The Killer of Sales Momentum

Sales as a carer is intensely involved with emotion buy-in and volatility.

By working in sales as a profession, there are requirements for you to fight with,e dune and enjoy a crazy and constantly changing environment as well as emotional roller coaster of a career. Dealing with rash emotions throughout any given day is expected.

Lori Cornmesser

The frustration of disappointment during a sales day cans ingle handedly ruin your mood and your day. The negative feelings, disappointment, and frustration are the prime suspect killers of your business and productivity.

Learning to avoid, counteract, and balance the times when negative emotions arise could not only help your sales performance, but allow you to maintain a positive outlook to gain possible leads.

Here are four tips to stay in tune with your mood and help fight off discouragement to get back to keeping positive sales momentum:

Change Your Expectations.
This is very important because expectations, especially high expectations, that correlate with volatility and instability within sales situations are a recipe for disaster.

The Magic Number Rule.
The rule states that a prospect will take a certain pre-determined amount of attempts before actual contact. The trick is that you do not know what the number is until you reach it. Just remember, don’t let them control your state.

Play the Odds.
Once you finally get in touch with the prospect you’ve been pursuing for months, you must deliver your best offer to get an appointment or a quote to them. Say the prospect gives an abrupt “No.” A a sales professional you should know the most effected responses to common objections. At the end of the day, you do your own part and if you execute it and the prospect doesn’t like it, move on. Someone else is ready.

Make Your Goals Activity-Based.
If you are focused on and taking action with he right behaviors, the sales results will soon follow. If you are consistently taking action not he most important aspects of your sales process, good results should come.

This shows why goals should be centered on results and actives that you are able to accomplish and not the responses of your prospects, necessarily.

Keeping goals on your activity puts emphasis and pressure on your ability to work towards an end that you have control over and as long as you are participating all the right activities, the results always follow in suit.

 

San Francisco

Secrets to Selling Technology

Lori Cornmesser Sales VP

High-tech sales often comprises both intangible and complex sales. Many solutions are invisible as they run in the background and most people do not know that they even exist.

Stating that someone is associated within the high-tech sector or industry is an ambiguous statement in this time, as most organizations use technology for all most all business operations. Everything from engineering solutions, cars, phones, and legal services use technology as vital part of their work. You may not consider yourself to directly be “in technology”, but if you are in sales, you ay be selling solutions that involve technological services or programs at some point in time.

There are different types of people involved in the procurement of high-tech solutions and systems. If you were selling Customer Relations management software to a client, certain buyers may be involved in the decision making process to evaluate the necessity. Such positions include: The CEO, Finance/accounting, sales staff, VP of Sales, training department, and the IT department.

It is important to know how to explain the product to each position and level in terms that will appeal most to them in terms of how they will directly use and benefit from said high-tech solution. Communication is key as always, but it is important to do your homework in regards to knowing who you will be speaking with.

Most sales team members are comfortable communicating with one or two of these types of groups. The best salespeople have a strategy to address the needs of each type of group, which is unique and directly applicable to each buyer. Remember, you are selling to multiple buyers and creative communication is imperative as everyone must see the upside of the product.

Having an understanding of the market and niche is absolutely critical. Learning about any unique circumstances, competition, and business processes of the target marked is very important. This research and preparation better equips salespeople to address all the needs of the market as a whole.

It is also important to know all the applications and limitations of your product or solution. This requires spending time with the engineers to get the ins and outs of exactly what your product can offer. Being prepared to answer tough questions in a positive, constructive way is crucial to success.

Other things to think about are problem solving, consulting, and project planning skills. You are your own manager and team member; many large high-tech sales deal will need many people on their teams to help close a sale. Once the deal has been made, a need to continue monitoring the interaction is needed to ensure that the promises made are being carried out. This is the secret to being a great salesperson: it is not a one-stop shop. You are creating a conversation; an invitation for the buyers to return as a client or as a friend. Networking is a solid best practice within high-tech product sales.

Travel Love

The Future of IT Sales

Lori Cornmesser, IT Sales, Corporate

 

At a recent Micro Cloud Summit conference, Gartner’s analyst Tiffani Boca discussed a special Gartner report titled, “The Future of IT Sales.” Based on multiple surveys of IT buyers at large organizations, several key features were pointed out about what it will take to close cloud services deals in the future.

Focusing on benefits is a key shift in selling as one moves the discussion away tom features. While this sounds cliche, or something from Sals 101, this advice is often pushed aside. Maybe the fact that service features are asker to come up with than benefits make it easier to discuss. Features are attributes f the produce and service, while benefits reflect the impacts of that produce or service, directly related to the customer. This does require a bit more thought. In the future, buyers will be much more focused on the benefits and successful cloud selling will mean talking up the benefits.

A second important aspect of cloud selling is building trust and communicating differentiation by using customer case studies. Unlike selling hardware, cloud services are not as commoditized and have real differences in quality of service, levels of serve, and features. Gartner found that by using customer case studies, communication differentiation and creating trust has been revolutionized as high effective way to sell the product. Make sure existing customers are delighted and then trumpet that success to your prospects and other customers.

Keep in mind the decision maker. Vars are used to selling to IT management, however the future of IT sales is not necessarily in the IT/IS department. While IT may be called in to vet solutions, it has shown that the decision is increasingly being driven by line management. In this case the implications are that you need to speak the language of the functional business lines. In the future, be prepared to speak the specific language of vertical markets and function business units.

Resellers need to move to cloud via evolutionary steps. Sales people need to become more consultative in their approach. Sales management needs to envelop knew compensation programs for their sales representatives. marketing needs to revamp materials for cloud serves as accounting needs to implement recurring billing models. Operations needs to develop first line support capabilities and finally, top management needs to fully support these essential shifts within each department. It is important to remember that these changes cannot happen overnight. There is one very important caveat: Much like the dinosaurs, failure to evolve to quickly adapt to a changing ecosystem will leave many resellers extinct. The time is now to start the move to the future of IT sales.

 

Women’s Contributions in the Tech Industry

It is commonly known that Silicon Valley lacks big percentages of female employees in general. However, the one division that women reign supreme is Marketing and PR for tech companies. Even though their jobs are not directly involved with the engineering or design of the product; they are seriously overlooked in terms of contribution.

Lori Cornmesser, Women, Tech Industry

Marketing and PR is a crucial part of a product’s development.

Nick Summer’s from Bloomberg Businessweek says of Tinder’s Vice President of Marketing, Whitney Wolfe,

“She went around the country visiting different sororities, promoted the app there at these different college campuses,” Summers says. The number of Tinder users nearly tripled at a crucial time in its development due to Wolfe. “She made some very important contributions in making women feel safe in signing up for the app.”

While Summers was writing his report of Tinder, co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen never mentioned Whitney Wolfe. Summer’s said, “They were very eager to make it seem as if they had done this all on their own.”

Wolfe proceeded to die the company for sexual harassment and discrimination. Wolfe had been dating Co-founder Justin Mateen, and after the break up, she claims that he harassed her. She was then fired for complaining about the harassment and had her title as co-founder taken away.

Nick Summers, after hearing about the lawsuit, re-visited his previous reporting and wrote a sub-sequential article. He stated,

“That was an opportunity to go back and revisit this idea of creation myths,” says Summers, “and the way that people, and in this case a woman … can be written out of the sort of stories that startups tell about themselves and the way they were born.”

The fact of the matter is that because Wolfe is a woman, this may be one reason she was easily written out of the story.

The pUblic Relations Society of America reports that 70 percent of professionals in the PR field are women. Today, women in PR are unflatteringly referred to as “PR chicks” and have made their way into pop culture as air headed women concerned with makeup, clothes, and parties.

The founder of Brew Media Relations, Brooke Hammerling, says she created her own firm because she was fed up with the mixture of dismissive tech males and sexism inside some major tech companies.

Hammerling says, “We were in the background very much where companies didn’t want to, certainly CEOs didn’t want to think that PR had anything to do with the success of the company and that their PR girls were sort of just there to write press releases.”

Now, Marketing and PR divisions are being built from the ground up in tech startups for a fighting chance in recognition within the crowded markets. It is a critical and important element of the company, just as relevant as the technology aspect of it. Many investors believe that both pieces are necessary to achieve success within the company.

Although many women would like to see more diversity within the tech roles of a tech company, there is also a strong pull for recognition and credit to be given to the women behind the scenes who are already contributing to the industry.

4 Myths About Women And Corporate Leadership

Lori Cornmesser

Much is made about the lack of women in leadership positions in corporate world. Many have argued that women simply do not aspire to these positions or do things that inhibits their potential to grow. Fortune recently published a list that debunks these myths and others. Read a sampling below.

Raising children hurts career growth.

There is the perception in the business community that women in management positions are hindered from reaching the upper echelons by the raising of children. However, there is no statistical evidence that shows a significant difference in the number of promotions received by women with children and women without children. Still, the majority of promotions given go to men.

Women Lack Confidence

Because women understand the unique challenges that face them in the business world, they are are often more grounded than their male colleagues. This knowledge of their situation is often wrongly interpreted of being a lack of confidence. Research has shown that after being encouraged by a superior, there was no difference between the number men and women who were will to make a career jump.

Women do not aspire to leadership roles

Research shows that men and women both want to have positive working relationships and to do something intrinsically interesting. With these being the two primary goals of both genders in the workplace, it seems disingenuous to assert that men want to take positions of leadership and women do not. Yet still, research in the UK shows that men are 4.5 times more like than their female counterparts.

Women give up their careers before reaching the top

This myth has no backing in research whatsoever. There is not any statistical evidence to back up the claim that women are leaving their careers earlier than men. What has been shown is that women a level or two down from the executive level are two times less likely than their male counterparts to receive promotion.

Read more myths about women in leadership roles at Fortune.

Lori Cornmesser Named among the CRN 2014 Power 100

Lori Cornmesser Ruiz

CRN Magazine releases an annual list of Women in the Channel, as well as a list of the Power 100.  For the 2014 year, Lori Cornmesser’s hard work and dedication have paid off, and she was bestowed the honor of being named on both of these prestigious publicized lists.

The goal of the Women in the Channel list is to recognize and celebrate women who have capitalized on revolutionary ideas they have implemented within their field of work.  These women are hardworking, driven executives who have made a name for themselves in their career.  This year, 340 women were named on the Women of the Channel List.  Two of the women on this list were members of the Ixia Communications team, but only one was named among the Power 100 of the 2014 Women in the Channel honors: Lori Cornmesser.

Despite only having been with Ixi Communications for the past 6 months, Lori Cornmesser has exploded out of the gate, cultivating the Ixia partner network to grow to over 400 members.  Coming from 11 years working at Juniper Networks, and a total of 18 years worth of experience within the channel, Cornnmesser is a seasoned  veteran with a competitive and innovative edge.  Her perseverance and ability to turn her unique ideas into a reality that ultimately better the company is part of what has earned her a place on this prestigious list of channel executives.

As the Vice President of Global Channel Sales, Lori Cornmesser leads a team in heading the overall sales of the channel, as well as developing and strengthening key relations between Ixia and its partners.  In her success in creating new partner relations and fostering old ones, she has thus greatly contributed to Ixia’s overall goal of asserting its channel brand as,”the one to beat in the market.” She has put together an impressive team who is solely dedicated to fostering and improving relations with partners, as well as focused on implementing new strategies of technology and the use of such.  The tremendous success Lori Cornmesser has seen in this endeavor, and in such a short time, has rightfully earned her a place on the list of the 2014 Power 100: The Most Influential Women in the Channel.

To read the full story and press release on Cornmesser’s place on this list, check out this page.

Ways Women are Hindering their Own Progress in the Workplace

Lori Cornmesser

While women have come a long way in the workforce in terms of equality with men, there is undoubtedly still a gender gap that prevents men and women from being on equal playing fields in the office.  According to an article detailing a new book by two well-known female journalists, the true issue behind this gender gap in the workplace is lack of confidence, rather than lack of competence.

Katty Kay, anchor for BBC World News America and Claire Shipman, of ABC News co-authored the book, “The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance.”

According to Kay, “In the classroom, we are superstars, and then we get into the real world and something changes,” she says of females entering the work force.  She then continues, “The rules change.  And women don’t play so well. You have to have a certain amount of confidence, and I think that’s the bit of the equation perhaps that women are missing.”

It was during their research for a different book, “Womenomics,” which was published in 2009, that the issue of the lack of female self-assurance in the workplace became apparent to the duo.  After talking to numerous women who were holding impressive careers at the time, Kay and Shipman were surprised to find that these women felt that they didn’t deserve the jobs they had earned, and that they felt like, “an imposter,” or like a, “fraud.”  These sentiments pushed them to consider the notion further- was this just what women said in conversation, to be humble, or was it something beyond that?  Did they actually feel this way and was there backing evidence to their sentiments?

Through some digging, it became clear that there was data to back up what these women were feeling.  It became apparent that women were holding themselves back when it came to more stressful work-related situations, such as competing for promotions or asking for higher pay.  Research showed that women would apply to promotional opportunities that they were 100% qualified for, whereas men who have roughly 60% of the required skills for a position would apply for the same opening.

This among many other findings are extremely telling of the gender gaps between men and women in the workplace.  They also found a great deal about the fear of failure holding women back in the workplace.  Evidently, there is a lot that needs to be done in order to bridge this gender gap and boost women’s confidence in the office. To learn more about the findings of this book and areas in which women are holding themselves back in terms of their jobs, check out the article mentioned above.

New Book Urges Business Leaders to Address Blind Spots

Lori CornmesserLeadership in business often means having to grasp the big picture without necessarily being able to see the whole thing. And as startup mentor Marty Zwilling explains in his article on the Huffington Post blog, identifying one’s blind spots is key.

Zwilling discusses the book “Leadership Blindspots” by Robert Bruce Shaw, and points out that every business leader has blind spots that hinder their success. What’s more, it’s the ability and willingness to accept and address these limitations that can make or break most business leaders.

Part of the balancing act of being an effective leader is having enough confidence to push forward your ideas, while maintaining enough humility to acknowledge your weaknesses. Confidence and humility are two qualities that would seem to be at odds with one another and yet, both are essential for maintaining an intellectually honest assessment of the circumstances at play in a business setting.

Of course, acknowledging the need for a healthy balance of self-confidence and self-doubt is not the same as actually maintaining that balance. There are a few techniques from Shaw’s book to surface information that might be otherwise obscured from the view of individuals in leadership positions.

Some of these techniques may seem fairly obvious: favoring open-ended questions over those with a “yes/no” answer; being careful not to steer the conversation to confirm your own assumptions; and making sure to not accept evasive answers. Other suggestions are more novel, such as: paraphrasing and, in some cases, intentionally mis-paraphrasing what you’re hearing from others. This will force those around you to go into greater detail to expound on their point and may reveal specifics that might otherwise have been glossed over.

Part of being an effective leader is being a strong judge of character, and that includes one’s own. Taking into account personal strengths and weaknesses can help to limit the adverse effects of leadership blindspots.

Head over to the HuffPo blog, blog for the full list of leadership recommendations.