So my good friends at Microsoft built a huge, successful sales system for Gold Certified partners looking for enterprise customers.
Which is cool.
Then, after they proved that the system worked, they retooled the whole operation for the SMB space.
While not 100% on target, this new system is a butt-kicking 95%. What more can you ask for?
The longer description is here: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/sacsbug/message/510
The summary is thus:
- Two days of in-class training
- Three one-hour Live Meetings designed to apply the MSS techniques to specific offerings (e.g., Vista, office, sbs).
- Meetings with your PAM re: MSS
(KP note: Since most people in our space don't have a PAM, this doesn't apply to them. With luck, you'll have a community PAM such as our excellent Suzanne Lavine in NorCal.)
- Two additional meetings with instructor for tune-ups and check-ins.
For $99 !!!
OK, so who wouldn't drop a hundred on that? I'm sure once they've proven the concept and rolled this thing out more broadly it will be more expensive, but still a pretty good deal.
Day one was awesome. Boooooty-kickin. I had some points of discomfort which basically amounted to "Things I know I need to do, but I'm just not doing for some reason, so I want to be left alone. Get off my back."
Day One was also filled with the "system" called MSS.
Everyone says they hate role playing. But let me tell you, a few people really love it.
This system - any system (Robin Robins, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar) requires you to create a flow sheet to take you through a sales cycle. You need to practice this a lot to become "natural" at it. So role-playing gives you a kick-start on that.
The class includes a 164-page spiral bound handout. A bit repetitive, but I'm getting over that.
The funny thing for me is that there was no "interview form" you can take into a client and walk through the process. I'll have one soon. :-)
Day two was also very good, but got into a few things my company avoids like the plague, including:
1) Bidding on an RFP at the last minute when the prospect is really just gathering additional quotes so they can say they did due diligence and then give the job to their preferred vendor. I'm sure this happens in businesses with 4,000 desktops. In my space, we just walk away.
2) Giving things away in order to make the sale. My initials are not CDW. I don't bargain on price. Walmart and Best Buy are always going to sell for less.
Having said that, Day Two gave me an awesome strategy for dealing with gives and gets. Here's a peek under the sheets:
1) NEVER give until you get. No, really. Tell the client "Hey, put some something on the table." If they don't offer, you suggest.
Can you sign a two-year deal?
Can you agree to give me referrals to your top ten clients?
Would it be possible for you to buy the training as well?
2) Once they give, then you give.
If that's possible, I can throw in a shiny number two pencil. Be careful. It's sharp.
If you can do that, we can agree to do quarterly trainings that cost us almost nothing and introduce you to new products.
If you can agree to the training, then we can add an additional _x_ hours of support at no additional cost.
3) Signing today (right now) is not a "get." The deal's the deal. If you're at the point where you expect a deal, signing it is not something to be rewarded.
Day two gave me the awesome list of what the buyer is doing to mess with your mind. This is NOT generally the SMB buyer. But when I get in front of a sophisticated, TRAINED buyer, I feel confident I'll kick his butt.
Microsoft is using us and others in NorCal as Guinea pigs. They're measuring us very carfully. Sales funnels, urine samples, etc.
When they're done with NorCal MS is going to retool the MSS project for broader distribution.
When this comes to your town, DO IT. Got a good excuse? Tough. Do it anyway.
Our usergroup had NINE people registered out of a class of 20. Just missed a quorum.
It's not perfect, but we have a ton of work to do between now and November.
When this comes to your town, just do it.
Even if they don't continue the ongoing evals, just do it.
If the MSS program is not coming to your town, but some other great, well respected sales system is: do that!
Sales training is great because it gives you one more push. So, you know what you should be doing. Good. But most of us know what we should be doing and we just don't get around to doing it. If this training doesn't motivate you, perhaps the next will. Sometimes we need to hear the same message several times until it clicks.
Microsoft was also running programs via IPED for their partners, which were one day versions of their training too. If you see anything from them, take the class! They're great.
I'm going to watch for this one coming our way.