Reputation 2.0

A fellow Torontonian, Tibor Shanto posted ‘Reputation 2.0’ on his blog SellBetter.ca/blog/, on March 18, 2010:

Your Reputation Gets Around Even When You Don’t!

When I was young(er) and just entering corporate life, I was lucky enough to meet someone who left a profound impression on me and my professional life since. He told me, “When you first come in to business all you have is your reputation, and you spend the rest your career maintaining it. If you lose that you have nothing at the end, not matter how much wealth you accumulate along the way”.

This was valid in the pre-web days, but this advice is that much more relevant today in the Web 2.0 days or for those of us in sales, Sales 2.0. At a time when information truly moves at lightning speed, you can both enhance and ruin your reputation in an instance.

On the down side, your buyers are much more connected than ever, they are aware not only things you want them to know, and as much aware of things you always hoped they would never know. Most sellers work hard at influencing their clients, creating an impression of their product, their company and themselves in the process, and while their good deeds are carried across the social waves, so are and indiscretions or simple faux pas, at time with much greater velocity.

Sellers need to be much more conscious and conscientious about their “social media footprint”. Unlike what many want to believe, there is no separation between their personal and business related Web 2.0 or Sales 2.0 activities, it is all one stream. We do not have the comfort of looking all very prim and proper on LinkedIn while “letting our hair down” (or other things) on Facebook. It is no longer a novelty for companies to check out these and other sites when considering potential candidates for positions, or vendors and sellers when it comes to deciding on a purchase, it is SOP.

It goes a lot further than that, it does not take much to see what you Digg and how that jives with the image you are projecting with your buyer. A disconnect there can only lead them to believe that you are disingenuous and may not be worthy of their business. And they don’t even have to make much of an effort, there are companies that are happy to do it for them for a nominal fee.

Some may argue that this is not right, what you do in your personal time is your business and should not affect you as a seller, wrong Dorothy, it does. This isn’t about the “business you” and the “private you”, especially if you are always preaching that people buy from people, yes they do, and now they have a way of seeing the “entire you”, not just the “9:00 to 5:00 you”. This is also not about being right or wrong, as a friend of mine always asks me “do you want to be right, or do you want to be rich?”, in sales you want to go with rich.

It doesn’t take a lot to guard and be smart, you don’t have to “compromise” or “give in to the man”, you just need to be smart and prepared, which is a basic tenet in sales anyway, so just extend it to your “social media footprint”. As we said up top, “Your Reputation Gets Around Even When You Don’t”, so make an effort to keep an eye on it.

 

Tibor Shanto’s post reminded me of a talk given by Mitch Joel in February 2010. Here is the beginning of Mitch Joel’s corresponding blog post from twistimage.com/blog/:

Personal Branding R.I.P.

“The concept of Personal Branding has lost it’s way. It’s becoming less and less personal.

Personal Branding seemed to be something unique and powerful because of the advent of the Internet and the Social Media channels. Suddenly, any one individual could express themselves (in text, images, audio and video) instantly (and free) to the world. The smartest people could now be heard. The shy people could now connect to others who were like them. Those interested in Digital Marketing suddenly had all of this great content being published by their peers that they could add to, connect to and build a community around. We didn’t need the permission or acceptance of the mass media channels to get coverage or ink. Suddenly, we could build our own media channels and get the word out about who we are and what we have to say.

Those that were doing it well, were doing it authentically and with true passion.

While there’s nothing wrong with having a media channel that allows anyone and everyone to have a publishing platform, the concept of Personal Branding has evolved along with it. Instead of people really digging deep, opening up and living passionately, we’re moving ever-closer to the point where most individuals are expressing their Personal Brands in ways that make them look more like sterile and plastic TV news anchors than original thinkers. It’s not everyone (there are still many who are using these channels to really highlight and explore their unique personalities), but there is an ever-growing group of those who come off as fake, insincere, and simply out for their own personal gain. In short, they seem and feel like plastic and taste like vanilla.

The good news is that you can ignore them or not follow them.

The bad news is that if everyone treats Social Media like it’s mass media, and attempts to be everything to everybody, it’s going to come off as fake and inauthentic. Does this mean that we have to forgo social norms to be authentic? Nope (unless that’s your thing). Does this mean that we have to be provocative, irreverent and nasty? Nope (unless that’s your thing). What is missing (and what is direly needed) is for all us to take a step back and remember the real power here: to express ourselves in an authentic and passionate way (not in a drone-like corporate way).

[…]”

 

You can’t manage what you don’t measure

Craig Klein (@craigklein) wrote ‘8 Metrics You Must Know about Marketing, Leads and Sales’, on March 9, 2010:

“[…]

#1 Metric You Must Know about Marketing and Sales
Total number of leads coming in.

Simple right? Well, it is but, it means you need to know about all of them. All the referrals your sales people get that they never mention to you. All the call-ins that come in but, never get called back by a sales rep, etc.

#2 Metric You Must Know about Marketing and Sales
Where does each lead comes from?

How did they hear about you? What ad did they respond to? Where did you meet them? Who referred them to you?

Again, simple stuff but, the key is to be sure you get this information for each and every lead you talk to. If you get 100 leads a month and fail to collect this information for 5 of them, it could really throw off any analysis you do.

#3 Metric You Must Know about Marketing and Sales
How qualified is each lead?

This one is tougher. The reason is that you have to decide on objective criteria that makes a lead qualified. Do they have a need for what you sell? Do they have the money for it? The answers don’t necessarily need to mean that are absolutely going to buy from you. Just that there is a basic fit between their needs and situation and your company. They’re worth your time. Choose the 4 or 5 questions you have to ask every new lead and start capturing the answers for each and every lead. I know, you won’t be able to get all that information for all of them. That’s OK. If you don’t get it all, they’re not qualified.

#4 Metric You Must Know about Marketing and Sales
What’s the value of the sales opportunity?

Best case scenario, what can you sell them in the near term? What is this opportunity worth to your company? Pretty simple.

#5 Metric You Must Know about Marketing and Sales
What market segment do they fit in?

In every business, you have a few segments you have developed unique solutions for. It might be business vs. residential or small vs. large. You’ve got to know where they all fit.

#6 Metric You Must Know about Marketing and Sales
Product you propose to them.

This could be a direct one to one relationship with the segment they fit in but, it’s usually not that simple. Some customers will request certain solutions even though it’s not what you’d recommend for them given the segment they’re in, etc. Again, you’ve got to track this for each lead.

#7 Metric You Must Know about Marketing and Sales
Won or Lost

Did they buy or not? Simple right? What about if they just say “call me later”? (that’s a No if they don’t buy within a reasonable amount of time BTW)

#8 Metric You Must Know about Marketing and Sales
Did they give you a referral?

Why do you need to know this? Well, you need to know if they were asked for one thing. Also, this is a great measure of the satisfaction of that client. Let’s face it… You can value customers by how much they spend but, a customer that gives you referrals is much more valuable than one that spends the same and doesn’t give you any referrals.

[…]”

 

Get the sales and marketing organization to have a common understanding where a buyer is on their journey

On March 9, 2010, Christian A. Maurer (@camaurer) posted ‘Sales Process’ Is In The Air at his blog ultimatesalesexecresource.blogspot.com:

“There is a lot being written about the sales process these days […]

Why now?

I think we are seeing signs of a perfect storm forcing us to rethink professional selling:

  • Despite massive investments for many years in CRM systems, in the design and implementation of sales processes, in training initiative on sales methodologies and selling skills for , sales performance is probably at its lowest since CSO Insights started tracking it some 15 years ago?
  • Current economic conditions do no longer allow us to continue with such investments even though they seem to be needed more than ever.
  • Web 2.0 has shifted the negotiation power clearly in favor of the buyer.
  • Marketing makes claims to be more involved in the revenue gen process wanting to manage and qualified leads when they are ‘ready to buy’.
  • There is an ever growing number of tools under the Sales 2.0 acronym suggesting they can improve sales performance.

Some new thinking to weather the storm

The customer’s buying journey has to be taken as a given. With the model of looking at the complex buying journey as a change management process I have helped my customers to get a lot of clarity. The focus is thereby not so much on the activities the buyer undertakes, but the intermediate decisions taken to finally arrive at the buying decision. The journey though does not end there. We should not ignore that the buyer then will also decide whether the value promised with the purchase was also delivered. As was pointed out in a recent article in the McKinsey Quarterly, this notion will be essential how the buyer’s journey will look the next time it is started by a trigger.

It is probably also save to assume that increasing sales performance will need tighter collaboration between sales and marketing. Talking about a sales process alone will therefore be of little help. As we see the term Chief Revenue Officer emerge for the person who oversees this collaborative working of sales and marketing to generate revenue streams, the term Revenue Generation Process might help us to define what we will need instead.

What do we want the Revenue Generation Process to do?

There will be a lot of debate on the purpose as there is with the sales process.

Attempts to make it a recipe book, prescribing the activities sales and marketing have to undertake for generating revenue, will fail. For me the Revenue Generation Process should do the following:

  • Get the sales and marketing organization to have a common understanding where a buyer is on their journey based on observable reactions from the buyer.
  • Define accountability for sales and marketing along the customers journey.
  • Stimulate forward looking discussions on how best to pursue a lead/opportunity (i.e. next best actions to help the buyer to make the next decision, recycle a stalled or lost opportunity, abandon a lead/opportunity or a buyer)

As a byproduct, such a Revenue Generating Process, will also provide better forecasting and indications where sales and marketing people will need coaching to improve performance.

The role of the sales person in the Revenue Generation Process?

For salespeople to be successful and provide value within this framework, they need to be very versatile. The buyer’s need for help will determine when they will be involved in the process. This might be as early as helping the buyer to identify pain, or starting at helping to formulate a vision how to get remedies for the pain (solution). In other cases, their first buyer contact will be helping validate a solution the buyer has already envisaged on its own or even later helping to hedge cost and risk to find the best vendor. We will also have to accept, that there will be a growing number of situations, where salespeople cannot add value to the buyer and should therefore not be involved at all.

For the involvement of a salesperson to be effective, marketing, already involved in the revenue generating process must though make sure that full access to the information how the buyer has arrived at this point of first contact. Even if marketing is qualifying leads based on observable buyer’s actions (click-through, surf path on web site, social media interactions, webinar attendance, white paper requests etc.) this information must be available to the salespeople so they can provide maximum value at their point of contact with the buyer.

Salespeople, in return, must provide a protocol of all their interactions they have undertaken, in case a lead/opportunity is returned to marketing for recycling or nurturing. Then marketing can decide on the most effective campaigns to help the buyer to come to a point where contact with the salesperson is needed again to continue the buyer’s journey.

Implementing a Revenue Generation Process.

For a successful implementation of such a process including the support by adequate systems, a fundamental mind shift will be needed from all involved. Transparency and accountability must be the norm for such a Revenue Generation Process to produce results. To get to the needed transparency, trust between those involved is required. This is a particular challenge for the leadership up and including the C-Suite. In many cases, this will mean first abandoning old management practices which currently cause reluctance with salespeople in many organizations to share information in the detail needed for a successful implementation of a Revenue Generation Process. […]”

Please leave your comments at the original post.

Buyer Enablement

Tony Zambito from goalcentric.com posted ‘Why CEOs Should Focus On Buyer Enablement’ on March 07, 2010:

“As a buyers’ marketplace takes hold in the 21st century, it is becoming increasing clear that the mindset of CEO’s and senior executives need to undergo some significant alterations. Some of the hard and fast rules of strategic planning are no longer true and figuring out what to do next is no easy task. CEO’s today faced the enormous challenge of disrupting the inertia of a seller-centric organization and adopting strategies and technologies that shift the balance of negotiation and navigation of a purchase in favor of the buyer.

Buyer Enablement
At a time when CEO’s are trying to formulate growth strategies coming out of the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, they are confronted with the inability to have complete control of the decision process as in years past. To succeed, organizations will need to adopt buyer enablement strategies that contribute to growth and solidifying customer retention. Let’s first start with a simple definition of buyer enablement:

“Enabling a transparent ability for buyers to research and interact that provides for the gathering of the right information to make an informed decision.”

This definition suggests three areas where a CEO will need to examine whether the organization is able to develop buyer enablement strategies.

Transparency
For many CEO’s, the idea of opening the doors and perhaps opening the books for an inside view of their organization is a foreign concept. Since many may be byproducts of MBA programs pre-Internet era means this will be a tough one to accept with ease. Seller-focused organizations have had the ability for many years to orchestrate, construct, and organize the information flow to buyers. Tactical operations related to marketing communications and product information focused on what to tell buyers, what not to tell buyers, and who was the deliverer of the information. In today’s buyer-centric world, buyers are sourcing for information and decisions are being shaped by who is offering rich, detailed, and robust information that also provides a transparent view of the organization. A case in point: one CEO we worked with had prevented for several years exposure to R&D results. The buyer insight and buyer persona development efforts clearly showed that buyers were basing a good percentage of their decision-making on having access to the R&D progress as well as some of the key subject matter experts involved in R&D. This insight proved to be a correlation to declining revenues over a five year period. By creating transparency to the R&D group, the organization was able to alter its revenue decline and get buyers engaged in online discussions about the R&D results and how it could shape future innovation.

Seller-centric Interaction
CEO’s, by the nature of their positions, are inclined to act. Even the language and terminology of organizations tends to create inertia to view buyer communications in the form of action. We target, we go-to, implement a marketing campaign, go on the offensive, beat back the competition, we blitz, we close deals, and the list of clichés can grow. The point is that the organizational language is geared towards that of one-directional communications to the buyer. If we think of communications in terms of gateways, the organizations that are on the extreme end of one-way communications to buyers will face a slow death. Why? These organizations will face buyers that are becoming adept at closing gateway access to them. What buyers want are gateways to interact with an organization at the moment they have a need and have a goal to fulfill. CEO’s must enable an organization with strategies that allow for buyers to not only initiate interaction but also allow the buyer the ability to control the interaction. As we have seen with social media, some buyers want permanent open access to gateways. Attaining deep buyer insight is critical to know how buyers wish to interact in specific marketplaces.

Right Information
Buyers today are looking for the right information at the right critical moment to make an informed decision. Sometimes this decision is centered on “who to invite” in for a discussion whereby others have a goal to accomplish in short order and the need to decide is immediate. What has been ingrained in organizations is to “save the good stuff” for the sales call or the marketing campaign. This puts the buyer in the position of having to wait for the right information to make an informed decision. Mapping the right information at the right critical moment is done by acquiring a deep understanding of buying behaviors and buying processes. Today’s CEO’s will need to commit resources to uncovering this insight in order to provide the right information that is delivered instantaneously at the right time. For some, a very counter-intuitive notion when one comes up through the ranks with the rule of not showing your best hand until you get in front of the customer.

While today’s CEO’s and their executive teams are being asked to evaluate how Sales 2.0 and sales enablement can transform an organization by adopting technologies to enable the selling process, a CEO must lead the effort to have an organization evaluate its resources devoted to enabling buyers with transparency, gateways of interaction, and the ability to source as well as have the right information accessible to make an informed decision. An imbalance can have devastating effects that are not felt until it is too late in the game.”

Please leave your comment at the original post.

Reflections on the Sales 2.0 conference 2010

Matthias Roebel from User Experience Design & Development company MING Labs posted the following reflections on the Sales 2.0 conference 2010:

“My head is still spinning after two days at the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. It was great to see all the new ideas the various players in the Sales 2.0 market are constantly creating. The spirit of innovation is there, and it will help customers to address the Sales Effectiveness and Productivity challenges ahead of them.

Sales 2.0 conference

Gerhard Gschwandtner put it well in his opening remarks: The Internet is changing the world. It has already changed end customers’ purchasing behaviors significantly, but changes in the B2B world are and will be equally dramatic.

Also, the changes span the entire range from Lead Generation, where social media tools like LinkedIn or Facebook are playing bigger roles from day to day, to Sales Enablement, where sellers need to be enabled to have better informed and more relevant conversations with their clients despite the challenges of information overload. However, there’s more: Think about how Sales Compensation or Pipeline Management need to change in a more dynamic, flatter world. Or how (social) Marketing Automation methods could improve Lead Nurturing…

As exciting as all of these things are, as overwhelming they may appear to customers in the first place. However, waiting and observing is not an option. Companies have started to try out and adopt one or the other Sales 2.0 technology/methodology and they are seeing the benefits – as we could hear in the various panel discussions during the conference. Yes, the holistic picture of how the different pieces of the Sales 2.0 ecosystem are playing together still needs to be drawn – but you’ve got to start somewhere, if you don’t want to be left behind.

The next challenge, to quote Gerhard again, is moving from reactive to proactive in using the tools.”

Miles Austin (@milesaustin) from fillthefunnel.com posted the following observations and learning points from the first day:

“[…]

  1. No one can claim that WebTools are just gimmicks any more. Companies large and small are deploying tools in record numbers and they are getting results.
  2. When Gartner Research VP Michael Dunne is talking about tangible, measurable increases in sales revenue across the board you know this is no longer a fringe topic.  Then when the feedback on Twitter says that his was the best presentation of the day, you know you better start paying attention.
  3. To  hear customers and WebTool vendors alike stating as a matter of fact that they are using and recommending some of the very tools (Jigsaw) that were considered “evil” by some pundits.
  4. It is clear that with the mainstream acceptance of Sales 2.0 concepts, tool mania might become a problem.  The selection of the appropriate WebTool for the specific need will be more important than ever. Expertise and understanding is critical.
  5. Collaboration will be a significant focus.
  6. Mobile will be the primary access to the Tools.
  7. Social Media/Networking should be integrated into your sales process.
  8. An effective lead generation strategy is to educate. Customer will return if you have informed with integrity and transparency.
  9. Sales teams have higher quotas & fewer resources -have to increase sales efficiency to hit goals (thanks @OneSourceInfo)
  10. Functional silos and company hierarchies are breaking down. We need to be prepared.
  11. Gerhard Gschwandtner opened the conference with the following:  ”Business is a dance around value”.  Is your company at the dance?

[…]”

David Thompson‘s ‘Insights from the Sales 2.0 Conference’:

“[…] marketing really is all about Sales. The more of us who jump on this message, the better it is for customers. And that really was the vision of Sales 2.0 from the beginning. In fact, the Fall show will probably be called “Sales and Marketing 2.0″ As I said in my remarks at the first conference, “Sales 2.0″ is really “Buying 2.0.” On Amazon, there’s no difference between the marketing process and the sales process. It’s one seamless buying experience. And that’s what Sales 2.0 needs to aspire too. It’s truly gratifying to see our baby all grown up and embraced by so many new advocates. […]”

 

Jeb Brooks posted ‘Is Sales 2.0 More Than Technology?’, on 11 Mar 2010:

“I’m just back from the Sales 2.0 Conference. I went with the hope that it would give me a clear idea of what “Sales 2.0” is. Unfortunately, it’s still too new. Conference organizer and Selling Power Magazine founder, Gerhard Gschwander, put it well when he said that, “Sales 2.0 is not concrete; it’s agile. We need to build as we go.”

No one seems to have developed a clear, all-encompassing definition yet. Probably the best one belongs to Anneke Seley who wrote the book, Sales 2.0 says that it’s “a more efficient and effective way of selling for both salespeople and buyers that’s enabled by technology.”

I hope that, in time, we’ll understand “Sales 2.0” as more than just technology. I’d like to think of it as a version of sales where customers and salespeople are more closely aligned with each other due, in part, to technology. It will be a version of sales where trust will develop in a different way as a result of technology. In many ways this has already happened. For example, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles allow customers and salespeople to get to know each other before their first meeting. That’s technology supporting human connections.

As of today, most of what’s been hung on the “Sales 2.0” banner is enterprise software designed to gather data from salespeople and (occasionally) provide data to them.

Surely “Sales 2.0” is a more fundamental shift than just more data collection? Sales 2.0 has got to be about more than technology. Technology should support the sales effort, not hinder it. It should make it easier for salespeople and customers to connect. And too much sales-oriented technology stands between customers and salespeople rather than unites them. I have every confidence that sales and marketing automation are critical, but only if they serve to increase and maximize the time salespeople spend with their customers.

In fact, according to a report by Gartner Research (presented at the conference), actual customer contact time for inside salespeople tops out at about 40%, while field reps are lucky to spend between 18 and 20% of their time with prospects. The number is even lower – 10% – for complex sales (like airplanes and nuclear coolers). In a “Sales 2.0” world, those numbers should rise.

My point is that technology fails when it’s too cumbersome, creates extra work, or distracts from customer interaction in any way. Reporting is important, but salespeople must be allowed to build their customer relationships. Like excessive paperwork in “Sales 1.0,” burdensome software just gives excuses to poor performers and frustrates top performers.

However, when technology compliments customer interaction better, it becomes indispensable.

I’m enthusiastic about the future of sales because the interaction between customers and salespeople will become richer. My only fear is that too much software will distract from, rather than support, the sales effort.

Thoughts?”

Please leave your comments on the original post.

Bryan Wilson (@bryanmwilson) then commented:

“I completely agree with this! Sales 2.0 isn’t about getting cooler software that takes the relationship out of selling. It is about enabling more connections and relationships through the technology. The fundamentals of sales remain the same, there are just new ways of developing, nurturing and maintaining relationships in the digital age. One example I have is that of CRM or sales tracking software. There are many programs out there that have a TON of fields to fill out, awesome reports and all sorts of other “management” type features. However, top sales people HATE taking 2 hours of their day to fill out little boxes just so management has a cool report to look at. Our firm in particular uses ACT! for managing contacts. In my opinion, asking a “Sales 2.0″ person to use a program like ACT! is like asking a house builder to use a hammer to build an entire house. Sure, you can do it, and it will work. But isn’t using a nail gun and other power tools MUCH more effective? Why not use programs like HighRise from 37Signals, or some of the newer, less bloated “Web 2.0″ programs like BantamLive? These programs incorporate only the features needed and nothing else. They also incorporate some of this Sales 2.0 stuff like lead generation & development through Twitter & other social networking services.

Sales isn’t changing. Relationships and solution selling will always be here. The WAY in which relationships are being built is what is changing.

Forrester Research on two innovative European vendors

Peter O’Neill from Forrester Research, Inc. on two interesting European software vendors he spotted, from March 7, 2010:

“[…] I like that there are these European companies with some very innovative ideas that will contribute to the success of both factory and field marketers in the tech industry. But it is also their innovation that I find interesting.

Last week, Laura Ramos blogged on our view of the marketing technology landscape, split into six core applications areas. Looking at the graphic, we are also clearly documenting that the Enterprise Marketing Platform is in its very early days and that there is plenty of room, probably time as well, for emerging vendors to play a role here.

BizSphere positions itself as providing sales enablement solutions (my colleague Scott Santucci also knows them well) but they are actually filling a gap between a marketing asset management system and satisfying the needs of both sales people and field marketers. While central marketing people need an asset management system to maintain content integrity and oversight; their colleagues in the field also need a tool to help them collate the right collateral package matching every potential sales situation, most relevant to that target customer and status in the sales cycle.

BizSphere is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany and their solutions are based on long term projects done for tech vendors. Their own marketing is, well, German, but the products are proven. See them for yourself, if interested, at the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco this week.

Blue Kiwi is was a French vendor with already quite some market momentum. They offer the capability for enterprise marketers to aggregate information from various social networks onto one console. I expect that many field marketers will want to have their own versions of this software running to be able to watch activity in their local market. […]”

 

Job opening – SaaS, Sales Enablement at Insight

Old! Out dated!

Job: SaaS, Sales Enablement

Company: Insight

Location: Tempe, Arizona

Job Status/Type: Full Time, Employee

Job Category: Sales/Retail/Business Development

Occupations: Technical Presales Support & Technical Sales

Industry: Computer Hardware

Career Level: Experienced (Non-Manager)

Insight is a leading IT solution provider of IT products and services. Insight offers over 200,000 brand-name IT products from leading manufacturers, such as HP, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Microsoft and more. Insight’s comprehensive services offering assists customers with implementation and integration of the latest IT solutions organization-wide. Small and Medium Business (SMB), Enterprise customers and government and education customers can turn to one partner for hardware, software, peripheral, service and solution needs. Insight is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.

SaaS Specialist

The Software as a Service (SaaS) Program – Sales Enablement Specialist responsibilities include supporting the SaaS category by creating strategic sales and marketing for internal sales teammates and external SaaS prospects / clients. The individual in this position is a subject matter expert in the cloud computing space and creates / writes the content to be used in SaaS sales enablement material and SaaS marketing campaigns. This position also coordinates with other Insight departments (i.e. sales, marketing, etc) and SaaS partners to ensure successful execution of the SaaS go to market plans.

Duties may include but are not limited to managing functions relating to:

· Create and write the content for all requested SaaS sales and marketing material including, but not limited to cloud computing trends newsletters/articles, sales talking scripts, marketing emails, sales enablement cheat-sheets, client documentation, flash or recorded demos, etc.

· Organize and continually update information repositories for sales teammates and clients (i.e. Intranet site, external website, etc)

· Organize and execute a detailed SaaS marketing plan for 2010 that will properly represent both Insight and SaaS partners’ initiatives.

· Review, update and maintain existing SaaS sales and marketing collateral and proactively work with SaaS partners to incorporate new material.

· Coordinate sales and marketing events such as sales blitz days, CIO roundtables, client road shows, etc.

· Work with Product Management to solicit and retain marketing funds from SaaS partners.

This position directly interacts with the following areas and staff:

* Marketing

* Sales

* Product Management

* Clients

QUALIFICATIONS

To perform this job successfully, an individual’s background and experience must meet the following criteria. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

* 3 plus years in the information technology industry (IT sales, consulting, IT management, technology support management, and/or pre-sales experience)

* Experience and knowledge of Cloud Computing and/or Software as a Service

* Experience in solution selling and/or services sales

* Excellent writing skills and the ability to author sales enablement documents that will produce impactful results from pieces such as SaaS talking scripts for sales teammates and email marketing to clients positioning SaaS solutions.

* High degree of overall technology services knowledge and experience in information technology infrastructure, systems, applications and utilization.

* Previous experience in a reseller, VAR, vendor, channel, consulting company, call center, and/or other technology based business to business sales company and/or previous IT management or IT support management experience in a large company with a large number of internal and/or external clients.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

· Successful execution of the SaaS marketing program

· Partner SaaS marketing funds contributions / supplier reimbursement growth

· Sales revenue and GP growth Software as a Service category

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

Education and/or Experience

Bachelor’s degree preferred, but a combination education and relevant business experience will be considered

EOE, M/F/D/V

Send resumes directly to: kfinnegan@insight.com

Social media changes the deal closing process

‘How the social media changes the deal closing process’ by Pat Kitano (@pkitano) from mediatransparent.com, on March 2, 2010.

“The definition of online presence for a business is changing. Until recently, the online mission has been to drive traffic to the website. Search engines, along with specialty destination sites like Craigslist and eBay have been the hubs in the game of connecting two parties to a transaction. Businesses, local and corporate, developed blogs to attract this Google induced traffic. Engagement is logical, linear and direct – search, find, read, buy. An effective web/blog site, often a fast hard pitch, closes the deal.

The social media of course changes the way people search for business opportunity. The social media are essentially a set of  ”cloud” applications where engagement – the meeting of two parties to a transaction – starts with checking each other out through their online profile(s). The protocol of social media engagement is beginning to rule out the fast hard pitch, much to the chagrin of the hard sellers. Even the normal practice of pushing traffic to your web/blog site starts becoming obnoxious to those who find you on the social media but are not yet “in the market”.

Businesses now need to develop two-step online strategy to facilitate the eventual deal close. Opportunities will be increasingly sourced from the “cloud” of social media, particularly as Google and the search engines place more focus on real time search of Twitter (Yahoo/Twitter partnership) and Facebook feeds (Google indexing FB business pages). Once opportunities are identified, that’s when business parties focus on the blogs and websites, even LinkedIn, to study the marketing pitch and confirm the decision to do business.

All that promotional collateral that was once the marketing showcase providing the first interaction with a customer is now being scrutinized towards the end of the transaction decision process. Why? Social media engagement with the customer is becoming the criteria for the deal close. Once that test is passed, a cursory check of the website or blog is just due diligence.

I think this is why businesses are slowly weaning away from daily blog article writing. It’s more important for a business blog or website to be substantive and deliver a confident message that seals the deal. Quality becomes more impressive than quantity.

Besides being busy, this is one reason why I allocate more time developing opportunities on the cloud of social media over blog writing. And when I write a blog article now, I’m making sure it says something.”