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May 2009

You’re just a peddler

I was having a great discussion with a very successful entrepreneur yesterday, and as we were talking about articles he had read on this blog and with the things that I’ve been doing at QuotaCrush, he said to me,

“Mark, all this stuff you talk about is great.  Its the right message, and the right way to sell and think about sales.  However, no matter how much you talk about partnership, and solution selling – remember that most of the world still thinks of you simply as a peddler.”

Thank you, sir, may I have another


Sales, in a rough economy, is not fun.  Its hard, as you get a flood of recections, to not recall the famous paddle scene in Animal House.   As you get rejection after rejection, you have to stand up, and try to get the next sale – no matter how much losing that last sale hurt.

But… isn’t the whole point of QuotaCrush to get LESS rejections?  Indeed it is, but the facts remain that in a bad economy, no matter how good your sales process is, there are customers that just cannot get the budget for your product – regardless of how much more efficient it will make them, how much money it wil save them, or how much it will increase their own sales.

Transparancy with prospects

A few weeks ago, Josh Kopelman wrote a great post on entrepreneurs having transparancy with their board.  Within the post, he spoke about how several of his portfolio companies give him full access to their sales data so he knows where they are at any moment.  That struck me as genius – to provide the board with full access to the pipeline, and I’ve been thinking since then about a response to that – how it benefits the VP of Sales.  As I thought about it, I began thinking more deeply about transparancy in the sales process.   I realized in my own discussions with salespeople, I was advocating transparancy with prospects, and thought that instead I would write about that.

No celebrating until the deal is signed

In sales, its very easy to start celebrating the minute a deal is closed. In fact, celebration often starts once the verbal commitment is given. But, if there is one thing that experience in sales will teach you, is that you really can’t celebrate until the contract is signed – and furthermore – you really can’t celebrate until the cash is in the bank.

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