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 technology executives 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.
|Apr 13:||8 Ways IT Companies Can Kill Themselves By Responding To RFPs|
|Mar 2013:||How Do You Recognise Super-Busy Deadbeats In Your Business Development Team|
|Feb 2013:||3 Reasons For Automating Business Development|
|Jan 2013:||The Mysterious Ins and Outs of Decision-Making|
|Nov 2012:||5 Vital Components Of Successful Client Interviews|
|Oct 2012:||Selecting A Winning Business Development Plan For Your IT Company|
|Sep 2012:||Podcast  18 Criteria To Define Whether Your IT Business Is A Sought-After Authority Or A Replaceable Vendor|
|Aug 2012:||10 Business Development Thoughts That Could Liberate Your Sales|
|Jun 2012:||Who Is In Charge Of Business Development?|
|May 2012:||Eight Advantages Of Premium Pricing Strategy And Eight Disadvantages Of Economy Pricing|
|Apr 2012:||Human Resources Management Confusion: Demanding Excellence Vs. Creating A Culture Of Excellence|
|Mar 2012:||Are Your IT Talent Selection and Recruitment Practices Leading Your Company Down The Doom Loop?|
|Feb 2012:||About Compensating Business Development People|
|Jan 2012:||Five Reasons To Flex Your Marketing Muscles Not Your Sales Muscles|
|Dec 2011:||15 Ways Marketing Can Support Your Sales Success|
|Nov 2011:||How To Segment The Marketplace For Your IT Business|
|Oct 2011:||Sales Lead Mismanagement In IT Companies And How To Remedy It|
|Sep 2011:||How to Use After Action Reviews to Debrief IT Consulting Projects|
|Aug 2011:||17 Common Direct Mail Mistakes IT Companies Make Part 2|
|Jul 2011:||17 Common Direct Mail Mistakes IT Companies Make Part 1|
|Jun 2011:||Three Practical Objections Against Cold-Calling To Sell Premium IT Solutions|
|May 2011:||Two Business Development Diseases And What To Do About Them|
|Apr 2011:||10 Common IT Client Acquisition Misconceptions|
|Mar 2011:||Are Your Follow Up Messages Too Aggressive?|
|Feb 2011:||How Do We Know If We're A Replaceable Vendor Or A Trusted Technology Advisor And A Respected Technology Authority? Part 2|
|Jan 2011:||How Do We Know If We're A Replaceable Vendor Or A Trusted Technology Advisor And A Respected Technology Authority? Part 1|
|Dec 2010:||How Can Marketing Automation Replace IT Salespeople?|
|Nov 2010:||How Deming's 14 Points Apply to IT Business Development Departments Part 2|
|Oct 2010:||How Deming's 14 Points Apply to IT Business Development Departments Part 1|
|Jul 2010:||Should Information Technology Companies Do Sales And Marketing Or Integrated Business Development?|
|Jun 2010:||10 Ways IT Companies Screw Up Their Retainer Contracts|
|May 2010:||The Three Sides Of High Leverage Business Development|
|Apr 2010:||14 Ways Information Technology Companies Waste Their Marketing Budgets|
|Mar 2010:||Setting Marketing Budget For Optimised Client Acquisition|
|Feb 2010:||Quantifying IT Solutions For Optimum Value Pricing|
|Jan 2010:||Eight Ways Lowest Bidders Can Wreak Havoc In IT Companies|
|Dec 2009:||Are You an IT Consultant or A Computer Technician?|
|Nov 2009:||Who Are We Hiring? Impressive Resumes Or World-Class Talents?|
|Oct 2009:||Eight Lethal Mistakes That Screw Up IT Business Websites|
|Sep 2009:||Seven Mistakes IT Companies Make Regarding Their Selling Processes And Sales Staff|
|Aug 2009:||22 Overlooked Warning Signs from Problematic Prospects And Clients - Part 2 of 2|
|Jul 2009:||22 Overlooked Warning Signs from Problematic Prospects And Clients - Part 1 of 2|
|Jun 2009:||Sales Lead Generation in the Traditional Versus the Lucrative Way|
|May 2009:||Eight Death Traps IT Companies Can Fall Into By Hiring Subcontractors With Low Contractor Bids|
|April 2009:||The Inherent Lunacies Of Traditional Consultant Fees For Premium IT Services|
|February 2009:||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 2009:||Using Salesmanship In Print For Better Sales Force Management And Improved Sales Force Effectiveness|
|December 2008:||Building and Maintaining Your Personal And Professional Power In Business Development|
|November 2008:||Eight Excellence Factors In Technology Business Development|
|October 2008:||13 Ways Technology Companies Are Wasting Their Marketing Budgets|
|September 2008:||The Fine Art And Science Of Employee Compensation Management In Technology Business Development Careers|
|August 2008:||11 Ways of Building Inner Values Among Your Business Development Folks|
|July 2008:||Are We Chasing Beasts Or Scratching The Ground To Eat And Live Another Day: Selling Through Hunting Or Farming|
|June 2008:||Merely Serving Clients Or Reinforcing Client Expectations|
|May 2008:||Five Key Client 'Deliverables' In Managing High-Tech Engagements For Value|
|April 2008:||Five Distractions That Undermine Technology Business Development Departments' Performance|
|March 2008:||Five Sure-Fire Signs Of A Smart Business Development Strategy For Technology Companies|
|February 2008:||Maximising Project Value Through Better Collaboration Between Business Development And Project Management Teams|
|January 2008:||Technology Brochures From Sellers' Drawing Boards To Buyers' Rubbish Bins|
|December 2007:||The Dirty Little Secrets Branding / Advertising Agencies Don't Want You to Know|
|November 2007:||13 Mistakes That Can Make A Pig's Ear Of Your Email Marketing|
|October 2007:||Eleven Diseases Of High-Tech Business Development Departments|
|September 2007:||Eleven Website Mistakes That Turn Premium High-Tech Companies Into Cheap Commodities|
|August 2007:||Building Team Selling Strengths In Technology Service Companies|
|July 2007:||Seven Considerations for Spam-Free Email Marketing|
|June 2007:||Eight Leadership Principles The Military Can Teach Business Development Folks|
|May 2007:||The World Of Selling Technology Is Changing. Is Your Company Changing With It?|
|April 2007:||Meeting Prospects From Smaller Organisations|
|March 2007:||Why Every Technology Businesses Should Be Based On Selling Integrated Professional Services and Not Only Selling "Things"|
|February 2007:||A Bodybuilder or an Athlete: Are You Building Your Website For Show or Dough?|
|January 2007:||Six Major Problems with Manual Labour Grunt Work Type Lead Generation|
|December 2006:||Eight Benefits of Using Education-Centred Marketing|
|November 2006:||Seven Early Warning Signs of Mishiring Business Development Team Members|
|October 2006:||How To Test Your Marketing|
|September 2006:||Befriending The Media|
|August 2006:||What To Do With Your Marketing? Push It Or Pull It?|
|July 2006:||Who Qualifies Your Prospects? Sales Or Marketing?|
|June 2006:||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.