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Facetime

January 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I spent the later part of last week in NYC & wanted to share a reflection I had which came from some of our prospect activity. This is a simple sales & marketing principle that I believe I occasionally overlook:

On large, complex sales, you must constantly be manufacturing ways to physically get in front of your top prospects.

This really hit home for me as we toured New York with a major executive for one of our out-of-home advertising prospects. I believe that this prospect has really liked us and our product since the first time he saw our stuff years back. That was a long time ago for a start-up company and we unfortunately have yet to do a deal together with them. However, it was through spending quality time with this guy that I was able to understand the industry in more depth as well as the complicated ins and outs of making a deal come to life.

In large sales that involve multiple sign-offs and an ongoing relationship, the connection is everything. There is absolutely no substitute to building your relationships through live experiences. In a world that has moved to tweets, texts, & email, sometimes we overlook what gets deals done. In many cases you’ll find that the buyers themselves do not use those mediums as much and prefer to open up and communicate through informal meetings.

So go get in front of your customers! Laugh with them, share fun experiences and talk about what you can do for them with the type of emotion that can only be expressed physically. Ask the tough questions which can be presented more tactfully live. Stay in sight so that you stay in your prospect’s mind. And remember that great face-time is worth something like 127 tweets…or somewhere around that…

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Categories: Sales

Web-based sales proposals?

August 5, 2010 Leave a comment

In generating revenue for the last three companies I have worked with, I am continually seeing challenges around the sales proposal process. From my experience, most proposals are usually borne from a standard .doc and edited to include customized prospect data, their logo, solution information, pricing, dates, next steps, etc. They are then converted to pdfs and emailed out to customers.

Here is a summary of why I don’t like this:

  • Collaboration with Word sucks so if others take a look and edit the document before it goes out, the revision control can easily get out of hand.
  • They are ugly. If you are importing photos, graphs, charts into word, they often don’t convert to PDF cleanly.
  • You cant set the document to expire over time. You can only include expiration copy in the document.
  • The tracking history is not easily compiled.
  • Web links are discouraged by the fact that you are in a “document” as opposed to a “web experience”.

And most importantly…they don’t automatically link to your CRM, and other ERP systems.

Imagine a SaaS based product focused solely on the proposal experience. An easy to use cloud app that allows for the creation, collaboration, presentation, tracking, expiration, and enterprise integration of sales proposals?

I know that I would use that!

How do you currently handle your proposal process? Are any of you currently using tools like this today?

———appended———

I’ve found what may be the solution to my challenge through working with one of our vendors. Check out the intro to EchoSign here.

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