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How to Pivot successfully

#pamice #pivot Apr 02, 2020

On Media Watch this week Paul Barry spoke about the most overused phrase in the media during this pandemic.  It was “Petrie dish”, as in the “schools are like a Petrie dish for Coronavirus”. Since this pandemic started to bite into the economy about 3 weeks ago, the most overused word in business seems to be “pivot”, as in “we need to pivot to stay relevant”.

I attended a great online discussion hosted by Ivan Kaye last week, with Professor Clive Smallman as the guest presenter.  Clive is a specialist in crisis management (www.clivesmallman.com) and he helped me put the pivot in perspective relative to the greater changes around a business today.

Clive put up this fantastic graph to show what a business is going through at the moment.

The brief summary, and Clive does this much better than I can, is that the crisis hits and we immediately drop revenue, take some time to adjust costs, make some adjustments, prepare for...

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Selling in a Pandemic - how to approach sales when everyone is focused on Coronavirus?

Uncategorized Mar 15, 2020

How do we maintain Sales As Usual and Business As Usual when everyone is focused on impending health and economic doom?

Let's get our priorities right from the start.  It's a real health threat and everyone must take the right precautions to protect themselves and everyone around them.  We have a duty of care to each other, so take care and listen to the professionals on this one.

Can the world sustain an environment where business STOPS for 1 month? 3 months?  No it can't.  We are a resiliant bunch and while the experts in health must be listened to, we can prepare for what the business environment looks like with everyone at home for 3 months.  Businesses will find a way to function.  Are you ready?

There are some good links in an earlier post on how to maintain BAU with staff working from home.  Let's focus on selling in this environment.  What does Sales As Usual look like?

Priorities change for businesses.  The focus shifts from...

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Business As Usual with Coronavirus

Uncategorized Mar 13, 2020

What does Business As Usual (BAU) look like when health authorities are telling everyone to send staff home?

Where do you find useful and trusted resources around Coronavirus, and how you can use technology to keep as close to BAU as possible?

No matter what tech you are using, all the major players are focused on supporting your remote workforce.

We find these links useful for our business and for our members:

  1. If you are using Microsoft Office 365, this is great resource for helping move staff to remote working - Microsoft Covid-19 Response.
  2. Where can you find information on the disease itself and work from home in a Google environment? Google wrapped it all up in this blog from their CEO.    
  3. More info for GSuite users for working remotely with staff and clients is here.
  4. And let's not forget how Zoom have responded - Zoom Business Continuity

Stay safe, work smart, keep business moving - its in all our interest.

You can also...

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September 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the September Newsletter where we highlight what happened in August and provide summaries of key information we have shared.

The Post of the Month

JD posted on Value in August on LinkedIn.  The key points were:

What is Value? And how should we measure it?

Firstly value is measured by the customer. It doesn’t matter how valuable we think we are it’s only the customer's view that counts.

Secondly, it is not only their personal view of value but how their company measures value.  

How does your customer measure value? Here is a tip: if you think value is measured in terms of your product you are wrong. It should reflect the customer's problem and how much you will make them or save them. If you are unsure it's never too late to ask or reconfirm with your prospect.

 August Masterclass

We had such a big response to the Build Your Pipeline Masterlass in July that we were asked to run it again in August. JD took everyone...

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The $8 Haircut

The $8 Haircut was posted by JD on LinkedIn today.  It is shown below.

JD challenged you "When you visit your next prospect what will you do differently?"

There were over 50 comments on the post and I love the ones who encourage us to listen more.  When we talk with our members about being different, we start with listening.  Trust me, if you listen to your clients and prospects you'll be different to almost all your competitors.

We talk about earning the right to sell.  And telling is not selling. 

Do you really understand your customers?  How much time do you spend understanding what your prospective customer is trying to fix with your product? 

If I could guarantee you 10 hours with your next prospect at the start of the sales cycle:

  1. In which hour would you do a product demo?
  2. How many of those hours would be talking about you, your company and your product?
  3. How long would you take to understand your client, asking critical questions,...
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Build Your Pipeline Masterclass

Thank you to all those who attended the live Build Your Pipeline Masterclass.

Please click the Build Your Pipeline Masterclass Replay to watch it again and remind yourself of where those new leads and future customers are hiding.


  • COCO - Come Out, Come Out wherever you are!
  • Referral Selling - What, Who, Will
  • Value Prospecting - focus on their value
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7 Sales Leadership Signs

At Sales Director Central we meet and talk with many  Founders, Owners and Directors in Tech2to20 (technology companies with revenues between $2m to $20m).  Their views and approach on Sales Leadership, and even for some of the more savvy investers in Tech2-20, is a constant source of discussion.   We interview the key stakeholders during free diagnosis/triage sessions and again during the initial stages of our engagement.  The seven signs on sales leadership we notice are common across all businesses are approached in vastly different ways.  So, whatever you are doing, you are not alone.

The seven signs we commonly discuss and see are:

  1. Current Sales Situation - how do you assess your current sales situation?  Do you need more revenue (always Yes!)?
  2. Current Sales Leadership Position - you are a leader in this business, how do you approach your role as a sales leader?
  3. Previous Sales Scale Experience - what have you done to scale sales in the past?
  4. ...
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How do I know if I have a poor performer?

In a recent LinkedIn article, JD spoke about the 4 reasons Directors hold on to poor performing sales people. One of the questions we've been asked is "How do we really know if they are poor performers?".

On the surface this is an easy answer "Zero sales". But this is not easy for many Directors to really be sure about. Mostly this is because they are not wise to the "tricks of the trade" and fear  the loss of "the big deal is due any day now". Here are my tips to get started on this.

1. Don't hire reps who have a consistent 1-2 year track record.  My rule of thumb on a good rep who is coming in to grow my business is that in year 1 their sales need to be at least 80% of a generous target.  The great ones will find a way to hit target even coming in to a poor or new patch.  In year 2 all reps should be over-achieving even if only by a whisker. In year 3 they should be smashing it.

At the opposite end, the 1-2 year consistent job changer is possibly a...

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How do you control the sales process?

In his recent post, JD spoke about the need to control the sales process.  We've been asked to expand on how that is achieved in new and existing sales cycles.  We recommend 3 simple re-framing points.

The first thing to consider in your business is to be clear that the "sales cycle" is your frame of reference.  A buying cycle is the client's frame of reference.  This can seem like a trivial point but if all your internal language is from your frame of reference, how are you going to consider the client's viewpoint?  Start to bring this language to your sales discussions and you'll soon be thinking like a buyer.

Often people new to sales, or just extremely nice and polite sales people, are apprehensive when it comes to asking questions about the process the buyer is going through.  You need to think about your resources (time, people, money) being just as valuable as your potential client's resources.  It is even more important when your client is...

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