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The Upside: Killer Sales Tips

2 posts from April 2012

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April 16, 2012

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of the AA-ISP Leadership Conference #LC2012

Last week I attended the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Franciso with Glance as an Exhibitor. Just prior to the show Matt Heinz had a great post about how to get the most out of the conference. He has a number of great resources such as things you can learn at every show, and you should definately check out his presentation on Managing and Motivating Top Performers if you are going to be at AA-ISP.

In the spirit of "Great Artists Steal", here's my list of things you can do to get the most out of the 2012 Leadership Conference:

  1.  Follow the twitter backchannel - If you are not familiar with Twitter and Hashtags, take the time to learn how they work. The upside is that you'll be able to follow the back channel conversations going on about the presentations. Getting involved in this discussion is the fastest way to network and meet interesting people at an event. Here's an article that goes in-depth on the backchannel.
  2. Don't run with your own pack - It's tough to be "on" for two straight days, but resist the temptation to spend all your time with people you already know, or worse yet, with your co-workers. Go out of your way to have lunch with a table full of strangers and take the time to meet your neighbors in sessions.
  3. Check out the exhibitors - although this one is self serving, it is important to give the show floor a once over to see what's new and interesting. Take the time to learn about emerging tools or concepts. Things like gamification, social selling tools and mindmapping.
  4. Don't let them "keep pulling you back" - I often wonder why some people bother to attend when they spend more than half the time taking calls or answering email. Use this time to get a mental break from your To-Do list, and give your co-workers a rest from you.
  5. Go with a target list - Just to focus your efforts pick a short list (3-5) of speakers, vendors, or other individuals that you know will be at the event that you want to interact with. You may not meet them all, but having a plan will produce the best networking results.

And when you meet a Glance representative, have your phone or tablet ready to see screen sharing in action -- wherever you (or your customers) might be, with whatever equipment is handy.

Glance Sales Director Diane Fonseca likes to cook and will be at the AA-ISP conference in Dallas. Follow her on twitter @DawnLeighF

April 13, 2012

Glance and the Mechanic

My husband spent the first 1/2 of his career as a mechanic.  More specfically, a truck mechanic for Coca-Cola.  He knew every Coca-Cola distributing mom and pop store within 100 miles, and the best roads to use during high traffic times.  Why?  Because as a mechanic, it was his job to fix and maintain trucks.  Only some of that job took place IN the garage.  The other part took place under the broken-down truck, wherever it was, regardless of the weather.

As a mechanic, he was trained to know which pieces of equipment he needed to do the job.  He knew which ones would get the job done, vs. get it done right.  He had relationships with the Snap-On guy, and also knew when he could get by with a Craftsman alternative.  He knew how much time he had to get the Coke to the store, get the truck back home safely, and take the environment that particular day into consideration.  As a result, he has a high appreciation for the right tools, and I have a garage full of big red toolboxes on wheels, and very few recognizably branded tools.  

Sales is no different, and Sales 2.0 has evolved the choices of tools to a similar level.  There are tools that should get the job done, and then there are tools that are designed specifically for a particular task.  

We've seen an explosion in business intelligence tools, lead generation, content management, webinar, marketing automation, CRM, collaboration, sales incentive management, pipeline tracking and proposal management tools.  For some tasks, there are certainly as many choices available to sales as there are to mechanics.

Why then, do we seem to arm our sales reps with a marketing tool for a sales function?  Most of the collaboration tools I come across as a buyer (and even as a seller) are designed to host webinars, with the capacity to share some slides with up to hundreds of people, point a fancy mouse highlighter for all to see, poll the audience and more.  

How often are all those bells and whistles needed in a sales call?  Most of the time, sales calls are short, sweet and directly to the point, with little time for bells and whistles --- it's more about quick diagnostics and a visual concept to get past the next gate.  For that, sales reps need a collaboration tool that's light, fast, easy, reliable -- the right tool for the type of collaboration that occurs in the sales process.  The tool that will get the buyer back to their day job as quickly as possible, and help the sales rep move that conversation to the next step efficiently.   

Even in a Sales 2.0 culture, we've become so familiar with the tools from 1.0, that we just don't think about how important speed and simplicity is to the sales rep.  But the primary tool sales reps need are knowledge and listening skills, not fancy technology.  Technology that gets OUT of the way builds the relationship and accelerates the selling cycle.

Glance Sales Director Diane Fonseca is a Black Belt in Uechi-Ryu karate and is currently gearing up for the AA-ISP conference in Dallas. Follow her on twitter @DawnLeighF