B2B Reads: Negotiation Skills, Workplace Monitoring, and How to Ask Smart Questions


In addition to our Sunday App of the Week feature, we also summarize some of our favorite B2B sales & marketing posts from around the web each week. We’ll miss a ton of great stuff, so if you found something you think is worth sharing please add it to the comments below.

Leading with Courage Develops Impactful Leadership that Inspires Your Employees
In this blog post, explores the difference between audacity and ego as it relates to leadership. Through different insights, Farber offers: “be an audacious leader that inspires and motivates your employees by leading with courage.”

How to Develop Strong Negotiation Skills: Understanding the Eight Different Kinds of Leverage
In this article, Clint Babcock provides eight “kinds of leverage” that make it possible to be a good negotiator. These are foundational qualities Babock believes each person has the ability to “understand and maximize.” He notes: “We can gain or lose negotiating leverage in various ways. But if we’re not aware of areas where we can gain leverage in the negotiation, we miss opportunities.”

The Right Outside and Inside Sales Team Structure
In this blog piece, Colleen Francis discusses the “magic number” for an outside sales team, 8-10, and that of an inside sales team, >14. Going over these numbers mean sales leaders “lose sight of their team’s performance, can’t coach the way they need to, and can’t spend quality one-on-one time.” In turn, ” the best salespeople tend to leave because they’re not getting the attention they need. And if their performance is starting to drop as well, that’s a perfect storm of defections.”

Workplace Monitoring: 3 Steps to Balance Employee Productivity and Privacy
In this article, Jay Bartot attempts to strike a balance with workplace monitoring between company and employee value. Bartot offers some practical tips on making sure employees feel validated in the observation trade-off. These include telling the employees, improving them in the process, and providing value to them.

How senior executives can make certain they know what’s going on
In this post, John Baldoni explores the role of the senior executive, and how the dynamic of their position may allow for suboptimal or false information to reach them. This means each exec must make conscious efforts to stay in the loop, including visiting the work, cultivating a trusted network, and questioning assumptions, among others.

Effective Strategies to Gain Constructive Feedback
Dr. Gleb Tsipursky in this article argues “organizations need to incorporate constructive feedback from stakeholders to survive pandemic-related disruptions amid today’s turbulent economy.” This push to add constructive feedback functions would improve stakeholder relationships and better address problems before they escalate.

1 Simple Strategy to Design Smart Questions
In this blog post, Dan Rockwell provides an actionable guide to asking better questions. He notes that leaders ask questions through three lenses: the past, present, and future. So, a good question will attempt to look through each lens, and will start not with a leading verb in search for agreement, but rather a level of curiosity.

4 practical ways leaders can improve employee wellbeing
Larae Quy here writes on how leaders can improve employee experience and employee wellbeing. Quy argues that employee wellbeing is a holistic effort across an entire company, not a task to be outsourced to HR or “free massages and beer on Fridays.” She offers four main tips to help push leaders in the direction of a greater employee experience.

4 Ways to Make Workplace Policies Flexible Enough to Keep the Employees You Want
In this article, Liz Kislik speaks on the importance of employer flexibility in the workplace. Quy offers important and valuable considerations for leaders to ask themselves as they’re creating rules and structure around workplace policies.

“Sales Are Math,” Selling Isn’t!
In this blog piece, Dave Brock offers a take on the definitional differences between sales and selling, and what that reveals about the two terms. He sets up his discussion: “The problem is, too often we don’t understand the distinction. We think of selling as a math equation–to hit a goal we have to simply do more. If we want to double sales, we have to double selling—which, often is the wrong answer.”