Driving Demand in the US Market

Driving Demand in The US Market Doesn’t Have To Be A Pain

Well, here are some quotes from TechCEOs who sell into the US market.

 

“Our sales qualified leads from the US market are abysmally low”

 

“We used to get deals from our joint venture partner in the US. Now it has stopped”

 

“I hired direct sales team in the US. Burnt almost 300K for a year. Nothing came out of it.”

 

“Well How do I replicate the success I’ve had in South East Asia in the US market?”

 

Here is another.

“I have both marketing and inside sales team back here in Bangalore. Spending close to $10K a month on salaries. Yet no sign of revenue from the US market”.

 

Does this resonate with you?

 

We are working with a number of TechCEOs who have built stable businesses in the domestic market but are struggling to open up or grow in the US market. Some of them have invested in teams but are stuck for a long time.

 

Yes, it’s really true. The US IT & service market is projected to grow to 1.4 trillion by 2020 and growing at a clip of 6%.

 

The US enterprise and mid market businesses have invested tons of money into infrastructure, applications and platforms, business leaders are exploring multiple ways to leverage advances in cloud computing, analytics, AI/ML, edge, 5G and other technologies to build competitive advantage. Another big buyer of tech is Digital natives, Software houses and Startup sector that are in the fast innovation cycle. Overall, there are plenty of opportunities for TechCEOs to cherry pick segment and grow their business in the US.

 

At the same time, the US is one of the markets where buying cycle and journeys vary from segment to segment. The way FSI sector buys in tri-state area is way different from how ISV and tech shops buy in the Bay Area.

 

Nevertheless, there is enough space for TechCEOs based in India or Asia to come in and participate in the new era of digital growth. But there are a few challenges. I have come across TechCEOs who are struggling without a clear plan.

 

1. They might have ambitious goals in place. But I do not see a clear execution plan.

 

2. Sometimes they think they have a plan but are grossly misinformed by wrong talent.

 

3. Most importantly, there is no sales & marketing framework or system in place. Usually TechCEOs hire sales, marketing and business development talent available in the market and let them loose to hit targets. Often times, this results in failure leading to resentment and more cynicism.

 

4. Moreover, I have seen very shallow marketing and sales attempts where sellers write flimsy emails that have no context, understanding or selling arguments. It simply does not work folks.

 

5. Finally, when both time and money are lost, the TechCEOs jump in and try to do everything themselves. This is the last straw that breaks the cartwheel.

 

So how can TechCEOs overcome these challenges and still penetrate the US market?. You can do it in four ways.

 

1. Clarity and Focus – You should know your market segment, initial list of prospects, your go to market strategy and how you intend to sell and get your business upto $3M to $4M mark. Without this plan in place, you are as good as dead even before you start.

 

2. Revenue enablement – You have to shift your mindset from primitive and brutal ‘I will call and send email to death’ selling mindset to revenue planning and execution. This comprises of understanding your customer buying journey, personas, aligning go to market, leading with authority marketing, influencing CXOs and focussing on customer success.

 

3. Selling framework – It is also prudent to have a selling framework that comprises of lead generation, opportunity management or account management to break into customers with whom you already have a relationship elsewhere.

 

4. The How – Finally, the devil is in execution. Do have a quarterly plan that is backed by resources with clear roles & responsibilities and goals. We all know what cannot be measured cannot be managed.

 

Now, all of these weaknesses can be turned into strengths when you organise your thoughts, establish clarity, focus and engage the right people who know how to do it.

 

That’s exactly what we have done in putting together TechCelerate, a Revenue Acceleration program that helps TechCEOs to penetrate and grow their domestic business.

 

You see, the only way to grow your tech business in the US market, be it product or service oriented, is by following proven revenue growth frameworks. Without a proven framework, you are operating from guess work and guesslogy. You will be transactional and engage clients as if you are still in 2010.

 

Being clear about your strategy, key goals and deploying sales and marketing framework that are in alignment with what you want to achieve is very critical to achieve results. That’s the only way to scale your tech business from 3M to 5M in 18-24 months.

 

Over the past 2 years, we have used TechCelerate Revenue Acceleration framework with many mid sized tech companies who want to penetrate the US market and drive demand.

 

In TechCelerate, we understand your business, goals, develop a strategy, execution plan and install our proven AICP framework to align go to market, drive demand, accelerate sales and propagate your business. In doing this, we stay with you for a period of time, provide value added services and help bridge the revenue gap.

 

Using our frameworks, know-how and coaching, we work with your team to attract prospects, get them interested in your products and services, convert them into accounts and also make your customers sell for you. We work with you to elevate your brand, tweak go to market plan, overlay our framework to your customer buying journey, install selling capabilities to drive demand and conversions.

 

Have you stitched your strategy to a well thought execution plan that is backed by a proven sales and marketing framework?

 

 

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.

Go to Market

How to keep Go To Market Strategy simple?

I have been observing and working with company companies on how they take their product or service to market. While most have it right to a certain extent a lot can be done to make GTM slick, precise, high yielding and cost-effective.

This one diagram says it all.

Now assuming that you are not a startup and you have a product or solution that has been commercialized and is available to the public, your company can amplify one of these two areas: Sales and Marketing.
When I am working with a $20M revenue company, I still see CEOs make a mistake in not use the right GTM strategy to drive revenue. For example, hiring a high-touch, expensive sales force to sell a low-priced product can be disastrous. After this misstep, an otherwise high-potential company may fail to grow fast enough to compete or reach profitability.
Here is another chart to show more attributes that can decide your GTM strategy.

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.

8 Tech Firm Marketing Activities To Do Every Day

Technology firms marketing is now an umbrella term that encompasses a whole bunch of actions. It’s important to note that the “run-of-the-mill” marketing activities that work for any old business aren’t necessarily going to be the best fit for technology firms, however. What’s more, some technology firm marketing activities are going to be more worthwhile than others depending on your immediate goals.

Before You Get Started: Assess Your Tech Firm’s Objectives

Technology firm marketing should be executed based on what you’re trying to get the prospective client to do next.

Do they need to know simply that your business exists, or why you’re the best tech business in your domain area for them? You could even be at the point where you need the client to officially agree to working together. Here are quick summaries of common tech firm marketing objectives that technopreneurs face all the time:

  • Building Authority: Make sure prospects know you are different from other tech firms next door by presenting your point of view on both your domain area and common client issues.
  • Establishing Trust: Allow prospective clients to get to know your personal tech brand by making an introduction and revealing your personality and values.
  • Demonstrating Capabilities: Help clients realize your specialty tech areas and reassure them that you truly solve problems for your clients, in their business.
  • Asking for Referrals: Keep the business coming by asking your established, ideal clients to introduce you to other people just like them.

Depending on the maturity of your tech firm marketing strategy, you may be in a position where you need to work on all of these things at once, or just focus on a couple of areas in particular. For each of these objectives, there are some ideal marketing activities (that you can do every day, of course) that will strengthen your overall chances of success.

 

Tech Firm Marketing Activities for Meeting Your Business Objectives

Building Authority

authority-law-firm-marketing.jpg

Publish Regularly

If you want to prospective clients to identify you as the tech “expert of choice,” you’ll need to show off a little. Write down your point of view on hot technology and domain issues of the day and transfer that to a digital medium. It’s a great idea to get a blog started on your tech firm’s website, but even if you don’t have one, using LinkedIn Publishing tools is a great way to broadcast your tech business knowledge.

If writing for tech firm marketing isn’t your strong suit, try finding your voice by reading tech journals and blogs. You will get an idea.

Give prospective clients that have agreed to communications links that go directly to your resources. That way, you have more control over whether you’re reaching the right people instead of hoping that they’ll stumble across you. Just be sure to keep your contacts organized by the practice areas and topics that are most applicable to their needs.

Read More
3 Metrics

Three Metrics Technopreneurs Must Track for Success

Most Technopreneurs don’t define success. They define what success is not.

Instead of focusing on the things they can control to build the tech business they want and make the money they want, they view success as eliminating sources of stress and aggravation.

In other words, “Success is when I don’t have to do A, B and C anymore.”

Most of the Technopreneurs I talk to are in the lifestyle business. I say that without any of the negative connotations of the idea. It’s not that they want to check out, or work occasionally. They want to do meaningful work and have a comfortable life without working 100 hours per week.

This attitude or approach will not help you scale your business from $1M to $5M.

Of course, there are a few who have visions of building an empire.

In either case, you need to define what success means for you and your business before you can think about how to achieve it and measure it.

The number one metric used by Technopreneurs to measure success is, “Did I survive today?”

Not very scientific. And not very useful.

There are three core metrics that every law firm – regardless of goals, regardless of size – should be paying attention to every month.

Metric 1: Lead Flow

You could be the best Tech company in your territory (or the world), but if nobody is knocking on your door, it won’t matter. Because you won’t get paid.

Every Technopreneurs needs to meet with a certain number of qualified prospects in order to acquire a certain smaller number of clients. Without sufficient lead flow, you can’t build the business you want.

Whether you want to be a lifestyle Technopreneurs or an empire builder, you need enough lead flow to produce the right clients that help you make more money (and work less, because you can charge more with more leads coming in).

That’s why marketing is so important. Without marketing, there aren’t enough leads. Never forget that your leads today are your income tomorrow.

Your Action Plan:

1. Make lead flow a priority.

2. Find out where the good leads are coming from and develop a plan for finding more leads. (Need help? Our Tech Business Growth team can point you in the right direction:)

3. Every month, make sure you know how many leads are coming in. This should be on your score board.

Metric 2: Cash Flow

Cash is king. You can’t exist, much less grow your business unless you have cash flow.

If you’re always in a cash crunch, always running up the “down” escalator, you’ll just get exhausted and burn out.

You need to watch your cash flow. Know your expenses. Know how much you have to pay and when. Fix your collections issues by right-sizing your retainers, and not taking on clients who’ll stiff you later.

Create a plan for increasing cash on hand to minimize or eliminate outstanding invoices. You can have a multimillion dollar firm and go bankrupt if you don’t have a handle on cash flow. Fix it.

Your Action Plan:

1. Understand exactly what you’re spending each month

2. Create a forecast for when you’ll get paid, what. Update it monthly and look for trends

3. Use this to adjust your strategy for pricing and collecting retainers

4. Set a target for cash on hand, and use these levers to get there within a year

Metric 3: Average deal size

One of the most underused strategies for creating a tech business, whether you want to increase profits or free time, is the deal size lever. Maintaining the right average deal size (and margins) is critical to making money by working less.

Most Technopreneurs don’t charge more or push for high value/margin deals because of fear … fear of losing business because they increase their rates. They end up playing the commodity game.

They seldom understand the difference between market expansion and market share game. Let alone market position.

This is the result of an imaginary competition among tech businesses. In reality, increasing your charge rate is much easier than you think. The reality is much different. If you’re afraid of increasing your fees, it means that you’re fishing in the wrong pond.

By raising them you’ll immediately start getting rid of bad-fit clients, and signaling to premium-paying clients that you aren’t a commodity.

I’ve written on this extensively elsewhere, but the bottom line is this: the biggest barrier to increasing fees is YOU, not the clients.

Your Action Plan:

1. Make a decision not to compete on price. Now promise yourself. Write it down. It sounds trivial, but it’s not. Until you truly decide and take action on it, it’ll be a vague idea. Or, you’ll back off at the first sign of resistance from a cheap prospect (when the right answer is, “next please”).

2. Commit to finding premium-paying clients (markets). Create a marketing plan to find them (again, our Business Growth team can help you with this if you’re unsure where to start).

3. Set targets for you average fee in 90 days, 180 days, and next year

4. Track your average deal size (and margins) every month. Are you on target?

All Three Metrics Work Together

If your lead flow is strong, you’ll have the confidence to ask for money upfront.

If you have more money up front, you have better cash flow, and you’ll have the confidence to increase your charge rate (and tweak pricing).

Even if you have very few leads, terrible cash flow and a low average fee, you can still achieve your goals. Start paying attention to all three metrics – and commit to improving all three metrics – and you’ll step onto the up escalator.

 

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P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.  Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.  Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3   Join our Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action and grow. Best Wishes.

Top 4 Sales Challenges in Mid Size Technology Firms

Reading time 4 mins. If you are a CEO or entrepreneur of a mid-sized technology firm, this article is for you.

Well, here are some interesting facts from the field.

I met a tech entrepreneur with USD 20 million in revenue loose USD 4 million in a bad channel selection decision! This mistake hit him deep and will take a long time before it leaves his psyche!!

Met another CEO of a mid-sized cloud technology firm not have any faith in his sales team. Sales team comprised of freshers and seniors who were demonstrating deep insecurities on one side and lack of capability on the other.

So how do we define sales challenges of a mid-sized technology company?

Should we categorize it as people, competency and process issue? Or as something else?

To begin with, Mid-sized technology firms come in many shapes and sizes. Some are old players (survived for 10+ years), some are family businesses, and some are relatively new entrants in their field (eg: born in the cloud service providers).

Based on what I have observed in the field let me classify the challenges into 5 types:

 

1. People Challenges

In most of the small to mid-sized tech firms, business is usually driven by one of two lone wolf superstars.

Sometimes, it’s the owner himself or herself drives sales. He or she generates business through sheer determination and drive. He is the key account manager, mainly aware of all major deals. This star is not just great at selling he is great at ensuring customer orders are serviced and is also probably the best in sales operations. The sales success of the business is synonymous with the great sales person the sales superstar is.

In other cases, the entrepreneur is the domain expert and relies on lone wolves to run sales. This is far more dangerous as the entrepreneur has less control over customers and will have to be always on his toes to watch what is happening in the field.

Mid-sized tech businesses usually have a problem in retaining great sales talent. Due to lack of a clear plan to attract and build great sales people, they are mostly training ground for many salespeople before they move to greener pastures.

Over time, the company becomes gets into a vicious cycle of hiring and losing salespeople.

Both these situations are not scalable and unfortunately any small to mid-sized business has to go through this phase. Well, here are a few ways in which this situation can be de-risked and managed.

  1. Find a way to systematize sales process. Without a process that can be monitored and managed, it is difficult to have a handle on the sales cycle.
  2. The entrepreneur should definitely understand selling and should be comfortable about selling cycles though he or she may not be responsible for sales function. It is highly recommended that the leader sit in key sales meetings and understand to interpret sales KPIs such as leading and lagging indicators.
  3. The leader should plan to put together a people plan where there is enough control in on-boarding new sellers and get them to be productive as soon as possible. This is so important as in selling time to revenue is the key.
  4. If there are still struggles, hire a company like Agility Nexus that specializes in installing a sales system in your company. Paying for this services so worth it.

 

2. Go to Market Issues

Selling a $20/user/month SaaS product is lot different from selling a $50,000 Salesforce Automation services.

It’s foolish to travel across the country for an in-person demonstration to sell a $20/user SaaS product! Likewise, it’s foolish to expect an Enterprise client to commit to a $50,000 platform by simply visiting your website and entering their credit card details.

Clearly, each of these has a different Go To Market approach for which for which the ‘Customer Acquisition Cost‘ (CAC) has to fall in line with the revenue it generates.

Depending on CAC, sales models can range from freemium, web sales, online sales, inbound selling, channel selling, outbound centric selling to direct field sales force sales.

Getting this mix is so important to reach the market. If the leader makes a mistake in GTM then the business burns cash and is set back by few quarters.

Let’s see how this can be mitigated?

  1. Come out with a well defined GTM strategy for your product and market.
  2. Structure your selling team in line with your GTM strategy.
  3. Structure your selling approach and selling cost in line with your revenue strategy.
  4. Structure sales compensation in line with your GTM strategy.
  5. Choose and apply the right prospecting process that is line with your GTM approach.
  6. Tweak your product prices in line with your GTM approach.
  7. If you need help in any of these areas, do seek help from a company, say Agility Nexus, that is focussed on helping you accelerate sales and shorten time to revenue.

3. Sales Process Challenges

I asked on of the mid-sized tech CEOs as to if he has a sales methodology or process to guide a sale?

Pat came the answer. “We have installed Salesforce CRM”.

Many mid-sized companies have implemented a CRM system like Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce or Hubspot and think that they have a sales process! This is absolutely a wrong assumption.

Even in mature mid-sized firms, there is a lack of awareness as to how their ideal customers buy stuff! A lot is left to chance. While a good 40% are focussed the rest of them still follow ‘spray and pray’ approach when it comes to a selling process.

Any selling process should begin with an understanding of how your customers buy. You have to know what’s most important to them, how they evaluate new products and services, how and when they allocate budget, who needs to be involved, how decision are made, how terms and deals are negotiated, etc.

Knowing how the customer buys gives you the ability to map your sales process with the buying process of the prospects.

Let’s see how your sales process can be aligned to speed up ‘time to revenue’?

  1. Understand who your ideal customer and buyer persona is?
  2. Understand how they buy? What steps do they take before they are willing to spend money?
  3. This includes how they evaluate new products and services, how and when they allocate budget, who needs to be involved, how decision are made, how terms and deals are negotiated, etc.
  4. Now design a sales process in any CRM system in line with your customer buying process with right gates to check deal progress.
  5. If you have doubts about establishing this, do give us a call. We might be able to help you.

 

4. Sales Competency Challenges

Finally, mid-sized technology companies should realize that the way customers want to be engaged by sellers (or selling cycle) has changed a lot in 2018.

With customers having more control over the sales process than ever before, salespeople must be able to engage them at every point in the buying cycle.

This reality is reflected in survey responses that identified several stages where first interactions with customers can take place: the prospecting stage, when identifying customer needs, when forming product or service solutions, when delivering the pitch, when closing the sale, and even during the follow-up stage.

The results suggest that salespeople must be skilled at both identifying a customer’s stage in the sales cycle and effectively engaging customers at every stage. They need to possess the sales competencies to establish rapport, initiate a dialogue, understand customer needs, position the solution, negotiate and close, and maintain the relationship.

Only by leveraging these competencies can salespeople move the customer from one stage to the next.

This is where training and coaching your salespeople to be precise and productive becomes very important.

If you don’t train, you don’t gain.

 

Let’s see how you can make your sales team effective and get results:

  1. Tailor the right training program for them to lift their game. It should be a targetted intervention led by a trainer from the industry who understands the skills needed to get the job done. Generic training won’t cut the bill.
  2. Further sellers should be coached over a period of time, say a quarter, to correct their mistakes and sharpen their skills to engage clients and win deals.
  3. If you don’t have the in-house capability and need someone from the technology industry with experience in training hundreds of technology sellers, click on the banner below.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions in each of these topics, do give us a shout. We are a full cycle sales company that helps mid-sized technology companies simplify selling and win more deals.

Happy selling.

 

Is Your Sales Team Bridging The Value Gap?

If you are a sales leader, I am sure you are hearing a lot of these from your sellers right now.

“Clients are indecisive. They can’t make up their mind. They are not ready for cloud”.

“I have qualified the deal but client stakeholders are not moving the opportunity. Analytics is not top priority”.

“I thought they wanted sales force automation. Got the right signals. But now it’s dragging beyond reasons I can’t fathom”.

I often hear salespeople and sales leaders express their frustration with not getting deals closed or their inability to get prospects to move through the sales cycle.

Deals get stuck for lots of reasons, one of the big ones is because no one is finding the value gap or measuring the gap. If clients are not able to experience the ‘value gap‘ between the place they currently are and the place they want to go, there is no incentive for a change.

It does not matter if you are selling Analytics, a new transaction platform, digital stack, a version of cloud technology or state of the art Cognitive AI.

If you miss the value gap, technology is just a moot point.

The value gap influences everything. The bigger the gap the greater the return. Big gaps can also mean greater complexity, more change, and more money. The smaller the gap, the smaller the return.

Whether customers or prospects are aware or not, the gap plays a heavy role in their decision to buy or not, as well as how they buy. Do they move quickly or slowly? Do they get a lot of people involved or no one involved? The value gap can’t be ignored.

 

To identify the value gap requires a solid understanding of where the customer is today,

  • What is their current state?
  • What are the current frustrations?
  • What are they doing now?
  • Why they do them that way?
  • What the current outcomes are
  • What is the impact to the organization?
  • Who is affected

The next part is to understand where they want to go tomorrow,

  • Where do they want to go/be?
  • How should their tomorrow be?
  • What should they be doing tomorrow?
  • Why do they want to do them that way?
  • What are the new expected outcomes?
  • Whats the new impact to the organization?
  • Who benefits?

In fact, the value gap should be addressed as part of your go-to-market strategy where you clearly identify the value perception of your customer segment and incorporate in your product roadmap and marketing messages as well.

When you’re selling, your team should focus on the value gap and target the impact. The value gap is what influences how people buy. The value gap creates the baseline or the comparison from what we have to today to what we’ll have tomorrow.

Is your sales team trained to dig deep and discover value gaps? Do you zone in on value gaps in your cadence meetings? Are you finding ways to bring the value gaps and make it part of your win plans?

If not, do it right away. Else your deals will stall in the pipe and might not even move forward an inch.

 

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P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.  Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.  Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3   Join our Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action and grow. Best Wishes.

Why Poor Enablement Leads To Sales People Failing?

There has been much written and discussed on how sales people fail themselves. Totally agree. But then there is another side to the story.

Poor sales enablement by the company!

Yes! Sales people fail because their company fails them. It happens all the time. The only difference between when sales people fail themselves vs when sales people fail because of their company — the company rarely gets blamed.

Often times there is no revenue strategy that drives go to market plans, product, marketing and sales function.

I have seen these situations a lot around me. When it happens and it’s a crying shame.

Sales people are only part of a two part system to drive sales. Sales people are the tip of the spear, they are the executors and if they aren’t doing the right things, nothing is getting done. With that said, the company has a job too, and if they aren’t doing their job, it doesn’t matter how good sales is, ain’t nothing gonna happen.

Sales people fail because they company fails them and when the company fails them the isn’t doing some or all of these things;

  1. There is no solid revenue strategy and a ‘Go to Market’ plan
  2. The business model no longer fits the market
  3. Poor territory development
  4. Poor sales process and review mechanisms
  5. They don’t provide a good competitive product. In 2018, it’s all about providing business outcomes.
  6. They aren’t providing solid sales support (enablement)
  7. They don’t have a solid on boarding process
  8. They have unrealistic quotas
  9. They don’t provide adequate training
  10. The have horrible hiring practices
  11. They don’t have a sales culture through out the entire company
  12. They lack sales leadership
  13. They don’t listen to the sales people
  14. No lead development
  15. Weak sales messaging
  16. Lack of market understanding
  17. Slow product upgrades, improvements
  18. High prices
  19. Weak marketing department
  20. They micro manage
  21. No room for failure
  22. Too much room for failure (never make quota, and still have a job)
  23. Bad talent management
  24. No coaching
  25. Poor communication
  26. It’s political and bureaucratic
  27. Over zealous legal
  28. Unrealistic expectations
  29. Can’t deliver product, they can’t implement
  30. Crappy customer service
  31. Poor customer retention
  32. Not enough tools (salesforce automation, CRM’s, etc.)
  33. Don’t embrace social media
  34. Don’t recognize it’s 2018 NOT 2002!

This is one long list of ways sales people fail, because of their company.

It’s too easy to blame the sales person or the sales team for falling revenue, for poor sales results, but before we do, we need to take a good long look at the company. Is it providing the sales team with what it needs to crush it? Often times, the answer is no.

It’s time companies become accountable for sales success and failure as much as the sales individuals.

How does your company stack up?

If you want a top-notch sales organization, hire top-notch sales people AND then give them everything they need to be successful, which starts with avoiding EVERYTHING on this list.

Yes, companies CAN be the reason sales people fail.

Build Your Own Sales Process and Trust It!

Start answering these questions:

 

1. Do you have a standardised lead and opportunity management process that has been rolled-out to anyone who hunts?

2. Is your demand and opportunity management process is consistently followed by marketing and sales teams?

3. Does your demand management process align with how your buyers (segment wise) make purchase decisions?

4. Is your sales cycle length is shorter than your competitors?

5. Is your conversion and win rate is higher than your competitors? Do you know?

6. Is your average deal size is higher than your competitors? Is it growing quarter on quarter?

7. Is your Demand Management process are embedded into your CRM system and actively used by marketing and sales?

9. Are you running weekly cadence on Leading, and Lagging KPIs that determine success and/or failure?

10. Are you deploying feedback from this process to make it even more robust?

 

If you want to sell better, start creating your own, repeatable processes that will get you to your goal.

 

Just like losing weight, each one of us have to figure a way that works for us. Getting lost in umpteen weight loss plans, apps, gadgets, and recommendation is often the case with many of us. Picking one plan, one process per buying journey and staying disciplined to set of activities will definitely get you off to a good start and deliver results.

 

Improving from that place of progress is much easier than frequently flipping over to multiple approaches, processes and activities.

 

Too many TechCEOs and selling teams just get lost in a bunch of activities without a plan. They make calls. The write emails. They read books. They follow up on tasks, etc. But what is missing with most sales people is consistent, reliable, processes that increase the probability of making their numbers.

 

If you want to sell better, step back and analyse how you do what you do. Start learning to ask WHY?

  • Do you know why your customer buy from you?
  • Have you segmented your market based on how your clients buy?
  • Have you set up sales process in line with buying process?
  • Does your marketing team know how to drive demand per segment?
  • Do they have clear execution path?
  • Do your seller hunters know what to do?
  • Why do you call when you call?
  • Are they the right times?
  • Why do you write the emails you write?
  • Are they the correct emails?
  • When do you prospect vs. follow up on existing pipeline opportunities?
  • How do you manage open tasks?
  • What tools have you/do you incorporate into your daily routine.
  • Why do you use the tools you use today?
  • Why are you using the current cadence that you use?
  • What are the outcomes you expect from each process?
  • What happens if it’s not delivering?
  • How are you identifying new companies to call, or connect with?
  • How do you know when to change things up, etc.?

 

The best Tech firms people build repeatable sales processes that increase their probability of being successful.

 

Take inventory of your demand and opportunity management process and evaluate how you execute. Where is there room for improvement? How can you maximise your chance of success?

 

What things can you do, repeatedly, that will get you more opportunities, accelerate the sales cycle, increase the average deal size and more.

 

The times you are most successful is when you put a solid measurable process in place. It’s when you become an expert in “how” something can be done. When we become experts in how to do something we increase the probability of getting it done and done well.

 

Start analysing your work flows, your work processes and how you execute. Look to build effective, repeatable methods to do your job and then trust the process. Too often we underestimate the power of execution. It’s not enough to just do. We have to do it well also.

 

In our case, we have used a consistent prospecting process, set of KPIs and a solid CRM (Hubspot) to drive our sales pipeline.

 

 

We know how we will qualify and move our Subscribers to become leads and further to become sales qualified leads. We have honed our process over a period of 5 months and now we know how to go after our Ideal Customers and Prospects.

 

This has resulted in a consistent increase in our pipeline and movement towards our sales goal.

 

If you want to get better at selling, build your own processes and trust them.

 

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P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.

Good Stress Vs Bad Stress in Selling

Sellers often chase targets and try to achieve sales objectives in their job. Often they succumb to burn outs, lows and struggle to get back. Once they understand how to think about ‘thinking stress‘ they are better off in managing any situation.

In this clip, I talk about the difference between good and bad stress.

 

B4B Sales Agility Workshop at S&I Systems

It was fantastic to see sellers at S&I System make an intentional mind shift and ready to move from SLA driven features and function selling to business outcomes and experiences. In the digital era where continuous value is being created everyday, both ‘Interactive Competence‘ and ‘Value Discovery‘ are two important skills that will separate a Sales Rockstar from the average order taker.
Best wishes to the team to scale new heights and to achieve your sales objectives in 2018!