Saturday, December 27, 2014

Selling performance computing. The Gospel 2015 edition

On August 27, 2013, I wrote How to sell performance computing in 2013 . Here is an update for 2015.

How to sell performance solutions 2015

1 Make User Experience a priority
2 Listen
3 Know whom you want to please
4 Be different: resist the hype temptations
5 Offer the best there is in technology, wherever you find it
6 Offer Open Ended Performance  Solutions, not products (see Note 1)
7 Generate and collect "Aha" testimonials
8 Seed for follow up business
Demographics, Behavior and Goals for, Ahrono Consulting Services  Prospects

How to Start a Startup at Stanford University 

Fall 2014 Stanford offered the CS183B  class on line that  " is designed to be a sort of one-class business course for people who want to start startups.

The successful founders must become the best sales people

Here is a quote from Tyler Bosmeny talk at Stanford
I'm the CEO of Clever.  I was about to start at a hedge fund, but at the last second a friend of mine roped me into joining his startup to do sales, which I knew nothing about. I had to figure it out on the fly. I spent a couple of years there figuring out sales for this very early stage company. When it came time to start Clever, I started Clever with two co-founders who were very technical and very product oriented. We wanted to build this product for schools and I thought that experience would have no relevancy whatsoever. It turns out that what I picked up while doing sales at this previous job has been a huge part of what’s made Clever grow so quickly today.
A quick background on Clever: we build software for schools.

 The Bosmeny-zation of sales for 2015 statup

I had no option but to invent this word, - inspired by Tyler Bosmeny - because starting from 2015 the definition of sales in high tech and this zero-to-one world described by Peter Thiel. The Bosmeny vision on sales is in great part an inspiration from Y Combinator's  (YC) way to do business
  1. What I've learned is that when it comes to "hiring the sales people," as a founder, the reality is that it's you.
  2. As a founder you have some unique advantages that make it possible for you to be really, really good at sales
    1. You know the product
    2. You know the industry
  3. Attend conferences as a speaker
  4. Use personal networks
  5. Do cold emails
  6. Use only one takeaway, fitting the prospect. Two may be too much
  7. Talk maximum 30% of time, listen minimum 70% of the time
  8. Don't accept free trials. Just offer a 30-60 day opt out clause in a yearly contract
  9. Don't accept contract conditional to an one off request for a feature; but offer to include this feature if more customers ask for it
  10. Elephants: startups who want to reach 100 million in sales by selling a $100,000 per year to 1,000 customers
  11. Rabbits: startups who want to reach 100 million in sales by selling a $1,000 per year to 100,000 customers 
  12. You can't spend the same amount of time and people resources (per prospect) selling to Elephants versus Rabbits 
  13. Your goal should be to get people to a yes or no as quickly as you can
    1. Use red lining, meaning send an agreement for their lawyers to look at.

Note (1) 12/30/2014

Offer Open Ended Performance  Solutions, not products

In performance computing  the definition of a product is usually a building block for many solutions. Look at https://www.palantir.com/products/ (the Big Data company). I guess there are a few cases where a customer just buys a product

Using these products, Palantir  sells mostly solutions, https://www.palantir.com/solutions/  They reached $ 1 billion in sales this way. Some customers may buy the products, but unless they are highly sophisticated users - which the vast majority of prospects aren't - they need to buy consulting services. A complete proposal will include everything needed for buyer to accomplish what she really needs, and not what we think she must have.
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AI and ML for Conversational Economy