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Showing posts from March, 2017

Understanding the Four Buying Modalities for Conversion

Angus Lynch of CrazyEgg.com posted an article about buying modalities titled, “35% of Web Visitors Are ‘Spontaneous’ Buyers. Are You Alienating Them?”. He describes the four buying modalities: Competitive (5-10% of web visitors) – buyer makes smart, quick decisions. These buyers are all about speed and quality to gain an advantage. They want to be the best… oftentimes, the first (advantage).Methodical (45%) – buyers are very logic-oriented. They want to understand everything about buying a product or service including advantages and disadvantages of competitive options.Humanistic (10-15%) – buyers believe in emotional/ altruistic purchases. They are looking for validation among consensuses.Spontaneous (25-35%) – these buyers make purchase decisions based on feelings and gut. That is, they make quick decisions.
The four buying modalities help to understand the type of prospect you are engaged with, and what their preferred buying process looks like. Lynch’s article touches, specificall…

Customer Dysfunction and Its Effects In Today’s Sales

I read an interesting article on LinkedIn the other day titled, “The New Normal in Sales: Customer Dysfunction” by Nick Toman, a sales effectiveness professional. The gist is buying processes are increasing at an alarming rate, and it is the dysfunction at the customer that drives this and “poor” sales outcomes.
I thought about this for a while, and related it to my post, “We Appreciate Everyone Except Our Vendors, and It’s Killing Sales”. Toman’s article provides a perspective at the customer and the ailments killing sales.
A few take-aways from Toman’s article that I’ve noticed over the last year in modern B2B sales: 2.5 years ago, the buyer group consisted of 5.4 stakeholders. Today, that number is 6.8 from 3.4 different functional areas. When you add heads into the buying process, there’s an expectation of a need to get consensus which, ironically, is the result of indecision due to more heads.Customers citing high amounts of dysfunction are 60% less likely to make an ambitious …

12 Years Later, My Lessons from Being an Intern at a Big Corp

As my journey through consulting, post-grad education, entrepreneurship, and startup leadership continues, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for my co-op experiences at a big corp more than 12 years ago.
Especially now as I’m recruiting, oftentimes, less experienced candidates than in my past, I’m realizing the value of spending more time at a big corporation.
At Georgia Tech, I was a co-op for four semesters at a major 3rd-party logistics provider in Atlanta. I remember falling asleep at my desk more than a few times that first semester. It wasn’t the most exciting as I was the spreadsheet analyst at first. Over the semesters, my projects became more complex, and I earned my stripes with my own special projects.
It was some of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and laid the foundation for things to come. Here are some lessons now looking back at what I’ve learned. Politics – Implementing changes at a big company is like steering a massive ship – it takes time, and a lot of effort.…

De-Risk for Investments

I was talking to a Producer and Director recently who is starting out his business. He’s got his business set up, and is seeking investors for a film. He’s got the script. He’s ready to go. Except, the investors want him to slow down. The investors wanted to “de-risk” the investment. New to being an entrepreneur, the Producer shared the nuances he wasn’t quite prepared for. Expected Returns – SaaStr states that a 10% return on the total venture capital (VC) fund is good while aiming to earn its total VC fund in profits is the goal. Understand what the goals of the investor(s) are, and have the model to illustrate goals can be met with even conservative achievement.Legal Collateral – The Producer was shocked to learn how much he had to spend to validate the authenticity and originality of the script. Investors are looking at legal terms and insurance to not only cover risks of copyright infringement, but also the leveragability for greater valuation.Long-Term Strategy – Are you a one-h…

What to blog, or what not to blog? That is the question.

I recently received a question from an entrepreneur about how to start blogging. He saw me posting last week at a conference, and shared how he’s always wanted to write. However, he wasn’t sure how. One of the questions he asked was about blogging at a “personal” level or at the “company” level. I’m interpreting this as if he should blog on the company website about company interests, or on a personal blog about personal things (company interests, too).
As always, I’d say, “it depends.” Though, he added that his goal was for his company to succeed – “whatever leads that way would be great”.
Knowing he’s new to blogging and has a direct motive to help the company, he should write on his company’s blog about his company’s interests for a couple reasons. First, it’s clear he wants to grow the company’s presence and brand first. Given he’s the CEO, his personal brand will be tied to the company at this stage anyways.
Second, starting out blogging is simple. The difficulty is being consis…

Book Review: A Message to Garcia

I recently finished Elbert Hubbard’s A Message to Garcia. It’s a quick 30-minute read.
The book praises the result of a man named Rowan who was tasked by President McKinley to deliver a message to… well, a man named Garcia. This story occurs during the U.S.-Spain war in the late 1800s. Obviously, there was no cell phone, no email, or other rapid way to reach Garcia. In fact, Garcia was, at the time, buried in the forests of Cuba.
Rowan was tasked to deliver this message with no other instruction or details as to Garcia’s whereabouts or how to communicate with him. It was a simple need. Rowan had anything but a simple task. However, he dutifully took McKinley’s message, and delivered to Garcia.
This mini-book has been printed millions of times over, and has been used in business, in the military, everywhere. It’s message is clear – with no other instruction, does a mission get accomplished. There were no other details, and Rowan set out to accomplish said mission. There were no ifs,…

My 5 Recommendations to Build Your Website

Being a blogger (of many blogs), it makes sense many new and want-to-be bloggers reach out to me for advice. I’ve even recently launched another blog for another passion project. I've also helped at least a dozen start up sites. With each iteration, I’ve found my go-to recommendations on what to use.
If you’re looking to start a website or a blog, these are my recommendations. Buying a domain – GoDaddy or Namecheap. Both are very simple. Go Daddy can offer as low as $2.99 for the first year of owning the domain with a 2-year commitment. The second and following years go up to $14.99. You can find domains on Namecheap for $10.69 annual (first, second, so forth).Website builder/ content management system (CMS) – Wordpress. This blog (as of 03/09/17) is built with Blogger. It was real quick to get up and running several years ago when I started. However, Blogger lacks the power of flexibility and a strong theme ecosystem to customize like Wordpress. The themes make your site stand o…

We Appreciate Everyone Except Our Vendors, and It’s Killing Sales

Customers. We love our customers. They’re the best. They help us do the great things we want to do. We love our customers. Team members. We love our team members. We wouldn’t be “we” if we didn’t have the team. We wouldn’t be able to execute and flourish without the right team members. We love our team members. Shareholders. We love our shareholders. We appreciate their guidance and commitment so that we can execute on our grand vision. We love our shareholders. That’s covers it, right? I hear it so often from leaders these three constituents. We care about and tend to these groups of people. Maybe we sprinkle in there the community we’re in, too. Okay. But are we missing another group who help us get from scrappy to growth to the Dream? I think so, and they’re our vendors.
Take a pause for a second to think about your vendors. Why are we not thanking them? Maybe because we see our vendors as websites and applications. Working in a SaaS high-tech company, it’s easy to think of our ve…

Always Be Cl—No, Please Don’t

As a sales guy and an entrepreneur and loving what I do, it’s hard to contain my excitement when talking to others about what I’m up to. Couple that with the day-to-day role of selling and serving customers, it can be quite a lot of listening and talking and finding opportunities to… well, sell. But damn, that’s tiring, and I must be cognizant to not do this all the time.
Alex Baldwin is famously quoted among sales professionals for his role in Glengarry Glen Ross as a sales motivator – “A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always be closing!!”
I’ve got a few conferences and events coming up. I’m both looking forward to them and weary of them. These are sales conferences. As much as I’m there to learn and to, yes, sell, I’ll also run across many who will only want to meet if they, too, can sell. That’s fair.
But at some point, I’ll start wondering if we’re networking and connecting as individuals, or if we’re only connecting to sell to one another. Should I care? Sho…