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    Here are the 10 most popular Membrain blog posts of 2020

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    I have heard the word “unprecedented” more times in 2020 than I hope to ever hear again in my lifetime. Judging from which of Membrain’s blog posts you read and enjoyed most, I’m guessing I’m not alone.

    The top five most popular posts on the blog were all evergreen posts from previous years. Four were by me, and one by Tony Hughes. In fact, you have to go all the way down to the #10 slot to find a post that was originally published this year.

    Even among the most popular posts that were published this year, only two of the five talk about the pandemic and economic crisis.

    I think this speaks to the fact that we are all hungry for timeless information and insights that withstand the test of time, along with tactics for surviving and emerging stronger from the current moment.

    I hope you’ll enjoy revisiting this year’s top five most-read evergreen articles from our blog, plus the top five most-read articles that were also published this year. Here you go!

    Our 2020 top five most-read evergreen posts

    #5: Solution Selling vs The Challenger Sale

    I was happy to see a post by Tony Hughes make the top five evergreen posts this year. This fantastic post dives into not only the differences between these two major sales methodologies, but how best to apply each inside your organization, pitfalls to avoid, and further reading to enrich your ability to best serve your sales team and customers.

    #4: How to transform sales effectiveness with empathy

    It’s no secret that even though I’m a technology geek, I am especially interested in how technology supports our humanity. For instance, in my book, Stop Killing Deals, I review some of the key “human factors” that get in the way of sales effectiveness, and the framework I lay out is all about supporting the way humans actually behave, rather than trying to make humans behave the way we want them to. I love that this piece, about how to develop empathy on your sales team, is one of our top 5 evergreen pieces this year.

    #3: Is Salesforce the most expensive Rolodex in the world?

    In 2017, we made the decision to take Salesforce head-on in our communications, and this is one of the places we did that. The continuing popularity of this piece is a testament to the wisdom of that decision. In this piece, I talk about my biggest frustration with Salesforce and why I think Membrain is a better effectiveness tool for sales teams. It analyzes why Salesforce is far more expensive than it looks on the surface, and why it’s a far less useful tool than it pretends to be.

    #2: What is sales effectiveness and how do you measure it?

    I talk a lot about sales effectiveness in my blog but what, exactly, is it? Do we have a clear and simple definition? This piece reviews popular concepts of sales effectiveness, presents a simple working definition, and then breaks it down into constituent parts to better understand what we are trying to achieve when we talk about improving sales effectiveness.

    #1: Here are 5 reasons your sales process will fail

    This piece runs counter to my usual advice, and takes a hard look at the fact that sales process often fails. It gives you a list of 5 criteria to check and see if your sales process is likely to fail, including:

    1. Your process is actually just a dropdown box
    2. You’re not executing in the field
    3. You’re not reinforcing behaviors
    4. You’re failing to continually improve
    5. Your process isn’t aligned with your strategy

    The full post also shares how to fail-proof your sales process in order to ensure ROI.

    Our top five most popular posts published in 2020

    #5: Sales pipeline dried up? The #1 way to land top prospects now

    This excellent piece by Joanne Black is one of the two most popular pieces published this year that tackles pandemic-related issues head on. Published in April 2020, the piece addresses the fact that many pipelines dried up in the early days of the pandemic, and provides a no-nonsense get-back-to-business-quick approach to filling the pipelines back up. Though timely, her advice is also timeless for any organization with pipeline struggles.

    #4: How to prepare your sales team to bounce back after the crisis

    In this second article that specifically addresses issues related to the pandemic, I outline a framework for responding to economic downturns, and preparing the sales team for a strong bounce-back. Revisit your strategy, align your process with it, and focus on your people are all part of the package.

    #3 How to harness cognitive bias to win more sales

    Cognitive bias is one of my favorite topics, so I’m excited to see this in the top five from 2020. In my book, Stop Killing Deals, I talk about the key cognitive biases that impact sales, and how to harness them for your benefit. This blog entry is adapted from the book and provides a snapshot of key points for addressing and harnessing sunk cost bias, confirmation bias, the bandwagon effect, and more.

    #2 What do you wish salespeople would stop doing?

    This was a fun piece to put together! I came to you and asked: What do you wish your salespeople would stop doing? The answers ranged from “stop being so self-centered!” to “stop making excuses.” I loved the insights that came out of these conversations with Dave Kurlan, James Rorel, David Dam, and more.

    #1 Why won’t your salespeople do what they know to do?

    In the top slot for 2020, this piece was another very fun one. I tackle head-on the question of why it is that even salespeople who know the “right” thing to do… often don’t. It’s not just about reinforcement and willpower. There’s actually a deeper reason, that goes right to the heart of who we are as humans. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    I hope you enjoyed this list. I would love to hear which articles stand out for you from 2020, whether on our blog or elsewhere. What were your favorite “aha!” moments this year?

    George Brontén
    Published January 13, 2021
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn