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Shout Out to Dave Dupre for CIO of the Year Award

13 May

A shout out to my co-founder and CTO at Inquisix, Dave Dupre, for being nominated for WINNING the 2012 CIO of the Year Award from MHT and Boston Business Journal. No surprise to me, Dave was clearly the best engineer back while we were getting our degrees at Boston University and he accomplished amazing things at Inquisix by building a pretty sophisticated application behind the covers that was so simple to use. He’s got didn’t even need my vote for winning the award next month!

Motivating The Troops

30 Jul

I was invited to sit in the back of the room for a new-year sales kickoff meeting. Unbeknownst to me, the sales team had finished the prior year ranked 16th of 16 teams. The local VP had been relieved of his duties about 3 months prior so the area VP was in town to talk with the team. By the end of the area VP’s 30 minute kickoff speech I was shaking my head in amazement regarding the number of bad Sales Manager 101 cliches he managed to use.

He started the meeting by telling the group that he enjoyed being a jerk and that this particular group brought out the worst in him. Although he called himself something worse than a jerk, a word that rhymes with donkey. He ranted about how bad the team was, how embarrassed he was that they were on his team and that things would be different in the coming fiscal year. Then he had them all watch Alec Baldwin’s (in)famous speech in Glengarry Glen Ross.

 

 

When a region does that poorly in sales, I wonder where the fault lies. Is it with all of the reps who did so poorly? Can it be the entire office’s fault? Maybe the sales trainers did not do their job properly? Perhaps it was the marketing group because they delivered bad leads? Did some microeconomic event strike this region while leaving everyone else unscathed? Or maybe the fault lies with the area VP who passed down quotas that weren’t based on in-depth market study and analysis?

I also wondered how things were going to improve. The entire sales team of over 20 people except for 1 rep remained. Quotas were unchanged. Training was pushed out till the next quarter. A new regional VP had yet to be hired. How quickly after they came on board would they be able to positively affect the efforts of a 30-person sales team? Would the area VP be delivering the same speech in 6 months?

Clearly, his sales management style can be summed with the Dilbert-esque comment:

 

(photo credit: SJT Enterprises)

Influitive – new spin on referrals and references

31 May

This spring, my dear colleague, Joanne Black, the author of No More Cold Calling, introduced me to Mark Organ of Influitive. Influitive has an interesting twist on the reputation-based referral process that Inquisix built our business on.

Inquisix was focused on helping fill the beginning of the funnel with qualified prospects who came to you, the sales person, based on a referral from someone the prospect trusted. At Inquisix, the network was the salesreps and executives who had high-value relationships with their customers and thus could refer them. Influitive looks at the sales cycle from the point of view of your happy reference customers. At Influitive, it’s these customers who expand their reputation network based on the products and solutions they embrace.

Influitive is in beta now and I encourage any VP of Sales or VP of Marketing who is using salesforce.com to take a look at them.

Happy Selling!

By Referral Only – Wed Dec 30 event

8 Dec

If you’d like to learn more about building and strengthening your business 100% thru referrals then I highly recommend you attending this special event from a master networker and early Inquisix member, Rick Roberge.

Rick’s program, “By Referral Only” will be offered on Wednesday December 30th, 2009 from noon to 1:30pm US ET. You have two options of attending  – you can be there in-person in Westboro, MA, USA or participate via webinar.

But act fast, as the first 24 people who register for each event using “RR1230” as the discount code will receive a $50 discount when they register.

Pick your option but don’t do nothing!

Join in-person

Join online

Talk Radio Podcast : Emergence of Reputation Networks : Sept 23, 2009

2 Sep

I had an amazing Blog Talk Radio with Jon Hansen of PI Window on Business last week.  We spoke over our allotted time, almost an hour, on the emergence of reputation networks such as Inquisix.  With it being so easy to make connections on the web and trade recommendations, how can people who don’t know you really trust what they read about you?

Topics we discussed included:

  • Value of References
  • Giving vs Getting
  • Political Patronage and References
  • Verifying References
  • Integrity of Referral/Reference Process
  • Does Social Media Help or Hurt
  • Extending Your Reference Base with Integrity
  • Emergence of Reputation Networks with Social/Business Networking

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/BTRPlayer.swf?displayheight=&file=http://www.blogtalkradio.com%2fJon-Hansen%2fplay_list.xml?show_id=662419&autostart=false&shuffle=false&volume=80&corner=rounded&callback=http://www.blogtalkradio.com/FlashPlayerCallback.aspx&width=215&height=108

If BTR podcast doesn’t show above, please go to Jon’s site to listen to it.

On a side note, talking with Jon was one of the easiest and most enjoyable online discussions I’ve had.  Jon prepared me for the call by sending me some topics to think about prior to our interview.  He was calm when we had a few technical difficulties to iron out before we went on the air.  And his engaging demeanor and conversation made the conversation lively, interesting and valuable.   I was certainly surprised to learn later that Jon’s only been a BTR host for a short time.  Jon has written a book, “Your Show Will Go Live in 5 Seconds” about his experiences as a Blog Talk Radio Host.  If  you’re thinking of becoming a BTR host or are thinking of your personal branding via Social Media, you owe it to yourself to read this book.  An excerpt is available at no charge at Jon’s site.  Not surprising, his book reads as breezy and well as listening to him online.

JonHansenBook

Talk Radio Event: Emergence of Reputation Networks : Sept 23, 2009

23 Aug

Jon Hansen hosts a Talk Radio Show, “PI Window on Business” that reaches an estimated 300,000 syndicated subscribers worldwide every month.  The PI Social Media Network is internationally recognized for its ability to identify, structure and disseminate the ideas and visions that are reshaping the emerging global enterprise.

JonHansen

He’s talking with Michael Kreppein, Chief Sales Officer of Inquisix, to examine more closely the emergence of “reputation networks” and their effects on personal branding in the Web 2.0 world. Reputation networks, like Inquisix, are gaining ground to combat the growing problem within the realms of social networking, where references or testimonials are bartered by an ever-expanding network of interloping relationships between name collectors versus relationship builders.

Please join us.

Wednesday September 23, 2009 at 12.30pm ET

Consummate Networkers Presentation by Inquisix

29 Jul

As mentioned in a previous post, Pat Weber runs an online networking group called the Consummate Networkers and she invited me to speak to her group last week.

Pat has three key areas of consummate networking:

* Show Up
* Dive In
* Follow up

Pat asked me to talk about the Dive-In area so I presented to over 30 attendees on, “The Morning After….Attending the Networking Event.” We used the BlitzTime solution so that everyone could see & hear the presentation and then do one-on-one networking afterwards. All from the comfort of their home, office or car.

http://www.viddler.com/player/b22c378e/

Phone Event on July 23rd – The Day After the Networking Event

21 Jul

Pat Weber runs an online networking group called the Consummate Networkers and she’s invited me to speak to her group this week. The event is phone-based and anyone can join the call via BlitzTime.

networking

Date: Thursday, July 23rd at 7pm ET

Topic: The Day After the Networking Event – What Do I Do Now?

Why not join us and participate by signing up here? The event is free and you’ll have a chance to meet other professionals interested in networking.

3 Great Reminders This Week

27 May

I starred 3 blog posts this week that I’ve re-read a couple of times already and wanted to share with you.

From Seth Godin – He refutes the cliche and states that “It DOES hurt to ask” because you then don’t get a chance to ask the right way.

From Geoffrey James – An example of what he considers an eternal rule of business, “Anyone who manipulates you with fear intends to screw you eventually.

From Adrian Miller, author of “The Blatant Truth”, 10 Ways to Suck at Networking. I was at the New England Networkers event last night and am going to the Cambridge Business Development Group event tonight so a quick referesher on what NOT to do was timely.

Inquisix on the Business Insanity Radio Show

18 May

barrymoltz

Barry Moltz has a radio show where he will, “… talk about all the craziness of small business.” Last week’s theme was sales & marketing networking thru social media and he invited me to talk with him. You can listen to my portion of the show below.

[audio:https://mkreppein.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/barrymoltz1.jpgwp-content/uploads/2009/05/barrymoltzinquisixinterviewmay2009.mp3%5D

Barry had a few guests on his show along with me, including Alyssa Dver from my last post.  His show was also the inspiration for my post on why the cold calling process is like, “putting lipstick on a pig” which generated quite a few comments. If you’d like to listen to the whole 30 minute talk, go to Barry’s website here and listen to episode #40. You’ll find a wealth of information on his site so enjoy.