Tag Archives: sales

Inside Sales Growing at Expense of Field Sales?

12 Aug

Is Inside Sales growing at the expense of Outside Sales?

  • Some Sobering Sales Statistics – Another blog article that remarks on the trends of inside sales teams growing in importance and size while forecasts for the death of outside sales teams continue.

I’ve sold as & managed an inside sales group.  And I’ve done the same in the field so I can see both sides of this argument.  Perhaps has the market for a certain product matures overtime, the distribution of that product changes from field to inside to channel to online.  Are many big-ticket B2B products in a new market sold over the phone?  I doubt it.  But I’m sure the add-on sales of laptops once the vendor has been chosen is an easy sale over the phone or via the web.

So many professionals & businesses don’t see the end of their way of doing things.  Look at newspapers today.  Horse carriage manufacturers 100 years ago.  Is this the beginning of the end for outside sales?  Time will tell.

Better & Worse Ways to Deliver Your Message

10 Aug

Following up on my previous post, “Better & Lighter Ways to Deliver Your Message”, Seth Godin posted recently on a chart he thought up about the delivery mechanism of your message:

  • The bandwidth-sync correlation that’s worth thinking about – Interesting graph from Seth Godin that at first glance made me think of Gartner’s magic quandrant. Except that in his chart the sweet spot for a market isn’t the upper-right quadrant. Then I noticed only 3 of the communcation forms had company names attached to them – Twitter, YouTube and Cisco Telepresence. Cisco? How’d they get to be in the upper-right hand corner? Hardly a ubiqituos communication method. And where’s Skype? Where’s all the social networks? I’d put Skype in the sweet spot but higher than telephone. And I’d put social networks in sweet spot, too, and to the right of blogs. And take off Cisco.

GodinChart

Better & Lighter Ways to Deliver Your Message

9 Aug

Have you seen the old Microsoft television ad of a guy walking right thru airport security with just his Windows Mobile device while the next guy struggles with laptop and projector?  And then the Windows Mobile guy just sets his phone down on the conference table and it sends the presentation to the prospect’s projector without wires?  Such a tease since it didn’t exist.  And Microsoft certainly wasn’t going to the be first one to release such a useful device.

So when I saw this posting, I was very happy.  It’s a two-fer:  projector light enough to put in your pocket and a tablet that’s smaller than a laptop but more useful then a netbook.

  • Will the Mac Tablet Look Like This? – This doesn’t have much to do with referrals but wow would I like to carry one of these instead of a Dell brick to meetings. Better yet, the advertisement on the tablet summary shows a Pico Projector that you can connect to your phone or laptop to give presentations and the projector is small enough to put in your pocket.
  • Pico

      Future of B2B sales & Effective Networking Tips

      30 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      • The Future of B2B: Like It or Not – If Geoffrey’s predictions come true, selling will be 90% science and 10% art. And a lot less “interesting” especially for the traditional outside field rep.
      • 9 Tips for Effective Networking – Nice list of tips for effective networking. I’d boil them down to “get comfortable out of your comfort zone” and “Be Brief and Be Bold!”

      Other blog posts (and Tweets) I found interesting and starred this week

      23 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      Other blog posts I found interesting and starred this week

      9 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      • How to Harshly Remind a Customer… – With customers and prospects not responding as often as salesreps would like, here are 3 good ways to reach out them for a response. Note that none of them use the, “Just checking in” cliche.
      • How to Stay “At Will” Employed – I guess posts with lists of to-do’s are resonating with me this week. This post resonating with me even more because a great sales guy I know just got laid off even though he was doing well. Probably because he wears his heart on his sleeve and championed the customer’s issues too loudly at corporate, which violates Garth’s first, second and third items for staying employed. I’d recommend The Sales Ladder  to Garth’s friend.
      • Make better cold calls by ending the “How are you today?” habit – There a few telesales cliches that just have to go. Geoff mentions a few. How about, “Just checking in…” as another? If you’re not making the initial calls, are you sure your inside partner isn’t making these mistakes?
      • Top 10 Ways to Waste Your Time in a Networking Group! – Loved this post! So many posts on how to be effective with networking groups but Dr Ivan Misner, with tongue firmly in cheek, discusses the ways you can waste time. Unfortunately, you waste a bunch of other people’s time as well. My favorites on his lists are also some of my top pet peeves.Like #6 Don’t rush following up on a referral. And #1, Take that call or text message during the meeting, it won’t bother anyone else.

      Other blog posts I found interesting and starred this week

      1 Jul

      In addition to the blogs listed to the right under the Inquisix blog roll, there are many other really interesting blogs that I read on a regular basis. Posts at these blogs that I recently found interesting enough to star and comment on are below:

      • 10 Tough Questions To Ask Prospects – Sometimes it’s the commenters that really make me think about what’s being written here. This is one of those posts because the first commenter disagrees with these 10 questions. He claims to be a buyer so the credibility should be there.
      • 10 Ways to Get More Clicks in Your Email Campaigns – Our VP Marketing, Betsy, has been sending out regular InquisixCONNECT newsletters to all our members. I’ve found this post to be a great checklist for me to quickly review her newsletter to ensure we’re getting the attention we want. I especially like these tips:
        #2 Link Headlines
        #3 Link Images
        #5 Tease them
        #10 Personalize
      • How to Gently Remind a Customer… – It’s end of quarter and you (or your salespeople) have a few deals left in the forecast. Are they going to happen or not? It’s the time for wondering how many times you can call the customer in a week just to get their update. You’ve already asked for the order. A “Yes” is a great response. “No” is not great if it’s because your competitor is winning but bearable if it’s just pushed out a few weeks. But it’s the no response at all that drive salespeople (and their managers) CRAZY. The stress of not knowing is almost worse than knowing it’s a “No”Geoffrey James has a few ideas on how to get the customer to respond. Better yet, the first commenter shared an email that made him respond to the salesrep asking him for the update.

      JOTD

      23 Jun

      According to the Boston Globe, June is shaping up to be the gloomiest month in Boston since 1903. Perhaps a joke is in order, this one from “Advanced Sales Skills Guidebook” by Daniel Farb and Bruce Gordon. Thanks to my buddy Mark for telling it to me yesterday.

      A keen sportsman spent the weekend at a hunting lodge and bagged a record number of birds with the help of a dog named “Salesman.” The man was so impressed that when making his reservations for the following year, he specifically requested the services of the same dog.

      “Too bad,” said the lodge manager. “Six months ago, some jerk who was here kept calling the dog “Sales Manager” by mistake. Now all he does is sit on his tail and bark.”

      DogBarking

      Engineering Can Wait

      31 Mar

      Even though I have 2 degrees from Boston University and live 15 minutes from campus, I’m not a big BU alumni. Maybe it’s because there wasn’t a big fraternity scene or football tailgating parties. For me, it was the city of Boston itself that’s the attraction. Since BU is 1 mile long and a block wide, the campus really becomes the city itself. So I’ve ignored BU attempts at bringing me back.

      bu_banner

      The one sport BU is good at is hockey and they’ve been ranked #1 most of this year and are going to the Frozen Four next week. Watching hockey on HD with the boys is almost as good as watching the games live so I’ve been caught up in the BU spirit. And then BU got me at a weak moment and I said, “Yes” to attending a BU Engineering industry night last week.

      I’m back on campus, walking thru the student union and knowing that I can’t even pass for a grad student getting their PhD. Obviously not a professor, maybe the parent of one of these kids. Go into the dining room where they’re hosting the event and take a big breath.

      The room is full of engineering seniors wanting to mingle with alumni and ask what’s it’s like in the real world. No speeches, just a quick intro and then mingle the crowd so that the kids could ask us questions one-on-one. I told the crowd, “I don’t know why BU ENG asked me to attend as I got out of engineering and into sales within 2 years of graduating BU.” Of all the other alumni, only 1 other wasn’t still in engineering and he was a patent attorney. I figured I’d be left alone for the next 2 hours, scorned for going to the dark side of sales.

      Instead, I was mobbed. And I really enjoyed talking with them and was glad I attended. Why? Because I can remember being in their place and knowing I had spent so many hours studying to be an engineer, hours that my English and Business major friends were spending in the bars downtown. I can remember that eager but tight feeling of, “I have to get a Engineering job right now” without realizing that working for the next 40 years is what’s ahead of me. After all, I thought 30 year olds were due Social Security benefits when I was graduating BU. Just no concept of 4 years of school vs 40 years of working.

      What these kids wanted to hear from me that it’s OK not to do the expected and get the obligatory engineering job right away. So I told them it’s OK. Be a (gasp) sales person. Join the Peace Corp, get a teaching job, be a bartender or ski instructor, travel the world if you can. Take some time to discover what you love to do. That job will be waiting when you’re ready.

      Personal Sales Videos – their time is here

      9 Mar

      Most everyone has an online avatar. Whether it’s your Facebook picture shown to your friends or your LinkedIn picture with your resume, everyone’s putting their mug shot online. With the introduction of YouTube, easy-to-use video editing software like iMovie and inexpensive video cameras like The Flip, it seems like everyone is taking the next step from pictures on the web to videos on the web.

      And web videos are a natural extension of your sales and marketing efforts. It’s a great way to quickly and accurately get your compelling message across to a large number of customers and prospects. We’ve been exploring adding video to the Inquisix site not only to educate members but allow members to tell their own story to fellow members.

      Since we don’t want our videos to win awards on “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, I sat down with Inquisix member Catie Foertsch of OurTownProductions to learn more. She talked about her 6 tips to making a better video. I’ll summarize them here but you should go to her website for the complete details.

      Catie’s 6 tips to a better video

      • Start with a script
      • Be Yourself
      • Use a quality microphone
      • Use lots of good lighting
      • Frame your face well
      • End video with a call to action