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The Trick to Choosing a Sales App Your Reps Will Want to Use

By | Mobile Productivity Tools | No Comments

Discover the Ugly Truth About Workplace Change, and How to Avoid It Completely

Some people just can’t handle change.

When you introduce a new process or technology, confidence and predictability disappear. It’s something new to learn, which means it takes time, effort, and dedication on everyone’s part to make it work right.

And for those who don’t respond well to change, new solutions can initiate a domino effect of anxiety, stress, and productivity loss. Read More

Merging Two Sales Teams – 3 Things to Watch Closely

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

One of the fastest (and most complicated) methods to increase shareholder value is through a merger or acquisition. The dream of merging two sales teams and two product portfolios is just too big to pass up sometimes.

Surprisingly, a recent KPMG report indicated 83% of the time an M&A event has proved unsuccessful in producing any business benefit specifically with regard to shareholder value. Further, as many as 53% of companies that go through a merger or acquisition event actually destroyed shareholder value.

In other words, the fastest and most common way to expand a company’s footprint, results in no discernible growth for the investors 4 out of 5 times. Read More

What is a Cross Reference App for Sales Reps?

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

UPDATED MAY 24, 2017

What is a cross reference app and why would my sales people need one?

We hear this question often from organizations looking at mobile sales tools.

To put it simply, a cross reference app gives sales people the ability to instantly find the right products in their portfolio when they need to compare them directly with a competitor’s product.  Simple and effective!

Sales people often find themselves in situations where they are forced to talk about the competition when meeting with customers. Read More

71% of companies take 6 months or longer to on board sales employees – Let’s fix that.

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

How Sales Acceleration Technology  Speeds Up the On boarding Experience for Companies with 500+ Products

Congratulations – you’ve made the job offer to a new salesperson. They accepted.

Now, it’s a matter of figuring out the quickest, most effective way to prime them for selling, because the amount of revenue they generate is effectively zero until you can get them fully functional in the field. 

The more tools, time, and people involved, the more bogged down your entire on boarding experience can become, which typically leads to two possible outcomes: Read More

Three Ways Sales Reps Can Be More Productive and Increase Efficiency

By | B2B Sales, Sales Productivity

It’s very true – many of the best companies are struggling with the amount of time their sales reps spend in front of prospects.

Great field sales reps are horrible admins. Don’t believe me?

Ask any marketing director in charge of providing marketing support to a sales team. Ask a VP of sales that’s charged with herding the cattle. At any tier, the response is the same.

I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of field sales reps over the years and the absolute best sales reps are coin operated.  If a task gets in the way of selling, they don’t do it.  Why should they?!

Read More

[Case Study] Simple Tactic For Marketers To Impact Dealer Sales

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools

“What are we really getting for our marketing spend?”

I cringe every time someone in sales asks this question!

Actually it’s not a question, it’s statement that sales does not believe in marketing’s contribution.  It is also a sure sign that sales needs someone to blame for missing their number.

Maybe there is also a bit of misalignment or internal chaos between marketing and sales.

I think we all know the impact of marketing on sales performance, but sometimes it is difficult to quantify. Wouldn’t it be really nice if people stop asking this question all together?

Read More

10 Mobile Sales Tool Etiquette Tips to Maximize Sales Meeting Success

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools

Nowadays every field sale person uses some kind of mobile sales tool to do their job.  More companies then ever are rolling out mobile devices for their sales teams to use during sales meetings.

In fact IDC predicts that by 2020, mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce.

Those in-person conversations are critical for closing opportunities and using a mobile sales tool is proven to be an incredibly effective way to increase your odds of closing that important deal.

Great – right?

Absolutely, but there is one major problem I need to point out. Read More

Fix 5 Common Mobile Device Mistakes at Trade Shows and Boost Your ROI

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Mobile devices, included iPads, Android tablets, phones and iPhones are being used more and more at trade shows these days.

Whether it’s as a mobile sales tool in a sales reps hands, a tablet on a stand showing videos, or even just a mobile tool for scanning badges, Trade Show Managers need to prepare their sales teams appropriately. Read More

ipad sales app

#1 Reason Reps Only Use 35% of Digital Sales Collateral Marketers Create

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Marketers spend a ton of time, money, and effort creating digital sales collateral for our sales teams.

In fact, I would argue it has never been easier or more cost effective to generate videos, images, PDF brochures, mini-apps, etc.

Never!

Yet, despite all the systems and repositories…time and time again salespeople ask us if we have a brochure for X or case study that is an example of Y.

Are you kidding me?  Yes, we gave you that 6 months ago.  Why are you emailing me? Read More

Most Effective Way to Launch a Distributor Mobile Sales App

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools

We’d just gotten the biggest opportunity in our career – the chance to deliver a distributor mobile sales app to 1000s of plumbing dealers across the US and Canada for the top manufacturer in the industry.

For our fledgling company, this represented the largest single purchase of seats in our history.  A great distributor mobile sales app meant huge long-term value to us and our shareholders since 1000s of people would be benefiting from its use.  Failure to create the right tool Read More

How to create a PowerPoint presentation that looks great on an iPhone (free template)

By | Mobile Productivity Tools
One surprising downside to using a mobile sales tool on your iPhone is PowerPoint presentations look like utter crap.

I get it, presentations with PowerPoint on iPhones are made to be projected onto a big screen in boardroom, but these days sales presentations can happen anywhere, anytime.  Coffee shops, bars, airplanes, you name it. Read More

Your Prospects Don’t Care About Your End of Whatever

By | Selling Tips

I cannot state this loudly or emphatically enough; your sales prospects don’t care about your end of the month, end of the quarter, end of the year.

You might be able to load up incentives and bake in the fat like a country grandmother sending her grandkids back to the city, but if your prospect isn’t in the buying phase of their cycle, it just won’t (colorful metaphor) matter. Read More

What is a mobile sales tool?

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

What the heck is a mobile sales tool any way?  The reality is most people including Google seem to have very different opinions.  So we set out to fix that.

We asked our design team to spend some time creating an engaging and humorous presentation that demonstrates exactly what a mobile sales tool is?

The presentation is fully available on SlideShare and has been downloaded close to 60 times since we published it.

Hope you find these sales tips and tricks useful!

 

 

Here’s my notes from a recent talk I gave using this slide deck. Maybe they’ll give you further guidance.

What is mobile sales tool?

1. WHAT IS A MOBILE SALES TOOL? Heck, maybe you have been tasked with building one. You own a smart phone You’ve heard about mobile sales tools

2. ONE BIG PROBLEM

3. GOOGLE CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT A MOBILE SALES TOOL IS!

4. a variety of apps that can be useful to sales people on their smart devices.

5. Google thinks it’s a mobile tool salesman.

6. If Google can’t figure out what a mobile sales tool is, how can a Marketer be expected to do any better?

7. LET’S FIX THAT!

8. n/a

9. CAN WE ALL AGREE THAT SALES PEOPLE COULD USE MOBILE APPS TO: LOCATE THEMSELVES SAVE KEY INFORMATION LOOK UP CUSTOMER INFORMATION PRESENT INFORMATION TO PROSPECTS

10. DEFINITION OF A MOBILE SALES TOOL An application that is used to enable or accelerate the sales process conveniently from a tablet or smartphone wherever or whenever the timing is right.

11. AS A MARKETER OR SALES MANAGER, YOU ARE MOST LIKELY CONCERNED WITH GENERATING REVENUE.

12. REVENUE-GENERATING MOBILE SALES TOOLS FALL INTO THE “PRESENT INFORMATION TO PROSPECTS” CATEGORY.

13. SO, WHAT TYPES OF MOBILE APPS DO THAT?

14. IT DEPENDS ON HOW YOUR TEAM SELLS.

15. THEY MAY SELL WITH: PRESENTATIONS GIANT CATALOGS (DESCRIPTIONS, PRICES, SKUS) VISUAL SELLING AIDS (VIDEOS, IMAGES, CHARTS, ANIMATIONS) FORMS FOR CUSTOM PROJECTS AND SERVICES

16. Or they may use ALL THE ABOVE to sell to prospects.

17. SO, TO DEFINE THE BEST MOBILE SALES TOOL FOR YOUR TEAM, YOU NEED TO START WITH HOW YOUR TEAM SELLS FIRST.

18. HOWEVER, TO GENERATE REVENUE, YOU NEED TO PICK A TARGET. A REVENUE-GENERATING TARGET.

19. HERE ARE 10 WAYS Marketers and Sales Managers can hit revenue-generating targets with mobile sales tools. 1 Focus on the middle 60%. 2 Profitable products first. 3 Train new reps faster. 4 Reduce your print spend.5 New product training is key. 6 Build for your top dealers and distributors. 7Make pricing easy to find. 8Focus on HOT new products. 9 Get the jump on competitors by cross-referencing data. 10 Stop emailing sales collateral.

20.
21. So, now you know how your team sells and you have a target. Let’s dive into the tools to get your app built.

22. Mobile sales tool platforms on the market may be composed of 3 layers.

FILE MANAGEMENT LAYER – Where marketers organize, upload, and manage product assets.

PRESENTATION LAYER – Where sales reps interact and present product data to prospects.

AUTOMATION LAYER – Where prospect information is seamlessly integrated into your CRM.

23. These 3 layers make it easy to: Manage and easily find information Deliver information (files, product specs, branding) Capture information (customer data and usage data) Integrate into other systems (CRM, Marketing Automation, ERP)

24. A great File Management Layer makes it easy on the Marketer and engages them to use it!

25. The Presentation Layer is an App on a Smart Device or “System of Engagement.” Presents information to reps and prospects Captures information via rep input Sends sales collateral

26. THE SINGLE BIGGEST MISTAKE IS TO ASSUME THAT THE APP IS THERE TO ENGAGE YOUR CUSTOMER!

27. The app is the system of engagement for your sales people, not your customers. Sales people use the tool to engage prospects and accelerate their sales cycle.

28. Thus, a mobile sales tool enables your reps to sell more of your products & services via the Presentation Layer.

29. The Automation Layer logs the activity or triggers the appropriate actions within a third-party platform such as a CRM or Marketing Automation system.

The 10 Minute Mobile Sales Video Marketing Fix That Will Boost Sales

By | Mobile Productivity Tools, Video Tips

My friend Mike is a senior sales rep at a Silicon Valley ‘unicorn’. He’s always trying to impress me with how great the perks are (free scooters, milkshakes, Wednesday’s blue grass jams, unlimited vacation, etc). But his biggest brag is full autonomy to work wherever and however he chooses, because the company believes in mobility for it’s sales team and that means selling with videos.

As a marketer focused on mobility, I’m interested in how to boost sales; this translates to supporting the sales teams with videos that captivate prospects. So, last week when I met Mike for a couple of beers, I decided to test him on the quality of his mobile sales videos and also drill him a bit, just for fun.

After the first beer, I ask Mike to give me his sales pitch on his company’s product and to show me his best video. He agrees and complies by taking out his iPhone and queues up a video and I grab it and press play.

Four minutes later Mike looked at me in shock when I told him that his product video “sucked”! So I bet him four nights of drinks I could improve the video 100x in just 10 minutes, which would help him close more deals.

Understanding the key characteristics of great mobile sales videos and then applying them to your own is key to making videos that boost sales. Editing and fixing bad videos takes just 10 minutes with two simple tools, Camtasia and Handbrake. After a little practice you will become a mobile sales video marketing superstar.

The techniques are easy to understand and apply to virtually any existing sales videos. It does not matter what your products or services are; they will work for any company that uses videos for mobile marketing and selling.

Click Here to Grab The Four Tip Checklist for Creating Videos for Your Sales Team

To be effective for in-person meetings, mobile sales videos need these four key characteristics addressed

1. Keep it short – Eight (8) to twenty (20) seconds long, at the most. Remove any intros that take up time.

2. Make sure the video is available online – Videos should be available on any device (tablet, phone, laptop). Apple devices require videos to be .mp4 or .m4v.

3. Keep it contextual – Cut small videos from longer ones, and make sure to title them contextually.

4. Easy to share – Provide either links on YouTube or create pre-formatted emails with video links.

Now that you know what characteristics make up great sales videos, let’s focus on how to apply the knowledge, editing a video.

The tools you need to edit and format videos are Camtasia and Handbrake.

Step 1 – Download and install Camtasia here.

Step 2 – Download and install Handbrake here.

Cutting the video in Camtasia (7 minutes)

I use Camtasia because it’s a great full-featured editing tool. I’ve used it to cut videos into small usable snippets, with the ability to save as .mp4 for Apple devices. It doesn’t require you to take a class or read a book. I can make a cut exactly where I need to edit and then review, save and play.

Step 3 – (1 minute) Open Camtasia and import the video you want to cut by double clicking on the video icon and drag the video to the timeline (that’s the area at the bottom) and press the play arrow.

Camtasia Import Media 3

Camtasia Play Media

Step 4 – (4 minutes) Locate the starting part of the video that you would like to cut in the timeline, then right click and select split on the beginning part you want to cut. Next, locate the end part of this video section that you want to cut and do the same, right click and select split.

Camtasia Split 2 End

Step 5 – (2 minutes) Delete the split piece of video and press play to see the new video with the cut. If it looks good then save the video.

Camtasia Delete

Formatting the video into an mp4 with Handbrake (3 minutes)

I tried all kinds of video converters and I found that Handbrake has the most formats, the user interface is great and it does the job fast. You can convert any video so it will play on Apple devices (iPhones, iPads,etc.).

Step 6 – (1 minute) Open Handbrake and locate the video file by clicking the source button. Once you have selected the source file, click open.

Handbrake Toggle Presets iPhone

Step 7 – (less than a minute) Press the toggle presets button on the top menu and select iPhone/iPod Touch.

Handbrake Select iPhone & iPod Touch

Step 8 (1 minute) – Press start, when the conversion is complete, you’ll here a tone and a pop up will tell you the conversion is done.

Handbrake Complete

I sent the video back to Mike and asked him to take it for a test drive.  A week later he shot me an email reminding me that he is buying drinks for the next four meet ups!

Click Here to Grab The Four Tip Checklist for Creating Videos for Your Sales Team

Effective Conference & Leads

By | B2B Sales

I’ve gone to a lot of conferences in my day. Most of the time I’m appalled by the booth management and the flurry to scan my badge without ever having any real intention of engaging with me. I’ve become surly in my old age telling the bright-eyed marketer that comes gleefully to scan my badge that, “I’m a terrible lead” or worse, “I’m going to blacklist you if you send me an email.”

Nothing dissuades them, nothing.

Then I saw the entire process turned on its head and ran ruthlessly effectively. This lead capture system was the most organized, successful, and effective conference campaign, which despite the cost, they more than covered expenses even before the packed up and left.

I was in awe. Such awe that I’m pitching my boss to do this lead capture system next year and ordering a chartered jet home to haul all the cash we will make.

It was that woefully efficient.

Here’s the story, as best I can remember it.

I’m wandering the conference floor, and I get accosted by a rep, “Hey have you sat in on our demo?”

That is so wrong on so many levels, yet it was perfect.

The rep didn’t care who I was, what I wanted out the conference, nothing about me (and I’m narcissistic, I’m all about me). All he cared for was if I sat through his demo.

“No”, I responded and made note of the company, Curata, and went on my way.

A while later I bumped into the rep, possibly on a coffee break, and again he asked, “Hey have you sat in on our demo?”.

Ok, I’ve seen this play before, this is the Green Eggs and Ham play. You know, you wear the person down until they comply, then the prospect might, just might have a change of heart and see things your way. Ug, am I going to have to deal with this guy all week?

After a few more interactions, I got dribs and drabs of more information about the product, always followed with the monotonic request to sit in their demo. No, I could not have a private demo, no I could not get a trial, I had to sit in on their demo. If I wanted more than the 60,000 ft view of the product, I’d need to sit in the demo.

To sweeten the deal, for attending the demo I’d get a Bluetooth speaker. Not the best conference swag, however, I could do far worse.

Like the character in Green Eggs and Ham, I finally relented.

The Conference Czar of Curata had a small room on the conference floor. Inside the meeting room, there were 20 chairs packed close together with just enough room for a monitor and presenter. Ward Perry stuffed 20 of us in that room then, in walked Randy Bernard, Director of Sales. He quickly introduced himself, asked a couple of questions and pitched for 15mins straight.

Captive audience.
That was amazing.

At the end, each of us got our Bluetooth speaker and sent on our way.

Not all of us, there were a few that had other questions and showed genuine interest.

What the Curata team did was cast a ridiculously wide net that guaranteed themselves at least a few qualified leads every time that net went out.

I’m pretty good at making connections at conferences. When I have a booth, I pull in a bunch of qualified leads. Nothing compared to the Curata method.

By my estimations, they ran two demos per hour, 20 people per demo, at least 5 hours a day, for three days. They managed to ram their message down the throats of at least 600 people. One person. Granted it took a team to stuff the room for every session, but they had their best pitchman pitch to 600 people over a three day period.

AMAZING.

What’s more at the end of the conference I spoke with Ward, and he already had in his hand four inked contracts from leads that were nowhere in his funnel. He wouldn’t tell me how many pre-qualified leads closed, but they pulled four brand new leads out of thin air.

Ok, those numbers aren’t great, 4 out of 600, by any rubric, those are TERRIBLE NUMBERS. However put them in context, put them in the funnel. 4 of 600 entered the top of the funnel and closed with three days.

Three days to close.

How many deals have you had that closed within three days? Now imagine what the rest of the funnel looks like? I’d guess it is bursting at the seams.

Sure some folks will fall out of the funnel.
Sure some folks will get educated and move to a competitor.

Now just think about how much you spend for a conference and how many leads, qualified leads you leave with, that know your message.

Dollars to donuts when a Curata sales rep follows up with those leads, they will remember the Curata experience, and if they engage with the sales rep, the rep should get ready to bang that gong.

Call a Timeout

By | Sales Productivity

Guest Post by Mark Shalinsky – Business Development Manager at The New Office.  Mark is a veteran sales guy that loves the hunt and metrics.  He taught me some great techniques over the years including “whale hunting” at conferences, one of my go to strategies. In this article, Mark shares how to to become a communication catalyst, pulling in a collaborator to make everyone a winner.

I ran into a rough situation the other day.

My boss and I are in the boardroom. Across from us are sitting the client champion (I’ll call her “Darcy”), one of her colleagues, and two outside consultants. We had several short conversations with Darcy prior to finagling a sit. Usually, I go on these alone, or with a pre-sales engineer, not typically with my boss, the CEO of the company. I like to hold him in reserve so we can play good cop / bad cop during negotiations. For whatever reason, my boss decided he wanted to be in the thick of the action.

I’ve worked for a bunch of tech companies and up until now all the founders were tech people. Mostly extroverted, so they’d stare at my shoes not their own. My current boss is the consummate, old school sales guy. He loves filleting the pain, negotiating, and closing. He’s the encyclopedia of sales plays and effective meeting strategies, so I know I’ll always learn something when he comes along.

So we get started. I boot up our demo and immediately our champion, Darcy pulls out her Gatling gun and starts peppering me with questions. Right out of the gate she’s on fire. We’d barely finished the pleasantries, and she started to unload. And unload hard she did. You know those deep cutting questions that go to the core of your product and your value proposition.

While I was able to easily and deftly field these questions, it put me on the defensive track. Defensive is terrible. Defense deflects the ball. Defense does not control the conversation. The worst part, I could not get on the offense. Remember what I said about my boss being the quintessential sales guy? Well, he was able to grab the ball and called a timeout.

Wait. Can you call a timeout on a sit? Why did nobody ever tell me? How come I never knew? Regardless, my boss slammed his hand on the big red button and said, “Darcy, we’ve had a couple of conversations, why are you the only one talking?” Then he laid on the big William Shatner pregnant pause. Darcy mentioned something squirrely tried to go on offense again, but my boss wouldn’t let her. “Darcy, we’ve got two of your colleagues, I have an idea what they do from our intro, and are you are paying a handsome sum to these two implementation consultants to sit here and listen to Mark’s answers?”

Then he dropped the mic, put the ball right back in the middle of the table and went back to the edge. It was at that moment that something amazing happened. With little prompting, those two statements got five people starting to talk. Those two groups had not outlined the problems that they wanted to solve individually, as a group, nor had they had the opportunity to hash out their issues.

It became abundantly clear that the entire reason we were called in was to act as a conversation catalyst. Darcy needed to have the conversation with her colleagues and the consultants that my boss had created, however she did not know how to get that conversation started. Then when she found herself in a room with three different groups that, in her mind, all had set objectives, she believed she needed to dominate the conversation to get her way. Wrong.

Had the sit gone the way Darcy initiated the result would have been an impasse at best, a failed implementation that would have made my product look bad, the consultants overcharging their client, and Darcy pulling defeat from the jaws of victory that may cost her her job.

The better way, start from zero. If we are all not on the same page from the outset, start again. Yes, we did go around the table make introductions with roles and responsibilities. However, I failed because I let Darcy grab the ball and run with it. She ran to her end-zone. The problem, her end-zone was not my end-zone, her colleague’s end-zone or the consultants end-zone.

Step 1 is to identify the players.

Step 2 have each player define what success looks like.

Step 3 paint the complete picture where everyone comes out a winner.

If you can’t provide the complete solution, be honest and offer what you can. Gain credibility with effective meeting strategies like offering to pull in a collaborator that can help you make everyone at the table a winner.

 

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAaTAAAAJGRkOGJlNWVjLTliYTYtNDgyZS05M2MxLTZhMmI2MmYyOGQ0OAAbout the author

Following an academic career, Mark moved into business development and has been the critical early sales hire at start-ups that have grown to become global brands in scientific publishing and IT security. Currently, Mark leverages academic skills and sales experiences in the tech sector identifying market sweet spots and cultivating sales reps into power-players, closing bigger deals faster.

Read more of Mark’s articles here and follow him on Twitter.

 

Simple plan to solve Yosemite’s $1M print issue and yours too

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

200px-Yosemite_falls_winter_2010

Simple plan to solve Yosemite’s $1M print issue and yours too

I recently saw this article which describes how changing the name of the concession stand and a hotel in Yosemite National Park will cost the tax payers “$1 million” for reprinting the signs, garbage cans, and brochures.

With annual operating budget of $30M, $1M represents a significant share (1/30th) of the much-needed budget Yosemite requires to not only operate a park, but to attract more visitors in the future.

If you went to your boss or CFO tomorrow and told them you were going to spend 1/30th of the entire operating budget of your company to fix the words in your brochures or printed catalogs, what do you think the reaction would be?

Nes too good pas!

Yet, thousands of Marketers dedicate huge budget to print brochures, catalogs, and one-pagers every year.

Prices and spec changes? Reprint.

Rebranding after a merger or strategic change? Reprint. The costs can be astronomical, and the process takes years.

In this article, I’ll show you how your company and Yosemite can:

  1. Maintain a reasonable level of printed materials (50% of current spend)
  2. Replace print with digital versions on devices that people use already (30% of current spend)
  3. Deliver critical content digitally so that it can be accessed offline in the backwoods
  4. Re-allocate savings from your print budget to your lead generation marketing budget (20% of current spend)

As we enter the mobile age and Moore’s law continues its predicted rapid climb, Marketers (and National Parks) will have to deal with more and more rapid shifts in the way people consume and use information.

And the shifts are seismic. Like California-falls-into-the-sea seismic.

Yosemite’s print budget is just like yours.

Like most people, I get really upset when I see public dollars being wasted on printed materials in the digital age.

And the idea that our beloved National Park could possibly be spending 1/30th of it’s operating budget to fix some marketing brochures is especially maddening, given the need to improve roads and staff such a massive enterprise.

Many companies operate with the benchmark of 10% of revenue is spent on marketing to attract more buyers.  Let’s assume the National Parks operate on the same idea.

And like most companies selling products and services, I get that Yosemite has to “sell” its offerings (hotels, concessions, nature walks, new trails).

But why does Yosemite need to print that many brochures to accomplish this?

What happens to printed materials?

My hypothesis is 90% of Yosemite’s brochures are tossed into the newly stenciled garbage cans soon after people pick them up at the gate or, they get used to start camp fires.

Do you have a brochure drawer at home? Unlikely.

Will you look at the brochure again in a few months? Nope.

trash-at-trade-show-900x500

How many brochures are in those bags?

This perfectly parallels what I see attending major industry trade shows with our clients. Shows where companies spend thousands to have a booth and rely on that rented space to generate a huge portion of their qualified leads.

I bet you’ve had a similar experience where every time you go into a booth the staff keep trying to hand you printed materials.

It’s like a conditioned response.  Look, a prospect, here’s a brochure on our coolest product. Let me scan your badge. Sweet,  I got another lead.

However, it’s shockingly wasteful and represents wasted opportunity in the digital age.

The Marketing team spent money to design and print that product literature.  They also shipped it to the show and likely paid to deliver the box to the booth.

To take it one more step, many times the undistributed brochures get boxed up and shipped back home or worse simply dumped in the trash.

One marketing consultant I spoke with described another potential black hole for these printed brochures,

“Believe it or not, when these get shipped, they don’t always get received or found and then they have to be given out.  Remote offices don’t usually get the same love as headquarters.  Tons of boxes go untouched under a table or desk.” – Josh Krasnegor,  Consultant.

Josh said it well, tons of boxes of untouched marketing budget.

Simple plan to solve Yosemite’s $1M print issue

The biggest mistake for companies with out-of-control print budgets is that they don’t know how to best compare and contrast the cost of mobile content delivery systems to their status quo (e.g., printing catalogs, brochures, etc.).

And neither does Yosemite.

Let’s imagine the good folks at Yosemite took a look around the Park at what people are doing.  What do you think they would see?

yosemite_selfie_-_Google_SearchPeople using smart phones to take pictures, navigate roads, chat with friends, look up information on animals, or just ignore nature and stare into them.

Noticing this, Yosemite might create a mobile app that:

  1. Delivers key information offline (cellular is not always available in the park)
  2. Updates automatically when visitors phones hit WiFi hotspots in the park (entirely possible with background sync)
  3. Reaches visitors on the tool that 99.9% are carrying their pockets (yep, their phone)

What would Yosemite put in the app?

Everything!  Maps, brochures, videos, history, daily schedules, alerts to road closures. You name it.

Would they still need to print stuff?

Sure, I get that some people are just going to demand printed maps, etc.

So why not print, 20% of last year’s volume to start and direct people to their app for the other 80%? This might cut their print cost in half or more for the year.

One might imagine that an app like that would cost millions to produce however I suspect that the true cost deploy and maintain that type of app is in the $300k range in year one with roughly 20-40% annual maintenance in subsequent years.

$300,000/4 million visitors = $0.33 per visitor.

I’ll pay the 33 cents with my insanely under-priced entrance fee thank you very much.

Keep in mind that the park is spending $1m to simply FIX their outdated print materials.

The number one mistake made by marketers with out-of-control print budgets

The biggest mistake for Marketers with out of control print budgets is they, like Yosemite, are not comparing and contrasting the cost of mobile content delivery systems to status quo (e.g., spend on printing catalogs, brochures, etc.).

So using our Yosemite example, here’s a possible end result:

$1m annual print budget for Yosemite

x 50% CY = $500,000 print spend to fix their brochures

and $500,000 left over to spend:

$300,000 to deploy a mobile content app that everyone can use on their smart phones

and

$200,000 to spend on other items for growth.

Keep in mind that Yosemite’s $300,000 hypothetical app is based on 4 million people potentially using it.

Most mobile sales apps on the market cost between $100-300 per sales person per year. So your cost and savings might be massive compared to Yosemite’s $200,000 depending on your print spend currently.

So what do marketers share with Yosemite?

Although, I think the parallel is obvious let’s break it down.

  • Overspending on outdated technology with no measurable ROI = print
  • Refusing to see that people want to access information in a new way = mobile phones
  • Equals throwing away much needed budget

In a world where marketers and National Parks are continually asked to do more with less budget, delivering critical information to the devices people already own and want to interact with is the new norm, not the exception.

The reality is reliance on antiquated methods (print) will only widen the gap between the successful and those left behind.

 

 

 

Quotas are for losers. Presumptive Closing and Squishy Pricing. [Mark Shalinsky]

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

Note from Rusty – Introducing Mark Shalinsky – Rant from a proven closer. I asked Mark one question about how he consistently crushed quota and got this super useful answer.  It was kinda like drinking from the fire hose. Sometimes you just gotta shut up and listen, dawg. Edited for clarity.

Enter Mark Shalinsky…

Last week at Marketo Summit in Vegas, I bumped into an old colleague who runs his own sales team now. Nice!

Over drinks I got to talking to one of my buddy’s more junior sales reps, and she asked me point blank,” What is the single most important lesson you can teach me about sales.”

I said, “Listen.” 

Then an awkward silence rained down. Reps hate that, but they know it’s true.

She comes back, “Look, I know listening is great and, I do that, but what is next? Whenever I ask veterans like you what the second most important lesson in sales I get all sorts of answers”.

In my scientific mind there are two starting characteristics of people who make a career in sales; the qualitative salesperson and the quantitative salesperson.

The qualitative salesperson is the one who walks into the room and instantly begin connecting with clients. They commands the room, break the ice, are affable beyond belief, and people just love them.

People LOVE them, really really LOVE them.

By stark contrast, there is the quantitative salesperson.

By the books, by the numbers, by sales quotas, an unsympathetic process is driven. All the boxes are checked at one stage before they move to the next.

All sales are based on relationships, so the quantitative salesperson builds relationships on credibility and accountability. It takes time, but once that train is moving, nobody is getting off.

One of my Judo Sensei’s told me I have no natural affinity with people. Between that and being a trained scientist (PhD in neurophysiology), you can guess what persona I started out in sales with.

Yep, quantitative.

We all start with the persona in our nature and, if you make it early in sales, it helps you succeed.

Later, you learn how to become the other persona. So my hypothesis is, the truly successful sales person is an even balance between quantitative and qualitative.

Mark’s Sales System

So here’s my “closing a sale process” that’s been refined over the past 11 or so years.

Listen  > Question > Listen  > Repeat > Price > Paint  > Confirm > Close

The listening is the easy part, and you’ve heard it a million times. Listen to the pain, the problems, and the goals.

Only through attentive listening can you understand how you will define a solution.

Questioning is the only way you get you can get the prospect to tell you all the pains and problems they have. Even when the prospect seems adamant in their desires, you need to ask them a question.

When a prospect asks, “Does this shirt come in pink?” You need to understand why they are asking the question.

Never assume they question something out of motive, sometimes they don’t even know why they asked the question. Your role as a salesperson is to determine WHY they are asking specific questions.

The proper answer to the question, “Does this shirt come in pink?”, is, “would you like this shirt in pink?”

When they answer your question to their question, then you can go back to listening.

Listen  > Question > Listen  > Repeat > Price > Paint  > Confirm > Close

When working on closing a sale, repeating is critical. Prospects inherently don’t trust sales people because sales people are incentivized by sales quotas and commission. Commission only comes from converting prospects to customers. So, they have biases and preconceived ideas about what sales is trying “pull over” on them.

A prospect will never trust you if the prospect doesn’t believe you understand their problem.

The only way you can start building that trust is by connecting with clients and repeating the pain. It isn’t that hard. My go-to line is, “Ok, so you said that the problem is A, B, C and you were thinking about solving it X,Y, Z ways. Is that a correct statement?”

If the answer does not come back as an emphatic YES, go back to listening and questioning.

Again, process driven sales means never moving forward unless 100% of the boxes have been checked in the previous step.

So when the answer finally comes back as a resounding, “Hallelujah, he gets it!” we move to the next step.

Thoughts on Pricing

Pricing is usually the sticky point for sales reps.

Everyone believes that the main reason people don’t buy is due to price. That is not true. Price is only one reason you will lose a deal. The other two? Time and information. More on that topic at another time.

I bring up the price here for several reasons. First and foremost, if they are price conscious and have limited means and budget, I want them (colorful metaphor) off my pipeline. I don’t have time to deal with miserly buyers that will never see the value of my offering.

The second very important reason is that I plant the pricing seed at the point where I’ve started to build the most trust. I have gone through the exercise of fully understanding their pains and problems and got them to agree that I understand what they are going through. They are starting to see me as being part of the solution team, their team.

I don’t give them a hard figure, it is squishy, and I let them know as much, granted I’ll likely bake in some fat if I think they want to haggle.

I leave the price with the caveat, another go to statement, “I’ve demonstrated that I understand your issues, correct?” Pause for a positive response, continue, “my promise to you is that if you agree that my solution will help you, I will work with my team to ensure that we can get this deal to work so from here on out, this is not a waste of time for either of us.”

Boom.

I’ve anchored my price.

I’ve solidified my stance that I’m on their side yet again.

I’ve rounded second and the ball still high in the air and moving fast towards the wall.

Now I’m ready to go into sales mode.

What the heck is painting?

Paint the picture. You know don’t paint seagulls in their picture.

You need to be able to define how your solutions will work, why it will work, and what it will take to work. Break it down into easy to understand pieces. Once you’ve had a chance to paint the picture, the prospect needs to acknowledge that your solution will indeed help them.

Confirming that your solution will work for them is the only way you can get the prospect’s acknowledgment.

Again this is another point where once I’ve completed painting the picture I have my go-to line,” Providing that I can do everything that I say I can do would you be happy with this solution?”

And again, if the answer does not come back as an emphatic YES, inquire where there are gaps in the image, repaint, and go for confirmation again.

Remember, there is no point in moving on until he answer comes back as a resounding, “that is exactly what I’m looking for.”

At this point, there is one thing left to do.

Closing is complicated, closing is hard. Closing requires paperwork.
The power of selling by a process is that by the time you get to closing the deal, you have built credibility, trust, and importantly, assuaged liability concerns.

Taken together, the presumptive close is very much a reality.

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