Best of the Best – Top InsightSquared Blog Post of 2013 (So Far!)

Before we move on to the second half of the year and finish out 2013 on a strong note, we thought now would be a good time to provide a round-up of our best and most popular blog posts from the first six months of 2013. With topics ranging from how to maximize your Salesforce reports to NBA superstar LeBron James, we’ve covered a wide spectrum of different sales, marketing, management and analytics issues. Without further ado, here are our 10 best blog posts from 2013 – so far!

1) 3 Lame Excuses from Smart Businesses Still Using Excel for Sales Analytics

In our line of business, we come across many successful companies and smart sales VPs who are still relying on archaic methods for their sales analytics needs – such as Microsoft Excel. While undoubtedly a great program for many uses, having to painfully export reams of data from to Excel for more in-depth analysis is a long-winded and arduous process that leaves plenty of room for human and data error. Are you still spouting one of these 3 lame excuses when someone asks you why you’re still using Excel for sales analytics? – READ MORE

2) Top 4 Signs you Need a Sales Prospecting or Outbound Lead Generation Team

With all the buzz around inbound these days – inbound marketing, inbound lead generation – some sales organizations tend to forget about the tried-and-true and unique advantages of outbound lead generation. However, this is not for every company. Look out for these 4 signs at your own organization to determine if you need to implement an effective sales prospecting our outbound lead generation team. – READ MORE

3) Do you Know When you are Wasting Time on Hopeless Opportunities?

We’re all about improving efficiency here at InsightSquared, and a big part of that is to avoid wasting time on hopeless opportunities. Even the most optimistic sales rep with the happiest ears in the industry have to realize that some opportunities have such a low probability of closing that they’re not worth expending a heavy investment of both time and effort. Don’t waste more time working on hopeless opportunities in your sales pipeline. – READ MORE

4) The Limitations of Reports

Salesforce is great for keeping your reps organized, formalizing your sales process and collecting ample amounts of sales data. However, it can be limited in its reporting and in-depth analysis capabilities. Sales managers who use the software to track their sales opportunities and activities often struggle to export its data to Excel for more analysis, or require too much training to really take advantage of every part of Salesforce. Here are some of the most common limitations of reports. – READ MORE

5) 40 Top Skills for Inside Sales Reps (LinkedIn Inside Sales Experts Group)

LinkedIn is a great network for like-minded industry professionals and sales experts to share their expertise, pearls of wisdom and words of advice. One of our favorite discussions from one of our favorite groups centered around the 40 top skills necessary for inside sales reps to succeed in their field. This is a comprehensive list of top inside sales reps skills,  as shared by several top sales experts on LinkedIn. – READ MORE

6) Why Successful Sales Managers Separate Sales Forecasting & Pipeline Review Meetings

Many sales managers make the inefficient choice of combining their sales forecasting and pipeline review meetings, inundating their reps with a deluge of data and information. don’t make this mistake! The best and most effective sales managers recognize the fundamental differences between sales forecasting and sales pipeline review meetings, with different focuses and objectives for each meeting. – READ MORE

7) How LeBron James Embraced Analytics and Became a Legend

As Boston Celtics fans, this was a tough blog post for us to write, but we (begrudgingly) respect not only LeBron James’ immense basketball talent, but also his commitment to improving, primarily through a deep study of analytics. There are many parallels that can be drawn between the newfangled emphasis on analytics to improve in professional sports and what sales organizations should be doing with sales analytics to step up their collective games. – READ MORE

8) Why Less is More when Sales Wants Leads

We’re all about turning conventional wisdom on its head and busting myths here at InsightSquared. Commonly held thinking suggests that to increase sales, organizations simply need to coax as many leads as possible out of their marketing teams. We humbly disagree, and believe that sometimes less can be substantially more when it comes to leads. – READ MORE

9) What is Lead Status in Salesforce and Why It’s Essential

Salesforce can be a complicated beast, with many users unsure of true best practices with all its various capabilities. Our blog series on Salesforce how-to’s seeks to answer some of these commonly asked questions. One way in which many users don’t fully take advantage of Salesforce is when it comes to managing lead statuses. This blog post focuses not only on how to use lead statuses, but why they’re so important. – READ MORE

10) [Infographic] 9 Key Takeaways from Virtual Sales Summit Experts

Finally, we were privilledged to have the opportunity to close the first half of the year by sponsoring the Inside Sales Virtual Summit 2013, a record-breaking, one-of-its-kind fully-digital sales summit. We welcomed visitors to our virtual booth, attended a series of great talks by other experts in the industry and produced this awesome infographic sharing some of our favorite takeaways from the summit. – READ MORE


We hope everyone had a fantastic first half of 2013. Here’s to an even better second half!

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