Archives For professional development

At The DropBox Office

October 18, 2016 — Leave a comment


The Important, But Difficult Transformation…

From Vendor to Advisor

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with Ingram Micro’s Datacenter Advisory Board to discuss the important transformation: From Vendor to Advisor.

Meeting at the DropBox office in San Francisco (Amazing office space!), I covered five key areas of transformation. But one important one, every sales person should be engaged in right now is that of understanding the CIO and their current challenges.

CIOs are in trouble in many respects. If you call on businesses large enough to staff a actual CIO, and you were to get their honest input on where things are headed, you might be surprised to hear what’s going on.

The office of CIO is under fire right now from two sides…

On one side, the business leadership is looking for CIOs to lead the charge with digitalization. That means figuring out how to leverage transformational technologies to compete in a digital world. Customer experience is the focus here, and customers want to be connected online. Amazon-like interaction is becoming more and more expected. The sales rep who can provide business insight on how to transform the business is going to be highly sought after.  CIOs can’t so this alone.$1 HC Book Ad

But few reps are doing anything more than parroting data sheet features and functions. The answer? Every rep should be back in school! By that I mean taking time to learn about business.

Reading the CIO Journal is a great start. But don’t stop there. Read books written by the top business authors. Every month I recommend books I find value in through my Insider’s Edge Newsletter.  One book I recently recommended, Traction, offers great insights into the business planning process.  Business planning might not sound like technology sales stuff, but it is central to what business leaders need. Start with the things they are already engaged in, and then move to the digital age to help them solve real-world problems.

On the other side there is security. The fact is, security is changing, and CIOs are being asked to present a measurement of risk to their board. Where does that data come from? In the very large enterprise, such as Bank of America (where I used to work years ago), there are teams that handle that sort of thing. But come down a step or two and it doesn’t exist.

One of my clients, who manages this entire process for regional banks, recently reported achieving over 400% of his quota in just 6 short months, simply by providing this to his clients.  They need it, and they’ll pay for it.

The  Trusted Advisor  Formula

There are two ingredients – Trusted and Able to Advise. It’s obvious. Maybe even silly. When I say this on stage it usually gets a laugh.

But there is an important question here.  Are you able to advise on the things your execute-level clients really need advice on? If not, how will you equip yourself to make this transformation? It’s not easy. It takes diligence in reading, studying, and listening to/ watching great content. Those who take the time to study will see the results. Those who don’t may find the next decade in this business to be impossible.

© 2017, David Stelzl




August 15, 2012 — 2 Comments

Half the year is already gone – at least if you’re watching the calender year.  It’s around this time each year that I take some time to review my year personally.  I review my plan, by goals, my vision and mission, and I look to see if I am on track with the things I really wanted to accomplish this year.  I don’t buy into complex business plans that no one reads – I know you need them for investors…but as a sales person, division manager, small business owner, and just personally, you should be tracking on some basic goals, and aiming at something through the year.

Take a moment this week and ask yourself some questions:

  • Do I have a passion for what I am doing?  I am working on something I really care about or am I wasting a year of my life?  If you’re not focused on something you really care about, I recommend getting a migration plan in place…life is too short to waste it.
  • Am I on track with developing my business, or am I just busy?  Remember to work on your business through the year – rather than just working hard in your business.  If you are not improving you business, you are not building for the future.  At some point your business will dry up unless you continue to innovate.
  • Do I have a personal development plan in place and am I on track with it.  Closely following point 2, you should be working on some personal development things along the way.  Are you reading, working with a coach, scheduled for training…or are you riding on your raw talent?  People are either improving or digressing.  Which are you doing?  You don’t grow without working on it.
  • Is your life balance in balance?  Are you all work and no family?  Are you all work and no personal time?  Or are you not really working this year?  All of these end badly.  Take a look at your time allocation and make sure you are giving balanced time and attention to clients and your business, spouse and kids, personal growth, spiritual life, and whatever else is part of your life balance.
  • Are you managing your finances?  Do you know where your business is financially – are you over spending, betting on the future, taking unnecessary risks…are you taking on debt in an unstable economy?  Make sure your cash flow is in order, your debt is on the decline, and your budget is balanced.

A few things I am doing this week:

  1. Updating my goals for 2012 – adjusting, course correcting, and updating the status.
  2. Checking my business against my vision – am I on the right path for where I want to be in 2013?
  3. Reviewing my strengths and 2012 victories – invest more in your strengths, get rid of those things that are dragging you down.  This is a good time to cut people who work for you, if they are not living up to your expectations.
  4. Reviewing frustrations and putting some get well ideas in place.

A Couple of Important Projects I am Working On:

  • Finishing up an eBook on effective event marketing – should be out soon along with a free Webinar on success!
  • Putting in place my mentor private forum and building some tools and content to fill it out.  This will be available from my home page:
  • Adding more audio programs for professional development – on my webstore…

© 2012, David Stelzl