How to Sell Cloud – 3 Critical Requirements
As more and more organizations decide they want to pro-actively position their solutions for consumption in the cloud, I thought I’d take some time to pass on a few of the main messages I’ve been hearing from businesses that buy cloud solutions. To follow are three critical requirements from a customer perspective that must be met in order for them to make a buying decision in favor of a cloud solution.Read More
A Changing Tide
Sales professionals are increasingly encountering an extremely well-informed buying community that is more often than not looking towards unbiased 3rd party sources or peer groups to validate vendor claims rather than to the vendors themselves. This significant shift in engagement behaviour has far reaching implications on sales strategy as prospects no longer need to identify or expose themselves in advance of a purchasing decision.Read More
Ahhhh….Wait. There’s a delay.
How good is your sales leadership?
Would you like to reduce your cost of sale? Or maybe improve close percentages?
Have you ever had a rep come to you at the 11th hour telling you that a ‘for sure deal’ is delayed because there is another stakeholder on the Buying Side that needs to be convinced?
Why does it happen?Read More
How many times have you heard (or said) these words over the course of your sales career?
With the exception of the past couple years, the ERP/CRM sector has been blessed with a long growth run that produced a predictable stream of engaging prospects looking to either implement or change their business systems. Then all of a sudden the quality leads stopped coming. So what happened? A lot happened; and it will get worse, not better, moving forward.Read More
But really…..asking open ended questions is like table stakes in a poker game; it’s the price of admission and everybody does it.
Using questions effectively is one of the most important skills a sales professional, or a sales leader, can have. It’s also one of the most poorly executed.Read More
There are a number of external forces driving the Partner sales community to condense and accelerate its current selling cycles. Decreasing ASP (average selling price) coupled with fewer new opportunities means sales professionals have to close a greater number of transactions in a fiercely competitive market simply to maintain their current income level.Read More
For our purposes, ‘strategy’ means that there’s a plan. ‘Tactics’ means that you’re thinking on your feet.
A sales cycle that includes both is much more likely to succeed than a cycle that relies on only one of them.
Tactics make sales fun. Strategy makes sales more predictable.
Here’s the executive summary – do both; and do them both in every sales cycle. Trust me on this; the sales cycle where you (or your rep) believe that the deal is a ‘slam dunk’ and you don’t need to plan it out…you know the one….at some point you’ll all be “standing around the fax” (or the phone, or your computer….or the mail box) waiting to get the good word, but it doesn’t come and you’ll be wondering, ‘what the heck went wrong?’ If you have a plan / strategy, chances are better that you won’t have to answer that question.
Tactics (especially when not accompanied by sound strategy) can get risky.
So the rest of this blog is dedicated to a true and pretty funny story involving sales tactics.Read More
Arrrrg!!! More change… again! Over the course of my 25 year professional career, change has been an ever-present companion and dynamic in every organization I have worked for or with. Change demands our attention regardless of what we are trying to focus on and, just when we finish changing one aspect of our business, we are challenged with changing yet another. Everything in our business ecosystem is changing constantly; market dynamics, competitive behaviour, customer buying behaviour, industry consolidation, regulatory change and product evolution; each of which impacts our business models and go-to-market strategies….and all in concert with our own organizations evolving and growing as well. …Read More
As sales pros we get to meet and work with all kinds of people…and often we are blessed to find things that we can laugh about, and things that stick with us for a long time.
As sales people and leaders, we’ve all heard a few witticisms that stick with us. Some of them weren’t devised with sales in mind, but they hit home in our world.
If you have some to share, please send them my way. We could all use a thoughtful word….or a good chuckle. Even if it’s a rueful chuckle.
Here are a few of my favourites.
- “People are best convinced by reasons they themselves discover.” ~ Voltaire…. (author’s note – The best way to make a ‘sale’ is to ask questions that lead the other party to coming up with the answers you are trying to convey).
- “The big deals make you famous – for a little while – all the little deals keep you employed.” ~ Clark Hunter. (author’s note – For the Elephant Hunters out there.)
- “The things you say you know – but you don’t do – are the things that you don’t know.” ~ George Brown (CEO at Salesworks Systems).
- “You’d rather look GOOD and LOSE, than look BAD and WIN”. ~ Woody Harrelson to Wesley Snipes in ‘White Men Can’t Jump’. (author’s note – Sales is about reaching the goal, but some people are OK with failing, as long as they have a good story….. or a ‘reason’ for why they failed.)
- “If you win every deal that you compete in, then you aren’t competing in enough deals”. ~ Mike Guido (former Senior VP Sales at Computer Associates).
- “Yes I agree that having a sales process is important…in most cases…but in THIS territory, things are different”. ~ Spoken by every sales person that is not making quota.
- “Ask me for anything else, but don’t ask me for more time”. ~ Napoleon (author’s note: selling $2,000,000 in software is EASY…but selling $2,000,000 of software in a year is a tad more challenging. We all have quotas and we need to deliver in a certain period of time).
- “I’ve had lots of troubles in my life, and most of them have never happened”. ~ Mark Twain (author’s note – sometimes as sales professionals, we get hung up on things we don’t need to get hung up on.)
- “When in doubt DO SOMETHING”. (author’s note, I don’t remember who said this to me the first time, but you’ve gotta admit, that taking some action is better than sitting there and waiting for things to happen to us.)
- “Are we managing the Sale cycle, or we servicing the Buying cycle”? (author’s note – I don’t recall where this concept occurred to me originally. As Sales Pros, if we’re just helping the Prospect buy something they were likely to buy anyway, then we aren’t really ‘selling’, are we?)
- “ ‘Hell’, is ‘other people’ ”. ~ Sartre
- Definition of Insanity – Doing something the same way, and always expecting a different result.
- “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.” ~ Albert Einstein.
- “Do not let what you cannot do, interfere with what you can do”. ~ John Wooden
- “Leadership is action, not position”. ~ Donald H. McGannon
- “Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries”. ~ James A. Michener
- “Let me tell you the secret that has led to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity”. ~ Louis Pasteur.
- “What we hope ever to do with ease we may learn first to do with diligence”. Samuel Johnson.
- “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu
- “All know the way; few actually walk it.” ~ Bodhidharma
- “Vision without Action is a daydream. Action without Vision is a nightmare.” ~ Japanese Proverb
- “An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied”. ~ Arnold Glasgow.
- “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”. ~ Henry Ford.