Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday Fun Double - Obscure Engineering Conversion Factors and Mixed Metaphor Month

Obscure Engineering Conversion Factors
[Warning – some possibility of political incorrectness]

Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knotfurlong
365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer = 1 Lite year
16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling
Half a large intestine = 1 semicolon
1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope
Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi
1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz
Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower
Shortest distance between two jokes = a straight line
Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram
2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton
2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds
1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 Fig Newton
1000 ccs of wet socks = 1 literhosen
8 nickels = 2 paradigms

And my favorite arcane unit of measure:  Furlongs per Fortnight.

Mixed Metaphor Month

Vote for the worst (or best, depending on how you view this…!) mixed metaphor (all real, captured from various blogs and articles):

  1. “While it may seem like good sense to cover all your bases, throwing too much at your prospect actually weakens your message. Even a short diversion from focus can confuse the issue and cause your prospect to tune out during an otherwise stellar case. You make your prospect do all the work of picking out and remembering the most relevant pieces.”

Love it:  “Cover bases, throw too much, tune out, stellar case, picking out pieces.”

  1. “If you have a presentation that runs two to three hours or more, you’re starting to cover a lot of ground. A theme is helpful in tying ideas together and making it easier for your prospect to see the relationship between different sections by providing a common thread.”

And:  “Cover ground, tying together, see relationship, common thread.”

  1. “With these ideas in your back pocket, you can break through to the toughest of clients and keep your organization firing on all cylinders no matter how much of a time crunch you are in.”

Short but packed!  “Back pocket, break through, fire on all cylinders, time crunch.”  I think this is the winner…!

  1. "And like the U.N. Security Council Members, it only takes one veto to kill an entire deal. Because of the proliferation of stakeholders needed to approve a deal to get it off the ground, a sure thing can become dead in the water long after the sales cycle seems over."

Better have the Security Council equipped with both wings and fins…

  1. "Our reps use our … platform which provides the toolset they need to spread your compelling sales message and get those who buy in the wiggle room they need for others to sign off on their decision."

This one mixes a bad case of rampaging pronouns with toolsets and wiggle rooms!

  1. "Modern decision-makers have a million things to take care of, so even a small objection or a momentary scheduling snag can threaten to eject them out of your funnel as their plate fills up with other priorities."

Wow…  Don’t people ever proof their posts?

Others (conversion factors/units or mixed metaphors) to add?  Have a Happy (Calendar) New Year in any case!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

‘Twas the Night Before the Big Demo

‘Twas the Night Before the Big Demo
(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night ‘fore the demo and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, ‘cept my SC and his mouse;
I’d proposed a big licensing deal with great care
In hopes a big order soon would be there;

Management was restless and not in their beds
As visions of bonuses danced in their heads;
And my VP with his forecast and me with my own,
Had just started a long EOQ roam,

When out from my mobile there came a great ring-tone,
I sprang from my chair to answer my phone,
What could it be?  Was it good news or no?
A last-minute order?  A contract?  PO?

Greetings, said my assistant, who spoke on the line,
It was someone to see me, offering help at this time!
Who could it be at this late eleventh-hour,
To make the deal sweet and avoid something sour?

Away to the door I flew in a flash,
And swept it open in my quest for fast cash,
When who to my wondering eyes should appear,
The DemoGuru! And standing so near!

He came in my office and, while dusting off snow,
Said, “I have some news that you’ll want to know.”
He drew up a chair and asked for some tea,
And said to my VP, SC and to me:

“Your deal is in trouble and I’ll tell you now,
Your demo’s confusing, complex and lacks ‘Wow!’
It’s riddled with features and functions and more,
And too many cool things, mouse clicks galore,

Don’t flog them with features and other neat stuff,
Stick with the substance, stay away from the fluff,
The more that you show is not always nice,
Customers may say, ‘Please lower the price!’

The Buzzword-Compliant Vocabulary list,
Are words, I’m afraid, that are better-off missed,
Not Flexible, nor Powerful, nor Easy-to-Use,
Not Robust, nor Seamlessly Integrated abuse,

And no corporate overview, please don’t do that,
After ten minutes they’re grabbing their hats,
Use real data, stay focused, on target, be brief,
Build vision, while you suspend disbelief!

Your customer’s queued and ready to go,
They love the vision you’ve built with them so.
They want Technical Proof in the demo you’ve planned,
Just the key capabilities, everything else banned.”

“But how can we do this?” I heard myself cry,
“We’re victims of momentum, we’re nervous to try,
Another approach, a new way to go,
We have to admit we’re just a bit slow!”

“Do the Last Thing First!” he said with a smile,
“Then Peel Back the Layers, and Do It with style,
Peel it back in accord with their interest,
Stay focused and execute, and you’ll find it best,

Your customer’s Situation is a great way to intro,
Their Problems and Reasons, from CBI flow,
Review these and check – is this still the case?
Are we aligned or are we off-base?

Start with the end, that big pay-off piece,
Illustrate and describe, those are the keys!
Capture their interest, compel their attention,
Make sure it aligns with their mode of consumption,

When it clicks and they’re hooked, they’ll then ask for more,
There’s absolutely no way that they’ll head for the door.
They’ll say, “Please show us, prove that it’s so,
Show us the rest, please do demo.”

Then Do It, just Do It, with no extra clicks,
To return to that Illustrative image that sticks,
Make it simple, make it fast, make it easy and clear,
Then they will realize they’ve nothing to fear,

Encourage their questions, most are not new,
Good ones and Great ones (and Stupid ones too),
Treat Hostiles with courtesy, use your Parking Lot so
Those mean, crusty folks can’t damage your flow,

Peel back the layers, (like an onion),
Show only what’s needed, put nothing else in,
Let them drive the demo, let them think they’re in charge,
While their Vision Solution you work to enlarge!

Summarize, summarize, tell them again,
‘Cause adults do learn by repetition,
And when you show a key take-away screen,
Leave it up, let it linger, so they’ll know what they’ve seen!

“I get it – I’ll do it!” exclaimed my SC,
“This is all so obvious, it’s way clear to me!”
And he sprang into action, his mouse flew like lightening,
(Frankly, his speed was a little bit frightening!)

And with that the DemoGuru smiled and he said,
“Your way is now clear, put that baby to bed,
Your deal’s now on track, your order secure,
You’ll make your numbers at the end of the year,

Then he strode from my office in the flash of a pun,
Turned ‘round and he said, “My job here is done,”
Ere he drove out of sight, I did hear him say,
“Great Demo! to all and to all a Great Day!”

Copyright © 2005-2017 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Team Selling and Demonstrating – Is (Dramatically) More Likely to Result in Closed Business

The fine folks at Gong have released another intriguing study.  They report,

“The next time your sales manager joins one of your sales calls or demos for the sake of “team selling,” be sure to thank him or her.
You may be 258% more likely to close that deal than if you flew solo.”

Holy herd (well, 2) of cows…!  This is a terrific insight – and surprising – at least initially…

I wonder if there is any correlation between longevity of the sales person and closed business?  In other words, there are many new or newish sales people in enterprise software, for one reason or another – and I suspect that many of the calls recorded with a sales manager present are situations where the managers are doing an in-person “ride-along”… 

Similarly, it would be interesting to see the data and results when the second person on these calls is a sales manager vs. presales person (with the same thoughts about longevity).  Many of the organizations that I work with have presales people with often much greater average longevity with their company than their sales counterparts… 

Great study, in any case – you can take a look here.