Great sales execution, using IT for experience

Just wanted to share a short blog entry on giving your customers a great experience while engaging in a customer-relationship.

Use Outlook Invites. Confirm your meeting appointments by Microsoft Outlook meeting invites. By not only do the invite, do it RIGHT!

  • Use subject field to specify the shortest ever subject to you can do, but it has to describe the meeting purpose in whole.
  • Use location field to specify the location of the meeting. The whole address. If you have a conference call, specify “Conference Call – Rasmus to call Jeff” to it is clear to everybody who is engaging. If you have a meeting conference number, specify that – “conference call – number xxxxxx, participant pass code xxxx#”.
  • First lines of the text, again – specify the mobile number and meeting participants!
  • Add an agenda to the meeting. You do NOT meet a client, without it. Simple one here:

Agenda

– Introductions and why we meet
– Presentation of Customer X and the challanges You may face
– Presentation of Us and how to solve your challanges
– Evalutation and next steps (recap and actions)

  • Call the day in advance to confirm, if it is the first time you will meet that client.
  • Drive 15 minutes prior to estimated departure – you could easily waste the customers time driving around to find a parking spot or building 56931??
  • Understand my previous slide – pay attention to the detail, do not quick-slide through it, as you are wasting your customers time.
  • Include a Google Maps or Bing Maps link – or even image, if the location is hard to find!
  • Use a professional hosting service, and an Windows Mobile or Exchange Sync capable device. You will benefit from having ALL detail in your hand, with-in a click on the appointment; address, phone numbers to call in late, maps and agenda!

These points will help you get through and to the meeting, but calm your customer – that you are in control.

Business Cards. Burn them. And I mean it. Burn them. I do not want to sit down and type 10 business cards every day, just because I am selling. And no – scanning devices does not work!

  • If you do not want to burn them, print a new one, with a Microsoft Tag on it. Read more on http://www.microsoft.com/tag/ – it saves you time and is a great experience to deliver for your customer!
  • Pre-sent a vcard to the customer with your details, prior to the meeting. Ask for their vcard!

Use Microsoft Dynamics CRM and/or OneNote to cover your meeting details, and write a memo from the meeting.

  • Confirm the details agreed on the meeting. Confirm actions and dates.
  • Add a “if anyone has additional information or changes, please inform” so no one skips the opportunity
  • Track the opportunity and call back for evaluation!!!

Last but not least – pay attention to the detail. And understand my previous post

“The Chasm” as a salesmodel?

Crossing the chasm is one the best books I ever read. I go back to the book several times – what bothers me, is I seem to forget the main objectives of the book.

 

Crossing the chasm - the bell curve

But could “The Chasm” be a sales model? An input to a “new-market” sales-team? It seems like the model suits to the Software+Services (SaaS, red.) business very well, as many vendors and suppliers actually is right in the center of the chasm. And we now a few facts:

  1. Buys from a specific market/segment, buy from vendors/suppliers in the same market. Example: Small Business buy from small business.
  2. A vendor/supplier can though marketing, act as a different market/segment. Example: Microsoft does a good job in selling to small biz.
  3. People react to people that illustrate themselves. Example: Innovators like to buy from a innovative sales man.
  4. Salespeople can be divided by the bell curve – as followed by rules of (1) and (2). Example: Selling to laggards typically is though key account management, opposite to innovators whom buys from the internet.

So crossing the chasm is about understanding if your buyer is a follower or a leader – first mover vs. second mover. You could actually divide your sales staff in the same area of competency.

So my point is to understand the area where the customer is, you will need to understand where you sales people are.

From the detailed image above, we could argue that #1 can happen even though we supply bad product marketing. Just by being the first in the market, will actually sell a solution. Looking at #2 our product and staff must meet the customer expectations, and 50% of the buyers will be comparing prices, as the other 50% will be looking for comfort and support.

The #3 block will narrow the selection, and only a face-to-face meeting, a complete solution-selling approach to understanding the pain of the customer; will end in a closed deal.

Summing up, you can actually cross the chasm by setting your expectations to the sales staff, do better product marketing, and by reading the book 😉

A hint: If you own a market for a given time, you probably is located before the chasm. Be aware that is could help you move by helping you competitors – resulting in the commodity and mainstream market – which is big enough to the both (or several) of you!