About five years ago, I had the pleasure of sitting through sales training
with John Costigan. I remember John's opening as he said something like, "How
are you?" and got the typical quiet reaction. John went on to say something
like, "when I am asked, I say "OUTSTANDING" and you should too. Because to
STAND OUT, you MUST BE OUTSTANDING."
Fast forward to last week, when I was having a discussion on positioning with
a very successful entrepreneur turned VC. He said, "The only way to win in
today's markets is to STAND OUT, create something new." Immediately I thought
of John and said to myself, "If you want OUTSTANDING positioning, you must
STAND OUT from the crowd."
When you look around B2B technology providers, those who do stand out usually
take one of three fundamental approaches to differentiation, what I call
1+1=3, Embrace and Extend, and Copy and Paste. All ca... (more)
In my recent article on High Impact Cloud Marketing, I said:
Viewpoint is a framing of the market in the context of your uniqueness. The
uniqueness of your team, your capabilities, and your vision. Some call
viewpoint thought leadership, some vision with a capital V, and some brand.
and I called on providers to set a unique and compelling viewpoint to create
breakthrough for their marketing efforts.
While there are many frameworks and techniques to capturing Viewpoint,
however defined, one of the simplest and most effective way I have, and one
the first I usually pull out of my t... (more)
Walk into just about any Cloud marketing team today, and you will see a very
large focus on marketing automation. This is the tip of the iceberg that has
been building since the dawn of Google and Direct email, or for about a
decade. Let's call that time AG for After Google. That AG iceberg is the
maniacal focus on demand over brand, on lead generation over messaging, on
revenue over valuation.
This focus makes a lot of sense, especially in a crowded and newly developing
market, marketing MUST drive revenue, because revenue drive valuation, growth
and access to capital, and feed... (more)
When I was a wet behind the ears sales rep in the Rolling Meadow's Illinois
branch office in 1986 (yes, they had computers back then :)), I remember the
big sign that hung on the wall:
Calls + Demos = Sales
Our office sold everything from PCs to copiers (yes, IBM sold copiers) to
mini computers (S34, 36, 38, and later AS/400 and RS6000s) and the biggest
S360 Mainframes. Though the sign belonged to the "Office Machines", i.e.,
Copiers, team, I quickly learned in my territory of small manufacturers and
distributors, the key to selling the minicomputer lay in not just having the
Talking about his new book, "That Used to Be Us," at a recent speech at the
Stanford Graduate School of Business, best selling author Thomas Friedman
said, "Average is over. Everyone must define and develop their extra, that
unique value add that justifies, in this world of rising curves why they
should be hired or promoted." Friedman goes on to make a case that to win in
the global market, American education must nurture students to become more
creative and unique.
Friedman goes on to discuss the emergence of the "hyper-connected world" one
where you cannot only outsource labo... (more)