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  • What’s the Story?

    To defeat the status quo, think like a storyteller, not just a salesperson At the most conservative estimate, we humans have been telling stories for thousands of years. We’ve drawn them on cave walls. We’ve passed them down orally through the generations. We’ve told them with the printed word, in books, magazines and newspapers. We […]

  • Creating Uncertainty: What do Road Signs and Selling Have in Common?

    Simple, concrete visuals have been used in roadside signage for a long time. But, what happens when you tweak them just a bit by adding more “drama” to the visual? Can you actually increase the influence of these signs on human attitudes and behaviors? Yes, you can. Turns out the best driver is a slightly […]

  • Speak to a Buyer’s Situation—Not Their Title

    What if we told you that persona-based approach to messaging is potentially hurting your cause rather than helping it? A recent Harvard Business Review article* cites a set of surveys which found that, on average, 5.4 people now have to formally sign off on each B2B purchasing decision. If you’re following a persona-based messaging approach, […]

  • When Cutting Corners…Won’t Cut it

    Closing Larger, More Profitable Deals “Taking the easy way out.” “Cutting corners.” “Avoiding “the dirty work.” Carrying out a “half-baked plan.” Everyday English is full of idioms that have to do with performing duties in a less than thorough way. Unsurprisingly, nearly all of them have a negative connotation—and for good reason. As most of […]

  • 2015: The Year of the Book?

    Aren’t you sick of all the internet lists.” Everywhere online you see a promotion for …the top five this, the ten best that, the three big those…and so on. It’s like everyone read somewhere that a numbered list is the best way to get click-throughs… and maybe it is? It doesn’t matter. Once an Internet […]

  • The Missing 33 Percent

    In a recent TED talk, Susan Colantuono, CEO of Leading Women, proposed a striking theory that, according to her, partially explains the “gender gap” in high-level management positions in the corporate world.

  • Marketing Doesn’t Close Deals

    Making sure your leads cross the conversion gap In 1897, a London newspaperman accidentally confused Mark Twain for the author’s seriously ill cousin, giving rise to false speculation that Twain had one foot in the grave. In fact, he would live another 13 years. “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” Twain famously [...]

  • Create, Elevate, Capture…Win.

    Pre-order the book now Following the success of Conversations That Win The Complex Sale, thought leaders from Corporate Visions are again teaming up with publishing giant McGraw-Hill for another status-quo busting book. This time, a team of four authors with years of sales and consulting experience zero in on three sales conversations that help salespeople […]

  • The Power of Gratitude – $10 Buys More than You Think

    This week, many of you will be taking time to reflect upon and give thanks for the abundance of love, health, family and friends with which you’ve been blessed this year, and reaffirming your gratitude for the food and family surrounding you. In that spirit of abundance and gratitude, we surprised over 500 of our […]

  • Executive Conversations and the Power of a Great Idea

    Recall any Holiday gatherings, while growing up, when you were assigned a seat at the kids’ table? It wasn’t the worst thing: The food was just as good, the banter often better. Still, whether you’re nine or 90, no one likes feeling inferior. So when you were at last promoted to the adult table, you […]

  • Objection Reframes

    It’s one of the more famous lines from one of the most popular sitcoms ever. Here’s the scene: George Costanza, the “lovable loser” of Seinfeld, is at a high-level meeting as part of his job with the New York Yankees. Some refreshments have been served for the occasion, a large platter of cocktail shrimp among […]

  • Avoiding the ‘Commodity Trap’

    Remember when James Cameron’s “Avatar” took the cinema world by storm late in 2009? It’s hard not to—the film generated a level of buzz that hasn’t been matched since. By most measures the film was an enormous success. It won nine Academy Awards. It scored big at the box office, surpassing “Titanic” as the highest-grossing […]

  • Are you wrecking your conversions?

    Imagine a relay race where the runner covers her eyes and tosses the baton to the person running the anchor leg, instead of coming along side, stride for stride and making a clean hand-off. The result would be disastrous. Yet, that’s exactly what’s happening in most companies’ marketing, sales enablement and training departments today. A […]

  • Why salespeople need rejection therapy

    by Melissa Hereford, Vice President of Products Humans have a built-in protection against things our minds label as “dangerous.” Because of this, we tend to overreact to things that are not really dangerous — like a fear of rejection. I recently discovered a simple game called Rejection Therapy. It’s designed to help you get over […]

  • Avoid the Heartburn from Channel Marketing Value Meals!

    by Eric Nitschke, Managing Director Let’s face it: we’ve all ordered the value meal at our favorite fast food joint. They’re often cheap, fast, and easy. But consumers are shying away from these menus, with “healthy menu options” becoming a priority for 58% of respondents in a recent survey. It seems many people are in […]

  • Feeling Powerless in Negotiations? Whistle a Happy Tune!

    by Melissa Hereford, Vice President of Products Recent research in B2B negotiations discovered that buyers think they have all the power when it comes to negotiating a deal. And salespeople agree. So, what’s a seller to do to regain some control? Whistle a Happy Tune In the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I, […]

  • A conversation with Adam Birenbaum, sales enablement manager, at CUNA Mutual Group

    Adam Birenbaum, sales enablement manager at CUNA Mutual Group, recently shared some insight with us into his upcoming presentation, Creating Insights: Turning Research, Facts and Stats into Provocative Messaging, for our annual Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference in September.

  • Three Common Messaging Techniques that are Scientifically Proven to Make you Less Persuasive

    Do you do any of the below? Technique #1 – Deliver your message with absolute confidence and certainty believing that prospects are more likely to be persuaded. Technique #2 – Produce a laundry list of reasons to buy what you’re selling believing that the more great reasons your prospects have to buy from you, the […]

  • A conversation with April King, senior director global field enablement, OpenText

    April King, senior director global field enablement at OpenText, recently shared with us her thoughts on the importance of sales and marketing for a business. Read on for tips on conducting executive conversations and get a sneak preview of April’s presentation at the Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference, Conversations That Win!

  • A conversation with Joanne Moretti, senior vice president marketing & sales enablement at Jabil

    We had the chance to speak with Joanne Moretti, senior vice president marketing and sales enablement at Jabil, and hear about her thoughts on gaining executive support as a salesperson. Read on for a sneak preview of Joanne’s insights, which she’ll be sharing at our upcoming Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference, Conversations That Win!

  • Help salespeople create more opportunities early in the buying cycle

    In the most recent issue of CMOEssentials.com, Tim Riesterer asks the bold question: “Are you preparing your salespeople for the right messaging moments?”

  • Find a common enemy

    How do you speed up the relationship part of selling? What does it take to fast-forward the “trust factor” often associated with winning the business?

  • A conversation with Jim Ford, EVP, commercial operations at TestAmerica

    We were excited to speak with Jim Ford, EVP, commercial operations at TestAmerica, the leader in environmental testing, who will be presenting at our annual Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference in September. Find out how he’s leading TestAmerica’s sales and marketing teams to support the company’s profitable growth initiatives.

  • Pictures are worth 1,000 words – especially hand-drawn ones

    The Picture Superiority Effect says concepts are much more likely to be remembered if they are presented as pictures rather than as words. In fact, research has discovered that visuals are recalled six times better than words alone and hand-drawn visuals are much more memorable than professional photographs.

  • Ten Tips for Implementing Sales Negotiation Training That Work!

    Here are 10 tips for building a sales negotiation training program that maximizes profitability and customer satisfaction.

  • A conversation with Avery Lerner, VP of enterprise accounts at Oracle

    We were excited to chat recently with Avery Lerner, vice president of enterprise accounts in the Oracle financing division. Read how Avery evolved into his current position, how the financing division interacts with sales and marketing, and much more!

  • Is your customer daydreaming through your presentation? And can your story break through?

    2,000. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, that’s the number of daydreams a typical American has every day. Can your story break through?

  • New research confirms stick figures beat PowerPoint every time

    New research further proves that concepts are 6xs more memorable if they’re presented as pictures rather than words. And hand-drawn graphics, such as stick figures, make more of an impact than professional photographs.

  • A 20-minute cheat sheet for more insightful executive conversations

    Establishing a discipline of properly preparing for executive conversations is a critical first step in delivering value to your clients.

  • Survey says: 50% of salespeople aren’t prepared for new sales opportunities

    Recent research revealed that only half of salespeople feel prepared to create new sales opportunities. The findings shown in this infographic discuss the disconnect between where salespeople feel pressure and how well their companies prepare them for key customer conversations.

  • Speaking your salespeople’s love languages

    In the most recent issue of CMO.com, Tim Riesterer compares effective sales messaging to The Five Love Languages, a book about connecting better with your spouse by expressing your love in the “language” he or she prefers.

  • How salespeople are using mobile applications to sell

    If a device or application can help your sales teams gain an edge in the field, you should make sure it’s in the hands of every seller and that systems are in place to capture and replicate best practices.

  • The conversation before the conversation: What the World Cup can teach you about negotiations

    High-performing negotiators will tell you the exact same thing. The “game before the game” for a negotiator is the “conversation before the conversation,” and it starts with your inner dialogue.

  • Five steps to avoiding a bungled executive encounter

    As a former CFO (and now a consultant for Corporate Visions), I’ve seen my share of bungles as sales professionals attempt to hold their own in the executive suite – where economic decision-makers stand tall and skeptical.

  • Improve your chance of success

    It’s a tough market out there. You’re probably all too familiar with the stat that 55 to 80 percent of new products flop, depending on how generously you’re willing to define success.

  • Giving a whole new meaning to mobile whiteboarding

    You might think mobile whiteboarding has to do with your sales reps drawing a selling picture on a tablet in front of a customer. That’s true for most of what we talk about in this blog…but check out this cool idea.

  • Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

    Keep your pitch simple and concrete so you’ll get the answer you really want. To find out more about avoiding choice overload and other sales messaging strategies, visit Conversation University for a fully stocked library of videos, articles and more!

  • How to sell value: a lesson from a graffiti artist

    Value is subjective and can be shaped. So, you must avoid creating the perception that your solution is a commodity.

  • Unconscious decision-making

    New brain imaging research from Carnegie Mellon University published in the journal, “Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience,” shows that your brain unconsciously processes information for a decision even when the conscious brain is distracted with a different task.

  • Find out what executives really believe about their businesses…

    To stand out, and to credibly engage C-level executives, you need to master the ability to derive insights from the annual report’s ugly stepchild, the Form 10-K.

  • Getting real behavior change from sales training

    Training is supposed to be about behavior change. One way to help people see their inconsistencies is to create cognitive dissonance in your training programs.

  • Contrasting visuals make an immediate impression

    We all know that pictures are worth 1,000 words – but what about bold, contrasting visuals like this one? They’re worth even more.

  • Where’s the beef in your presentations? Hint: It shouldn’t be the middle!

    For most omnivores, the big juicy burger in the middle of the two buns is the gastronomical destination of the burger-eating experience. But when it comes to presentations, Tim Riesterer says, “Don’t put the meat in the middle!”

  • Swapping words for pictures, Congress gets to the point

    You’d think that since the most timely, hotly debated topics are being discussed in our nation’s Capital, that Congress might have timely, state-of-the art visuals to support their arguments. Think again.

  • The number one focus of B2B companies should be? (Drumroll please)…

    Last week, I had the opportunity to co-present with Thomson Reuters at the SiriusDecisions Summit, one of the leading conferences for professionals tasked with improving the effectiveness of their marketing and sales organizations.

  • Supercharge your 2014 sales message

    If you want to improve your sales results, you’ve got to start at the beginning: with the message your sales team is delivering to your customers in sales conversations.

  • Three ways to stay in your customer’s strike zone

    The baseball season is finally under way, and umpires across North America are calling balls and strikes. Those umpires are “judging pitches” and making important decisions that affect the outcomes of games, just like your customers are determining the quality of your pitches and deciding who wins the deal.

  • Does a chief ninja wield any clout?

    You’re engaging with your customer’s C-level executives. That’s a good thing, right?

    Well…

    The fact is that companies have been rapidly introducing new C-level positions: Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Customer Officer, Chief Regulatory Officer, Chief Analytics Officer, Chief Ninja, Chief Rockstar, Chief [insert whatever you want here].

  • Want your customer to believe your story? Repeat it

    Research suggests that repeating your message makes it more believable.

    It may be an urban legend, but I remember an old marketer once telling me that those three words, “rinse and repeat,” doubled sales of shampoo when they were added to the directions on the back of the bottle.

    Repetition is also a good thing when it comes to your sales messaging. If you repeat your key messages, research says you’ll be more believable.

    It’s called the “Illusion of Truth Effect.”

  • Lead customers down the path of least resistance

    Do you believe prospective buyers are generally rational? Do you assume that the more information and evidence you pile on them, the better your chances of winning the sale? This must be the case, or why else would there be so many hefty whitepapers with gobs of text, or PowerPoint decks with hundreds of slides, or complicated ROI calculators and spreadsheets out there?

  • 3 tips to take back your sales conversations

    Hostile. That’s what describes the environment your sales team faces today. Buyers take advantage of their dramatically increased leverage to demand more concessions and lower prices. And most sales methodologies and typical approaches to preparing for sales conversations may actually be counterproductive to your cause.

  • A story ”TaylorMade” to win

    To convince wannabe Arnold Palmers that its new driver would deliver “crazy” distance off the tee, TaylorMade created a visually compelling – and we think pretty fantastic – story to describe how they challenged conventional golf wisdom to engineer a better driver.

  • How do executives REALLY make buying decisions?

    It’s only common sense: Executives climb the corporate ladder by making stressful decisions in uncertain situations by coolly evaluating the evidence and making logical choices. But recent research suggests this common assumption may be wrong.

  • Don’t get lost in translation

    We’re happy to introduce Power Launch™, a new digital postcard tool for helping marketers increase the success of new messaging launches delivered to their field sales teams. Power Launch is part of our Messaging Launch solution, which helps you launch your message in a way that gets your story and tools enthusiastically and confidently adopted.

  • Use the “IKEA effect” to persuade B2B executives to buy your solution

    Co-create a solution with your buyer. Don’t just present a proposal. If you can get decision-makers to co-create a buying vision – like homeowners who “co-create” IKEA furniture – they will more highly value the end solution.

  • A different kind of conference

    We’ve been to far too many conferences. You probably have too. You know the ones. Events packed with vendors trying to drag you into their booths with promises of prizes. Conferences that promise “how-to” sessions on the latest buzzy topics that turn out to deliver nothing but fluff. Sessions led by companies unwilling or unable to share anything deeper than general ideas, devoid of real-world “meat” you can take home and apply in your business.

  • Tim Riesterer reveals top reason salespeople don’t hit quota at SAVO Summit

    In a room packed with sales and marketing leaders at the SAVO Sales Enablement Summit last week, Tim Riesterer told the crowd, “The top reason your salespeople don’t hit their quota is because they can’t articulate value.”

  • Wait! (Don’t share your pricing yet)

    A counterintuitive idea from recent research shows you how to fine-tune your strategy for presenting your price to customers. Here’s a question for you: Is it better to put your pricing on the table first, or to get the buyer to share information about their budget? The answer: neither. (Sorry, it was a trick question.) […]

  • Lots to talk about

    This May, our very own Tim Riesterer will present at five different events about the key value conversations marketers and salespeople need to be prepared to have to win more business.

  • Failure to Launch: The three mistakes you MUST avoid if you want your next B2B product launch to succeed

    You’re probably all-too-familiar with this stat: 55-80% of new products flop, depending on how generously you’re willing to define success. And according to CSO Insights’ 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study, nearly half of B2B sales leaders feel that their teams “need improvement” in effectively introducing new products to the market.

    So how can you overcome this ‘failure to launch’ phenomenon?

  • The incredible shrinking attention span: Can your sales story survive?

    It’s clear that as the “information age” unfolds, your customers no longer have the ability or patience to answer 20-question discovery inquisitions, suffer through drawn-out sales presentations and sift through overwhelming amounts of online content. They’re begging you to cut through the fluff and feed them the key chunks of information they need to move a decision forward. So how can you ensure your story survives in the face of the incredible shrinking attention span?

  • Keeping your pitch simple

    Giving your prospects more choices and options is a natural instinct. You’re thinking that you’re “adding value” to your story and differentiating against your competitors.

    After all, how often have you heard the phrase, “our differentiation is the ‘depth and breadth’ of our product line,” as if having the most products, services, configurations, customizations, and options actually make the case for choosing you.

  • Sales & Marketing Management: Corporate Visions broadens its value to clients

    In his recent article, “Completing the Picture,” respected sales performance improvement analyst Dave Stein says that, after some bold acquisitions, Corporate Visions is the one-stop shop for helping you articulate and quantify value for your clients.

  • Focusing on getting the best price may not get you the best price

    For years, there has been a basic tenet in negotiations: “Those who ask for more, get more.” The assumption is that this means asking for more money, but, it may actually mean something totally different.

  • Don’t give your prospects so much to think about

    In the most recent issue of Sales & Marketing Management magazine, Tim Riesterer looks at the counterintuitive idea that sometimes less, rather than more information, is what will sway the sale in your favor.

  • Can your sales conversations turn off the alarm bells in your customer’s head?

    We all live for that magic moment when your customer says “yes,” and we close our deal. But too often sales professionals start strong, but find that their buyer slows down. Initial urgency and excitement fades. You hear the dreaded, “This looks good, but we need more time to think about it.” And all too often, a promising sale turns into no decision.

  • Video: The one critical characteristic your buyer personas are missing

    There’s only one thing you need to know about your target buyer to develop insightful content that drives decisions. Watch this 5-minute video to find out what it is.

  • Three conversations you need to win every time

    SiriusDecisions asked hundreds of sales managers at B2B companies….what’s the #1 reason why salespeople don’t make quota? The answer: salespeople fail to articulate value.

  • NPR highlights the “done with PowerPoint” movement

    NPR recently ran a story, Physicists, Generals And CEOs Agree: Ditch The PowerPoint, by Alan Yu, about the drawbacks of presenting with PowerPoint. According to the article, it’s not the technology that’s the problem, it’s what happens to the presenter and the audience when they rely on slides to say what they want to say.

  • In sales conversations, the winning number is three

    Many marketers and salespeople face a similar conundrum with respect to positioning a solution, wondering what exactly is the very best number of claims you should share with a potential prospect to maximize the impact of your story?

    Recent research suggests the magic number is…you guessed it, three.

  • Context, contrast and concrete: the three “Cs” to wake the lizard brain

    In a recent Forbes article, Your Competitor Isn’t Your Real Competition: Status Quo Is, author Amy Morin discusses how, contrary to what prospects say, they may not be as far along the buying decision path as they think.

  • What will your customer remember about your story?

    What’s the best way to ensure that your customer remembers what you tell her on that all-important sales call? Recent research from James Bigelow and Amy Poremba at the University of Iowa* sheds some analytical light on this typically abstract topic. Here’s a hint:  For those of you who say, “I just want to have […]

  • Which negotiators handle tension best?

    You’re in a tough negotiation, and things are getting tense. Your heart races. Your palms start to sweat. You think you’re starting to “lose your cool.” Do some negotiators handle this kind of stress and tension better than others?

  • What your customers SEE trumps what they HEAR

    Sales people are great talkers. They love to present. To explain. To “sell.”
    But the fact of the matter is this: vision is our primary sense.
    What your customers see from your sales team is more powerful than what they hear.

  • Presentation Pitfalls

    When otherwise great presenters let technical malfunctions stop them from delivering a powerful message, you know it can happen to anyone. Maybe it’s happened to you.

  • Tell your prospects about them, not you

    SiriusDecisions recently published a blog titled, ”It’s Not Content – It’s a Lack of Buyer Insights That’s the Problem.“ We couldn’t agree more. Your customers want you to tell them something that they don’t already know. And that requires buyer insight.

  • Selling at c-level

    According to IDC, 80 percent of all purchasing budgets will soon be controlled — and decisions justified — by companies’ senior-most decision makers, including the proverbial C-level executives. This means more deals at lower dollar amounts will receive higher-level scrutiny. How has this impacted your marketing messages, product positioning and sales training? Have you changed anything to make sure your sales teams are ready to talk the new talk with these executive buyers?

  • Getting your customer’s attention through fear

    Amy Harrison, British blogger and writer, was recently inspired by Tim Riesterer’s presentation, Differentiating your Customer Message with Visual Storytelling, to examine the role of fear in selling. Check out her video.

  • Five sales negotiating mistakes that may be costing you BIG money

    Very few of us are born negotiators. As a matter of fact, our instincts in negotiations are frequently the exact opposite of what we should do to gain the upper hand. And these small negotiating mistakes can cost you big money. Find out how.

  • Fleeing the Tension… and other sales negotiation mistakes that kill deal profitability

    Are your team’s seemingly small discount concessions doing major hidden damage to your profit margins?  You’ve undoubtedly invested immense amounts of time and money to create products and services that add value for your B2B customers.  Unfortunately, much of your value is lost when your reps fail to capture it in negotiations.  The following mistakes […]

  • Want a better “best and final” price? Then start high.

    Do your customers really know what your solution is worth? How does your initial price proposal affect your customer’s subsequent purchase decisions, and how do they perceive your “best and final” price? Economist Dan Ariely and his colleagues from MIT and Carnegie Mellon University studied this question, and came up with some intriguing findings.

  • What a Girl Scout can teach you about selling

    It’s Girl Scout cookie buying season. If you like cookies…or want to know how to sell your own products and services more effectively, read this short piece by best-selling author Seth Godin.

  • Corporate Visions Continues Global Expansion With New China Office

    There’s no denying that Corporate Visions is going places. Our most recent step in our global expansion includes adding Eric Liao as managing director of the Asia-Pacific region and adding a new office in Shanghai, China. We are excited to add to our existing presence in Hong Kong and partner offices in Japan and Australia. […]

  • You’re absolutely right, Forrester, it IS all about the conversation

    In a recent blog, “Conversations Are The Fuel For The 21st Century Selling System,” Scott Santucci, lead analyst for Forrester Research on all things Sales Enablement, states that “we are in the middle of a major transformation in the B2B sales model.”

  • Corporate Visions named Top 20 Sales Training company

    Corporate Visions named one of top 20 sales training companies by TrainingIndustry.com in 2014!

  • True Grit

    Do you have “True Grit?” When the going gets tough do you persevere or do you quit? “Grit” has been called the “number one predictor of success,” by TED Speaker, Angela Duckworth, Ph.D. Find out if you’ve got what it takes to succeed.

  • What Top 40 radio can teach you about selling to executive decision-makers

    Busy senior executives, like these radio listeners, are tuned into a narrow set of messages that matter to them, and tune out the unfamiliar. They tune into ideas that are relevant to their business priorities, and quickly tune out of any conversation where they see an opportunity to delegate decisions down the organization.

  • Sell higher! Helping your sales team rise to the occasion

    To sell higher and help your reps bridge the business acumen gap, you must enable them to be competent, confident, and compelling so they rise to the occasion and close more deals.

  • 13 Milliseconds to a Decision

    Your customers respond to visual messaging…faster than you think. When you use a visual in a presentation, how long do you think it takes for your customer’s brain to identify and find meaning in it? 13 milliseconds. That’s what a recent MIT study showed. In fact, it’s ten times faster than the initial 1/10th second […]

  • The State of Mobile Enablement – a Tale of Two Conflicting Viewpoints

    We recently surveyed more than 700 B2B marketers and salespeople from around the globe regarding their use of tablets to aid in sales-related activities. The survey revealed a surprising disconnect. Currently, only 23 percent of companies have deployed tablets. Of the respondents whose companies have not deployed tablets (77 percent), 83 percent said their companies […]

  • The State of Mobile Enablement: Where it’s Working (and Where it’s Failing)

    If you’re looking to increase the success of your product launches, the adoption of your message, and the accessibility of your sales tools… you need to determine the best way to get on board with the mobile-enablement movement. In this latest report, Corporate Visions and SAVO teamed up to dig into if, and how well, […]

  • Don’t be one of those lugers

    Jim Ninivaggi, Service Director, Sales Enablement Strategies at SiriusDecisions recently blogged about the luge competition (You Win Some, You “Luge” Some) and how it’s analogous to closing a business deal. “While I am no luge expert,” he says, “I do know this: You win or lose the luge race at the top of the course….Any […]

  • This is not a Valentine’s Day post

    The Corporate Visions guide to winning spousal conversations If you’re like us, you’ve gotten 10 emails in your inbox this week with cutesy Valentine’s Day marketing promotions. This isn’t one of them. This is about tomorrow, and every other day of the year…when the roses have wilted and the diamonds have lost their luster…and romance […]

  • Executive Insights Tour – Coming to a City Near You

    We’re hitting the road again this year for our nationwide executive insights sessions tour. Hosted by Tim Riesterer, these complimentary sessions will provide sales, marketing and training professionals with real-world examples of how industry-leading organizations are enabling their marketers to create compelling stories and arming their salespeople with the skills to deliver those stories in […]

  • It’s not about you, and other marketing content gaffes to avoid

    After speaking with a dozen content marketing experts, Direct Marketing News recently published a list of content marketing gaffes to avoid. Here’s what Tim Riesterer had to say: “Ask marketers if they think they’ve effectively prepared their content marketing messages and you’ll likely hear a resounding, “Yes.” But the sad truth is that too many […]

  • Four Tips to Avoid the Hammock and Get Your Message Read

    Published in Target Marketing Magazine There’s some old brain research known as the “primacy and recency” effect that must be considered when you construct your marketing messaging or you may simply be wasting your time and money pushing out content that doesn’t drive a decision. Primacy contends that those things you present first will be […]

  • The Salesperson is Dead… and other myths that just aren’t true!

     Just when you thought you knew it all.  Seven popular myths – which are allegedly the most effective ways to sell and market to prospects – just might be leading you astray when it comes to developing and delivering your messaging. Discovering the truth behind these myths, and embracing their alternatives, will convince your customers […]

  • Minimize Discounting and Capture More Value

    According to McKinsey & Company, a 1% change in discounting has a nearly 9% impact on your operating margin. A seemingly small change with huge downside or upside potential. You have to take back that 1%. To do that, most companies focus on defending your value at the end of the sales cycle. But it’s […]

  • Getting Your Message Used in the Field

    It’s a hard truth – most product launches fail, and 70-90% of the content created in the name of sales support goes unused (American Marketing Association). So what do you need to do differently to save your new message and tools from getting lost in translation between Marketing and Sales? Watch this video to learn […]

  • Corporate Visions Announces Milestones from a Successful 2013

    We recently announced some record milestones for CVI which resulted in a very successful 2013, including: More than 100 new customers from across the globe Two strategic acquisitions: Executive Conversation and BayGroup International New partnership with SAVO Three product launches: Messaging Manager™, Sales Profitability skills update and Power Messaging® “We’re proud of and grateful for […]

  • How to Win the Three Great Conversations

    Analyst firm SiriusDecisions recently asked hundreds of sales managers at B2B companies: What’s the #1 reason your salespeople don’t hit quota? Lack of leads? Broken sales process? Wrong products? Lack of training? Faulty CRM system? Nope. Sales managers agreed: The #1 reason salespeople don’t hit their quota is their inability to articulate value. You can […]

  • Conversations that Win Starts with the Right Story

    Buyers claim that they’re 60-70% of the way through their purchasing decisions by the time they engage one of your salespeople. Yet 60% of most companies’ qualified pipelines are ending up in No Decision. Your customers may feel that they’re close to choosing a solution to their business issues, but their actual decision (or lack […]

  • Inside a Marketer’s Mind with the IDG CMO Files

    IDG Connect’s CMO Files feature the “world’s top marketing professionals” in a 20-question format, giving you insight into their jobs, minds and *sometimes* big personalities. In the latest posting, our very own Tim Riesterer dishes on marketing, phrases that make him squirm, and de-stressing with the Zac Brown Band and pizza. (1)       Where were you […]

  • How to Sound like a Human Being in your Marketing

    Have you ever met someone with professional personality disorder? You know the type – the one who suddenly switches to their “THIS IS MY PRESENTER VOICE” when speaking to large groups…the one who hides behind superfluous jargon…the one you secretly suspect might actually be a robot. Would you ever trust these individuals with the future […]

  • Don’t Turn Your Selling Message into a “Selfie”

    Oxford Dictionaries recently named its 2013 Word of the Year:  selfie (For the unaware, a selfie is when someone takes a picture of themselves and posts it on social media.) The word is incredibly popular both in lexicon and application. According to the BBC, use of the word “selfie” increased an astounding 17,000% during 2013. And, […]

  • Five Ways to Prepare for Executive Encounters

    Ever been faced with an unplanned or short-notice meeting with a key customer executive? You don’t always have control over the circumstances that lead to an executive encounter, but you can control how you plan and engage with an executive. Here are five things to consider before having a brief executive conversation. You only have 180 seconds […]

  • Top Three Predictions for Sales in 2014

    We’ve dusted off our crystal ball and peered into the future of the sales industry and it looks bright…for the salesperson who’s willing and ready to step out of their comfort zone, that is. Here are our three big predictions for sales in 2014. Prediction #1 Salespeople have to be able to tell a compelling […]

  • Four Essential Components for Creating the Most Impactful Product Launch in Your Company’s History

    There are four essential factors for ensuring that your next product launch is the most impactful in your company’s history. Do you know what they are?

    Your company is launching a new product. You’ve slaved for months to create an integrated communication strategy and now comes the day of the Big Launch. What do you need to do to make sure your product launch does not fall on deaf ears?

    Here are four essential factors for ensuring that your next product launch is the most impactful in your company’s history.

  • How You Should be Whiteboarding

    Incorporating visual storytelling into your company’s approach to executive decision makers is great, but it needs to be treated like a systematic process if you want to ensure the quality of the message and the delivery. Ever since the book “Back of the Napkin” became popular there has been a movement toward bringing hieroglyphics back […]

  • Why You Should be Whiteboarding

    Whiteboarding can help you integrate the visual storytelling model into your marketing and sales messaging approach as a powerful differentiator in competitive and complex selling environments. We’ve all heard the term “Death by PowerPoint.”  This has become a common way to describe the lack of interactivity and boredom engendered by typical slide presentations.  I heard […]

  • Sales training: keep it simple…and quick to value

    Today’s sales professionals are faced with unprecedented and important changes in their world of work: Increased use of online resources that provide instant access to real-time information. This helps accelerate the sales process…but also makes it harder for sales reps to focus, concentrate, and avoid distraction. Higher levels of information overload from that same technology.  The […]

  • Three trends in sales training you can’t miss

    Important changes in the B2B sales environment are prompting significant changes in the requirement for sales training. Companies are now demanding that sales training not just deliver skills and tools, but do it in ways that helps selling happen faster. To learn how leading companies are responding to this challenge, check out this provocative article […]

  • Greatest hits of 2013

    Before we’re knee-deep in 2014, we thought we’d look back at 2013 to see which thoughts, blogs, musings, videos, and reports resonated the most with you — our loyal readers and casual browsers.

  • Seven Tips for More Effective Sales

    In today’s economy, maximizing sales effectiveness is critical – and could make the difference between struggling for survival and generating growth. Here are seven tips to help you drive more effective sales.

    You always want to ensure that your business is getting the most from your sales resources. But in today’s economy, maximizing sales effectiveness is critical – and could make the difference between struggling for survival and generating growth. Here are seven tips to help you drive more effective sales.

  • CEO confidence in marketing: the big question for 2014

    What does your CEO think about marketing… and what does s/he think about you? Recently our CEO, Joe Terry, received a “CEO Confidence Index” survey from Chief Executive Magazine. The first few questions involved the usual suspects: What’s your assessment of current business conditions? What do you expect overall business conditions to be like one […]

  • Can marketing and sales agree on anything?

    Sales & Marketing Management survey reveals clash of concepts on what matters most We’ve spent the last 20 years talking about marketing and sales alignment, and yet somewhere between your message and your conversations with prospects and customers, something is still broken. Corporate Visions recently teamed up with Sales and Marketing Management to dig into […]

  • Vertical markets require vertical sales strategies

    Customer growth strategies vary by vertical market. Your sales strategy should do likewise.

  • 2014 trends and predictions: a fresh perspective

    CMO.com has just released its roundup of 2014 trends and predictions from leading marketers, including our very own Tim Riesterer. While all the customary topics like online video, mobile, and social media are covered, B2B and B2C marketing leaders also raise thought-provoking ideas such as: the integration between online and offline worlds content marketing focused […]

  • Protect the one percent: plug value leaks

    A one percent change in discounting has nearly a nine percent impact on your operating margins, according to McKinsey and Co. That means a seemingly small slip-up can have a devastating impact–or a small improvement can have huge potential. So what’s your strategy to make sure you get back that one percent for your company? […]

  • Making executive sales calls less intimidating

    Here are 3 ways for applying business acumen to help you feel as confident having business conversations with CXOs as any other decision-maker:

  • How to Increase Your B2B Sales

    In B2B sales, the products are complex, the sales cycles are long, and many decision makers are involved. That’s why it’s critical that your sales reps highlight the benefits that your solution delivers, right? Wrong. Ah, B2B sales. The products are complex, the sales cycles are long, and many decision makers are involved. That’s why […]

  • You Don’t Need a Better Sales Process – You Need a Better Sales Message

    Sales processes and methodologies have been around for more than 20 years. Most companies have tried two or three of them. And most sales people have been trained on at least that many. Don’t you think maybe something is missing? When Sales needs to hunker down and improve its performance, what do you typically hear […]

  • Sales Training that Sticks

    Training is a good thing. But no matter how well you train salespeople for the job at hand, it’s always different when they are in the real situation. So, how can you make sure that your organization’s sales training sticks? The answer is coaching. Training is a good thing – it develops the potential of […]

  • Why Your Sales Message Doesn’t Work

    Why do so many deals in the pipeline end up lost due to “no decision?” It’s a sales message problem. Here’s a breakdown of why your sales message doesn’t work and how to fix it so you can move more deals from no-decision to must-have. You’ve carefully crafted your sales message so that when you’re […]

  • The Most Effective Sales Strategy is a Great Message

    Studies show that the messaging element is far from adequate in today’s sales process. Therefore, the sales strategy needs to focus on customer conversations as a way to create a distinctive purchase experience and separate your company from the competition. To do that effectively, your sales strategy needs to focus on three key areas. When […]

  • Strategies and Tactics for Better Marketing and Sales Alignment

    A marketing and sales alignment problem is a business problem because without alignment, a company cannot effectively execute. Here are some strategies and tactics that can help you get on the alignment path. According to Forrester Research, only eight percent of B2B companies say they have tight alignment between sales and marketing. That means that 92 […]

  • Five Selling Techniques that Really Work… and Five that Don’t

    Who couldn’t use an arsenal of effective selling techniques? Learn what really works, as well as which five classic go-to techniques may be hurting your sales efforts. Who couldn’t use an arsenal of effective selling techniques? But there is a lot of “conventional wisdom” out there that, in reality, doesn’t help you make the sale. […]

  • Presentation Skills: The Two Biggest Reasons Presentations Fail and How to Avoid Them

    The sales presentation is often your first opportunity to showcase your solution to prospects. And yet the typical sales presentation is a snooze fest. So what is going so wrong? The sales presentation is often your first opportunity to showcase your solution to prospects. That’s why presentation skills are critically important. But good presentation skills […]

  • Neuromarketing: Seven Ways to Sell to the Decision-Making Old Brain

    The brain science behind neuromarketing can help improve the way you sell. This article explains why and offers seven tips for success. Funny thing about B2B marketers and sellers – you seem to presume that business decision makers check their brains at the door. Because it would appear, by the messages you develop and the […]

  • The Three Deadly Sins You’re Committing with Your Marketing Message

    You need to get your marketing message right across the entire sales cycle, from demand generation to sales enablement and beyond. Make sure you are not derailing your sales process by committing any of the three deadly marketing message sins. Your marketing message matters. All the best products, features, and services your company offers will […]

  • The Problem with Solution Selling

    Solution selling has been a popular sales methodology for several decades. But it turns out, solution selling may not be the most effective sales approach. Solution selling has been a popular sales methodology for several decades. For a concise definition, we turn to Wikipedia: Solution selling is a sales methodology. Rather than just promoting an existing […]

  • Why Your Value Proposition Comes Up Short

    Most value propositions are poorly conceived and ineffectively delivered. This article explains why your value proposition is coming up short – and how to fix it. If your company is like most, you’ve carefully crafted your value proposition and you’ve trained your salespeople on how to use it. But according to research by Sirius Decisions, […]

  • Bring Them the Bad News

    The days of playing “20-questions” on discovery calls are over. Prospects want insights. Create a distinct point-of-view pitch that will start a buying cycle before your prospects even knew they were ready. View now

  • What is Whiteboard Selling?

    The science behind whiteboard selling View now

  • Sales Enablement

    It’s called Sales Enablement, but it starts with Marketing. And, it ends with Sales getting the messages, tools and training they need, when they need it. Joe Galvin of SiriusDecisions and Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions share insights that both Marketing and Sales executives need to hear. View now

  • Build Your Brand in the Field

    ADP and CSO Insights share their best kept secrets View now

  • Bridge the Messaging Gap

    Move your 30,000-foot brand to the 3-foot customer conversation View now

  • Are You Ready for Sales Readiness?

    Learn which 5 sales readiness initiatives have the biggest impact, based on research from Training Industry, Inc. View now

  • Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales through Visuals

    Watch this one-hour webinar to learn how to free your marketing and sales teams from static slide decks, and enable the field to quickly adopt visual storytelling practices that apply to today’s fast-moving, competitive selling environment. Watch the video See all videos and webinars

  • Don’t throw in the juicer!

    By Tim Riesterer So-called value-added features make you less interesting to buyers When you are in a heated competitive selling situation, are you tempted to throw in or highlight “value-added” features that the prospect has not identified as part of their reason for making a purchase decision? Your thinking is that these “bonus capabilities” will […]

  • Your 2014 sales kickoff: Three ways to leverage your investment

    It’s almost January…and time for the annual sales kick off meeting.  You are about to spend a lot of money, and valuable sales team time, at the event.  Will your company make the most of its (substantial) investment? As Dave Stein at ES Research points out in an informative blog post, sales executives often hire […]

  • Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales through Visuals

    You know that dimming the lights and turning on a PowerPoint is more likely to lull your prospects to sleep than to inspire them to make a buying decision in your favor. So… why are most companies still using slide decks in most of their customer conversations? Watch this one-hour webinar to learn how to […]

  • Bipartisanship in marketing and sales

    A recent Aberdeen survey showed that 74 percent of “best performing” B2B companies are bringing marketing and sales together to improve messaging content. This is a big step forward considering these two departments sometimes struggle like Democrats and Republicans to get on the same page. Bipartisanship typically makes a last-minute appearance when the cause and […]

  • Customer Message Management: Increasing Marketing's Impact on Selling

    In today’s complex market, product advantage is fleeting. It is no longer what you sell, but how you sell it – meaning it is now vital to bridge the gap between sales and marketing. Our book, “Customer Message Management,” does just that, eradicating the disconnect that for years has plagued the two departments and, in […]

  • The $100 Challenge!

    In the spirit of abundance and gratitude, we kicked off the year by challenging our employees to give away $100 as part of our Community Challenge. We gave each person $100 (five $20 bills), and asked them to pay it forward in their community in whatever manner they chose.

  • Why your salespeople don’t hit quota

    Do you know the number one reason your salespeople don’t hit quota? According to analyst firm SiriusDecisions, it’s because they don’t know how to articulate value. This means making your number literally comes down to salespeople with their lips moving and the ability to tell a story so powerful that it causes a prospect to give up their status quo, move past no decision and choose you over a competitor—all while paying a premium.

  • Don’t be a know-it-all

    If you want to get more attention and be more persuasive with your marketing and sales messages, then you will be better off expressing some uncertainty versus complete certainty when presenting your big idea.

  • Year-end discounting: three strategies for helping your team avoid excessive giveaways

    You are nearing the close of the selling year, the time when most annual contracts are up for renewal, and when pricing and discount pressure from buyers is at its peak. Is your team ready? Year-end discounting is expensive. According to McKinsey & Company, for the typical large company a 1% increase in discounts turns into […]

  • The hidden pressures on your buyers

    If you’re like a lot of salespeople, you’ve probably found that negotiations with purchasing have become a lot more competitive lately. As you’ve sat at your desk planning for those tough, tension-filled negotiations, you’ve likely wondered what you can do to manage the situation more effectively and negotiate a better deal. You need more power! […]

  • The best story, told the best way, will win every time

    Every company creates a story for customers, from the moment a prospect visits the website to the time they speak with a salesperson. Your story should be recognizable and unique to you, offering a distinct point of view on the markets you serve. But often, somewhere between the version of your story that marketing wants […]

  • A Method to End Your Marketing Madness

    According to a joint study by the American Marketing Association and the CMO Council, salespeople don’t use 90% of the tools Marketing creates. Why? Your messages are all about you, your products, and your features…not your customer, their challenges, and imminent threats to their business. The problem is, marketers have never had a structured methodology […]

  • Is your team ready for successful cross-cultural negotiation?

    According to a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute, the share of Fortune Global 500 companies located in emerging markets countries will rise to more than 45 percent by 2025. How fast is this change occurring?  The comparable percentage share in 2010 was just 17 percent. One likely implication of this shift:  a dramatic […]

  • Is Your Sales Team TAKING or LOSING Control of Your Sales Process?

    More than 90% of companies raised their sales quotas between 2012 and 2013…but almost half of sales leaders are skeptical about the ability of their sales teams to hit their goals. What’s the problem? Often it’s that your sales team lacks the skills, tools and confidence to TAKE rather than LOSE control of the sales […]

  • Keeping Your Prospects Out of the Hammock

    In a world where there’s so much competition for your prospect’s attention, how do you stand out? Your prospects didn’t wake up this morning and say, “I’m really glad I have that appointment with a salesperson today, so she can get me to stop doing what I’m doing and do something different.” No, in reality, […]

  • The big brain

    At Corporate Visions we often talk about the old brain versus the new brain and how the seller needs to appeal to both parts of the brain that decision makers use to come to a purchasing decision. The old brain is motivated by survival and doesn’t process language, so selling conversations need to include an emotional approach, designed to provoke the decision to change. The new brain is designed for analysis and requires a rational, data-driven approach to justify a decision.

  • Learning from the best: how top companies maximize the value of marketing-sales alignment

    Aberdeen Group recently published research examining how the best-performing B2B companies reinvest in their employees, processes and technologies to maximize the value of marketing and sales alignment, specifically around messaging creation and sales content. The research uncovered that the #1 strategy of companies looking to overcome stalled deals and lengthening sales cycles is to improve […]

  • No Crying in Sales and Marketing

    The baseball playoffs just wrapped up and Paul Hennessey, EVP, BayGroup International (a Corporate Visions Company), mourns the recent loss of his Oakland A’s to the Detroit Tigers and recalls the famous quote “There’s no crying in baseball!” from the movie  “A League of Their Own.” Tom Hanks’ advice, as a coach of a women’s professional […]

  • Being sticky with salespeople

    If you fear that your messages won’t get used by salespeople, you aren’t being unreasonable. A quick review of content downloads by your salespeople will likely reveal that, in general, they use less than 30 percent of the content you’ve created, which means 70 percent of your budget and efforts is going to waste, while key content isn’t sticking or getting used.

  • Having a change of heart about demand generation

    As a marketer or sales professional, you aren’t really in the business of demand generation. You’re actually in the business of “change generation.”

  • Survey says…many organizations still working on sales methodology and better alignment between sales and marketing

    At our recent Marketing & Sales Alignment conference we polled attendees to learn what their biggest challenges were to profitable growth, where in the buying cycle their company’s story is most likely to break, and if their experiences were similar to those that we identified in our recent survey with Sales & Marketing Management magazine. […]

  • How to position yourself to win with purchasing

    In many companies, purchasing organizations have gained C-level influence, reflecting a growing sense that effective supply chain management can drive strategic success. At the same time, new developments in online purchasing technology (such as e-Auctions and online bid management processes) have made it difficult for sales teams to establish their full value.

  • Introducing Messaging Manager: do-it-yourself customer-centric, sales-ready messaging

    You asked for it! In response to frequent client requests, you can now become self-sufficient on Corporate Visions’ Power Positioning® Consulting and Conversation Roadmap™ approach with Messaging Manager™. Our new application is designed to help content marketers build more customer-centric, sales-ready messaging with a structured approach based on our proven messaging model, which includes the […]

  • Three ideas for improving your virtual negotiation skills

    Over the past decade, B2B negotiations have become more complex, faster paced, less personalized and increasingly virtual.  If your experience is like that of most sales professionals, you’re negotiating more and more via email, phone, and even text message. This shift to virtual negotiation changes the dynamic of buyer-seller relationships. As the amount of negotiation […]

  • Marketing Said, Sales Said: Sales & Marketing Management survey reveals clash of concepts on what matters most

    Profitable growth is the top goal of every company. What will a marketer say if you ask, “What is the most important contribution you make to driving profitable growth?” What if you ask a salesperson the exact same question about marketing’s role? Will the answers be the same? Nope. But, you probably already guessed that. […]

  • Taking the fear out of video

    MarketingProfs sat down with Corporate Visions partner Andrew Zimmerman, CMO of Brainshark, for a Q&A about using video to support demand generation activities and sales enablement.

  • How Well Does Your Sales Team Handle the Tension of Buyer Price Negotiations?

    If there’s one thing all sales people agree on, it’s that customer price negotiations create a lot of tension…and that this tension is tough to handle. In fact, according to recent research by Corporate Visions: 88.6% of sales and marketing professionals believe price pressure from their customers and buyers has increased in the past three […]

  • Price Pressure: Is Your Sales Team Ready to Meet the Challenge?

    According to recent research from ES Research Group and Corporate Visions… 72% – of salespeople say buyers have gained more power over sellers in the past three years. 88% – say the amount of price pressure from customers has increased in the past three years. 46% – admit to giving away too much, too soon, […]

  • The experts’ take on living the story

    We’re back from Chicago, our bags are unpacked (truth be told, some of us still have fully packed bags sitting on our bedroom floors), and grooving at the House of Blues has already turned into conference folklore. After two invigorating days of discussions and speakers, and a few fun, but slightly fuzzy nights, what did […]

  • A picture is worth a thousand stories

    As we depart Chicago and continue living the story, let’s be sure take a moment to re-live some of the finer stories from the 2013 Marketing and Sales Alignment Conference. View all event photos Thanks for a great conference everyone.  Stay tuned for details on how to access conference session content. We look forward to […]

  • Chicago, here we come!

    Our bags are packed! We’re ready to live the story at our annual Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference at the Fairmont in Chicago next week, and we can’t wait to see you there! Early check-in begins at 4pm on Tuesday, September 17 and presenters and attendees alike will gather at the welcome reception starting at […]

  • Is your entire organization living your story?

    Every company creates a story for customers, from the moment a prospect visits the website to the time they speak with a salesperson. Your story should be recognizable and unique to you, offering a distinct point of view on the markets you serve. But often, somewhere between the version of your story that marketing wants […]

  • When less is more

    Once you’ve convinced your prospects to change, the next step in the sales conversation is convincing them to choose you. Your natural instinct is to provide as much information as you can about your product and how it stacks up to the competition, but this actually makes you look the same as your competitors. How […]

  • Get fresh perspective, unconventional insights from “Freakonomics” authors and business guru, Tom Peters

    Join master storytellers Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner as they help kick off our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference with their keynote address, Freakonomics, on September 18. Levitt and Dubner, authors of the best-selling books “Freakonomics“ and “SuperFreakonomics,” take on common assumptions about our world that we all take for granted, and turn them upside […]

  • Leslie Talbot offers insight on how to keep the story alive at our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference

    How would you like to make message creation faster and easier, and ensure all your great content remains fresh and accessible to everyone who needs it? In her session, Leslie Talbot, senior consultant for Corporate Visions, will review our new online message creation and collaboration platform. You’ll learn how you can use the system to […]

  • Marketing and sales alignment: how do you stack up?

    In partnership with Aberdeen, we are surveying best-in-class organizations to understand how they re-invest in their people, processes, and technologies to maximize the value of marketing-sales alignment, specifically around sales content and messaging. In appreciation for your participation, you will be provided with a pre-release edition of the research findings in October. The findings from […]

  • Inside sales: is your team maximizing its value add?

    According to a recent Harvard Business Review piece, companies are growing their inside sales forces at a much faster pace than that of their field sales groups. Many companies are focusing on inside sales to lower costs, and to adapt to a world where more B2B buyers are shopping online. But whether the sales team […]

  • Hear Andrew Zimmerman speak about how to leverage video for demand gen at our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference

    Video is a powerful tool that allows companies to tell their story in a unique way and engage an audience’s attention, whether it’s used as part of a demand generation campaign, or as part of a sales enablement strategy. In his session, Andrew Zimmerman, chief marketing officer at Brainshark, the leading cloud-based enablement platform provider, […]

  • Are you considering your prospect’s unconsidered needs?

    If you’re feeling like price pressure has increased in the past few years and you’re struggling to differentiate your solutions from those of your competitors, you’re not alone. These challenges could be a result of poor product positioning and maybe even poor salesmanship. The good news is they can be addressed when you message to […]

  • Announcing our updated Power Messaging system

    We’ve enhanced our Power Messaging® system! This two-day training course is designed to help salespeople create successful sales conversations by differentiating their offerings in a crowded market, while convincing prospects of the need for change.The updated Power Messaging system now includes ‘why change’ and ‘why you’ conversation skills training to help salespeople learn how to […]

  • Interview with Barbara Vlacich, vice president of presales operations and sales effectiveness, Kronos: Part #1

    We had a chance to speak with Barbara Vlacich, vice president of presales operations and sales effectiveness at Kronos, about how Kronos tackles marketing and sales alignment, their business opportunities and challenges, and what to expect from her presentation at our upcoming Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference. Here is Part #1 of our two-part interview. Q: How is the sales and marketing […]

  • Get fired up over the latest speaker added to our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference

    What happens when you rally the entire organization – from marketing and sales, to finance, operations and legal – around a new approach to bolster sales performance? Find out by attending Don’t Fire Them, Fire Them Up, presented by CPA Global’s senior vice president Americas, Joe Mischler. Learn why providing the right programs, plans and […]

  • Are you losing your prospect’s attention?

    King-of-cool, messaging-maven Dabney Steele, demonstrates how to use grabbers to keep your prospect from snoozing in the proverbial hammock.

  • New webinar: What’s Getting in the Way of Your Profitable Sales Growth?

    If you weren’t able to attend our live event on August 6, you can now view the recorded session covering best practices and insights from sales performance experts Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions and Paul Hennessey of BayGroup International (a Corporate Visions Company). In this webinar Paul and Tim provide actionable insights for leaders on […]

  • SAVO executives join the pool of speakers for our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference

    In what is sure to be a compelling session, Scott Eidle, director of solutions marketing, mobile apps and Matt Guido, vice president of alliances and business development of SAVO will discuss how world-class sales organizations are using iPads and mobile devices to drive consistent, winning messaging through their sales teams and to their customers. Scott […]

  • Is price discounting a marketing problem?

    Recent research from McKinsey and Co. indicates that a 1% change in discounting during sales negotiations can have a 9% impact on a company’s operating margins. But price discounting is clearly a sales problem, right? Not exactly. According to our recent survey of marketers and salespeople, we found that over half of the respondents cited […]

  • The “old brain” craves contrast

    You know you need to sell to the decision makers. But do you know how to message to the decision-making part of their brains? This part of the brain is described by American psychologist Robert Ornstein as the “old brain.” Your messaging needs to feed the old brain the thing it craves most to make […]

  • Internet Marketing Blog: Visual Content Marketing Insights from 13 Genius Thought Leaders

    In a recent post on the Internet Marketing Blog, 13 thought leaders share their recommendations to optimize visual content marketing. Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer at Corporate Visions, explains that marketers need to “create a sense of urgency for change.” He defines the “three Cs” of great visuals as Context, Contrast, and Concrete. […]

  • “Conversations, not presentations,” says Dabney Steele, conversation expert

    Mr. Perfect Salesperson is back. Dabney Steele, conversation expert, explains why you can’t be a consultative seller if you’re a PowerPoint jockey.

  • Three counterintuitive ideas for making your growth strategies work

    by Tim Riesterer Companies looking for more profitable growth often turn to the following three common strategies. But each has a major flaw that causes you to continue leaking precious margin. Do any of these sound familiar? 1. Pricing and discount strategies: You’ve developed new pricing policies, you’ve rearranged the compensation plan to encourage more […]

  • Our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference just gained another awesome speaker: Jeff Cristee

    The very talented Jeff Cristee of Cisco will speak at our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference in September. As vice president of worldwide sales and partner training programs, Jeff leads a team that is responsible for training more than 18,000 direct sellers and 100,000 partner sellers. The worldwide sales training organization develops and delivers training […]

  • Tell ‘Em… Why Change?

    Dabney Steele, our conversation expert and salesperson extraordinaire,  waxes poetic on the challenge of getting prospects to ditch the status quo and embrace change.  As Dabney explains, it’s all about showing them that the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. Watch Dabney’s latest video to learn more.

  • 1to1 Magazine: The Top 5 Demand Generation Strategies

    In a recent 1to1 Magazine article, industry pros discuss their most influential demand generation strategies for finding and closing highly qualified leads. Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer at Corporate Visions, explains that organizations have left out the human factor from their demand generation process, which produces too many unresponsive and unqualified leads for […]

  • Join our Webinar on 8/6: What’s Getting in the Way of Your Profitable Sales Growth?

    We’re conducting a free webinar on Tuesday, August 6 at 10 AM Pacific time (1 PM Eastern time). Sales performance experts Tim Riesterer from Corporate Visions and Paul Hennessey from BayGroup International (a Corporate Visions Company) will share best practices and insights from top performing companies on how to align the people side of sales […]

  • A conversation with leaders at CUNA Mutual Group

    We were thrilled to chat recently with Sue Racine, Terry Cogburn, and Adam Birenbaum of CUNA Mutual Group, who will present at our upcoming Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference. Sue is the director of credit union product marketing, Terry is director of sales learning for product, and Adam is sales enablement manager. Find out how […]

  • Problem Finding Vs. Problem Solving: Your Messaging Needs To Get In Front Of Your Customers

    Your products and services “are far more valuable when your prospect is mistaken, confused or completely clueless about their true problem.” — Daniel Pink, To Sell is Human Huh? What? Think about it. If your prospects know precisely what their problems are, they can often find the information they need to make their decisions−with limited […]

  • We’re excited to add another stellar speaker to the roster for our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference!

    We’re excited to add another stellar speaker to the roster for our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference!

  • Three Emerging Trends in Sales Training You Can’t Afford to Miss

    The landscape in B2B selling is changing. Salespeople encounter multiple obstacles during the sales process – increases in the power of purchasing organizations, more committee decision-making, and fierce global competition. Now, more than ever, sales training needs to do more than deliver skills and tools. In today’s selling environment, sales training needs to empower salespeople […]

  • Getting More in Sales Negotiations: Focus on Opportunities

    As you may recall, Corporate Visions recently acquired BayGroup International, a recognized sales negotiation and sales execution skills training company. Our peers at BayGroup International share their thoughts on getting more from sales negotiations below: We all know that those who ask for more in sales negotiations get more. But what can you do to ensure that you’re most likely […]

  • 3 Ways Sellers Can Use the Top IT-enabled Business Trends for the Decade Ahead

    McKinsey & Company recently published their take on the Top 10 IT-enabled business trends for the decade ahead.  From social technologies to competing with big data, the report addresses implications resulting from rapidly changing information and communication technologies. We’ve highlighted three trends with suggestions to help sales professionals think differently, and engage in business conversations […]

  • Interview with Eduardo Conrado, SVP of marketing & IT, Motorola Solutions: Part #2

    We had the pleasure of speaking with Eduardo Conrado, Motorola Solutions’ senior vice president, marketing & IT, about how Motorola Solutions tackles marketing and sales alignment, their business opportunities and challenges, how Eduardo and Motorola Solutions live their story, and what to expect from Eduardo’s presentation at our upcoming Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference.

  • Boz Malik of Owens Corning joins our speaker panel for the Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference!

    Boz Malik, vice president of sales, engineered insulation systems at Owens Corning is the latest addition to our roster of speakers for our Marketing and Sales Alignment Conference. In this role, Boz is responsible for providing sales leadership for the engineered insulation business and driving profitable top-line growth by emphasizing teamwork and accountability from the […]

  • Boz Malik of Owens Corning joins our speaker panel for the Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference!

    Boz Malik, vice president of sales, engineered insulation systems at Owens Corning is the latest addition to our roster of speakers for our Marketing and Sales Alignment Conference. In this role, Boz is responsible for providing sales leadership for the engineered insulation business and driving profitable top-line growth by emphasizing teamwork and accountability from the […]

  • Interview with Eduardo Conrado, SVP of marketing & IT, Motorola Solutions: Part #1

    We had the pleasure of speaking to Eduardo Conrado, Motorola Solutions’ senior vice president, marketing & IT, about how Motorola Solutions tackles marketing and sales alignment, their business opportunities and challenges, how Eduardo and Motorola live their story, and what to expect from Eduardo’s presentation at our upcoming Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference.

  • Interview with Eduardo Conrado, SVP of marketing & IT, Motorola Solutions: Part #1

    We had the pleasure of speaking to Eduardo Conrado, Motorola Solutions’ senior vice president, marketing & IT, about how Motorola Solutions tackles marketing and sales alignment, their business opportunities and challenges, how Eduardo and Motorola live their story, and what to expect from Eduardo’s presentation at our upcoming Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference.

  • Toss the exploratory questions and focus on the right message

    Tim Riesterer, our chief strategy and marketing officer, is featured in a recent post on the Repeatable Success blog, Sales: Those that can’t close, can’t open, which suggests that when a salesperson uses exploratory questions to begin sales conversations, the decision maker often doesn’t see the shortcomings of his current solution. The blog post includes […]

  • Profitable Negotiating: It’s Counterintuitive

    Quotas for sales reps are rising and sales managers are concerned their teams may not be up to the task. Push your reps out of their comfort zones for a new approach to sales negotiations.

  • How to Read an Annual Report in 20 Minutes to Gain Sales Insights

    Written in everyday language, your customer’s Annual Report to Shareholders offers a wealth of easily understood information to learn about your customer’s business and inform your sales strategy. Use these shortcuts to capture the information most relevant for sellers.  In the upcoming Part II of this series, we’ll share a similar exercise using your customer’s […]

  • Good news! Gregg Christensen from United Rentals will present at our Marketing & Sales Alignment conference

    We’re excited to tell you that Gregg Christensen has joined the impressive panel of speakers at our upcoming Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference, “Live the Story.” Gregg is currently the vice president of sales force effectiveness for United Rentals Inc., the world’s largest construction and industrial equipment rental company operating in the U.S. and Canada. […]

  • How big is your execution gap?

    In April 2013, Corporate Visions acquired BayGroup International, a recognized sales negotiation and sales execution skills training company. Our peers at BayGroup International share their insights on profitable growth below: What does sales leadership want? It boils down to one thing: Profitable Growth – bigger deals, higher margins, better pricing, and larger customer relationships. This is important, […]

  • It’s official! Another great speaker announced for our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference!

    We’re pleased to announce that Sue Racine will present at our annual Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference in September. Sue is the director of Credit Union product marketing for CUNA Mutual Group. In her current position, Sue oversees B2B marketing for the company’s commercial, consumer and lending business units, as well as the Web channel […]

  • Content strategy should focus on sales leads, not “BFFs”

    Who doesn’t want more “BFFs” ? Our very own Tim Riesterer, that’s who!  Tim attended a recent industry conference on demand generation and content marketing, and was struck by a presenter who listed the last stage in a content marketing strategy as “BFF.” While “likes” and “BFFs” are great at raising awareness about your solution, […]

  • Problem finding vs. problem solving

    By Tim Riesterer Your products and services “are far more valuable when your prospect is mistaken, confused or completely clueless about their true problem.” Ha? Wuh? It’s a quote from Dan Pink’s new book, “To Sell is Human.” Think about it.  If your prospects know precisely what their problem is, they can often find the […]

  • Two surefire openings to grab your audience’s attention

    by Tim Riesterer I recently read this article describing a radically different job interview approach being used by Heineken, the Dutch brewer. The company conducted quirky video interviews with candidates, then posted the videos internally and asked current employees to vote for the most appealing candidate. Then, the company took the whole process public and […]

  • We’re excited to announce another speaker for our annual conference!

    We’re thrilled to announce that Adam Birenbaum, sales enablement manager at CUNA Mutual Group, will be a featured speaker at our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference in September. We look forward to hearing Adam’s session on aligning marketing and sales through messaging. Here is Adam’s official bio: Adam began his career at the CUNA Mutual Group […]

  • Marketing Weekly: Product Launches Often Fail Because of a Lack of Training

    Marketing Weekly’s take on the results of Corporate Visions’ latest sales quarterly and messaging report.

  • When does 1% equal 9%?

    According to McKinsey and Co., companies that reduce their discounting during sales negotiations by 1% increase their operating margins by 9%. The key to gaining this margin improvement is to create value throughout the sales cycle in order to avoid excessive discounting once you move into the procurement phase. Marketing and sales need to work […]

  • Take this 60 second poll!

    Take this 60 second poll!

  • So, a hostage negotiator walks into a car dealership…

    Real-life examples of a successful negotiation strategies, as presented on a recent National Public Radio Planet Money podcast.

  • Your buyers are saying one thing and doing another

    by Tim Riesterer A recent spate of research from big industry analysts found that buyers believe they are at least 60 percent done with their buying process before they seek out a salesperson. At the same time, ironically, there is documented evidence that 60 percent of qualified leads end the sales cycle in “no decision,” […]

  • Tim Riesterer dishes on “zombies” and the “unloved”

    Although it may seem that our Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Tim Riesterer, has watched a few too many episodes of AMC’s hit TV show, The Walking Dead, we assure you that he’s still focused squarely on helping companies create more sales opportunities. In a recent article, Tim discussed tactics for engaging with leads that […]

  • Marketing and sales disconnect hits the bottom line

    The real cost of the lack of collaboration between marketing and sales, which results in increased sales cycles, took center stage during a panel session at the recent B2B Content2Conversion conference.  Our very own Tim Riesterer participated in a panel session on sales enablement strategies and shared his insights, along with representatives from Oracle and Marseli, on […]

  • New Report: The State of Sales and Purchasing

    If your reps aren’t helping your prospects see the difference between your solution and your competition’s, and working collaboratively with buyers to navigate an increasingly complex buying process, you’ll get dragged into these bake-off traps every time. Any deals you manage to recover will be won at the expense of your profitability.

  • Mixed signals from buyers – they’re further from making a decision than they think!

    Buyers claim they’re 60% done with their buying process before they contact a salesperson, but at the same time, 60% of qualified leads end in “no decision.”  So what is the explanation for this disconnect? It’s something economists refer to as “declared preference” versus “revealed preference,” essentially, when buyers are forced to put their money […]

  • More kudos for our new book – "Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales Through Visuals"

    We’ve got another positive review of our latest book, Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales Through Visuals, from Dave Stein, founder, chairman and chief executive officer, at ES Research Group.  Stein points out that what sets the book apart from others on the same topic is that it provides an established whiteboarding methodology and also offers a strategy for […]

  • More kudos for our new book – “Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales Through Visuals”

    We’ve got another positive review of our latest book, Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales Through Visuals, from Dave Stein, founder, chairman and chief executive officer, at ES Research Group.  Stein points out that what sets the book apart from others on the same topic is that it provides an established whiteboarding methodology and also offers a strategy for […]

  • Top challenges in product launch messaging

    Your company is launching a new product. You’ve slaved for months to create an integrated communication strategy, and the big, ta-da moment is here. Now what?

  • Another rock star speaker joins the roster for our Marketing & Sales alignment conference!

    We’re excited that Thierry van Herwijnen, executive sales enablement strategist at Cisco Systems, will speak at our annual Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference in September. Here’s Thierry’s bio: Thierry van Herwijnen is an accomplished executive sales leader who, for the past eight years, has been at the forefront of global sales enablement. Thierry grew up […]

  • Another rock star speaker joins the roster for our Marketing & Sales alignment conference!

    We’re excited that Thierry van Herwijnen, executive sales enablement strategist at Cisco Systems, will speak at our annual Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference in September. Here’s Thierry’s bio: Thierry van Herwijnen is an accomplished executive sales leader who, for the past eight years, has been at the forefront of global sales enablement. Thierry grew up […]

  • Sales Execution: Stopping Value Leakage

    Excessive discounting. Margin erosion. Deal “sweeteners.” Whatever it’s called, the problem is the same: “value leakage” in customer conversations that costs your company money. Stopping this “value leakage” is key to maximizing the size and profitability of customer contracts. Learn more now by watching this video: “This post originally appeared on the blog of BayGroup […]

  • The three “Cs” of content marketing

    We often talk about the power of images in visual storytelling and content marketing is no exception. It all goes back to waking up the “old brain” – the part of our brain that can’t process language, but responds to visuals. The best way to get through to the “old brain” is to use simple […]

  • The three “Cs” of content marketing

    We often talk about the power of images in visual storytelling and content marketing is no exception. It all goes back to waking up the “old brain” – the part of our brain that can’t process language, but responds to visuals. The best way to get through to the “old brain” is to use simple […]

  • And the great speakers just keep on coming…

    Lindsay Allen, Vice President of Marketing for Superior Essex, will be among the best and brightest speaking about “living the story” at the September conference.

  • Connect with your inner caveman for successful whiteboarding conversations

    We all know that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and the caveman’s use of images for communication may have been the earliest example. But when it comes to sales conversations with executive decision makers, too many salespeople are still relying on text-heavy PowerPoint presentations, even when recent research from Aberdeen indicates that 88% […]

  • What does Kronos have to say about sales and marketing?

    Barbara Vlacich, vice president of presales operations and sales effectiveness at Kronos, joins the roster of speakers for our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference, taking place on September 17-19 in Chicago.

  • Are YOU a slide addict?

    You know visual communications and whiteboard selling are more effective means of interacting with, and selling to, prospects…but you’re still PowerPointing.

  • And the amazing speakers just keep coming…UPS!

    We’re so honored that Kate Gutmann, president of worldwide sales for UPS, has joined the growing roster of rock star speakers at our annual Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference.

  • Buyers who say they are 60% done with the buying cycle before they engage a sales person are lying to you.

    By Tim Riesterer I recently tweeted that if buyers say they are 60% done with the buying cycle before they call in a sales rep, then why do 60% of them end up making “no decision?” I’m referring to the recent spate of research from big industry analysts indicating that salespeople are being relegated to […]

  • Our new book is hot off the presses – “Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales through Visuals”

    “Whiteboard Selling” is currently #10 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list for marketing and sales books! Congratulations to Corey Sommers, Senior Vice President of Whiteboard Strategy, and David Jenkins, co-authors of our latest book, Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales through Visuals, a practical guide on how salespeople and marketers can transform their messages using whiteboarding as […]

  • People are talking about our acquisition of BayGroup International!

    In case you missed it, we made a splash earlier this week with our acquisition of BayGroup International.  We think that BayGroup’s sales negotiation and sales execution skills training are the perfect complement to our sales and marketing messaging, tools and training. This winning combination creates a powerful and comprehensive approach to improving the customer […]

  • Preparing your salespeople to make the leap from PowerPoint to visual storytelling

    For strategies on how to prepare your salespeople to use visual storytelling in sales conversations with prospects and customers, read Tim Riesterer’s latest CMO.com column, Whiteboard Vs. PowerPoint: Enabling Sales To Tell Visual Stories.

  • Corporate Visions acquires BayGroup International

    We’re thrilled to announce that BayGroup is now a part of Corporate Visions!

  • The battle over lead generation rages on: sales vs. marketing

    The Hatfields and the McCoys, the Sharks and the Jets, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox…we can now add sales and marketing to this list of longstanding rivalries. Recent research from Lattice Engines, a provider of Big Data platforms for sales and marketing (see infographic, indicates that the age-old feud between sales […]

  • Bad things happen in the dark

    We’ve said it so many times, it’s become a mantra at Corporate Visions. Turning out the lights and giving PowerPoint presentations is a bad idea. We’ve shown statistics, given examples, and written articles illustrating why delivering canned presentations in the dark is an ineffective communication and sales strategy. But this commercial – a great example of the power of visual communications, BTW – says it all.

  • Another fabulous speaker added to the Alignment Conference roster

    We’re thrilled to let everyone know that Greg Alexander, CEO of Sales Benchark Index — a leading sales and marketing consultancy focused exclusively on helping B2B companies accelerate their revenue growth — has joined the illustrious team of speakers for our Marketing & Sales Alignment conference, being held in Chicago on September 17-19, 2013.

  • Sales Negotiation: Three Strategies for Improving Results With Purchasing Organizations

    In a recent study by ES Research Group, 72% of buyers and 62% of sellers agreed that buyers have gained power in supplier negotiations over the past three years. In many companies, purchasing organizations have gained C-level influence, reflecting a growing sense that effective supply chain management can drive strategic success. At the same time, […]

  • Four keys to a successful product launch

    Your company is launching a new product. You’ve slaved for months to create an integrated communication strategy and the day of the Big Launch is here.  What next? What do you need to do to make sure your product launch doesn’t fall on deaf ears? Here are four ways to ensure your product launch is […]

  • No. 1 requirement for measuring ROI on sales training

    As a Learning and Development leader, you’re expected to assess projected return on sales training before you invest in program.  Are you struggling to build your case? Let’s start with the basics:  A $1,200 training program costs 50% more than an $800 program, right? You may be surprised how rarely this is the case.  Don’t […]

  • Nine common phrases made great by using "you" instead of "we"

    by Tim Riesterer When the littlest piggy cries, “Wee, wee, wee” all the way home, that isn’t a good thing. And neither is saying “we, we, we” all over your website, campaigns, and marketing and sales messages. If you could do only one thing this year that could make an instant difference in your messaging, […]

  • Nine common phrases made great by using “you” instead of “we”

    by Tim Riesterer When the littlest piggy cries, “Wee, wee, wee” all the way home, that isn’t a good thing. And neither is saying “we, we, we” all over your website, campaigns, and marketing and sales messages. If you could do only one thing this year that could make an instant difference in your messaging, […]

  • Another great speaker signs on for Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference!

    We’re excited to announce that Eduardo Conrado, senior vice president of marketing & IT at Motorola Solutions, Inc. will be a speaker at our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference this September.  Eduardo has more than 20 years of experience at Motorola Solutions, Inc. and has held a variety of marketing leadership roles in the company’s […]

  • Another great speaker signs on for Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference!

    We’re excited to announce that Eduardo Conrado, senior vice president of marketing & IT at Motorola Solutions, Inc. will be a speaker at our Marketing & Sales Alignment Conference this September.  Eduardo has more than 20 years of experience at Motorola Solutions, Inc. and has held a variety of marketing leadership roles in the company’s […]

  • A swing and a miss: good intentions, bad instincts

    Many marketers and salespeople have the right intentions, but the wrong instincts when it comes to their messages.

  • 3 steps marketers need to take to enable sales success

    More and more, salespeople are using the conversations they have with prospects as the primary way to differentiate themselves from the competition. This means developing great sales messages that speak to the needs of your prospects and delivering those messages at the right time in the buying cycle. The best way to craft effective messaging […]

  • Treat your prospects as if you like them

    One of the best ways we show people we like them is by sharing stories. Making story sharing part of the way you talk to customers will deepen and strengthen the bond you have with them and make the entire relationship more rewarding. And, ideally, your customers will begin sharing stories with you.

  • 2 sales filters to qualify sales leads found in customer annual reports

    After following the steps for mining your account’s Annual Report to Shareholders and Form 10-K annual report to identify new sales opportunities, you may find yourself with customer insight overload. Here are two filters you can employ for prioritizing your best opportunities for understanding your customer’s business and qualifying your sales leads: 1. Rank Your Customer’s […]

  • Maximizing your sales training investment with coaching

    Effective sales training programs include ongoing coaching by sales managers to continually reinforce sales techniques.

  • Busting three common sales and marketing myths

    Myths are so pervasive and engrained in our culture that it’s very difficult to put them to rest, even in the face of the truth. Sugar makes you hyper, 80% of your body heat is lost through the top of your head — these are just two common myths that people cite as fact when they experience a spastic child […]

  • Are you a sinner?

    You’re meeting a prospect and your PowerPoint presentation is ready to rock – it’s packed with slides  detailing your product’s many features and benefits, your company’s illustrious history and the obligatory customer logo slide. You may think you’re prepared for your meeting, but, in reality, you are about to commit one of the deadly sins […]

  • Secret sales insights inside that other annual report: Form 10-K

    Lengthy and not as widely distributed as the Annual Report to Shareholders covered in Part I of this series, Form 10-Ks hide sales insights your competitors rarely learn about.  The trick is to know which specific sections to mine. By reading her account’s 10-K, one sales professional we were working with discovered that they had […]

  • Corporate Visions to discuss whiteboarding at Forrester Sales Enablement Forum

    Tim Riesterer will speak about “Whiteboarding on Purpose: The Key to a Successful Sales Conversation” on Monday, March 4 at the Sales Enablement Forum in Scottsdale, Ariz.  Tim will discuss how whiteboards – when created on-purpose for various stages of the buying cycle – can ensure that salespeople deliver a simple, repeatable message to move […]

  • Tim Riesterer offers advice on marketing to millenials

    Our very own Tim Riesterer is featured in a recent article, “Keeping Up with the Connected: 3 Steps for Marketing to the Millennial Generation” in 1to1 Magazine.   The article provides tips for marketing to a generation that is intimately connected to technology, which makes them difficult to reach. Tim discusses why using images and videos […]

  • Negotiating With Purchasing? (Don’t Miss This Article)

    If you are involved in improving the results of negotiations between buyers and sellers you’ll want to read “Dancing Lessons,” an article in the latest issue of Sales & Marketing Management magazine. The article is by Dave Stein, CEO of ES Research Group, and highlights key findings of its recent State of Sales and Purchasing […]

  • Finding your Magic Eye

                          Remember Magic Eye  pictures – the headache-inducing, 2-D pictures that masked 3-D images, that were all the rage in the ’90s? At first glance, the picture looks like a flat, colorful, trippy pattern. Interesting, but nothing special. But with some practice and  technique – […]

  • Another reason to become a storyteller: storytellers win!

    Some of the most successful salespeople are master storytellers who use their skills to move prospects and customers away from the status quo and toward a buying decision. Find your inner storyteller at our Marketing and Sales Alignment conference, Live the Story, this September.

  • Move from “we” to “you” and make the customer the center of the story

    Using “you” instead of “we” in marketing content forces you to live in your prospects’ and customers’ world, the place they need you to care about and understand if you want to close more deals with them.

  • Crossing Over No Brands Land: What a B2B Brand Mascot Looks Like

    A B2B company’s brand mascot isn’t a fictitious character in a costume − it’s the living, breathing salesperson. Arming your sales team with the right messaging and tools, and training them to properly deliver your brand message is essential to your company’s success.

  • Demand-Generation Success: Awakening The Old Brain

    Demand generation programs can no longer ignore the brain science that supports visual storytelling and the use of video as an effective way to reach prospects and help them make a purchase decision.

  • The wait is over! The event of the year is back.

    Register now for Corporate Visions’ annual Marketing and Sales Alignment Conference, “Live the Story”

  • Three tips for creating million-dollar messaging

    Three tips on how to create messaging that helps you rise above the competition and move your prospects and customers to a purchase decision.

  • Don’t be like “Groundhog Day” – don’t send your prospects back into their hole

    Four tips to ensure your marketing messages aren’t lulling prospects to sleep.

  • “Conversations that Win the Complex Sale” ranked #12 on bestsellers of 2012

    “Conversations that Win the Complex Sale” ranked #12 on the list of the 25 “800-CEO-READ Bestsellers of 2012.”

  • “Spartans, what is your profession?!!!!” Are you a potter, a sculptor, a blacksmith?

    Companies that Live Their Story develop messages that matter, deploy tools that get used, and train on skills to deliver conversations that win.

  • Sparking the lizard brain to respond to social media

    Social media is all about engaging the “lizard brain” (or “old brain) with compelling visual stories that convince your prospects to change.

  • SAVO Group launches Corporate Visions' application

    SAVO Group launched the SAVO for CVI application today, designed specifically for Corporate Visions, Inc.’s customers to reinforce and drive consistent sales messaging in the field.

  • SAVO Group launches Corporate Visions’ application

    SAVO Group launched the SAVO for CVI application today, designed specifically for Corporate Visions, Inc.’s customers to reinforce and drive consistent sales messaging in the field.

  • It’s not a wheel. It’s a carousel.

    A clip from the megahit TV show, Mad Men, shows how Don Draper uses his personal story in a pitch to win the Kodak slide projector account.

  • Living the story

    Living the story means communicating your company’s story clearly and consistently. Even the most well-known brands make missteps.

  • Visual storytelling – essential skill to help salespeople sell higher

    When salespeople understand the art and science of visual storytelling their productivity, deal cycles and lead conversion rates improve.

  • Tim Riesterer named top 7 CMOs to watch in 2013

    Congratulations to Tim Riesterer, our chief strategy and marketing officer, on being named one of seven “CMOs you should watch in 2013.” The list, which was compiled by Amanda Batista, former Managing Editor of DemandGen Report and eloqua guest blogger, features progressive CMOs who are using social, mobile and traditional marketing tools to drive sales. […]

  • Persuading People: Art or Science?

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “The Science Behind Persuading People,” talks about the scientific explanations for how people are influenced. “Influence isn’t an art. There’s over 60 years of research and evidence that shows how we can effectively move people. My advice would be to learn the science.”

  • The Q4 messaging report is out: 87% of salespeople are missing the boat!

    Only 13% of respondents use whiteboarding in customer conversations, which means that the vast majority of salespeople are missing out on the chance to differentiate their messages, conversations and presentations to customers and prospects.

  • Sales Execution: What It Takes to Succeed in the Changing World of Procurement Negotiation

    ES Research recently conducted a study on “The State of Sales and Purchasing.”  In an interview with ES Research Founder Dave Stein, we shared a number of insights on what it takes to succeed in the changing world of procurement negotiation. The conversation focused on two key findings from the study: The need for both […]

  • Whiteboard Selling: Empowering Sales through Visuals By Corey Sommers and David Jenkins

    Whiteboarding is a powerful visual storytelling technique that’s much more than stick figures and illustrated icons. It helps salespeople deliver critical messages in today’s fast-moving and competitive selling environment. Included are explanations, exercises and other activities for creating whiteboard presentations that engage customers and prospects, and win their business. Order now Read more

  • Conversation System Overview

    Learn about how we work with companies to maximize value in their sales and marketing efforts. Download our Conversation System Overview

  • Death of a (traditional) Salesman

    How has technology changed the world of inside sales? Read the new Bloomberg Businessweek article, “Willy Loman Turns to Windows as Web Spurs Sales Changes.”

  • Is VOC (voice-of-the-customer) research marketing’s fool’s gold?

    Declared versus revealed preference threatens the usefulness of VOC research.

  • How to hold a kick-butt, kickoff sales meeting

    It’s the start of a new year and across the world, large and small sales teams are gathering – or preparing to gather – to kick off a new season of selling with new products and new and improved ways of selling them. Make this year’s sales meeting interactive and informative by introducing whiteboard selling.

  • Think of your Message as a Gift

    Great marketing and sales messaging is like giving a gift. Messaging should add value by identifying unrecognized, or unknown, or under-appreciated needs, then showing the prospect why the needs are worth dealing with, and how your offering has been designed specifically to help meet those needs.

  • 5 gift ideas for the salesperson who believes visual storytelling is the way to differentiate and sell successfully!

    For your convenience, we’ve assembled a list of gift ideas for your favorite visual storytelling salesperson.

  • We Need to Talk — Your Persona is Lying

    For years marketers have created personas–fictional characters that embody all the traits of their prospects. They have names, beliefs, demographic attributes, and behaviors that help create relevant marketing messages. But do prospects actually respond better to a message because it was based on a persona? Is the persona driving prospects’ responses to the message?

  • 88% of executive decision-makers want to have a conversation…are you ready?

    Your sales force is armed with PowerPoint and a checklist of questions, but executive decision-makers are looking for conversation and some thought-provoking questions. What tools and skills do your salespeople need to help transition them from presentation mode to discussion mode? They need to be able to tell the company story, offer insights into the prospect’s business and converse in a way that’s meaningful. They need to be able to whiteboard.

  • Captivating Presentations…without PowerPoint

    How does a symphony conductor captivate a room full of marketing and sales execs for two hours…without using PowerPoint? Stories, dramas, whiteboards, props and more.

  • A lesson for anyone who persuades others for a living

    By Erik Peterson, Corporate Visions A year ago, I got tennis elbow. It was really painful. I went to my doctor who prescribed some pain medication and referred me to a specialist. I had a heavy travel schedule, so I decided to just take the medicine and book the specialist visit when my schedule lightened […]

  • Sales enablement training can help overcome bad hiring decisions

    Here are a couple ideas for how to isolate the challenges with new hires and help fix some of your broken hires.

  • It’s your journey: what Ironman has taught me about racing, business and life

    Ironman is a lot like life and business in many ways. Here are my race day takeaways:

    • Anything can happen. It’s a long day; you must stick with your plan.
    • There are so many ups and downs: you need to work through them, stick to your goals, keep to the plan and have faith that if you do the right things, it will all work out on the other side.
    • You must put in the time in order to do your best; there are no shortcuts in Ironman or life. If you don’t put in the training, map out your plan, and execute on your plan, then you shouldn’t expect to perform at a high level.
    • There is inspiration everywhere around you and miracles happening every day.
    • It’s your journey – no one else’s. You must follow your path and not worry about comparing yourself to others. There is ALWAYS someone who is faster, more successful, richer, better looking, has nicer “stuff,” a better job, more education, etc. Playing the compare and contrast game is a losing proposition with no sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Your number one goal should be to win against yourself. As long as you are constantly getting better than you, you will be unstoppable!

  • What the Riddler, Alfred Hitchcock, and Jimmy James can teach you about messaging

    In an attempt to be clever, comprehensive, or incorporate the latest buzzwords and acronyms, companies continually turn basic communication into a conundrum. Fortunately – by following the wisdom of The Riddler, Hitchcock, and James – you can avoid those pitfalls and save your messaging.

  • The hobos were onto something

    Without smartphones or PowerPoint – heck, they couldn’t even circulate written messages on paper – hobos developed a way to tell each other the often life-saving information of where to go to get work and how to avoid danger. The symbols were meaningful, memorable, and simple.

  • Trick or Treat? Are Your Customers Telling You the Truth?

    What customers say they’ll do and what customers actually do is a tricky thing. Research has shown that when there’s little risk involved, people imagine they’ll do all sorts of things that — when push comes to shove — they don’t end up doing. And that can be devastating to a business relying on customer insights.

  • Enthralling Conversations, Meaningful Pictures: They're Engaged!

    Whiteboard imagery embodies the simplicity of ancient communications to convey powerful meaning to the old brain. That coupled with a great story with contrast is an order of magnitude more persuasive than PowerPoint using metaphorical or borrowed interest photography.

  • Enthralling Conversations, Meaningful Pictures: They’re Engaged!

    Whiteboard imagery embodies the simplicity of ancient communications to convey powerful meaning to the old brain. That coupled with a great story with contrast is an order of magnitude more persuasive than PowerPoint using metaphorical or borrowed interest photography.

  • Negotiation Training: Is Yours INTENSE Enough?

    In a recent article in Chief Learning Officer magazine, Elliott Masie highlights the importance of intensity in the design of successful training.  He states that “the learning field rarely has an open, honest conversation about intensity and behavioral and instructional assumptions.” This topic is of particular importance to those who implement negotiation training.  In an […]

  • Killing them Softly with PowerPoint? Wake them up with Whiteboarding!

    In this post, we’ll look at five ways salespeople can boost performance using “visual storytelling” instead of slides. Whether using a whiteboard, a flip chart, the back of an envelope or a tablet PC via desktop sharing software, you can integrate the visual storytelling model into your existing sales methodology and apply the approach as a powerful differentiator in competitive and complex selling environments.

  • The Five Biggest Messaging Myths

    Breaking the status quo and taking your Marketing and Sales efforts to the next level requires challenging some long-held, favored messaging mantras. Are you being held back by any of these five false assumptions?

  • The Elevator Pitch is Out of Order

    Six years ago we blogged about how to differentiate yourself with your elevator pitch, in the unlikely scenario that you’re sharing a 22-floor elevator ride with a potential prospect. And in the last six years, you – like every other marketing and salesperson – have probably spent a lot of time and resources trying to perfect that pitch.

  • Marketing’s Job Doesn’t Stop at “Sales Accepted”

    Congratulations, marketer!  You’ve generated qualified leads by the dozen that you’re handing over to sales for follow up. Your job is done, right?  Not even close. SiriusDecisions, a leading marketing and sales effectiveness analyst firm, recently published a blog post called, “Sales Accepted Leads: The Most Important (and Most Overlooked) Step in the Demand Creation […]

  • Sales Negotiation: Three Strategies for Getting Your Price

    The pressure on today’s B2B sales teams to lower prices has never been more intense.  What can you and your team do to counteract the challenges of aggressive competitors, powerful purchasing managers, and online RFP processes? High performers know that sometimes you have to make concessions to win business.  But they also know that three […]

  • Survey Finds 1 in 3 Sales and Marketers Do Not Collaborate to Develop Messages

    We recently polled more than 730 business‐to‐business (B2B) sales and marketing professionals worldwide. The findings highlight the lack of collaboration between the sales and marketing teams of industry-leading companies as they work to differentiate their solutions in today’s marketplace. In fact, a staggering one in three respondents reported that their message creation process is non-­collaborative, politically charged or nonexistent. To delve deeper into the issue of marketing and sales alignment, and determine exactly where the disconnect between teams is occurring, Corporate Visions posed survey questions about messaging, content and tools development within organizations.

  • The Power of Video

    Picture this: Close up of ocean waves washing over rocks. Howard Shore’s “Lord of the Rings” score wafting in the background.  Fade to laundry hanging on clothesline, seagull flying over house perched on cliff. Fade to fishing boat, man petting dog nearby. Fade to family photo, voiceover: “You will give the people an idea to […]

  • What I Learned from “Breaking the Status Quo Barrier”

    By Rebecca Blouin, Davies Murphy Group I spent last Wednesday and Thursday live blogging from Corporate Visions’ Marketing and Sales Messaging Conference, “Break the Status Quo Barrier” in Chicago. Perched on the ballroom balcony with my fellow blogger, high above the heads of the 400 attendees, we looked much like “The Muppet Show’s” Statler and […]

  • Marketing and Sales Messaging Conference Speaker Interview: Infor

    Q. What were the biggest sales challenges that your company was facing?

    Complexity, confidence and agility.

  • Marketing and Sales Messaging Conference Speaker Interview: CenturyLink

    At the 5,000 foot level, one of the biggest challenges for our sales people was ending up in a price bakeoff. Though we’re the third largest telecomm company in the country, we have a lot of the same features and products as our competitors. Our sales people were having a really hard time differentiating themselves. That’s one thing that we’re working to fix and is part of the reason that we engaged with Corporate Visions.

  • Corporate Visions Acquires WhiteboardSelling

    We’re excited to announce that Corporate Visions has acquired WhiteboardSelling®, a sales enablement tools company. This move expands Corporate Visions’ business and strengthens its reputation as the leader in helping companies differentiate their marketing and sales conversations.

  • Marketing and Sales Messaging Conference Speaker Interview: Wells Fargo

    Q. What is your role in your sales/marketing organization?

    I’m Wells Fargo’s senior vice president in charge of the marketing team for our Treasury Management business. Our reach is broader than most traditional marketing organizations in that, in addition to traditional marketing communications, we are also responsible for sales content and sales asset development, including proposals, RFPs, and presentations.

  • ROI: Using Assumptions and Estimates

    Presenting ROI to executives and business decision-makers can challenge sales professionals as much as any part of the job. Why? Common reasons we see are sellers:     Mistakenly presenting Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) numbers – which don’t recognize the required investment; only cost reduction.     Neglecting to take the customer‘s hurdle rate into consideration. […]

  • Marketing and Sales Messaging Conference Speaker Interview: ADP

    Q. What is your role in your sales/marketing organization?

    I am the director of the sales effectiveness team, which is inside the centralized sales operation unit at ADP. In sales effectiveness, we focus on two major areas: sales tools and sales messaging.

  • Cross-Cultural Negotiation Skills: Four Key Considerations

    We work in an increasingly globalized business world.  Whether we’re selling, buying, or working with colleagues on important projects, it’s more likely than ever that we’ll be called on to negotiate with someone in another country, or a co-worker down the hall with a a different cultural heritage than our own. Too often negotiation skill […]

  • Clever and Cryptic is Not Good Messaging

    Have you seen these ads for the Lung Cancer Alliance?

    They’ve been the subject of editorials, articles and debate and – in some cases – public outrage. In a recent UPI.com blog, Stuart Elliot says the advertising campaign “features hipsters, cat lovers, tattooed people and crazy old aunts with a tagline reading that they ‘deserve to die.’ According to the Lung Cancer Alliance, the ads are meant to challenge the perception that people with lung cancer have brought it upon themselves.”

  • The Hero Model: A Marketing Strategy to Win Olympic Gold

    The 2012 Summer Olympic Games ended this week. Throughout the games, marketing and advertising campaigns related to the games have appeared on billboards, the radio, and—most prominently—on TV.

    One stand-out example is this:

  • Stimulate Your Customer's Lizard Brain to Make a Sale

    Many marketers and salespeople believe they are in a selling war against their direct competition. However, a less anticipated and more dangerous enemy exists, called “no decision” — otherwise known as “the status quo.”

  • Stimulate Your Customer’s Lizard Brain to Make a Sale

    Many marketers and salespeople believe they are in a selling war against their direct competition. However, a less anticipated and more dangerous enemy exists, called “no decision” — otherwise known as “the status quo.”

  • Are you Buying Lottery Tickets to Get a Great Value Proposition?

    “What’s the least painful approach to getting a great message for our salespeople?”

    Make sure you read that quote again before moving on.

    That’s what a senior marketing person at a major, multi-billion dollar company asked me yesterday. What I wanted to say was, “I want the same thing when it comes to getting in shape and losing weight.”

  • Warming up a Cold Call with a Hot Opening

    Here’s how the typical B2B cold call goes: “Hi, I’m so-and-so from XYZ Co., the leader in [insert undifferentiated and buzzword-filled boilerplate here]. I’d like to schedule a meeting with you to learn about your organization’s plans and challenges and discuss how our solution can help you optimize/leverage your [whatever].”

  • Sales Conversations Suffer from “False Starts”

    When you start reading a new book, do you pick it up and flip right to the middle? How about when you watch a movie? Do you skip ahead rather than start from the beginning? My guess is, probably not. You would miss out on the set up of the story, who the main characters are and what makes them tick.

  • Bring Your Message to Life – in 3D

    “I’m a visual person.” How many times have you heard people say that? How many times have you said that yourself? The truth is most of us are “visual people.” Of the five senses, the Old Brain—the decision-making part of the brain – responds most strongly to the visual sense. When you think visuals, you probably tend to think of imagery and infographics and video. But there is another type of visual that can also have a tremendous impact – a three-dimensional object. That’s right, a prop. In fact, people use props all the time. If you’ve ever been at lunch and explained something to someone by moving glasses of water around to show how it works, you’ve used props. Here’s a perfect example from the movie The Blind Side.

  • Demand Gen Deficit

    Are your marketing campaigns producing sales-ready leads, or just a bunch of hand-raisers?

    Download this report to learn why 80% of Marketing and Sales professionals aren’t completely confident in the effectiveness of their demand generation campaigns.

  • Managing Tension in the Sales Process: Make It A Habit

    What does it take to build a sales team that creates and manages tension constructively in the sales process? It starts with a clear view of what effective sales negotiation and sales execution is all about. It’s not just about challenging the customer because you believe the days of relationship selling are over.  Customers buy […]

  • Who in Your Organization has Their Fingerprints on the Gun?

    It is 8:00 a.m., day two of your annual sales meeting. Product marketing is up first. A tall pedestal sits next to the podium draped in a black cloth. Out walks Joe, the director of product marketing in the hardware division – dressed in his nicely pressed shirt adorned with the company logo and so excited to share his news. He begins his presentation.

  • Get to the Gut of CEO Decision-Making

    You’ve probably heard one of Henry Ford’s best quotes: “If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” CEO.com recently published an infographic on why great CEOs often rely on their ‘gut’ instead of voice-of-the-customer research and market data to make their most game-changing decisions.

  • Are you igniting sales-ready leads, or just hand-raisers?

    More than 60% of marketers say their greatest challenge is generating more leads (Forbes).
    The problem is, when prospects see your messaging, they only find 10% relevant to them (CEB & IDC).

  • Are you igniting sales-ready leads, or just hand-raisers?

    More than 60% of marketers say their greatest challenge is generating more leads (Forbes).
    The problem is, when prospects see your messaging, they only find 10% relevant to them (CEB & IDC).

  • Virtual Negotiation: A Key Skill for B2B Strategy Execution

    Do you or your team negotiate virtually, perhaps in a cross-cultural environment, using email, voice mail, web meetings, or other online tools?  You’ll want to read this article appearing in Contracting Excellence (the publication of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management): Improving Results From Your ‘Virtual Negotiations’ Virtual  “Being on or simulated on […]

  • Are You a Confuser or Clarifier?

    Confusers pile information on their prospects and customers assuming that more is better. Clarifiers cut through the clutter and make sense of the data to present usable insights. Are you a confuser or a clarifier? Test yourself.

  • Do You Smell Smoke?

    Corporate Visions’ CEO, Joe Terry, recently spoke at Forrester’s Technology Sales Enablement Forum. He held up a brand new iPad 3 and said, “I stood in line, in the rain, for three hours on Friday to get this. It’s got a Retina display. A 5MP iSight camera. And 4G LTE. Who wants it?”

  • Demand Gen Deficit

    80% of marketing and sales professionals aren’t completely confident in the effectiveness of their demand generation campaigns. The #1 problem is that demand gen content isn’t compelling or provocative enough. 60% respondents say that their company’s demand gen content is focused on their company’s products/features, instead of customer’s pain points. Download

  • Personas Can Lead Your Messaging Astray

    Does your prospect’s persona drive the way they respond to your messages or the reason they buy something? Just because they share similar personal and professional characteristics, is that what causes someone to re-think their current approach and consider your “new way” to solve their problems?

  • The Power of Habit…To Improve Sales Negotiation Results

    The New York Times best seller The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a fascinating read…and one with major implications for sales professionals and leaders. This important book provides insights (through research and illustrative stories) on how habits are created, how they can be changed, and how organizations can improve performance by managing the […]

  • What Moneyball Can Teach You about Messaging

    Imagine your job is to make a movie about statistics.

    Sounds fun, huh?

    That’s exactly the challenge that the director of Moneyball faced.

  • High-Margin Selling: The Critical Role of Pivotal Agreements

    Your team makes hundreds of agreements with customers every day…but only a handful, usually fewer than 20%, create 80% of the value created in your sales process. When the goal is execution of high-margin sales, you should focus first on these critical few agreements that drive bottom-line results. In his best-selling book The Last Link, author […]

  • Make sure your messages and medium stimulate the right part of your prospect’s brain

    Three ideas for improving demand gen approach for loosening your prospects’ “status quo” Brain research proves that humans make decisions to “change” or “do something different” that are more adaptive than rational.  This has major consequences for the way you develop messages and deliver them in your demand generation programs.  Unfortunately, you may be mistakenly […]

  • Stop paralyzing your prospects

    Have you heard the ancient story of Buridan’s donkey? A donkey is placed precisely midway between two identical piles of hay. As the donkey contemplates his decision, he becomes paralyzed. Unable to make a rational decision to choose one haystack over the other, he dies of starvation. I’ve been thinking about this story because it illustrates what marketing and […]

  • How to Steal Your Competitors' Best Customers

    Most of the time, when you steal customers from your competitors, they are one of two types: extremely unhappy with the product or service (which could also mean they’re high-maintenance), or loss leaders that your competitors don’t really want. The customers you really want to steal are the ones that are profitable and low maintenance. […]

  • How to Steal Your Competitors’ Best Customers

    Most of the time, when you steal customers from your competitors, they are one of two types: extremely unhappy with the product or service (which could also mean they’re high-maintenance), or loss leaders that your competitors don’t really want. The customers you really want to steal are the ones that are profitable and low maintenance. […]

  • Are you relying on Union Rules for your sales messaging?

    Yesterday one of our consultants, Scott Weinhold, was on a tram while connecting flights between client events, and he couldn’t resist sneaking a photo of an airline pilot’s luggage. What caught his eye was the bag tag promoting the pilot’s union. Here was the union’s attempt to create value for themselves:

  • Creating sales challengers: What DuPont knows about taking control of the B2B sales process

    The subtitle of the current business best seller The Challenger Sale (by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson) reinforces our idea that the top B2B sales professionals are better than most at “Taking Control of the Sales Process.” Taking control.  How do high performers do it? Sales leaders from DuPont know the answer, which is why […]

  • Is Your Brand Message Archaic?

    Desktop computers, fax machines and the floppy disk drive – at one point each of these technological advances were fundamental components of our daily lives, but now, most are considered archaic.

    The same may be true for your classic 30,000-foot brand messaging. It’s obsolete.

  • Three Ways to Align Marketing and Sales in 2012

    There has been a lot of talk (decades, really) about aligning Marketing and Sales. Like peanut butter and chocolate, separately, they get the job done. But put them together and you’ve produced a work of gastronomic genius that you can’t imagine ever splitting up again.

  • Why Your Brand Message Does Not Convert Into Sales

    Your company brand message tends to be all about you. It tells the story of who you are, what you do, who you’ve helped, and how you’ve helped them. Sales professionals learn the corporate story and then go tell it to prospective customers. You assume that if your prospects knew as much about your company […]

  • Why the “20-Questions” Inquisition Doesn’t Work For Business Service Companies

    Your prospects are busier than ever. So imagine their reactions when your salespeople whip out their “20-question” prospecting checklist and proceed to ask your prospect the same thing everyone else asks? Where’s the differentiation in that?

  • Why Technology Companies Need More Than Innovation to Differentiate Themselves and Win More Business

    There is the great Glengarry Glen Ross quote: “ABC – Always Be Closing.” In the technology sector, there is: “ABI – Always Be Innovating.” However, with the high costs of research and development, demand dependent on a slowing economy, and limited access to capital, the ability to “always be innovating” is difficult to realize for most technology companies.

    As a result, today’s emerging mantra may be: “It’s not always about what you sell, but how you sell and what you say that makes the difference.”

  • Negotiating With Procurement, Part 2

    A major change we’ve seen in the last four years is that our clients no longer think ‘how can I avoid the purchasing group,’ but instead focus on ‘how can I engage them in helping make the right decisions.’  In many companies procurement is now a cabinet-level position.  They are looking for ways to add […]

  • Coaching through Story

    Corporate Visions’ CMO, Tim Riesterer, tells a funny story about his first, and only, static line parachute jump (static line means no tandem expert; you are on your own).

    He started in a class that walked you through the basics of the jump on the ground. Knowing your equipment. Mastering a stable position. Navigating the countryside from the air. And, negotiating a safe landing on the target.

    Seems simple enough to remember, right?

  • Top 3 Reasons Why Your Company Creates Fat, Lazy Value Propositions, and How to Fix It

    You have fat, lazy value propositions. There, I said it. You have fat, lazy, good-for-nothing value propositions that will never amount to anything that drives revenue for your company.

  • What’s Killing Your Sales?

    Do you know why your salespeople lost that big piece of business? Do you know why you are taking a beating on price? Do you know why prospects aren’t calling you back? One answer could be that this is an epic failure of your sales process or methodology. Or maybe the problem is that your sales process has no answers for the challenges of commoditization.

  • Negotiating With Procurement: Three Ideas for Improving Results

    Many BayGroup International clients report that it’s harder today than ever before to negotiate profitable contracts…and that they are more frequently required to negotiate their final agreements with tough sourcing or procurement managers. Here are three ideas to help you be more effective in this challenging environment: You have more power than you think. A recent […]

  • Get Ready to Ditch the Deck

    Without the psychological security blanket of a pretty, pre-prepared PowerPoint, you have no choice but to deliver your message as a conversation with your prospects. 88% of your executive buyers want you step out from behind the projector.

  • Q4 2011: Nurturing

    While 55% of marketing and sales professionals indicated that their organization has a formal nurturing program in place, a little over half of those said that the leads being delivered to Sales still aren’t well qualified. Not surprisingly, emails and phone calls dominate nurturing programs, while media (videos, webinars) and direct mail are used less […]

  • Leads: Where Marketing and Sales Come Together-ish

    One of the emerging approaches for making sure only quality leads get to the field, and then holding the field accountable for acting on those leads, is the concept of a Service Level Agreement (SLA). But do they work?

  • Optimizing Sales Performance: Advice from the Pros

    CSO Insights latest eBook, Sales Management 2.0: Optimizing Sales Performance 2011, features a section on Sales Messaging and an interview with Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions. And you can get a free copy of the CSO Insights 2011 eBook.

  • Costco CFO Richard A. Galanti talks about sales professionals

    Mr. Galanti joined Kirkland, WA-based Costco Wholesale Corporation shortly after its founding in March 1984 as Vice President of Finance and later became Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. We spoke with him about retail investment trends and the factors that influence capital investment decisions at Costco. Q: With all of the vendors who […]

  • From the Desk of the CEO to our World-Class Alumni

    What if… you had a two-day conference filled with wall-to-wall Power Messaging best practices, delivered by your peers at world-class companies? What if you could also network with other folks like you that believe in, and continue to invest in, these powerful sales messaging approaches?

  • Want to try social media? Better have something to say.

    If you want to enter the world of social media you better have something compelling to say. Otherwise, you will just be part of the din.

  • Crimes Against Messaging

    After years of sitting through painful discovery sessions and demos you’d need a PhD to understand, we’ve decided to start issuing tickets. Like the fashion police, but for crimes against messaging.

  • Why do you do what you do?

    Why are some people and organizations more influential than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes?

  • This Blog has been Hijacked

    Disclaimer: The CVI Marketing team has hijacked this blog. And by hijacked, we mean we have locked author Tim in a room, tied him to a chair, and are testing his ability to Power Message his new book, co-authored with VP of Consulting Erik Peterson, titled, Conversations that Win the Complex Sale. Can this sales and marketing guru step up to the challenge? You be the judge!

  • Create Contrast to Get Your Prospects out of Denial

    What’s the opposite of “attention” when it comes to sales messaging?

    It’s not “inattention,” though that is the most logical, obvious answer. Inattention is a passive, natural occurrence you have to wrestle with in every messaging situation. And certainly, the failure to move somebody from inattention to attention is a primary killer of sales opportunities.

  • Salesperson as Expert

    Do you picture your sales calls this way?
    “My prospect is expecting me to tell them something they don’t already know, about a problem they may not even know they have.”
    When you go into a sales call, do you realize that you get to see more people who look like your prospect than they do? They are so busy fighting fires within their own companies, they don’t have enough time to check out what their peers and competitors are doing.

  • Negative Thanksgiving?

    What’s the positive in your perceived negatives? Can you reframe them by attaching them to an even more important customer objective?

  • Power Messaging a Political Ad

    We’re obviously in the thick of a crazy election season. Seems 80% of the ads on TV are for one candidate or another. For the most part they all start to blend together. Except when they use Power Messaging techniques. In this ad, the “outsider” candidate is trying to establish his credentials at the same time as he is trying to contrast his experience with the “insider” incumbent. He could use a lot of words to explain this difference. Instead he chooses to use four numbers: 100, 57, 0, 1. What do they mean?

  • Amazon Kindle vs iPad

    In Power Messaging we teach companies to differentiate by finding their “Value Wedge.” Here’s how it works: Identify your uniqueness in the context of a specific prospect need. Then amplify that need so it becomes the dominating buying criteria, and then clearly contrast your uniqueness with the competitor’s weakness so your prospect sees the unmistakable value of your solution. Also, make sure it is defensible by proving the claim and demonstrating your clear advantage.

  • Prospecting is Dead. Introducing Deal Creation.

    The traditional 20-question approach to prospecting is dead. First, it’s undifferentiated. Everyone can ask the same questions. Second, it’s frustrating for the prospect. Executives are too busy to play along. Why do they have to answer your questions before you’ve given them a good reason to give you that information? You have a new messaging challenge in […]

  • Strip Out Complexity and Confusion with Big Pictures

    Complexity in your message keeps your customers from buying. Whenever there’s complexity, there’s confusion. And, confusion slows down the decision-making process. A confused buyer cannot buy. So, you need to make it simple for your prospect to make a decision. How? Have you ever noticed that when someone says, “I don’t understand,” someone else gets […]

  • Sharpen the Saw

    Often times, we learn something, practice it for a while, gain success and then go back to doing things the old way, simply because it’s easy or we’re tired. This is the best time to sharpen your saw. Find ways to do things differently. Add a new skill to your portfolio, refresh an old skill that was working for you, attend a conference that offers a fresh perspective, take a class, read a book… and so on. If you’re not sharpening your saw, you’re not growing, and if you’re not growing, you’re dying.

  • Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News

    My daughter recently appeared in The Wiz, an updated, musical retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. While the story is similar to the original, all of the music is different, and contains a distinct mid-1970s urban, disco feel. It’s a trip. In one scene, the Wicked Witch of the West, named Evilene, sings a […]

  • Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News

    My daughter recently appeared in The Wiz, an updated, musical retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. While the story is similar to the original, all of the music is different, and contains a distinct mid-1970s urban, disco feel. It’s a trip. In one scene, the Wicked Witch of the West, named Evilene, sings a […]

  • What Alcoholics Anonymous Can Teach You About Messaging

    What’s the toughest sales challenge you can face?  Denial. Specifically, your prospect denying that they have the problem your product/service/solution was built to fix.  All other challenges pale in comparison to this one. The world’s best selling situation is the rare time when you solve a problem that a prospect already recognizes and wants solved.  […]

  • Using Management Presentations to Gain Customer Insight

    While you likely already read your customer’s annual report, specifically the Letter to Shareholders and MD&A, you may not regularly leverage management presentations to gain customer insight.   However, the increasing transparency of today’s corporate landscape has turned these presentations into highly useful sources of timely customer information. Why This Information is So Useful Presentations that […]

  • Too Many Taglines are Tag-Alongs

    A lot of time, expense and fancy-pants, agency hocus-pocus goes into creating brand promises, slogans and taglines. And, here’s the amazing irony. Most say absolutely nothing, but at the same time they manage to say the same thing as everyone else.

  • Demand Creation Requires Urgency Creation

    What does Dwight from NBC’s The Office have to teach us about messaging? In the thirteenth episode of the fifth season (“Stress Relief”), Dwight tries a unique tactic to teach fire safety (don’t try this at home).

  • Pop Cans, Parity, and Positioning Your Product

    The three don’ts for creating preference vs. parity in your value propositions: No context. No contrast. No corroboration.

  • Are You in a Battle of the One-Man Bands?

    Imagine for a moment that you’re a street musician.  Your meal ticket is selling your performance.  So, you’re playing your heart out, vying for the attention of prospects as they pass by.  You catch someone’s ear, and they wander closer.  They’re reaching into their pocket when suddenly, lo, instead of the sweet sound of a […]

  • Do You Take the Stairs?

    People decide on emotion and justify with facts. Challenge yourself to loosen the status quo of your prospect’s decision-making by adding emotion to your story.

  • I'll Need You to Throw This One in for Free

    We’re almost so used to B-to-B purchasing demands that we forget how ridiculous they are. What can you do? Do these battles always have to occur? According to The Corporate Executive Board’s Integrated Sales Executive Council, only 9% of brand preference and loyalty decisions are based on price. Meanwhile, 53% of a prospect’s decision to choose you comes from their sales experience.

  • I’ll Need You to Throw This One in for Free

    We’re almost so used to B-to-B purchasing demands that we forget how ridiculous they are. What can you do? Do these battles always have to occur? According to The Corporate Executive Board’s Integrated Sales Executive Council, only 9% of brand preference and loyalty decisions are based on price. Meanwhile, 53% of a prospect’s decision to choose you comes from their sales experience.

  • Virtual Training & Differentiation

    The greatest advantage of virtual training is decreased time out of the field. 62% of executives think their company’s message doesn’t stand out in the marketplace. Download

  • Just-in-Time Coaching

    Salespeople want more field-level, just-in-time coaching from their managers, especially in differentiating their solution from the competition. But front-line managers are increasingly overwhelmed with other expectations. Here Corporate Visions presents four examples of best practices we’ve seen help in this area.

  • Are You "Sales Ready?"

    What do the top sales readiness initiatives have in common? They all revolve around creating and delivering great sales or customer messaging.
    Here’s a quick, 5-minute executive summary review of TrainingIndustry.com’s Sales Readiness survey.

  • Are You “Sales Ready?”

    What do the top sales readiness initiatives have in common? They all revolve around creating and delivering great sales or customer messaging.
    Here’s a quick, 5-minute executive summary review of TrainingIndustry.com’s Sales Readiness survey.

  • 5 Tips for Improving Your Online Presentations

    There’s an ever growing challenge threatening sales effectiveness in the area of sales messaging. It’s the prolific expansion of web meetings and presentations. You can’t use the same techniques as you do with in-person presentations. You need to re-think your perspective. These 5 tips will help.

  • You Need to be a “Challenger” if You Want to be a Winner!

    According to the Corporate Executive Board’s Integrated Sales Executive Council (iSEC), the sales persona that is most successful in winning business is “The Challenger.” The one that performs the poorest is “The Relationship Builder.” Get the gist of the report here.

  • How to Get Deleted in Five Easy Steps

    Getting through to decision makers via email is tougher than ever these days.

    According to Business Week magazine, the average business person receives more than 100 emails per day – and, by some estimates, as many as 80% of email messages are spam. This translates into approximately $21.6 billion per year in lost productivity due to time spent identifying, managing, and deleting junk email. As a result, organizations are taking drastic steps to block unsolicited email – and decision makers are all the more selective about which emails they’ll even bother to open, let alone read through to the end.

  • Think Big During Difficult Economic Times

    The Empire State Building in New York City stands as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.  At the time of its construction, the Empire State Building became the world’s tallest office building at 1,250 feet, and held that record for 41 years! The Empire State Building was the first building to have […]

  • Making it Real: Using 3D Props to Help You Sell

    A congressional hearing on tainted food might be the last place you’d expect to find powerful sales messaging. But, when a congressman recently wanted to elevate the concern over unsafe food on supermarket shelves, he unleashed an emotionally potent presentation technique.

  • Lost in Translation, Part II – Context is King

    Sales people need to be like the Rosetta Stone. They must translate your product and services details into something the customer will understand and care about. What they need is your company to put your offer into the context of what they need to accomplish.

  • Lost in Translation

    You Get Relegated to Who You Talk Like
    In what language are you communicating with your prospect? Are you making it easy for them to understand you? Are you speaking your language or theirs? Don’t be afraid to be different and stand out from the crowd. Align your story with the customer’s context and what they care about.

  • Put Your Deck on a Diet

    It’s that season again, the season for thanks, for family, for spirit and giving. But if you’re like me, you’re still in a food coma from one holiday meal or another, so it’s also the season for looking down at your stomach and saying, “Whoa, where’d you come from?” Yes, it’s about this time of […]

  • How to Get Great Messaging Approved

    What would happen if Microsoft did the packaging for the iPod? Watch this video: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeXAcwriid0] Pretty funny, huh? Probably made by Apple employees or an Apple fan, right? Except it wasn’t. It was made by Microsoft! Some folks at Microsoft wanted to show how their normal process creates boring, overloaded, emotionless packaging. And this video […]

  • Just the Facts, Ma'am

    What do webcams and Oreos have in common? Well, not much, except that both are a part of a perfectly executed message. How can you tell a perfectly executed message apart from the others? Watch this video and ask yourself the following questions: What is this commercial selling? What do I remember? How did it […]

  • Just the Facts, Ma’am

    What do webcams and Oreos have in common? Well, not much, except that both are a part of a perfectly executed message. How can you tell a perfectly executed message apart from the others? Watch this video and ask yourself the following questions: What is this commercial selling? What do I remember? How did it […]

  • What Does Your Product Mean? Show Personal Value

    How would you sell a wireless internet card? There are so many features and functions you can talk about, right? How fast it is. How durable it is. How compatible it is. How easy it is to use. The amazing feat of engineering it took to make it so small and portable. Now watch this […]

  • Emotion Moves the Mind

    What does emotion have in common with moving people into action? Watch this award-winning public services announcement. (The opening text reads: An experiment with hidden cameras. Downtown Sao Paulo, February 28, 2008.) Five-year-old Matheus Braga appears in both scenes. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqTBQLv0uoc] Did the video create a sense of urgency? Did it make you want to do something? Do […]

  • Get Through the Mind's Spam Filter

    Has this ever happened to you?  You present to a prospect and you know you did a great job because you covered everything.  But in subsequent meetings you realize that your prospect didn’t really retain what you said. Are you like your prospects? Test your own retention. Watch this video and then read the rest. […]

  • Get Through the Mind’s Spam Filter

    Has this ever happened to you?  You present to a prospect and you know you did a great job because you covered everything.  But in subsequent meetings you realize that your prospect didn’t really retain what you said. Are you like your prospects? Test your own retention. Watch this video and then read the rest. […]

  • The Lazy Way to Create Sales Messaging that Wins

    It’s a common lament at the end of one of our sales workshops: “It’s so easy for you to come up with great message ideas. It just isn’t that easy for me.”

  • Quiz: Make Your Message Concrete with Pictures

    You learned to read by first looking at pictures. Your brain is still wired with that elementary filter. Make your solution more concrete and easier for your prospect to buy, by using a picture they can relate to.

  • What Does Messaging Have in Common With Your Life?

    Since Power Messaging® impacts emotion, it is not surprising to hear stories where personal value is enhanced outside of the business world when people use the Power Messaging techniques in their everyday life.

  • Letters from the Road

    A Life Lesson from a Taxi Driver

  • How Do You Create a Positive Environment?

    I like spending time with my friends; I enjoy the camaraderie and the conversations we have. I like that we challenge each others’ points-of-view and still find time to laugh and joke with each other at the end of the day.

  • I Like You!

    You make think that it’s obvious that people buy from people they like, and you’re right.

  • Building a Strong Trust Network

    What if sales were easy? What if you didn’t have to sell products or services and all you had to do was make friends? Would you sell more? Would you have more fun? Would your trust network expand?

  • Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

    Can you trigger programs in your prospect’s subconscious mind that will “prime” their conscious mind to buy? The answer is “yes,” but probably not in the way you might think.

  • Eliminating Barriers

    It was the ideal sales call. The customer had identified a problem and already knew a change was greatly needed. He called our company; he recognized us as an industry leader.

  • Selling Sense

    Wine and Cheese.

    The Smell of Pizza.

    A Sculpture You Can Touch.

    What do they all have in common? They are all tools that can assist in delivering a better, more memorable message, which in turn will help you close more deals.

  • Anything’s Possible

    I left the Power Messaging® workshop with a new perspective on how and why people buy. This gave me the courage to try these techniques out on a buyer no one had ever thought to go after.

  • What's In It for Me?

    When my oldest son Timmy was a small child, potty training was quite a battle. We tried everything, but we just couldn’t get him to understand that it was time to be finished with diapers and all the hassle that went with them.

  • What’s In It for Me?

    When my oldest son Timmy was a small child, potty training was quite a battle. We tried everything, but we just couldn’t get him to understand that it was time to be finished with diapers and all the hassle that went with them.

  • Can I Have a Raise, Please?

    A few years ago, Margie, a next-door neighbor, was over for a barbeque with her husband, Allan. Margie shared that she was having a problem at work.

  • Value the Competition Couldn't Touch

    The challenge I faced was to keep the team of 18 buyers engaged over a series of multi-day presentations. I used Power Messaging to the fullest to connect, engage, entertain and compel my audience over the seven days.

  • Value the Competition Couldn’t Touch

    The challenge I faced was to keep the team of 18 buyers engaged over a series of multi-day presentations. I used Power Messaging to the fullest to connect, engage, entertain and compel my audience over the seven days.

  • Stories: Concrete vs. Intangible

    “Hey Dave, I’m debt free!”

    “Congratulations. How’d you do it?”

    “Beans and rice, Dave – beans and rice!”

  • What Do You Mean, "Use Story in Messaging"?

    The word ‘story’ means many things to many people. The most useful way of thinking about ‘story’ in sales messaging is to compare it to its opposite, which is data. The differences can be subtle. Data is, “the queen and king died.” Story is, “The queen died and the king died of a broken heart.”

  • What Do You Mean, “Use Story in Messaging”?

    The word ‘story’ means many things to many people. The most useful way of thinking about ‘story’ in sales messaging is to compare it to its opposite, which is data. The differences can be subtle. Data is, “the queen and king died.” Story is, “The queen died and the king died of a broken heart.”

  • Story in Business

    “You’re living in a fairytale.” That is probably not true, but you do live inside a story? Your story is the window through which you look at the world. It’s the context that you have created in your mind that defines your existence.

  • Trust in Your (Best Friend's) Self

    In Power Messaging®, you learned about bringing your Best Friend’s Self to every messaging opportunity. The concept of self comes from The Evolution of Consciousness by Robert Ornstein, who explains that we are made up of many selves.

  • Trust in Your (Best Friend’s) Self

    In Power Messaging®, you learned about bringing your Best Friend’s Self to every messaging opportunity. The concept of self comes from The Evolution of Consciousness by Robert Ornstein, who explains that we are made up of many selves.

  • It’s Not Business. It’s Personal.

    My two oldest boys (ages 5 and 9) love to play video games. Last year, their constant requests to play the games drove my wife and me up the walls.

  • Anticipatory Emotions

    Coke or Pepsi? It’s an age old question, and now, in a world that’s run amuck with choices, it never seems to stop: GM or Ford, Honda or Toyota, Nike or Reebok, tea or coffee, your company or your competitors?

  • A Quick Guide to Great Discovery

    Most sales calls are a combination of discovery and presentation. Sales calls, early in a sales cycle, have huge discovery segments.

  • 6 Tips for Creating a Mini Drama

    Use Mini-Drama to contrast your client’s life as it is now (without your product) vs. how their world could be (with your product).

  • Getting in the Door, with a Unique PROPosition

    Once upon a time, I sold for a Fortune 200 company. After success as a territory account representative, I received a promotion to handle major accounts within the retail division.

  • Key Differentiators

    The Challenge: Darrell wanted to use Power Messaging to penetrate a new client that was loyal to the competitor. He began by using a truck as a prop.

  • From Russia, With Love

    Recently, I conducted a Power Messaging workshop in Moscow, Russia. I am aware that Power Messaging techniques are sometimes looked upon as “western ideas.” It usually takes some time for our techniques to soak in and be accepted.

  • The Buzzer Sells Another Million Dollar Deal

    We were in the final stage of selling a surgical repair service to a large hospital, and we were the last group to give a 20-minute presentation after seven competitors.

  • Don't Give Your Customers What They Expect

    It was an absolutely beautiful morning in Hong Kong. I received the standard friendly greeting from the doorman upon exiting my hotel.

  • Don’t Give Your Customers What They Expect

    It was an absolutely beautiful morning in Hong Kong. I received the standard friendly greeting from the doorman upon exiting my hotel.

  • Pat Riley Used Props

    Widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA coaches of all time, Pat Riley has served as the head coach of five championship teams. Here’s an example of how he used a Prop—a Power Messaging technique—to lead his team:

  • You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

    It’s kickoff season and all through the office nothing is stirring except for the marketing department. They haven’t slept for weeks. All the planning, coordination and presentations must come together to energize the sales force for another year.

  • Accelerate Understanding

    Recently, my wife and I went to visit our financial advisor, David Hawkins – a necessary meeting to ensure that I don’t have to work until I’m 80-years-old. We currently have two children in college and two more to go, so we definitely need to plan well.

  • No One Ever Got Fired for Buying IBM

    This phrase is often called the most powerful marketing phrase ever created. In the 1980s, if you had to decide what computer hardware to buy for your company, these words rang through your head. It made your buying decision pretty easy.

  • Buying Criteria: Fact, Fiction, or Feelings?

    Neuromarketing is a new field of marketing which uses medical technologies such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study the brain’s responses to marketing stimuli.

  • Three Stories

    It was pretty simple, just three stories. Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford University.

  • Want vs. Need

    People and clients need a lot of things, but they don’t always buy based on their needs.

  • Solving vs. Selling

    Are you solving a problem, or selling a product?

  • Personal Stories for Impact

    When you hear the word, ‘stories’ in the context of messaging, like most people, you probably think of customer stories. Yet, if you want to connect with your customer, sometimes the best way to do that is through personal stories.

  • First Things First

    A college professor walks into class with an empty glass jar. Without saying anything, he grabs some large stones and places them in the jar until it’s filled to the top.

  • Props Prove a Point

    In 1986, the world was shocked when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded killing all seven astronauts aboard. After the horror of the Challenger disaster, a presidential commission was formed to investigate the cause of this catastrophe.

  • Live Strong!

    October 2nd, 1996 was not a particularly important day in my life, and I am guessing it was not particularly important for most of you reading this article.

  • Is Your Slide Deck a Crutch or a Sales Tool?

    Recently, I had an opportunity to re-engage with a large company, who was a former client from years ago. I had secured a two-hour meeting with a group of eight decision makers representing key functions across their organization.

  • Four Simple Questions

    If you know ahead of time the answers to the following four questions, you have a much better chance of getting the results you want.

  • Get Them Involved!

    Do you want to have some extra fun with mini-dramas? Why not get your prospects involved to help you make their pains come alive.

  • Has Science Proven the Power of Mirroring?

    Brain imaging tools are revealing the mechanism through which matching an individual’s body language and tone of voice (known as mirroring) works to build rapport between people.

  • Grab Your Audience’s Attention

    The human brain craves novelty, so says Gregory Berns, a professor at Emory University.

  • Can Emotion Change How Something Tastes?

    Why do some people drink Coke and some people drink Pepsi? Is it strictly a matter of people making the decision based on taste?

  • Quality vs. Quantity

    Do you offer a solution that is perhaps not as broad and deep as your competitors, but is higher quality? Use this Number Play at the beginning of your presentation to show that quality is more important than quantity.

  • Objection Handling – It’s All in Your Mind

    When you get an objection, you start backing up as you try to handle it. Now, why do you backup? It all has to do with your mindset and preparation.

  • The Power of Reframing

    What would it mean to you if you could enter a selling situation armed with the responses to the objections that lay waiting to kill the deal?

  • A Corporate Visions Moment

    At stake was just under a $1M for a global partnership. The prospect was a flight away. This meant that every meeting had to have as much impact as possible.

  • Props – The Symbolic Tool

    One of the reasons props work so well in presentations is they come with their own story and emotions.

  • There is Timing and Rhythm in Everything

    Miyamoto Musashi says in “The Book of Five Rings,” “There is timing and rhythm in everything.” Is there timing and rhythm in sales? Absolutely!

  • Increase Your Ki

    Ki is personal energy and passion built from your belief in the value of your solution or product, your conviction that your value will improve your prospects’ world, and your commitment to seeing that value realized in results.

  • Differentiate or Die

    One of our favorite books of all time is “Differentiate or Die” by Jack Trout.

  • The Last 3 Feet of the Sale

    In golf, the drive gets you on the green, but the putt wins the game. Sales can be like golf.

  • Apple, Amazon, BMW, Your Company

    Here’s a Word Play you can easily adapt across industries to illustrate a number of different issues.

  • Selling Above the Line

    In highly competitive selling environments, it is extremely important to make the buying decision easy for the buyer.

  • How London Won the Olympic Bid

    When is a short story worth $11 billion dollars?

  • Making Door-to-Door Selling Fun

    Door-to-door selling has always had its special set of challenges, especially because people feel so bombarded with choices all day long.

  • Props as Images

    Props are powerful “images.” Your story, when wrapped around the Prop, gets feelings and meanings attached to it, without any extra work on your part. You can instantly create a “brand” message around them.

  • Personal Stories – A Powerful Sales Tool

    On many occasions I have witnessed how a personal story, inserted at the proper time, resulted in a salesperson remaining in, and closing, a deal.

  • NLP and the Buyer’s Mind

    Some buyers only “hear” your message, others only “see” it, and others only “feel” it. Are you covering all the learning channels in your audience?

  • More Than Expected

    $210 million of business captured in one week, closing the quarter 21% above the previous year.

  • Creative Props Help Broaden Horizons

    A different way of looking at the world can change the face of history. This is the story of how one Power Messaging alumnus found success.

  • You Can Always Learn Something New

    Here’s a story you could use to grab your customers attention, and illustrate that you can always learn something new.

  • Memory’s Role in the Buying Decision

    When buyers learn about similar things in a similar way, they have trouble remembering what was unique about each vendor. Make your delivery memorable, emotional, and unique so your prospects remember you.

  • Big Pictures and the Old Brain

    Your ultimate goal prior to any presentation is to win! Understand the influence your Big Picture can have on your prospect’s Old Brain to help you achieve your goal faster with fewer obstacles.

  • Fueling Personal Success

    One alumnus credits Power Messaging as a catalyst for creating value propositions that helped him secure strategic partnerships and get CEO traction in large Fortune 100 accounts.

  • The Best Power Positions Have Heart in Them

    Be sure that when you name your Power Position, that the name itself has emotional impact. Don’t just make this an intellectual exercise. Give it punch. Make sure it has “heart” in it, not just “intellect.”

  • Seizing an Opportunity to be in Service

    Learn how one company used frustration with a competitor to sell the value of their solution using some fun props!

  • No Need to Over Act – Be Yourself

    Mini-dramas do not need to be scripted, edited, well rehearsed Broadway productions. Mini-dramas should be done with the same “best friend self” you bring to all your customer interactions.

  • Differentiate Yourself with Your Elevator Pitch

    One of the most useful and powerful communication tools you have available in your sales toolkit is your Elevator Pitch.

  • Fan the Flames

    Your prospects have some smoldering issue they’re looking to get solved, and you have an opportunity to fan the flames, to turn that smolder into a fire.

  • Voice and Body Language in Sales

    As a salesperson, you often spend an enormous amount of time and energy picking the words you use to sell your products and services – but is that where your focus should be?

  • Less is More

    Less is more. How one alumni went from a lost deal to a big win!

  • Help Your Customer Sell for You

    Sylvester needed a software product that would insure the error-free operation of its mainframe systems.

  • Bringing Value to Life

    A large computer accessory company was looking to streamline their processes and move away from an in-house platform to outsourcing.

  • Bringing the Remote Presentation to Life

    Live online presentations can cause creative challenges.

  • What If You vs. Imagine

    Two popular Word Plays many alumni use are the “What if you” question and the “Imagine” statement. Which do you prefer?

  • Poor Past Experience

    Do you ever get the objection that the prospect/customer had a bad service experience with your company in the past?

  • You're Too Small

    What could you say if your prospect feels you are too small a company compared to the competition and is worried you could be acquired?

  • You’re Too Small

    What could you say if your prospect feels you are too small a company compared to the competition and is worried you could be acquired?

  • Your Competitor Is Faster

    When this alumni’s prospect was anchored on the faster speed and lower cost of a competitor, she knew it was time for a reframe.

  • You Cost Twice As Much!

    My product costs twice as much (initially) as my competitors, even though the long term impact is much less expensive. How do I get past the “first cost” issue?

  • Unique, Best, and Only Wins $35M Deal

    Big Pictures can be an effective tool to sell products and solutions BEFORE they are available!

  • So….What's Your Story?

    Is your story full of technical jargon, or the passion your company has for making a contribution to the world?

  • So….What’s Your Story?

    Is your story full of technical jargon, or the passion your company has for making a contribution to the world?

  • It’s a Small World After All

    Grabbers work well in any culture.

  • Grab Attention with Word & Number Plays

    With seven seconds to grab your prospects attention, Word and Number Plays are simple techniques to establish credibility, highlight key benefits and link your Power Positions to your prospects needs, pains and desires – fast!

  • Grab Attention with Word & Number Plays

    With seven seconds to grab your prospects attention, Word and Number Plays are simple techniques to establish credibility, highlight key benefits and link your Power Positions to your prospects needs, pains and desires – fast!

  • Shredding Money for Profit

    An alumnus used a paper shredder to shred real dollar bills in front of his prospect. He shredded seven bills before he began speaking.

  • When a Prop Backfires

    Sometimes props misfire…but it is how you handle the recovery that counts.

  • Yours for the Taking – Prop Ideas

    Use these props at your next sales call.

  • Basic Ingredients

    Business, financial and personal value are the basic ingredients to a purchasing decision.

  • Analogy Shrinks Sales Cycle

    Kurt Shaver sells electronic catalog software.

  • Frame of Reference

    If you figure out how your prospect views life, what their frames of references are, then you can figure out how to sell your solution to them.

  • Five Ways to use Humor to Persuade Prospects

    If you knew you were winning the deal, how confident and comfortable would you be in your presentation?

  • Customer Stories: Do’s and Don’ts

    Telling good customer stories shows your prospects that you are more interested in solving problems than selling them your product or solution.

  • Funny Quotes – Great Grabber Ice-Breakers

    Quotes relevant to your presentation are great Grabber ice-breakers. Think about using one of these at your next sales call.

  • Put the Power of Story to Work for You

    A colleague made $3.6 M in personal income in 2000 and $1.8 M in 2001 selling software.

  • The 5 D's of Story

    A good Customer Story always answers the following questions, also known as “the 5 D’s.”

  • The 5 D’s of Story

    A good Customer Story always answers the following questions, also known as “the 5 D’s.”

  • Great Leaders are Salespeople

    Every person leading people to decide between one alternative over another is a salesperson.

  • Three Deadly Sins of Sales

    In your last sales presentation, how much of the material presented actually needed to be there?

  • Do Grabbers Work in Telesales?

    Grabbers are communication techniques that emotionally engage your buyer in what you want them to focus on. There are four types: Word Play, Story, Mini Drama, and 3-D Props.

  • Messages that Change The World

    What if you held the cure for cancer, but no one believed in or understood your message? What if this even cut funding for additional experiments proving your cure to the world?

  • An Experience They Can Feel!

    Selling a high end service? This Mini-Drama illustrates what it feels like when service is taken for granted.

  • Great Products Deserve Great Stories

    What makes up a great story? In field sales it is having the prospect in the center of the story. You make your prospect the center of your story by doing a great job of dramatizing what is unique to you and important to your prospect.

  • Simple Photos Help Sell $230K Deal

    Graphic analogies are simple tools to help your prospect recognize the pain of their situation and make it easy for them to choose the solution you’ve presented.

  • Pain vs. Gain

    I helped my prospect understand our value with a coin sorter – and it worked!

  • Make Your Presentation Memorable

    Do you know the letters below the number 7 on the telephone? You would if it was critical to your survival.

  • The Power of Suspense

    The audience was riveted as they watched Chris put a virus onto a computer to demonstrate the power of his software to stop it.

  • Simplifying the Team Sell

    Four powerful ways to reduce the complexity of today’s team sale

  • More Than a Message, it's a Mission

    When a company’s message is fueled by their employees’ strong inner belief and commitment, they feel the impact and power they have in changing the people they touch and making a difference.

  • More Than a Message, it’s a Mission

    When a company’s message is fueled by their employees’ strong inner belief and commitment, they feel the impact and power they have in changing the people they touch and making a difference.

  • CRM and the Buyer's Mind

    Did you ever see a database close a deal, win friends or influence people? What good is a database if you are not utilizing every touch-point opportunity with your buyer to “turn up the heat?”

  • CRM and the Buyer’s Mind

    Did you ever see a database close a deal, win friends or influence people? What good is a database if you are not utilizing every touch-point opportunity with your buyer to “turn up the heat?”

  • The Power of Questions

    Are your prospects ever perplexed as to which way to go? Do you think they might worry about who is telling them the truth? Are they afraid to make the wrong decision that might cost them their job or career?

  • Messages Move Markets

    Products don’t sell themselves.

    Companies grow when someone sells something, creating revenue streams. Sales occur when the right story and message compels your buyer to purchase.

  • Simple Graphics Sell

    Visual imagery is one of the most powerful tools for creating identity, memory, and emotional connection.

  • Needs, Pains and Desires

    Help your prospects migrate from implied needs to explicit needs and they will make a buying decision.

  • PowerPoint: Use and Abuse

    It’s easy to forget PowerPoint is simply another presentation medium, just part of telling your story. Are you subjecting both your prospects and the deal to “Death by Demo”?

  • Technicians – The Trusted Advisors

    Technicians, who only focus on features and functions, make it difficult for prospects to connect their needs to the product.

  • Let Your Client's Product Sell Your Solution

    How one CVi alumni used a prospect-focused number play to help sell their solution.

  • Let Your Client’s Product Sell Your Solution

    How one CVi alumni used a prospect-focused number play to help sell their solution.

  • Using 3-D Props

    3-D Props are so effective that if you saw one in a presentation ten years ago the chances are high you can recall how it was used. Since they will be remembered…

  • Preparing the 'Right' Story

    Some people respond well to a “no risk”, safe decision story, others to a “limitless possibilities” story.

  • Preparing the ‘Right’ Story

    Some people respond well to a “no risk”, safe decision story, others to a “limitless possibilities” story.

  • A Great Story Told With Passion Sells

    In sharing stories, our first inclination is to fill in every hole, every detail. What is more effective is actually enrolling your prospect in the creation of the story.