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Selling Technology to the C-Suite: Making the Complex Actionable

selling technology, selling the c-suite

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick @freedigitalphotos.net

We’ve all seen sit-coms showing nerds at Star Trek or Lord of the Rings Conventions, laughing at the esoteric, inside-baseball, goofy factoids that everyone in attendance knows about and the audience doesn’t.  That super-geek behavior is what makes it funny.  They’re talking their own special language of techie pop-culture, yet it is Greek to the rest of us.  If you’re company sells technology products and services, and that is a lot of firms these days, beware your sales approach to the buyer who isn’t as up to speed on the hi-tech bells and whistles as you have become.  You might seem just as alien as the Hobbits from the TV convention, except it won’t be funny when you end up losing the sale.

This happens more often than not when well-versed sales engineers get past the high-tech user audience and need to pitch to the C-suite.  Those real decision-makers speak a language of their own, and you need to learn it if you want them to start scratching out checks. Read More…

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Developing Your Market Game Changer

 competitive advantage, unique selling proposition, business uniquenessWhen the world is filled with apples, how can your business become an orange?  In the universe of modern business, getting your name out as a recognizable and trusted expert within your industry is the main task facing CEOs, CMOs, and Vice Presidents of Sales or Business Development.  Standing out in a world of sameness means coming up with a true competitive advantage and exploiting it for the favor of your company.  That’s easier said than done, especially in commoditized markets like IT services or 3rd party Logistics, and is one of the most misunderstood aspects of business strategy today.

But what if you could not only stand alone in your industry, but revolutionize it with new product, process or practice that would change the market and set a new standard that others were forced to mimic in order to survive?  That’s creating your market game changer, and it could change your business and your life in ways you never thought possible. Read More…

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Navy Seal Crisis Response: 3 Steps for Your Business

 navy seals, seal training, crisis responseThe United States Navy Seal program develops warriors on the battlefield par excellence.  These are men who are the very best at dealing with crisis situations that most of us can’t begin to contemplate and handling them with crack efficiency.  Unfortunately many of us reading this, myself included, never realize that game excellence until one or more of them make headlines by making the ultimate sacrifice for their cause, their unit, and their country.

But what exactly makes these guys so exceptional at what they do, and can those skills, or variations of them, be developed in people like you and I and used in our daily routines to make us the best in our own respective career universes? Read More…

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Business Speed Dating: The Right Way to Prospect Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn speed dating, LinkedIn prospecting

image courtesy of Grant Cochrane @freedigitalphotos.net

In my conversations with CEOs about white-collar business development, the topic of LinkedIn will invariably arise, with mixed opinions.  Some top executives tell me that their best salespeople use LinkedIn all the time to seek out and forge new relationships that convert into business.  Others think it is another social media waste of time and energy better spent knocking on doors.  So what is the truth?  Can your sales teams use LinkedIn for effective prospecting, and how? Read More…

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Rolodex Rainmaking: The Real Truth

rolodex rainmaker, business development

image courtesy of cooldesign @ freedigitalphotos.net

New business development, defined as new customers that are actually buying your products and services, is the lifeblood for most businesses, at least those that are trying to grow. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs, owners and CEOs oversimplify the business development process to what sales or BD person has the biggest Rolodex. That’s a critical mistake, and many top executives fail to learn from history and make it over, and over, and over…

So just how should CEOs be looking at new business development to actually get a real and sizable return on investment? Read More…

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Making Sales a Science: Sales Analytics

sales performance measurement, sales analytics

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan @freedigitalphotos.net

The story of Moneyball, General Manager Billy Bean’s use of analytics to create a continually competitive baseball team in Oakland on a shoestring budget, is famous in business circles as an analogy to explain the fascinating use of big data to drive results. But just what do you measure when it comes to improving your sales, and how exactly do you do it? Read More…

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Economic Recovery or Not?

economic recovery, small business economic condition

Image courtesy of Gregory Szarkiewicz @ freedigitalphotos.net

If you read the conventional wisdom in the newspapers and look on most of the traditional media sources, you know that we’re in the midst of an economic recovery, however slow.  The stock market hit record highs in 2012, although many would say that government money printing from the Federal Reserve has created that artificial bubble.

But this isn’t the world of the small and mid-sized business owner, the guys and gals who deal with real customers, real suppliers, and face every day the challenge of selling their goods and services profitably above costs.

Whether it’s rising costs pressuring your margins, extra time at the office, or sales channels that seem to have stagnated or dried up, perceptions vary as to just how REAL this recovery is. Read More…

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Cloud Computing for Small Business: Is It Right for You?

cloud computing, business cloud computingCompanies are switching away from traditional IT departments in vast numbers. Instead, many of these small and medium-sized businesses are transferring the management of their computer systems and networks to the cloud. Cloud service providers can take care of everything from running your network to providing your employees with the highest-quality software available.

However, cloud computing is not right for all businesses and you should put careful thought into the matter before making a drastic change in your tech policy. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not cloud computing is right for your business: Read More…

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The Google+ Lowdown: How Small Businesses Can Utilize Google+

Google plus, Google+, Google+ for small businessThough Google+ still seems like it’s relatively new to the world of social media, the platform has been active since 2011 and has over 500 million users. Those numbers seem relatively miniscule in comparison to it’s big brother brethren like Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram for that matter, but Google+ seems to be not only increasing its number of users, but is becoming a hub for small business owners to connect and interact with the market around them. Read More…

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Big Data Tactics to Maximize Small Business Profit

The old approach to sales had you pitching to everyone that fogged a mirror. It’s ineffective and annoying. It also kills your morale. How many times can you get the phone slammed down on you before you feel like the floor of a taxi cab? Sure, you’ve grown thick skin, so you don’t mind it quite as much. Still, there must be a better way to spend your time. After all, what’s the profit on a sale you almost make? Smart use of Big Data helps business owners make better decisions and improve the bottom line. Read More…

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