Archives For sales cycle

Pizza at Tazios

Pizza at Tazios

We’ve completed our second day of the Making Money w/ Security Workshop in Melbourne.  Lunch was a highlight of the day – a chance to try out a new pizza place in Melbourne and spend some quality time with the group.

The Role of the Presales SE is Paramount

As we finished up some of our work on the role of the Presales SE, and the powerful influence they can have on the sales process when positioned correctly, one of the attendees was able to share with us how he used some of these principles to line up 7 million dollars in business in one account.  This demonstrates the power of performing the asset-focused assessment I talk about in my book, From Vendor to Adviser.

During the course of looking at products with a his client, rather than providing a simple firewall quote, or pricing on a router, he moved toward the risk assessment.  Within four hours he was able to compromise this major client’s defenses, and present highly sensitive data to his client – this lead to an opportunity to meet with the board of directors – an honor not many sales people have had.  And with the right audience in front of him, he was able to describe, in brief, concrete terms, just how vulnerable this company’s intellectual capital was, and a plan to “get-well”.

Meeting with Board Members

In a typical board meeting you have just about 30 minutes to get to the point – and the delivery must be executive level in language and presentation style.  What do they want to know?

  • What assets are at risk – high impact issues?
  • What’s the likelihood they’ll be compromised?
  • Trending – is the risk growing or shrinking and why?
  • How are we managing this risk?
  • What steps do we need to bring us down to an acceptable level of risk?

If you can present this in simple, concrete language, providing a credible story with some new insights, you’re in.  It’s more about the presentation than it is the written document you provide, however the written part must be short, to the point, and executive level.  Be prepared to support your findings with some more technical documentation to be used later with their technical people.

Does this create a longer sales cycle?  Absolutely not.  You might invest more in the discovery process than you normally would, but the end result is much bigger, and the overall sales cycle generally shorter.  If you’re not signed up for my upcoming Making Money w/ Security workshop – you’ll want to get on the list now while there are seats available. (Click the link here to read more about it.) – this one’s virtual so you can do it from your home or desk!

© 2013, David Stelzl


Pizza in Cancun

Here in Cancun, or just south of the Cancun area.  And of course my trip would not be complete without trying the Mexican pizza!  Here is it to the left, served with hot sauce, ketchup,…but not grated cheese.  How does it rank?  Better than the Singapore pizza for sure, not like New York, but par with the India pizza which I had at least 5 times while in Bangalore late last year.  Overall it was a good experience for a quick lunch.

What has made this partner conference special?  Here are few highlights:

1.  First, Eugene Kaspersky running out on stage in his Ferrari Formula 1 racing outfit (of which he is a sponsor).  The question was raised, “How many resellers have dined with, or sat by the pool with the CEO of their strategic manufacturing partners?  It’s a great question – these partners are doing just that this week.  This guy is a real person!

Eugene Kaspersky Live

2.  Concrete information on how to grow your business.  I have had the pleasure of speaking with many partners and channel managers today – this is the recurring theme – the information is relevant.

3. Not too big, not too small.  This event is invitation only, so we have about 250 partners attending this week.  Getting around and meeting people is easy with this kind of crowd, making it easier to network, exchange ideas, and get to know people who are solving similar types of problems throughout the Americas.

4. Grand Velas – what a great destination!  It’s a bit hot, but given the weather in the states this week, who cares.  The meeting rooms are great, services is excellent, and the facilities are five star.  Very nice…(plus the pizza was pretty good).

5. Key take away – this company is committed to driving business through the channel without over distributing.   I’ve met some outstanding people on the Kaspersky side – all of them excited to be a part of this team and working hard to build the business.

Tomorrow I will be speaking first thing in the morning on how to leverage the discovery and assessment process to grow the business.  As with all security technology products, no one wants to spend money on insurance, but when a real need can be shown, sales cycles are quickly shortened.  Look for a recap on YouTube…which I’ll post tomorrow.

© 2011, David Stelzl

How do Professional Speakers Improve?

Yesterday I compared professional speaking to selling…here is what the professionals focus on:

o Stories.  This topic deserves more later, but in short, stories are central to any great presentation.  Recall your favorite conferences and I bet the speaker had great stories.  And they were likely personal stories.  Practice them, write them out, record them, listen to them, tighten them up, and make them perfect.

o The Alpha.  The alpha is the opening – the point in the meeting when your listeners either tune in or check out.  Memorize it, rehearse it, know it, and speak it.  Every sales call is different, but contrary to popular opinion, your opening can be memorized and modified slightly to meet the need.  Assume you have about six seconds to grab their attention.

o Sound Bites.  Sound bites bring credibility, create interest, and build your case.   Don’t over do it, but be armed with well-rehearsed sound bites from credible sources; sources your target audience will recognize and believe.

o The Close.  Next steps are the key to moving the sales cycle forward.  Make sure you know where you are going and you have a compelling process to move your client forward.  Seth Godin, Author of Permission Marketing, writes about steps of permission that are gained along the way.  What is the next step needed in the permission chain.

Almost every time I speak, I record it.  Sometimes I have video; other times I just have audio.  Watching and listening to yourself will give you a whole new perspective. Is your presentation style high-impact, emotionally charged, exciting,… enthusiastic?  Is it credible and do you deliver concrete concepts that allow the listener to visualize the issues and proposed solutions?  If not, head back to the lab to rebuild.  Don’t expect this to be easy.  It’s like golf, every move matters, and lots of practice is required.  It also pays to take a lesson from someone who knows.  But just imagine doubling your effectiveness and cutting your sales cycle in half.  If there is one area that deserves some investment, it’s your message and delivery.

© 2011, David Stelzl