(Sales) Interaction Design

idI had an interesting discussion just the other day about the [putative] rise of social selling; increase in virtual, rather than physical, sales engagement; and the rush to redeploy field sales resources to inside sales. The topic being discussed was how, or if, a company should adjust its sales strategy to accommodate or leverage these new capabilities. I have a few thoughts about this and I would welcome your opinion.

There is a growing body of opinion that these “trends” (social, virtual, inside) are the ‘new normal’, and unless you quickly adopt them, and switch your investments from other (possibly successful)…

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A Sales Story for Our Time: Part 2

frustrated-man-and-woman-with-computer

This is not the way it’s meant to be. It’s far too complicated. Christy Dignam’s plaintiff voice crept out from the Bang and Olufsen surround sound system in Jack Swenson’s new 7 Series. Jack always felt that Dignam, the lead singer of Irish rock band Aslan, was one of the world’s undiscovered singers. “Damn right, it’s far too complicated” Jack mused as he nudged the BMW forward on San Francisco’s Montgomery Street.

As CMO of JKHiggs, Jack was thinking about his conversation with Matt Langton, one of JKHiggs’ star sales performers. Or, perhaps better said, one of the company’s past star performers.…

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5 Sales Credibility Killers

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There was a time, long, long ago in a dim and distant past when, if you were in sales, the company you worked for and the product you sold were more important than how you personally sold. You may remember the ‘No one gets fired for buying IBM’ adage.  Buying from a market leader was often seen as the obvious (and safest) path for a buyer to take.

But the world has moved on.  Established companies are being disrupted. Remember Kodak? Did we ever think we would see Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop challenged?  What about the decline of Nokia and Blackberry?

In…

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Salesforce Sales Leadership Forum: 3 Key Takeaways

Salesforce is the world’s largest cloud company, and many businesses around the world run their businesses on one, or a combination, of their solutions. So it would seem logical that Salesforce could provide a focal point for companies to exchange business ideas and best practices. I participated in an event recently that was designed by Salesforce to be just such a forum for Sales Leaders.

The stated objective of the event (part of a broader program) was to provide an opportunity for Salesforce customers to hear from trusted sales thought-leaders on the changing trends in sales, share best practices and innovations…

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Executing your 2015 Account Plan

success 650One of my early observations of sales methodology was that it was very hard for sales professionals to execute on their Account Plan. There was lots of valuable strategy to use, but very little support on the practical execution. (That was why we developed Dealmaker). Developing a plan has limited benefit unless you have the requisite tools and action plan to help you follow through. In this post, I give a short summary of an account planning approach and detail how you might think about your action plan.

In my book Account Planning in Salesforce, I set out three basic themes…

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A Sales Story for Our Time

frustrated-manWhen Matt finished the meeting, he was angry. His biggest customer just told him that she had placed a big order with a new supplier.

“You know it’s not you. I like working with you Matt. How long are we working together? It’s been a long time.” Said Joanne, the EVP Operations at DeepEarth Oil, “But Mandy Adamson at Innopartners – she blew us away. I know they are a little more expensive than you, but Mandy agreed to share her vision with the whole executive team as well at our next exec QBR. She helped me think about this company…

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12 Steps to Account Planning in 2015

It’s that time. As you prepare for 2015 you need to be thinking about how to maximize revenue from your existing customers. I’m sure you know acquired business from an existing customer is six times more profitable than pursuing new customers. But, did you also know that you are seven times more likely to win business from an existing customer than you are when you are trying to capture that new logo? I have written about this extensively in my book Account Planning in Salesforce, but to get you started, here are 12 things you should think about as you…

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Will all Future Presidents be White Men? -The Predictive Analytics Problem

The answer to the question in the title is of course almost certainly No. But that’s not what the data said.  If you look at the records from 1789, when George Washington’s presidential term began, to 2009 when Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States, the data would suggest otherwise.

If you examined the data in 2008, with a sample size of n=43, and a test on gender and ethnicity, the patterns in the data would show a correlation that would predict that all future presidents would be white males. We know of course that the prediction would have…

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5 Key Dreamforce Sessions and 3 Tips

5keyThere is a lot going on at Dreamforce. How do you choose which sessions to attend? This year there are many overlapping sessions, and conflicts between the keynotes and some fabulous breakout sessions.  It is not possible to cover everything, so you need to be judicious in your selections.

Tip: Remember that Salesforce make most of the keynotes available on YouTube very shortly after the event – so you will be able to catch up on these later.

 

My 5 Key Dreamforce Sessions for Sales Professionals

Tip: To get straight to these sessions in the Dreamforce Agenda Builder, first login to Dreamforce and then click on…

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What Sales Managers Can Learn From The Music Business

music_industryThere’s a Jackson Browne song called These Days which he wrote at the tender age of sixteen. One of the lines in the song goes, “Don’t confront me with my failures; I have not forgotten them.” A sixteen-year-old wise beyond his years.

For those of you who are not old enough to remember Jackson Browne, he was a seminal influence in the ’60s and ’70s music movement that came out of Sunset Boulevard/Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles—where at the time you’d have found Frank Zappa, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Jim Morrison, Eric Burdon, Neil Young, Orson Welles, The Rolling…

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