Selling complex, high-ticket IT solutions has changed over the years. Hell, it's got tougher, and is still getting tougher by the day. Buyers, who are sick and tired of the old sales tricks and dog-and-pony show presentations, are barricading themselves behind purchasing departments and layers of gatekeepers to protect themselves from the barrage of commission-crazed peddlers.
They also tighten their grips on their organisations' purse strings to make sure no one takes out even one red penny without proving a hefty ROI.
And in this shuffling madness of desperately trying selling more, most IT companies are merely redoubling their efforts by assembling larger sales forces to pound more pavements and hire larger call centres to tele-pester the marketplace.
And buyers run and hide from these overzealous hucksters more effectively than ever. In the meantime sellers' costs are rising, while their margins are falling.
I've tried to make this site valuable for you, based on my 14 years as a technology, including IT buyer, and since 1996 an IT business development strategist. I hope you find it valuable too and can apply some ideas to your company's success.
Small Business Canada - 20 Fantabulous Ways to Raise and Safeguard Professional Fees. Read article here.
Forum - Year End is Coming: Does That Mean It's Client Abandoning Time Again? Read article here.
Forum - Hiring the Right Dudes or Dudettes for Occasional Project Work. Read article here.
Forum - Time vs. Value: Which One Do You Get Paid for? Read article here.
BC Business - Cracking the Billable Hours Ceiling. Read article here.
Business Services West - Stop Time-Based Fee For Service Professionals. Read article here.
Business Services West - Ten Way to Increase Client Value, While Reducing Your Time and Effort of Delivering It. Read article here.
Project Manager Planet - Project Management Teams Critical to Success of Software Purchases. Read article here.
These white papers are about various aspects of IT business development both on the strategic and the tactical levels. They are free, so you don't even have to register for them. Except one that is really a bonus when you subscribe to my newsletter. Hence the form below. But all the other white papers are there for your review. Enjoy.
In case you're not yet receiving my newsletter, you can subscribe here, and every month I'll try to bore you to tears with discussing a certain aspect of business development. And since we know that crying cleanses the soul, you can only win. So be brave and put in your name and email.
Tomicide Solutions is my monthly email newsletter, covering various aspects of B2B business development for premium IT companies. Unlike most newsletters out there which present short articles on several topics, I go into only one topic, but go into it at the deep end. Hence my newsletter articles are in the range of 3-5,000 words, or sometimes even more. A few years ago, one of the articles was just over 13,000 words.
Yeah, sometimes I get carried away. But a few weeks later a reader reported that as a result of reading it, she had closed a her very first six-figure engagement. I reckon, her investment in reading the article had paid off with a damn good return.
No, it's not an easy read. But I believe it's a meaningful read for IT executives and managers who are in charge of landing clients. I do my best to add as much meat to it as I can. That's why I mix in some entertainment and use "non-corporate" language. Also, to make the points easier to understand, I often use pretty vivid language for better understanding. I hope you find it worth reading.
Other flaws of this newsletter are occasional typos and spelling mistakes, most of which are not spelling mistakes at all but my British or Queen's English. Thanks for your understanding.
|Jan:||But Who Brought That Sales Lead In Anyway?|
|Dec:||What Do You See Looking In 2016's Rear-View Mirror?|
|Nov:||Please Show Me Your Cost Structure|
|Oct:||9 Delusions And Misconceptions Procurement Agents Have About Engaging IT Service Providers|
|Sep:||The Art And Science Of Offering Options In IT Service Proposals|
|Jun:||Six Client Acquisition Obstacles IT Marketers Face And How To Handle Them|
|Apr:||17 Philosophical Differences Between Respected IT Authorities And Fungible IT Vendors|
|March:||Are You Growing Or Merely Enlarging Your IT Busines.|
|February:||Good IT Companies Have Sales Goals And Sales Superstars; Great Ones Have Sales Systems|
|January:||Who Makes The Most Money In Your IT Company?|
|December:||Effective Business Development Forecasting|
|July:||12 Vital Questions To Ask Before Accepting Projects From Start-Ups|
|June:||12 Reasons For Using Direct Mail In Your IT Marketing Mix|
|May:||7 Ways IT Companies Leave Money on the Table And Under-Serve Their Clients|
|April:||Seven Dirty HR Tricks That IT Professionals Hate In The Recruitment Process|
|March:||The Importance of a Good Receptionist|
|February:||8 Things I've Learnt From Being A Technology Buyer|
|January:||7 Ways To Avoid Being Referred To Purchasing Agents Or IT Managers|
|November:||How To Assess User Skills In Your Sales System?|
|October:||What To Do When Salespeople Don't Use Your Sales System?|
|September:||How Do You Know Your Sales System Is Up To Scratch?|
|August:||Do You Really Need A Sales System Or Can You Just Wing It With A Bigger Sales Force?|
|July:||Signs of Troubled IT Project Opportunities (Both Before And During Projects)|
|June:||6 Questions to Ask Business Development Manager Applicants|
|April:||6 Dumb Dogmas of IT Business Development|
|March:||5 Copywriting Rules To Bend When Selling Complex, High-Ticket IT Solutions|
|February:||Which Of These Ten Self-Defeating Activities Do You Quit Doing In 2014?|
|January:||Shoving The Sales Round Peg Into A Marketing Square Hole|
|November:||Four Behaviours That Can Tank Relationships Between IT Buyers And Sellers|
|October:||Year End Is Coming, So It's Time To Dump Dead Wood Clients|
|September:||How To Make Your Company A Hard-To-Reach Premium Calibre IT Authority|
|August:||6 Ways IT Companies Leave Money On The Table|
|July:||How To Improve The Relationship With And The Productivity From Your Subcontractors|
|June:||18 Self-Destructing Marketing Dogmas The Privately Owned IT World Is Infested With Part 2|
|May:||18 Self-Destructing Marketing Dogmas The Privately Owned IT World Is Infested With Part 1|
|April:||8 Ways IT Companies Can Kill Themselves By Responding To RFPs|
|March:||How Do You Recognise Super-Busy Deadbeats In Your Business Development Team|
|February:||3 Reasons For Automating Business Development|
|January:||The Mysterious Ins and Outs of Decision-Making|
|November:||5 Vital Components Of Successful Client Interviews|
|October:||Selecting A Winning Business Development Plan For Your IT Company|
|September:||18 Criteria To Define Whether Your IT Business Is A Sought-After Authority Or A Replaceable Vendor|
|August:||10 Business Development Thoughts That Could Liberate Your Sales|
|June:||Who Is In Charge Of Business Development?|
|May:||Eight Advantages Of Premium Pricing Strategy And Eight Disadvantages Of Economy Pricing|
|April:||Human Resources Management Confusion: Demanding Excellence Vs. Creating A Culture Of Excellence|
|March:||Are Your IT Talent Selection and Recruitment Practices Leading Your Company Down The Doom Loop?|
|February:||About Compensating Business Development People|
|January:||Five Reasons To Flex Your Marketing Muscles Not Your Sales Muscles|
|December:||15 Ways Marketing Can Support Your Sales Success|
|November:||How To Segment The Marketplace For Your IT Business|
|October:||Sales Lead Mismanagement In IT Companies And How To Remedy It|
|September:||How to Use After Action Reviews to Debrief IT Consulting Projects|
|August:||17 Common Direct Mail Mistakes IT Companies Make Part 2|
|July:||17 Common Direct Mail Mistakes IT Companies Make Part 1|
|June:||Three Practical Objections Against Cold-Calling To Sell Premium IT Solutions|
|May:||Two Business Development Diseases And What To Do About Them|
|April:||10 Common IT Client Acquisition Misconceptions|
|March:||Are Your Follow Up Messages Too Aggressive?|
|February:||How Do We Know If We're A Replaceable Vendor Or A Trusted Technology Advisor And A Respected Technology Authority? Part 2|
|January:||How Do We Know If We're A Replaceable Vendor Or A Trusted Technology Advisor And A Respected Technology Authority? Part 1|
|December:||How Can Marketing Automation Replace IT Salespeople?|
|November:||How Deming's 14 Points Apply to IT Business Development Departments Part 2|
|October:||How Deming's 14 Points Apply to IT Business Development Departments Part 1|
|July:||Should Information Technology Companies Do Sales And Marketing Or Integrated Business Development?|
|June:||10 Ways IT Companies Screw Up Their Retainer Contracts|
|May:||The Three Sides Of High Leverage Business Development|
|April:||14 Ways Information Technology Companies Waste Their Marketing Budgets|
|March:||Setting Marketing Budget For Optimised Client Acquisition|
|February:||Quantifying IT Solutions For Optimum Value Pricing|
|January:||Eight Ways Lowest Bidders Can Wreak Havoc In IT Companies|
|December:||Are You an IT Consultant or A Computer Technician?|
|November:||Who Are We Hiring? Impressive Resumes Or World-Class Talents?|
|October:||Eight Lethal Mistakes That Screw Up IT Business Websites|
|September:||Seven Mistakes IT Companies Make Regarding Their Selling Processes And Sales Staff|
|August:||22 Overlooked Warning Signs from Problematic Prospects And Clients - Part 2 of 2|
|July:||22 Overlooked Warning Signs from Problematic Prospects And Clients - Part 1 of 2|
|June:||Sales Lead Generation in the Traditional Versus the Lucrative Way|
|May:||Eight Death Traps IT Companies Can Fall Into By Hiring Subcontractors With Low Contractor Bids|
|April:||The Inherent Lunacies Of Traditional Consultant Fees For Premium IT Services|
|February:||Do We Really Need Rainmakers: The Rain They Bring Is Good, But The Draught They Leave Behind When They Leave Can Kill Your Business|
|January:||Using Salesmanship In Print For Better Sales Force Management And Improved Sales Force Effectiveness|
|December:||Building and Maintaining Your Personal And Professional Power In Business Development|
|November:||Eight Excellence Factors In Technology Business Development|
|October:||13 Ways Technology Companies Are Wasting Their Marketing Budgets|
|September:||The Fine Art And Science Of Employee Compensation Management In Technology Business Development Careers|
|August:||11 Ways of Building Inner Values Among Your Business Development Folks|
|July:||Are We Chasing Beasts Or Scratching The Ground To Eat And Live Another Day: Selling Through Hunting Or Farming|
|June:||Merely Serving Clients Or Reinforcing Client Expectations|
|May:||Five Key Client 'Deliverables' In Managing High-Tech Engagements For Value|
|April:||Five Distractions That Undermine Technology Business Development Departments' Performance|
|March:||Five Sure-Fire Signs Of A Smart Business Development Strategy For Technology Companies|
|February:||Maximising Project Value Through Better Collaboration Between Business Development And Project Management Teams|
|January:||Technology Brochures From Sellers' Drawing Boards To Buyers' Rubbish Bins|
|December:||The Dirty Little Secrets Branding / Advertising Agencies Don't Want You to Know|
|November:||13 Mistakes That Can Make A Pig's Ear Of Your Email Marketing|
|October:||Eleven Diseases Of High-Tech Business Development Departments|
|September:||Eleven Website Mistakes That Turn Premium High-Tech Companies Into Cheap Commodities|
|August:||Building Team Selling Strengths In Technology Service Companies|
|July:||Seven Considerations for Spam-Free Email Marketing|
|June:||Eight Leadership Principles The Military Can Teach Business Development Folks|
|May:||The World Of Selling Technology Is Changing. Is Your Company Changing With It?|
|April:||Meeting Prospects From Smaller Organisations|
|March:||Why Every Technology Businesses Should Be Based On Selling Integrated Professional Services and Not Only Selling "Things"|
|February:||A Bodybuilder or an Athlete: Are You Building Your Website For Show or Dough?|
|January:||Six Major Problems with Manual Labour Grunt Work Type Lead Generation|
|December:||Eight Benefits of Using Education-Centred Marketing|
|November:||Seven Early Warning Signs of Mishiring Business Development Team Members|
|October:||How To Test Your Marketing|
|September:||Befriending The Media|
|August:||What To Do With Your Marketing? Push It Or Pull It?|
|July:||Who Qualifies Your Prospects? Sales Or Marketing?|
|June:||Switching Into Higher Gears In Your Business Development Gearbox|
With this site I wanted to create the proverbial 2 by 4 to hit business owners on the forehead and make then stop and think for a moment about how they could do their business development more effectively.
I hope that as you read this stuff and start thinking and seeing your business from different perspectives, you take action on some of the ideas. Look, the truth is not always pretty, thus it is not easy to handle. But once you handle it, you will be liberated. This is not meant to be pretty and politically correct stuff but a useful and practical for improvement seekers. Thanks for understanding and enjoy the ride.
This section is about the mindset behind business development at a "world-class" level. It may seem tough and inconvenient, but no one has ever achieved excellence through sweet talk and pampering. Excellence is not something that is cheap, traditional, comfortable and convenient to achieve. There is some blood sweat and tears along the way. Or as the saying goes, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit.
This is where a company stands or falls. When you look at world-class companies, you find some commonalities in the way they lead their people and manage their business development activities. Using Motorola's terminology: "Leading people from the heart, and managing business from the head." If you consider Motorola's amazing success, you can see the truth in this statement.