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Showing posts from July, 2012

How to Win the Bake-Off?

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 I don’t know about you, but the Food Network seems to be on all the time in my house, and with two young girls, it’s no surprise that “Cupcake Wars” is one of their favorites.
The show pits four aspiring bakers in a head-to-head contest to see who can create the most inspired cupcakes for a specific client event. A winner-take-all bake-off.
So what do cupcakes have to do with your IT sales and marketing? Everything.
Click here to learn more: http://sandhill.com/article/how-to-win-the-software-bake-off/

Goodbye My Dear Friend Dan

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Last evening we said goodbye to my dear friend and mentor Dan Friedlander, a great technology and clean energy entrepreneur, activist, and artist.

Over 200 of his family, friends and Boulder, CO community were in attendance, and I was honored to present at the event, trying to provide a brief glimpse into the incredible contribution Dan had to my life. Here is that speech:

Let me tell you a story, of a young man and his mentor, and how 25 years of ridiculous patience from the Teacher, helped take the Student to new heights:From geeky engineer to entrepreneur,From Tom Clancy and Steven King to Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Friedman,And from George W to “Recovering Republican” … Better known as:  a Democrat. The teaching occurred, not with lectures or criticisms, but by leading through example, such as when the Teacher worked out every day for almost 10 years without fail, put his foot down about not shipping a product that didn’t quite work, abandoned consumption of bottled water, or refus…

Value is in the Eye of the Beholder!

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IT decisions have become more complex, with more stakeholders than ever before.  In order to get the buyers to “Yes”,  sales and marketing must understand each stakeholders role in the buyer decision and deliver the relevant  value proposition to each.

According to IDG Connect, the average mid-to- large enterprise now has ten individuals involved in the average IT purchase decision.  This is double the number of stakeholders compared to 15 years ago.


These stakeholders include representatives from IT, Finance, Executives, Business Unit Representatives and Procurement. And while the business stakeholders individually can’t say “Yes”, they can exert a definitive “No” on key purchase decisions.

Many IT sales professionals know this all too well, having won over the technical team, but losing the deal in the later stages by failing to secure business unit, executive or finance approval.

What’s a Solution Provider to Do?Although part of a joint business decision, you can’t blame individual buy…

Logic + Emotion = Yes

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You have two options:
1.Receive a sure $800 that I am offering you2.Take a chance with an 85% chance for you to win $1,000Which do you choose?
If you are like most, you selected 1, the sure bet, but mathematically, choice 2 and taking a chance is actually worth more. So why do most select the sure bet? Emotionally the chance for loss is weighed higher than logic would dictate, and most have a cognitive bias to avoid the risk and choose the sure bet.
Decisions are a combination of Logic + Emotion. Understanding how the mind uses both, and the inherent biases involved, can help you create better marketing content and sales presentations, drive better engagements and win more favorable decisions, faster.

There is an exciting set of new research to help you understand the way purchasing decisions are made, and new ways you can leverage this science to create better content and tools to drive faster, more favorable purchase decisions.The research uses fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imagi…

Case Study: IBM PureFlex TCO Analysis

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IBM wanted to make it easy for customers to understand the total lifecycle cost advantages of IBM’s PureFlex versus a more traditional dedicated or virtualized IT infrastructure

Alinean, the value selling and marketing tool provider of record for IBM, worked with IBM subject matter experts, leveraging the Alinean XcelLive platform, proprietary IT cost databases and TCO models to build the IBM PureFlex System TCO Analysis tool.

Used by sales professionals and channel partners in workshops, or self-service by prospects via the web, the tool collects information about the current computing needs and then projects the TCO for the two alternatives using industry research for a company of similar type and size. Default configuration assumptions can be reviewed and changed, ultimately delivering a compelling analysis report.

The tool quantifies the high costs of traditional approaches and potential savings with IBM, helping to drive new sales opportunities and accelerate decision cycles.


Click h…

Gartner’s IT Spending Forecast Heats Up For Summer

In their just released outlook, Gartner raised annual IT spending growth predictions, from a cool 2.5 percent, to a much warmer 3 percent. This puts worldwide IT spending at $3.6 trillion this year, up barely from $3.5 trillion in 2011.

Even with weak business confidence and consumer sentiment in the past quarter, eurozone crisis, weaker than expected U.S. recovery, and a slowdown in China providing significant headwinds, Gartner indicates that the outlook is not great, but at least “stabilized”.

The better forecast was boosted by enterprise spending on public cloud services, projected to more than double over the next four years, from $109 billion in 2012 to $207 billion by 2016. Public cloud spending grew 20% in 2012, up from $91 billion just last year.

According to Gartner’s press announcement touting the survey results, "Business process as a service (BPaaS) still accounts for the vast majority of cloud spending by enterprises, but other areas such as platform as a service (Paa…