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The Upside: Killer Sales Tips

6 posts from December 2010

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December 28, 2010

Customer 2.0: Still Human

One of the things that comes with my job responsibility is heavy solicitation by SaaS sales 2.0 tools companies.  Yet frequently I find the engagement skills of many peddlers lacking.
Sales conversations seem to have become a lost art.
Even with the companies we’ve moved forward with, I have found the entire buying experience very “vendor focused”, with little time invested in genuine dialogue.
Sure, many of their automated processes are edgy and most likely producing results, but rarely do these exchanges take into account the underlying emotional triggers of the buyer, for example, the need to establish rapport, credibility and trust.
Instead, it’s all about the transaction.  Pure volume, forced through an assembly line of inexperienced, over-scripted telesales reps - a modern day SaaS selling sweat shop.
Possibly I’m dating myself and this is just the way it is now, the new SaaS Sales 2.0 belief system?
I’m not sure what it is, but it’s not selling – not to me.
Put it this way, we can be as hip as we want with our tools and theories, but if genuine customer conversations, whether within the selling or support phase, even within a transactional B2B model, are not a priority; you will ultimately pay the price in the form of lost deals and soaring attrition rates.
Sales 2.0 is all the rage these days -- I compare it to the early days of the customer service revolution: use speech to automate a process, increase volume, decrease transfers to agents, ultimately reducing cost per transaction and driving more business. 
An outstanding premise supported with incredible technology, it just miscalculated one small thing; that customers would hate it.
Why?  Because customers want to be heard, they want to have a conversation, a relationship. Or, like Bruce Springsteen says “just give me a little of that human touch”.
Today, Call Centers spend an incredible amount of time analyzing “Customer Experience”.
In fact the same companies who at the onset of this revolution sent jobs overseas and invested heavily in “low cost, high volume” are the ones who are now pulling jobs back to the States, and have learned when to be aggressive with process and technology, and when not.
As Sales 2.0 Pros we need to take a lesson from our cousins in the contact center and realize that although we have the tools now to be smarter, faster, and more transactional – it doesn’t mean that’s how our prospects and customers want to be treated.
In full disclosure, if you were to look inside Glance's own sales process, you will find a drop down menu within our salesforce.com implementation that lists which sales “touch” each rep has completed.  I think after today’s blog, and earlier “social media” experience, I will have to add one last touch to the list:

-- Tom Scontras, VP Sales and Marketing, Glance Networks


December 23, 2010

[VIDEO] Glance Asks | What's Your Funniest Sales Story? At Dreamforce 2010 #df10

We've all experienced them, whether we want to admit it or not - those awkward moments in business when we realize things haven't gone quite as we had planned. At last week's Dreamforce 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Glance took its cameras to our Glance for Salesforce launch party at B Bar and asked colleagues across the industry, "tell us your funny sales story!".

Watch and enjoy!  (And watch out for our cameras the next inside sales conference you attend - its your turn next!)

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing, Glance Networks


December 20, 2010

Top B2B Trends for 2011 and What They Mean to Sales Professionals

It's that time of year again -- everyone is making their predictions for 2011. Here at Glance's blog The Upside: Killer Sales Tips, we thought of you, our audience of sales professionals, and culled from a variety of sources what we think are the Top 2011 B2B Trends for you.

Fast Company's Lisa Nirell, recently wrote up her predictions for 2011, after talking to C-Level B2B execs across North Amerca:

1. Forward-thinking CEOs will loosen their purse strings and invest in top line growth. So, now is the time to bolster your value prop with ROI financials and give them a reason to invest in your product.

2. Interactions with and customers will need to be even more transparent. If you're not being completely responsive about your strengths and weaknesses on your web site, your emails, and online posts, someone else will do it for you.

3. Consumers still want to simplify their lives. Your customers are still feeling overwhelmed, stressed and impatient. You've got to be ready to deliver what they want when they want it. They'll appreciate you for it and give you their business.

4. "Push marketing" is dead. Long live pull marketing. Don't bother telling prospects why they should work with you. Instead showcase key insights and lessons by creating and participating in communities where your customers hang out. Your customers will be drawn to your community the more value you provide.

Jeremy Victor, at B2B Bloggers, lists these 2 trends as critical in 2011:

1. Your blog (and your website) are now your cold call. Similar to Lisa Nirell's #4 above, Jeremy's point here is that your B2B prospects now "own the discovery process and educate themselves across multiple channels". So you've got to create a dialogue and use it to get found, to educate, and to attract prospects.  (BTW, this point about doing content marketing was on everyone's prediction list!)

2. Cold calling becomes real-time calling. Through a combination of web analytics, marketing automation, real-time lead identification, social media monitoring, and sales pipeline analytics, the tools are now available for yours to become a real-time sales organization, i.e., one that can provide its sales pros with actionable, real-time info that identifies not only who to call, but what to call them about.

Finally, here are 2011 CRM predictions from the Experts at Focus.com:

1. CRM will evolve from being a customer database, to being a driving force in your organization that determines the value of loyal customers, what they want, and when they will want it.

2. Sales productivity will continue to increase, as companies continue to run lean with the painful memories of the recent recession. They'll balance balance growth with investment even as the economy rebounds. For you, that means using the new crop of Sales 2.0 tools and apps (many of them already integrated into your CRM system) to squeeze the most out of your time.

3. Companies will focus on micro-analytics in their CRM systems. Managers will need to measure at every level, in order to fine tune their sales process for productivity gains. They'll need to capture, measure, track and analyze the impact that sales activities like demos and collaborative support calls have on the business.

What are your own predictions for B2B sales and lead generation in 2011?

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing, Glance Networks

>> Try Glance for Salesforce, free for 30 days -- the only sales 2.0 tool that enables users to launch impromptu sales and support sessions instantly, right from within Salesforce.com, and provides dashboards for real-time productivity measurement.

December 13, 2010

"Best Thing at This Show!" | Glance Rocks Dreamforce #df10

"Wow!" Mike_giving_demo


"This is the best thing at the show!"

"When can I buy it?"

That's what the Glance team heard all through last week's Dreamforce (Salesforce.com's annual celebration of cloud computing).  Booth #1107 was packed; prospects lined up for our Quota Killer tee-shirt and demos of the new Glance for Salesforce (and to get a look at our Loudmouth golf pants attire); and our Killer Cocktail Kickoff Party at B Bar sold out! Whew!

What's all the fuss about? In brief, Glance for Salesforce allows sales and service reps  to launch demos or engage in collaborative support sessions right from Salesforce.com.  Additionally, the session data collected is stored within Salesforce and can be leveraged in real time reports or dashboards to provide critical analysis of each demo or support call and its impact on your business – rep activity, conversion rates, appointments, pipeline, forecast, deals, etc. No one else has this capability – no one.

If you missed the show, click on the video below for a quick demo.

And, if you REALLY want to relive Dreamforce in pictures, take a look at Glance's Flickr account. See if you see yourself in the pics!

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

December 06, 2010

Glance for Salesforce Installation Guide

Download Glance for Salesforce Install Guide in PDF format. Glance for Salesforce Installation Guide

December 06, 2010

Glance for Salesforce Now Available on Salesforce.com AppExchange 2, the World's Most Popular Marketplace for Business Apps

For information, contact:
Michelle G. Faulkner
Big Swing Communications

Enables users to launch impromptu demos instantly from Salesforce

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Dreamforce 2010 (Booth 1107) – Dec. 6, 2010 – Glance Networks (http://www.glance.net), the Sales 2.0 thought leader known best for its on-the-fly-demo tool, announced today that its new Glance for Salesforce solution is now available on AppExchange 2.

Appexchange Glance for Salesforce enables users to launch impromptu demos instantly from within Salesforce. Built using Force.com, the enterprise cloud computing platform, Glance for Salesforce is immediately available for test drive and deployment on AppExchange 2 at http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange/. The announcement was made today at Dreamforce 2010, the cloud computing event of the year.

A video demonstration of Glance for Salesforce is available at http://glance.at/g39Zzj.

Sign up for a free, 30-day trial at http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange/.

Glance solutions are already used by thousands of companies worldwide to enhance productivity, shorten sales cycles, cut costs and close more business. Glance differs from traditional web conferencing and webinar tools in that it’s engineered for impromptu conversations, rather than for pre-scheduled events. Glance sessions can be initiated with just one click. With no software to download, participants are instantly connected.

With Glance for Salesforce, reps can launch demos simply by clicking on a Glance icon that appears within the Salesforce interface. Behind the scenes, Glance’s Cloud Service automatically tracks and stores each rep’s activity enabling real-time reporting. Glance for Salesforce dashboards provide critical insight into how sales demos affect rep productivity and profit.  Glance for Salesforce can also be used for customer support sessions.

Glance is demonstrating Glance for Salesforce publicly for the first time at Dreamforce (Booth #1107). According to Tom Scontras, vice president of sales and marketing at Glance, customer reaction to Glance for Salesforce has been extremely positive. “When we asked customers what more we could do to help improve their sales efficiency, Salesforce integration was at the top of their list,” said Scontras. “We tend to work with companies that are very tech-savvy and early adopters of Sales 2.0 technologies. Glance for Salesforce is a powerful tool for ‘Quota Killer’ sales reps who need to make a big impact during a short phone conversation.”

“In our business, demos have a major impact on our ability to close sales,” said Derek Dean, director of sales strategy at Reed Construction Data, a current Glance user. “Glance already enables our reps to do more demos, and that has had a direct correlation to revenue. Our entire sales process is managed within Salesforce – being able to launch Glance sessions right there will make our team even more productive, and will also improve my ability to measure results and refine our sales processes. This is a great tool for Salesforce users.”

‘Quota Killer’ T-shirts, Other Glance Prizes at Dreamforce
Dreamforce attendees who visit the Glance booth (#1107) during the show can pick up a ‘Quota Killer’ T-shirt, and are eligible for other prizes to be awarded throughout each day of the show including The Killers CDs and iTunes gift cards. For details, follow Glance on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/GlanceNetworks) and on Facebook (http://facebook.com/GlanceNetworks).

Dreamforce is the industry’s leading global cloud computing event focused on inspiring customer, partner and developer success with cloud computing. Attendees will learn how to maximize their current investments and explore new offerings across Salesforce Chatter, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Force.com and more. Over the past 10 years the cloud computing economy has radically changed the way companies operate. Now as we enter the next phase, cloud computing is becoming inherently social, real‐time and mobile. Dreamforce is where this transition is happening with hundreds of salesforce.com partners exhibiting the latest cloud offerings, as well as training sessions, seminars and breakout sessions.

About the Force.com Platform and AppExchange 2
Force.com is the only proven enterprise platform for building and running business applications in the cloud. The Force.com platform powers the Salesforce CRM (http://www.salesforce.com/) applications, more than 1,000 ISV partner applications like those from CA Technologies, FinancialForce.com and Fujitsu, and 185,000 custom applications used by salesforce.com’s 87,200 customers such as Japan Post, Kaiser Permanente, KONE and Sprint Nextel. Force.com also enables developers to make any enterprise app social by leveraging the social collaboration components including profiles, status updates, and real-time feeds available with Chatter.

Applications built on the Force.com platform can be easily distributed to the entire cloud computing community through the salesforce.com AppExchange 2 marketplace (http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange/), now featuring the ChatterExchange.

About Glance Networks
Glance provides the first on-the-fly-demo tool that enables users to launch impromptu sales and support sessions instantly with one click. Designed to foster relationship building in a Sales 2.0 world, Glance solutions are used by thousands of companies worldwide to enhance productivity, shorten sales cycles, reduce costs and close more business. Learn more and sign up for a free trial at http://www.glance.net.