Day1:  BANT + GPCT + C&I = More Sales

Posted by Jack Derby on Tue, Jan 10, 2017

I still remember that Saturday training session as a young associate at Honeywell Computer Systems back-in-the-day when I learned about BANT.

Didn't know that Honeywell made computers?  Well, they didn't do it very well...but they tried to with the wrong product at the wrong time and got smoked by DEC and every other mini-computer manufacturer up and down 128, known at that time as America's Technology Highway-the precursor to Silicon Valley..."back-in-the-day".

To get into the mini computer business, Honeywell bought a young startup, CCC, in Framingham, MA, once again proving that most M&A deals never realize their potential.  Less than 10 years later, Honeywell quietly exited the market after losing hundreds of millions, while up the road in Maynard, startup DEC quickly became the largest computer company in the world for the next 15 plus years...until they also got smoked by that other little startup...Apple, and then everyone else as the lines became increasingly blurred between minis and the ultimate entry of personal computers.  Anyone remember Apple's Newton?

From back-in-the-day, you can throw in Wang, and I guess you could also do the same with Polaroid, and you would have a solid string of "Lessons Learned" of what not to do regarding proprietary, inward-focused businesses to keep in mind as you kick of your own 2017 business planning sessions later this month.

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Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization

Today is Day 1-Three Tactics for 2017 Sales Success

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Dec 23, 2016


I just pulled the plug on my ISP.  

Big firm, terrible connectivity, and consistently poor service, so I finally made the decision to pull the plug last week since I just couldn't be held hostage anymore.  Lee Drake, superb tech CEO, at his IT support firm, OS Cubed, had been telling me to do this for the years, but I didn't want to go through the pain of disruption. Finally the pain of staying connected outweighed the fear of the pain of disruption. The move happens next week, the process will be transparent, and I could not be happier. The point of this introduction is that when I looked up our background with the ISP, I discovered that we had been with them for 20 years !!  

20 years?!?

20 years ago, the World Wide Web had just been invented.  We moved to WWW using Mosaic from Arpanet where we had stuck it out for years using arcane commands, slow speeds and calling people on our landline telephone to ask if they did in fact receive the email (although it wasn't called email, we did not have html, nor did the words that came through on the screen look like any email that we know today).   

Which brings me thinking about the 2017 concept of "Day 1", and the adoption of faster change in our business, in our sales development, and in my teaching Marketing, and, with this semester, a new course in Sales.  I should have made this ISP switch five years ago, and for some wacko reason, I just stuck it out piling up one wasted hour after another.  2017 is about every day being Day 1 and initiating more rapid change that brings more value to our customers' businesses.

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Tags: sales productivity, Sales Management Best Practices, sales coach

Must Do Tactics for the Next 8 Days

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Dec 16, 2016

Here we are on the late afternoon of the 16th...

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Tags: sales management, sales management coach

Selling in December is not about you or your price!

Posted by Jack Derby on Wed, Dec 07, 2016

There's no Black Friday in B2B Selling!

The fact that the holiday season kicks of with Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday, and then just plain old "Discount Day" all day, every day between now and the 24th, doesn't mean that the same should hold true for those of us in B2B sales.  Sure, everyone on both sides of the table knows that we have quotas to meet, and, in most cases, the pressure's on to hit plan in the next 17 days.  BTW, "17" is really expanding the days to the max, and not taking into consideration the reality of kids' vacations and that large numbers of decision makers are going to be skiing during many of those precious days between Christmas and New Year's.   

Pressure, Pressure, Pressure!

My partners and I live in the real world, and we're also under the gun to hit our sales targets, but, as execs running lots of companies and a wide variety of sales groups, we know that most discounts are not necessary!  In fact, the data shows that typically good salespeople do abnormal things at this time of year and give out discounts just because they think incorrectly that everyone is price buying, and that they need to do the same.  

The reality is that it's just not true, and, in fact, it only becomes true, when we don't focus on selling value, and instead we start our sales processes at the bottom rung of the ladder with non-decision makers who push us to talk about price rather than focusing on the larger business case of explaining financial value.

Price Selling" is at the very bottom rung of The Selling Ladder- "The Approved Vendor" Rung.  

  • Even in the heat of the next 16 days, our total focus and actual rally cry needs to be totally driven to the top two rungs of The Selling Ladder-"The Strategic Adviser" and the Trusted Partner" rungs.

    That's where the money is, so we must have absolute focus on the financial value to our prospects and customers and not on the price.  

A bit of help on pricing to value comes from our friends at Hubspot in one of their posts this week

1) Don’t Talk About Price Right Away
HubSpot Research found nearly six in 10 prospects want to discuss pricing on the very first call. But introducing cost into the conversation before establishing value can commoditize your product. This mindset hurts you and the buyer. He’s thinking about sticker price instead of ROI.

2) Highlight What Sets Your Product Apart
Once you’ve found your differentiators, figure out which resonate with each of your buyer personas. A startup employee who wears several hats will appreciate your product’s simplicity, while a corporate employee with a single function will like how customizable it is.

3) Position Your Product Strategically
Although badmouthing other companies will make you look insecure and unprofessional, you can -- and should -- ask your prospect which other vendors she’s considering. Her answer tells you how to position your product.

4 Sales Techniques to Avoid Race-to-Bottom Pricing

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-techniques-avoid-race-to-bottom-pricing#sm.0001c1niq1884crlz2t12so2nxfy5

17 DAYS

Oh, yea, did I mention "17"? Thought I did!  

The issue of a finite time now also needs to be driven by the fact that days are not 8 hour days. I mean, they could be, but in fact, we know from our buddies at Salesforce from tens of thousands of professional salespeople that sales reps aren't spending most of their time selling. In fact, reps spend an average of 64 percent of their time on non-selling tasks, including administrative and service related tasks, traveling and training.  

Okay, now do your math on just 17 days

 

 

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Tags: sales management, sales coach, sales process

Tips on the Final Presentation & Closing the Deal

Posted by Jack Derby on Wed, Nov 30, 2016

It all comes down to this..

  • The 13 week sales cycle ends a day like today
  • Final Tufts management presentations today and next Wednesday
  • Close the deals today and next week successfully, and everyone goes home with high marks

When I first started teaching Marketing at Tufts 10 years ago, I knew that I had to do something different because there was no way that I would hold the attention of 30 bright Millennials, who were not majoring in marketing, past one class, let alone 13.  So, I took best practices that I had learned from Professor Jung-Hoon Chun at MIT, and, at that time, my 10 years of teaching business planning and marketing in his mechanical engineering course, where I continue to lecture.  Those best practices provide...  

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Tags: sales coach, sales management coach, sales tools

Technology, Thanksgiving & Togetherness

Posted by Jack Derby on Thu, Nov 24, 2016

As a 7th generation Vermonter, other than my years living overseas in the Peace Corps, I've always found my way back to the Green Mountain State for the celebration of Thanksgiving. Probably not a DNA thing, since none of my relatives live here anymore, but mostly, it's a Thanksgiving tradition thing and a welcoming back of friends on the slopes of Stratton, where I've been coming every Thanksgiving ever since it opened. 

This morning's trip from the NH beach to the bustling town of Bondville, (pop. 647), known for being the oldest summer fair in Vermont, took just three hours (ayah...can't get theah from heah) which always makes me think about how technology advances have changed our Thanksgivings. 

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Tags: sales tools, entrepreneurship, thanksgiving

"What Wakes Me Up in the Middle of the Night"

Posted by Jack Derby on Tue, Nov 15, 2016


Last week was Not a time for sleep!

In addition to my two "day jobs" of running our firm in Boston and teaching at Tufts, I spent hours and hours last week preparing for and then actually voting in my quirky little NH seacoast town.

More than anything else, standing out in the 35 degree Tuesday morning cold at 8:00 AM while waiting in line and sharing free coffee and hand made pastries from the local PTA, once again, I realized that this election process is a true testament to both "The American Way",...and also why New Hampshire is lovingly labeled "The Live Free or Die State". 

 

All of this may not be perfect, but, it sure works more than the alternatives.  Both the running of the country and the running of our businesses are fueled by growth, and it's time to put the election process behind us and get back to growing our companies.  

 

 

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Tags: sales productivity, sales enablement, sales plans

Jack, I love that strategy stuff, but I'm way too busy!

Posted by Jack Derby on Thu, Nov 03, 2016

Rich Horwath, CEO of the Strategic Thinking Institute, found in his recent research that...

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Tags: sales plans, strategic planning, sales planning meetings

How to Use Marketing to Get Ahead of the Competition…While You Still Can

Posted by John Routhier on Tue, Nov 01, 2016

Every industry faces competition and a disruption in the market.  The wikipedia definition of disruptive innovation is, “an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leaders and alliances.”  

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Tags: marketing, marketing plans, SEO

Tufts, Sales, Students & the Spring

Posted by Jack Derby on Wed, Oct 26, 2016

About to head out to Tufts this crisp fall morning, and I'm already leaping ahead thinking about the spring, 2017 semester, and of course about Sales.

When I put this four to six month look ahead in timing into perspective, it's exactly the same process that we're right now experiencing with our customers in their 2017-2019 strategy planning and in their detailed sales and marketing tactical planning for next year.

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Tags: sales, Tufts ELS program, Tufts Gordon Institute, Tufts Marketing