The tradeshow pitch; 30 second training guide

Best practices for your 30 second elevator pitch:

Think in terms of 3 bullet points

  1. What is the problem in the market (why does your product/service exist)?
  2. How do you solve that problem?
  3. Why is your organization unique?

If you focus on these 3 things, you will have a concise pitch delivery. Other aspects of getting your pitch down across your entire organization:

* Recording the pitch
* Components of a good pitch
* Developing a good pitch
* Testing your pitch
* Customizing your pitch
* When to give the pitch
* Common pitch mistakes
* Capturing the pitch
* Measuring the pitch for individuals
* Measuring the pitch for groups
* Coaching the pitch

Segmenting Titles to Power Account Based Marketing (ABM)

The days of succeeding with email campaigns while sending a generic message are done.  No one disagrees with this point.  Everyone sees response rates dropping.  The answer?  On this point, people in the know also agree:  The answer is segmenting your audience and sending a targeted message.  The debate approaches when discussing how to accomplish segmentation.

 


Much has been written recently on Account Based Marketing (ABM).  Simple concept: determine as many attributes you can about your target accounts. Use those attributes to pick the best companies to reach out to. Great! This IS segmentation, however, there is a brilliant opportunity here, within reach, that is being overlooked.

The opportunity is segmenting your prospects (and clients) titles to more effectively target market with them.  Again, no one disagrees that this should be done, but how is it currently being done?

Currently we see people building lists of 100’s (or more) phrases to match and segment.  Example:  “Marketing” OR “Marktg” OR “Mrktg”.  These lists get long and have some inherent flaws:

  1. The lists are NOT comprehensive.  Their will always be exceptions.  There are some amazing, talented, consultants that have their “golden list” of match phrases like this.  The problem is that you will need consultants to maintain and modify if you need changes.  Not sustainable or efficient. This is a brute force approach.
  2. If you segment on a department like Marketing, you will miss the title level, such as VP.  Conversely, if you segment on level, like VP, you miss the department.   If you try to segment on both, now you have multiple lists of 100’s of phrases that again, it grows into the 1000’s if you want it to be comprehensive.
  3. Analyzing connected relationship becomes unmanageable. For example:  Knowing that you have a VP of Marketing that influences two Directors of Marketing?  You can’t establish this connection without multiple attributes that have been pre-calculated.
  4. Having a single attribute like Title Level OR Department makes the logic crazy complex.  Trying to build a campaign that includes the “Top Marketing Contact”,  “Top Sales Contact” and “Top Operations Contact” is only a dream when you only have a single segmentation bucket.
  5. It’s not fun. Complexity should be hidden and the average campaign manager should be able to set up brilliant campaign.  Democratize it.

After 14 years of data mining and working with massive amounts of contact data, I’ll fast forward and give the answer:  If you segment on both DEPARTMENT and TITLE LEVEL, you can accomplish, I’ll say it again, brilliant, segmented, campaigns that are easy to execute.  Watch the video for a nice visual walk-through of the concepts.

A marble on the keyboard; advice to new sales reps

A marble on the keyboard; advice to new sales reps

marble on keyboard

Sales outreach is on my mind.  We are launching a new product, Capture! and today, two of our junior reps reached out to me for advice. Why? I am a phone animal.  I break call accounting systems, wear out wireless headsets and I’d blow the curve for the average rep.  I have fun on my calls and have learned,  failed,  explored and developed techniques to get 9 out of 10 call backs.

At this point in my life it is not a set of techniques, but a way of thinking.  It is now part of me. However, I wasn’t always this way.  It took years to cultivate the skills, to act with intuition, to do without thinking,  to blink.  Back to speaking of new people…

Working from home today, I got a call from Chris, a new sales representative at RingLead (for those who know me, I recently accepted the position of Acting CEO @ RingLead).  RingLead is a specialist in helping to Dedupe  Salesforce.  Chris was on speaker phone and he had another “Chris” with him.  They wanted to bounce ideas off me.  They developed a call plus email campaign.

New campaigns are not simple to execute.  You must A/B test and adjust as you work through the initial campaign.  We did a great job in recruiting and these guys were prepared. After bouncing a few ideas around, they were ready to go.  Why is a CEO spending time doing this?  In this case, I just built and delivered a new product where I am the subject matter expert (Capture!).

The knowledge needed to be transferred throughout the organization.  Besides, I am good at it and I enjoy doing it.  Eight minutes  (yes I timed it) of time spent coaching these new reps in the right direction can have tens of thousands of dollars of impact in the long run.  The ROI is there.

This is an important distinction that most organizations miss.  The manager is not necessarily the trainer, nor the coach.  I am not the manager, nor the trainer, but a few minutes of high-impact training can make huge impact if used strategically.  Write this down.

Back to my new sales guys.  Now they are ready.  In fact I can see they are making calls now.  Not 30 second calls, but four, five, eight and twenty minute calls.  This means they are engaging.  Capture is going to be big!  What 5 bits of advice did I give them?

  1. Sales is a numbers game. ok duh, Donato, no big secret there.  Everyone talks about this.
  2. Every call counts. This is less talked about.  Some dismiss this, yet they are dead wrong.
  3. Every call affects your attitude Even less talked about.  This is where the leader exceeds the manager. Managers rarely talk about this, leaders do.
  4. Attitude is everything.   No,  really.  This is where the coach exceeds the typical leader.
  5. Put a marble on your keyboard What the heck?

It is simple.  If sales is a numbers game, every call counts and affects your attitude (and attitude is everything), then you must control your attitude.  You do that by putting a marble on your keyboard.  Get it? Blog over, fat lady sings and I now I get to press “Publish” If I lost you, watch my video (I’ll explain it).

In addition to my video if you are facing reluctance in picking up the phone, my friend Connie Kadansky is the “Call Reluctance Coach”.  Her material is top quality and can be seen at:  http://exceptionalsales.com

Trade show tip: Remove fillers from your vocabulary

Trade shows.  You have 10 seconds maximum to engage and get the interest of a passer by.   Time is critical.  Time is everything.

Eliminating filler words such as “Um”,  “Ah”,  “Er” and “You know” is paramount.  It kills your presentation and will cost you the sale.

So you’ve been is sales for years and you think it’s ok?

I’ve got news for you:  When I hear constant “Um, ah, er, eh, you know” in conversation you are stamped as irrelevant.  You are an amatuer.  You’ve had some great sales months, but you are not a great sale rep.   Language and the articulation thereof is the engine that drives sales.  If your communication ability sucks time from my life,  I just don’t have time for you.  I am not alone.

I am being honest with you, right now.  You may be right out of college or have a few sales years under your belt.  Maybe you just never made the effort to improve.  You may think it is ok; your friends may talk this way and reinforce this habit.

If you are thinking this way, you are wrong.  You will never be great in sales without mastering communication. 

The first step to fixing the language filler problem is realizing you have one.  If you have the desire,  this video will help.  Good luck.

When Marketing Lies About Technology

I’m at a talk about marketing at a conference, sitting in the audience, blending into the mix of SEO students and experts. Unlike most conference, I am not speaking, not helping with sales at a booth and not scheduled with back-back meetings.  This is a chance for me to sit and learn.

At the end of a fantastic panel discussion on SEO tools, demand generation and technology, the panel went into the Q&A section of the talk.  One panelist was asked what made her technology better than the next tool.

“We spider the entire Internet, every day. Every site and keyword, everything, so we have more data to work with.”  She said.

Looking around me, I saw eyes wide and heads nodding.  They swallowed it.  What happened next was like an out-of-body experience.

“Buuuuullshit!” I said, just-loud-enough for the group in the small theater to hear.  I just couldn’t help myself.

I was then asked by the moderator to, basically, explain myself.  I proceeded to talk about why “spidering the entire Internet” was not possible.  This is an area that I am a subject matter expert.  I won’t explain it hear, but if Google can’t do it…well, you get the idea…  I then asked if she borrowed Google’s new quantum computer and got a few laughs.   My goal was not to ridicule, but to recover from my sightly louder than expected comment.  Next, I basically said that I was impressed with what their technology did, actually do, but it shouldn’t be misrepresented as “everything on the Internet”.

Her comment was that she was not the “techie person” and that she got over-enthusiastic.  People laughed and that was the end of it.

The point is that Marketing does not need to lie, it would have been just as impressive if she portrayed, accurately, what they actually do and how.  This is a problem in many technology companies.  The process starts very much like a myth or legend.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke

The technologist creates something that looks like magic and Marketing tries to explain it and the legend grows.  Soon, Sales is fabricating any explanation that sounds good and a technology myth is born.

Don’t do this.  Technology, Sales and Marketing need to be on the same page.  If you don’t achieve unified messaging someone else is going to call bullshit and you will lose a sale.