The Razors Edge with Barbara Giamanco|Sales|Social Selling|Marketing|Customer Experience|Technology|Business

Conversations about doing business in a digitally disrupted world. Each episode features a global executive or thought leader discussing current and future topics and trends in Sales, Social Selling, Account Based Selling and Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Leadership, Technology and more. If you want to learn from the best minds in B2B sales, marketing, service, and technology, The Razor's Edge podcast is for you.
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 31, 2015

In my latest podcast conversation, I talked with Stu Perlmeter about why sales organizations should conduct a thorough win/loss analysis to understand why deals either closed or did not. 

Those organizations that do some sort of win/loss evaluation are often making incorrect assumptions based on what their sales rep tells me or the data that they've asked the sales rep to try and uncover. 
Human nature being what it is, you will rarely get the full picture of what happened throughout the course of the decision making process that led to a go/no go decision. This is especially true if the deal was a loss to a competing company. Having spent time with the salesperson during the process and recognizing that time and money has been invested in trying to secure the business, buyers are often very reluctant to be truthful about what went wrong. This is where a 3 party can help.

During my conversation with Stu, we talked about:

  • What win/loss analysis is and why it B2B companies should care.
  • How sales leaders can learn from the analysis and use it to drive and improve sales performance.
  • The benefits to both the sales organization and the organization as a whole.
  • How to get the most accurate data when doing an analysis of deals won and lost.
And more...
Enjoy and feel free to share with others!

About Stu Perlmeter: Stu brings 30 years of marketing and research experience to 1st Resource, which he founded in 1996. Stu’s primary expertise is in understanding the market insights that tie to success formulas for companies seeking to grow their business in strategic ways. 

Stu is an expert in designing and implementing market research that incorporates a deep understanding of social psychology and behavioral economics. Stu leads a team of ten talented researchers at 1st Resource, covering all relevant components of research: primary, secondary, qualitative and quantitative.

Dec 18, 2015

Salespeople always seem to be looking for that quick fix, as if one actually exists. Rather than taking a targeted and focused approach, salespeople often resort to a "spray and pray" approach by broadcasting the same message to everyone. 

Now with social media, spamcasting has taken on a whole new level of "please don't do that". Broadcasting over social channels is a quick way to created a less than positive brand impression - for you and for your company.

In this episode, Barb Giamanco and Doug Lehman talk about the common misuses of social channels and why you should avoid them.

Dec 14, 2015

Most sales messaging is overly "me" centric and are focused on what companies and their sales people want to sell versus actually caring about what buyers want and need. 

"According to sales management, the salesperson's ability or inability to communicate value messages is the biggest inhibitor keeping salespeople from achieving quota." --SiriusDecisions

Can you really blame buyer's resistance to dealing with salespeople? Their experience is, more often than not, a waste of their precious time. The inability to create a value message is at the heart of this problem. Feature dumps don't cut it, and simply making more phone calls, sending more spam emails, or broadcasting your pitch to more people on social channels aren't helping you. Your sales messaging has to change!

Barb Giamanco and Doug Lehman talk about why your message matters and what yours is probably saying about you! 


Dec 9, 2015
The quota year is winding down for many of you, but that doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels. Learn how important it is to focus on solving problems for customers versus trying to pitch them.
While you are busy closing the deals you can in the final December push, don't forget that you need to be thinking ahead to the New Year. Planting the seeds for your sales future must be top of mind.
Sales acceleration is an inside job, and it is all about velocity. The common myth is that buyers slow down the sales process, but it might be a big shock to many sellers to know that they are the ones slowing down the purchasing decision.
If you sell, you have one job to do. 
Contrary to what you might think, it isn't to sell something.
Selling is about helping customers solve their business problems and make buying decisions. Think about delivering value in a different way. Think of adding value as providing information quickly, in order to move buyers one step closer to a purchasing decision. Make it easy for them to make a decision.
Dec 4, 2015

In this episode, Barb Giamanco and Doug Lehman chat about strategies for generating higher quality leads, in less time.

Access to decision makers is tough! An IDC study reported that inundated with data and sales pitches, buyers return only:
  • 10.5% of phone calls
  •  9% of emails from new vendors
Yet, pressured by management KPI's, every day salespeople use the same tactics - cold calls and cold emails - in an effort to convince a prospective customer to agree to a sales meeting.

In IDC's Social Buying Meets Social Selling whitepaper they concluded that "While time is scarce, trust and confidence can be even rarer. Buyers making high-impact decisions will gravitate toward methods that make confidence building easier."


Nov 30, 2015

In this episode, Barb Giamanco and Doug Lehman break it down for you in Lehman's terms. There is no easy button called social selling. Like all aspects of being good in sales, how you utilize social channels as part of your sales process takes work.  

Patience, planning, the right mindset and sales and technology skills all factor into the success equation too. In response to a different kind of buyer, salespeople and their leaders need to change their mindset and selling behavior.  

With 2016 right around the corner, now is the perfect time to put your strategy in place, or to adjust the one you already have. 

Remember, you cannot slap new technology - social channels - onto outdated sales approaches and expect to win. Cheesy selling, or is that sleazy selling, is still cheesy and buyers hate it. Adopting a new type of selling mindset means change. It means doing things differently, regardless of what worked back in the day. 

It all starts with a sound strategy, backed up with great sales skills and consistent execution of your strategy.

Jul 31, 2015

In my recent Razor’s Edge podcast, I talked with Robin Saitz, CMO at Brainshark. The focus of our conversation was sales productivity and specifically, we talked about what is behind the sales productivity gap and what companies can do about it. 

Though we’ve heard through the years from CSO Insights that roughly 52% of salespeople do not achieve quota each year (and that’s in a good economy!), Robin told me that the TAS Group reported that the number is as much as 67%. If that doesn’t keep a sales leader up at night, I don’t know what does! 

As with all my guests, I learned a lot in talking with Robin.

Sales Productivity Defined

She defined sales productivity as the yield per sales rep. In other words, hitting quota in the most efficient way possible. As I came to learn and as the TAS Group numbers suggest, productivity in sales is way off the mark.

What Causes the Gap

In particular, I was struck with Robin’s point of view regarding why we have such a problem with sales productivity at all. She told me that it comes down to several things, like: 

Lack of an onboarding process and specifically, a lack of focus on training selling skills. Some 38% of companies lack any kind of formal process or program for preparing new reps. 

Salespeople cannot find the content/information they need when they need it. Up to 40% of their time is spent searching or trying to create the content that they need. Breaking it down that equates to 2 out of 5 sales days each week. 

Sales conversations are not effective enough and there is a lack of visibility – on management’s part – in terms of understanding the behavior and knowledge of their salespeople.

What Companies Can Do

During the interview, Robin shared her suggestions for what companies need to do to close the productivity gap, who needs to be involved in addressing the issues and what to measure to ensure that you are closing the gap. 

With C-Suite and corporate Board members extremely concerned about sales productivity, this interview is certainly worth 35 minutes of your time.

Learn more about how Brainshark can help your organization close the sales productivity gap.

Follow Robin on Twitter.


Jul 2, 2015

According to Gallup, 71% of American workers today are disengaged or actively checked out of their jobs, which creates a serious problem for organizations.

Why? 70% of customers' brand perception is determined by the EXPERIENCE with people. I'm not surprised. I see this a lot in sales. From the first interaction or touch point with a prospect what perception are you creating in their minds? 

In my conversation with Jane, we talked about:


  • How inspired leadership makes a big impact on the bottom line.
  • Employee engagement and advocacy.
  • Most inspiring companies.
  • Characteristics of inspirational leaders and what that means for their teams.
When there are higher levels of employee engagement, companies see an increase in sales, customer loyalty, above-average productivity and higher profits.


Connect with Jane on LinkedIn or visit her website at 


Follow her on Twitter.
Jun 30, 2015

Recently, I had a conversation with Jill Rowley about selling in today's digitally disrupted world. She has some great insights into buyer behavior and the data that shows that when sales and marketing departments are working in alignment, the sales funnel is impacted at pretty much every stage of the sales cycle. While Jill told me that not enough research has been conducted to clearly shows how that inter-departmental alignment also affects customer advocacy, Jill feels strongly that there is a positive correlation there as well.

As Jill likes to say, today's buyer has choice and voice. If you don't stand out, you are locked out.
In this podcast, you hear about why alignment is so critical and why the "customer" should be at the heart of it all.


Follow Jill on Twitter.
Jun 26, 2015

Today's savvy salespeople are incorporating social media into their sales process. The understand that we are both sellers and marketers in a digitally disrupted world where buyers can block access via the phone and email.

In my conversation with Julio, you'll learn:

  • What social selling is all about and the role that content plays in B2B selling.
  • Why the announcement of rFactr's partnership is a game changer.
  • The importance of aligning sales and marketing to drive revenue results.
  • Characteristics of today's modern seller.

It was a great conversation that I hope you enjoy.

Follow Julio on Twitter.

Learn more about rFactr and their social selling platform.

Jun 24, 2015
Sales and marketing have had a love/hate relationship for years, but the truth is that a focus on revenue is a joint goal. With sales and marketing working together, all aspects of the sales funnel are impacted in a positive way.
In my Razor's Edge conversation with Tracy, we talked about: 
  • What's changed in the world of sales and marketing and how digital has disrupted it all.
  • How to start the process of aligning both camps.
  • Who is ultimately responsible for ensuring alignment happens. 
After listening to the podcast, check at a recent blog post from Tracy that followed up a webinar InsideView hosted on June 3rd with Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst, Laura Ramos.  
You'll also learn about how InsideView can help sellers and marketers leverage social listening and insights to drive the bottom line. 


Follow Tracy on Twitter.

Mar 25, 2015
Playing off a presentation I did last year, Doug Lehman and I rant about the things about sales and social selling that bug us. 
If you want to check out all the rants, you can view the slide presentation here
By the way, if you don't know Doug, he is a master at helping people leverage video as part of the sales process. Visit him at 
Feb 24, 2015

Recently, I sat down with Carter Hostelley and Karri Carlson from Leadtail to talk about how Leadtail social insights helps marketing and sales leaders develop the right social, content and engagement strategy to reach their targeted buyers. I first learned about Leadtail when Carter reached out to me on Twitter and asked if I'd be interested in their How Sales Leaders Engage on Twitter insights report. Of course, I was immediately interested. The report, which was a collaboration with Hoover's, provides fresh insight into how sales professionals are embracing social media to better perform on the job, share what interests them and engage in conversations with customers, prospects, and influencers.I found the report to be extremely insightful. And, of course, I was pleasantly surprised to see my name on the list of people that sales leaders mentioned most often on Twitter. Nice! Get your copy here. I'll know you'll find it worth the read. 

During the interview, Carter, Kari and I talked about:
  • Why the right kind of content is so important to your social engagement strategy.
  • Why they decided to publish these insights reports and whom they are meant to benefit.
  • The methodology behind the reports.
  • What influencer marketing really means.
  • How social insights reports benefit salespeople.
Leadtail is an innovative company with ideas about content marketing - what works and what doesn't. Enjoy the interview!