Monday, December 27, 2010

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2010

I recently received a Christmas card from someone I didn't know who wanted to thank me for my blog and other content posted on the web. What an encouragement! Apart from occasional reader comments and references to my posts in other blogs, I receive little confirmation that the insights shared here are valued. The primary evidence that I'm doing something right is increasing readership.

Thankfully Google Analytics daily reports on how many people read each of my posts. Based on those statistics, the posts below were the most popular over the past year. Interestingly, only four of the top ten posts in 2010 were published this year. Disappointing? Perhaps, but at least it shows that some posts continue to attract attention well beyond their publish date. Here are the top ten, followed by my own assessment of what the top posts were this year:

1. The Four Stages of Organizational Change. This post from 2009 drew three times the number of readers as the second most popular post. Obviously there's some interest in this topic, but I would never have predicted this post's popularity.

2. Managing the Sales Funnel. Another surprise, especially considering the many other posts I've done on the topic of business development. But I do think this puts a fresh spin on using the Sales Funnel, in this case as a management tool. In that regard, let me suggest you also check out the "Sales Force Survey."

3. Relational vs. Transactional Selling. While everyone seems to acknowledge the critical importance of relationships in our business, the predominant model of sales remains a transactional one. This post explains the differences.

4. Why People Resist Change. Undoubtedly, this post drew the attention of many of the same people who read "The Four Stages of Organizational Change." Understanding why people resist change is important to successfully guiding your change initiatives.

5. What Are the Best Marketing Tactics? This post from last month was easily the most popular of 2010. It was retweeted several times and picked up by other blogs. The post presents the consensus of several surveys of professional service or other B2B marketers.

6. Leadership: What Really Matters. There's so much written on the subject of leadership that the multiple (and sometimes competing) perspectives can overwhelm. This post attempts to distill leadership down to three essential activities.

7. Organizing the Sales Effort. Hopefully those who read "Managing the Sales Funnel" also read this post; the two are complementary. The need to better organize the sales effort is prevalent in our business.

8. Great Service Is About the Little Things. This post highlighted the story of losing a major client because of a series of relatively small missteps that combined to bring the end to the relationship. It's a valuable lesson, one I'm glad attracted many readers.

9. Quality Comes From People, Not Process. The popularity of this post was another surprise, but hopefully it touched a familiar nerve. Many firms are dissatisfied with their quality process. Perhaps this post helped point some of them to the root cause.

10. Focusing on Your Key Client Relationships. One of my core management principles is "fewer better." Hopefully this post inspired others to apply this to their most strategic asset--their key client relationships.

As noted, some of the above posts were surprise choices in the people's top ten, at least from my perspective. I often have a sense of which posts will be important or provocative enough to attract a larger audience. And I'm often wrong. My limitations notwithstanding, let me offer my own top ten (in no particular order), those posts that I thought represented my best ideas for 2010:

To all of you who follow this blog, I want to thank you for your interest and hope that what I've written has been and will continue to be helpful. Your feedback and suggestions are always appreciated. May you and your firm enjoy success in the coming year.

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