Posts tagged Dave blogs
Posts tagged Dave blogs
By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap
I went to Las Vegas last week for ITExpo – “The Business Technology Event” – and learned about some really valuable communication tools that keep upping the functionality and ease of use for customer-focused business users. I enjoyed the conversations with these guys, and thought I’d share some quick details.
Zoom is better video conferencing and online screensharing. Here’s a detailed list of features that will appeal to different users, from people that have satellite teams to those who run online meetings. My favorite aspect of Zoom is the ability to share your screen from your mobile device, even in-app. Screensharing is getting more important all the time, and making it easier and richer and more device-agnostic feels really smart. Zoom should definitely be featured in our free “Tools & Tactics to Close More SQLs” eBook – we’ll add them to future resource lists on this topic. Also, they have an awesome freemium plan.
They’ve organized the briar patch of inbound and outbound calling for sales teams with incredible value-adds in how calls get routed and queued up based on specific rules that sales leaders can define. For example, if you have a rep that is awesome at closing opportunities around a certain line of business, you can make sure those calls go to her.
I love the way RingDNA lets you play to the strengths of your team. It really rewards introspective leaders, letting you transform that self-analysis into productive actions that build your bottom line.
They’re making conference calls better. That means no PINs to join the call, and no ambiguity about who’s on the call or who’s speaking. Social data gets pulled up on the fly, so you can sneak a peek at the LinkedIn profile of that new guy Harold in Minneapolis that you never heard of before the call. UberConference also lets you share screens and documents, so you don’t need to pair it with another tool like WebEx.
This product lets consumers text businesses and receive automated responses based on rules that the business sets up. Makes sense to me that consumers want to text businesses to gather information, and that some information can be automated for really easy access. Haven’t played with this but it’s always a good idea to let consumers access information in their preferred format.
For people reading this post who don’t know Vsnap, we make video messaging easy for sales people who don’t have face time with their buyer. An individual video message is the most efficient way to establish trust with the buyer, and our clients are increasing their close rate by as much as 34%.
I represented Vsnap on a panel called “Killer Tools for Customer Acquisition”, along with the RingDNA CEO Howard Brown and Business Texter CEO Aaron Rollins, which was moderated by telecom guru and business strategy savant Larry Lisser.
The big takeaway for me is that there is more specificity to communication tools than ever before. Business users should look to bolt together different products to get the full functionality their specific challenges demand.
Because today’s customer is more empowered than at any time in the history of commerce, and you simply cannot expect to win by doing the same old stuff in terms of engagement, collaboration and sales.
For more IT Expo coverage, check out Peter Radizeski’s blog On Rad’s Radar.
By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap
Yesterday, Mike Sadeghpour (LinkedIn, Twitter) led a discussion at Vsnap about understanding the role of emotion in sales, both for buyers and for sellers. The participants were from sales teams at a range of companies, from startups on the rise to a multi-billion dollar business with a thousand-plus reps.
A bit of background on Mike. He began exploring the mental and emotional aspects of high performance in the context of competitive sports. He won the NCAA hockey championship at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, then stayed at RPI as a member of the coaching staff. At the same time, he earned his Masters in Performance Psychology.
After school, Mike entered the sales realm, and over the years he has sold everything, from class rings to competitive research. And he’s held every role, from individual contributor to VP, SVP and EVP. Today, Mike is a sought-after speaker, mentor and coach through his consulting practice, edgeThink (www.whatisyouredge.com).
Yesterday’s conversation was called “Thrive in Q4” and it was framed around what sales leaders can do right now to impact 2014 revenues. We covered too much to recap, so here are just two big ideas I think are worth highlighting.
Q4 Pressure Vectors
Mike deconstructed that pressure that creeps up in Q4, breaking it down along four key vectors where pressure builds — the pipeline, the forecast, the quota, and the W2. All of that bubbles up to the overarching pressure around job security.
What is the effect of rising pressure? Well, think of it as a pipe that is constricting. Your brain actually begins to behave differently, explained Mike. In high-pressure contexts, people have a tendency to rely on intellectual shortcuts, or what Mike calls “thinking traps”. He spelled out eight of them for us, things like Tunnel Vision, where reps start to see only the negative aspects of a situation. Or Mind Reading, where the rep unwittingly begins to invent the details of what the buyer is thinking, creating a false basis for their next actions.
The takeaway here is two-fold. First, you need to recognize how real the pressure is for your reps, and where it’s coming from. Why? Because that helps you watch for the patterns that will probably start to play out. And understanding those patterns gives you the ability to help your reps rise above their thinking traps and all the misleading, counter-productive emotions that go with them.
Fixed Mindset or Growth Mindset?
This is less of a Q4 comment and more of a framework for thinking about the connection between emotion and achievement more broadly. Mike referenced a concept from the work of Stanford professor Dr. Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset (video). In short, the idea is that we are either Failure Avoiders or Success Seekers, and the distinction comes down to mindset. Failure Avoiders have a rigid or fixed mindset. They believe they know what they need to know, full stop. Success Seekers have a growth mindset. They have high self-confidence, but they also believe they can become better at what they do — and they actively look for learnings to help them do that.
For sales leaders, this idea offers another lens for looking at your team and identifying how to help them succeed. The mindset lens helps you identify what’s going on internally in those situations, and it connects you with a resource — Dr. Dweck’s book — that you can explore more deeply.
Also, since my company advocates a new behavior — one-to-one video messaging — for our clients, I see this mindset lens as valuable relative to identifying our most likely buyers. After all, fixed mindset “failure avoiders” are very unlikely to take on the risk that comes with being an internal champion for a new tool, even one as powerful and impactful as Vsnap.
Let’s Do It Again!
The people who sat at our table yesterday are Success Seekers. They are growth mindset people. They want to learn and they want lead their teams, whether by authority or by example, to bigger and better outcomes. Personally, I love to be around people like that. As Mike said at the start of his talk, emotions are contagious!
So we’re going to do this again — we’ll host another conversation on the same topic, right after Labor Day. Because we’re going to keep it small, we will ask you to fill out this form if you’d like to participate. We just want to be sure we’re involving people who are committed to participating with that all-important spirit of learning and enthusiasm, and the desire to put new ideas into action and capture the benefits.
By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap
For many businesses that sell enterprise software, July can be a slow month. That makes it a perfect time to be experimenting with new technologies and processes. I reached out to a few contacts to ask them if they think of July in this way. Here’s what they had to say.
“July is halftime on our year. We use it to regroup, check what’s working and what’s not, and to be sure we’re doing more of the former and less of the latter in the back half of the year. It’s a good discipline, given how different the world usually looks in July than it did in December.”
“July and August are great months to test stuff with hardcore users — those that will use your product despite the natural tendency to go off the productivity grid for the summer.”
This July, Nugent is testing a new connection capability in their product, and a new approach to gathering data directly from GPs.
“July is a great time to try things. More off-time, fewer coworkers around, less overall grind — it just gives you more space to explore. In essence, a refreshed mind and less cluttered calendar is a requirement for developing and trying new ideas.”
Bertuzzi is currently testing a new Salesforce.com app he has built. Also, as a result of some new strategic thinking, his team has accelerated a major technology purchase that had been tabled for several quarters.
“People are in the office,” Moriarty says, “but they’re doing less since the decision-makers are less available to give them approvals. That can actually be an opportunity to really capture attention.” Moriarty’s team is using this as an opportunity to test edgier collateral to more aggressively capture attention. That ranges from trying different messages in reps’ talk tracks to actual A/B/C testing of messaging on their site.
I did get some push-back on my premise that July is the time to try and test new tactics.
Emily Green, CEO and Chief Lunch Lady at Smart Lunches, reminded me that many businesses have seasonality, and so the summer months aren’t always the slow time of year. Also, she pushed the perspective that companies should be allocating resources for testing at all times.
“Vibrant learning businesses are always trying things,” Green says. “Fail Fast is the startup mantra — but why isn’t that the motto for every business that wants to grow?”
Burton says it’s easy to empathize with sales leaders who are under pressure and feel they don’t have time for testing. They effectively say, “Our approach may be imperfect but it’s predictable.”
But, says Burton, every organization is resource-constrained — that’s no excuse for sticking with approaches that can be improved on.
“Depending on stage of the company or the area of the business that’s being developed,” says Burton, “I put a percentage of time and effort on execution/scale, and a percentage of time and effort on experiment/build. Striking the right balance is key, but too much of one without the other, and you’re doing an incredible disservice to individuals, the team and the company.”
Test and learn, whether you’re slow or busy. That’s what these leaders say is the recipe for growth. If you can do it year-round, that’s great. But at a minimum, you should be trying new products during your downtimes to help you capture maximum growth during the busier months.