Displaying posts published in

October 2008

Daylight Savings! An extra hour to sell!

OK – so this post has nothing to do with sales really.  Its more that twice a year I sit and ponder the absolute lunacy around Daylight Savings Time.  The amount of money the world governments have spent deciding whether or not to move clocks twice a year, and when to do it just drives me insane.

But… you get an extra hour of sunlight.  Um… no you don’t.  You are just moving the clocks..  But, you save energy by getting up in sunlight.  Ah… so get up at a different time.

Win, Lose, or Draw

I’ve gotten into two lengthy discussions recently about draw as a sales compensation component.  Specifically, since I work with start-ups, the questions were around whether or not you should offer up a draw or not as part of the compensation package.

I have some very strong opinions about draw, and I want to start by going over the basics.  Draw is compensation offered to a new salesperson coming on board.  There is a “draw period” which is the time over which the draw is paid.  (typically 3 to 6 months).  There are two types of draw:

End of the year run…Grabbing Unused Budgets

In many large companies, departments get “use-it-or-lose-it” budgets.  What this means is that they get dollars for projects for that year, and if they don’t use up all of that money by the end of the year, then they don’t get to spend it.  It does not roll over until the next year.  This is where salespeople looking to finish out their own year great can capitalize.  It requires you to be flexible in your pricing technique, but you can very often push through a sale that might otherwise take a very long time to close.

Startup Spark: Don’t forget you need customers

I read a short post on Startup Spark about making sure that entrepreneurs don’t forget that they need to find customers for their new ventures.

Ah – how true… and who makes that happen?  The sales team.

Sales for start-ups is not easy and its certainly not for everyone.  You are building your product and your market at the same time you are trying to build a customer base.  But, when you can convince those companies to give your start-up a chance, its one of the most rewarding feelings for a sales person.

Hmm…Why do you ask?

Salespeople love to talk.  Its a common theme at QuotaCrush.  I’ve recently done two posts on it: Never Vomit on your Customers, and Two Ears, One Mouth.   Expanding on this topic…salespeople need to make sure that whenever they answer questions in a sales pitch, that they need to understand why the question was asked.

The natural tendency when someone asks you a question is to give an immediate answer to that question.  However, unless you understand the motivation behind the question, the chance is that you will answer the question with information that is not relavant or with information that will not move the deal closer to the sale.  And, you will have lost a perfect opportunity to learn more about the customer.

Shiny Rocks

Yesterday at breakfast, I started what turned into a lively and quite humorous discussion with my fellow attendees at the National Angel Organization annual summit in Halifax.

My observation is that humans have not progressed much since caveman days.

Oooh... shiny rocks!

Everything that we do revolves around shiny rocks.

  • We base our wealth on who has the biggest pile of shiny rocks
  • We store shiny rocks in vaults and print money based on how many we have
  • Monetary policy is based on how to trade shiny rocks.

My favorite article on the crisis

I’ve been consuming entirely too much information on the economic crisis, yet I’ve remained quite optimistic about America’s future.  Maybe that’s because my parents raised me to be an optimist, and maybe its just because I refuse to think that this amazing country can’s overcome anything we throw at it.

My favorite optimistic article on the current crisis and why America will come out of the other sied of this as an even stronger nation is one I read on Seeking Alpha today.  The article is the 10 reasons the author is glad he is doing business in America, and I agree with all 10 of the reasons.

Web 2.0 is dead… Long Live Revenue 2.0

As the U.S. settles into what some predict is Depression 2.0, we are at the end of Web 2.0.  Not Web 2.0 the technology – that’s still just at its beginning – but the term Web 2.0 because I think it will be forever tied to the idea of a second wave of companies with no way of making money.  Web 2.0 means much more than “free web sites” as many people out of the industry believe.  It encompasses user generated content, using the web as a platform, collaborative software, web sites communicating with each other (mashups and more), etc.   I hope that as we start to take the web to the next phase, we forget catchy names… lets just worry about the one thing that businesses have worried about since the beginning of commerce…revenue.

You get no points for getting to the 1 yard line

In football, it goes without saying that unless the ball makes it to the endzone, in your hands, then you don’t get any points.  In sales, we have to remember that we also cannot celebrate until the sale is done.

It takes a lot of effort to prospect, pitch, and ultimately get someone to agree to buy your software.  It often takes a significant amount of more time to get through the contract negotiations.  But – none of this is a sale.  A sale is only a sale once the money is in the bank.

“Doc… It’s Marty… You gotta get me back to 1985!”

1985 was a great year for me.

  • I started high school
  • I met my wife (although we didn’t start dating until 11 years later)
  • I was tapped by the Superintendent of Schools to design and build a computer system to run the schools grades, scheduling, rank, attendance, etc.
  • I started my first real entrepreneurial endeavor of some random computer consulting, training, and repair for some side dollars
  • Became one of the lead drummers in the school drum-core.
Close Bitnami banner