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The Upside: Killer Sales Tips

July 05, 2012

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What can sales professionals learn from teens?

Jill Konrath talks about today's "crazy busy buyers". At a recent conference, one enlightened speaker leveraged his 16-year old's cell phone bill as justification for future business strategy. What's the connection?

The 16-year old's cell phone bill has a minutes usage of 0. Nada, zip, nil. When was the last time you were able to hold much of a conversation on the phone with a teenager? They don't talk on the phone. They text, they update their facebook status, they tweet, they don't talk (at least not on a device!)

Why not? Because they're doing other stuff, and when something crosses their mind, they take action, on their time. And then, because their friends think exactly the same way, they get answers at their FRIENDS' convenience. Immediacy occurs face to face, the majority of other interactions are time-shifted.

Jill's crazy busy buyers share similar characteristics. They don't answer the phone.  You have to find them on their time, at their convenience. When you do have their attention, you've got to make the most of every second:  be well-versed in their business, understand and articulate your value proposition, be relevant and address their issues, bring value not distraction.
People think in 3's;  remember SSR:

  • Simplify your message, your value and your interaction with customers
  • Speed nobody has enough time, and nothing is more frustrating than wasted minutes even "just a few".
  • Results: enough said.

June 18, 2012

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What If I Could Show You?

Recently, I’ve tuned into a number of articles about the “millennials” and “Generation Y” sales reps. They’re being measured and categorized and studied as if they were a product being launched into the market. Well, in a way, they are.

One thing is clear… they will do what works. And they’re not afraid to try new things to figure out what works. At a division of Reed Business, one such young sales rep has transformed a whole sales process, and all he was looking to do was close more business and improve his own performance! Click the video below for the full story as told by his Chief Customer Officer, who describes the transformation as bringing the ability to "really understand what was going on when we demonstrated our.. service."
Could you improve YOUR sales process if you knew:

  • How long are the sales demos?
  • Who’s doing the most?
  • Map that to their sales performance… AND
  • Understand the drivers of success

Youtube-reed

May 04, 2012

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Where are YOUR Customers?

 I read an article this week from Forbes magazine (Here's Why Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear in 5 Years), and a couple of points got me thinking.

Point #1 - the web is dead.  Ok, so that's a bit of an inflammatory point, but it's not the first time I've read that.  The point is that we've all graduated from "looking it up on the web" to "there's gotta be an app for that".  The web is now an infrastructure, and we get where we want by going someplace specific -- it's not as random as it once was.

Point #2 -- from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 to ... MOBILE!   It's just not news anymore: the world *is* going mobile.  With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, no worker (white or blue collar) is tethered to a desk any longer - not even a laptop.  I recently read that the majority of new 2-year wireless service contracts are going to tablets.  Gartner predicts that the volume of tablets will almost double this year, and increase by at least 25% again in 2013.  

Having recently attended the AA-ISP Annual Leadership Conference for inside sales professionals, it's clear that many of us still conduct our daily business from an office.. most of the time.  And yet, at the conference, I used my tablet more than my laptop.  I saw conference attendees using their tablets as well.  When I came back, and started calling my customers, I learned that the majority of *their* customers are increasingly asking about tablet access.   Just yesterday, one of my customers made exactly that point, "Our [his] customers are always tight on time, about 50-50 for technically savvy, and absolutely more and more are on smartphones and tablets."

Which leads me to wonder ... where is our selling process headed when we arm our sales people with cumbersome webinar technology with which to meet their customers for an online meeting?  

Are your customers like the one described above?  always tight on time, maybe technically savvy, maybe not, and increasingly mobile?  Or are you lucky enough to have customers with extra time on their hands, lots of technical expertise to pour into your meeting, and tethered?

 

 

 

April 16, 2012

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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

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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

January 12, 2012

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Lucid Meetings Integrates Glance Instant Screen Sharing Into Virtual Meeting Service

Glance emerging as screen-sharing technology of choice for OEMs

 

Arlington, Mass. January 12, 2012 – Glance Networks (http://www.glance.net), which provides the best instant screen-sharing tool for sales and support professionals, announced today that Lucid Meetings has integrated Glance’s service as part of its offering. Lucid users can now integrate Glance sessions into their own meetings allowing participants access from any device, be it desktop or mobile.


Presenters can start a Glance session by clicking on a “Share” button within the Lucid Meetings interface. No software downloads are required for participants, who are instantly able to view the presenter’s screen.

 

“We sought a partnership where API development was core to the vendor’s strategy – so that we could integrate it tightly and in turn provide our clients with a screen-sharing solution that was quick, easy and just worked,” said Elise McIntosh, co-founder of Lucid Meetings. “Having tried to integrate other solutions, we knew what we did and didn’t want – and our research led us to Glance. We’re very excited to be the first virtual meeting service to provide this fantastic technology to our users; feedback on this new feature from our early customers has been extremely positive.”

 

Glance is emerging as the screen-sharing platform of choice for many OEM software and service vendors due to the flexible APIs, its simple yet secure architecture, excellent support for mobile devices, and the fact that no software is required for meeting participants. Other Glance integrations include Salesforce.com and LivePerson.

 

Tom Scontras, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Glance, said, “Lucid Meetings is making internal meetings infinitely easier and more efficient, and we think the addition of instant screen sharing will bring huge advantages to their customers. We’re proud to now be a part of their innovative service.”

 

The Lucid/Glance integration is available immediately to Lucid Meetings customers. To learn more, visit www.lucidmeetings.com.

 

About Lucid Meetings

Lucid Meetings (www.lucidmeetings.com) is the only virtual meeting service designed to meet the unique requirements of working teams.  Lucid's online meeting service combines state of the art collaboration, communication, and web conferencing software to support professional meeting preparation, a fully collaborative real-time meeting experience, and the creation of rich, actionable meeting records.  Lucid Meetings is based in Portland, Oregon, where its founders have spent more than fifteen years developing and delivering a variety of online collaboration services for working teams and committees.

 

About Glance Networks 

Glance Networks (www.glance.net) provides the only instant screen-sharing technology that’s integrated with popular customer-facing applications to help companies measurably improve sales and service interactions. Glance enables sales and support reps to launch on-the-fly screen-sharing sessions from directly within the customer applications they’re already using – such as Salesforce.com and LivePerson – and provide managers with real-time reports on the impact those sessions have on sales and customer service metrics. Founded by Taylor Kew and former PictureTel CTO Rich Baker, Glance is headquartered in Arlington, MA and has more than 2,600 customers worldwide including Deluxe Corporation, Reed Business, Constant Contact and InfoUSA.

 

For more information or to learn more, email sales@glance.net or call 1-888-945-2623 (toll-free USA) or +1-781-316-2596 (international).

January 10, 2012

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Screen-Sharing Tool from Glance Helps Deluxe Corporation Improve Sales and Service Productivity

“Glance has made a major impact on our team’s productivity and helped shorten our sales cycles considerably. Our customers want a quick and easy product demo, and Glance delivers.”

Mark McCarthy
Director of Sales Competency and Training Deluxe Corporation

 

Who
Mark McCarthy
Director of Sales Competency and Training, Deluxe Corporation

About Deluxe

Deluxe Corporation (NYSE: DLX), headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. provides a variety of products and services that help small businesses and financial institutions attract and retain customers. In addition to its personalized printed products, Deluxe offers a growing suite of business services, including logo design, payroll, web design and hosting, business networking and other web-based services to help small businesses grow. In the financial services industry, Deluxe sells check programs and fraud prevention, customer loyalty and retention programs to help banks build lasting relationships and grow core deposits.

Deluxe’s Challenge

Deluxe sales and support representatives do much of their selling by phone, and product demos are key to those interactions. Deluxe reps often need to share their screens with customers, either to close business or resolve service issues.

In recent years, Deluxe sales reps found that time pressure had increasingly become the key challenge small business owners faced when working with Deluxe over the phone. Customers would say, “I don’t have much time - if you can’t do this fast, I have to go.” Mark McCarthy, Director of Sales Competency and Training for Deluxe, knew the company had to find a way to shorten screen-sharing sessions without sacrificing the quality of interactions.

“It’s easier to demonstrate to a customer how our financial payroll services work rather than just talk about it over the phone,” says McCarthy. “But our small business customers don’t have the capacity, time or resources to engage in a lengthy series of meetings. We wanted a fast and easy screen-sharing tool that would enable reps to quickly and clearly demonstrate our offerings so customers could make a decision on the spot.”  McCarthy knew that if Deluxe could better engage customers during the demo process, its sales revenue would rise.

How Glance Helps

As he researched possible alternatives, McCarthy came across an article by a respected blogger on Glance and his interest was piqued.

Glance’s service is known for simplicity and speed – session participants are connected in seconds with one click and no software to download. Reps simply invite customers to visit their personal Glance URL and enter a 4-digit security key code, and moments later the customer can see the rep’s screen. Reps can share control of their mouse and keyboard, so it feels like they’re working side-by-side with the customer, and can even initiate reverse sessions where they can view the customer’s screen (with permission).

It was just what Deluxe needed. After an evaluation, McCarthy and his team implemented Glance. Deluxe customers now enjoy the instant connection that Glance’s screen-sharing service provides. Deluxe sales reps can quickly demo online marketing services, work together to customize retail products, negotiate contracts and deliver training, all via Glance sessions. Because no data is exchanged between devices, sessions are completely secure – critical given that many Deluxe customers are financial institutions.

Glance is now a key part of the company’s formal sales process for two nationwide sales groups in the United States and parts of Canada. In addition, Deluxe often uses Glance internally as a tool to train its own staff on its products and services.

“Glance has met all of our expectations and is simple to use and administer.  Our sales reps love Glance,” says McCarthy.

Results

Currently Deluxe has more than 100 sales and service reps nationwide using Glance, all day, every day. Recently, Deluxe launched a new retail business services division and Glance was essential to the success of this launch due to the volume of demos required.

McCarthy reports that productivity has definitely improved since Deluxe implemented Glance and the feedback from the sales divisions has been overwhelmingly positive. Sales reps no longer hear from their customers “I don’t have time for this,” and Glance has proven to be highly reliable enabling reps to spend more time selling.

McCarthy originally purchased individual licenses for Deluxe reps, but upgraded to an enterprise license in 2011 to accommodate the company’s growing use of Glance. Next up, Deluxe will integrate Glance with salesforce.com, its sales and service system of record. This will enable Deluxe reps to launch collaborative sales and support sessions simply by clicking on a Glance icon appearing on any salesforce.com object. Glance for Salesforce automatically tracks and stores all session activity, enabling real-time, accurate reporting, and allows customers to join sessions from any mobile device, including iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. 

“Glance has made a major impact on our team’s productivity and helped shorten our sales cycles considerably,” says McCarthy. “Glance was the right choice for us. Our customers want a quick and easy product demo, and Glance delivers.”

 

-Sarah L. Bright, Glance Networks

December 09, 2011

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Barger, Benioff, and I

Earlier this year, I traveled to our nation’s capital to attend salesforce.com’s cloudforce event – we’re an @AppExchange partner and their venues are amazing for our pipeline so we participate in as many as possible.

This trip was different than others as we were going to meet with Marc @Benioff to demonstrate Glance for Salesforce; collaboration in the form of desktop screen sharing which can be leveraged across all three primary SFDC clouds - sales, service, and chatter.

We de-planed our JetBlue flight and headed to baggage claim to grab one garment bag – mine. Of course, when things go wrong with business travel, they go really wrong. I stood there staring at an empty carousel. 

I found the JetBlue office and spoke to a very nice gentleman who had me manually complete a claim ticket, handed me my receipt and proceeded to tell me that the bag should be on one of the next planes. Despite the simple and elegant onboarding process for selling tickets, so far nothing in the JetBlue “lost luggage service model” was agile, mobile, or social except, of course, for my garment bag. 

As we raced across the terminal to grab a train, I told our “Gen Y” sales guy about the episode to which he simply replied…“tweet it.” So as we rode the escalator up to the platform, I pulled out my @BlackBerry and did just that. I received a direct response from JetBlue customer service asking me to “follow” so that they could help. I did so and before we could reach our stop at the convention center they were on it:

@JetBlue: Looks like you've contacted the right people @ DCA. They will call you with any new info. Or you can call them 703-xxx-1212 ext xxxxxxxx

My correspondence with JetBlue was amazingly quick and real time. Their systems, ironically deployed within the Salesforce service cloud, worked flawlessly – that is, until the process was handed to their 3rd party delivery company.

I’ve been told I’m type A so as the afternoon turned to early evening, and early evening to late, I became less convinced my suit was going to make it. I began to imagine greeting Mr. Benioff in my AC/DC t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops. Right or wrong, I sent the following tweet, including JetBlue CEO David Barger:

@TomScontras: @jetblue still waiting on my #lostluggage. #DCA says with "contractor" and closed my case? Yet I have nothing! @davidjbarger little help?

And then immediately, the insanely amazing occurred:

@DavidJBarger: @TomScontras Apologies for the service failure; have copied @JetBlueCOO @JetBlue to provide assistance w/ #DCA lost luggage.

Needless to say, I got my bag.

I have the privilege of traveling the country and speaking to various organizations about social selling and service. It always strikes me when people ask if social networks will truly ever play a role within b2b.

I do my best to explain that today’s customers have options – they are no longer relegated to call an organization to gather information on a product or to be helped. Instead, they engross themselves in real time conversations, through various business and social networks, engaging sales or services organizations as part of their own process – at any time, from any device and never hesitating to outwit, or simply avoid theirs.

I’m not sure why some organizations can’t figure this out. Although as I book my travel to this month’s @Dreamforce event in San Francisco, I know one thing: JetBlue has.

 

-Tom Scontras, VP Sales & Marketing, Glance Networks

November 07, 2011

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Easy Drawing Tool for Mac Users

We know that many of our users would appreciate being able to draw on their screens during a Glance session.  While this is not a current feature of Glance, it can easily be integrated with free software.  We've done some research, and discovered a tool for Mac users called OmniDazzle made by the OmniGroup.  Just like Glance, OmniDazzle is always on, always ready, and available in an instant.  

OmniDazzle takes a spot in the Menu Bar right next to Glance, with which you can choose different tools.  While some of these are more of novelties than tools, they don't interfere with the usefulness of the product.  

With the "Scribble" feature selected, you can start annotating with a simple hotkey ctrl-1. Numbers 1-4 can be used for different colored pens.  ctrl-` (backquote key next to 1) immediately erases any marks and puts you back in control.  That's it!

Screen shot 2011-11-09 at 10.43.56 AM

Another feature of OmniDazzle is "Focal Point" that calls out whichever window is active.  The background is faded out while your active window is highlighted with a blue border.  You can't miss it.

A "Zoom" feature can magnify any spot of the screen up to 2x by drawing a quick box around it. Use it to manually call out specific items during a presentation.

Among the playthings are special effects, such as ripple waves, a sonar to detect your mouse, comic onomatopoeia (BIFF!  ZAP! POW!) popping on your screen, a footprint trail, and my personal favorite: Pixie dust.  Your mouse trails a shower of yellow sparkles that glitter your screen.  So, just like a smartphone, OmniDazzle makes for a very useful toy. Enjoy!

-Scott Baker

October 28, 2011

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The New B2B: Belief System-2-Belief System

Traditionally within B2B transactions, buyers were dependent on sellers to provide expert advice; ultimately leading towards courtship, evaluation, and acquisition.

 Of course they could pay consultants or purchase analyst research but ultimately all roads lead back to the seller; even in the Google era search results returned vendor controlled content.

 Conversely social networks promote a free and open exchange of information which continues to drastically impact traditional buyer-seller-relations and associated engagement models.

In other words, the rise of social selling and customer service will not jettison marketing, sales or support organizations however it will create significant challenges. This will happen in the early stages of development where competitive separation, trust and credibility would have been previously established directly through these channels, and in many cases, face-to-face.

 Add to this the record breaking rate at which mobile apps have invaded our work and home lives, or as Rick Segal, Worldwide President at Gyro HSR puts it, making both “a state of mind”; and you begin to get a sense of the broader shifting landscape.

 “(Technology) has changed the way we talk to business decision-makers. Being at work is no longer a place; it is a state of mind, a kind of continuing oscillation that people are making between their work life and their personal life.” – Rick Segal

 Managing home-work boundaries is a continuous effort for many of us, a separation which obviously needs to be maintained; at least until “Generation Z” arrives.

 I’m “GenX”, part of a generation born between the 1960’s and late 1970’s.  Unless your Dad worked at NASA you did not have a computer in your upbringing.

 My nephew on-the-other-hand is “GenY”. 

 He and his friends grew up watching extraordinary innovation change the world.  In fact, as part of a 2007 Strauss and Howe study of Y-students, it was revealed that 97% owned a computer and 94% owned a cell phone. They also found that 76% used instant messaging, of which 92% reported multitasking at the same time.

 And then there are my kids, “Gen Z”; born in the early to mid-1990’s through the early turn-of-the-millennium.

 Generation Z is highly connected, with lifelong use of communications and media technologies, earning them the nickname “Digital Natives.”  They carry smart phones in grade school, text more than talk, and prefer technology for communications; communications which are abbreviated, highly transactional, and out in the open. 

 Gen Z’s don’t think of innovation as their predecessors do; a utility to make life more efficient. Instead, and which makes them extraordinary, they see it as basic need, “Maslow-like”; food, clothing, shelter, and technology. 

 Gen Z’s  currently fall into the age range of 11-21; placing the eldest within the workforce as both buyer and seller later this year, where they will not gasp at the thought of conducting critical b2b discussions socially, nor will they wonder if work-life-balance is out of whack.

 Instead, paired with their Gen Y management team, they will move at speed of Z, ignoring those who cannot keep pace; driving permanent change to B2B and the most fundamental of systems – the belief system.

Maybe this is where we are heading, or maybe not. Regardless, today’s customers have options, they are no longer relegated to call or email a business to gather information.  

Instead they engross themselves in real-time conversations, through various business and social networks seeking answers through peer driven conversation, engaging our business’ as part of their process – at any time, from any device – never hesitating to outwit, or simply ignore our master plan for them.

I suppose this evolution has put us all in a position to make some tough decisions, less traditional, even outside of our own personal comfort zones, possibly way outside. 

Yes, in order for our business to remain accessible, available, knowledgeable, hip, and most importantly competitive; I believe that this is exactly what is going to have to happen.

Or I suppose, we could just put it off for a couple of years and let our kids deal with it.

 

-Tom Scontras, VP of Sales & Marketing, Glance Networks