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Shooting in the Dark

February 10, 2011 — Leave a comment

Yesterday I mentioned Covey’s second habit – Beginning with the end in mind…how does this work in practice?

When planning a sales call, “the end”, or meeting outcome must be the first consideration!  Doing otherwise wastes both yours and the prospects time.  What should the call outcome be?  Almost every company I work with can tell me what tends to lead to a sale.  For instance, last week I was speaking at a software company’s partner summit.  They quoted a statistic showing that ninety percent of their “Proof of Concept” initiatives lead to a buying decision.  In another national sales meeting I spoke at, an access assurance company presented a similar statistic.  One reseller client I work with on quarterly marketing events says that he closes follow-on projects for ninety percent of the complementary assessments he offers.  With this in mind, they are generally able to quantify what qualifies their proof of concept effort, who should be involved, and how to run the program.  This is the goal, to get to this point with these people.  On the other hand, my non-scientific surveys show that companies are closing about ten percent of their proposals; even among companies who have shared their key to success as stated above.  What that tells me is we are writing the proposals before getting to that predictable key point in the sales process, or we just have not identified it yet.   If you don’t know the end goal, you’re just shooting in the dark.  If you do know it, you may be wasting great opportunities.

© 2011, David Stelzl

My two day workshop with Courion, as always in these marketing strategy sessions, was just as much a learning session for me as it was helpful to those I worked with.  As we considered the urgency of data risk as it relates to unauthorized access, undetected misuse, and the growing dilemma of unstructured data, Bob forwarded me a telling article on P2P networking that parallels one of the best cases for more security I’ve ever read… (See my post on P2P Peril –

The point:  Companies and institutions are using P2P networks, but many don’t understand how to manage the security side of this powerful application, and are inadvertently putting sensitive data online with unrestricted access.  Check out this recent article from The Washington Post – then head to clients and include this topic in any assessments or risk analysis.