|By Rebel Brown||
|February 1, 2013 07:00 AM EST||
There's no doubt that the buying cycle has changed dramatically thanks to the availability of information and opinions on the web. The impacts on sales and marketing are significant, yet the changes seem to be slow in coming. One area that has always interested me is the training and focusing of new sales reps. It's especially critical in today's shifting world. Relevant information and insights make a new rep effective, yesterday's me-focused info and pushy sales approaches saend buyers running. So how do we evolve? I first met Trish Bertuzzi on Twitter about three years ago. Since then I've come to respect her insights on matters of sales. I asked her a few questions about the big change in sales.
1. The buying process has changed dramatically thanks to the availability of information via websites, social media, communities, research, peer groups and more. Yet sales hasn't changed quickly to keep up. Why do you think that's happening?
I don’t think sales has not changed but I do think they are struggling to change. Making the transition from being the keeper of all knowledge to being the person that has to jump into a sales process at the point where they have to add value much further along than they had to before is not easy.
In the past, when information was known only to a few, the sales person educated their prospect from get to go. They dropped what they thought were pearls of wisdom along the way and the buyer responded appropriately. Now the buyer self educates and by the time they engage with sales they have the basics well in hand and want sales to get very specific. How can your product/solution help me address this very specific challenge better than the status quo and/or your competitors?
They don’t want to hear about features and benefits. They do want to hear about how you have helped other executives and/or companies like theirs address the issue. And oh, by the way, tell me something I don’t know. The sales people who become trusted advisors are those who win and gaining that level of knowledge takes work and is an investment in success.
2. What do you mean by context with regard to sales and marketing messages? What's the big change that we need to make when it comes to training our new sales teams to speak to buyers in context?
The context refers to becoming that trusted advisor and speaking a language that resonates with your unique buyer. Let’s say you can sell to the CFO, CIO and VP Marketing. In the past we would message to these contacts with a vanilla message probably based on what our product/solution does. It didn’t work that well then and it works even less well now. Each of these executives has a unique set of responsibilities and challenges. Putting your message into a context that resonates with them will get you heard.
3. Traditional selling was steeped in a focus on setting goals based on metrics (# of calls, # of proposals etc.) How does that need to change in today's world?
Does it need to change? Maybe the metrics are different but in sales you still need a measuring stick to understand where you are in your attainment of goal and if your only measuring stick is revenue, well by that time you can’t change anything to impact results.
There are a core set of metrics that need to be focused on but those metrics vary from one organization to the next. If you are selling into the enterprise you would focus on a very different set of sales process metrics than you would if you were selling into the SMB. Combine that with whether you are a hunter or a farmer and you can see that metrics are market and sales process dependent but they are a great predictor of future outcomes. Without them we are in a fingers crossed, hoping for the best situation.
4. Why don't we invest in growing the skills of our selling teams? What do we need to do to change that; culturally and tactically?
Why don’t we invest in growing the skills of our team.. that is a great question! We will spend tens of thousands of dollars in a recruitment and hiring process and then balk at spending a small amount of dollars on coaching and training. Why..why..why…
Every day should be a day of learning for a sales rep. Every interaction with a buyer should be viewed as a unique opportunity to figure out more about their industry, their challenges, how they are motivated, what impedes their success… you name it. But what do we do? We go to work the every day and go through the process of selling without stepping back to think about what we are learning.
Worse yet, our sales management teams are not fostering a culture of learning by not giving us the structure and/or the bandwidth with which to be strategic. I hear about it from reps all the time. They are so busy trying to make their activity metrics that they don’t have time to sit down create a strategic plan for how they will make their number.
You don’t always have to spend money to invest money to grow the skills of your team (but please feel free to do so and call us). Sometimes all you have to do is give them some breathing room to sit, think and share what they have learned.
5. We all know the first 90 days of a sales reps organizational life is critical to their success. What are the top 3 things we need to do better, or start doing?
Teach them about the industry/s they will be selling into.
Teach them about the day in the life of their buyers and how your product/solution can address very specific challenges unique to that buyer.
Teach them how to effectively use the tools you have place at their disposal.
Over the last two decades, Trish has promoted Inside Sales as a community, profession and engine for revenue growth. In the process, The Bridge Group has worked with over 190 B2B technology clients to build, expand and optimize their inside sales efforts.
By a combination of hard work and timing, Trish and team's research & ideas have been featured on Inc.com, by associations like SLMA & AA-ISP and across more than 68 sites in the sales and marketing blogosphere.
Click here to download Trish's ebook, Sales Onboarding: The Express Route from Hire-to-Revenue
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 26, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 983
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Mar. 26, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,690
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 26, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,851
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
Mar. 26, 2017 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 720
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,698
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,110
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 25, 2017 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,772
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
Mar. 25, 2017 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 5,986
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,565
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Mar. 25, 2017 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,937
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
Mar. 25, 2017 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 521
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,291
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,721
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,042
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,886
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,190
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 5,062
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 25, 2017 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,570
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
Mar. 25, 2017 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,562
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Mar. 25, 2017 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,096