MIT Sales Bootcamp II


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MIT Sales Bootcamp II

  1. 1. SALES BOOT CAMP<br />Kent SummersMIT Venture Mentoring Service<br />June 2010<br />
  2. 2. Sales Bootcamp Objectives<br />Provide MIT entrepreneurs with “block and tackle” education in sales fundamentals<br />Basic concepts, mechanics, vocabulary, tips, tricks and traps, etc.<br />Practical “how to” knowledge and advise you can put into practice to land your first few customers – not theory<br />Incorporate “Sales Thinking” into your company culture<br />Sales conversant = increased likelihood of initial customer sales<br />Acquire customers and revenue — everything else a distant 3rd<br />Provide a solid foundation from which MIT entrepreneurs can learn more from and interact with experienced sales people<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  3. 3. <ul><li>25 years: software company start-ups and investment banking
  4. 4. Expertise in sales, marketing, strategic alliances, mergers & acquisitions, private placements
  5. 5. Started, financed and sold three software companies in Boston; advised on the sale of over a dozen software companies
  6. 6. Co-founding member W3C Technical Advisory Board (MIT 1994), past Director X Consortium and OASIS
  7. 7. Currently Managing Partner, PCA
  8. 8. MIT VMS Mentor (2002)
  9. 9. 25 years: professional sales
  10. 10. Started sales career with Eastman Kodak (10 years)
  11. 11. VP Sales, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), managed 100+ sales and technical personnel, with $80+ million in annual sales
  12. 12. Last ten years: start-up sales VP: Formation Systems, Emptoris, Open Ratings …
  13. 13. Currently VP Global Sales at CIMTEK (2006)</li></ul>VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />Sales Boot Camp Speakers<br />Kent Summers<br />Jim Noschese<br />
  14. 14. Sales Bootcamp Contributors<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />Marc Corbacho<br />Al Stefan<br />Mark Suster<br /><ul><li>25 year career in high-tech Sales and Marketing
  15. 15. Lectures on how to create positive and sustainable sales change within organizations
  16. 16. Currently VP Sales Americas, Mentor Graphics
  17. 17. 20 years enterprise software sales to Fortune 1000
  18. 18. All start-ups: Veracode, EnterpriseDB, OAT Systems, Blazent, webMethods, EBT
  19. 19. Currently Senior Account Executive, Global 360
  20. 20. 20 years in high-tech
  21. 21. VP Sales:
  22. 22. CEO Koral
  23. 23. CEO BuildOnline
  24. 24. Currently General Partner at GRP Partners</li></li></ul><li>Sales Boot Camp Agenda<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />SalesMechanics<br />Basic SalesConcepts<br />ClosingDeals<br />SalesOrganization<br /><ul><li>The Sales Toolkit
  25. 25. Customer Profiling
  26. 26. The Sales Funnel
  27. 27. How to Qualify Customers
  28. 28. How to Work the Pipeline
  29. 29. Marketing vs. Sales
  30. 30. The Sales Role
  31. 31. Hunting vs. Farming
  32. 32. Direct vs. Channel Sales
  33. 33. Who are Buyers?
  34. 34. Why People Buy
  35. 35. How People Buy
  36. 36. Personalities You Will Run Into
  37. 37. Closing Tips, Traps, and Techniques
  38. 38. Sales Focus
  39. 39. Sales Rep Characteristics
  40. 40. Building a Sales Culture</li></li></ul><li>VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  41. 41. Basic Sales Concepts<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />Marketing Vs. Sales<br />The Sales Function<br />Hunting vs. Farming<br />Direct vs. Channel Sales<br />
  42. 42. Marketing vs. Sales Functions<br />The Marketing role — pre-sales “demand generation”<br />Tools: messaging, collateral, whitepapers, PPTs, …<br />Events: seminars, webinars, tradeshows …<br />Leads: lists, outbound campaigns, website (SEO and PPC) …<br />Air cover for Sales: advertising, PR, analysts, blogs …<br />The Sales role — acquire new customers<br />Leverage marketing resources to: manage the pipeline + orchestrate team resources to close deals and generate revenue<br />Continuous Marketing and Sales collaboration is key<br />Sales knowledge of customer needs/issues MUST drive rapid changes to Marketing material (E.g. positioning, value prop, pricing, etc.)<br />With start-ups, the same person often wears both hats<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  43. 43. The Sales Function<br />Direct Sales = a contact sport<br />Develop customers thru a series of pre-defined actions/steps<br />Requires knowledge, people skills, organization and integrity<br />Requires a “stand up and dust yourself off” mentality<br />Manage new customer engagement activities<br />Qualify  Educate  Build Confidence/Trust  Gain Commitment<br />Orchestrate external and internal needs<br />Capture, communicate and coordinate<br />Active team participation and contribution is key to the sales process<br />Sales activity/issues must be 100% transparent to the team<br />Generate Revenue<br />Directly accountable for revenue forecasting and performance<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  44. 44. The Sales Function<br />Early-stage Selling<br />De-bug the offering + de-bug people’s objections to spending money (simultaneously and at the same time!)<br />Bring market intelligence back to the team<br />Key enhancements and differentiators + weaknesses and gaps that impede customer adoption<br />Eliminate impediments to early-stage sales occurs incrementally<br />Sales-Marketing adjustments must occur in real-time<br />Manage internal and external expectations<br />Internal: sales are twice as long, one-half the return (on a good day)<br />External: offering capabilities/maturity road-map (reality + vision)<br />Recognize (and be true to) what you don’t know/don’t have<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  45. 45. The Sales Function<br />#1 start-up goal: secure your “anchor customer”<br />Huge difference between zero and 1 paying customer<br />Anchor customer: good fit + recognizable to your target market<br />Nurture/over-service first (few) customers, so they realize the value of your offering and are fully referenceable<br />Give your stuff away if you must — for a quid pro quo<br />Sales Economics: revenue – (cost-of-sales) = margin<br />Align cost-of-sales with offering price point — you can generate decent revenue, and still go out of business!<br />Does your price-point support direct sales? Indirect sales? Web sales?<br />Direct Sales is your most expensive investment, in terms of both real and opportunity costs<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  46. 46. Hunting vs. Farming<br />Hunting: acquiring new customers<br />Bear hunting, deer hunting, hunting for pheasant, etc.<br />The larger the animal… the bigger the gun … the longer the sales cycle … the higher the risk/reward<br />You can fill up the company dinner pot with enough pheasant!<br />Equal opportunity hunting — good for cash flow<br />Farming: selling into existing (installed) customer base<br />Up-selling and cross-selling (next slide)<br />All start-ups are hunters!<br />Balancing sales focus between hunting and farming is a good problem; an opportunity that must be earned<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  47. 47. Lone Hunter<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />Hunter Support<br />Team Approach<br />Cashflow<br />Cashflow<br /><ul><li>Hunter finds the game
  48. 48. Hunter shoots game
  49. 49. Hunter dresses game and prepares the meal
  50. 50. Everyone eats
  51. 51. Hunting begins again
  52. 52. Marketing finds the lead
  53. 53. Sales closes the deal
  54. 54. Engineering delivers the solution
  55. 55. Everyone eats
  56. 56. Support cleans up</li></li></ul><li>Farming: Up-selling and Cross-selling<br />Existing customers are your best buyers<br />Confidence and trust already established<br />You are already in their accounts payables system!<br />Up-selling<br />Following an initial sale, selling complementary offerings to the same buyer e.g. additional licenses, new modules, value-add services<br />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?<br />Cross-selling<br />Selling the same offering to a different buyer in the same organization aka “going sideways”<br />Key to cross-selling: Is the value-prop well established? What are your referral incentives?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  57. 57. Direct vs. Channel Sales<br />Channel Sales: engaging 3rd-parties to market and sell your offering<br />Extends your sales reach without expensive “feet on the street”<br />Works when the proper resources and incentives are in place<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  58. 58. Why Channels vs. Direct Sales?<br />Does your price point doesn’t support a direct sales model?<br />What do your margins look like after $200-250K in sales compensation?<br />Adds instant credibility to your Start-up<br />If it’s good enough for <Big Name Here>, it must be safe for me<br />Gives your Customer a bigger neck to throttle<br />Expand addressable market without adding to headcount<br />If your offering can support a direct sales model, it can support a channel model too<br />Not Channel or Direct Sales, but Channel plus Direct Sales<br />Many important things you need to consider before pursuing a Channel sales strategy<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  59. 59. Are Channel Sales Viable for a Start-up?<br />Hotdogs and mustard — Are there 3rd-party products/services that provide a natural fit with your offering?<br />Ideally, a partner that lends a great deal of credibility to your start-up?<br />Pet Shop Boys: “I got the brains, you got the looks, let’s make lots of $”<br />Does your product/service fill an important gap in a 3rd-party offering?<br />More for partner to sell, fills a me-too or competitive differentiator, …?<br />Are there market opportunities outside your company resources and/or expertise?<br />Vertical markets, a different buyer profile, different geography, …<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  60. 60. Channel Sales Types<br />Start with: where are your target customers, and from whom do they already buy?<br />The ability to leverage another company’s location, skills, complementary products, services, existing customer relationships?<br />Distributor — move lots of products from point A to point B<br />OEM — embed product A inside product B (royalties)<br />VAR (Value Add Reseller) — sell vendor products + add incremental value (50% discount)<br />SI (System Integrator) — join products A, B and C together to form a more complete solution<br />Web — buying hubs, directories, partner zones, etc.<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  61. 61. Sales Channels Rules-of-Thumb<br />Best pursued after direct sales and the ‘recipe to revenue’ is established<br />Viable for both product and service offerings, but service + service rarely mix<br />Explore potential business synergies & conflicts early!<br />Effective way to test a different business model without cannibalizing direct sales<br />Typically developed through the “Biz Dev” role<br />Your objective: get from Biz Dev to their marketing machine, and eventually to their Sales Reps<br />Key: how does the sale of your product/service meet their sales quota?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  62. 62. Sales Channels Rules-of-Thumb<br />Understand the channel partner’s strengths and weaknesses<br />How does your product / service help them sell more of their core product (a sure recipe for you to get more sales).<br />Channel conflict: regional, market segments, direct sales<br />If you don’t create conflict, you’re not trying hard enough!<br />Channels: more expensive to start up, take longer to develop, but can pay off nicely over time<br />Revenue fly-wheel with low cost of sales<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  63. 63. Sales Channels Rules-of-Thumb<br />Limit your number of sales channel partners<br />They will not sell on their own – they require even more training and nurturing than your in-house sales reps do<br />Best way to develop a new channel: put a new customer in their lap<br />Imagine that you are selling into IBM, and you request they sign the Master Services Agreement with your partner, Intuit?<br />Huge difference between channel partners that look good for your PR and on blogs, and channels that look good in your bank account!<br />Don’t confuse the two<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  64. 64. Sales Channels Rules-of-Thumb<br />The value of Biz Dev is over-rated<br />10% of the work is getting to a signed channel partner contract<br />The real work (and where the $$ is) is gained thru channel development<br />Channel value = getting beyond their biz dev person and getting to know actual sales reps, sales engineers and professional services staff<br />Resist the temptation to be Stingy<br />You did all the work, why share huge margin w/your partner?<br />Channel sales will cost you margin, but 100% of no sale = nothing<br />This the definition of “investment”<br />Also the definition of “Penny wise, pound foolish”<br />Channel partner success<br />80% of start-ups fail at channel development<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  65. 65. Channel Sales Mechanics<br />Often begins with aligning founder and management visions, then onto biz dev, then into marketing and sales<br />Marketing material needs to be “repurposeable”<br />Channel Development and Sales Training the keys to $$<br />Your support resources are now “Tier II”<br />Channel partner Ts & Cs often require exclusivity — a good thing if performance metrics are clearly established<br />Exclusivity and discounts tied to actual revenue performance<br />Put yourself in your channel partner’s shoes…<br />“Does this make them more money?”<br />“Does this shore up a competitive weakness?”<br />“Do they have the skills and knowledge to be successful?”<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  66. 66. Direct Sales Mechanics<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />The Sales Toolkit<br />Customer Profiling<br />The Sales Funnel<br />
  67. 67. The Sales Toolkit<br />Marketing Collateral<br />Brochures, whitepapers, competitive matrix, ROI calculator, …<br />Laptop, demo/prototype, cell phone and breath mints<br />CRM application (the pipeline)<br />Salesforce, Act!, Goldmine, SugarCRM, Excel spreadsheet!<br />GoToMeeting account<br />Internet resources<br />Google, LinkedIn, Zoominfo, Jigsaw, Facebook, Yahoo Financials, …<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  68. 68. The Sales Toolkit<br />Sales communication templates = consistency + efficiency<br />Emails: introductory, meetings, demos, etc.<br />Objection handlers: standard responses to common concerns<br />Agreement templates: boilerplate + customer-specific<br />Keep communication brief and to the point<br />Leads: Lists<br />Event attendees, professional org members, etc.<br />Leads: Website SEO and PPC<br />The nature of Inbound vs. Outbound leads<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  69. 69. Target Customer Profiling<br />All new companies need to start somewhere<br />Knowing what “somewhere” is matters a great deal<br />Avoid boil the ocean strategies<br />Establish your “customer profile” — a narrowly-defined vertical market + geography + company type<br />E.g. Research labs, with 50+ staff, at Universities with significant R&D budgets, within 25 miles of Boston<br />Establish your target “buyer profile” — a job title + responsibilities + needs/concerns<br />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<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  70. 70. Target Customer Profiling<br />“Fail Fast” is most effective for start-ups<br />“Aim, Fire, Correct” works better than “Ready, Aim, Fire”<br />Trust your Instincts, but Verify with Results<br />Persistence vs. a change of course always a tough call<br />Key sales responsibility: challenge the offering based upon feedback from the marketplace<br />Whiteboards can’t talk<br />You will learn far more from people’s feedback and reactions than you will from strategy sessions<br />Don’t muddy the waters<br />Start with small targets, or existing trusted relationships if available<br />Save the best targets until after you have de-bugged your pitch<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  71. 71. The Sales Funnel aka “The Pipeline”<br />Develop & Close<br />Engage<br />Qualify<br />Sales Cycle<br />Leads<br />Suspects<br />Prospects<br />Opportunities<br />Customers<br />Triage / Attrition<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  72. 72. Working the Pipeline<br />Discrete, sequential, named steps of your sales process<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />Suspects<br />Prospects<br />Opportunities<br />Customers<br />Leads<br />Pure Contacts<br />Company + Title,<br />Email & Phone<br />Filtered Leads<br />that fit your target<br />customer profile<br />e.g. geog., marketsegment, companysize, etc.<br />Qualified SuspectsInitial contactconfirms need<br />Does the basichigh-level buyercriteria exist?<br />Prospects who areactively engagedin your salesprocess<br />Opportunities thathave signed on thedotted line<br />What is your criteriathat separates realopportunities vs.a confirmed needthat is likely to gonowhere?<br />What is yourtarget profile?<br />
  73. 73. Working the Pipeline<br />Define gating criteria for each step in the sales process<br />Terms matter (name it and frame it!) — your company lingua franca<br />Is company-specific and “fine tuned” over time <br />A tool for sales time and priority management<br />Move ‘em along, or move ‘em out!<br />Determine where best to spend your time<br />Help make best use of everyone else’s time<br />Communicate pipeline to the rest of the team<br />Sales is “need to know” … everyone on your team needs to know!<br />All hands pipeline meeting at least once/week<br />Weighted pipeline: the basis for revenue forecasting<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  74. 74. Weighted Pipeline: A Revenue Forecasting Tool<br />The difference between potential value and current value<br />Weight distribution varies, depending upon the product or service being sold, the customer … other factors<br />Think thru the stages, arrive at a model that is practical and useful to you, and validate!<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  75. 75. Sample Weighted Pipeline: $10K Offering<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Potential Value = $60,000<br />Current Weighted Value = $30,500<br />
  76. 76. Qualifying Prospective Customers<br />Are the buying signals present?<br />Need (vs. Want), immediacy, budget, management buy-in<br />Most every sale replaces something or someone!<br />Green field sales are uncommon<br />What are your prospect’s alternatives?<br />Understand them — and get them on the table early<br />The best option: are they convincing you, or are you convincing them?<br />Always pre-empt customer’s alternatives, lest they revisit you!<br />Qualifying: a process of developing a mutual plan for success<br />What’s in it for your customer… what’s in it for you?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  77. 77. Qualifying Prospective Customers<br />Qualifying new customers never stops…<br />Theprocess of determining if there is a “good fit” occurs incrementally… throughout each step of the sale process (ABQ!)<br />What is the prospective customer’s criteria for “Yes”?<br />You don’t know unless you ask<br />Is the Prospect qualified to buy?… Use proxies… they are less threatening<br />Option 1: “Hey, do you have the authority to make a decision and spend your company’s money, or are you wasting my time?”<br />Option 2: “What is your decision process, and how are you involved?”<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  78. 78. Working the Pipeline<br />Establish sales activity metrics, and track<br /># of phone calls, meetings, proposals, etc.<br />Balance sales activity throughout each stage of the funnel<br />Unbalanced activity results in choppy deal flow (roller coaster)<br />Choppy deal flow results in choppy cash flow<br />Use pipeline to focus and throttle your sales activity<br />Opportunity storage: the countertop, refrigerator, or freezer?<br />Balance and pace your sales focus / efforts appropriately<br />Establish your own Sales discipline, rhythm and tempo<br />Positive value will accumulate over time, for harvesting<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  79. 79. Top Deal Focus<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />Sales Pipeline Focus<br />Balanced Pipeline Focus<br />Cashflow<br />Cashflow<br /><ul><li>Focus exclusively on the top 2-3 deals likely to close
  80. 80. Ignore new leads
  81. 81. Ignore developing leads into opportunities
  82. 82. Ignore existing customers
  83. 83. Focus 50% of your time on the top 2-3 deals
  84. 84. Continue to qualify and develop leads
  85. 85. Continue to explore opportunities withinyour customer base</li></li></ul><li>Working the Pipeline: Important Items to Track<br />Initial contact date ->length of sales cycle?<br />Sales stage detail ->who’s on first?<br />Need / Problem -> specific hot buttons and priorities?<br />Revenue Type -> what are they paying for: product, services?<br />Revenue opportunity -> initial sale vs. follow-on potential?<br />Last touch -> is the conversation properly metered?<br />Customer Pace -> moving slow/fast, decision timing?<br />Next Step -> ball is in who’s court?<br />Buyer(s) -> who is responsible for making the decision?<br />Engagement Notes -> can you/someone else understand?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  86. 86. Pipeline Decision Making: the Dead Squirrel<br />You are driving down the highway and see a squirrel squished on the side of the road<br />Is your decision: “The squirrel is dead” Or, “Should we pull over and investigate further?”<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  87. 87. Pipeline Decision Making: the Dead Squirrel<br />In sales, you must always make decisions with an incomplete set of information<br />Especially in a Start-Up environment<br />Understand what is important and act<br />Too much analysis will cause paralyses<br />Keep moving sales opportunities through the funnel <br />Don’t belabor incomplete knowledge; trust your instincts and move on<br />The deal you’ve been working hard on is dead?<br />Don’t belabor dead deals… RIP, amen, move on<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  88. 88. Closing Deals<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br /><ul><li> Who are the Buyers?
  89. 89. Why People Buy?
  90. 90. How People Buy?
  91. 91. Buyer Personalities
  92. 92. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques</li></li></ul><li>Who Are the Buyers?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />EconomicImperatives<br />Strategic BusinessInitiatives<br /><ul><li>Globalization of R&D or Manufacturing
  93. 93. Time-to-Revenue
  94. 94. Quality or Yield initiatives
  95. 95. Cost Reduction
  96. 96. NOT: product features
  97. 97. CEO, CTO, VP Engineering
  98. 98. Access to funds
  99. 99. Accepts responsibility
  100. 100. Drives solution
  101. 101. NOT: 1st level management</li></ul>Management<br />Executive<br />Tactical Business<br />Needs<br />Operations<br /><ul><li>Centered on need / problem
  102. 102. Better, cheaper, faster value
  103. 103. NOT: an initiative</li></li></ul><li>Who Are the Buyers?<br />Occasionally, a single buyer is all you need<br />Evaluate the offering + make the decision + write the check<br />In most cases, purchasing decisions will require team buy-in<br />Recognize the difference between influencers vs. buyers<br />Recognize the difference between operational needs and responsibilities, and decision making authority<br />Most often they are in different places!<br />Know who you are talking to, and what motivates them<br />Your job — get to the right people, and drive consensus<br />Align different needs and interests<br />Do not assume they are talking with one other!<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  104. 104. Why People Buy<br />People tend to buy when the following are established:<br />Recognition of an unsolved problem or unmet need<br />ROI value of a solution is understood (vs. alternatives)<br />Confidence in your team experience + company viability<br />Offering direction/road-map<br />Trust is established with the Sales rep<br />Budget availability + company priority are aligned<br />Appeal to basic human instincts<br />FUD: what are the bad things that can/will occur if “Do Nothing” is the answer (what is the cost of indecision?)<br />Fear or greed: what is the primary motivator?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />Short-cuts arerarely helpful<br />— each is an<br />important<br />component<br />of the sale !<br />
  105. 105. How People Buy<br />Gather “how they buy” intelligence… and develop a synergy<br />Capital vs. Expense spending policy?<br />FY budget planning, allocation and replenishment cycles?<br />Coordinate your selling cycle with their buying cycle<br />What is considered a discretionary expense?<br />Requires no formal approval process<br />Niche vendor check-marks…<br />Minority-owned, transgender, HUB Zone, …<br />Can you “finance” the deal?<br />Accrued and deferred payment?<br />Ski lift tickets or cheese?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  106. 106. Personalities You Will Run Into When Selling<br />Calvin the Cowboy<br />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<br />Peter the Planner<br />All bark no bite… will research new technology until the cows come home… never made a decision in his life<br />Amy the Admin<br />Following orders… is completely clueless what is driving the deal… primary job is to collect information, not understand it<br />Barry the Baiter<br />Give me a good deal… we have lots more work for you in the future… will grind you down, then disappear<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  107. 107. Personalities You Will Run Into When Selling<br />Otto the Autocrat<br />Runs the place or thinks he does… You work for him… Will buy from you but won't attend your funeral.<br />Paul the Politician<br />What’s in it for me? Talks Power, careers, and results… Known to stretch the truth. Scratch that...he's a born liar.<br />Norman the Nay-Sayer<br />Compensates his lack of knowledge with an overly pessimistic attitude… his life sucks… his mission is to make yours suck too<br />Christina the Collaborator<br />Win/Win mentality... professional, polished, respected internally. Knows the game, plays it well… Prepared and dangerous to your margins.<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  108. 108. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques<br />Know who you are talking to!<br />Research the company/person, prior to engaging (Google, website, Linked In, Facebook, Jigsaw, etc.)<br />Perceptions often developed in the first 30 seconds!<br />Be wary of setting price expectations too early<br />The first number that comes out of your mouth tends to stick (very difficult to un-ring this bell!)<br />If “the number” is unknown, then the cost of getting to a reliable price/fee is the first thing you are selling!<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  109. 109. People have 25 different ways of saying “No”<br />24 of which are ambiguous: learn to interpret proxies for “No”<br />“No” is always your second best answer (“No… But” is better)<br />Sometimes, “No” is the best answer… beware of the “Slow No”<br />Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />And my lack of visibilityinto what mgmt reallythinks continues toastound me.<br />“Management hasdecided to reassessour priorities...”<br />“Please send meyour Literature...”<br />I remain somewherebetween confusedand unconvinced.<br />… my garbagecan needs a meal.<br />“I really like whatyou have to say, but(take your pick)...”<br />
  110. 110. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques<br />Put a price tag on everything of value<br />Common mistake is to overlook the value of ancillary services E.g. consulting, set-up, legacy conversion, training, etc.<br />You can always waive or discount service fees if necessary<br />There is no perceived value in anything you give away<br />And if there is… you are setting a poor precedent!<br />Sales “price discretion”<br />Ability to deviate from expected pricing is a necessity<br />Especially in a start-up!<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  111. 111. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques<br />Any legitimate concern your prospect has that goes unaddressed<br />A potential landmine waiting to explode<br />Ferret out concerns, lest they revisit you later!<br />Any legitimate concern you may have that goes unaddressed<br />A potential landmine waiting to explode<br />Be candid with your concerns — candor builds trust<br />Don’t be afraid to probe and challenge<br />Get comfortable with “we don’t do that” (yet)<br />A little credibility goes a long way<br />Appropriate use of email vs. phone vs. face-to-face<br />Knowing the buyer’s preference can make the difference<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  112. 112. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques<br />Appear bigger and more professional than you are!<br />Use “we” every time, not “I” — and make sure everyone on your team does too!<br />Professional website: they rarely close deals, but they are great at stopping deals from happening<br />Professional correspondence: emails, PPTs, letterhead<br />Don’t spill all of your candy in the lobby<br />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<br />Always define the “next reason” you have to talk<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  113. 113. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques<br />If “increased efficiency” is part of your value prop, try to avoid selling to the person whom you are displacing!<br />“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” -- Upton Sinclair<br />Sell at the right level in the organization<br />Establish contact with all stakeholders early in the engagement<br />Be wary of hidden agendas<br />Prevalent in highly regulated / bureaucratic markets<br />E.g. Stalking Horse RFPs, NIH Syndrome, 3 bids, more…<br />Post-mortems: share and study lost deals with your team!<br />If people were dropping dead on your front lawn, you’d probably want to know what was killing them, right?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  114. 114. Closing Tips, Traps and Techniques<br />Stick to your knitting …<br />More than anything else, your company will be defined by the customers you have, the problems you solve, the needs you fulfill<br />A bad fit is painful to both parties — be careful what you ask for<br />Selling works both ways: establish your own criteria for “Yes”<br />Turning away a prospective customer for the right reasons is good business — and it feels good!<br />When you catch yourself “selling” you probably already lost<br />Most people buy in spite of a hard sell, not because of it<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  115. 115. Closing the Deal<br />Strategic vs. Tactical priorities<br />A personal need, departmental need, or company imperative?<br />Any initiative that is below the top 2 priorities rarely happens<br />Start small!! (How do you eat an elephant?)<br />What is your low-risk “Proof-of-concept”?<br />What is your “Loss Leader”?<br />Ask: What can I uniquely do today for this customer that …. <br />Solves a real problem<br />Doesn’t involve much risk<br />Doesn’t require management budget approval, and <br />Provides a logical starting point for doing more things for this customer in the future?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  116. 116. Closing the Deal<br />Agreements/contracts<br />Keep them short & simple (they reflect what it’s like working with you)<br />Negotiable vs. non-negotiable items: know the difference, and resolve non-negotiable items up-front<br />Include “OK to market” clause in your agreement<br />An agreement/contract is a perishable item<br />Degrades in value every day a decision is not made<br />Leverage customer references<br />Your silver bullets: use to confirm a decision, not make one!<br />Know thyself<br />Positive mojo days — make those important calls!<br />There will be those days you should not be talking with anyone<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  117. 117. Closing the Deal<br />The “ROI calculator”<br />People usually tend to place more value on revenue generating and competitive advantage capabilities, more so than cost-saving capabilities<br />What is your better-faster-cheaper value proposition?<br />Isaac Newton’s 2nd Law: how powerful is your force for changing the status quo (incremental vs. obvious)?<br />Objections over Price?<br />Congratulations, you’re getting close<br />Do not undermine offering value, you can always discount<br />If you see a deal slipping away…<br />Probe and challenge!<br />Throw the blocker under the bus<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  118. 118. Closing the Deal: Negotiations<br />“No, but” is buying behavior… “Yes, but” is selling behavior<br />Don’t mix the two<br />Making decisions with limited information is a reality of selling, not Negotiating<br />Understand your customers “BATNA”<br />Best Alternative To No Agreement<br />Create a formal concession plan: “W3”<br />Where you want to end up + What you are willing to give up, defines… Where you need to start<br />Search for the “Elegant Negotiable”<br />Items that are important to one party but not as important to the other party = Value<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  119. 119. Deal Closed! What’s Next?<br />Signed agreement in-hand, what is next?<br />Facilitate new customer ‘on boarding’ process<br />Get back to your funnel, after you have ….<br />Transitioned all customer knowledge to your team (“on-boarding”)<br />Educated the customer in anything they need to know about your people, process, support, etc.<br />Identified and introduced a new POC (if possible)<br />Keep atop customer satisfaction<br />Check in from time-to-time, especially for no particular reason<br />Let the farming begin!<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  120. 120. The Sales Organization<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  121. 121. Hire Sales Athletes<br />Sales DNA<br />Competitiveness + Confidence + Discipline + Teamwork<br />Need and Drive more important than knowledge<br />Sales Athletes …<br />Know the value of training, the value of teamwork, and how to prepare<br />Have cut their teeth on losing<br />Know how to be coached, and WANT to be coached<br />Discipline is a daily nutritional requirement for sales success<br />Pipeline development, Deals in progress, Product updates, Account education, territory planning<br />All equal – “Where do I spend my time?”<br />Whether incredibly busy, or hearing an echo – sales must knowhow to focus<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  122. 122. Sales Profiles: Performance vs. Values<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />High Performance<br />but Low Values<br />High Performanceand High Values<br />We wish all our sales people <br />were in this space<br />Spend the most time with <br />these people, they need you<br />This is the most damaging <br />quadrant for your team <br />Performance<br />Low Performanceand Low Values<br />Low Performance<br />but High Values<br />Easy, get rid of them<br />Do not spend time <br />with these people<br />These people need help, <br />training or reassignment <br />to a job they can handle<br />Values<br />
  123. 123. Building A Sales Culture<br />Sales can’t sell what they don’t believe in<br />Sales people are the easiest buyers – they want to believe, they need to believe, they don’t want to BS customers<br />Passion cannot come across without knowledge<br />Show sales the landmines in your offering<br />They will steer around them<br />Continuous and committed education of the sales team<br />Stoke their passions and inherent personality traits thatmake them good at what they do<br />Burning trust with Sales has a ripple effect<br />You lose their trust + they lose the trust of the buyer… <br />Waters down sales passion and enthusiasm <br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  124. 124. Sales Cultures Have the Following Traits<br />Sales and Development regularly communicate<br />Management fosters a tight relationship and ‘success interdependency’ between the efforts/rewards of the engineers and those of sales<br />Engineers work “on the edge” of the business as opposed to “cloistered and protected”<br />Engineers learn from sales and vice versa — and share in the success of all wins and losses<br />Engineers build more relevant product with a greater sense of urgency — build for the needs of the Customer and the Market majority<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  125. 125. Sales Cultures Have the Following Traits<br />Engineers know (and feel) customer requirements<br />Business success tied to team coordination and execution<br />Customer needs and sales execution not a mystery<br />Sales and engineers learn from one another — able to develop critical business skills outside their core competency<br />80% of a sales person’s success is attributable to his/her relationship with engineering, not management<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  126. 126. VMS Sales Bootcamp<br />Every start-up — a hunt for the first customer<br />Prepare, Iterate, and Persist!<br />Establish the tools and discipline to work the pipeline<br />Sales is a team sport<br />Don’t get fancy… get focused, and establish a sales routine<br />Know your target profile + why and how they buy<br />Always know who you are talking to<br />Always start small, sell small<br />Individual customer deals do not scale, a Sales Culture does!!<br />Sales… it’s not Rocket Science!<br />(MIT caveat: unless of course it is)<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />
  127. 127. Questions, Comments, Concerns?<br />VMS Sales Boot Camp<br />SALES BOOT CAMP<br />Copy of the Slide Deck: contact Roberta McCarthy vms@MIT.EDU<br />