Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Success Is An Inside Job



Success Is An Inside Job
by Bill Caskey

Contrary to the old adage, I believe great salespeople are made, not born. Furthermore, the "making" of a great salesperson involves more than just going to the right training classes or having the right coaches. It also requires developing the attitudes, attributes and inner discipline that allow you to maximize what you've learned in those classes and coaching sessions. What are these qualities? Following is my list of the top five attributes of a high-performance sales professional.

Mental toughness. This is skill number one for all salespeople, yet typically it hovers below the radar screen of most conventional sales trainers and recruiters. The top 5% of sales professionals achieve at a higher level than 50% of the rest. Some might attribute these results to superior closing, probing, or territory management skills. In reality, they're a result of mental toughness: the inner ability to know what to do, coupled with the mechanical ability to execute it.

Profound communication skills. Effective communication involves more than just matching and mirroring prospects. Profound communication skills enable you to create an environment of trust in which prospects become willing to share and reveal the truth about their problems. Ninety percent of sales processes are based on lies, misinformation and gamesmanship. In order to get prospects to open up and reveal their problems, you must understand how to communicate in a way that elicits truth. Then, and only then, will you be working on the right problems.

Knowledge of value. Some would say this is not a skill. But if not, what is it? If you don't understand the core tenets of your value proposition, how can you expect to articulate them effectively to the marketplace? In fact, most salespeople have a weak understanding of what a value proposition is, which is why they typically convey only a small percentage of the value their company really offers. Communicating real value requires study, practice, and shedding preconceived notions about what selling really is.

The ability to deal with humans. Those pesky humans! Wouldn't it be nice to not have to deal with all their insecurities and pains? But then, who would write the checks, approve the deals, and have the motivation? When you accepted life on earth, you accepted the challenge of relationships. The better you are at having a relationship with yourself, the better you will be at external relationships. This applies to relationships with your superiors, clients, prospects, vendors and anyone else you come in contact with. If you're in sales, you signed up for relationships, and lots of them. So your skill at dealing with people is essential. Do you have a good psychological understanding of why people do the things they do? Do you know why most prospects lie about their true motives when a salesperson shows up? Do you know why a prospect gets excited about the presentation, only to disappear two weeks later? Do you know why some prospects simply cannot pull the trigger to buy? People who study this stuff get real good, real quick. They make a great deal of money because they are dialed into their profession at an entirely different level than their competitors.

Process thinking. This essential skill keeps you from spending too much time with the wrong people in the sales process. Time is an active asset, ticking away each day. Do you spend it talking with true prospects who understand and believe in your value, or with average prospects who have to be convinced of the value in your services?

Ideally, it would the former: potential clients who see your value. But that's not what usually happens. Because of insecurity about their own value, most salespeople will spend time with anyone who extends an invitation. Then, instead of telling the prospect that it doesn't appear to be a good fit, they continue trying to force a fit, ending with confusion, frustration, and possibly a small deal that was hardly worth the time.

When you understand up front what a good prospect is, how he thinks and acts, you will spend more time with the right people. Success is an inside job. By focusing on developing these five attributes, you will acquire the positive attitude and mental discipline necessary to be a high performing salesperson, and accomplish all you desire in the field of sales.


Contact me at tradd.duggan@integratelecom.com at Integra  for more Info 3o3-884-4294: Assisting companies with key Technology improvements, Cloud Firewall Solutions, Ethernet or Fiber Services, MPLS- Data protection, VOIP-SIP-Integra has a suite of offerings that nobody else can provide.


 
 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Checklist for a Successful Office Move-Identifying Your IT Infrastructure Needs



Checklist for a Successful Office Move
By Integra On July 8, 2014

In Featured, Technology 2 Comments It’s All About the Details Moving a company to a new location whether it is in a new city or just to another floor in the same building is full of challenges. Integra understands the obstacles and opportunities your company is facing and we developed a timeline to provide an overview of the moving process and a best practices guide with tips to help you avoid the pitfalls along the way. This week, we focus on the important details that your team should track when moving your IT infrastructure with a checklist. Use it to begin working with your IT team and work with other groups to develop their specific checklists. Your IT infrastructure is vital to the operations of your company.

IT is one of the most complex areas to move since there are many details involved. Our checklist focuses on four areas for an IT move:

• Build Your Move Team – Minimize business disruptions during the move as well as make improvements that can result in savings and more efficient processes by working with your IT team as early as possible.
• Evaluate the New Site – Make a thorough evaluation of the new site to help you understand the extent of changes needed.
• Assess Your Technology and Equipment – Know the current state of your technology, infrastructure and equipment before making decisions on what to change, replace or discontinue.
• Confirm Your Business Continuity Plan – Keep your business running by being prepared for move-related problems by making sure you have backups for all of your company’s critical data and systems.

In addition to identifying tasks, you can also align your project timeline with your checklist(s) to add due dates to tasks and assign priorities. Review the tasks regularly with your team, adding new items as needed and checking off items as they are completed. Besides providing an easy way to track and communicate your project’s progress, the checklist is a great tool to help put focus on the details that contribute to a successful move with minimal downtime.

Contact me at tradd.duggan@integratelecom.com at Integra  for more Info 3o3-884-4294: Whether your company needs Managed Network Services, price shopping, Cloud Firewall Solutions, Ethernet or Fiber Services, MPLS- Data protection, VOIP-SIP-Integra has a suite of offerings that nobody else can provide.







 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My 5 Favorite Apps For Business and For Fun!




Dave Hemler is CEO of Revation Systems, which delivers secure and compliant communication and collaboration platforms to organizations in regulated and high-compliance.

1. Evernote A perennial favorite, with good reason: I keep track of everything in Evernote. Since I'm someone who can often be described as forgetful, Evernote is an app I use across all my devices and PCs to keep track of things both business and personal. Notes from all of my meetings are easily tagged and searchable. I can set reminders on notes and share important ones with others in the company. I keep all my shopping lists by location in Evernote, such that I’ve largely eliminated that “what else did I need to get?” moment when I’m standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. Configuration information for various systems, recipes I like, and notes from books or talks that resonated with me are all in there.

2. LastPass With all the noise and scare in early May from the Heartbleed vulnerability to so many websites, I was glad I was using LastPass. It’s a secure password management service and app that I use across my devices. It allows me to save my passwords in the LastPass vault and not have to remember and type passwords for all the various sites and online services I visit. It will automatically generate very strong passwords for you, and it flags sites where you may be using the same password if you aren’t using their generated passwords. From a work perspective it’s great since I can delegate access to various sites and logins without disclosing any of the underlying information. For example, I could grant server access to a support team member without actually giving him or her any login or password information. With so much of Revation’s business in regulated industries like banking and healthcare, that extra control and security is a significant benefit.

3. Box Box is yet another service and app combination that I depend on and use on all my devices. It allows me to securely share and collaborate with our employees and our customers regardless of device or location. There are a lot of great cloud file-sharing services (Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox among them), but Box stands out for its security, simple but powerful content sharing and viewing tools, and extensibility. Whether it’s sharing proofs for large marketing and image files or getting customer sign-off on a promotional video, Box makes it easy for me to share and update on whatever device I happen to be on.

4. Trello I’ve experimented with a variety of task applications and to-do management tools but lately I’ve been using Trello to help me manage my commitments and deliverables both personally and professionally. Trello is a visual organization tool that uses Kanban principles associated with Lean Six Sigma to help you track progress, display next steps, organize, and arrange projects, tasks and just about anything else. I like it better than other apps I’ve used ( any.do is a very good one) because it allows me to both see detail on my tasks but also really zoom out to get a big picture – something I found hard to do with other apps. It’s also easy to share, add others to collaborate, and assign cards and tasks to others.

5. Hubspot At Revation, we use HubSpot as our integrated marketing tool – everything from email marketing and our company blog to social media and targeted inbound marketing. It’s really been a great tool for us, and HubSpot have recently released mobile apps for iOS and Android. These allow me to see progress on our marketing activities, get notified when we have new leads, publish and monitor social media, and really take action on any marketing tasks from my mobile devices that would previously have required me to be at my PC. My favorite app for fun Dots When I need a break or some quick rejuvenation, I turn to Dots. In general I’m not much of a gamer, but Dots is just a gorgeous and deceptively simple game about connecting dots of the same color. The developer, Betaworks One has just released a sequel to the game cleverly called Two Dots (currently only available on iOS) that should soon become my new obsession.

Article Link

Contact me at tradd.duggan@integratelecom.com at Integra  for more Info 3o3-884-4294: Whether your company needs Managed Network Services, price shopping, Cloud Firewall Solutions, Ethernet or Fiber Services, MPLS- Data protection, VOIP-SIP-Integra has a suite of offerings that nobody else can provide.




 

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Game Plan for Successful Prospecting, Whether Technology, Telecom or any Industry!



Prospecting is hard. I can't find anyone who disagrees with that statement. Even people who are good at it freely admit that it is challenging. And if prospecting was hard before, it is even harder now.

Look at some of these statistics:
•90% of C-level executives say that they never respond to cold calls or email blasts (Harvard Business Review)
•94% of buyers couldn’t remember a single prospector or message they had received during the last two years (Huthwaite®)
•90% of your calls will end up in voicemail
•It takes 12.73 dials to get a connect when calling a list of prospects with direct phone numbers and 18.83 when calling switchboard numbers.

 (Vorsight) Most people’s first reaction to the data referenced above is that prospecting doesn’t work anymore. It's a fair assessment, but unless your company’s marketing department is providing you with 100% of the opportunities that fill your pipeline, you need to prospect. The good news is there are lots of people who are still building big businesses successfully prospecting against this very difficult backdrop. A great example are appointment-setting firms. They are still outbound prospecting and driving hundreds of appointments for sales people every month for great companies. When done correctly and persistently, outbound prospecting still works.

In order to help ease the pain, I have provided some of the successful prospecting best practices that we use at TOPO to train our customers:
1. Identify — The first thing you have to do is find the right person to speak with. Even when you start with a list, you should do your research (see #2 below) and then ask around in the organization. When calling into an account for the first time, hit “zero #” when you get voicemail and get transferred to an admin to make sure you are calling the right person and see if there are others to speak with.

2. Research — Before you call someone, do 3-5 minutes of research to find something, anything that allows you to connect with the buyer. Your goal should be to come away with 2-3 interesting pieces of information you can use in your conversation. LinkedIn, Google, your CRM notes all contain the information you need to be relevant. Most prospects don’t want you to just call and read a script. If you can make your approach personal, then you can change the nature of the relationship from buyer-seller to business person-business person.

3. Find a referral — Often times it’s not your message; it’s the fact that some prospects will just delete anything you send. You could send them the message: “I am about to give you $1 million in cash. It’s in your lobby right now.” It would still get nothing. Often you need help from someone your prospect already trusts. According the Edelman Trust Barometer, 84% of b2b buyer decision makers begin the buying process from a referral. If you are building your network, there is a referral somewhere... ask them for an intro.

4. Be relevant — Matt Heinz once said to me: “If you are relevant, then it’s not spam.” He was talking about email, but it is the same thing across all your channels. Prospects are busier than ever and are getting blasted by marketing and sales calls left and right. You have to show the buyer that you understand their business and can be trusted to solve their pain. Here are some examples of usable intelligence in order of effectiveness: •Social intelligence — Social intelligence tends to be the best intelligence. The information someone shares on social is something they care about and can make for easy connections. You can truly personalize the message with this kind of information. Someone once got me with the following message: “I just read your blog and decided ‘I have to talk to this guy.’ I especially loved your post on x. I work with incredible entrepreneurs like you to …” •Publicly available buyer intelligence — If you have nothing on social, just tie back to some publicly available information. For example, if they are an insurance firm, then mention that you help other insurance firms grow by X% for example. There is a great post on how a young entrepreneur got a meeting with Mark Cuban. There are a number of great points in the post but one simple thing the writer did was mention the fact that he was an entrepreneur in the first sentence of the email. He wanted Cuban to see it in his Gmail preview pane since entrepreneurs love entrepreneurs. These little touches change the view of the buyer from “canned outreach” to a personal “I know you and can help you” message. •Any intelligence — I remember talking to Mike Lodato from Network Hardware Resale about how they lifted email conversion rates by just mentioning the local weather in the opening sentence.

 5. Make multiple touches over a multi-week period – As a general rule, you want to make six to eight multi-channel touches over the course of two weeks: Phone + email + social (LinkedIn InMail, retweet them, like them, etc.). Dan McDade has a great write-up on this concept that I recommend. Buyers are very busy. They don’t call you back. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. It just means you haven’t connected with them. You want to create a patterned, consistent outreach program that consists of a mix of channels and a mix of offers and message. Do it in a contained timeframe of two weeks.

6. Have a multi-channel approach — For me there are a number of reasons to use multiple channels (phone, email, and social): •You have no idea the best way to reach this person. •You gradually build personal and corporate brand equity over each touch. •When you do connect, the buyer knew you were going to call. Think of your communications in packs of two or three. Every voicemail gets an email and an InMail for instance. Prospecting is a mix of process, art, and effort. For process, you can use this post as a framework to get started, but build on it from there. The art is in what you say/write and when you say/write it. Be patient with messaging, trial and error will only make you better. And finally, effort. Prospecting requires hours of thankless activity to be successful. The rewards only come to those willing to put in the work.

Article Link
 
Contact me at tradd.duggan@integratelecom.com at Integra  for more Info 3o3-884-4294: Whether your company needs Managed Network Services, price shopping, Cloud Firewall Solutions, Ethernet or Fiber Services, MPLS- Data protection, VOIP-SIP-Integra has a suite of offerings that nobody else can provide.

 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Level 3 buying TW Telecom in $5.7B deal

Level 3 (NYSE: LVLT) of Broomfield and TW Telecom (Nasdaq: TWTC), based in the Lone Tree area, announced the deal Monday morning. The deal would be a bigger acquisition for Level 3 than its $3 billion purchase of Florham, New Jersey-based Global Crossing in 2011.

Level 3 says it will buy TW Telecom in a stock-and-cash deal valued at $40.86 a share. That translates to each TW Telecom shareholder receiving $10 in cash and and 0.7 shares of Level 3 for each share of TW Telecom. The deal is valued at $7.3 billion, including about $1.6 billion of debt. TW Telecom shareholders will own approximately 29 percent of the combined company.

The deal is subject to approval by shareholders of both companies as well as the Federal Communications Commission and other federal and state regulators. It's expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Article Link

Contact me at tradd.duggan@integratelecom.com at Integra  for more Info 3o3-884-4294: Whether your company needs Managed Network Services, price shopping, Cloud Firewall Solutions, Ethernet or Fiber Services, MPLS- Data protection, VOIP-SIP-Integra has a suite of offerings that nobody else can provide.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Embracing the Cloud Means Altering Business Practices



It’s nearly impossible to open a business journal today without hearing about how the cloud is available to take over and automate virtually any software function that a business might need. The cloud offers so many advantages in terms of services-for-cost that it’s easy for a business to find a reason to jump onboard. What many don’t realize is that moving towards cloud services will end up changing the internal environment at a business. Telecom agents should be aware of these changes and should able to advise their clients in this respect.

Geographic Independence Cloud-based data services and virtualization go hand-in-hand. Companies that move their servers onto the cloud can then provide the exact same computing environment to their workers, regardless of their location. Someone at home could log in as easily as someone in the office–right along someone on the other side of the world. Some businesses are even beginning to question the extent to which they need physical property at all if their workforce is distributed. Many major call center providers, for example, deploy virtualized systems to send calls to workers at home, eliminating the need for a physical building with hundreds of phone lines.

Strategic Internal Collaboration Consolidating business systems online can ultimately empower more employees to contribute positively to the whole organization. The days of having separate R&D, marketing, and sales departments may be quickly coming to an end. After all, if a company’s marketing department is sitting on all the best analyses of its customer base, why wouldn’t the department be invited to product development meetings?

A growing number of companies are finding success with more democratic strategic processes, powered by cloud-based data availability. There’s very little reason to keep departments segregated. Often, it just leads to overlap and bad blood; this would include the unfortunate tendency of sales and marketing departments to work at cross-purposes.

IT Gains a Different Kind of Value Some businesses tend to see cloud-based services as a way to eliminate internal IT, but a smart telecom agent would advise against short-sighted strategies. The cloud won’t eliminate IT, but it can change IT’s focus and areas of responsibility. A business’s IT department will likely end up responsible for coordinating the various cloud vendors while ensuring that different systems remain compatible. Furthermore, since IT touches every aspect of a business, the IT department ultimately will be responsible for the flow of information throughout the system. As customer solutions increasingly become technology solutions, an empowered IT department will also be a strong strategic partner. The department will be in a position to proactively recommend solutions aimed at increasing efficiency across a business–rather than simply responding to problems reactively.

Cloud Services Bring a Vision of the Future It might be “sales 101″ to say that sales are created through visions of the future, but this is especially true when selling cloud services. These aren’t simply software services; they’re game-changers that allow a business to radically restructure itself in response to global market demands. Successful telecom agents will know how to play up these elements and pitch cloud services as a roadmap to a shinier future. When a business is excited and enthusiastic about that roadmap, its employees will adapt more quickly and show faster returns on their investment.

Telecom Channel Blog Article Link


Contact me at tradd.duggan@integratelecom.com at Integra  for more Info 3o3-884-4294: Whether your company needs Managed Network Services, price shopping, Cloud Firewall Solutions, Ethernet or Fiber Services, MPLS- Data protection, VOIP-SIP-Integra has a suite of offerings that nobody else can provide.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Future Transportation Technology Will Blow Your Mind






Contact me at tradd.duggan@integratelecom.com at Integra  for more Info 3o3-884-4294: Whether your company needs Managed Network Services, price shopping, Cloud Firewall Solutions, Ethernet or Fiber Services, MPLS- Data protection, VOIP-SIP-Integra has a suite of offerings that nobody else can provide.