Deliver a winning demo that resonates with your audience

[fa icon="calendar'] 25-Feb-2020 09:21:22 / by Zbigniew Smierzchala posted in Customer Journey, salesproductivity, Strategy, Personas, Sales Software, solution selling, MillerHeimanStrategicSelling

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As the saying goes: "seeing is believing". Therefore, a software demo is critical step in the B2B customer decision journey when evaluating and purchasing a software solution. As an example, have you ever visited a software expo or trade show? Then you may have experienced multiple vendors trying to attract you to their company's booth. As soon as you stand in front of their display screen, a software rep immediately starts to maneuver across the screen, showing feature after feature of their great product. Too often, they forget to first ask about the purpose of your visit, your needs or challenges with current solutions and how you envision an ideal software solution would look like for your organization. If any of these scenarios sound familiar - either as a software vendor sharing a demo with a potential client or as a participant viewing a walk-through of a vendor's software solution - then I invite you to read further!   

I have attended a lot of software demos over the years as Solution Manager at HP and Xerox. Many of them were great, but some of the demos followed a common script: a team usually consisting of an account manager and a technical specialist (e.g. pre-sales consultant) hosts the online meeting. The account manager is responsible for relationship - building; the technical specialist  demos the software and answers technical questions. The account manager starts the interaction with an introduction of the company, sharing some facts such as number of employees, their office locations and a “who’s who” list of the software company’s partners. During the demo's "storyline", the technical specialist follows a fairly generic demo script and displays a dizzying array of killer features. At the end of the demo, you may feel rather confused - and perhaps  a bit bored? Have you ever thought after a demo “This is a waste of my time?”. This can often be a showstopper in developing a relationship with that software vendor. 


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Customers tell you what they want, but are you paying attention?

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Feb-2020 15:48:49 / by Zbigniew Smierzchala posted in Selling Technology Solutions, Buyers journey, Sales Software, solution selling, Product Strategy, Product Management, bid management, RFP insights, market insights

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  • RFPs are a great source of information about customers` objectives, providing insight on the decision process and clearly outlining customers needs and requirements
  • Applying resources to capture and analyze RFP data can reap big benefits, providing valuable insights for marketing and product management and improving future RFP win rates for your sales teams

Unlike consumers who typically have a less structured approach to purchases, enterprises and public sector organizations explicitly and publicly document their "wants" and requirements through Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and other forms of requests to tender. [1]

RFPs are structured methods for public and non-public organizations to receive competitive bids for needed products and services and thus every month, thousands of RFPs are posted on the internet and /or send directly to selected vendors. The RFP process is meant to bring structure and transparency to the procurement decision, while reducing risk through open requirements and discussion.

Sales personnel and bid management teams spend a considerable amount of effort in answering customer questions and preparing an offer. However what happens after the sales team completes the RFP? Too often, not much, as sales and bid teams turn their focus to the next RFP.

RFPs are a great source of information about a customer’s objectives, their evaluation and decision process, and the customer’s needs and requirements – providing you with Voice of the Customer (VoC ) insight [2] .

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Where to look for differentiation in the crowded (IT) market

[fa icon="calendar'] 05-Feb-2020 14:13:36 / by Zbigniew Smierzchala posted in Selling Technology Solutions, Marketing Metrics, Sales Software, solution selling, Differentiation, Product Strategy, Product Management

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In mature markets, differentiation on a product level is not easy to achieve. However, there is a lot of differentiation potential in the context of how you engage with your customers, in the ability to build relationships and evaluate customer needs, and finally in how you combine and deliver products and services to develop a solution which addresses customer needs and delivers the expected business outcomes.


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How to build a business plan for a successful partnership

[fa icon="calendar'] 28-Jan-2020 08:23:00 / by Zbigniew Smierzchala posted in Customer Journey, Technology Selling, Strategy, Sales Software, Partnership, solution selling

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How to build a business plan as a foundation for a successful partnership -  a quick guide for software vendors

 A strong business plan is key for a successful partnership between independent software vendors (further: ISVs) and their partners: re-sellers and service partners such as Value-Added Resellers (VARs), Technology-, OEM Partners, or other ISVs that build solutions on top of, or integrate with the vendor’s platform.  The time spent on developing the joint business plan is a great investment which lays the foundation for a lasting and successful relationship. The business plan helps to clarify if the collaboration creates the necessary win-win-win situation for customers, for the vendor and for the partner based on a unique and differentiated value proposition generated by the cooperation..

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6 must-read HubSpot blogs for Marketing & Sales Professionals

[fa icon="calendar'] 18-Jan-2020 12:21:02 / by Gardy Bacas posted in HubSpot, Customer Journey, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation, Content Marketing, social media, salesproductivity, Buyers journey, videomarketing, SEO best practices

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2020 has arrived... a new decade has begun. As a marketing and sales professional planning future projects, campaigns or strategies, you likely have spent time in the past days and weeks in  evaluating what worked well, what didn’t and what to improve as you map your priorities for the year ahead.

To help you find new ideas, learn the latest insights and spark inspiration to help with your marketing and sales strategies and programs, we'd like to share six of our favorite marketing and sales blogs from HubSpot. Happy reading! 

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You Don't Need to Reinvent the Wheel in 2020 -   Instead, Refresh it

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Jan-2020 16:41:00 / by Jennifer van Lent posted in content management, Editor, AI, ECM, Machine learning

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The DM Collaborators Blog (repost): A conversation with Jennifer van Lent

[fa icon="calendar'] 19-Dec-2019 14:53:04 / by Jennifer van Lent posted in content management, Editor, AI, ECM, Machine learning, AIIM, AIIM Forum Europe, DM Collaborators

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The following blog is a repost from the DM Collaborators Blog AIIM Forum Europe series. On behalf of Digital Doorway, we would like to thank the DM Collaborators and Carina Birt for the opportunity to contribute to the blog series. And we would like to congratulate AIIM, event organisers Revolution Events, the sponsors and vendors on their efforts in making this year's AIIM Forum Europe such a successful event!   

Propositions for a Highly Segmented Content Marketplace

Sorry to say this is the last in our series of conversations at the recent, and very successful, AIIM Forum Europe in London in November. We’re ending with a great one —Jennifer Van Lent, who is the Managing Director of European HubSpot partner Digital Doorway out of Amsterdam, a company all about helping European IT companies with inbound marketing and sales as they believe the key to attracting better leads, nurturing high-value prospects and winning new customers is “the right strategy, processes and content, not just technology”.

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Four Steps to Writing a Winning Blog

[fa icon="calendar'] 03-Sep-2019 20:09:50 / by Gardy Bacas posted in Customer Journey, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, social media, "Innovation", Buyers journey, SEO optimization

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Have you ever worked hours creating a fantastic blog with great insight...but then after you post it, you end up with only 3 likes on Facebook or LinkedIn? How do you capture the attention of your target audience and motivate them to actually read your post? And equally important: how can you increase visibility for your blog on search engines and social platforms?

Before you begin to write your blog, here are 4 important elements to keep in mind:

1. Goal: What is the goal of the blog?

2. Structure: How will your blog look like? 

3. Style: Who are you writing for? 

4. Strategy: What are you trying to achieve?   

...and don't forget SEO - you need to optimize your blog to improve ranking on Google! 

Now let's look at each of these 4 points in detail....


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Top Content Marketing Trends for 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] 26-Aug-2019 13:41:22 / by Gardy Bacas posted in Customer Journey, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Buyers journey

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Content Marketing Trends for 2019 show that many marketing tactics no longer work. We produce so much content nowadays that it becomes increasingly difficult to create a message which stands out and is findable on Google and other search engines. You could argue that content marketing seems to be undermining its own success. You have to ask yourself which approach works? How to deal with the decreased organic reach of social media and Google?

Based on feedback from Dutch marketing thought leaders, the following are some of the top trends for 2019: decreasing reach of social media and organic search, personalization (e.g. "people do business with people"), targeted, reader-specific content, and the rise of video and podcast.

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How do you find your future customers?

[fa icon="calendar'] 11-Jan-2019 07:47:00 / by Jennifer van Lent posted in HubSpot, Inbound Marketing, Inbound Sales Methodology, Lead Generation, Aligning Marketing and Sales, salesproductivity, digital transformation

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In a world of 6 Billion people, who do you want to find and how will they find you? 

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