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How to pivot your B2B business away from F2F Field Sales

30.03.2020 Comments off

How to pivot your B2B business away from F2F Field Sales.

#Social_Distancing Here are some highlights from someone experienced in orchestrating transitions from face-to-face lead generation & sales into hybrid and/or fully inside-sales driven companies.    

Skyscanner workers in Senzhen returning to the office– still very different.

Inside sales is the fastest growing segment of sales (along with eCommerce).  When inside sales works, it is far more efficient and scalable than traditional approaches.  That was true long before social distancing became a term in our vocabulary but In a social distancing world, many companies that imagined great difficulty in making the transition find themselves in a need to make an extreme ramp-up for their very survival.  The most difficult transitions are companies that:

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New Market Entry & Metrics

24.02.2020 No comments

When everything is unknown, how can you productively use metrics

Before “lean startup” was a term, there were many of us preaching agile market developmententry into a series of phases Read more…

Controlling Costs in an Agile World

26.06.2019 Comments off

Originally posted on DLabs Medium site by Matt in 2018.  At the time of this posting, there is still not unified thinking in this area.

aka. What every technical and non-technical founder needs to know about running an agile technical team.

Agile Development teams focus on continuous value (to the business) delivery not continuous progress to a fixed feature set. As a result, traditional cost accounting, cost control, and budgeting will not work. This shift to agile changes everything around how founders must do budgeting, cost control, communicating with Read more…

4 Phases of Product Development Re-imagined

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Originally posted on DLabs Medium site  by Matt in 2018, but the concepts are easily generalized.

At D.Labs we’ve looked at agile product development from many angles and written about them on this blog (X Driven Development, When is agile worse?, Controlling costs in the agile world, What marketing agencies can’t offer startups?,…). This is another angle that could get you faster through validation and save you a lot of gray hair.

Most company founders have an intuition about what the market needs and what is wrong with existing solutions. They then start solving a puzzle in their head around what kind of digital product could solve this problem: features, specifications, perhaps even user layouts. At DLabs, we call this “Intuition Based Development”. It tends to be the least efficient and most expensive way to build business value. Not only is the intuition perhaps wrong, but the only ‘good enough’ point is securely in the head of the designer so everything gets built to a relatively high level (Although it never feels that way to the founder in-the-moment).

The high cost of using intelligence and experience instead of being systematic & incremental.

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Raising Prices

13.06.2018 No comments

When and how can I raise prices?


First, let’s start with an assumption that your product is great value and your existing pricing strategy is leaving too much money on the table.  (See other blogs on licensing strategies and setting prices).  Let’s also assume we are talking about a business that has repeat purchasing– like a subscription.

For new customers, you can normally just raise your prices without any unsuspected consequences.  Pro tip: Signaling an upcoming price increase can trigger a sense in urgency in many who cannot otherwise decide quickly.  Legacy customers, however are a more complex Read more…

Be Proud of Your Pricing

15.05.2018 No comments

At the end of the day, the “correct” price is the price where both the buyer and seller agree to a transaction– Everything else is theory, guidelines, and positioning.

Pricing

How should a customer think about price?

  1. Value.  This is the one they teach you in any marketing or sales class.  In truth, if your customer is pushing back on price, the most likely reason (and most easy fix) is to understand how the customer perceives the value and then question if that perception is correct.  When setting a value based price, make sure to Read more…

Customer Communications in 2018

16.12.2017 No comments

We now have many ways to communicate with customers, too bad they never read or answer what we send

Email is still relevant, but it is easier and easier to get lost in the mountain of communications that your customer receives every day.  Here are a few best practices:

Three emails to get one answer

It is now normal that you will need to remind someone 2 times to get a response.  Assume this is the case and plan your reminders in advance.  You want to Read more…

Why Real Salesmen Are Bad at Product Launch

15.02.2017 No comments

I have long since recognized that there were two distinct types of salesmen.  (see https://www.telekta.com/blog/2009/03/production-vs-protype-sales/)  The person that has a business card that says Sales is usually the one that brings in all the money that keeps all the rest of us in paychecks.  New professionalism in startups, has now created some new vocabulary to describe the other types of sales people.  My expertise as a “prototype salesman” can now be described as Discovery and Vaidation Sales in the vocabulary of modern startup and product launch.  While ‘normal” sales is better described as Scaling Sales (also Efficiency and Extraction stage)

Startup Gurus for some time have been warning and now there is real hard statistical data now prove that “premature scaling” is the biggest cause of startup (or breakthrough product launch) failure.  Read more…

Benefit Buffet Fallicy

14.04.2016 No comments

When launching a product (especially when you are a small startup), there is a common mistake that most everyone makes the first time around: benefit inflation.  The problem arrises when someone thinks of a small Buffetchange that could be made to the product that might appeal to a particular group of users.  As they add more and more features/benefits, the hope is that the product will appeal to a larger and larger audience and better justify its price point.  The reality is that additional features/benefits do the opposite: they restrict your market and reduce the perceived value of an otherwise good product.  To explain how this happens and how to avoid it, we will make a few mind experiments: Read more…

Systematic Referral Selling

13.08.2015 No comments

In a previous post I talked about “Referenceability and Introducabilty”— now let’s scale this.Path

In a previous post I introduced the concept of Connectors (people who can introduce you to Targets) and how to think of them in terms of Introducabilty & Referencabilty as well as how to ‘activate them”.

Can this scale?  Most people would say no.  In my experience, the answer is Yes.  How?  Starting with the obvious assumption that you have a great product or service and Read more…