The 12 Things I Know About You

I know 12 things about you.

  1. You have a great need for other people to like and admire you.
  2. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself.
  3. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage.
  4. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them.
  5. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside.
  6. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing.
  7. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations.
  8. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof.
  9. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others.
  10. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times Continue reading "The 12 Things I Know About You"

The Psychology of a Demo and How to Make It Work for You

Psychology of a Demo

“Emotional impact is about making absolutely sure that the customer sees themselves in the story you’re telling.” –The Challenger Sale (2013)

Data shows that customers are, on average, 37% of the way through a purchase process by the time they reach the solution-definition stage, and 57% of the way through the process before they engage with supplier sales reps.

Controlling the sales process is critical to success. But how does one control the sales process, when the buyer has done research before engaging your sales team?

We know people make emotional decisions. We know buyers respond to stories. But how does one tell the right story, for the right person, at the right time, every time?

In this post, we answer two important questions.

First, how do you control a sales cycle and your message when buyers have more control and access to information than ever?

Continue reading "The Psychology of a Demo and How to Make It Work for You"

Friday Q&A: How to Validate Your Startup Idea

Every Friday, we’re answering your questions about business, startups, customer success and more.

Happy Friday!

This week’s question comes from Pavel Ciobanu, who asks:

This is such an important concept for any entrepreneur to master in the early stages of their startup.

Before my first startup, I started my career as an assistant to my brother, a financial advisor.

Soon after that, I began to get frustrated that there was nothing out there to help us automate the customer management side of things.

Everything—followups, lead nurturing, tracking—was manual. I thought that maybe if I was having this problem, then others might be, too.

So I put a PowerPoint deck together about the solution I envisioned—a CRM for financial advisors—and then I picked up the phone.

I called other financial advisors in my area, asking if I could have five minutes of their time.

Then I asked them about their Continue reading "Friday Q&A: How to Validate Your Startup Idea"

Chained Probabilities in Startup Business Models

In 1983, Lorne Whitehead, a physicist from the University of British Columbia proved he could knock down the Empire State Building with 29 dominos. A domino can knock over an other domino one-and-a-half times its size. Whitehead’s theory concretely demonstrates the power of a chain reaction.

Like a series of dominos, a startup’s success is a chain reaction. One small win leads to two other slightly bigger successes, which grow to four triumphs, then eight hits and so on until the company is a blockbuster. The first win might be witnessing a product capture the imagination of a random coffeedrinker at a local cafe. The second reaction might be closing the first paying customer. The third, hiring a top-notch executive.

At each point in the chain reaction, there is some probability the reaction continues. The probability of discovering product/market fit early, of hiring a great technical team, finding the right Continue reading "Chained Probabilities in Startup Business Models"

[insert subversive subject here]

how’s your 2016, now that we’re a month in – off to an exciting / confusing / complicated start?

if you don’t have a simple answer to that, welcome to my world.  i’m a parent/entrepreneur.  i don’t have good or bad days. every day is a mix.  same thing goes for my weeks, months, and years.  it’s unpredictable. unpredictability is part of life whether we like it or not.  funny… because i wrote the book on predictability.  literally!

Read more on [insert subversive subject here]…

The post [insert subversive subject here] appeared first on Predictable Revenue.

How Product Hunt Went From a Side Project to One of the Hottest Sites in Tech

We talked to founder and CEO Ryan Hoover about Product Hunt’s rapid rise to prominence.

Most of the people we’ve interviewed for this series have been seasoned entrepreneurs with great business successes behind them, either large, profitable businesses or enviable exits.

Ryan Hoover is a bit different.

At just 29, Ryan’s best successes are undoubtedly ahead of him.

Ryan is very much still in the weeds. Although his company, Product Hunt, has many hundreds of thousands of users (400,000 in October, and “much, much more than that” today), the company has a lot of work to do in building a sustainable—and profitable—business.

But he and his team have accomplished a lot, and in the last couple of years.

We talked to Ryan about how he prepared himself to be an entrepreneur, left his job to take a chance on a side project, and ended up building one of

Continue reading "How Product Hunt Went From a Side Project to One of the Hottest Sites in Tech"

Sales Training Shouldn’t Be Dogmatic, Is Yours?

Sales Training Shouldn't be Dogmatic

As I began building my first sales team from scratch at Felix in 2011 there was one thing that I wanted to make absolutely sure: I gave my reps every possible tool they needed to be successful.

I had a product that I knew very well how to sell. I also had a repeatable script that worked, clear product market fit, knew where to prospect the best leads and how to prioritize, and I’d been able to clearly train up other reps to do the same.

I slowly began to hire groups of 7, 10 and later 15 sales reps at a time and built up a large SMB floor. I made sure that I did all the hard work for my new reps, so they could step onto the floor and immediately be successful.

The old method

When new reps came in, I ran them through a rigorous training

Moses Breaking Commandments Metaphor
Continue reading "Sales Training Shouldn’t Be Dogmatic, Is Yours?"

Sales Development: The Sensation and (Now) the Book

My first job in B2B technology was as a . . . get ready for it . . . telemarketing rep.

My job was to book appointments for my field reps. I had a phone, a list of names, and the #1 best-selling CRM of the late 80s and early 90s: a spiral-bound notebook.

I have to tell you I did a hell of a job with just those few resources. Fast forward to today. Telemarketing has evolved into Sales Development. No longer the red-headed stepchild, it’s now the launch pad for outstanding companies and amazing careers.

As Sales Development has grown in stature, so has it grown in complexity. If you want high growth, explosive growth, the kind of growth that weather satellites can see from space then you need to build this role into your strategy (and not bolt it on as an afterthought).

Enter the playbook

Sales Development PlaybookI'm extremely excited to announce the official

Sales Development Six Elements
Sales Development Book | Free chapters
Continue reading "Sales Development: The Sensation and (Now) the Book"

The Question to Ask Before Starting a Company in 2016

The Roman Turtle

My father keeps a copy of Michael Porter’s Competitive Strategy on his bookshelf. An imposing dark gray tome, Competitive Strategy is a business classic. I remember reading it sometime in high school, and not understanding very much of it. It was only six years later in a college macroeconomics class, my professor helped me understand the value of the Five Forces. For startups entering a period of increased capital cost, the wisdom of Porter’s Five Forces is more important to consider now than they have been in the past few years.

The Five Forces are:

  1. The Threat of New Entrants: How easy is it for new companies to pursue this market? What barriers to entry exist?
  2. The Threat of Substitutes: What switching costs exist to keep customers with one vendor? How differentiated are the existing products in the market?
  3. The Bargaining Power of Suppliers: How much leverage do the suppliers Continue reading "The Question to Ask Before Starting a Company in 2016"