- To inspire connections. I want people to get out from their cellphones texting and “Snapchatting” to get to know people around them. Myself, I see so many people in my office, but do not say hello. I may say, “hi”, or give a friendly nod, but that’s the extent. I want to connect, and I believe we should all connect as social organisms. Plus, serendipity is a wonderful thing.
- To motivate action. Like I said, 100 days is, I think, ambitious. I thought of the idea for this and within two hours, I was interviewing my first Stranger. Within 6 hours I had the website up. I want others who have passions or questions or a project in their heads to turn those questions to answers… to turn ideas into reality. I’m an entrepreneur because I execute. I want others to realize it’s not hard to start something magical.
- To challenge myself. I wrote Postmortem of a Failed Startup: Lessons for Success last year. This could very well be another book down the line for me. That, and I want another personal/ passion project other than the passion for the startup I work for.
- With 1 Stranger per 1 Day, I want to show it’s not hard to get out of our comfort zone. Just one little connection per 24 hours. It’s an exercise not to rush 100 connections, but to illustrate it’s possible on a consistent basis.
- Show the world we can be compassionate and vulnerable. I can ask some deep, personal questions to which I hope to hear truths. I want to challenge others to be vulnerable to not just answering questions to me, but to sharing their story with the world (and their picture). It’s an incredible thing to ask, but I want to ask to let others make that choice… not me make that choice for them (which I have a terrible tendency to do – make choices for others). It’s a trust thing.
- To encourage us to get to know those who we don’t consider Strangers. I have friends now sharing THEIR answers to questions like they were Strangers. They want to share with me! Meanwhile, I have friends now asking THEIR friends these questions because they want to know what motivates them. It’s exciting to watch as we consider how people around us could be Strangers in some way, too.
- To change the world for the greater through entrepreneurial endeavors. I have no idea where this is going to go other than 100 Strangers… 100 Days. I may ask some more friendlier faces as I realize, too, that some familiar faces are just surface-level connections. As I said earlier, I want deeper connections, so maybe I go beyond Strangers. I don’t know if this will be a book. I don’t know if this will amount to anything “commercially viable”, but I’m good with that. I hope this journey motivates bigger effects on us as a community, as a nation, as a race. We all have common threads as well as beautiful differences. I want us to embrace each other and the effects of this journey for greateraspirations whatever they may be.
- Guiding the startup on its direction
- Provide valuable insight into the industry, competition, market, etc.
- Share connections to move the company forward – prospects, new hire candidates, other
- Establish cadence around metrics for progress
In exchange for devoting time and attention (and reaching success, hopefully), startups typically provide stock or cash to Advisors. This ensures both parties are aligned on objectives and provide the necessary feedback.
- In today’s noise-filled world, Challenger sales reps focus and drive value for prospects from the get-go. They are focused. They are tenacious.
- The essence of the Challenger sale is about teaching prospects insights they do not know about their industries, tailoringthe solution for the prospects’ businesses, and taking control of the sales process.
- Relationship builders focus on convenience for customers while Challengers focus on delivering value. Challengers are comfortable pushing prospects out of their comfort zones – challenging prospects to think differently.
- Prospects are looking for ways to get the competitive advantage – new ways to cut costs, increase sales, expand markets. It’s about insight, and this is how Challengers approach sales. They provide insight into the industry and highlight a problem the prospect didn’t know he had, and they hammer home the urgency to solve it.
- Marketing is the “insight generating machine” arming sales reps with quality material to teach and engage prospects. This is one of the reasons why infographics, white papers, and case studies are valuable collateral for reps.
- The Challenger builds a team of advocates to ensure the buyer has backing – mitigate the risk of the buyer.
- The Challenger teaches why the problem is urgent; else, the customer won’t see the importance of solving it (now).
- Sales leadership is about sales innovation – how leaders can move stagnant deals forward. Sales innovation is the single biggest sales-related attribute of a world-class sales manager.
- Sales success is about being able to tackle the things you don’t know, not about what you do know. It’s about being creative and innovative to solve problems.
- “Be memorable, not agreeable.”
- Mark McGraw of Sandler Training (moderator)
- Gavin Harris, VP of Sales at SalesFusion
- Adrian Fallow, AVP of Pardot (Salesforce)
- Earne Bentley, Director of Sales at Origami Risk
- The 3 Sins of sales management (from Mark): (1) Poorly designed selling philosophy (culture). (2) Too tolerant of mediocrity. (3) No system for selling or managing sales.
- No surprise the panel touched heavily on instilling and persisting a great sales culture. Common phrases throughout the panel included: “surround yourself with top talent”, “raise the bar”, “do not tolerate mediocrity”, “structure”, “understand a sales candidate’s ‘fire’ or motivator”, and “on-going training”.
- “Think like a big company” – this really hit home for me as I have been rather capricious in putting down learnings from selling (and marketing) SalesWise. I have a lot of knowledge of what works, what doesn’t work, and the like, but it’s all locked away in my head or in disparate sources (notebook, computer files, etc.). I should document everything in a single place – a living, breathing sales playbook accessible by all.
- Instilling structure in the sales organization ensures high productivity and a sustainable sales culture. It highlights the top performers and separates the laggards. Cull the laggards as quickly as possible (they can be like poison), and the average of your team immediately rises.
- Promoting high-performing sales reps to leadership positions does not always work. It can also have an exponential effect of decreasing sales (you took your best performer, after all) while poorly leading an established sales team. Recognize not all reps should be leaders, but it’s a leader’s job to disseminate the learnings of high performance to the rest. Recognize, too, rep coaching should be tailored to the individual.
- 10 x 10 = 100. The first “10” is you’re only aware of 10% of the whole problem. Dig deeper. “x10” represents the fear of addressing the problem is actually 10 times the reality. Consider your delivery to be productive. And “100”… because problems are typically solved 100 days late.
“Parable of the Flood” by Author Unknown
“We’ll See” by Author Unknown
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path.”