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

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

Five practical steps to take to run POCs / trials efficiently

Photo credit: Steve Rhodes

“But Michael, you are using a competitor product. And they are a good company. So, whilst it is great you would want to do a POC with us, I am not clear on what specific issues you want to address and, assuming we can address them, what would happen afterwards. Could you help me with this?”

Michael could not help me with this. Michael was a partner for one of the major consulting firm in the world and was keen to do a POC to test the product of my start-up. Amongst other things, this would have meant to divert some of my technical resources to support said POC.… Read the rest

When talking about your product to prospects can put you in trouble…

Photo credit: Phil

Greeks invented the democracy. And they had an interesting way of voting. They used beans. A white bean was a vote in favour of a motion, a black bean was a vote against. The vote had to be unanimous for the motion to go through. So should the jar with the bean topples and the beans fall down, revealing a black bean, it meant something had been revealed too early and the vote had to restart. Hence the expression spilling the beans…

 

Well, nearly…

This expression might not be entirely due to the Greek way of voting (it isn’t).… Read the rest

Weekly round up: posts on sales process, pricing and training

 

Photo credit: nicoleneu1

 

Here is a brief round of interesting posts I have read, found particularly good and thought they were worth sharing.

First of all, a post from David Brock about the companies that believe they have a sales process but, actually, simply don’t. What I like beyond David rather dry sense of humour (notably on things like “gurus” in Linkedin), is the probing of companies that believe they have a process when, actually, it is not being followed or need some updating. The post is here.

Secondly, a post on sales training and who should pay for it. … Read the rest

How to identify the real problems people have, not just those expressed.

Photo credit: Andreas Overland

It was Friday afternoon. It was sunny. And I was just walking out of a meeting with a prospect with a big smile on my face. The prospect I just met had shared with me all her problems. It was all there in my notes. It was covering all these important business problems. She didn’t have the analytics on her marketing effort. Her company was selling online but she wasn’t clear what was the products that had the best ratio between visits and actual transactions. And many other very specific marketing analytics problems. And I knew how to solve all these issues with a great piece of tech I was selling.… Read the rest

Why questions asked need to be qualified first and how to do so

Photo credit: personal stock

School days. Happy days. Lots of memories. The exuberance. The total lack of worries. School friends. Long school holidays spent in the South of France. The teachers I loved. Those I, well, liked less. And these happy moments when, as the teacher asked a question, I knew the answer, raised my hand and was just so eager to share my knowledge with the teacher and my class mates.

Sadly though, I came to realise that this eagerness to answer questions was a terrible habit we picked at school and that it was well worth trying to control this urge.… Read the rest

What to do with Linkedin profile views?

Linkedin, social selling, linkedin profile view

Like most of people on Linkedin, I check the details of the Linkedin profile views. It’s always interesting to see the variety of people curious to see more than the headline. But what do you do when people look you up on Linkedin? If the person is someone you never met, do you wonder why she or he looked up your profile? Are you feeling flattered? Well, when these is a question to be asked, I believe there is value to simply ask it. As it could lead to a conversation and, as we know, in sales, it all starts with a conversation.… Read the rest

Empathy: or how to connect with people you communicate with.

Are you cold mailing people? Are you talking to customers on email, face to face or on the phone? Are you actually communicating with your boss, wife, customers? No? Well, you can close this page, this post is not for you. If you are, read on.


 

Good to see you are still here. You must be communicating with people then :). I will make it short. If you are in sales and read some of these posts, you have realised/know/experienced that all conversations should be centred on the problems of the prospect. The problem, how to address it, who is impacted by the problem, etc… should be the lynchpin of all the conversation with a prospect during the sales process.… Read the rest

Bring the future forward. Kids do it.

 

 

The Sunday morning breakfast table was full of home made goodies: caramelised french toasts, chocolate filled brioche and pain brioche. Whilst eating these, the conversation was focused on what we would to in the afternoon after rugby training. And one option was starting to get a lot of the kids excited: going to a massive swimming pool with loads of slides and games. However, there was some work to do that hadn’t been done on Saturday. The conversation went a little bit like this:

“The pool sounds like a possibility but you haven’t done your homework yet., notably the French exam.

Read the rest