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#tech in #sales

Young couple. Jus’ married. That was their first movie together [b’cos it was an arranged marriage]. They went to the theater early, to beat the crowd. Stood in the queue & asked for corner seats when they reached the counter.

Not anymore. You can book seats of your liking online. Thanks to #technology.

You make your own pizza online & get it delivered in flat 30 minutes. You use their kitchen as if it is your own.

You assemble your own computer online. Dell revolutionized this concept long long ago. #directmarketing

In future, you will make your own coffee in your coffeemaker @ your home. You are already doing that. Aren’t you? What’s the difference, you ask. I hear that.

You will start brewing your coffee @ your home just before you leave from office. It will be ready when you get home. Just the way you like it.

And the AI in your car will look at the traffic & suggest you the best route to take to get home faster, easier, in style & with comfort.

#Sales has changed as well. We have bots answering our customers & taking care of them. Whether they like it or not, we don’t care. Jus’ kidding.

We now know when our #customers are opening our #proposals, how long they looked at it, whom did they forward it to, their email ids, what will be our revenue next Qtr, what our competitors are up to, who our customers are talking to, what’s the latest news about our customers, who in my target segment are ready to buy / looking for products that I sell, what our customers are talking about, what our customers are saying about us etc. We know much.

But as long as emotions & feelings are there with humans, sales cannot be on autopilot. Beyond a point, that is. You still need to sell. At every touch point.

I receive many automated emails. The senders don’t do any homework on me. Why should I then bother to reply?

Your customers have a need to feel special. And they are special, aren’t they?

We can / should use #tools & #tech [b’cos this is 2020] but it is our #humantouch that will make all the difference.

#standoutfromthecrowd

#HappySelling!!

#b2b #b2c #business #entrepreneurship #innovation

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An Underdog’s strategy!

Have you ever seen a business welcoming its competition, much less with folded hands?

When IKEA entered India during Aug 2018, online furniture retailer Urban Ladder did just that. “Namaste @IKEAIndia Welcome to India,” tweeted Urban Ladder along with a gif of its staff welcoming the furnishings giant with folded hands, reported DNA India then.

“The retail ecosystem is one of the most exciting industries todayβ€”it’s fast-paced, constantly evolving, and ever so demanding. As the retail sector enters a new phase, home-grown brands like ours need to find ways to stay ahead in the game.” wrote its COO Rajiv Srivatsa, in an article published by Live Mint, in Aug 2018. Here’s the link to that article: An-underdogs-winning-strategy-against-Goliath.

Some of his strategies, as mentioned in that article, are:

  1. Ear to the ground: Listen to your customers, offline & online.
  2. Adopt an omni-channel approach.
  3. Know your strength & exploit it to the hilt.
  4. Get the pulse of global trends.
  5. Speed & Relevance will differentiate brands.
  6. Meet the demands of the consumer.
  7. Know your customers well.
  8. Build a strong supply chain with a local flavour.
  9. Assure Quality & ensure that your product fits the demands of consumers.
  10. Utilize tech as a key differentiator.

HappySelling!!

#b2c #b2b #sales

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Cold call by an Edu Tech Co.,

I received a call from an education technology company recently. The lady who called said that she is calling from an xyz company. She then went on to say that we had made an inquiry regarding their coding classes. I said “we didn’t”. She insisted we did and asked me to check.

I patiently told her that we had enrolled our son into one of their programs at our apartment few years ago. Told her we didn’t like it after one or two classes and hence opted out immediately and that we had a tough time getting back the money paid. It was such a bad experience. But we never made any inquiry ever after. Told her that maybe they have the name & mobile number from that campaign.

Neither did she listen to that story, nor did she feel sorry for that bad experience. Instead, she went on saying that we had made an inquiry, but that wasn’t true. I normally encourage such cold callers. But, I had to disconnect this call since she yelled at me. Yes, she did.

I am lost. To what extent will these edutech companies go to get customers?

They are doing more damage by making such calls.

My advise to them:

  1. Teach your sales people before you teach others.
  2. Listening is an art. Learn that first.
  3. Be professional.
  4. Don’t yell at customers, even if they are wrong.
  5. Try and give a good customer experience.
  6. Turn a bad experience into a good one.
  7. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to delight your customers.

#HappySelling!!

#b2c #sales #coldcall

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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]. πŸ™‚

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