfully. Even so, the market continues to be in growth mode as baby boomers continue to age and require more life insurance and retirement products as part of their overall financial plans.
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Sales Coaching Reinforcement

Principles of Effective Sales Coaching and Reinforcement

Dr. Tom Sant | Feb 5, 2014
Recent research into adult learning, information processing and skill development has shown that individuals learn to function in real-world settings and make effective decisions about how to execute their role when they have been properly coached. Effective coaching addresses the three chronological phases that people go through as they learn to execute a new skill:
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Groundhog Day - Are you Changing, or Doing the Same Day After Day?

Kaitlyn Myers | Jan 31, 2014
So here we are again - the second day of February. A rather under-celebrated holiday known as Groundhog Day. A day only of importance to Punxsutawney Phil. You may recall the Bill Murray movie from the 90's where it satirizes that concept of the same things happening every day, day after day...
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The Sales Execution Challenge

The Sales Execution Challenge - How Do You Measure Up? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Christopher Faust | Jan 30, 2014
As you may have read in our Sales Execution Trends report many organizations are shifting from maintenance mode to growth mode in 2014 and therefore looking beyond sales enablement and towards sales execution to meet their goals. Check out our infographic below to see how you measure up in The Sales Execution Challenge.
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Overcoming Obstacles of Sales Execution

Looking Ahead to NYC Regional Sales Event

Amanda Wilson | Jan 23, 2014
Last quarter, I announced Qvidian’s regional executive event series, “Overcoming Obstacles of Sales Execution” that kicked off in Palo Alto, CA in December. Networking, discussion and a cocktail or two turned into a great evening full of strategies and tactics on how to address the gap between strategy and sales execution.
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Sales & Marketing Collaboration

GUEST POST: Eight Shortcuts to More Successful Sales & Marketing Collaboration by Matt Heinz

Jan 16, 2014
Below is a guest post from Matt Heinz, originally published on the PointClear blog The concept of getting sales & marketing to work more closely together isn’t new. It’s been an issue, if not a focus area, for as long as sales and marketing teams have been working together (at least in theory) to drive predictable, sustainable growth for their business.
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Challenger Selling Model

New Year, New Challengers

Amanda Wilson | Jan 14, 2014
This time of year, we have the privilege of hearing what our customers are planning for their sales kick off meeting and what they hope to achieve. I love hearing everyone’s plans - some pick themes: “Refuse to Lose,” “Swing for the Fences,” or “Reach for the Stars” are some I’ve heard lately. There are always the giveaways - t-shirts, mousepads, hats, pens, golf shirts, etc. And then all the events and activities to generate buzz and excitement. Casino night anyone?
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Just-in-time Knowledge

Just-in-time Knowledge - Creating a Reactive Selling System

Dr. Tom Sant | Jan 9, 2014
When you get a canned email or direct mail piece, you know what it is instantly.  Even if the sender has woven your name through the piece, it still sounds “off.”  There’s a distinct aroma to boilerplate that most of us can sniff out pretty quickly. And yet many companies arm their sales people with boilerplate presentation decks and boilerplate sales messages.  Do they work?  Of course not.  Most executives will resent being expected to sit through a boilerplate presentation.  They take it as a sign of laziness, incompetence, disrespect, or ignorance. 
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What's So Hard About Sales Execution

What's So Hard About Sales Execution?

Lewis Miller | Jan 3, 2014
We have engaged with hundred's of sales leaders over the past year in direct selling situations, through our sales performance surveys, and at sales leader conferences and forums. These conversations have led us to a number of compelling and consistent trends regarding the difficulty with effective sales execution.
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New Years Resolutions

New Year, New Start: Resolve to Have More Conversations

Kaitlyn Myers | Jan 2, 2014
So with the close of 2013 and the arrival of 2014, there are all sorts of promises (dare I call them resolutions?) as we all look toward the fresh start of a new year. What am I resolving to do this year? It’s applicable to both the selling world and personal life: I’m promising to have more conversations.
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Connect 2014 Conference

Register for Qvidian’s Connect Sales Success Conference 2014!

Kaitlyn Myers | Dec 30, 2013
As an event planner, there are many questions we ask when planning a conference. Where should we have the event? What food should we serve? How many people should we expect? And, the list goes on and on. But this year, the most important question we asked ourselves was, “How can we build a kick-butt agenda with thought-provoking sessions that provide sales enablement leaders with valuable, real-world ideas they can put to work immediately?”
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Qvidian's Sales Execution Trends survey

Survey Says: Sales Organizations Growing, but Hindered by Sales Execution Challenges

Christopher Faust | Dec 17, 2013
We recently surveyed over two hundred sales leaders from around the world and came away with some very interesting data. Our annual Sales Execution Trends survey looks at key objectives for sales organizations, challenges and obstacles faced to meet those objectives, current conditions, and investment areas needed to improve sales execution.
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Stop Enabling and Start Executing

Stop Enabling and Start Executing: Value-add Conversations

Amanda Wilson | Dec 11, 2013
I used to be an enabler. Now I know better.
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Killer Sales Kickoffs: How to Make Them Stick

Killer Sales Kickoffs: How to Make Them Stick

Amanda Wilson | Dec 9, 2013
It’s that time of year again! Quarter close, holidays, year-end close, 2014 planning, and annual sales kickoff time! I for one love sales kick-offs. Maybe it's the natural networker in me, maybe it's the buzz you get - regardless, it starts the year off with positive momentum and excitement that sends the troops out ready to rock the year.
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Salesforce.com Dreamforce 13 and Sales Execution

Dreamforce & Sales Execution

Amanda Wilson | Dec 6, 2013
It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks! It’s event season and Qvidian has been busy around the world attending some of the leading business and sales events, talking to leaders from all industries. Most recently, we returned from Dreamforce, Salesforce.com’s annual user conference that drew an astounding 130,000 attendees this year. It's the type of event that is as much a spectacle as it is full of networking and learning.
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Sales Force is Under-Utilized

GUEST POST: Warning, Your Sales Force is Under-Utilized

Lewis Miller | Dec 4, 2013
With the year winding down, how many of your sales reps will hit their annual number? For most organizations, their sales force is drastically under-utilized. Below is a guest blog post from Paul Vinogradov, Vice President at AGI, on ways to optimize the utilization of your sales force.
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Best in Biz Award

Qvidian Wins Best in Biz 2013 Award for Enterprise Product of the Year – Software

Lewis Miller | Nov 22, 2013
I’m proud and excited to announce that Qvidian was named a silver winner in the “Enterprise Product of the Year – Software” category in the 2013 Best in Biz Awards, the only independent business awards program judged by members of the press and industry analysts.
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Sales Execution

Increasing Value Through Improved Sales Execution

Amanda Wilson | Nov 20, 2013
We are proud to have been a part of the Alexander Group’s Chief Sales Executive Annual Forum this past week. It was a great event packed full of sessions focused around this year’s theme - recognizing Value Creators.
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Sales Playbooks Mobile

Announcing Qvidian’s Sales Playbooks & Analytics Fall Release

Karen Meyer | Nov 12, 2013
Introducing Sales Playbooks iPad app! I’m excited to announce our Sales Playbooks & Analytics Fall Release and Qvidian’s Sales Playbooks iPad app. We’ve spent a lot of time talking with our customers, learning from Sales Executives, observing sales organizations, and developing this new functionality; I hope you’re as excited about these new features as we are!
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App Fever

The Mobile Workforce & Why You Should Care [INFOGRAPHIC]

Karen Meyer | Nov 8, 2013
The rise in popularity of the “Anytime, Anywhere” worker was profiled earlier this year in a Forrester study (2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends) and it's growing at a rapid pace.
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Sales effectiveness

Moving from Sales Efficiency to Sales Effectiveness

Dr. Tom Sant | Nov 6, 2013
Sales systems have focused primarily on making the sales person and—more typically—sales management more efficient.  That is, they have enabled people to handle larger volumes of data, keep track of more deals, communicate quicker, develop more accurate forecasts, and so on.  These are the typical benefits promised by various kinds of workflow automation systems worldwide.  They are the benefits of greater efficiency. What they haven't done is help people sell better.  That is, they haven't provided the tools the sales person needs to close deals.
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A Sales Rep’s Worst Nightmare

Kaitlyn Myers | Oct 31, 2013
Boo! As the end of October nears, it seems that talk of costumes, candy, and pumpkins is everywhere. However, it can also bring up tales of the supernatural, hauntings, and serial killers with serious mommy issues. That got myself and Alex Schutte (part of the marketing team here at the Q) thinking: What would be a sales person’s worst nightmare? Check out our recap of 4 popular horror films and TV shows with our take on how it may or may not relate to the life of a sales rep. Turns out, it’s not so bad in the office after all!
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Recognizing the Value of Proposals (& Proposal Managers!): Lessons from the UK APMP Conference

Jamie Davies | Oct 29, 2013
Last week, I joined Qvidian Account Manager, Steve Ransom, to meet delegates and members of the APMP UK at their annual conference just outside Cirencester. It is worth highlighting that the UK arm of the APMP has grown by 58% which is the biggest growth of any chapter in the APMP. The conference attracted a record number of attendees and was themed around “Capture Strategy – The Moves to Win”. A common topic of conversation was for companies to recognize the value and quality that a good proposal/response will bring to sales.
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Connect, Discuss, and Network at Qvidian Regional Events

Amanda Wilson | Oct 25, 2013
Anyone who knows me, knows I love any reason to network and spend time with my peers - especially if there’s a glass of wine involved! So I’m excited to announce two regional events we are hosting, designed for senior sales leaders to network and discuss key issues around effective sales execution.
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Sales Execution Harder Than Ever in Healthcare (Insurance)

Amanda Wilson | Oct 21, 2013
The healthcare industry seems to be in a constant state of change. The impact of federal and state regulations forces healthcare providers and insurers to be more nimble and agile than ever before. This makes successful sales execution seem like a monumental task. As I speak to more sales and marketing people in this sector, I sense the growing frustration just trying to keep up. So I thought I’d share a few tips from our customers on how they’ve been able to stay ahead in this environment:
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The Changing Perception of the RFP Manager (and why it’s required!) – Recap from LIMRA RFP Round Table

David Blume | Oct 17, 2013
Last week, I joined Qvidian Account Executive Mike Cioce to meet with members of the LIMRA RFP Round Table to discuss the latest and greatest in the proposal automation world affecting the insurance and financial services industry. It was a very open conversation with sharing best practices, current trends, and the business impact of being an RFP Manager.
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Smarter Sales Analytics for a More Effective Sales Team

Alex Schutte | Oct 14, 2013
Last week, Qvidian attended the Sales Management Association’s annual Sales Force Productivity Conference in Atlanta, GA. The consensus was… selling isn’t getting any easier any time soon… but savvy sales leaders can take advantage of analytics and data to improve sales effectiveness and make smarter decisions like never before.
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Changing How We Change – Thoughts from the CEB Sales & Marketing Summit

Amanda Wilson | Oct 11, 2013
Earlier this week, some of the Qvidian team (myself included) participated in the Corporate Executive Board’s Sales & Marketing Summit out in Las Vegas.  Change was an underlying theme throughout the conference.  Dealing with both internal change (your sales force, management) and external change (more educated buyers, the changing buying environment) is becoming standard and not an anomaly. 
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Dealing with the Informed Customer

Dr. Tom Sant | Oct 9, 2013
One of the major changes in the business-to-business marketplace over the past 20 years has been a dramatic shift in the balance of knowledge from the seller to the buyer.  Thanks to the Internet and the various search tools available on it, many buyers know a lot more about the vendors than the vendors do about the prospective customer.  In fact, a recent Corporate Executive Board study of more than 1,400 B2B customers found that they completed nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision on average before having a single conversation with a supplier.
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Fast lane

GUEST POST: Sales Playbooks Series: Onboarding Playbooks – Put your new hires in the express lane by Kyle Uebelhor of AGI

Oct 3, 2013
Below is another guest blog post from Kyle Uebelhor, a Director at AGI, on using Onboarding Sales Playbooks to ramp up new hires more quickly.
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Fast lane

GUEST POST: Sales Playbooks Series: Onboarding Playbooks – Put your new hires in the express lane

Lewis Miller | Oct 3, 2013
Below is another guest blog post from Kyle Uebelhor, a Director at AGI, on using Onboarding Sales Playbooks to ramp up new hires more quickly.
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Customer Experience & the Critical Role Sales Plays

Deirdre Sommerkamp | Oct 1, 2013
Today is the first annual CX Day, a global celebration of companies and people that are creating great experiences for customers. CX Day received official U.S. Congressional recognition, and I could not be happier. We have accomplished a great deal!
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Transformative Change in the Sales Force with Dr. Tom Sant: Webinar Recap

Kaitlyn Myers | Sep 27, 2013
In our recent webinar with Dr Tom Sant, he discussed Transformative Change in the Sales Force: Overcoming the Barriers to Success. His discussion kicked off with four challenges around resisting change. Many people resist change - whether it’s a change in our life or changing the way we work.
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Connect logo

Have a great story? We want to hear it at Connect 2014!

Kaitlyn Myers | Sep 26, 2013
We’re already hard at work preparing for next year’s Connect: Sales Success Conference 2014 event coming up the end of March. Orlando will be the host for two days packed with sessions centered around delivering value to sales organizations through process, content, and technology. (General registration will open in November – stay tuned for more details!)
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Resistance to Change

Resistance to Change - Combat the Fear of the Unknown

Dr. Tom Sant | Sep 17, 2013
Thirty years ago when libraries began to digitize their holdings, librarians and patrons alike complained about the change. A research study into the effects of library automation by Sarah Fine found widespread resistance to replacing the old card catalog with a computerized database of holdings. As she wrote then, "human beings tend to resist change, even when change represents growth and development….[leading to] greater efficiency and productivity."
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Jumpstart Playbooks

GUEST POST: Sales Playbooks Series: Jumpstart Playbooks – Energize Your Change

Lewis Miller | Sep 13, 2013
Below is another guest blog post from Kyle Uebelhor, a Director at AGI, on using Jumpstart Playbooks to energize your sales teams. Check out their last posts on sales coaching playbooks and the cornerstones for great playbook design.
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Sales Coaching - Clipboard

GUEST POST: Coaching Sales Reps out of Slumps?

David Blume | Sep 10, 2013
Below is a guest blog post from Michael Boyette of Top Sales Blog on how to coach sales reps out of slumps. No matter how good your reps are, they're bound to hit a rut every now and then. Continue reading for some great coaching tips from Michael.
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Twin Pillars of Sales Success

Twin Pillars of Sales Success: AGI Webinar Recap

Amanda Wilson | Sep 5, 2013
Last week, we organized a live webinar discussion focused on the Twin Pillars of Sales Success: Vision & Execution with Eric Maurer and Kyle Uebelhor of the Alexander Group and hosted by Dr.
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Vince Lombardi

GUEST POST: Sales Playbooks Series: Coaching Playbooks – Blaze the Way

Lewis Miller | Aug 22, 2013
Below is a guest blog post from Kyle Uebelhor, a Director at AGI, on sales coaching playbooks. “Leaders are made, they are not born.” – Vince Lombardi
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Barriers Sales Process

New Research on Sales Process Adoption & Usage from the SMA

Kaitlyn Myers | Aug 21, 2013
We were excited to be part of a recent webinar hosted by the Sales Management Association (SMA) last week. This lively discussion covered updated research on Sales Process Adoption and Usage. Qvidian President Lewie Miller joined other industry experts to discuss how sales processes are acknowledged as critical to success, but the discipline to implement and enforce vary widely by organization.
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Change is hard

Managing Change in the Sales Organization

Dr. Tom Sant | Aug 7, 2013
Bringing about change in a sales organization is one of the most difficult jobs in management. Let me share three quick anecdotes that illustrate the point, and then offer some observations about what we might learn from them: Desperation in Dayton After buying National Manufacturing and renaming it National Cash Register, John Henry Patterson found he had a problem. He was going broke. Retailers saw no reason to buy a complex, expensive cash register to use in their businesses.
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Playbook Cornerstones

GUEST POST: Cornerstones for Great Sales Playbook Design

Lewis Miller | Jul 29, 2013
Below is a guest blog post from Kyle Uebelhor, a Director at AGI, on the four principles for great sales playbook design. So you want a sales playbook? You’ve realized that a well-designed sales playbook is key to helping you execute your strategic vision and tackle these common sales conundrums:
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Top 5 "Messages That Matter" from Dr. Tom Sant

Dr. Tom Sant | Jul 24, 2013
Big News! Dr. Tom Sant’s popular newsletter, Messages that Matter is getting a new home over at Qvidian’s Sales iQ Blog! We’ll continue to email you links to Tom’s blog posts in the coming weeks, but be sure to sign up for Qvidian’s Sales iQ Blog so you don’t miss any of Tom’s great tips!
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Cloud Computing

What the Shift to The Cloud Means for Sales Leaders

Karen Meyer | Jul 19, 2013
Let’s talk about The Cloud. I am unaware of a more overused and misunderstood term in software than “The Cloud”. It has come to mean anything and everything, from panacea to menace and all places in between. And Qvidian is a provider of “cloud-based” SaaS solutions!
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Sales Vision

GUEST POST: Sales Playbooks Make Your Kick Off Vision a Reality

Lewis Miller | Jul 17, 2013
Last October, Qvidian announced a new partnership with leading sales management consulting firm, the Alexander Group (AGI), coupling AGI’s best-in-class sales process consulting with Qvidian’s Sales Playbooks & Analytics cloud-based application. Below is a guest blog post from Eric Maurer, a Vice President and Region Leader at AGI, on how sales playbooks can make your sales vision a reality.
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Introducing Qvidian Innovation Days

Karen Meyer | Jul 1, 2013
Here at Qvidian, we have long held the belief that innovation—true innovation—does not come from "the top", but rather comes from the ideas of the folks that create and work with the product on a day-to-day basis. All of our employees—regardless of role—have some cool little idea that they have been bouncing around in their head; maybe a product idea, or a way to make your (or somebody else's) job more efficient, or a process improvement to the way that we do our day-to-day.
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Driving Change to Build a Value-Based Sales Culture

Amanda Wilson | Jun 27, 2013
Last week, I attended the Alexander Group’s (AGI) regional forum in New York City. An intimate event, it brought together sales leaders from some of the most recognized brands—GE, Pfizer, and Covidien among others. The AGI team provided compelling topics and content, but left a lot of the conversation to the attendees in the form of panels and discussion sessions.
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SMA Managing Sales Force Change

Perspectives on Managing Sales Force Change

David Blume | Jun 24, 2013
This month, the Sales Management Association released their latest research on Managing Sales Force Change with a webinar at the beginning of the month. My colleague, Amanda Wilson, participated on the panel where they discussed the various findings of the research. The research reviewed considerations like the expectations versus the reality of change, and what types of change initiatives are occurring.
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Sales Strategy

GUEST POST: Keeping Your Sales Roles Crystal Clear

Lewis Miller | Jun 19, 2013
Last October, Qvidian announced a new partnership with leading sales management consulting firm, the Alexander Group (AGI), coupling AGI’s best-in-class sales process consulting with Qvidian’s Sales Playbooks & Analytics cloud-based application. Below is a guest blog post from Paul Vinogradov, Vice President at AGI, on the importance of role clarity.
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Content Infogrpaphic

Measuring the Impact of Content Across the Buying Cycle [INFOGRAPHIC]

Alex Schutte | Jun 13, 2013
Over the last several years, Content Marketing has emerged as a key focus area for Marketers—both B2B and B2C—as consumers have shut off traditional forms of “interruption” media and marketing vehicles in favor of more personalized, relevant, educational, and entertaining content that isn’t so much an overt pitch-to-the-face, but more of an informative conversation.
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Sticky Dollar Sign

Quantifying the Value of Your Proposal Team

Kalli Gilbert | Jun 6, 2013
Last week I had the privilege of attending the Association of Proposal Management Professionals’ Bid and Proposal Con in Atlanta. Now, as Murphy’s Law would have it, this also means that I had an influx of RFPs hit my inbox, but never fear, I use Qvidian Proposal Automation, or drink our own champagne as we like to say around here, so I can answer RFPs relatively quickly leaving me plenty of time to take in some enlightening sessions at the conference.
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Newspaper boy

Announcing the Spring ‘13 Release of Qvidian Sales Playbooks & Analytics

Karen Meyer | Jun 3, 2013
It's a busy time to be leading Qvidian’s product team! On the heels of the availability of Qvidian Proposal Automation 10, I’m happy to announce the Spring ‘13 Release of Qvidian Sales Playbooks & Analytics is now available as well!
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The Challenger Sale Model - Challenger Selling Tips

4 Tips on Rolling Out Challenger Selling to Your Sales Team

Amanda Wilson | May 30, 2013
Have you jumped on the Challenger® Sales Model bandwagon yet? We sure have. The principles behind it are so compelling - take control of the conversation, provide insight and teach them something new, and disrupt the buyer’s thinking - I personally want to be a Challenger in all of my interactions, and I’m not even in sales!
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Product Strategy Vision

Driving Innovation through a Strategic Product Vision

Karen Meyer | May 29, 2013
Wondering what goes on in the head of the person that leads Product Management for Qvidian? Other than when I’m going to have my next burger and when my 4 year old will be courageous enough to take his first bite, I’m continuously thinking about the challenges of salespeople and how Qvidian can help.
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Qvidian Proposal Automation 10 is Here!

Karen Meyer | May 28, 2013
I am thrilled to announce that the next release of Qvidian Proposal Automation is here!    The team has been hard at work to deliver this version that is truly a milestone in the Qvidian product roadmap. We hope you are as excited as we are for Qvidian Proposal Automation 10.  This release focuses key enhancements in the following areas:
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Messages That Matter: Tracking Results - Metrics and Measures

Dr. Tom Sant | May 22, 2013
A discussion on the Association of Proposal Management Professional's LinkedIn discussion board posed a very interesting question:How to measure success in responding to RFPs (requests for proposals) if management does not want to include win rate as one of the key criteria?
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Mars Venus

Sales is from Mars, Marketing is from Venus

Kaitlyn Myers | May 16, 2013
The theme at last week’s Sirius Decisions Summit was alignment - how do we get Sales, Marketing, and Product aligned? Kudos to Sirius Decisions for effectively weaving this theme throughout the sessions during the event. This alignment topic is so relevant! With new technologies and methodologies, our environments are ever-changing, and everyone is moving so fast! In order to be successful, we must work together and “talk” to each other.
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Gap in Mountain

Mind the Gap: What’s Missing During the Customer’s Journey

Amanda Wilson | Apr 19, 2013
How many times have you heard any of the following terms in say, the last week? Sales & Marketing Alignment Lead to Revenue Managing the Customer’s Journey Revenue Performance Management Closing the Loop between Leads and Sales Revenue Cycle Management Run out of fingers to count on? Toes? Yeah, me too.
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Rock star

Top 10 Signs You're In Marketing

Alex Schutte | Apr 5, 2013
Qvidian is exhibiting at the upcoming Marketo Summit where we'll will get to share our story of how we turn marketing automation insights into action with other Marketing rock stars. As I was going through the sessions on the Marketo Summit agenda and reading about some of awesome things my Marketing peers are doing, I realized that us Marketers have a common set of traits.
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Turn Your Marketing Automation Insights into Action for Your Sales Team

Amanda Wilson | Apr 2, 2013
Marketing automation has been a critical part in my ability to be effective in my role as Director, Product Marketing & Programs here at Qvidian. We upgraded to Marketo from an older system about two years ago, and the difference has been night and day. Marketo’s capabilities and user experience is far superior to our previous marketing automation system. Being able to manage and score our leads, run powerful nurture email campaigns, and measure the performance of our marketing programs makes it a tool my team can’t live without!
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Who Are You?

Sales Enablement’s Identity Crisis

Karen Meyer | Mar 27, 2013
Like a great bacon burger, it’s taken me some time to appreciate and digest the rich content from the recent Forrester Sales Enablement Forum. I’m coming out of the food coma and that burger has now turned to energy burn on helping you solve your sales enablement problems. News flash – you have LOTS of them.
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Sales Management Association Boston Chapter

Takeaways from the Inaugural Meeting of the SMA Boston Chapter

Amanda Wilson | Mar 18, 2013
On Friday, I attended the Sales Management Association’s (SMA) inaugural Boston Chapter meeting. It was great to hear from local leaders in sales management from many familiar companies. I had the pleasure to speak with leaders from companies like Kronos, HP, EMC, as well as many local sales consulting firms.
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Are you setting your sales team up to fail?

Are You Setting Your Sales Team Up to Fail?

Lewis Miller | Feb 27, 2013
As we all know, sales leaders have been seeing increased pressure from the C-suite for some time now. Cut costs, find greater efficiencies, scale the team, and so forth and so on. You’ve heard them all before. And these changes are for good reason – today’s economic environment requires us to do more with less, innovate faster, and be more responsive to the ever-changing buying environment. But, let’s be clear: these attributes are no longer competitive advantages – they are table stakes.
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Question 7—Why are we the right choice?

Dr. Tom Sant | Feb 25, 2013
7 Key Questions to Answer When Writing a "Killer" Sales Proposal We have been reviewing the seven key questions that you must be able to answer to write a winning proposal:
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Is More than Half of Your Marketing Content Going to Waste?

Alex Schutte | Feb 14, 2013
We read about it all the time – sales & marketing alignment is a struggle for many organizations. According to Forrester Research, only 8% of B2B companies say they have tight alignment between sales and marketing. How depressing!
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How Do You Manage Sales Force Change?

David Blume | Feb 1, 2013
As a sales leader, managing organizational change successfully means doing so without it interrupting my team from selling. New products, new alliances, and new technologies all need to be rolled out to my team without disrupting their selling process and thereby missing quotas. I have spent many sleepless nights trying to gauge the impact one change will make on my team, and how to minimize the disruption so we still make our numbers. If you are a sales leader as well, I’m sure you can relate.
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5 Tips to Mobilize Your Sales Team

Go Mobile or Go Home: 5 Tips to Mobilize Your Sales Team

Amanda Wilson | Jan 30, 2013
The rise of mobile applications in the enterprise is undeniable. Recently, I was in a meeting with Gartner VP & Distinguished Analyst, Rob Desisto, and we got to talking about sales teams and the trends and challenges they’re facing in today’s selling environments. Rob was quick to point out that ‘mobile’—and its most effective use (or not) among sellers, is one of the top topics clients are seeking insight on. I wasn’t surprised.
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Question 6—Which Solution is the Best Fit?

Dr. Tom Sant | Jan 23, 2013
7 Key Questions to Answer When Writing a "Killer" Sales Proposal We have been reviewing the seven key questions that you must be able to answer to write a winning proposal:
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Accurate sales forecasts are grounded in data and sales analytics.

The Most Accurate Forecasts are Grounded in Data, Not Emotions

Karen Meyer | Jan 17, 2013
Secrets of the Most Accurate Sales Forecasts I love data. I also happened to be the odd child who loved taking school exams. I genuinely enjoyed studying, but absolutely hated pop-quizzes—they were soul destroying. How could my teacher have the nerve to put me on the spot? Panic. I didn’t figure it out until college (or after) that the tests I did the worst with were the ones I couldn’t just memorize and go through the motions for—they were open ended. I had to think.
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A Sales Manager’s Letter to Santa

Alex Schutte | Dec 10, 2012
This time of the year always takes me back to my childhood—trimming the tree, spending time with family and loved ones, hoping it snows enough to cancel school, and writing my wish list to Santa. It got me wondering… now that I’m an adult, if I were to write a letter to Santa, what would I say?
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Inspect - microscope

Sales Forecasts: Inspect What You Expect

Lewis Miller | Dec 6, 2012
*Deeper visibility into rep’s activity enables spot-coaching* Regardless of your company function, as managers we all set expectations for employees in the form of quotas, deliverables, etc. to obtain results. We measure results at specific points, whether it is monthly, which I like to think of as 12 100-yard dashes, quarterly, or during annual reviews. The issue is, at any level in any company, a **manager shouldn’t wait until the review point to ask about progress toward goals**.
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Generate More Revenue By Asking the Right Questions: Part Two

Amanda Wilson | Dec 5, 2012
Last week we [posed a few questions](/blog/generate-more-revenue-asking-right-questions) in anticipation of a webinar, *Aligning Sales & Marketing to Generate Revenue: How “Best-in-Class” Companies Use Sales Playbooks to Increase Deal Size & Win More Business*, with Peter Ostrow, Vice President and Group Director, Aberdeen Group and Gerard Sample, Sr. Director of Sales Enablement, CA Technologies. This week we have some answers! Who’s more in touch with the other’s goals—sales or marketing? According to Peter Ostrow it depends.
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Aberdeen Webinar Screenshot

Generate More Revenue By Asking the Right Questions

Amanda Wilson | Nov 27, 2012
Who’s more in touch with the other’s goals—sales or marketing? Are you best-in-class or a laggard for meeting your annual quotas? Why do 28% more reps hit their numbers using Sales Playbooks? Does a central repository for sales proposals and contracts impact revenue? Find out the answers to these questions and more revenue generating strategies from the Aberdeen Group’s Peter Ostrow and CA Technologies’ Gerard Sample:*
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Sales and marketing alignment

The Impact of Changing Buying Processes on Sales & Marketing Alignment

Amanda Wilson | Nov 20, 2012
Last week I participated in Marketo’s Marketing Nation summit panel on, ‘Marketing and Sales: It’s Time to Play Nice.’ It was a good discussion with lots of great thinking but there is one topic that I think needs to be addressed in much more depth.
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Sales Forecasts—Don’t Confuse Efforts with Results

Lewis Miller | Nov 14, 2012
*Second part in a series on sales forecasts* I recently attended an investor conference in Boston and as usual many of the questions asked of the presenting companies’ executives had to do with their sales forecasts—their level of confidence in them and if they thought their projections were conservative or aggressive. Creating an accurate sales forecast is not an easy thing to do.
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Question 5—What products or services can we offer?

Dr. Tom Sant | Nov 8, 2012
7 Key Questions to Answer When Writing a "Killer" Sales Proposal We have been reviewing the seven key questions that you must be able to answer to write a winning proposal:
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Qvidian at CEB

CEB Sales and Marketing Summit Recap

Amanda Wilson | Nov 1, 2012
Did you miss the Corporate Executive Board’s Sales and Marketing Summit in Vegas last week? Too bad –as you missed out on some great networking, innovative thinking and data-driven discussions on how to effectively manage your sales and marketing initiatives. With almost 700 registrants, around 20 sessions and a cocktail or two (it is Vegas after all!), it was a great few days. Check out the Q team in action!
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Karen Meyer at Alexander Group’s annual Chief Sales Executive Forum in Florida

Cutting Through the Noise: a Few Conversations with Top Sales Execs

Karen Meyer | Oct 30, 2012
Last week, at the Alexander Group’s annual Chief Sales Executive Forum in Florida, I had the opportunity to spend quality time with some of the most successful and challenged Sales VPs in the world. And, after many conversations over a day and a half, it dawned on me that what these guys truly care about is very straightforward—and when it comes to successful selling, probably hasn't changed since the stone ages: **building and managing pipeline, and closing business**.
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Aberdeen Research on Sales Playbooks

New Research: Sales Playbooks—Not Just for Sales, Marketing Reaps Benefits

Amanda Wilson | Oct 25, 2012
The Aberdeen Group, a leading enterprise technology consulting firm, recently released a new research brief, Sales Playbooks: How the Best-in-Class Connect Marketing and Sales through the Entire Selling Lifecycle. One of the main findings was that companies who use Sales Playbooks outperform companies who don't in many key areas, including those outlined in the following chart:
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7 Minutes in Sales Heaven

Karen Meyer | Oct 16, 2012
This week, I got a new iPad at work. I took it out of the box, set it up and configured it to work with the [sales effectiveness application](/sales-playbooks) I’m “in charge of” at work in just under 7 minutes. Before I did this, I happened to notice The Sales Guy (aka my husband) sitting in our dark “junk room” (formerly known as the garage) completely illuminated by his computer screen. Looking angelic really. I was so excited to show him the iPad and my work stuff that I bounded down the hallway into the darkness.
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True or False

True or False: 7 Things Every Sales Rep Says

David Blume | Oct 16, 2012
1. I have better content than marketing. Do they think I actually use what they send? They don’t ask me for input or if their content works or not. If they did, I’d show them what I use so they could make the content they produce better and more relevant to my needs.
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Why is it so Difficult to Create an Accurate Sales Forecast?

Lewis Miller | Oct 15, 2012
Welcome to Qvidian’s new Sales iQ blog! This blog will be a great reflection of what The Q team—sales effectiveness gurus who have been working with sales teams for nearly two decades—have to say about successful selling and what’s happening in the rapidly changing sales industry. We'd also like to tap into what other B2B sales and marketing practitioners are saying about what’s working and what’s not.
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Messages that Matter: Question 4—Which specific result is most important?

Dr. Tom Sant | Sep 27, 2012
By Dr. Tom Sant 7 Key Questions to Answer When Writing a "Killer" Sales Proposal We have been reviewing the seven key questions that you must be able to answer to write a winning proposal:
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Question 3—What results does the customer seek?

Dr. Tom Sant | Aug 2, 2012
7 Key Questions to Answer When Writing a "Killer" Sales Proposal As you may recall, we've been discussing the seven questions you need to be able to answer to write a client-centered proposal. Here they are:
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Question 2—Why is the customer's problem worth solving?

Dr. Tom Sant | Jun 27, 2012
7 Key Questions to Answer When Writing a "Killer" Sales Proposal We’ve been discussing the seven questions you need to be able to answer to write a client-centered proposal. Here they are:
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Question 1—What is the customer's problem or need?

Dr. Tom Sant | Jun 18, 2012
7 Key Questions to Answer When Writing a "Killer" Sales Proposal Lots of bad proposals are bad because they were written in a knowledge vacuum. The proposal writer knows very little about the account, the business situation, or the decision maker's goals. Sometimes the salesperson has thrown a request for proposal over the wall and said, "Just give them our standard response." Sometimes the proposal team hasn't bothered to ask any questions. Either way, the result is a turgid, generic document that sounds self-centered and fundamentally irrelevant.
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Minimizing Cognitive Dissonance

Dr. Tom Sant | May 21, 2012
What is Cognitive Dissonance? For a number of years I have been using the term "cognitive dissonance" to describe a phenomenon that everyone experiences. I'm probably using it incorrectly, but I have a confession to make: I'm not going to stop. The term was coined by Leon Festinger, who studied a Chicago cult that had expected the world to end on December 21, 1954. (By the way, what is it with apocalyptic prophecies and December 21? That's the date the Mayans have supposedly predicted the world will end this year.)
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Can Feeling Happy Increase Your Productivity?

Dr. Tom Sant | Mar 6, 2012
Want to be More Productive? Put a Smile on Your Face Can feeling happy increase your productivity? Does feeling stressed reduce it? Research shows that the answer to both questions is yes. Stress kills productivity, makes it harder to focus, and saps your energy. If you are a proposal manager who is swamped with "must win" bids, or a sales person with an aggressive quota, you know what stress feels like.
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: The First Time Right Rule

Dr. Tom Sant | Jan 26, 2012
"The First Time Right" Rule The most important rule for communicating your sales message, in my opinion, is the "first time right" rule. It's a simple concept: The first time somebody reads or hears your message, they get it right. There's no ambiguity, no vagueness, no confusion in your message. They never have to go back and re-read the sentence or paragraph to try to figure out what you meant.
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Unleashing the Wisdom of the Sales Team

Dr. Tom Sant | Dec 12, 2011
Glorifying the "Gunslinger" In recent years, Nobel Prize winner Carl Wieman has found that dividing physics and chemistry students into small groups and having them discuss specific, practical problems among themselves increases comprehension for everyone in the group of the relevant principles.
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: 7 Traits of Effective Sales Organizations

Dr. Tom Sant | Dec 12, 2011
With apologies to the late, great Stephen Covey and his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, here are the seven traits of highly successful sales organizations. They're presented in alphabetical order, because they all matter.
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Dr. Tom Sant | Qvidian

Messages that Matter: Selling Lean

Dr. Tom Sant | Dec 12, 2011
The Development of Lean Thinking One of the most fruitful movements in business during the past twenty years or so has been the development of Lean Thinking. Championed most notably in the auto industry, it has spread to other industries as well. Using careful measurement of performance in real-world settings, Lean Thinking focuses on identifying the activities that create value, determining the optimum sequence of activities, eliminating those activities that add no value or that produce waste, enabling the customer to "pull", and then improving the process again and again.
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