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The Upside: Killer Sales Tips

October 27, 2011

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Screen-sharing demo tool from Glance Networks helps Reed Construction Data reduce sales cycles/time-to-revenue by 60 percent

Who

Lisa Fiondella
Chief Customer Officer, Reed Construction Data

About Reed

Reed Construction Data, headquartered in a suburb of Atlanta, is a leading information provider to the construction industry, delivering targeted and timely project information, cost data and market intelligence that simplifies decision-making for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) professionals throughout North America.

Lisa’s Challenge

Demonstrations are a key element of the selling process for Reed. For years, rather than providing one-on-one demos, the company had used a homegrown demo system that gave prospects access to its production data for a short period of time. The access was unguided, which caused several problems; chief among them, many prospects simply accessed the data they needed but then didn’t purchase the service from Reed.

Another downside of the homegrown system was that it did not automatically track prospect demo activity, leaving it up to the salesperson to manually update records in Reed’s sales force automation (SFA) system. Often reps neglected to do that, meaning follow-up sales efforts post-demo were erratic and sales managers not could accurately track demo activity or the impact of demos on closure rates.

How Glance Helps

Reed’s management team decided it was time to scrap its existing process and bring on a real demo tool to help its sales reps take charge of the process. Fiondella discovered that several inside salespeople had already adopted an instant screen-sharing tool called Glance to give demos, and it had helped

improve their closure rates considerably.

Simultaneously, Fiondella was working on an upgrade of Reed’s SFA, from an internally developed system to Salesforce.com. When she learned there was a version of Glance for Salesforce, she made the decision to move forward and implement Glance across Reed’s entire sales force.

Results

With Salesforce CRM and Glance for Salesforce now in place, Reed reps can now launch demos from within Salesforce. Participants are connected with one click, in just seconds. All activity is automatically recorded with no action necessary by the reps, and Reed sales managers can easily access reports such as number of demos per rep, average demo length and the impact demos have had on conversion rates.

According to Fiondella, Glance for Salesforce has helped the Reed sales team:

–         Build Salesforce stickiness by providing reps with all the apps they needed within the Salesforce.com interface.

–         Reduce sales cycles by 60 percent.

–         Improve lead conversion rates by 40 percent.

–         Increase the volume of demos to new leads by 66 percent.

Fiondella says other benefits include:

–         Reducing inside sales-cost-per-close by improving the lead conversion rate.

–         Reducing the marketing-cost-per-close.

–         Reducing the costs associated with its former demo system.

Overall, Reed estimates that it achieved payback on its investment in Glance for Salesforce in just four months.

“Reed is constantly striving to build a stronger sales force and Glance for Salesforce has transformed our sales process,” says Fiondella.

She says that the reporting in Glance for Salesforce has given the Reed sales management team unprecedented insight into inside sales activity, including the quantifiable impact of demos on sales. It has also enabled Reed to target and improve its training and development for sales reps in order to make them more successful.

“Demo-related metrics are the most important ones we track from an efficiency and effectiveness standpoint, because demos have such a strong impact on our close rates,” says Fiondella. “The analytics that Glance provides have vastly improved our ability to move the needle. We now have a much better understanding of the drivers for success.” Based on this success, Fiondella reports, a number of additional business units within Reed have recently begun using Glance for Salesforce.

Learn more about Glance for Salesforce.com Here.

September 01, 2011

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Glance releases version 2.0 for Salesforce and completes award-winning screen-sharing integration for Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Chatter and Mobile.

The only real-time, screen-sharing service for customer-facing demos, presentation and support sessions.

San Francisco, Calif. – Aug. 31, 2011 – From Dreamforce 2011 (Booth #701, with partner Bluewolf), Glance Networks today launched version 2.0 of Glance for Salesforce, its award-winning screen-sharing technology. 

The upgrade extends the company’s sales cloud offering to the service cloud, allowing agents to launch collaborative support sessions simply by clicking on a Glance icon appearing on Ad.pic any salesforce.com object.  

Like its initial release, the service automatically tracks and stores all support activity, enabling real-time, accurate reporting; with 2.0 Glance has added new sales and services dashboards, each including six customizable reports. 

Known for its focus on real time engagement, Glance’s version 2.0 also incorporates a 
“mobile join” feature, allowing guests to connect to sessions via any mobile device, including iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. 

The company has also incorporated Glance for Chatter, a built-in service that automatically updates the status of demos, online presentations or remote support sessions.  Included within the Chat notification is a link to the session in progress; users can simply click and instantly join.

In preparing for the release, the company presented sneak peek opportunities to a select group of industry experts, analysts and clients – as a result, Glance for Salesforce was recently named a “Top 10 App for Salesforce” by DemandGen Report and “A Must-Have Tool for Salesforce.com Users” by Smart Selling Tools. With a user rating score of 4.8 (out of 5), Glance for Salesforce is now one of the most highly rated Apps for sales and service productivity on the AppExchange.

“Salesforce.com customers are looking for means to make their sales and services organizations more efficient and effective,” says Tom Scontras, VP Sales and Marketing at Glance Networks. “It’s simple; our customers want tools that improve real-time communications with prospects and customers. Glance for Salesforce 2.0 completes that picture by consolidating demo, presentation and remote support tools into one simple, integrated service.” 

Reed Construction Data is one of many companies that have already made Glance for Salesforce a key part of their sales and support processes. “We rely heavily on demos as part of our sales process, and are a big Salesforce customer,” explained Lisa Fiondella, Chief Customer Officer at Reed. “Layering Glance on top of our Salesforce implementation has helped Reed significantly boost sales team productivity. To date, with Salesforce.com and Glance we’ve reduced sales cycles by 60 percent and improved lead conversion rates by 40 percent. We’re looking forward to taking advantage of the features in Glance for Salesforce 2.0 in order to expand the benefits beyond our sales group and into the service team.”

Glance will demonstrate Glance for Salesforce 2.0 publicly for the first time at this week’s Dreamforce 2011 conference. The company is co-exhibiting with agile business consulting firm Bluewolf in booth #701. Reed’s Fiondella is a featured speaker in the Bluewolf theater, in a session titled, “Increasing Productivity, Conversion Rates, and Revenue by Integrating Salesforce.com Apps.”

To learn more about Glance for Salesforce, visit www.glance.net or view a demo and more detailed information at the Salesforce AppExchange.

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 provides managers with real-time reports on the impact those sessions have on sales and customer service metrics. Founded by former PictureTel CTO Rich Baker, Glance is headquartered in Arlington, MA and has more than 6,000 customers worldwide including Deluxe Corporation, Franklin Templeton, Vehix, Choice Hotels, Ciba Vision and InfoUSA.

 # # #

Glance Networks and Glance are trademarks of Glance Networks Inc.  All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

June 16, 2011

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Making Chatter Matter: Glance Launches Integrated Demo and Support Session Tool for salesforce.com’s Chatter

Free add-on to Glance for Salesforce alerts Chatter users about real-time demos and support sessions occurring with the people, prospects and customers that matter most

Boston, Mass. – Cloudforce Boston – June 16, 2011 – At today’s salesforce.com Cloudforce Boston event, Glance Networks (http://www.glance.net) launched Glance for Chatter, a new add-on to its Glance for Salesforce solution that automatically alerts Salesforce users via Chatter whenever impromptu, collaborative selling and support sessions happen with people, prospects or customers they follow.

Glance provides the only instant screen-sharing technology that’s integrated with popular customer-facing applications, such as Salesforce, to help companies measurably improve sales and service interactions.

Glance for Salesforce lets sales and support reps launch sessions simply by clicking a Glance icon that appears on every lead, account, opportunity, contact, case and campaign object.  The deep integration allows Glance’s Cloud Service to automatically track and store session activity, enabling accurate real-time reporting, dashboards and analysis. Now, companies have the option of adding Glance for Chatter.

“Social enterprises that already leverage the Force.com platform and Chatter to facilitate swift communication among team members can really benefit from Glance for Chatter,” said Tom Scontras, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Glance.

The innovative service automatically posts an update each time a demo, online presentation or remote support session begins. The notification includes a link to the session, which Chatter users can click to join from any computer, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, iPad, Playbook or other mobile device. 

“People understand the great potential of Chatter,” said Scontras. “We are extending that value by informing the right people at the right time that an event is taking place.  And now they can join those conversations – instantly.”

Glance will demonstrate Glance for Chatter publicly for the first time at today’s Cloudforce Boston event.  Organizations interested in evaluating the integration can schedule a 14-day trial by contacting Glance Networks directly at +1 617-834-4454. 

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.

May 25, 2011

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The Future of B2B Sales and Marketing

Recently there has been a lot of debate regarding the impact of social and business networks on the future of b2b sales and marketing. The rapid adoption by “Buyer 2.0” of nets like LinkedIn, Quora and Focus and the real time exchanges which they spawn is driving thought leading organizations to replace legacy marketing and sales process for a more efficient and effective and frankly, hip means, to stimulate demand, engagement and conversation within this target rich environment.

These networks alone however will not propel the universal change necessary to impact next generation b2b models.   In fact, they are only one of three shifts already in play, which when fused represent the genesis of the b2b revolution – one which when complete will deliver us into “the future.” 

Shift 1: Social Nets, Pushing Sellers Out of Early Qualifying Conversations

Historically when buyers sought solutions, they were dependent on vendors to provide expert advice; ultimately leading towards courtship, evaluation, and ultimately acquisition.

Of course they could pay consultants or purchase analyst research but ultimately all roads lead back to the same or similar set of vendors. In fact even in the “Google era,” search results return content predominantly controlled by sellers.  Hence the millions of man hours and dollars spent by marketers on paid and organic search strategies.

Conversely social networks promote a free and open exchange of expert advice which has and will continue to drastically impact the traditional buyer-seller relationship and accompanying engagement models.

In other words, the rise of “social selling” (see Social Selling University)will not exclude vendors, but it will create new and significant challenges for them particularly within early qualifying stages where historically the foundation of trust, credibility and competitive separation would have previously been established by the seller.

Thus shift 1, the ability for “Buyer 2.0” to push traditional introductory and information gathering conversations beyond the finite and heavily controlled “Vendorsphere” out and into the wide open social universe; a proven forum to connect and converse in real time with hundreds of trusted peers – a world in which only afterwards, once educated and on their own schedule, do they determine which sellers to engage.

Shift 2: “Workplace as a State of Mind”

There is no doubt that the advancement of mobile devices and apps represent key technological evolution, but the point I want to make here is that as they continue to penetrate our work and home lives, the line of demarcation will no longer be one of physical presence, but instead as Rick Segal (@mrbtob), Worldwide President & Chief Practice Officer at Gyro HSR said in a recent interview with @BtoBmagazine, “a state of mind”…

“(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.”

Think about that for a moment. 

Hence shift 2; mobility changing home-work boundaries; no longer consciously considering a hard line between the environments – or if we do, it has become increasingly difficult to keep that line in focus – a separation that in the future will not exist; bringing about the final shift; the pinnacle event – a point in time where Gen Y and Gen Z take over influence and decision making roles within the b2b workforce.

Shift 3: The Coming of B2B-Age for Gen Y & Z’s

“Gen X” can be defined as a part of a generation born between the 1960s and the late 1970s. Unless your father worked at NASA, you probably did not have a computer in your youth. Gen X-ers’ introduction to technology may have been part of their high school “Management Information Systems” curriculum, or later in the form of a Mac128 on their college campus. However for most, regular access it didn’t exist until post-graduation.

Next up, “Gen Y.”  Although birth dates for “Gen Y’s” are a bit of a moving target most say this generation came to life in the decade spanning the early 1980s to early 1990s.  

Gen Y’s grew up watching extraordinary innovation change the world.  In fact, as part of a 2007 Strauss and Howe study of Gen Y students, it was revealed 97% owned a computer, 94% a cell phone, 56% a MP3 player. They also found that 76% used instant messaging, of which 92% reported multitasking on their computers.

And then there’s “Gen Z’s” born in the early to mid-1990s thru 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 that are abbreviated, highly transactional and out in the open. 

They do not think of innovation as their predecessors do, defined as a utility to make life more efficient. Instead, they see it as basic cultural need, “Maslow-like” such as food, clothing, shelter, and texting – which makes this third shift extraordinary.

Currently Gen Z’s fall in the age range of 11-21 years old , placing the first wave amongst the workforce later this year and in 5-7 years influencing conversations on either side of the table bringing with them their genetic predisposition and cultural desire to be “always on.”

Gen Z’s will not gasp at the thought of conducting critical b2b discussions in real time, nor will they wonder if work-life-balance is out of whack – instead they will be moving at the speed of “Z” as Digital Natives do ignoring those who cannot keep pace. Gen Z’s have a remarkably unique characteristic that when paired with their future Gen Y Executive Management Team will bring about dramatic change.

This completes shift 3, the empowering of “Gen Y” and “Gen Z” within the workplace as buyer and seller. Above all shifts, this one changes an element of b2b that the others do not – the belief system.

Evolution to Revolution

A few months ago I gave a talk at the AA-ISP conference in San Francisco where I presented the majority of the content within this article.  I thought it went well, however was surprised by the number of people who pulled me aside and asked:

“Do you really think that’s going to happen - really?”

I did my best to answer these and similar questions by painting scenarios of future buyer (2.0) engagement models, with organized groups gathering virtually to discuss issues and corresponding solutions ultimately resulting in action and resolution. 

Admittedly I left questioning the premise.

The next day I grabbed a flight home where I landed 7 hours later on the couch in my living room, watching along with the rest of the world as the people of Egypt reclaimed their freedom.

Of course selling b2b solutions pales in comparison to the overthrow of a dictatorship – there is no emotional or intellectual connection whatsoever. However, these incredible events made me come to realize that if generations could communicate globally via Facebook aps and iPhones to organize an uprising; we should all be pretty sure they will suffice for selling solutions. 

I thought of the b2b non-believers and wondered if they would make the same connection?

Tom Scontras is an accomplished sales and marketing leader who has guided Glance Networks, its employees and customers through the evolving Sales 2.0 movement.  American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) recognized Tom Scontras as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals for 2011. Glance provides the first on-the-fly-presentation tool that enables reps to launch impromptu sales and support sessions all with just one click. www.glance.net

April 22, 2011

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Inside or Out?

A friend of mine called me this morning with some tough news; he lost his job.

This particular outside sales professional has been in the enterprise software space for nearly 20 years - always a top producer - always.

After the first few minutes of justifying his situation - "they don't know what they’re doing, the place is completely screwed” -  he came to the real story.  

The story of not being able to get his head around the fact that large enterprise sales models are shifting - an argument he lost with his CEO a visionary who sees his selling process being integrated into a dynamic set of teams where members have equal deal control and influence - including those wearing headsets; equipped with technology.

His plea made it difficult for me to answer when he asked what Glance does.

I told him that we were an impact player within the ongoing sales 2.0 evolution, one of several great tools which help modern day sales professionals engage todays socially influenced, dynamically driven customer 2.0. 

Dead silence, followed by laughter as he suggests; "You should hire me."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I'm a living, breathing case study of the market, and an example what happens to those who cannot , or simply will not adjust."

March 09, 2011

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New Glance 2.6 Features Available to all!

Attention Glance fans - the wait for is over! Download Glance 2.6 today to take advantage of the new features. 


Show my screen is here for guests!

Hosts no longer have to start a new session to see a guest's screen. This feature is also ideal if you have a co-presenter in your session. Here's how it works:

PREP: A Session Guest who will need to show their screen, visits the Glance guest page at  http://glance.net/guest. Have them click the "here" link to run the Glance 2.6 guest installer.

Only guests who need to show their screens during the session should visit the Glance guest page first. The rest join your session by visiting your Glance Web Page.

START: Start the session from the Glance 2.6 "G" icon and ask all guests to join your session by going to your Glance Address in their web browser.

SHOW! All Guests who have run the Glance 2.6 guest installer, will have a "G" icon in their system tray now too. When ready, ask the guest to click the "G" icon and choose Show my screen from the menu. Everyone connected to the session will see their screen.

Make a session open for all. 
For quicker session connections, choose the new "No Key" option. It allows you to start a session that doesn't require guests to enter a session key. It's great for larger, longer webinars and training sessions where you can't talk to all the participants. Choose this in the "Options" tab of Glance Settings.

Collect guest contact info. It's your option now. 
On your Glance Web page, there are three optional fields: Name, Email, Phone. Now you can make any of these fields Required or Hidden. Set these fields in the "Options" tab of Glance Settings, and the Glance Web page will reflect those changes on your next session.

The new My Account area now gives you more control.
Log in to the new My Account area in Glance and you'll see a few more items.

There's an audio Tab to tell you your free Glance Audio Conference info and exclusive access code. You can see Activity details and even download that info to a spreadsheet. You can even change universal settings for all the subscriptions in your group. 

Ready to get started?

1. Go to http://www.glance.net/beta and click the "Here" link in the "How to Get It" section.

2. Run or Open the GlanceSetupI26.exe file (Save if necessary and then run the Glance Setup application.)

3. Run the Glance 2.6 Setup Wizard to install. (Your screen may flicker if Glance 2.5 was not already installed.)

4. If necessary, enter your Glance Address and password.

Notes:
• Installing Glance 2.6 will overwrite any previous version of Glance installed on your PC.
• This is a PC only release. We hear you Mac fans and we'll let you know when there is a Mac version to test.
 
We still want your feedback! 
Please e-mail us at glance@glance.net or call 1-877-452-6236 if you have any questions or comments.

February 28, 2011

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Social Selling: Me,You,Yoda and Fergie

Recently there has been a lot of discussion regarding the impact that social networks will have (or not) on the future of the b2b sales and marketing. In fact, just a few weeks ago at the AAISP conference in San Francisco I gave a presentation entitled “The Future of Sales” – social impact being a big part of it. 

I thought it went well, however was surprised by the number of people who pulled me aside to ask:

 “Do you really think this social selling thing is for real?”

I did my best to paint scenarios of how future customer (2.0) engagement models will look, with organized groups gathering virtually to discuss issues and corresponding solutions – ultimately resulting in action and resolution.

Social
 The next day I grabbed a flight home, where I landed 7 hours later on the couch in my living room watching along with the rest of the world as the people of Egypt reclaimed their freedom via a Facebook fueled revolution.

Of course selling b2b solutions pales in comparison to the overthrow of a dictatorship – there is no emotional or intellectual connection whatsoever. However, these incredible events made me come to realize that if social networks could be used as the central platform of communication to manage an uprising; we should all be pretty sure they will suffice for selling solutions.  

I thought of the b2b non-believers and wondered if they would make the same connection?

In case not, I decided to post on topic in order to summarize 3 key shifts which are already in play, the beginning of the b2b sales revolution – one which when complete will deliver us into “the sales future”. 

Hence, the 3 shifts and my thoughts on each: 

Shift 1: Social Nets, pushing sellers out of early qualifying conversations

Historically when a buyer sought solutions they were dependent on vendors to provide expert advice; ultimately leading towards courtship, evaluation, and ultimately acquisition.

Of course they could pay consultants or purchase analyst research; but ultimately all roads lead back to the same or similar set of vendors. In fact even in the “Google era”, search results return content predominantly controlled by sellers; hence the millions of man hours and dollars spent by marketers on PPC and SEO strategies.

Conversely social networks like LinkedIn, FocusQuora and to a lesser extent Facebook, promote a free and open exchange of expert advice; which has and will continue to drastically impact the traditional buyer-seller relationship and accompanying engagement models.

In other words, the rise of “social selling” will not exclude vendors yet create new and significant challenges for them; particularly within early qualifying stages where historically the foundation of trust, credibility and competitive separation would have previously been established by the seller.

Hence shift 1, the ability for “Customer 2.0” to push traditional introductory and information gathering conversations beyond the finite and heavily controlled “Vendorsphere” out and into the wide open social universe; a proven forum to connect and converse in real time with hundreds of trusted peers – only afterwards, once educated and on their schedule, determining which sellers to engage.

 Shift 2: “Workplace”- where it is, and when it is

There is no doubt that the advancement of mobile devices and apps represent key technological evolution, but the point I want to make here is that as they continue to penetrate our work and home lives, the line of demarcation between the two will no longer be one of physical presence, but instead as Rick Segal (@mrbtob), Worldwide President & Chief Practice Officer at Gyro HSR said in a recent interview with BtoB Magazine, “a state of mind”…

“(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.”

Think about that for a moment. 

In fact, here’s a test: have you used a mobile device today? Sent work related communication? Checked personal or work email?  LinkedIn? Been on Facebook? Or Tweeted?

Here’s the kicker – did you stop to think about where you were or what time it was when you did this? 

Probably not, I know I didn’t.  

Hence shift 2; mobility changing home-work boundaries; no longer consciously considering a hard line between the environments – or if we do, it has become increasingly difficult to keep that line in focus – a separation that in the future will not exist; bringing about the final shift; the pinnacle event – a point in time where Gen Y and Gen Z take over influence and decision making roles within the b2b workforce.

Shift 3: The coming of b2b-age for Gen Y & Z.

I’m “GenX”, part of a generation born between the 60’s and the late 70’s – unless your Dad worked at NASA you did not have a computer in your upbringing. Gen Xr's introduction to technology may have been part of their High School “Management Information Systems” curriculum, or later in the form of a Mac128 on their college campus. However for most, regular access didn’t exist until post-graduation.

My nephew on-the-other-hand is “GenY”.  Although birth dates for “Y’s” are a bit of a moving target most say this generation came to life in the decade spanning the early 80’s to early 90’s.  

This group 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 97% owned a computer, 94% a cell phone, 56% a MP3 player. They also found that 76% used instant messaging, of which 92% reported multitasking at the same time.

And then there are my kids, all 3 of them “Z’s”; born in the early to mid-90’s thru 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. 

They do not think of innovation as their predecessors do; a utility to make life more efficient. Instead, and which makes this third shift extraordinary, they see it as basic cultural need, “Maslow-like”; food, clothing, shelter, and technology – so to speak. 

Currently GenZ’s fall in the age range of 11-21 years old; which means the eldest will be entering the workforce later this year or in 5-7 years have influence on either side of the table; bringing with them their genetic predisposition and cultural desire to be “always on”.

Z’s will not gasp at the thought of conducting critical b2b discussions in real time, nor will they wonder if work-life-balance is out of whack; instead they will be moving at the speed of “Z” as Digital Natives do – ignoring those who cannot keep pace; a remarkably unique characteristic that when paired with their future Gen Y Executive Management Team will bring about dramatic change.

Hence, shift 3, the empowering of “Y” and “Z” within the workplace as buyer and seller. Above all shifts, this one changes an element of b2b that the others do not – the culture.

Summing the Shifts

Although an individual review of each shift is interesting it is not until you sum all 3 that you find “The Future”; a time when mature and trusted social networks are accepted within a mobile state-of-mind-culture where influence and decision making is controlled by digital natives – a time when b2b “selling” will become unrecognizable from its current state. 

I spent 10 years within the contact center market where I toured hundreds of Network Operating Centers (NOC’s) at some of the largest companies in the world.

The NOC is a space-aged-place where teams of analysts sit in front of 100’s of flat panel screens monitoring every movement of the corporate network - the entire time responding to alarms and beacons suggesting suspicious activity.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but when I think of the future of b2b sales, I see a similar engagement model for social sellers. Specifically one where technology exists in the palm of their hands to monitor the movement of  influencers and decision makers as they make their way from one social conversation to the next; tracking them with apps that recognize key words and phrases that when paired, like the network analyzer from the NOC,  alerts them to “critical conditions”.

Crazy right?

I am simply surmising my thoughts, yet the one that keeps coming back to me is that which I had when Larry Reeves of AAISP first called and suggested a presentation on this topic.  I laughed to myself as I considered using imagery from Star Wars, something that would continually remind the audience just how far-fetched this all is - “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away”.

However in reality, I’ve come to realize it’s not.  

In fact, beyond Glance’s recent launch of Glance for Salesforce; a chat-like demo service designed to snap squarely into this world of real time socially driven sales conversation; there have been a couple of other companies namely InsideView, and Salesforce.com who have made announcements of their own signaling the rapid formation of this social universe.

First, InsideViews CEO, Umberto Milletti closed our San Francisco event with his announcement of their  Social Selling University.  It makes sense as their service is one of real time social alignment; tracking key decision makers via their output into the social strata; a brilliant vision allowing inside sales organizations to build intelligent engagement models - a massive competitive differentiator from the laggards still pounding cold calls into the ether.  

Second is Marc Benioff’s Chatter.com.

By now we have all seen the Superbowl commercials touting Chatter. I must admit, besides the thought of reviewing sales forecasts with Fergie - I really didn’t get the positioning.  But that’s why he’s the man, and I’m still working on it; the commercials weren’t aimed at me; they were instead “shift 3” oriented, specifically geared for the Facebook gen, it was all about the coming of the “Z’s”.

When I began all of this I was truly thinking about making some crazy prediction of the future, however, the more I dug the more intriguing it became, along with the obvious discovery – that the future is now.

In fact, my instinct was to close this blog with the words, “may the force be with you”; but in retrospect that just seems old, backwards looking or as the Black Eyed Peas would say: “so-two-thousand-and-late”.

February 28, 2011

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The New Glance Account area: It's bigger. It's brighter. It's easier.

The New Glance Account area: It's bigger. It's brighter. It's easier.

The new Glance account area is finally out of beta! It's now the default interface for Glance subscribers to access their account information.

What's in it?
Tabbed access gets you where you want to go faster.

As the Glance account owner, click on the Summary tab for a quick overview of your subscriptions and account activity.

• Click the Audio tab to review your audio conferencing information.

• Click the Users tab to see and edit your user's information. You can also modify privileges for all users using Glance 2.6.

• Go straight to the Activity tab for a summary of your sessions.

• Of course, you can now access all your past receipts from the Billing tab.

How do you see it?
Just log in here:  https://www.glance.net/Login.asp? with your Glance Address and password.

Then tell us what you think. We welcome your feedback about the new account area or any area of Glance! Email us at glance@glance.net.

New-acct2

January 31, 2011

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Customer Success Story | Glance for Salesforce Shortens Project Cycles and Improves Service Delivery for The Bridge Group, Inc.

“The Glance for Salesforce app is a really straightforward way to conduct ‘business as usual’, but with the added bonus of reporting, for better analysis of Sales team activities.”

-- Matt Bertuzzi, The Bridge Group, Inc.

Who BIG_new_logo

Matt Bertuzzi
Manager, The Bridge Group, Inc.
The Bridge Group, Inc. specializes in building, expanding, and optimizing inside sales strategies for smart B2B technology companies.

Matt’s Business Challenge

Since The Bridge Group sells consulting and strategy services to Sales and Marketing leaders in technology companies around the country, the team spends a fair amount of time presenting to clients and prospects over the phone.

So, Matt needed a way to quickly start up screen sharing sessions to put a “visual” to his phone conversations and presentations. Unlike other complicated web conferencing tools that can take minutes (or longer) to launch, Glance’s screen sharing tool is built for quick, effortless start-up on the part of the session host and guests.

In addition, Matt needed a way to “tie his session activity to context”, in other words, to track the quantity and quality of the time he and his team were spending presenting and selling to clients and prospects, with the ultimate goal of increasing sales process efficiency. He had questions like “How many presentations, sales calls and demos were we giving per week? Per client? Which clients seemed to need the most attention? Which colleagues needed extra support?”

Since Matt spends his days inside Salesforce.com, he wanted to use an AppExchange app to answer these questions.

Here’s where Glance for Salesforce comes in. Matt downloaded Glance for Salesforce from the AppExchange and once installed, began launching his screen sharing sessions with colleagues and clients directly from within Salesforce. Now, his Glance for Salesforce dashboard provides critical insight into how demo and service sessions are impacting his teams’ productivity.

How Glance Helps

Matt likes the way Glance’s Salesforce app is a “straightforward way to conduct business as usual, but with the added bonus of reporting, for analyzing team activities.” He also likes the way Glance integrates with the Salesforce.com’s Event Scheduler to help arrange his online meetings and presentations.

Results

“With Glance for Salesforce, we’ve really been able to become more productive”, said Matt. “Internally, the ease of launching on-the-fly meetings has ultimately shortened our project cycles and improved our service delivery.”

Watch our video and see how Glance for Salesforce works!

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing, Glance Networks

January 24, 2011

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Brrrr...It's Cold In Here | A Practical Tip for Warming Up That Icy Reception Your Cold Calls Are Getting

I read a great post by Sales 2.0 author Anneke Seley on Selling Power's blog today, where she referenced an "open letter to vendors" from an IT Manager named Justin Davison. In his letter, posted in the Spiceworks user community, Justin castigates the sales professionals who disturb his work all day long with prospecting calls that are truly cold - they haven't bothered to research Justin or his company beforehand, and are simply playing the traditional Sales numbers game, hoping for a hit. Justin urges Sales professionals to get to know him first and to "talk to his problems", rather than just pushing their solutions.

Think about it. Wouldn't it be great if you could get to know your prospects before cold calling them?  Wouldn't this make your cold calls much warmer, if you knew something about the needs, concerns, and pain points of your prospects before you made the call?

Well, there is a way. Its called social media, which is really just a fancy word for 'online community': Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, blog posts, even the "old-fashioned" online communities like forums and listservs. These are communities where your customers are hanging out, sometimes ranting, sometimes conversing, but often looking for answers, solutions, and recommendations.

This is where you come in.

Now, not only can you find out what issues keep them up at night, but if you actively and thoughtfully contribute to their community, you set yourself up as someone who knows something about their field, their interests, their pain points...their world. Note that when I tell you to "thoughtfully contribute", I'm not talking about posting promotions and offers, or even pushing your product or company. I'm talking about adding real value by retweeting the advice of others considered "experts" (always a polite way to enter any community), by answering questions in a relevant manner, and by posting original thought leadership in your field.

So, when the times comes to make that cold call to someone like Justin, imagine how different things might be if he recognizes your name, and even recalls how you answered a question in his online community! You won't feel that icy chill blowing through the phone.

Here at Glance, we have a Sales Manager that does a great job of getting to know his prospects and thoughtfully contributing to his customers' communities via social media. His name is Mike Walsh, and you can follow him on Twitter where he hangs out as @SalesOsmosis.

I'll end this post with 2 sentences from Justin's letter: "I challenge you to use new ideas to communicate with me and my peers and differentiate yourself from the people who are still cold calling every day. I challenge you to move beyond COLD calling..."

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing & Social Media, Glance Networks

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