Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Following Up

You can't always expect your cold call and emails to be immediately successful.  If you've been in the business for a while now, you probably know that it usually turns out to be the opposite case.  Because you are rarely successful your first time, you will most likely need to follow up a 2nd and maybe 3rd time with potential leads.  Here's a quick list of some advice to take into account when going through this process.

First Attempt Should Be Quality

Before you follow up, you will make your initial call or email.  Make sure it is really high quality.  Otherwise, you are probably not going to get the sale.  Fine-tune your approach and tailor your pitch to the specific client you are going to talk to.  Do as much research as you possibly can before you ever make your pitch.  If it's evident you know nothing about your client, your client will turn you away very quickly.  It's a lot more difficult for someone to deny someone's pitch when it is evident that the salesperson put in a lot of effort to try to get to know the potential client.

Be Patient

People are naturally very hesitant to accept anyone who is giving them a cold call or cold email.  Therefore your response rate initially should be very low.  Be patient, however.  If you do follow up a 2nd and/or 3rd time, you will probably get a decent number of responses.  For one, it's annoying for the potential client to have to read a 2nd and 3rd emails from someone.  They will probably feel just want to respond on that fact alone.  They will also feel obligated to respond to you because it is clear that you have put a lot of effort into the process and you really want to get their business.

Don't Get Mad

Never take anything personally.  If someone responds to you, it's really no big deal.  Treat it as such and try to figure out a way to get better for next time.  Each time you make a pitch or try to reach out to someone is a learning opportunity.  Maybe your email needs tweaking or maybe you need to do a little bit more research on your client ahead of making your pitch.  Either way, try to learn from each new experience and don't get mad.  You will be better off if you don't get mad at any point in time.

Keep Track of Everything

Whether you are using Salesforce or keeping Excel spreadsheets, keep good track of all the calls and emails you have made.  It's embarrassing when you send out the same email to someone twice by mistake.  The best way to prevent situations like that from happening is to keep good track of everything.  Make sure you do.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Resources to Learn More

To be honest, there's not a lot of good information out there if you would like to learn more about marketing and generating sales in the IT sector.  If you do a quick google search for the term "IT sales and marketing," the results you get back will not be very relevant or helpful for you.  A lot of people rely on their intuition and past practices at their company to help them do their job.  This is probably not the best way to approach things because technological developments have changed the future course of this field.

Reading this blog will be an asset for you going forward.  There are a couple other sites out there that will help you on the job as well.  The first is  This is a blog that is similar in concept to this blog.  It is just an additional resource that can help give you ideas on how to go about marketing or sales for IT companies.  The latest article, for example, goes through how to set up a Linkedin PPC campaign that can get you great leads and can help you market to the right people.  It is definitely a helpful and valuable site.

The other site is  This blog is great for helping you brainstorm different ways to generate sales for IT companies.  It goes in-depth, for example, into exactly how to use Google AdWords to drive sales and how to make your campaign(s) more efficient.  At the very least, it is a really idea generator.

Lastly, you can take a look at  This might seem a little silly at first, but this is a great source to ask a question related to this field and get a high-quality answer from someone else who is in the field.  If you posed a question about sales or IT, you will definitely get an answer from a professional in that field.  It's a really active and engaging community, so Yahoo Answers is definitely a good source of information.

I wish there were more resources available, but unfortunately there is not much available out there.  You could go to the blogs of different company sites, such as iProfile or DiscoverOrg.  Those would obviously be a little biased towards pitching their own product(s), but they could have good ideas for you to think about.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Things You Should Learn Before You Pitch

To make the sales process go by more smoothly and efficiently, you should seek to learn as much information about your potential client contact and company as you can.  If you go in blind, your conversion rate will be very low and you will lose your motivation.  This article will go through some suggestions of what you should learn before you make your sales pitch.

Make Sure You Are Talking To The Right Person

If you aren’t talking to the right person, then you are not doing a very good job.  You should try to get a hold of an org chart before you decide who the right person to talk to is.  You can get org charts from companies like iProfile and DiscoverOrg.  You will have to pay some money, but it’s definitely worth the cost.  You can learn what the responsibilities of the different employees and who reports to whom.  This is valuable information to know before getting started with the sales processs.

Learn As Much As You Can About Your Potential Client Contact

Once you have identified who the right person to talk to is, you should do a little research on the person.  Google the name and find the person on Linkedin.  If you can find any common interests or background, that could put you at a significant advantage going forward.  See if you have any shared connections to see if some mutual acquaintance can introduce you.  This would greatly increase your conversion rate.

Learn What’s Going On At The Company

You should become up-to-date on the latest trends at the company you are pitching to.  You should find out, for example, what purchases they have made over the last year and what purchases they plan to make going forward.  Try to get a sense of what their budget is for your specific area and what their spending history is for that area.  To get that information, iProfile and DiscoverOrg are really great.

Make sure you do this research before you get started with your pitch.  You will want to put yourself in the best position possible ahead of making the sales pitch.  This is the best way to do so.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cold Calling Doesn't Have To Be So Tough

Cold calling and cold emailing can be a truly daunting task.  I personally hate whenever I have to make a call cold.  The person on the other line will most likely be very impatient and not very receptive to you.  The success rate of cold calls is historically very low, and for good reason.  However, there are ways that can make cold calling go a lot better for you.  You can arm yourself with a few tools that can make cold calling not so bad.  These tools are called sales intelligence tools.

Sales intelligence tools are relatively new and they can help provide you with a lot of information about your prospect before you ever make a call or email.  You would have to agree that you would be much more receptive to a cold call or cold email if the person making the call or sending the email has clearly put a lot of time doing research about you.  With sales intelligence tools, you can do this research and show your prospect that you have spent the time learning about his/her situation and you know what is best for him/her.

So what are these sales intelligence tools?  Well, they are companies such as Jigsaw and iProfile, amongst others.  With these tools, you can get very detailed HR information, such as org charts, responsibilities, and contact information.  You can also learn a lot about the company and the various departments within the companies as well.  You can learn, for example, what the IT department spent last year with its budget and what new initiatives it has on its plate going forward.  With this information, you can tailor your sales approach a lot better and be a lot more successful when making your pitch.

I would highly recommend using the tools from one of these companies if possible.  Jigsaw ( is a more general website and focused mostly on HR information.  It can show you the  titles and contact information of a lot of people within a company.  The major issue with Jigsaw is the data is user-driven, so it is not always accurate.  It is a really good starting point, however.  iProfile ( is IT-specific, but it contains org charts, contact information, information on budgets and spending initiatives, etc.  It is a really great tool if you are in IT sales or marketing.  You can learn more by going to their Facebook page at

Armed with more intelligence about your sales prospects, you can convert a lot more leads to sales.  It simply makes your job much easier.