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Developing a customer’s mind-set!

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

I started my career selling Publishing Software & High Resolution Laser Printers before moving into Enterprise Software.

Working with Printers & Publishers & also coming from a Mech Engg background, I quickly developed an eye for precision in printing.

The first line in this post is a Pangram – a sentence that contains all of the letters of the English alphabet [not Google’s parent company]. 🙂

This is to check the typeface or fonts. Initially, I used to wonder what the meaning of this sentence is.

My clients looked at the samples I gave them, with lenses kept close to their eyes.

I gave them both image & text samples.

I met clients in their shop floor where printing was on. I have seen the printing units of many newspapers / magazines / security printers / big printers / small printing shops.

At one point, I started thinking like the way they think. Call it “mirroring customer’s mind-set”.

From then on, I was forever on the “Problem solving mode”.

Some lessons learnt:

  1. Understanding market needs
  2. What’s your expertise?
  3. What’s the [one] problem that you are solving?
  4. Who is your customer?
  5. Who are his current vendors?
  6. Why should they buy from you?

I strike the best conversation with customers when they are at work but are little relaxed & are in a vacation mode.

These festive times are one such time if your clients are from the manufacturing sector.

I met a Senior editor at a magazine at a time when he was just then blessed with a baby girl. He gave me a box of sweets. That was my first meeting with him. I came back to office & shared the sweets with my colleagues.

#HappySelling!!

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New Sales Playbook post Covid-19!!

Covid-19 has altered the business landscape. Forever.

Sales playbook that we used so far does not work anymore.

Post Covid-19, I don’t think we are going to return to the previous style of functioning.

Right now, customers expect us to #bemorehuman.

Some food for thought:

  1. Do we care for our customers? Genuinely?
  2. Do we understand their feelings?
  3. Are we treating them like humans?
  4. Are we helping them solve some real problems?
  5. Are we making them feel special?
  6. How are our products going to help them during this pandemic specifically?
  7. Or, are we selling our product like we used to, by talking about our “product” & the “benefits”?
  8. Are we making the right connection between the buyer & our brand during this pandemic?
  9. If yes, what are we doing to achieve that?
  10. Are we helping them smile during these difficult times.

If the answer is a resounding “YES” to at least 7 / 10 questions above, we will sail through this period safely.

If not, it is time for us to take a re-look at our Strategies. Did I say “strategies”? I am sorry. That’s not the word right now.

….re-look at the way we connect with the buyers – would be more appropriate.

#HappyConnecting!!

#HappySelling!!

#covid19 #sales #business #newsalesplaybook #care4customers

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Forbes Cloud 100 2020, list of SaaS companies

#Insights from the #Forbes #cloud100 2020, list of #SaaS companies.

Along with the list of #skills that are #ondemand right now.

Some Insights from the Forbes Cloud 100 2020, list of SaaS companies:

The following Industry Verticals are leading the current technology landscape.

  1. Enterprise AI
  2. Data Analytics / Data Intelligence
  3. Data Management / Data Platform
  4. Cyber Security
  5. Sales CRM / Sales Enablement / Sales Engagement / Customer Engagement
  6. Customer Communications Software
  7. Design Software
  8. DevOps Software
  9. Team Management / Collaboration
  10. Robotic Process Automation
  11. Collaboration Software
  12. Payments Software

And the Companies in the above verticals are:

  1. Enterprise AI – DataRobot, C3.ai, Dataiku, Dataminr
  2. Data Analytics / Data Intelligence – Databricks, Sisense, ThoughtSpot, Collibra
  3. Data Management / Data Platform – Snowflake, Confluent, Rubrik, Veeam, Cohesity
  4. Cyber Security – Tanium, Netskope, Darktrace, BitSight
  5. Sales CRM / Sales Enablement / Sales Engagement / Customer Engagement – Pipedrive, Seismic, Gong.io, Highspot, Outreach, Segment, Freshworks, Braze, Sprinklr, Gainsight
  6. Customer Communications Software – Front, Intercom, Podium
  7. Design Software – Canva, Figma, Invision
  8. DevOps Software – GitLab, JFrog
  9. Team Management / Team Collaboration – Asana, Monday.com, Notion
  10. Robotic Process Automation – UIPath, Automation Anywhere
  11. Collaboration Software – Symphony Communication Services, Miro
  12. Payments Software – Stripe, Checkout.com

The Skills that are in demand:

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Machine Learning
  3. Data Science, Data Analytics
  4. Data Management
  5. Cybersecurity
  6. Sales
  7. Mobile Development
  8. Internet of Things
  9. Robotics
  10. Fintech

#jobs2020 #jobs #techtrends2020 #postcovid19 #trending #techjobs #skillsdevelopment

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Add Value, not Tax!

Once, I was pretty late into an Account. The deal was almost signed when I entered.

Can’t change it.

But I did the unusual.

I didn’t walk away.

Instead, kept in touch. Shared some interesting anecdotes from other customers.

Over time, I became the most trusted advisor.

The customer wouldn’t buy anything without consulting me.

He called me one day & reminded me about what I had told him months before about how a particular solution can save them money & time. I had almost forgotten about it.

The rest is history.

I closed that deal.

I even sat in discussion with their ISP, negotiated a good deal for them.

Implemented the solution. Customer realized ROI in no time.

It was a feather in the cap for him internally.

My learning:

1. Never underestimate the potential of any customer.

2. Just because you lost a deal, it doesn’t mean you will not win any future deals.

3. You can’t win without playing the game.

4. If you add value, you will win.

5. Show up everyday, deal or no deal.

6. Keep rocking, be energetic, smile always. They will like you if you do.

#HappySelling

#b2b #changethegame #scienceofsales #prospecting #sales #underdog #marketing #ABM #rapport

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Startups know how to use time wisely!

3:55 pm is your appointment. Be specific. Ms.Jules has another meeting at 4 pm.

That was a scene from the movie “The Intern”.

The movie captures the #startup scene quite well.

Among all that,

  1. The #speed with which the entire team operates,
  2. The founder getting into customer service calls,
  3. The founder taking special efforts to ensure that a customer, a would-be bride, receives her dress on time in an impeccable manner,
  4. The founder visiting the warehouse and teaching the staff how to pack the stuff after ordering an item from the company herself &
  5. Congratulating someone in the team by ringing a bell when he/she achieves some milestone

are some of the great moments to learn from.

A lesson in #customerexperience #timemanagement

And if there is one difference between startups and big businesses, then this is that: Startups know how to use their time effectively and they don’t do long meetings. Decisions are taken on the fly. People are empowered to take decisions.

In contrast, when we want to reach someone in big businesses, you always hear that they are in a meeting.

Let us pledge to use #time effectively.

Happy Selling!!

#happyselling #b2b #changethegame #sales #marketing #customerservice

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Heard of these cutting-edge tech startups?

They are all #hiring.

  1. Algolia – https://www.algolia.com/ – Search as a Service
  2. ASAPP – https://www.asapp.com/ – Create better customer experiences
  3. BigID – https://bigid.com/ – Data Discovery, Privacy & Protection
  4. Dialpad – https://www.dialpad.com/ – Business VoIP
  5. Frame.io – https://frame.io/ – Video Collaboration Platform
  6. Gong – https://www.gong.io/ – Revenue Intelligence for Teams
  7. Loom – https://www.loom.com/ – Video Messaging for Work
  8. Sendbird – https://sendbird.com/ – Chat Platform
  9. Tray.io – https://tray.io/ – General Automation Platform for Business
  10. Webflow – https://webflow.com/ – Responsive Web Design Tool, CMS

Try to use these tools for improving your marketing & sales effectiveness and also improving your customer experiences.

You can also use this list as Sales leads.

#sales #marketing #customerexperience

Happy Selling!!

#customerexperience #CustomerExperiencetools #Cuttingedgetech #Marketingtools #Salestools #Startups #happyselling #b2b #changethegame #b2bsales #newtech #fundedcompanies #hiring #jobs #cx #marketingautomation #saleseffectiveness #gong #bigid #datadiscovery #leadgen #leadgeneration

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What’s that you are reading?

Before I buy any book, I find out what other books customers have bought.

This has become a habit for me from the time Amazon started telling me “customers who bought this also bought this…”.

That sends me back to the time I was selling Data Warehousing solutions back in 2000. And the example everyone was quoting back then was: “why are infant’s napkins selling high along with beer bottles on a Friday evening and when placed next to the beer bottles”. We have grown much from that these days with big data.

Coming back to books and why I look at other books: That gives me an understanding on what to expect. Also, I read what others have had to say about the book, in the first two pages or on the back cover: It is like watching a trailer on Prime Video or Netflix to assess the quality that you can expect. You may even find one or two of your favorite authors talking about the book, for sure, and that will immediately help you decide whether to buy the book or not. Mostly, you will read it. With a good outlook and mindset. And you will get what you should get out of the book.

What has been your experience?

Share it in comments.

Also, are there any tips for quick reading?

And what are you doing to retain what you have read?

Are you taking some notes or writing some take away from your reading?

I have had people ask me “what’s the new book that I am reading” or “what’s the best sales book I have read” etc. The take away and how the book has impacted will help in this kind of a conversation and you will always have many interesting things to share with your customers.

Happy Reading!

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Going the extra mile in customer service!

Those were the happy days of my career. I was just then starting off in Sales and beginning to learn the ropes. One thing I was very clear right from beginning was that I would deliver on the promises I made and see to it that the customer benefits from the association. And “business is not always done for profit” is something I truly believed. In every interaction I wanted to provide value.

There was an account, a Public Sector Bank, which I wanted to break into. [No, not as in “I wanted to break into a bank”.] Jokes apart, it was pretty difficult. Then an opportunity came by. I did everything I should and won the order. It was an order for a software with multiple licenses, one for each location. That must have been during the year 1996. The Software was available on CD but this client requested for floppy disks. Well, we had an option for 3.5″ disks. But the client had only 5.25″ floppy disk drives in all locations. I committed to the client that we will deliver the software in 5.25″ media that can be installed. Of-course after checking with my tech support executive.

Going the extra mile to satisfy the clients.

I was fortunate to have had colleagues who would back me up and deliver on the promises I made to the clients. One day rather one night, the tech support executive and I stayed back in office. My colleague cracked it and created a installable copy on 5.25″ floppy media. All I had to do next was copy that set onto blank 5.25″ floppies. Though it was a very laborious task, I did that. We must have been awake till about 3 or 4 in the morning that night. Finally we delivered on our promise.

Do you have such stories to share? Please let me know in the comments.

Happy Selling!!

#customerservice #salestips #sales

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Your Greatest Weakness is Your Greatest Strength!

Sales People are by far the only ones who do not stop learning. Yet they feel inadequate and identify areas of improvement. And continuously they upgrade, refine & groom themselves.

Your Greatest Weakness is Your Greatest Strength!

Identify your Greatest Weakness / your business’ Greatest Weakness and you will be on your way to achieving Great Success.

Some thoughts to help you identify your weakness:

  1. Customers are smart. If you fit the bill, you are in. Else, you are out. It’s that simple.
  2. It is all about Perception. How do customers perceive you? What you think about yourself does not matter. What matters is what other people think of you.
  3. First impressions last longer. So work harder and give a good first impression to your customers.
  4. Dressing up well to give a Professional outlook. Or having a sparkling office that readily proves your worth.
  5. Giving respect to Customers.
  6. Asking for feedback.
  7. Your knowledge on your Product or Service.
  8. Being in tune with times.
  9. Customer Experience. In every step of the buying process and beyond.
  10. Being Sincere.
  11. Showing utmost seriousness in solving customers’ problems.
  12. Ensuring that the excitement that you created around your Product / Service stays forever. Or work on that and keep the excitement on.
  13. Delight: Always having something to surprise the customers.
  14. Easily accessible, no waiting time, more parking space, to the point, forward looking, well meaning, helping & solving problems.
  15. Adding Value. Don’t you want to move up the value chain?
  16. Working with you & your business adds to the Customer’s Brand Value.
  17. Do your existing customers vouch for you?
  18. Meeting your existing customers regularly.
  19. Does your Customer Service team meet the demands of your customers and generate more business from them?
  20. Are you an early adopter of Latest Technology?

Do you have any thoughts on this. Share your valuable thoughts with us.

Happy Selling!!

For any help in Marketing, Sales, CRM please contact:

kannan@zignalytics.com