February 14th, 2017
by Nick Boustead
When I started my sales career, I was a rabid amoeba; trying to absorb as much sales knowledge as I could. Early on, I educated myself with some excellent sales “classics” such as The Sales Development Playbook by Trish Bertuzzi and Smart Calling by Art Sobczak before moving on to some pieces that were not as traditional. I have found these less mainstream sales books give helpful insights not often discovered in their more straightforward counterparts. Those books certainly have a critical place in your sales education journey, but if you’re ready to step outside the flooded world of traditional sales literature, the books below offer just the edge someone who conducts outbound sales prospecting needs to outpace the competition.
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
The premise of this book is that author Chris Voss was once a lead negotiator for the FBI. In this role, Voss dealt directly with a variety of hostage and kidnapping situations across the globe. If you think negotiating is tough in sales, wait until you try it with lives hanging in the balance. Voss takes particular aim at the common tactic of “splitting the difference” in a negotiation, as someone negotiating with four hostages at risk can’t just say “let’s meet in the middle and just give two back.” This book is a great read for anyone interested in upping their negotiation game, but for my purposes here, I’ve cherry-picked a couple of Voss’ ideas that would be most helpful on a cold call or introductory meeting.
Inside Sales Opinions, Inside Sales Training
January 10th, 2017
by Kevin Harris
memoryBlue recently sat down with a number of former employees to discuss how their careers have evolved following their time with us. The goal of these Q & A sessions was to uncover their viewpoints on everything from sales as a profession to their own personal career highlights. It is our pleasure to share their perspectives and valuable professional sales experiences here.
Name: Keith Hoffmann
Role: Director, Enterprise Strategic Accounts
Company: ProcessMAP Corporation
Tell us about your current role at ProcessMAP.
I am the Director of Enterprise-level Strategic Accounts at ProcessMAP Corporation. As such, my responsibilities include everything from initial sales cold calls all the way through exploratory/discovery sales cycle stages where we’re evaluating what software the prospect is currently utilizing in order to determine the strength of the opportunity for a potential sale. Ultimately, when there’s a significant need and the sales cycle progresses, I’m involved in providing an initial demonstration, a deeper dive demonstration and the completion of an official RFP. Once I’m announced as the official selected vendor, the real fun begins with a Statement of Work, contractual negotiations, legal department sign-off and all of the other pieces that constitute the closing of a deal.
I’m involved in executing all stages of this sales process. At the outset, I’m working to determine if this is a key decision-maker with the highest level of authority and identify if there’s a compelling need that would drive a natural continuation into the actual procurement process. The software we offer is in the six to seven figure range from a cost standpoint and the sales cycle is anywhere from 12 to 36 months long, so these are significant decisions and a very complex sales process. As a result, I’m very cautious about who I bring into my pipeline because every opportunity needs a significant level of attention.
Once the deal is truly finalized, I remain involved in the handoff to the implementation team because what we sell (SaaS-oriented) is module-based. We offer about 25 different solutions (out of the box), and so if a customer has only selected a segmented portion of these solutions, my role continues as we work to upsell them on additional options and expand the business relationship in the future.
Sales Career Advice, Uncategorized
December 13th, 2016
by Joey Sorenson
I was not born a natural salesman. At one year (and several hit quotas) into my sales career, that may strike some of my peers as surprising, but I can vouch for its veracity. The success I’ve seen in my current sales job at memoryBlue has reinforced a long-held belief on my part: success in nearly any task in life very rarely comes off of raw talent or charm alone (though a bit of that certainly can’t hurt if you’ve got it). Instead, it flows naturally as a byproduct of having systems in place to maximize whatever measure of talent one does have.
If this is beginning to sound like a cliché, commencement-style exhortation on the merits of hard-work, fear not (my goal is quite the contrary, in fact). For as the great personal productivity guru David Allen wrote in a commendable recent blog post, “I am the laziest person I’ve ever met… Perhaps it is equally true that I’m the most efficient person I’ve ever met.”