Monthly Archives: May 2014
Advice on Rapid Growth and Enterprise Sales Success from SAVO CEO, Mark O’Connell
Mark O’Connell is the President and CEO of SAVO, a fast-growth enterprise SaaS company and a strategic alliance partner of Richardson. SAVO’s technology solutions improve productivity and performance of sales organizations and salespeople. Mark has led SAVO since the fall of 2010. He graciously shares his perspective on growing a company that ranked among Deloitte’s 2013 Fast 500™ list of fastest-growing companies in North America.
Understanding Group Dynamics to Prevent a Sales Presentation Nightmare
A group of people is more than just many single persons. You have to be aware of this basic reality. Group dynamics can be quite complex. Look at set theory, studying the characteristics and interrelationships of groups. I am sure you remember this from basic math class. When you are talking with one person, you either convince the person or do not. When talking with as few as two people, you can convince them both, neither, or either one. One of them can convince the other to support you or to oppose you. The more people, the more complicated things can get. The combinations, and complications, grow geometrically (1, 2, 4, 16) rather than arithmetically (1, 2, 3, 4). Group dynamics can affect the behavior of crowds for good or for bad. People influence each other.
Don’t Let Your Written Proposal Torpedo Your Deal
What I am about to say may be an example of life being unfair. Obviously, a poorly prepared written proposal could cost you a deal. However, the most expertly prepared, well-written, catchy-reading proposal brings no guarantee of winning. To make things worse yet, an overly slick proposal might be a turn off.
Let me give an example of the third possibility, because I know that calling something “too good” sounds illogical. Take, for example, the redevelopment of a low-income housing project. Residents of the project will be represented on the committee making project decisions. Is an expensively produced proposal likely to impress them? Or, will it more likely send a message that you can’t related to them? Someone who kept in mind the human element could be more likely to win.
How Long Does it Take to Break an Old Sales Habit and Develop a New One?
In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell famously purported the notion that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to truly master something. He cited The Beatles’ early days of non-stop rehearsal and touring as an example.
In business circles, there are very few versions of The Beatles. These ranks are largely filled out by investors and innovators (think Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs). We more commonly relate to sports figures and their stories of ascent. How many drives and putts did Tiger Woods make growing up? How many hours did Michael Jordan spend taking shots and practicing lay-ups and dunks? How many swings of the bat did Hank Aaron take on his way to dethroning Babe Ruth as the home run king?
Adversarial negotiation tactics work through manipulation. These buyers use a range of pressure tactics to defeat you and get what they want. Fortunately, adversarial negotiators are easy to spot if you know what to look for. Once you recognize their tactics, they quickly lose power. Below are some common adversarial negotiation tactics you might encounter in the course of closing a sale along with some brief countermeasures.
Learning about Your Prospect — A Deep Dive for High-value Presentations
Successful business presentations are the result of careful preparation. So… do your homework.
Preparing for a business presentation starts with knowing what the client needs. This is not just asking the client what he or he wants, though that is a very good place to start. Clients today demand relevant insights tailored to their needs. Your homework will let you understand your client’s needs and objectives and let you present the right ideas in the right way. For motivation, just remember that your service or your product can probably be matched by a competitor. Looking into client needs lets you put what you offer into relevant context and lets the client know you care enough to find a way to meet their needs.
Get Ready, Because Here We Come — An Overview of Preparing for Formal Sales Presentations
Put bluntly, preparation is the first and most important element in winning more business. Without preparation, one can almost predict that you will fail.
Let’s look at one quick example: a highly successful managing director at an investment bank attributes his success to his detailed preparation. He tells his team members that they literally should know “what they (the client) had for breakfast.” Being prepared means doing your homework and learning all you can about your potential client. Being prepared means being thoroughly grounded in your ideas and your formal or draft proposal. Being prepared means knowing more than just what is on each page of a document. Preparing means learning enough to know what you are talking about.
The Why and How of Preparation for Sales Negotiations
There are probably situations where an initial sales contact seems to occur without preparation; a “meeting engagement,” as the military says. But even here, such as with a causal conversation waiting for an elevator, sales people may already have some idea of the needs of the firm whose representative they meet. They certainly should have some idea of what their company offers. What happens here is simple – you get the person’s business card, ask what they might be seeking, offer some insight, promise to get back to them soon, make note of the conversation, and get back to them . . . soon.