Logo: Glance

The Upside: Killer Sales Tips

18 posts categorized "Prospecting"

January 20, 2010

Research Results: Top 3 Sales Objectives for the Next 12 Months

From CSO Insights' Sales Performance Optimization 2009 Survey:

Sales objectives, sales tips, sales process, Glance.net, sales effectiveness So, what objectives do you have at the top of your list?

Consider making "increase sales effectiveness" a very close #2. There's a whole host of Sales 2.0 tools out there, that help sales pros make each call more effective, as opposed to simply making more calls.

[And if you want to maximize your impact on every phone conversation, try my company's sales-focused, screen-sharing product, Glance, for free!]

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

January 10, 2010

Riding Shotgun = Sales Coaching

I'm writing this post from my Blackberry while riding shot gun; my 17 year old daughter, Sophia, behind the wheel earning hours so that she can take the test to join the ranks of the privileged.
 
Many of you have already had the same thought as I have; "shouldn't he be paying attention?"
 
If you have gone through this process with a teenager, you know the answer is clearly 'no'. I'm learning as the father of a 17-year-old; to give space, observe, and only take action to avoid potential tragedy; and I’m not just referring to the driving.
 
Come to think of it, this challenge is similar to coaching fledgling sales professionals; when you have been doing something for so long that its second nature, it’s hard to not comment on every small infraction.

Today I am trying to take my own medicine. Prior to this drive, I asked my daughter to:

  1. Pick a clear destination,
  2. Understand the directions,
  3. Review the various roads which we will travel, and,
  4. If she has questions about challenges we may find along the way; to make sure that we discuss ahead of time.
But once on the road, she owns the deal.
 
So here we are barreling down I-95 South. Sure, there have been a few hiccups, yes, I would rather her not actually turn the car into oncoming traffic, yes, it would have been nice to give the poor old man out walking his dog a few more inches, or possibly things may improve when she understands the that “Yield” does not mean “stop completely”...
 
But that is why I sit here, texting this blog; peripheral vision in overdrive, heart rate pegged, and palms so sweaty I can barely type.
 
I am doing my best to promote a healthy learning environment, without saying it, letting her know that I have confidence in her, to not over coach, so that ironically she can relax.
 
Will I point out later that “Speed Pass Lane” is not for literal interpretation? Of course I will. But I will do that at the right time, not in the middle of “the deal”, not when she needs me most.

Like my daughter, the budding sales pro needs similar guidance:

  1. To explain the value of establishing a clear destination,
  2. Assistance in building a roadmap to keep them focused,
  3. The teaching of required sales skills, and most importantly,
  4. The leadership to build the confidence required to drive revenue in these toughest of times.

When sales coaching, remember to ride shotgun, not drive.

-- Tom Scontras, VP Sales & Marketing

December 10, 2009

Sell Yourself!

Last night I attended a mixer for sales executives here in Boston.  I had a nice time, however, couldn’t help but notice the undercurrent. Although most did their best to “keep on a happy face”, it was clear that these are tough times.
 
I spoke with senior people, top sales producers; all feeling the pain, many were unemployed.
 
As these events go there is never enough time, nor quiet, to hold a meaningful discussion.  If its the case that you were one of those folks with whom I had the chance to chat, or simply find yourself reading this and know someone conducting a search during this holiday season, I’d like to pass along a few suggestions to help you sell yourself that came to me in the quiet of my late night commute:
 
  • Go Social: Whatever your reasons for not being on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter; put them aside right away and establish a social presence for yourself.  Reach out to new and old friends, don’t  be shy.
  • Polish Up Your Shiny Persona: If you already have a social presence then polish your on line persona. Have a professional appearance in you profile pic; no shots of your dog, or sail boat, or girlfriend.  Just a simple clean pic, and a smile is always great.  Along with your new image, review your summary and brush up your employment history.  Make sure your bio sells you, that it is current, hip, and uses language aimed at the industry which you target. If you are not a great writer seek help from pros who are.
  • Tweet & reTweet: Follow every company that you are targeting and master the art of reTweeting their posts.  Essentially, via retweets, pitch their product for them.  As these companies begin to follow you, and trust me if you do this they will, thank each one of them. Leverage this point of engagement to connect directly, if the opportunity presents itself, make them aware of your interest in their firm.
  • Join Groups & Seek Alumni: Join LinkedIn Groups. Speak with other sales pros about what groups they find helpful, sign up and actively engage in the give and take. Be smart and get noticed. Most importantly sign up for old company “alum” groups; you’ll be amazed at the career path of that former 23-year old telemarketer that once made cold calls for you.
  • Evangelize: Blog; if you don’t have a blog, create one.  Write about your own experience, subject matter which reflects your IP, and your philosophies. For example, if you have been selling database technologies for 10 years, discuss lessons learned, new innovation, sales best practices. You may not get 10,000 followers, that doesn’t matter, what does, is that when send your resume yours contains a link to your blog, and the other guys does not.
  • Proof of Concept: There are tons of companies today that need to hire Sales Professionals but budgets simply do not allow the expense that comes with the best of the best.  Find these companies, especially the small ones.  Get connected with the CEO or VP Sales and discuss their challenges. If there is a specific need that you can fill, offer to address it via contract, commission only, or if it has great potential, for free.
  • Join the Human League: Leverage all of the above, but ultimately you have to get out there.  Find events like the one I attended last night, sign up for user groups, go to trade shows.  Don’t solicit for jobs within the venue, but build some rapport, offer a lead or two from your executive network.  Making something happen for them first will go a long way!
-- Tom Scontras, VP Sales & Marketing

November 24, 2009

The 10 Commandments of Sales

I  was having one of those unsure moments the other day, and found  myself in that one and only place where you can can go for guidance and direction, a place which is visited by millions seeking help, the place of light, wanting to repent, looking for the answers that no one seemingly can provide, that’s right...I was at Barnes and Noble.

Specifically, I found myself in the isle which contained “Sales and Marketing Guidance”.  I spent the better part of an hour browsing the labels of literally hundreds of books:“Sales Closing for Dummies”, “How I raised myself from Failure to Success in Selling”, “Soar Despite Your Dodo Sales Manager” et al.  It wasn’t until I actually opened a book and began the forward, which started with the words: “With more then a decade of Sales Success...”  did I realize that I must be a fool.  

As I drove home I thought about my two decades of selling Enterprise Software, and now here at Glance Networks, and wondered if asked, what omnipresent knowledge would I divulge?  With that...my 10 Sales Commandments, from yours truly:  

  1. No means no: If asked for concessions, or about features, or about anything to which you know the answer is no, then that’s the answer; “sorry no”.
  2. Less is More: The Japanese culture says that the quietest man is the wisest.  Think about this the next time you are in a meeting of any sort.
  3. Question Questions: There’s more to every question than meets the eye: never answer a question at face value. Always clarify the question, no matter how simple: “hmm, interesting, why do you ask?”, learn this technique and see your conversations change.
  4. Call BS: if you think clients are “full of it”; call them out early and often, it may be hard at first, but it will save you from chasing bogus deals. 
  5. Deal with Power: do what you need to, be courteous to evaluators, but make it clear to them that nothing can happen until executives meet and agree.  If they say no, then there is no deal in the first place, and if there is, you’re not getting it!
  6. Go GQ (or Vogue): Stay in shape, wear a nice watch and own several pair of expensive shoes.  No one, including IT guys, wants to do business with a slob.
  7. Lose the PowerPoint: if you know your stuff, grab a whiteboard and a marker; roll up your sleeves and engage in a valuable give and take conversation. Or an online interactive demo. This will go miles beyond every cookie cutter Sales Team that follows  your pitch.
  8. Get Over Yourself: if there is a deal on the table (especially these days), don’t bicker with the client, and more importantly don’t bicker internally; get over yourselves and just get the deal done. If you don’t, your competitor will.
  9. Get Personal: It’s impossible to completely understand your customer if you are only meeting in a cube, office or conference room. People get personal with Sales Professionals that they trust and are going to do business with. Get them out for dinner lunch, coffee, or whatever you can.  If they refuse, be worried. 
  10. Don’t Be Yourself: If you are an abrasive person, or shy person, or overly aggressive, or have bad breath, or love to wear too much cologne; or hate to close, or can't demo, or you shake hands like a dead fish, are unorganized, perpetually late...whatever your weaknesses; identify them, own up, and then commit yourself to correcting them.
-- Tom Scontras, VP Sales and Marketing

November 18, 2009

How Partnerships Happen (tales from the floor of Dreamforce)

Today on the #30 bus in SF, headed for Dreamforce, Tom and Mike from our Glance Sales Team, sat next to Eduardo Vergara, Director at Innomius Technology of Mexico. Trying not to spill his coffee as the bus lurched toward the Moscone Center, Tom, being the talker that he is, began a conversation with Mr. Vergara, who couldn't help noticing Glance's now-famous "Cold Calls (Don't) Suck" tee-shirt on Tom.Partnership in the making at Dreamforce, San Francisco, today

If you don't already know, Dreamforce '09 is billed as "the cloud-computing event of the year", and Glance, being a cloud-based, sales enablement tool, is in attendance, along with hundreds of other web 2.0 companies, like Mr. Vergara's.

Innomius Technology is a leader in technology development for the Travel Industry. And, Glance has a slew of travel services companies (for example, Exclusive Resorts, Choice Hotels) that use our simple, fast, screen-sharing tool to give their sales a visual punch. Thus...a match made in heaven. And networking at its best -- on the ground, mano a mano.

If you are selling travel services on the net, try Glance.net to give your sales a visual punch. If you need reservation engines, call center apps, or sales admin systems for the travel industry, give Mr. Vergara a call.

And if you are out at Dreamforce today, say "hola" to both of them!

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

November 18, 2009

Have You Been Selling Like a Rookie?

Here at Glance, we like to scan the blogosphere daily for hints, tips, and secrets to great sales processes. Today, I found this post from Doyle Slayton, sales strategist extraordinaire, founder of Salesblogcast.com, on building a championship pipeline.

Doyle urges sales pros to build the pipeline by:

• Living and dying by your CRM
• Being a great listener
• Living and dying by your CRM (oh, did I already say that?)

He explains how to tell if you're still a sales rookie (hint: you don't have to be!), and instead how to act like a veteran superstar. Read on...

Lots of our own customers use Glance every day to enable instant, on-the-fly sales pitches that help build championship pipelines. Try it yourself for free.

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

March 16, 2009

New Video – Another Web Conference Bites the Dust!

He Should Have Used Glance.
Another web conferencing meeting bites the dust! Watch!
Presenting a painfully hilarious new video, perfect for anyone who's ever tried traditional web conferencing – or thinking of trying it.

Everything that can possibly go wrong, does, with hapless Sales Guy's WebEx presentation.

Watch , laugh, and pass it on. But remember, it's only funny until it happens to you!

(BTW, this is the work of a really funny guy - Alex Fendrich - Improv actor out of Second City in Chicago.)

Oh, and if you'd like to try your hand at a little filmmaking, submit your simple recorded testimony of why you use Glance, and we'll give you three months, FREE – a value of $150. Submit your video on our YouTube page.

February 12, 2009

5 Ways Desktop Sharing Increases Sales

  1. Desktop Sharing with Glance Sell software or online services? You can show your product in action, and  highlight its features. No need to rely on customers to install trial or demo software, or navigate  your website on their own. With desktop sharing, its like you're right there next to them.
  2. Seeing is believing. Need to show drawings? Photos of properties? Charts and spreadsheets? Does your product or service sell better when the customer can see it?
  3. Extensive online catalog? Help your customers find exactly the right product quickly.
  4. With just a phone and an Internet connection, take your business from local to global. Expand your reach beyond clients you can travel to visit.
  5. Pre-qualify prospects on the phone with a quick demo or presentation. If a voice-only sales call goes well, take it to the next step with a web demo that sets up and connects instantly. Don't let the prospect go cold with a complex web conference that needs to be scheduled for later.

- The Glance Team