B2B Reads: The Power of Storytelling, Strategy Failure, and Quality Sales Leaders


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.

The Power of Storytelling in B2B Marketing
In this article, Paul Cash and James Trezona explore how storytelling fits into B2B marketing and how leaders in this space might utilize its unique powers. They write: “You can set yourself apart from your competitors and create a foundation for your brand’s vision through storytelling.”

Help Your Sellers Secure Hard-To-Get-Meetings
In this post, Dean Moothart gives a detailed outline for what he identifies as the most challenging element of the sales process: landing a meeting with the decision-maker. He provides five strategies for securing these meetings, which include further defining targets, sales plays, thought leadership content, sales enablement tools, and inbound marketing.

What Makes Innovation Partnerships Succeed
In this article, Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio, Taha Masood, and Andy Ouderkirk analyze what exactly makes pushes for innovations work. As many companies are “aggressively pursuing breakthrough innovations,” taking stock of best practices around cultivating successful partnerships among companies (especially in tech) is of high importance. The authors note: “Innovation partnerships offer many advantages. They offset R&D costs, add expertise and flexibility, and help create new markets. They can also accelerate innovation and commercialization timelines […] The problem is, the majority of these collaborations fail, especially when it comes to actually making breakthroughs.”

Professionals need continuing education on inclusive language
In this piece, Charmian Lewis, M.D. explores the necessity of using inclusive language in the medical field and beyond. Lewis offers that by including inclusive language training within professional development, outcomes in every field will improve. Lewis writes: “In medicine, this can improve health outcomes just as advancements in medical science do. In teaching, it can create stronger bonds with students, making them more open to learning. In business, it can show all stakeholders your level of commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

What You Lose with Your New Strategy
In this article, Natalia Weisz and Roberto Vassolo uncover that most strategy failure is traceable to “fairly predictable challenges, including one factor that is constantly overlooked: the role and impact of loss.” This factor of loss is generalized to anything from loss of power to loss of identity, and can prove catastrophic when ignored.

How to Create a Compelling Narrative That Connects with Senior Execs
In this pragmatic approach, Scott Eblin outlines how to best communicate with senior executives. He notes that many are “bombarded throughout the day with bits and bytes of information, and requests for resources, decisions, and approvals.” Instead of adding to this heap, Eblin offers that you should “communicate in terms of an ongoing narrative and not just give them the random episode of the day.”

Listening Is the Key to Effective Communication
Ken Blanchard in this blog post underlines the importance and value of good listening in communication. It’s no surprise that being a good listener is a frequent trait of good communicators, especially good leaders: “people want to know their manager cares about what they think,” writes Blanchard. Blanchard then offers some easy-to-implement tips on how to improve your own listening.

Perfecting pipeline management to boost B2B sales
In this article, John Cheney establishes the need for a robust and dependable sales pipeline, and then offers some high-level pointers about what every good pipeline should include. He writes to prioritize valuable leads first, evaluate and evolve pipeline processes, and finally to utilize CRM.

The Qualities of a Sales Leader
In this blog post, Anthony Iannarino identifies some of the most important qualities for sales leaders to posses. Some include being experienced: have the firsthand experience of selling, being people-oriented: care about the people that make up your team, and being values-based: be predictable in the steadfast expression of your values.

Promoting Agility and Resilience in a Rapidly Evolving World
Brenan German here offers five strategies for effective “change management.” Recent changes towards WFH have put a lot of pressure on HR and training to be the managers of huge, systemic changes. German notes: “In any previous era, these types of major workplace and practice changes would have taken months or even years to implement in a programmatic and organized way. But now we’ve established a perceptual benchmark for the C-suite, who now expect us to turn on a dime, create new business processes, and implement entirely new guidelines…rapidly.”