When I was attending the BMC course at Mars Discovery District one in my cohort referred to The Mom Test. This book on customer discovery by Rob Fitzpatrick asks entrepreneurs to doggedly pursue the truth. Even if it says your idea sucks. If you are concerned about feelings and a fragile ego, talk to your Mom.
Sometimes we believe complex is better. Not Jason Lemkin. It is not without reason his answers in Quora crossed 50mn views. Here is another column you will love for the in-your-face simplicity. The question was :
For someone just starting out in SaaS sales (entry level Salesforce in November), what are your tips to accelerate growth/ability in early stages?
Alli McKee, founder of Stick and folks at Gong did a research on what makes a great sales presentation. Stick interviewed 200+ top sales and marketing professionals to come up with 9 presentation points that they swear by. Not surprisingly, Alli’s piece starts with the Andy Raskin formula :
Can you really learn from peers? From reading, from books, form Webinars and podcasts? If you can distill, you can. It is difficult to retain details but the broad idea stays. That’s why mental models are useful for success (Charlie Munger) and storytelling is so effective. The first time I heard Brian Chesky on Masters of Scale talking about customer experience rating and imagining what a 11star experience would be like – it stayed with me. Through numerous retelling (exactly like stories – the ones we like we tell others) it went deeper into my consciousness.
An IDC Survey found that up to 80% of marketing generated content goes unused by sales teams. While building Pitch.Link one key issue we wanted to address was sales and marketing alignment. This we did by ensuring that while Marketing is building entire pitches (not only a particular collateral – but the flow where they envisage it will be used) they could ask for feedback from the sales team and fine tune the messaging and narrative to make it most useful for the value communication process.
We knew it. The sellers don’t really know What Buyers Want. TrustRadius has conducted a detailed study on buying and selling of Business Technology and surveyed 941 people – 712 Buyers and 229 vendor marketers and salespeople and figured “they don’t see eye to eye!”.
When asked whether he saw any pattern in the recently listed software co’s wrt sales efficiencies Tomasz Tunguz found one –
“All of these businesses sell bottom up with small initial ACVs that grow dramatically. Atlassian, Zoom, Twilio, Slack, New Relic, Elastic. All of them target small groups of users within larger organization who introduce the vendor. Over time, usage grows, accounts expand. Some acquire through open source, others through virality (Zoom).”
There has been many attempts to define what is likable? What is beauty? Is there a formula? It seems there is and it makes a lot of sense. It is called “Optimal Newness” as defined by a research team from Harvard University which conducted a study in 2014 to know “what sorts of proposals were most likely to win funding from prestigious institutions such as the National Institutes of Health—safely familiar proposals, or extremely novel ones? They prepared about 150 research proposals and gave each one a novelty score. Then they recruited 142 world-class scientists to evaluate the projects. The most-novel proposals got the worst ratings. Exceedingly familiar proposals fared a bit better, but they still received low scores. “Everyone dislikes novelty,” Karim Lakhani, a co-author, explained to me, and “experts tend to be overly critical of proposals in their own domain.” The highest evaluation scores went to submissions that were deemed slightly new.” writes Derek Thompson in his 2017 article for The Atlantic – The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything”.
The sales community on Linkedin is vibrant and inspiring. I enjoy the discourse and try to share thoughts from time to time. The fact that the focus is shifting from the supply side (read Sellers ) to the demand side (read Buyers) is evident. However, to ask any leader of any organisation “Tell me, do you personally prefer – to buy at your own pace or to be sold to?” what answer do you think I got every time? Imagine, I asked you this question right now, what would your answer be?