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The Upside: Killer Sales Tips

11 posts from April 2010

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April 30, 2010

What I Really Think About Sales 2.0, or "A Fool With a Tool is Still a Fool With a Tool"

OK, I’ve had it. I’m calling B.S. on this Sales 2.0 thing.
 
If you want to be successful in Sales, the critical tools required are a brain and common sense.
 

You may laugh, but, as a VP at Glance Networks, I have been called on by hundreds of Sales people, but rarely is their approach impactful, intelligent or credible. It’s amazing to me.

Top honors would have to go to a sales rep who wanted to pitch her tool allowing Sales pros to be more knowledgeable about their prospects prior to making outbound calls; she asked me - the VP of Sales & Marketing at Glance Networks - if we could do a WebEx! A WebEx! Are you kidding me?!

Quoting my friend Steve Harper: “A fool with a tool is still a fool.”  

I am a believer that there are people in the world that just “get it”, and others that, well, just don’t. 
 
So do tools help?  Of course they do. In fact, in my barn I have a top-of-the-line Craftsman tool chest, filled with every type of screw driver, wrench, saw, bolt, nut and nail you can imagine. I’ve spent a fortune on it, but do I use any of it? I try to; the only issue is that I couldn’t nail two boards together if my life depended on it.
 
I’m a duct tape man.
 
It’s not that I don’t understand what a hammer is, or a saw, I just wasn’t born with that ability to look at building materials, and well, build anything.
 
All I’m saying is that there are many Sales people, who can use Sales 2.0 tools and technology to gain intelligence about prospects, or have LinkedIn profiles with 300 recommendations, or 1,000 friends on Facebook -- possibly they make a million outbound calls a day; maybe they even use Glance!
 
But can they speak to prospects intelligently?  Can they look at 30 parts of a deal and put them all together? Do they understand the value of a well-placed question? Or equally so, of well-placed silence? Do they get that all humans are different in how they make decisions? Can they recognize a prospect's personality type within the first two minutes of meeting them, and engage the conversation accordingly? -- Do they get it?
 
Glance is a sales 2.0 tool, we market ourselves as such.
 
We tweet, we blog; we use awesome products like InsideView and Salesforce.com; but we also pride ourselves on being human and building the best customer relationships possible. In fact, if you have ever called Glance you know that we don’t have an automated attendant. Humans answer, every time. And that’s all I am saying. Tools are great, but they don’t make the salesperson; in fact, it’s just the opposite.

Ok, my rant is over now. I feel better.

-- Tom Scontras, VP of Sales & Marketing

 

Follow Glance Networks on Twitter and Facebook for daily tips on Sales 2.0.

April 30, 2010

Glance Makes a Difference in Students’ Futures

When I’m not on my day job at Glance, I have the privilege of helping kids from disadvantaged backgrounds get in to college. This opportunity started with a simple request to help teenagers at my church get motivated to go to college so they would not languish in low paying and unfulfilling careers.

The task has now taken on a life of its own — sometimes involving helping them with the practical process of applying for admission, financial aid, housing and class registration – especially since all this is done online these days. Since many of these teens are the first in their generation to get higher education, navigating this process alone can be overwhelming. 

Enter Glance, the super tool.

With Glance, students can call me and say, “I don’t know what this application is asking,” and I can say, “OK, go to your browser window and type in my Glance address. Here is the session key,” and away we go. I give them remote control access to my computer (a great Glance feature!), and they can fill in the entire application from their living rooms, while I'm in my home. If they get stuck, I can quickly figure out the answer to their question. They don’t languish in confusion and frustration. Nor can they wiggle out of getting it done, because I am with them every step of the way.

Students have also called me to help them with financial aid forms. If you have never had the fun of filling in the government’s FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online, you might not know that this process is fairly labyrinthine -- involving applying for a pin, getting your parents to apply for a different pin, answering a series of questions, collecting financial paperwork, translating terminology, and having the stamina to sit in your seat during this confusing process, hoping not to fall into one of the many jargon dungeons lurking along the way.  I have found it is MUCH easier to get through this process with Glance. I am essentially sitting by their side –- even though I am at home, and they can be anywhere.

I love that Glance makes the whole process simple, fast, and painless for them, and they can focus on what's important - moving on to higher education!

-- Robin Baker, Billing Manager, Glance Networks (daytime) and volunteer guidance counselor (after hours)

April 26, 2010

Is Webex Killing Your Sales Demos? | From Marci Reynolds' Sales Operations Blog

We had the pleasure of meeting Marci Reynolds last week at the AA-ISP event that Glance hosted. Marci has led successful sales, operations and e-business teams for the past 15 years. She writes a great blog called The Sales Operations Blog dedicated to sharing Sales Operations ideas, trends, opinions and best practices. Marci's recent post about Glance captured perfectly, the sentiment we hear often from new customers: "we weren't able to get the Webex started so our sales demo never went off!"

Here's Marci's post:

Marci ReynoldsThey say that you only have one chance to make a first impression and Glance Networks, based in Boston, MA, is on a mission to make that impression, more powerful and to generate more revenue.

In many technical sales organizations, “the demo” is an important part of the sales process. It is usually a separate event, scheduled with a prospect, after the initial cold call. Glance Networks has developed a product that allows you to present a demo “on the fly”, by using real time, screen sharing technology.

You provide a unique URL to your prospect, they leverage their own internet connection, and within 30 seconds, they can see what you see. In addition, with one click you can turn over the controls to your prospect and they can be in command of your desktop from their location. (You are able to share your screen with up to 100 people.)

Unlike Webex and GoToMeeting, you do not need...Read the rest of the article on Marci's blog.


--Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

April 24, 2010

Sales Pipelines Up in 2010, But Sales Cycles Longer, Survey Shows

OneSource's recently released 2010 B2B Sales Pulse Survey showed key trends in:

  • pipeline growth,
  • sales cycle lengths, and
  • best sources for lead generation.

According to the survey, 47% of respondents reported current sales pipelines are better than last year. However, while pipeline conditions show improvement, sales cycles are getting longer, making it harder for sales professionals to close deals. 59% surveyed said that their current sales cycles are longer than last year.

Results could suggest that even though more B2B sales opportunities are arising for sales pros, tighter prospect budgets continue to hold down spending, causing the competitive evaluation process to take longer, before prospects are ready to close.

The solution? Step up your use of sales intelligence tools and social media. Says Sham Sao, Chief Marketing Officer of OneSource, "despite healthier pipelines reported by sales professionals taking our survey, the majority are still facing longer sales cycles, which makes having the right information to identify hot prospects and accelerate them through the pipeline more important than ever before."

When asked to rate various lead sources, sales pros taking the survey overwhelmingly rated outbound prospecting as the best source of qualified opportunities, followed by the corporate website, inbound calls, e-mail marketing, events & trade shows, and social networking sites, in that order. Sales pros placed the least importance on direct mail and webinars as sources for qualified leads.

The 2010 B2B Sales Pulse Survey was conducted in Q1 2010.

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

Follow Glance Networks on Twitter and Facebook for daily tips on Sales 2.0.

April 21, 2010

Instant Messaging as a Sales Tool | Do You Use It?

Want to close a deal in 3 minutes? Try including IM in your Sales toolkit.

The other day, we closed a deal via IM. Well, in truth, SnapLogic closed the deal with us. Take a look at the IM conversation below, between Vince Ko, at SnapLogic (a data integration partner), and Glance's VP of Sales & Marketing, Tom Scontras:

Using Instant Messaging as a sales tool: the deal closed in 3 minutes! As you can see, the deal closed in 3 minutes. And both parties were doing other tasks at the time. Is this the wave of the future? 

Granted, there are downsides to doing business via chat -- IMs can easily go wrong, especially in the hands of novices; social cues and conventions can be missed. (Sound familiar? Email wasn't accepted as a Sales tool either in the "old days". Now, you can't work without it.)

Yet IM has its advantages, and here are 5 reasons we think IM can be a powerful tool for sales professionals:

  • You get quicker answers than with email or, god forbid, voicemail. A quick one sentence question, a quick two word answer, and you’re on your way.
  • You can save a transcript and check back later. It’s a great way to keep track of what was said and discussed.
  • It’s less intrusive than a phone call. A message sent via IM sits on your taskbar until you’re ready to answer it.
  • IM lets you multi-task. Tom was building reports in Salesforce at the time of the chat.
  • It takes less time than using email or your phone – IM seems to force us to be very targeted and direct with our language, thereby getting to the point more quickly.

What do you think? Is IM in your Sales toolkit?

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

Follow Glance on Twitter and Facebook for daily tips on Sales 2.0.

April 18, 2010

How I Spent My "Selling Vacation" | 2 Days in the Life of an Intern

My name is Dana Emmons and I am a Junior at York High School in York, Maine. This week I am at Glance Networks for York High School's CareerQuest Job Shadow Program. I'm shadowing Tom Scontras, who is Glance's VP of Marketing and Sales.Dana

The goals of the CareerQuest program are for students to:

  • Gain appreciation for all types of careers;
  • Learn about the duties, responsibilities, education, and training required for a possible career;
  • Learn job seeking skills, such as writing resumes and letters of introduction, interviewing, and making contacts with people in the workplace; and then to
  • Summarize and share our experiences in oral presentations.
So, here's what my two days looked like...

Day 1
I didn’t really know what to expect when I first arrived at Glance. But within a few hours of being thrown into the "Smarketing Dept." with Tom, Jo Klos, Mike Walsh, Jorge Mestre and Carla Gates, I started to learn a bit more about the software business and I am starting to see how software marketing works.  Some of the things I did include:

  • Designed a tee shirt for a Glance corporate sponsorship program;
  • Helped set up for, and attended a evening event which included a Panel discussion which was recorded live.
  • Helped with software Q/A testing;
  • Listened to inbound and outbound sales calls; and
  • Learned about blogging and other social media marketing tactics.

Day 2
By the end of my second day, I found that this has been a great experience for me because the workplace here is always different. The day is never routine, there is always something different to do, as well as feeling very relaxed. I’ve learned that trying to sell a piece of software requires patience and the "right skills" -- meaning that you need to be sociable, understanding, and you need to make sure you do whatever you have to, to sell the product. And finally you must be assertive, but not aggressive. The job shadow program has shown me a whole new field of business that I could potentially be interested in.

-- Dana Emmons (with Carla Gates)

April 16, 2010

Glance Networks and The Children's Room Have Common Mission: Making Connections

This year, Glance Networks has chosen The Children's Room: Center for Grieving Children and Teenagers in Arlington, MA as recipient of our corporate sponsorship program.

The Children's Room, Arlington, MA Center for Grieving Children and Teens, Glance Networks corporate sponsor Located in a cheerful yellow Victorian just down the street from Glance's renovated mill space in Arlington, MA, The Children's Room provides caring support for children, teens, and families dealing with loss. Children come to TCR to express their grief through art, dramatic play, talking, physical play, and other creative outlets. As the only not-for-profit in Massachusetts with such a mission, The Children's Room serves communities all over the Boston area.

Glance will be sponsoring TCR's Circle of Hope Fundraising Breakfast, Thursday, May 5, 2010, 8:30am, at the Marriott Hotel in Newton, MA. If you're interested in attending, email info@childrensroom.org.

In the past Glance has made corporate donations to the Jimmy Fund and the Citi Performing Arts Center's Programs for Young People. This year, we wanted to include a not-for-profit "in our own backyard" in our corporate giving program. Last week, Rich Baker (Glance Founder & CEO) and I took a tour of TCR. Anne Favaloro, Communications Director, and Kim Cayer, Volunteer Coordinator, gave us an hour filled with community, hope, and even a few tears(!) Needless to say, Rich and I were very impressed with the dedication, know-how, and organization at TCR!

We like to think that Glance's own corporate mission of providing a quick-connecting, easy-to-use, dependable screen-sharing (and remote support) tool designed for the Sales market, is a nice fit with The Children's Room's mission of sharing and supporting families to facilitate healing.

For more information about The Children's Room, visit: http://childrensroom.org/

---------
About Glance Networks

Glance is a simple, quick-connecting screen-sharing tool designed to help sales pros maximize every conversation within all steps of the sales cycle; prospect, demo, close and support. The Arlington, Mass.-based Company’s technology is used by thousands of companies worldwide. For more information, or to sign up for a free, 7-day trial, visit www.glance.net or call 1-888-945-2623.

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing, Glance Networks

April 14, 2010

Streaming live now: Can You Be in Sales & Still Have a Life? Tune in!

http://bit.ly/9ocOOK

Tune in to our BBQ, Brew, & Banter event going on right now!Glance.net offices, AA-ISP, streaming live on Ustream Live from Glance's solar-powered, renovated, 150-year-old mill space. Panelists include Chad Levitt (Hubspot), Ralph Seferian (Oracle), Tom Scontras (Glance Networks), and Kate Mitchell (Demandware); moderated by Trish Bertuzzi (The Bridge Group).

Work-life balance. Have you found it? 

With the focus on personal branding and social media, the expectation of 24/7 access via your smartphone, and so many ways to stay connected to a large network of people, the line between work and home seems awfully blurry these days.

Our illustrious panel is discussing this topic right now on Ustream.tv.

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

April 13, 2010

Picture Yourself Here | Glance Studios - First Event

Glance Studios Picture yourself sitting...no, relaxing...in our guest chairs, at Glance Studios, as the host taps into your Sales 2.0 expertise...camera's rolling, as we stream live on Ustream.tv.  Could this be you?

We're looking for "a few good guests". If you are a Glance user, or a guru in prospecting, closing, demonstrating, sales funnels, inside sales, pipeline building, smarketing, personal branding, or any other Sales 2.0 topic, contact me carla (at) glance.net.

Our first event is tomorrow. Join us in person or online at Glance's fab, solar-powered, renovated mill space in Arlington, MA for an AA-ISP Boston Chapter BBQ & Brew panel discussion:

Panel Discussion: Can You Be in Sales and Still Have a Life?
Wed., April 14, 2010
5:30pm-7:30pm
Glance Networks
1167 Mass. Ave., Arlington, MA

Come in person and nosh on slow-smoked baby back ribs, prepared on-site, by Boston's own DMC Barbecue. Or watch live on Ustream (sans barbecue). Panelists at Glance Studios will include inside sales gurus:

Trish Bertuzzi (The Bridge Group) will moderate.

>> REGISTER FOR THE EVENT NOW

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

Follow Glance on Twitter and Facebook for daily tips on Sales 2.0.

April 08, 2010

Glance...Into the Mystic | Glance Sponsors Mystic River Watershed Association's Annual Celebration

Join the Glance team on Sun. May 16, 2010 for the 14th Annual Mystic River Herring Run & Paddle!

Run, Walk, or Paddle for the Fish!  

Not only will Glance put up a team for the 5K Run/Walk, but we're offering free annual subscriptions of Glance's quick-connecting screen-sharing tool to all members of the winning corporate team.

Register - online or starting at 8 am the day of; the 5K run/walk begins at 9 a.m., all paddle races begin at 10:30 a.m.

Location - 32 Shore Drive, DCR Blessing of the Bay Boathouse, Somerville, MA [MAP]

The Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle celebrates the return of the blueback herring and alewives that make their way up the Mystic River in order to reach their native spawning grounds. In the past, millions of herring swam through the Mystic, but their numbers have dropped considerably due to offshore fishing, pollution and the building of dams on the river.  But no matter what hurdles they face, the fish keep returning year after year.  For the past 14 years, local residents have been running along the banks and paddling up the river to show their support of the river and the tenacious herring and alewives that call it home.

The Run is sponsored by the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), whose mission it is to protect and restore the Mystic River, its tributaries and watershed lands for the benefit of present and future generations.

Mill Brook, which runs next to Glance's renovated, old mill space in Arlington, is part of the Mystic River Watershed.

(And yes, I was thinking about that old Van Morrison tune, Into the Mystic, when I wrote that title.)

About Glance Networks
Glance is a simple, quick-connecting screen-sharing tool designed to help sales pros maximize every conversation within all steps of the sales cycle; prospect, demo, close and support. The Arlington, Mass.-based Company’s technology is used by thousands of companies worldwide. For more information, or to sign up for a free, 7-day trial, visit www.glance.net or call 1-888-945-2623.

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing