3 Things You Should Never Say During a Sales Call

It can take weeks and even months to warm up a sales lead — and unfortunately only one bad phrase to lose them. Sales training expert Mike Brooks shares three unproductive statements you should avoid, and what to say instead.

3 Things Not to Say During a Sales Call | OpenView Labs

Editor’s note: This post is an excerpt from “6 Things Never to Say During Your Sales Presentation” on Mike Brooks’ Inside Sales Training Blog.

I’ve been listening to sales rep pitch their products and services for over 25 years now, and there are still words, phrases, and techniques that send shivers down my spine. And I’ll tell you now they send shivers down the spines of prospects and clients, too.


Has Your Company Found Its Brand/Advocate Fit?

Everyone talks about achieving product/market fit, but what about achieving brand/advocate fit? After all, developing a passionate base of customer evangelists is one of the most powerful things a growing company can do.

Kareo_Brand Fit

If you’ve got customers who go out of their way to talk about you and your product, you know you’re doing something right. These supporters can be a huge asset for your business, but developing that kind of loyalty and brand devotion doesn’t just happen overnight. It requires spot-on alignment between what you’re promising, what your customers actually want, and what you can deliver.

In the video below, Dan Rodrigues, founder and CEO of Kareo (an OpenView portfolio company) talks about when he knew his company had struck the right balance.


4 Tips for Tapping Into B2B Buyer Emotions

Did you know that for B2B buyers, personal value actually has 2x the impact of business value? CEB’s Karl Schmidt shares four ways to adapt your marketing accordingly by pushing the right emotional buttons.

4 Tips for Tapping into B2B Buyer Emotions | OpenView Labs

At some point, we’ve all made emotional impulse purchases. A candy bar in the checkout line at the grocery store, a fancy new putter at the golf store, or a flashy red sports car with the gas mileage of a three-ton semi-truck — whatever the item, very rarely do we actually need these things.

Yet, while frivolous, we’re able to justify those purchases because they don’t often cause financial ruin. For growing B2B companies in the market for new business solutions, however, the same can’t really be said.

After all, purchasing those products and services often requires navigating a complex buying process, and choosing the right solution can sometimes make or break the business. With so much riding on that decision, there’s no room for emotional, impulse decision-making, right?


photo by: benjaminasmith

Founder’s Corner: Developing A Company Culture People Will Love

Founders: Want to know the secret driver behind elevating your brand and winning more customers? It’s not your product, it’s your culture. Instructure CEO Josh Coates explains the difference between good and bad company cultures, and what it takes to develop a passionate base of customers and fans.


Product function and feature sets are nice, but that’s not what modern software customers ultimately buy, says Josh Coates, CEO of Instructure (an OpenView portfolio company). Instead, what they truly buy into (or run away from) is the passion and attitude you exude. In this latest installment of the Founder’s Corner, Coates offers his advice on what it takes to build a great company culture, and discusses the factors that turn customers into ardent supporters, rather than angry detractors.


Strictly Sales Episode 2: Breaking Up with Bad Sales Leads

Nothing can sap your productivity like chasing a bad lead who is never going to close. In this episode of “Strictly Sales with Jeff Hoffman” you’ll learn how to sniff out the tire kickers and kick them to the curb before they waste your time.

Strictly Sales Episode 2: Breaking Up with Bad Sales Leads

In our first episode of “Strictly Sales with Jeff Hoffman” we dove into how to navigate one of the biggest hurdles salespeople face — office gatekeepers. This time around, Jeff sets his sites on a different target standing in the way of higher close rates — tire kickers, aka bad leads who will never close. Listen in to learn how to spot these productivity-sappers fast, and the best way to break up with them so you can move on to greener pastures.


Solidarity or Self-Promotion? 3 Tips for More Authentic Cause Marketing

Cause marketing can end up being counter productive if the brand stands out over the cause. TUGG Executive Director David Brown shares three tips that can help companies avoid falling into that trap.

Guinness Boston Marathon Ad

The 2014 Boston Marathon was a major milestone, not just in Boston but also across the nation. Millions of us pulled together and turned out for the event or tuned in on our computers and televisions. We cheered on Ernst van Dyk as he rolled across as the first finisher for this year’s event, Rita Jebtoo as she won her second straight Boston Marathon, and then Meb Keflizighi as he became the first American to win the marathon since 1983. And then, with even greater anticipation, we kept watching as 33,000 others finished the race.

What was clear throughout was that this year’s Boston Marathon was run with a sense of unity and community that brought out individuals and organizations like never before. We were resilient, we were united, and we were #BostonStrong.

Amidst all that, there were naturally many brands making plays to align themselves with the clear emotions of the day. Facebook and Twitter were littered with paid promotions by companies — some national and international brands, some smaller local brands — claiming their support for Boston and the victims of last year’s tragedy. But while some of these moves garnered support, a quick review of comments shows just how many struck a chord with their audience as inauthentic, pandering, or exploitative.


3 Keys to a Profitable Customer Success Team

Do you view your SaaS company’s Customer Success team as a cost or an investment? In this post, Mashery VP of Customer Success Boaz Maor explains why the value it delivers can be just as significant other revenue-driving functions — but only if it’s focused on the right things.

Keys to Profitable Customer Success

When Boaz Maor joined Mashery (acquired by Intel Corporation in 2013) to head the API management platform’s Customer Success program, he drafted a relatively simple vision for the role his team would play in the development of Mashery’s brand:

Our value in the marketplace will grow proportionately to the value our customers derive from our solutions. 

Ultimately, that vision led Maor to establish two clear objectives (in the following order of priority):


The Very First Thing New Marketing Hires Should Do

What’s the very best way to introduce new marketing hires to your product and customers? HubSpot Product Marketing Director Rick Burnes shares his team’s secret.

 The Key to Ramping Up New Marketing Hires | OpenView Labs

By now, maybe your startup’s small marketing team has developed a unified grasp on your company’s story. You’ve invested time into crafting a compelling narrative, built a brand around the organization’s “face,” and developed a content strategy that consistently delivers relevant messaging to prospective buyers.

That’s great. But now it’s time to bring on a few new marketing hires to help those efforts scale.