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MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
MIT Sales Bootcamp II
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MIT Sales Bootcamp II


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    Kent SummersMIT Venture Mentoring Service
    June 2010
  • 2. Sales Bootcamp Objectives
    Provide MIT entrepreneurs with “block and tackle” education in sales fundamentals
    Basic concepts, mechanics, vocabulary, tips, tricks and traps, etc.
    Practical “how to” knowledge and advise you can put into practice to land your first few customers – not theory
    Incorporate “Sales Thinking” into your company culture
    Sales conversant = increased likelihood of initial customer sales
    Acquire customers and revenue — everything else a distant 3rd
    Provide a solid foundation from which MIT entrepreneurs can learn more from and interact with experienced sales people
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 3.
    • 25 years: software company start-ups and investment banking
    • 4. Expertise in sales, marketing, strategic alliances, mergers & acquisitions, private placements
    • 5. Started, financed and sold three software companies in Boston; advised on the sale of over a dozen software companies
    • 6. Co-founding member W3C Technical Advisory Board (MIT 1994), past Director X Consortium and OASIS
    • 7. Currently Managing Partner, PCA
    • 8. MIT VMS Mentor (2002)
    • 9. 25 years: professional sales
    • 10. Started sales career with Eastman Kodak (10 years)
    • 11. VP Sales, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), managed 100+ sales and technical personnel, with $80+ million in annual sales
    • 12. Last ten years: start-up sales VP: Formation Systems, Emptoris, Open Ratings …
    • 13. Currently VP Global Sales at CIMTEK (2006)
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Sales Boot Camp Speakers
    Kent Summers
    Jim Noschese
  • 14. Sales Bootcamp Contributors
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Marc Corbacho
    Al Stefan
    Mark Suster
    • 25 year career in high-tech Sales and Marketing
    • 15. Lectures on how to create positive and sustainable sales change within organizations
    • 16. Currently VP Sales Americas, Mentor Graphics
    • 17. 20 years enterprise software sales to Fortune 1000
    • 18. All start-ups: Veracode, EnterpriseDB, OAT Systems, Blazent, webMethods, EBT
    • 19. Currently Senior Account Executive, Global 360
    • 20. 20 years in high-tech
    • 21. VP Sales:
    • 22. CEO Koral
    • 23. CEO BuildOnline
    • 24. Currently General Partner at GRP Partners
  • Sales Boot Camp Agenda
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Basic SalesConcepts
    • The Sales Toolkit
    • 25. Customer Profiling
    • 26. The Sales Funnel
    • 27. How to Qualify Customers
    • 28. How to Work the Pipeline
    • 29. Marketing vs. Sales
    • 30. The Sales Role
    • 31. Hunting vs. Farming
    • 32. Direct vs. Channel Sales
    • 33. Who are Buyers?
    • 34. Why People Buy
    • 35. How People Buy
    • 36. Personalities You Will Run Into
    • 37. Closing Tips, Traps, and Techniques
    • 38. Sales Focus
    • 39. Sales Rep Characteristics
    • 40. Building a Sales Culture
  • VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 41. Basic Sales Concepts
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Marketing Vs. Sales
    The Sales Function
    Hunting vs. Farming
    Direct vs. Channel Sales
  • 42. Marketing vs. Sales Functions
    The Marketing role — pre-sales “demand generation”
    Tools: messaging, collateral, whitepapers, PPTs, …
    Events: seminars, webinars, tradeshows …
    Leads: lists, outbound campaigns, website (SEO and PPC) …
    Air cover for Sales: advertising, PR, analysts, blogs …
    The Sales role — acquire new customers
    Leverage marketing resources to: manage the pipeline + orchestrate team resources to close deals and generate revenue
    Continuous Marketing and Sales collaboration is key
    Sales knowledge of customer needs/issues MUST drive rapid changes to Marketing material (E.g. positioning, value prop, pricing, etc.)
    With start-ups, the same person often wears both hats
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 43. The Sales Function
    Direct Sales = a contact sport
    Develop customers thru a series of pre-defined actions/steps
    Requires knowledge, people skills, organization and integrity
    Requires a “stand up and dust yourself off” mentality
    Manage new customer engagement activities
    Qualify  Educate  Build Confidence/Trust  Gain Commitment
    Orchestrate external and internal needs
    Capture, communicate and coordinate
    Active team participation and contribution is key to the sales process
    Sales activity/issues must be 100% transparent to the team
    Generate Revenue
    Directly accountable for revenue forecasting and performance
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 44. The Sales Function
    Early-stage Selling
    De-bug the offering + de-bug people’s objections to spending money (simultaneously and at the same time!)
    Bring market intelligence back to the team
    Key enhancements and differentiators + weaknesses and gaps that impede customer adoption
    Eliminate impediments to early-stage sales occurs incrementally
    Sales-Marketing adjustments must occur in real-time
    Manage internal and external expectations
    Internal: sales are twice as long, one-half the return (on a good day)
    External: offering capabilities/maturity road-map (reality + vision)
    Recognize (and be true to) what you don’t know/don’t have
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 45. The Sales Function
    #1 start-up goal: secure your “anchor customer”
    Huge difference between zero and 1 paying customer
    Anchor customer: good fit + recognizable to your target market
    Nurture/over-service first (few) customers, so they realize the value of your offering and are fully referenceable
    Give your stuff away if you must — for a quid pro quo
    Sales Economics: revenue – (cost-of-sales) = margin
    Align cost-of-sales with offering price point — you can generate decent revenue, and still go out of business!
    Does your price-point support direct sales? Indirect sales? Web sales?
    Direct Sales is your most expensive investment, in terms of both real and opportunity costs
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 46. Hunting vs. Farming
    Hunting: acquiring new customers
    Bear hunting, deer hunting, hunting for pheasant, etc.
    The larger the animal… the bigger the gun … the longer the sales cycle … the higher the risk/reward
    You can fill up the company dinner pot with enough pheasant!
    Equal opportunity hunting — good for cash flow
    Farming: selling into existing (installed) customer base
    Up-selling and cross-selling (next slide)
    All start-ups are hunters!
    Balancing sales focus between hunting and farming is a good problem; an opportunity that must be earned
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 47. Lone Hunter
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Hunter Support
    Team Approach
    • Hunter finds the game
    • 48. Hunter shoots game
    • 49. Hunter dresses game and prepares the meal
    • 50. Everyone eats
    • 51. Hunting begins again
    • 52. Marketing finds the lead
    • 53. Sales closes the deal
    • 54. Engineering delivers the solution
    • 55. Everyone eats
    • 56. Support cleans up
  • Farming: Up-selling and Cross-selling
    Existing customers are your best buyers
    Confidence and trust already established
    You are already in their accounts payables system!
    Following an initial sale, selling complementary offerings to the same buyer e.g. additional licenses, new modules, value-add services
    Key to up-selling: What is the minimum capabilities you can package to get “Yes” on the initial deal — but still leave room for upselling?
    Selling the same offering to a different buyer in the same organization aka “going sideways”
    Key to cross-selling: Is the value-prop well established? What are your referral incentives?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 57. Direct vs. Channel Sales
    Channel Sales: engaging 3rd-parties to market and sell your offering
    Extends your sales reach without expensive “feet on the street”
    Works when the proper resources and incentives are in place
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 58. Why Channels vs. Direct Sales?
    Does your price point doesn’t support a direct sales model?
    What do your margins look like after $200-250K in sales compensation?
    Adds instant credibility to your Start-up
    If it’s good enough for <Big Name Here>, it must be safe for me
    Gives your Customer a bigger neck to throttle
    Expand addressable market without adding to headcount
    If your offering can support a direct sales model, it can support a channel model too
    Not Channel or Direct Sales, but Channel plus Direct Sales
    Many important things you need to consider before pursuing a Channel sales strategy
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 59. Are Channel Sales Viable for a Start-up?
    Hotdogs and mustard — Are there 3rd-party products/services that provide a natural fit with your offering?
    Ideally, a partner that lends a great deal of credibility to your start-up?
    Pet Shop Boys: “I got the brains, you got the looks, let’s make lots of $”
    Does your product/service fill an important gap in a 3rd-party offering?
    More for partner to sell, fills a me-too or competitive differentiator, …?
    Are there market opportunities outside your company resources and/or expertise?
    Vertical markets, a different buyer profile, different geography, …
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 60. Channel Sales Types
    Start with: where are your target customers, and from whom do they already buy?
    The ability to leverage another company’s location, skills, complementary products, services, existing customer relationships?
    Distributor — move lots of products from point A to point B
    OEM — embed product A inside product B (royalties)
    VAR (Value Add Reseller) — sell vendor products + add incremental value (50% discount)
    SI (System Integrator) — join products A, B and C together to form a more complete solution
    Web — buying hubs, directories, partner zones, etc.
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 61. Sales Channels Rules-of-Thumb
    Best pursued after direct sales and the ‘recipe to revenue’ is established
    Viable for both product and service offerings, but service + service rarely mix
    Explore potential business synergies & conflicts early!
    Effective way to test a different business model without cannibalizing direct sales
    Typically developed through the “Biz Dev” role
    Your objective: get from Biz Dev to their marketing machine, and eventually to their Sales Reps
    Key: how does the sale of your product/service meet their sales quota?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 62. Sales Channels Rules-of-Thumb
    Understand the channel partner’s strengths and weaknesses
    How does your product / service help them sell more of their core product (a sure recipe for you to get more sales).
    Channel conflict: regional, market segments, direct sales
    If you don’t create conflict, you’re not trying hard enough!
    Channels: more expensive to start up, take longer to develop, but can pay off nicely over time
    Revenue fly-wheel with low cost of sales
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 63. Sales Channels Rules-of-Thumb
    Limit your number of sales channel partners
    They will not sell on their own – they require even more training and nurturing than your in-house sales reps do
    Best way to develop a new channel: put a new customer in their lap
    Imagine that you are selling into IBM, and you request they sign the Master Services Agreement with your partner, Intuit?
    Huge difference between channel partners that look good for your PR and on blogs, and channels that look good in your bank account!
    Don’t confuse the two
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 64. Sales Channels Rules-of-Thumb
    The value of Biz Dev is over-rated
    10% of the work is getting to a signed channel partner contract
    The real work (and where the $$ is) is gained thru channel development
    Channel value = getting beyond their biz dev person and getting to know actual sales reps, sales engineers and professional services staff
    Resist the temptation to be Stingy
    You did all the work, why share huge margin w/your partner?
    Channel sales will cost you margin, but 100% of no sale = nothing
    This the definition of “investment”
    Also the definition of “Penny wise, pound foolish”
    Channel partner success
    80% of start-ups fail at channel development
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 65. Channel Sales Mechanics
    Often begins with aligning founder and management visions, then onto biz dev, then into marketing and sales
    Marketing material needs to be “repurposeable”
    Channel Development and Sales Training the keys to $$
    Your support resources are now “Tier II”
    Channel partner Ts & Cs often require exclusivity — a good thing if performance metrics are clearly established
    Exclusivity and discounts tied to actual revenue performance
    Put yourself in your channel partner’s shoes…
    “Does this make them more money?”
    “Does this shore up a competitive weakness?”
    “Do they have the skills and knowledge to be successful?”
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 66. Direct Sales Mechanics
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    The Sales Toolkit
    Customer Profiling
    The Sales Funnel
  • 67. The Sales Toolkit
    Marketing Collateral
    Brochures, whitepapers, competitive matrix, ROI calculator, …
    Laptop, demo/prototype, cell phone and breath mints
    CRM application (the pipeline)
    Salesforce, Act!, Goldmine, SugarCRM, Excel spreadsheet!
    GoToMeeting account
    Internet resources
    Google, LinkedIn, Zoominfo, Jigsaw, Facebook, Yahoo Financials, …
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 68. The Sales Toolkit
    Sales communication templates = consistency + efficiency
    Emails: introductory, meetings, demos, etc.
    Objection handlers: standard responses to common concerns
    Agreement templates: boilerplate + customer-specific
    Keep communication brief and to the point
    Leads: Lists
    Event attendees, professional org members, etc.
    Leads: Website SEO and PPC
    The nature of Inbound vs. Outbound leads
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 69. Target Customer Profiling
    All new companies need to start somewhere
    Knowing what “somewhere” is matters a great deal
    Avoid boil the ocean strategies
    Establish your “customer profile” — a narrowly-defined vertical market + geography + company type
    E.g. Research labs, with 50+ staff, at Universities with significant R&D budgets, within 25 miles of Boston
    Establish your target “buyer profile” — a job title + responsibilities + needs/concerns
    E.g. Professor or Principal Investigator, with a need to collaborate with other labs, and/or has been burned (or has a concern) with turnover and knowledge retention
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 70. Target Customer Profiling
    “Fail Fast” is most effective for start-ups
    “Aim, Fire, Correct” works better than “Ready, Aim, Fire”
    Trust your Instincts, but Verify with Results
    Persistence vs. a change of course always a tough call
    Key sales responsibility: challenge the offering based upon feedback from the marketplace
    Whiteboards can’t talk
    You will learn far more from people’s feedback and reactions than you will from strategy sessions
    Don’t muddy the waters
    Start with small targets, or existing trusted relationships if available
    Save the best targets until after you have de-bugged your pitch
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 71. The Sales Funnel aka “The Pipeline”
    Develop & Close
    Sales Cycle
    Triage / Attrition
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 72. Working the Pipeline
    Discrete, sequential, named steps of your sales process
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Pure Contacts
    Company + Title,
    Email & Phone
    Filtered Leads
    that fit your target
    customer profile
    e.g. geog., marketsegment, companysize, etc.
    Qualified SuspectsInitial contactconfirms need
    Does the basichigh-level buyercriteria exist?
    Prospects who areactively engagedin your salesprocess
    Opportunities thathave signed on thedotted line
    What is your criteriathat separates realopportunities vs.a confirmed needthat is likely to gonowhere?
    What is yourtarget profile?
  • 73. Working the Pipeline
    Define gating criteria for each step in the sales process
    Terms matter (name it and frame it!) — your company lingua franca
    Is company-specific and “fine tuned” over time
    A tool for sales time and priority management
    Move ‘em along, or move ‘em out!
    Determine where best to spend your time
    Help make best use of everyone else’s time
    Communicate pipeline to the rest of the team
    Sales is “need to know” … everyone on your team needs to know!
    All hands pipeline meeting at least once/week
    Weighted pipeline: the basis for revenue forecasting
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 74. Weighted Pipeline: A Revenue Forecasting Tool
    The difference between potential value and current value
    Weight distribution varies, depending upon the product or service being sold, the customer … other factors
    Think thru the stages, arrive at a model that is practical and useful to you, and validate!
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 75. Sample Weighted Pipeline: $10K Offering
    VMS Sales Boot Camp

    Potential Value = $60,000
    Current Weighted Value = $30,500
  • 76. Qualifying Prospective Customers
    Are the buying signals present?
    Need (vs. Want), immediacy, budget, management buy-in
    Most every sale replaces something or someone!
    Green field sales are uncommon
    What are your prospect’s alternatives?
    Understand them — and get them on the table early
    The best option: are they convincing you, or are you convincing them?
    Always pre-empt customer’s alternatives, lest they revisit you!
    Qualifying: a process of developing a mutual plan for success
    What’s in it for your customer… what’s in it for you?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 77. Qualifying Prospective Customers
    Qualifying new customers never stops…
    Theprocess of determining if there is a “good fit” occurs incrementally… throughout each step of the sale process (ABQ!)
    What is the prospective customer’s criteria for “Yes”?
    You don’t know unless you ask
    Is the Prospect qualified to buy?… Use proxies… they are less threatening
    Option 1: “Hey, do you have the authority to make a decision and spend your company’s money, or are you wasting my time?”
    Option 2: “What is your decision process, and how are you involved?”
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 78. Working the Pipeline
    Establish sales activity metrics, and track
    # of phone calls, meetings, proposals, etc.
    Balance sales activity throughout each stage of the funnel
    Unbalanced activity results in choppy deal flow (roller coaster)
    Choppy deal flow results in choppy cash flow
    Use pipeline to focus and throttle your sales activity
    Opportunity storage: the countertop, refrigerator, or freezer?
    Balance and pace your sales focus / efforts appropriately
    Establish your own Sales discipline, rhythm and tempo
    Positive value will accumulate over time, for harvesting
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 79. Top Deal Focus
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Sales Pipeline Focus
    Balanced Pipeline Focus
    • Focus exclusively on the top 2-3 deals likely to close
    • 80. Ignore new leads
    • 81. Ignore developing leads into opportunities
    • 82. Ignore existing customers
    • 83. Focus 50% of your time on the top 2-3 deals
    • 84. Continue to qualify and develop leads
    • 85. Continue to explore opportunities withinyour customer base
  • Working the Pipeline: Important Items to Track
    Initial contact date ->length of sales cycle?
    Sales stage detail ->who’s on first?
    Need / Problem -> specific hot buttons and priorities?
    Revenue Type -> what are they paying for: product, services?
    Revenue opportunity -> initial sale vs. follow-on potential?
    Last touch -> is the conversation properly metered?
    Customer Pace -> moving slow/fast, decision timing?
    Next Step -> ball is in who’s court?
    Buyer(s) -> who is responsible for making the decision?
    Engagement Notes -> can you/someone else understand?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 86. Pipeline Decision Making: the Dead Squirrel
    You are driving down the highway and see a squirrel squished on the side of the road
    Is your decision: “The squirrel is dead” Or, “Should we pull over and investigate further?”
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 87. Pipeline Decision Making: the Dead Squirrel
    In sales, you must always make decisions with an incomplete set of information
    Especially in a Start-Up environment
    Understand what is important and act
    Too much analysis will cause paralyses
    Keep moving sales opportunities through the funnel
    Don’t belabor incomplete knowledge; trust your instincts and move on
    The deal you’ve been working hard on is dead?
    Don’t belabor dead deals… RIP, amen, move on
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 88. Closing Deals
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    • Who are the Buyers?
    • 89. Why People Buy?
    • 90. How People Buy?
    • 91. Buyer Personalities
    • 92. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques
  • Who Are the Buyers?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Strategic BusinessInitiatives
    • Globalization of R&D or Manufacturing
    • 93. Time-to-Revenue
    • 94. Quality or Yield initiatives
    • 95. Cost Reduction
    • 96. NOT: product features
    • 97. CEO, CTO, VP Engineering
    • 98. Access to funds
    • 99. Accepts responsibility
    • 100. Drives solution
    • 101. NOT: 1st level management
    Tactical Business
    • Centered on need / problem
    • 102. Better, cheaper, faster value
    • 103. NOT: an initiative
  • Who Are the Buyers?
    Occasionally, a single buyer is all you need
    Evaluate the offering + make the decision + write the check
    In most cases, purchasing decisions will require team buy-in
    Recognize the difference between influencers vs. buyers
    Recognize the difference between operational needs and responsibilities, and decision making authority
    Most often they are in different places!
    Know who you are talking to, and what motivates them
    Your job — get to the right people, and drive consensus
    Align different needs and interests
    Do not assume they are talking with one other!
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 104. Why People Buy
    People tend to buy when the following are established:
    Recognition of an unsolved problem or unmet need
    ROI value of a solution is understood (vs. alternatives)
    Confidence in your team experience + company viability
    Offering direction/road-map
    Trust is established with the Sales rep
    Budget availability + company priority are aligned
    Appeal to basic human instincts
    FUD: what are the bad things that can/will occur if “Do Nothing” is the answer (what is the cost of indecision?)
    Fear or greed: what is the primary motivator?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Short-cuts arerarely helpful
    — each is an
    of the sale !
  • 105. How People Buy
    Gather “how they buy” intelligence… and develop a synergy
    Capital vs. Expense spending policy?
    FY budget planning, allocation and replenishment cycles?
    Coordinate your selling cycle with their buying cycle
    What is considered a discretionary expense?
    Requires no formal approval process
    Niche vendor check-marks…
    Minority-owned, transgender, HUB Zone, …
    Can you “finance” the deal?
    Accrued and deferred payment?
    Ski lift tickets or cheese?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 106. Personalities You Will Run Into When Selling
    Calvin the Cowboy
    Jumps at the opportunity to tell you how big they are… shoots milk in his coffee every morning from his hip… works in a small cube
    Peter the Planner
    All bark no bite… will research new technology until the cows come home… never made a decision in his life
    Amy the Admin
    Following orders… is completely clueless what is driving the deal… primary job is to collect information, not understand it
    Barry the Baiter
    Give me a good deal… we have lots more work for you in the future… will grind you down, then disappear
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 107. Personalities You Will Run Into When Selling
    Otto the Autocrat
    Runs the place or thinks he does… You work for him… Will buy from you but won't attend your funeral.
    Paul the Politician
    What’s in it for me? Talks Power, careers, and results… Known to stretch the truth. Scratch that...he's a born liar.
    Norman the Nay-Sayer
    Compensates his lack of knowledge with an overly pessimistic attitude… his life sucks… his mission is to make yours suck too
    Christina the Collaborator
    Win/Win mentality... professional, polished, respected internally. Knows the game, plays it well… Prepared and dangerous to your margins.
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 108. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques
    Know who you are talking to!
    Research the company/person, prior to engaging (Google, website, Linked In, Facebook, Jigsaw, etc.)
    Perceptions often developed in the first 30 seconds!
    Be wary of setting price expectations too early
    The first number that comes out of your mouth tends to stick (very difficult to un-ring this bell!)
    If “the number” is unknown, then the cost of getting to a reliable price/fee is the first thing you are selling!
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 109. People have 25 different ways of saying “No”
    24 of which are ambiguous: learn to interpret proxies for “No”
    “No” is always your second best answer (“No… But” is better)
    Sometimes, “No” is the best answer… beware of the “Slow No”
    Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    And my lack of visibilityinto what mgmt reallythinks continues toastound me.
    “Management hasdecided to reassessour priorities...”
    “Please send meyour Literature...”
    I remain somewherebetween confusedand unconvinced.
    … my garbagecan needs a meal.
    “I really like whatyou have to say, but(take your pick)...”
  • 110. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques
    Put a price tag on everything of value
    Common mistake is to overlook the value of ancillary services E.g. consulting, set-up, legacy conversion, training, etc.
    You can always waive or discount service fees if necessary
    There is no perceived value in anything you give away
    And if there is… you are setting a poor precedent!
    Sales “price discretion”
    Ability to deviate from expected pricing is a necessity
    Especially in a start-up!
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 111. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques
    Any legitimate concern your prospect has that goes unaddressed
    A potential landmine waiting to explode
    Ferret out concerns, lest they revisit you later!
    Any legitimate concern you may have that goes unaddressed
    A potential landmine waiting to explode
    Be candid with your concerns — candor builds trust
    Don’t be afraid to probe and challenge
    Get comfortable with “we don’t do that” (yet)
    A little credibility goes a long way
    Appropriate use of email vs. phone vs. face-to-face
    Knowing the buyer’s preference can make the difference
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 112. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques
    Appear bigger and more professional than you are!
    Use “we” every time, not “I” — and make sure everyone on your team does too!
    Professional website: they rarely close deals, but they are great at stopping deals from happening
    Professional correspondence: emails, PPTs, letterhead
    Don’t spill all of your candy in the lobby
    Trust and confidence is established through a continuous back-and forth exchange of information — not by unloading all your information in the first meeting or two
    Always define the “next reason” you have to talk
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 113. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques
    If “increased efficiency” is part of your value prop, try to avoid selling to the person whom you are displacing!
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” -- Upton Sinclair
    Sell at the right level in the organization
    Establish contact with all stakeholders early in the engagement
    Be wary of hidden agendas
    Prevalent in highly regulated / bureaucratic markets
    E.g. Stalking Horse RFPs, NIH Syndrome, 3 bids, more…
    Post-mortems: share and study lost deals with your team!
    If people were dropping dead on your front lawn, you’d probably want to know what was killing them, right?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 114. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques
    Stick to your knitting …
    More than anything else, your company will be defined by the customers you have, the problems you solve, the needs you fulfill
    A bad fit is painful to both parties — be careful what you ask for
    Selling works both ways: establish your own criteria for “Yes”
    Turning away a prospective customer for the right reasons is good business — and it feels good!
    When you catch yourself “selling” you probably already lost
    Most people buy in spite of a hard sell, not because of it
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 115. Closing the Deal
    Strategic vs. Tactical priorities
    A personal need, departmental need, or company imperative?
    Any initiative that is below the top 2 priorities rarely happens
    Start small!! (How do you eat an elephant?)
    What is your low-risk “Proof-of-concept”?
    What is your “Loss Leader”?
    Ask: What can I uniquely do today for this customer that ….
    Solves a real problem
    Doesn’t involve much risk
    Doesn’t require management budget approval, and
    Provides a logical starting point for doing more things for this customer in the future?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 116. Closing the Deal
    Keep them short & simple (they reflect what it’s like working with you)
    Negotiable vs. non-negotiable items: know the difference, and resolve non-negotiable items up-front
    Include “OK to market” clause in your agreement
    An agreement/contract is a perishable item
    Degrades in value every day a decision is not made
    Leverage customer references
    Your silver bullets: use to confirm a decision, not make one!
    Know thyself
    Positive mojo days — make those important calls!
    There will be those days you should not be talking with anyone
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 117. Closing the Deal
    The “ROI calculator”
    People usually tend to place more value on revenue generating and competitive advantage capabilities, more so than cost-saving capabilities
    What is your better-faster-cheaper value proposition?
    Isaac Newton’s 2nd Law: how powerful is your force for changing the status quo (incremental vs. obvious)?
    Objections over Price?
    Congratulations, you’re getting close
    Do not undermine offering value, you can always discount
    If you see a deal slipping away…
    Probe and challenge!
    Throw the blocker under the bus
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 118. Closing the Deal: Negotiations
    “No, but” is buying behavior… “Yes, but” is selling behavior
    Don’t mix the two
    Making decisions with limited information is a reality of selling, not Negotiating
    Understand your customers “BATNA”
    Best Alternative To No Agreement
    Create a formal concession plan: “W3”
    Where you want to end up + What you are willing to give up, defines… Where you need to start
    Search for the “Elegant Negotiable”
    Items that are important to one party but not as important to the other party = Value
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 119. Deal Closed! What’s Next?
    Signed agreement in-hand, what is next?
    Facilitate new customer ‘on boarding’ process
    Get back to your funnel, after you have ….
    Transitioned all customer knowledge to your team (“on-boarding”)
    Educated the customer in anything they need to know about your people, process, support, etc.
    Identified and introduced a new POC (if possible)
    Keep atop customer satisfaction
    Check in from time-to-time, especially for no particular reason
    Let the farming begin!
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 120. The Sales Organization
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 121. Hire Sales Athletes
    Sales DNA
    Competitiveness + Confidence + Discipline + Teamwork
    Need and Drive more important than knowledge
    Sales Athletes …
    Know the value of training, the value of teamwork, and how to prepare
    Have cut their teeth on losing
    Know how to be coached, and WANT to be coached
    Discipline is a daily nutritional requirement for sales success
    Pipeline development, Deals in progress, Product updates, Account education, territory planning
    All equal – “Where do I spend my time?”
    Whether incredibly busy, or hearing an echo – sales must knowhow to focus
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 122. Sales Profiles: Performance vs. Values
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    High Performance
    but Low Values
    High Performanceand High Values
    We wish all our sales people
    were in this space
    Spend the most time with
    these people, they need you
    This is the most damaging
    quadrant for your team
    Low Performanceand Low Values
    Low Performance
    but High Values
    Easy, get rid of them
    Do not spend time
    with these people
    These people need help,
    training or reassignment
    to a job they can handle
  • 123. Building A Sales Culture
    Sales can’t sell what they don’t believe in
    Sales people are the easiest buyers – they want to believe, they need to believe, they don’t want to BS customers
    Passion cannot come across without knowledge
    Show sales the landmines in your offering
    They will steer around them
    Continuous and committed education of the sales team
    Stoke their passions and inherent personality traits thatmake them good at what they do
    Burning trust with Sales has a ripple effect
    You lose their trust + they lose the trust of the buyer…
    Waters down sales passion and enthusiasm
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 124. Sales Cultures Have the Following Traits
    Sales and Development regularly communicate
    Management fosters a tight relationship and ‘success interdependency’ between the efforts/rewards of the engineers and those of sales
    Engineers work “on the edge” of the business as opposed to “cloistered and protected”
    Engineers learn from sales and vice versa — and share in the success of all wins and losses
    Engineers build more relevant product with a greater sense of urgency — build for the needs of the Customer and the Market majority
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 125. Sales Cultures Have the Following Traits
    Engineers know (and feel) customer requirements
    Business success tied to team coordination and execution
    Customer needs and sales execution not a mystery
    Sales and engineers learn from one another — able to develop critical business skills outside their core competency
    80% of a sales person’s success is attributable to his/her relationship with engineering, not management
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 126. VMS Sales Bootcamp
    Every start-up — a hunt for the first customer
    Prepare, Iterate, and Persist!
    Establish the tools and discipline to work the pipeline
    Sales is a team sport
    Don’t get fancy… get focused, and establish a sales routine
    Know your target profile + why and how they buy
    Always know who you are talking to
    Always start small, sell small
    Individual customer deals do not scale, a Sales Culture does!!
    Sales… it’s not Rocket Science!
    (MIT caveat: unless of course it is)
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
  • 127. Questions, Comments, Concerns?
    VMS Sales Boot Camp
    Copy of the Slide Deck: contact Roberta McCarthy vms@MIT.EDU