Improve Your Sales Pitch

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Sales, Startups, Workshop

Peter Cohan from Second Derivative offers some of the best sales demo/pitch training and hands-on learning that we have seen. So we are honored to offer these interactive workshops to startups.

Here is the upcoming schedule:

March 5&6, 2014 “Great Demo!” San Jose, CA Register Now
May 21&22, 2014 “Great Demo!” San Jose, CA Register Now
October 15&16, 2014 “Great Demo!” San Jose, CA Register Now

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Rules of Thumb, Sales

A talk I enjoyed by Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

Some great insights from Apple, Dr. Martin Luther King, and the Wright Brothers:

  • Why  -> How -> What
  • Why is not “to make a profit” that’s a result..
  • Why is your purpose, your reason for existence.
  • Common approach is What -> How -> Why but much less compelling.
  • People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.
  • Dr. King said “I have a dream” not “I have a comprehensive 12 point plan.”

This last insight reminds me of

“Inventing the future requires giving up control. No one with a compelling purpose and a great vision knows how it will be achieved. One has to be willing to follow an unknown path, allowing the road to take you where it will. Surprise, serendipity, uncertainty and the unexpected are guaranteed on the way to the future.”
George Land in “Breakpoint and Beyond

And a poem by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Build Me a Boat
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

If I communicate to my men
the love of sailing on the sea,
you will soon see them specializing
according to their thousand particular qualities:
that one will weave the canvas,
another will fell the tree in the forest,
another still will forge nails
and there will be some who observe the
stars to learn to steer,
and yet all will be as one.
To create the ship
is not to weave the canvas,
to forge the nails,
to read the stars,
but rather to convey the taste of the sea.

Simon Sinek is the author of “Start With Why”

Related Blog Posts

Six Tips For Writing An E-Mail To A Prospect or Potential Partner

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 3 Early Customer Stage, Rules of Thumb, Sales, skmurphy

“I spent some time working in the television industry, and I learned a technique that writers use. It’s called “the bad version.” When you feel that a plot solution exists, but you can’t yet imagine it, you describe instead a bad version that has no purpose other than stimulating the other writers to imagine a better version.

For example, if your character is stuck on an island, the bad version of his escape might involve monkeys crafting a helicopter out of palm fronds and coconuts. That story idea is obviously bad, but it might stimulate you to think in terms of other engineering solutions, or other monkey-related solutions. The first step in thinking of an idea that will work is to stop fixating on ideas that won’t. The bad version of an idea moves your mind to a new vantage point.”
Scott Adams in “How To Tax the Rich

Sometimes its easier to live in anticipation of a potential sale or business relationship than to initiate a conversation and risk getting rejected. If you are finding it hard to get started on an e-mail to a prospect or a potential partner here are a couple of things you can try:
  1. The Hollywood Approach: write the bad version. I realized in reading Scott Adam’s article “How To Tax the Rich” that “writing the bad version” is something that we often do just to help a team move forward with an e-mail to a prospect or potential partner.
  2. The Schoolboy Approach: write an outline. Normally shorter is better for an opening e-mail and you may be able to expand each item into a single sentence instead of a paragraph or a section and be done.
  3. Add a Middleman: call/talk someone and explain the key points you want to make. Extra points for recording it to allow for easier capture instead of breaking your flow to write it down as you go. We sometimes act as an interviewer or a proxy for the target audience to help a client unlock insights.
  4. Quit Typing:  put down the keyboard and pick up the phone (or click on Skype) and call the person you owe the e-mail and make your points directly. Extra points for making your own recording of the voicemail you leave when you cannot reach them so that you can now send a more coherent e-mail.
  5. Begin With The End In Mind: Write the e-mail you would like to get in response to your e-mail. Use that as a guide to crafting your approach (from Stephen R. Covey’s 2nd Habit: “Begin With The End In Mind”).
  6. Use Your Right Brain Instead Of Your Left: sketch out the issue or proposal on a whiteboard, a piece of graph paper, a 3×5 card, or a napkin depending upon where inspiration strikes you.

See also

Engineering Your Sales Process Workshop Feb-8 Early Bird Closes This Weekend

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 2 Open for Business Stage, 3 Early Customer Stage, 4 Finding your Niche, 5 Scaling Up Stage, Events, Sales, skmurphy

Register Now Just a heads up that the early bird rates for our next “Engineering Your Sales Process®” Workshop close Sun-Jan-28.

This is the same workshop that Scott Sambucci and Sean Murphy offered at the Lean Startup Conference in December 2012 but we are limiting the attendance to 12 entrepreneurs to allow it to be even more interactive and in depth. Our focus is on entrepreneurs who are selling complex new products to businesses and face these challenges among others:

  • You can’t get potential customers to call back.
  • Prospects won’t make a decision.
  • Prospects like what they see in beta and ask for extensions but will not buy (yet).
  • Your deals stall.
  • Prospect stays with the status quo.

This interactive workshop will help you learn from these problems by using conscious planning and experimentation. Traditional sales training stresses “every no moves you closer to a yes.” Our approach to engineering your sales process says instead, “What looks like noise is often actually data.” Designing and debugging a repeatable sales process is key to a sustainable business, and we’ll address how to diagnose common problems to determine likely root causes. You will leave with a scientific approach to understanding your customers’ needs and their buying process so that you can scale your business in harmony with it.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:

Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy, Inc. has taken an entrepreneurial approach to life since he could drive. He has served as an advisor to dozens of startups, helping them explore risk-reducing business options and build a scalable, repeatable sales process. SKMurphy, Inc. focuses on early customers and early revenue for software startups, helping engineers to understand business development. Their clients have offerings in electronic design automation, artificial intelligence, web-enabled collaboration, proteomics, text analytics, legal services automation, and medical services workflow.

Scott Sambucci is the Chief Sales Geek at SalesQualia, a company dedicated to improving sales performance. With more than 10 years in Silicon Valley and 15 years in sales, management, and entrepreneurial roles in the software and data industries, Scott merges the attributes of a successful salesperson and entrepreneur, putting his experience to work for SalesQualia clients every day. He’s lectured at numerous universities across the world, presented at TEDxHultBusinessSchool in San Francisco, and recently published  “Startup Selling: How To Sell If You Really Really Have To And Don’t Know How.”

Register Now

LSC Workshop on Engineering Your Sales Process

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events, Sales, Startups

If you missed SKMurphy and SalesQualia at Lean Startup Conference’s workshop, Sean Murphy and Scott Sambucci led an interactive workshop on developing and debugging your repeatable and scalable B2B sales process. In the workshop, we worked a number of sales issues that the attendees from lean startups had:

  • Can’t get potential customers to call back
  • Won’t make a decision
  • Prospects like the beta, but they will not buy
  • Deals stall

Quick Summary

Engineering Your Sales Process workshop will help you learn from common sales problems by using conscious planning and experimentation. Traditional sales training stresses “every no moves you closer to a yes.” Our approach to engineering your sales process says instead, “What looks like noise is often actually data.” Designing and debugging a repeatable sales process is key to a sustainable business, and we’ll address how to diagnose common problems to determine likely root causes. You will leave with a scientific approach to understanding your customers’ needs and their buying process so that you can scale your business in harmony with it.

You can view the slides at http://www.slideshare.net/SalesQualia/engineering-your-sales-process.

Also here is the link to a readable version of the sales map in mindomo http://www.mindomo.com/view?m=e18b84e308994b1d95a032583f3885bcces

Workshop feedback

Engineering Your Sales Process Workshop on February 8, 2013

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events, Sales

All companies, even those that take a lean approach, face these problems in B2B sales:

  • You can’t get potential customers to call back
  • They won’t make a decision
  • They seem to like a ever-ending beta, but they will not buy
  • Your deals stall

This interactive workshop will help you learn from these problems by using conscious planning and experimentation. Traditional sales training stresses “every no moves you closer to a yes.” Our approach to engineering your sales process says instead, “What looks like noise is often actually data.” Designing and debugging a repeatable sales process is key to a sustainable business, and we’ll address how to diagnose common problems to determine likely root causes. You will leave with a scientific approach to understanding your customers’ needs and their buying process so that you can scale your business in harmony with it.

Early Bird $99

Regular $129

Register Engineering Your Sales Process

Where: Silicon Valley, CA

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:

Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy, Inc. has taken an entrepreneurial approach to life since he could drive. He has served as an advisor to dozens of startups, helping them explore risk-reducing business options and build a scalable, repeatable sales process. SKMurphy, Inc. focuses on early customers and early revenue for software startups, helping engineers to understand business development. Their clients have offerings in electronic design automation, artificial intelligence, web-enabled collaboration, proteomics, text analytics, legal services automation, and medical services workflow.

Scott Sambucci is the Chief Sales Geek at SalesQualia, a company dedicated to improving sales performance. With more than 10 years in Silicon Valley and 15 years in sales, management, and entrepreneurial roles in the software and data industries, Scott merges the attributes of a successful salesperson and entrepreneur, putting his experience to work for SalesQualia clients every day. He’s lectured at numerous universities across the world, presented at TEDxHultBusinessSchool in San Francisco, and recently published “Startup Selling: How to sell if you really, really have to and don’t know how.”

Averting Stalled Sales Opportunities Webinar

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Sales

Finish LineAre you tired of working hard on a sales opportunity only to find an unexpected issue that stalls the sales process?

You are not alone!

Having an effective sales planning process, sharing insight across the internal team and enabling great demos, greatly improves sales productivity and use of resources. Learn how to make this happen and greatly improve your sales results, including:

  • Reducing “no decisions”
  • Avoid having to go back two steps
  • Improving sales process inefficiencies
  • Work on better opportunities
  • Use your resources more effectively

In this webinar, Averting Stalled Sales Opportunities, Ron Snyder and Peter Cohan show you the key steps to forestall a stalled sales process.

Topics covered:

  • The Challenge causing stalled sales
  • Elements of a Successful Plan
  • Guiding the Sales Process- using the Plan
  • Coordinating Activities, including Demos
  • A Sample Plan

Sign up for the webinar here and receive your copy of the article: “How to Write a Strategic Account Plan.”  Select the date that is most convenient for you;

  • November 29 at 12:00 noon Pacific time
  • December 10 at 12:00 noon Pacific time

Ron Snyder, of Breakthrough, Inc. and Plan 2 Win Software, has trained thousands of salespeople and managers on sales effectiveness, territory and account planning. Prior to that, he was a top ranked sales salesperson at Hewlett-Packard and a manager in the field sales force and a marketing manager.

Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative, focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results – primarily through improving organizations’ demonstrations.

Sean Murphy, the moderator, is CEO at SKMurphy providing customer development services for high-tech companies. SKMurphy focus is on early customers and early revenue.

Please feel free to contact us for more information.
Ron Snyder
Plan2Win Software
rsnyder@Plan2WinSoftware.com

Peter Cohan
The Second Derivative
PCohan@SecondDerivative.com

Great Demo! Workshop on March 6 & 7, 2013

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Demos, Events, Sales

Create and Deliver Surprisingly Compelling Software Demonstrations
“Do The Last Thing First” — the recipe for a Great Demo!

This is an interactive workshop with Peter Cohan geared especially for you who demonstrate B-to-B software to your customer and channels. Bring a copy of your demo and be prepared to present it — we’ll help you turn it into a surprisingly compelling demo. More information

Core Seminar & Advanced Topics
March 6 & 7, 2013
Cost: $930 (Before Feb 4: $895)
Register Great Demo

Where: Moorpark Hotel, 4241 Moorpark Ave, San Jose CA 95129
For out of town attendees: The Moorpark is located 400 feet from the Saratoga Ave exit on Hwy 280, about 7 miles from San Jose Airport and 35 miles from San Francisco Airport Hotels Near Great Demo! Workshop

“I am confident that with the insights gained from your workshop we will land more customers in fewer iterations.”
Lav Pachuri, CEO, Xleron Inc.

“Peter Cohan’s Great Demo method really works. It helped us win DEMOgod, and it has allowed us to explain our offering much more clearly to prospects.”
Chaim Indig, CEO, Phreesia
(See “DEMOgod Winner Phreesia Praises Peter Cohan Training“)

More information on the workshop

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Cohan, Principal at The Second Derivative
Community Web Site:  http://greatdemo.blogspot.com/

Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative, focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results – primarily through improving organizations’ demonstrations.

The bulk of his experience is with complex, enterprise software and strategic systems sold to varied audiences in a range of vertical markets.  He has enjoyed roles in technical and product marketing, marketing management, sales and sales management, and senior management.

In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations.  The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March, 2005.

In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations, which was subsequently transitioned to the Great Demo! LinkedIn Group in 2010-2011.

Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million per year operation.  Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software.  Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc., is an advisor to NewallStreet, Inc. and a mentor to StartX, the Stanford University start-up accelerator.  He holds a degree in chemistry.

Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development.  He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

Day 1 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins
  • Noon Lunch
  • 1 PM Workshop Continues
  • 5 PM Wrap up

Day 2 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins on Advanced Topics
  • 12:30pm Wrap up

Seating is Limited

For more information: Theresa 408-252-9676 events@skmurphy.com

Great Demo! Workshop on May 22-23, 2013

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Demos, Events, Sales

Create and Deliver Surprisingly Compelling Software Demonstrations
“Do The Last Thing First” — the recipe for a Great Demo!

This is an interactive workshop with Peter Cohan geared especially for you who demonstrate B-to-B software to your customer and channels. Bring a copy of your demo and be prepared to present it — we’ll help you turn it into a surprisingly compelling demo. More information

Core Seminar & Advanced Topics
May 22 & 23, 2013
Cost: $930 (Before April-20: $895)
Register Great Demo

Where: Moorpark Hotel, 4241 Moorpark Ave, San Jose CA 95129
For out of town attendees: The Moorpark is located 400 feet from the Saratoga Ave exit on Hwy 280, about 7 miles from San Jose Airport and 35 miles from San Francisco Airport Hotels Near Great Demo! Workshop

“I am confident that with the insights gained from your workshop we will land more customers in fewer iterations.”
Lav Pachuri, CEO, Xleron Inc.

“Peter Cohan’s Great Demo method really works. It helped us win DEMOgod, and it has allowed us to explain our offering much more clearly to prospects.”
Chaim Indig, CEO, Phreesia
(See “DEMOgod Winner Phreesia Praises Peter Cohan Training“)

More information on the workshop

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Cohan, Principal at The Second Derivative
Community Web Site:  http://greatdemo.blogspot.com/

Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative, focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results – primarily through improving organizations’ demonstrations.

The bulk of his experience is with complex, enterprise software and strategic systems sold to varied audiences in a range of vertical markets.  He has enjoyed roles in technical and product marketing, marketing management, sales and sales management, and senior management.

In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations.  The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March, 2005.

In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations, which was subsequently transitioned to the Great Demo! LinkedIn Group in 2010-2011.

Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million per year operation.  Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software.  Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc., is an advisor to NewallStreet, Inc. and a mentor to StartX, the Stanford University start-up accelerator.  He holds a degree in chemistry.

Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development.  He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

Day 1 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins
  • Noon Lunch
  • 1 PM Workshop Continues
  • 5 PM Wrap up

Day 2 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins on Advanced Topics
  • 12:30pm Wrap up

Seating is Limited

For more information: Theresa 408-252-9676 events@skmurphy.com

Great Demo! Workshop on Oct 9 &10, 2013

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Demos, Events, Sales

Create and Deliver Surprisingly Compelling Software Demonstrations
“Do The Last Thing First” — the recipe for a Great Demo!

This is an interactive workshop with Peter Cohan geared especially for you who demonstrate B-to-B software to your customer and channels. Bring a copy of your demo and be prepared to present it — we’ll help you turn it into a surprisingly compelling demo. More information

Core Seminar & Advanced Topics
October 9 & 10, 2013
Cost: $930 (Before Sep-8: $895)
Eventbrite - Great Demo! Workshop on Oct 9 & 10, 2013

Where: Moorpark Hotel, 4241 Moorpark Ave, San Jose CA 95129
For out of town attendees: The Moorpark is located 400 feet from the Saratoga Ave exit on Hwy 280, about 7 miles from San Jose Airport and 35 miles from San Francisco Airport Hotels Near Great Demo! Workshop

“I am confident that with the insights gained from your workshop we will land more customers in fewer iterations.”
Lav Pachuri, CEO, Xleron Inc.

“Peter Cohan’s Great Demo method really works. It helped us win DEMOgod, and it has allowed us to explain our offering much more clearly to prospects.”
Chaim Indig, CEO, Phreesia
(See “DEMOgod Winner Phreesia Praises Peter Cohan Training“)

More information on the workshop

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Cohan, Principal at The Second Derivative
Community Web Site:  http://greatdemo.blogspot.com/

Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative, focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results–primarily by improving organizations’ demonstrations.

The bulk of his experience is with complex, enterprise software and strategic systems sold to varied audiences in a range of vertical markets.  He has enjoyed roles in technical and product marketing, marketing management, sales and sales management, and senior management.

In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations.  The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March, 2005.

In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations, which was subsequently transitioned to the Great Demo! LinkedIn Group in 2010-2011.

Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million per year operation.  Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software.  Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc., is an advisor to NewallStreet, Inc. and a mentor to StartX, the Stanford University start-up accelerator.  He holds a degree in chemistry.

Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development.  He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

Day 1 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins
  • Noon Lunch
  • 1 PM Workshop Continues
  • 5 PM Wrap up

Day 2 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins on Advanced Topics
  • 12:30pm Wrap up

Seating is Limited

For more information: Theresa 408-252-9676 events@skmurphy.com

Engineering Your Sales Process Workshop at 2012 Lean Startup Conference

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, Sales

I was invited to give a workshop the day after the Dec-3-2012 Lean Startup Conference and have teamed up with Scott Sambucci to offer a revised and improved version of our “Engineering Your Sales Process.” Here is the overview for this half day workshop:

All companies, even those that take a lean approach, face these problems in B2B sales:

  • You can’t get potential customers to call back
  • They won’t make a decision
  • They seem to like a ever-ending beta, but they will not buy
  • Your deals stall

This interactive workshop will help you learn from these problems by using conscious planning and experimentation. Traditional sales training stresses “every no moves you closer to a yes.” Our approach to engineering your sales process says instead, “What looks like noise is often actually data.” Designing and debugging a repeatable sales process is key to a sustainable business, and we’ll address how to diagnose common problems to determine likely root causes. You will leave with a scientific approach to understanding your customers’ needs and their buying process so that you can scale your business in harmony with it.

You can register at http://leanstartupconf2012.eventbrite.com/

Book Club: Lessons Learned Implementing “Great Demo!” Methodology

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Books, Demos, Sales

Book Club For Business Impact logo Live roundtable on lessons learned implementing the “Great Demo!” methodology Tue-Sep-4-2012

  • 12:00 p.m. Pacific / 1:00 p.m. Mountain
  • 2:00 p.m. Central / 3:00 p.m. Eastern
  • 8:00 PM London / 9:00 PM Paris & Berlin

Signup

Update Sept 6: “Recap and Audio from “Lessons Learned Implementing Great Demo! Methodology

Cohan Great Demo

Great Demo!: How To Create And Execute Stunning Software Demonstrations

by Peter Cohan

Great Demo! provides sales and pre-sales staff with a method to dramatically increase their success in closing business through substantially improved software demonstrations. It draws upon the experiences of thousands of demonstrations, both delivered and received from vendors and customers. The distinctive “Do the Last Thing First” concept generates a “Wow!” response from customers.

BUY BOOK button

 

Related Resources:

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  • Do you have a question about the current book?
  • How did impact your business?

Additional Book Reviews

Managing Oneself Article
Boyd-OODA The Lean Startup
Moore's Darwin and the Demon HRB article
Cohan Great Demo
Origin and Evolution

Scott Sambucci: Seven Tips For Selling as a Startup Founder

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Books, Rules of Thumb, Sales, skmurphy

Scott Sambucci of Sales Qualia recently self-published a great book on selling entitled “Startup Selling: How to Sell If You Really, Really Have to and Don’t Know How…” It’s a slim volume chock full of practical advice for entrepreneurs new to selling to businesses. Unlike many business books that have 20 pages of useful content puffed to 240 or 480 pages this is packed with useful rules of thumb, actionable insights, and tips for recognizing and diagnosing a host of early stage sales challenges. If you are an entrepreneur who wants to get up to speed quickly on selling to business, in particular selling software, this book belongs on your short list of “must reads.”

Here are his first seven rules that are often violated but easy to fix in ways that will immediately improve your sales effectiveness; I have added some commentary after :

1. For inbound calls and leads find out why the prospect is inquiring about your products and services

The why has two branches:

  • What is  the problem they are trying to solve or goal they hope to reach with your product. Their view of their need is the most important aspect of you should frame your offering.
  • What led them to contact you in particular. Too often we are tempted to jump into a sales pitch without understanding what led to a call, was it a website, a recommendation from a friend, seeing an on-line video, hearing a talk, reading an article, etc..

2. Jumping right into a sales demo on the first call is the kiss of death.

In my first job as a post-sale application engineer I was asked to help a developer introduce a new product to an existing account. We called on one of my accounts that was happy with our products and when invited to “tell us what you have for us” he excitedly jumped into a 15 minute high speed monologue explaining all of benefits of being able to simulate certain constructs in a design.  They were silent: they couldn’t tell if they could use it. Because we hadn’t asked them questions about their use of the constructs that we could now enable them to simulate, we spent another 15 minutes painfully backtracking and attempting to do some discovery of whether or not they had a compelling need for the product.

When we debriefed afterward we realized that we didn’t have a map of the target so we didn’t know where to focus our discussion. Before I took him to my next account I asked the contact some questions in advance to determine if and where they were in pain over the inability to simulate these constructs. We were able to focus on problems that they knew they had.

About a month later, after we had debugged our engagement process and had some interest from other accounts, I was able to bring him back for a second visit to the first account, that session was much more conversational and they decided to evaluate and ultimately purchase the product.

You have to elicit symptoms and offer a diagnosis before you offer your prescription

3. Use the telephone as the default mode of communication.

At first I thought Scott overstated this one but I think he is correct, to build rapport and advance the sale you have to have conversations. These can be face or face or over the phone/skype/VoiP but the need to be synchronous to get into the easy back and forth.

4. Speak human.

This one is hard because it means that you get rejected as a person. But if you don’t act like a real person and treat your prospects as people, you can rarely build the rapport necessary to closing a deal.

5. A lead is only a person of interest. A prospect is qualified individual for whom your product or service is a clear match.

A lead can satisfy some objective criteria – e.g a person with a particular title (or possible set of titles) in an industry and perhaps a particular location or geographical region. But to be a prospect you have to have some idea of the value your offering will deliver that value within their time frame and in excess of the total cost of your solution to them

6. A prospect’s decision criteria is a formative process. It will always take more than a single call to determine.

I would add buying process to decision criteria because it’s as important to determine not only their criteria but what will be required to actually close the deal.

7. It’s never about the money. It’s about the cost.

Scott makes some great points about calculating the impact of your features, packaging, delivery, and support process on their total cost of acquisition and ownership.  I think two other factors startups neglect hoping that they can cut price to compensate are the risks involved in the decision and the business, technical, and support aspects of the ongoing relationship. For software in particular, a sale to a business is the start of an ongoing relationship. And that relationship is not evaluated purely on price.

At $7 and 130 pages, “Startup Selling: How to Sell If You Really, Really Have to and Don’t Know How…” is not only a quick read but a useful reference (also available as an e-book) that belongs in your library if you are a startup founder new to selling.


I blogged about Scott Sambucci’s August 2008 blog post on  “An Entrepreneur’s Lessons Learned” in November of 2008 “Scott Sambucci on An Entrepreneur’s Lessons Learned

Great Demo! Workshop on October 10 & 11, 2012

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Demos, Events, Sales

Create and Deliver Surprisingly Compelling Software Demonstrations
“Do The Last Thing First” — the recipe for a Great Demo!

This is an interactive workshop with Peter Cohan geared especially for you who demonstrate B-to-B software to your customer and channels. Bring a copy of your demo and be prepared to present it — we’ll help you turn it into a surprisingly compelling demo. More information

Core Seminar & Advanced Topics
October 10 & 11, 2012
Cost: $930 (Before Sep-24: $895)
Register Great Demo
Single Day – Core Seminar Only
October 10, 2012
Cost: $620 (Before Sep-24: $595)

Where: Moorpark Hotel, 4241 Moorpark Ave, San Jose CA 95129
For out of town attendees: The Moorpark is located 400 feet from the Saratoga Ave exit on Hwy 280, about 7 miles from San Jose Airport and 35 miles from San Francisco Airport Hotels Near Great Demo! Workshop

“I am confident that with the insights gained from your workshop we will land more customers in fewer iterations.”
Lav Pachuri, CEO, Xleron Inc.

“Peter Cohan’s Great Demo method really works. It helped us win DEMOgod, and it has allowed us to explain our offering much more clearly to prospects.”
Chaim Indig, CEO, Phreesia
(See “DEMOgod Winner Phreesia Praises Peter Cohan Training“)

More information on the workshop

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Cohan, Principal at Second Derivative
Community Web Site: www.DemoGurus.com

Peter Cohan is the founder and a principal of The Second Derivative, a consultancy focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results. In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations. In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations. The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March 2005.

Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million operation. Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software. Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc. and the board of advisors for Excellin, Inc. He holds a degree in chemistry.

Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manage and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

Day 1 Agenda:

  • 8:00 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:15 AM Workshop begins
  • Noon Lunch
  • 1 PM Workshop Continues
  • 5 PM Wrap up

Day 2 Agenda:

  • 8:00 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:15 AM Workshop begins on Advanced Topics
  • 12:30pm Wrap up

Seating is Limited

For more information: Theresa 408-252-9676 events@skmurphy.com

Great Demo Workshop on May 23, 2012

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Demos, Events, Sales

Create and Deliver Surprisingly Compelling Software Demonstrations
“Do The Last Thing First” — the recipe for a Great Demo!

When: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8 am – 5 pm
Where: Moorpark Hotel, 4241 Moorpark Ave, San Jose CA 95129
For out of town attendees: The Moorpark is located 400 feet from the Saratoga Ave exit on Hwy 280, about 7 miles from San Jose Airport and 35 miles from San Francisco Airport Hotels Near Great Demo! Workshop

Cost: $620
Before May. 1: $595

This is an interactive workshop with Peter Cohan geared especially for you who demonstrate B-to-B software to your customer and channels. Bring a copy of your demo and be prepared to present it — we’ll help you turn it into a surprisingly compelling demo!

Register Great Demo

This seminar outlines a framework for the creation and delivery of improved demos and presentations to enable increased success in the marketing, sale, and deployment of software and related products. Whether it’s face to face, in a webinar, as a screencast, or as a self-running demo the ability to present the key benefits of your software product is essential to generating prospect interest and ultimately revenue. Peter Cohan of The Second Derivative gives us the recipe for a Great Demo!

“I am confident that with the insights gained from your workshop we will land more customers in fewer iterations.”
Lav Pachuri, CEO, Xleron Inc.

“Peter Cohan’s Great Demo method really works. It helped us win DEMOgod, and it has allowed us to explain our offering much more clearly to prospects.”
Chaim Indig, CEO, Phreesia
(See “DEMOgod Winner Phreesia Praises Peter Cohan Training“)

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Cohan, Principal at Second Derivative
Community Web Site: www.DemoGurus.com

Peter Cohan is the founder and a principal of The Second Derivative, a consultancy focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results. In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations. In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations. The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March 2005.

Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million operation. Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software. Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc. and the board of advisors for Excellin, Inc. He holds a degree in chemistry.

Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manage and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

Agenda:

  • 8:00 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:15 AM Workshop begins
  • Noon Lunch
  • 1 PM Workshop Continues
  • 5 PM Wrap up

Seating is Limited

For more information: Theresa 408-252-9676 events@skmurphy.com

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