Talk lean. Book review.

Talk lean, book from Alan Palmer, to have better sales meeting

I’ve recently read Alan Palmer’s book titled Talk Lean sub-titled “Shorter meetings / Quicker results / Better relationships”. What one takes away from the book will vary depending on expertise, background etc… But the focus of Alan’s book, running efficient meetings, is something I deeply care about. So I read Alan’s book with great interest. For better or worst, here are 3 (not all) take aways.

Agree a tangible output upfront

Alan recommends to define and upfront a measurable, transparent and observable end of the meeting. And to share this with the person attending the meeting. In a clear, respectful and direct manner.Read the rest

How to avoid the maybe: 3 reasons why one needs to find the dragon in the sales process

Photo credit: Birmingham Culture

I have been busy recently and haven’t been writing much. As mentioned, this blog is more of a hobby for me than anything else. But I enjoy writing a post now and then. So this post focuses on one specific topic I’ve been thinking about since my last post (in other words, months!): how to find out if there is or isn’t a time frame within the prospect organisation that could drive the closure of a deal. In other words, what are the reasons to seek for the dragon in the sales process.

A what?

Yes. A dragon in the sales process.… Read the rest

Three small, practical sales tips to start a conversation with a prospect


I recently had a phone conversation with Russell about sales tips. Russell and I interacted on Linkedin and decided to go one step beyond that pure digital exchange. We took it in the “real world”, i.e. we had a phone conversation (Russell is Toronto based, meeting-up bit challenging!). We talked sales tips, how much grafting is needed, especially for new business acquisition. Russell is now building a business in chatbot focused on the restaurant industry (early days but check it out here) and what we discussed was an episode from a “previous life” of his. He mentioned a story when he tried to approach a specific prospect (Lyft in this case).… Read the rest

French Tech XMas bash (sans les mince pies)

I attended the French tech XMas bash yesterday. Hosted in the nice offices of Balderton, right next to King’s Cross Saint Pancras, it was good to meet new faces and catch up with acquaintances. Great food and drinks but, refreshingly, no mince pies. Well, it was a French affaire after all and it’s one of the XMas thing I never really understood (Brussel sprout being another one of course). More importantly, there was an interesting talk by Bernard Liautaud from Balderton. Balderton raised a recent found of £375Mn and already made some investment in various businesses.Bernard Liautaud mentioned the 5 values that drive Balderton.… Read the rest

How to fix a miscommunication issue (or avoid it)

Photo credit: Birmingham Culture

Humans are very complex creatures and I have learned the hard way that a few words badly picked can lead to miscommunication. And ultimately prevent getting the desired outcome. When I realise that happened, I tend to replay the conversation ad nauseam (well, not quite, but a few times) and think through other approaches I could have had. There is apparently a French expression, “l’esprit de l’escalier”, literally the thoughts of the stairs. Essentially, what one thinks while going down the stairs (l’escalier) replaying a conversation. And finding better ways to handle a question or specific moment in the conversation.… Read the rest

Is Rapportive not working? Simple way to fix the issue.

 

Is rapportive not working? Since 25 October 2017, it seems it has stopped displaying the useful social card on the side of Chrome. It is well know that Rapportive is a useful as part of a sales stack. My first assumption was that the culprit would be Linkedin. I assumed they had cut the API between GMail and their social data. However, after digging into it, it would seem the culprit is Google rather than Linkedin.

UPDATE: There is a conflict between CSP and the YesWare. The YesWare extension needs to be switched off to enable the CSP plug in to work – and hence Rapportive.… Read the rest

Good sales ops helps making sure sales data flow efficiently. And 4 data types to track

Photo credit: Julien Chalendard

This post focuses on sales ops and how to make sure the data captured in a sales process, right from the lead gen stage, flows efficiently across the various parts of the process. And beyond avoiding data leakage, how capturing as much data early on can helps analytics even if some data pieces can be deemed not relevant initially. In this first post, I take the example of a sales ops process built around 4 services / technologies, I explain the 4 groups of data useful to capture and maintain for KPIs and reporting purposes. The second post will then explain how to put all the pieces altogether.Read the rest

High level thoughts and a practical tool to define or refine a value proposition with outbound

Photo credit: Tim Green

Joseph Priestley was a theologian, chemist, philosopher, writer (150+ books), in short, a giant, who lived at the end of the 19th Century. Amongst other things he is known for the discovery of oxygen though other scientists have strong claims for this discovery too (like many discoveries at this time). One thing which absolutely blows my mind is the prescience of on of his quote: “The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate”. Absolutely fascinates me as this is such a salient point these days.

Communication is key in  sales process. For a business looking at building a value prop specific to a segment, a new country or a specific function (eg: HR, Ops, etc…), there is a need to talk to prospects and existing customers to understand their perspective.… Read the rest

Simple four points framework to avoid trying to “catch-up”

Photo credit: Adamnsinger

“Should we catch-up?” “Did you synch-up with your colleagues?” “When is a good time to synch-up?”.

As we know,  it takes a few interactions with a prospect to bring him/her as a fully fledge customer. When looking at moving prospects throughout the sales process, whilst it’s best to block a slot with the prospect for the next conversation, things never run perfectly and some form of chasing is more often than not inevitable. Above are some examples of the not so very good (understatement) follow-up emails that can be used. But how to avoid this? What are the steps to take to get the right information as early as possible.… Read the rest

Weekly round up: articles on pricing, budget and sales call analysis.

I call these posts “weekly round up” though, looking at when I posted a similar one previously, I should call it “yearly round up”. But anyway, I did come across two very interesting articles and one worth mentioning. One about pricing, one about budget and a last one doing some semantic analysis on sales calls.

The article about pricing presents the perspective of a pricing expert, Madhavan Ramanujam. Its core thesis is that companies should build product around a price, not around features. Whilst the article might be more applicable to companies building large scale consumer products (eg: cars) rather than, say, software companie, I have found it quite interesting.… Read the rest