Tag Archives: Selling

Dig It's Great Quote of the Week

18 Sep

“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re thinking about yesterday.” — Charles Kettering

Quote of the Week – Great quote that should strike a chord in any sales rep, manager or business owner bemoaning their poor 2009 sales attainment. Sales people are usually very good at moving on whether the last month was a win or a dud but for anyone needing a reminder, read and internalize this quote. Now go get them!

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Boston-area VC funding for startups – where is it?

9 Sep

Since many Inquisix members are also entrepreneurs and business owners (like us), perhaps you’ll find these articles as interesting as we do.  The first article caused a big commotion and discussion amongst the Boston startup crowd.  Isn’t that what good articles do?

  • Why Waltham Doesn’t Matter – Finding early stage funding is always challenging for startups and the chances of getting a, “No thanks” are close to 99%. So when a noted Boston Globe business columnist calls the VCs on the carpet, everyone in our community takes notice. I was at a TechCocktail networking event last week and the VCs I spoke to all had lots of comments and head shaking. One was upset that they weren’t mentioned with the “good guys” in Boston. So if Scott was looking to stir the pot, he accomplished it in spades!
  • Hey, Boston-area VCs, angels: Loosen up and connect with startups – To continue the commentary from Scott on Waltham VCs and lack of Series A fundings, one of the Angels that rec’d kudos from Scott is offering his suggestions. It’s one all Inquisix members believe in – the referral. “If you can’t/won’t do the deal then referral them to someone you think will.”

Follow Salesforce.com's path to the top & other thoughts

4 Sep

The blog articles I read this week worth commenting on and sharing:

  • 111 Successful Plays That Led Salesforce.com from an Idea to $1 Billion in 10 Years – The company (and the man) that made the hosted-elsewhere software applications (whether you call it SaaS, Cloud Computing, ASP, etc) a non-issue with big business. Before <a href=”http://salesforce.com”>salesforce.com</a&gt; there were too many concerns about security, up-time, bandwidth and more. After Salesforce.com paved the way, look how many sites are now in the clouds, including Google Mail, Quicken & TurboTax along with photo sharing and desktop hard-disk backups. You can put your customer data, every email, financial data and tax data all online and not think twice about it. Thanks to Marc and Salesforce.com
  • Tips From @ChrisBrogan on How to Beat Dunbar’s Number – I’ve heard (and repeated the item myself) that the limit of real social relationships is 150. Even mentioned it during the BTR show with Jon Hansen last week. A fact I had not verified before but thanks to HubSpot’s blog and a link to Wikipedia, the source of 150 can be attributed to Robin Dunbar.
  • Have you met your competitor yet? Maybe you should. – Great article about the reasons why you should meet your competitor. Back when I was at Sybase, we were taught to hate our version of the Evil Empire, Oracle. Well, we all know how that battle turned out and many of my Sybase colleagues ended up working at Oracle. They didn’t suddenly become evil although we were both more careful about sharing war stories. Similarily, I’ve always been impressed at the end of hockey games when both teams line up and shake each other’s hands. Geoffrey’s reasons for meeting your competitor:
    1) Learn more about how they sell
    2) Use that knowledge to build credibility with your customer
    3) Never know when you’ll be looking for a new job

For those of you in the US & Canada, enjoy the long weekend!

Salespeople – Call to action & share

1 Sep

Nigel Edelshain of Sales 2.0 was interviewed on yourBusinessChannel recently and he discussed what salespeople need to do today to win more business.  Nigel’s call to action is to “…get together and share their rolodexes….to win business and keep their jobs.”  He suggests starting online with LinkedIn, AllyForce, SalesConx or Inquisix.

http://www.youtube.com/v/5kEN_73ftZw&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&border=1

Miss Manners is never around when you need her & Tip to reconnect with customers

21 Aug

There were two articles I read recently that really resonated with me although they’re about separate topics.  Hence the long and unwieldy title. I think the first issue about saying, “No” to friend requests is a new phenomena that the rise in social networking has created.  And technology has also come in between you and your customer when you want to get your message across to one or two people.  Hmm, technology – you can use it to increase quantity at the cost of quality.  Maybe these two topics have a common link after all.

  • What’s the Right Way to Say ‘I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend’? – I’ve read and re-read this posting several times because it’s an issue that I face often. Where’s Ann Landers or Miss Manners when we need the answer to this question that only today’s times of social networks invading our personal space. Why I get business colleagues asking me to be Facebook friends I don’t know. Why I want to connect on LinkedIn with someone who openly admits to wanting to collect the largest number of connections is beyond me.
  • The talking pad – I really dislike PowerPoint presentations to get my message across to one or two people sitting with me at the table. Colleagues laugh at my laminate, as I’ll bring 2 slides printed out and laminated back-to-back as my presentation cues. Using a pad of paper or a whiteboard is just as effective. There are many & better options than flipping up the laptop and presenting. Start using them (again) and watch your conversions increase.

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

      Do you "Give to Get" or "Give for Money" Referrals?

      3 Aug

      Did anyone see JigSaw’s recent announcement that they’ve sent up an exchange where you can sell a referral to your contacts?  It’s called “JigSaw Connect” and given the number of members they have (850K registered  members), this could be the first exchange to make selling a referral by the individual sales rep successful.

      Selling a referral to your customer isn’t anything new.  Companies have been doing it at the corporate level for years.  They call it the affiliate program or the business development partner program or just the reseller program.  And this seems to be a well understood and accepted practice by the customers.

      Individual sales reps and agents selling a referral to their customer in certain industries isn’t new, either.  The introduction of a mortgage broker by the real estate agent that just found your new home probably comes with a kick-back to the agent from the mortgage broker.  Maybe the referral fee is not as well understood by the consumer but I don’t think anyone would be surprised.

      Now JigSaw is taking this to a new level.  It’s at the rep level where an individual rep can earn $200 by referring their customer to any vendor that’s signed up to advertise on JigSaw Connect.  And it’s many industries, even ones where traditionally the selling of referrals at the rep level is frowned upon.  The only other site I’ve seen that offers this exchange of referrals for cash is SalesConx, a startup based in New York City.  But they don’t have the membership scale that JigSaw has.

      I’ll be very interested to see how JigSaw Connect fares.  JigSaw itself received a lot of negative press early on because people were offended that their business information was sold anonymously.  JigSaw will say that they’re just collecting business information differently than a Hoovers or OneSource but aren’t any different in the information they deliver.  I’ve used JigSaw for years and Inquisix is a JigSaw data partner so I don’t have an issue with the service.

      Still, selling referrals versus giving referrals is an interesting dilemma for some.  BNI members give referrals to get them in return, i.e. “Givers Gain“.  At Inquisix, we encourage members to give referrals to increase their reputation with their own customer.  But no money is exchanged.

      Would you anonymously sell the business cards you’ve collected to a data broker, i.e. JigSaw?

      Would you sell a referral to a business contact you have?

      There’s a big jump in effort, responsibility, and reputation between the 2 questions.  Let’s see how this pans out.

      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!”