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    The Financial Technologist - Phoenix Edition

    ​It's here! The Financial Technologist: Phoenix Edition.​The Phoenix Edition is your guide to the new normality following the global pandemic. Featuring articles from some of the leading names in Financial Technology, this is your handbook for the road to recovery as the industry looks to lead the way out of lockdown.​Download your copy for free by clicking the link below:​​​​​​​

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    Who Is Responsible for Lead Generation In Today’s Sales World? Marketing or Sale Exec?

    We had a great discussion this week on the Tech Sales Influencers virtual round table. The topic of discussion was “Who is responsible for leads right now, marketing or sales? Should the sales execs be responsible for building their own pipeline?”​Here is the challenge; the world that is still in semi lockdown, those responsible for purchasing tech are spread across the globe from the same organisation, and fewer people are able to buy than before!! Social media platforms are noisier than ever! How do you get your message to the right people at the right time? And what platform should you be using to do it?​The discussion was great and, in most part, we agreed that the sales and marketing teams need to work more closely together than ever before. This partnership will be crucial to elevate your business and your voice above your competition. The challenge is to really understand in what form to put your content out to the marketplace, should it be videos or is everyone doing that now? Should it be webinars or has that been over worked during lockdown? It is difficult to know categorically as we have had little time to dip our toe in the water of this new way of selling. We have been pushed in at the deep end and we need to learn how to swim, fast.​Those who take time to learn how to swim in this new era of selling I’m sure will see great results through the backend of this year and I’m almost certain will see large gains through 2021. Those who chose to only stay afloat and wait for the business world to return to the past could get left behind.​The real question is what content is going to grab your customer’s attention?Is now the time we need to understand our potential customer needs more than ever before?Do we really need to get under the hood of our buyers’ persona and build targeted content towards this?​Through speaking to over 100 senior sales leaders I think one of the biggest concerns is the lack of patience commonly seen in salespeople. If I do something now, I want to see results tomorrow or the next day, at least this week.That will not be the case with social selling. I have come to learn it takes much more time to see a return on investment and needs consistent care and attention. We need to understand what new wins look like from content marketing and how to measure success from these channels. And it’s imperative that there is and understanding between sales and marketing regarding who is responsible for what and when. I’m a big believer now that personal brand is as important as your company brand if you want to stand out and this will take time to build.​It was a great discussion which didn’t lead to definitive solutions to the problem but raised more questions we need to find the answers to in order to move us forward as an industry.​

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    Sales Leaders in Tech Virtual Round Table Part III

    On Monday, I had the great pleasure of hosting another in my series of great conversation with top sales leaders from the tech industry. We cover two very important topics that all sales leaders should be thinking about right now to help move their sales team and business forward: how to win new logos and how to maximise your network to open the right doors for you right now. The discussion was insightful from the off as they looked at the different ways they could get the attention of new clients and get them to take notice of them. Creating that demand for your product that the buyer did not know they needed was a challenge for many in a market where your main source of information sharing would be tradeshows and conferences. However now, when the world is confined to their homes in many cases, how do we create the demand? Social selling was discussed, getting the right content out to the right people, we had seen some great success from webinars on a large scale, but also on a small niche scale with such a captive audience. What the leaders agreed on is that now, more than ever, the sales teams had to know who held the purse string and made the decision, but also who influenced the decision maker. These individuals needed to be found, sorted, and targeted with the right information. It’s very clear the partnership with marketing would now need to be stronger than ever with relevant content created every day. A product that is fit for purpose was also spoken about, which resonated amongst everyone on the call. What were considered great products pre-Covid may not be what people need now. Should you be pivoting your offering rethinking what your tech can do, to be useful?The biggest take away I took from this was using your clients to help you open new doors. If you have done a great job and proved ROI with a customer, why wouldn’t they talk to someone else in their network to open a door for you? I think this is massive and something that is overlooked. We do get references, yes, and we provide them to potential new clients to help us get deals over the line.  Have we asked a client to recommend us to someone in their network who could use the same value that they found from your product? That is a hugely strong message and one I cannot help but feel will definitely help everyone win new business and it’s right in front of us.​

  • Harrington Star Head Shots   Colour 14
    Sales leaders in tech Virtual Round table

    ​Last week I had the privilege to host our latest virtual round table with a number of key senior sales leaders in technology. All selling very different tech to, in most cases, different people and sectors. They were all brought together with one common goal, generating revenue. Within these round tables, we have been looking to discuss key challenges that a sales leader is facing given the circumstances we now find ourselves in. The first topic we spoke about is one that has come up repeatedly in discussions I have had with over 80 sales leaders over the six-week period since lock down began:What are the key metrics and data we should we be measuring to show the success of our business in today’s market environment? So, lets dive straight in and take look at what was discussed, but first we need to understand who we are as business and what stage of growth we are at. If you are working in a start-up to a medium sized business backed by either a VC or an Investor, profit may not have been something you looked too much at. That may change now, and you could find your investor or VC pushing towards profitability, or you may be confident that more funding is out there to cover the cost. If this is the case, then proving you can grow by 35% year-on-year is important and the sales metrics and data become even more important for a successful, truthful pipeline. Part of this will be proving you have the right lifetime clients that you can maximise your return from. I will talk more on this later, the right clients in the pipeline.So, what should we be looking at?The most important thing agreed across the leaders was that taking it right back to the basics was the most important thing to do.To start with they agreed they should be looking at who they were targeting, are they the right clients to sell to, will they give a lifetime value.Customer acquisition cost needs to be looked at and addressed.It was all so suggested that you may need to pivot some sales guys from field to inside sales to generate the leads while they could not go out into the field and sell. Great idea to maximise everyone during this lock down period.Looking at your sales process and the experience for your sales team, could you make improvements now to help your sales team just get on and sell? Looking at your process your procedure and your support, can technology help? We do not want to bog our sales team down with needless task slowing them down from delivering the all-important sales.We talk about a hard scrub on the pipeline, peel back the onion and really understand what you have in there that you may think has just slowed but the reality is, it’s gone.  Pipeline to quota has never been as relevant and important as it could be right now, and as a leader it was clear that they needed to know this information to be able to forecast future business accurately.When the leaders spoke about targeting the sales individual, there were some great ideas and one in particular I think everyone should consider doing in this virtual remote time we find ourselves in currently and for the short, mid, or long term (no on knows): video messaging. One of the leaders gave his team a week to put together video content and sent this out to potential new clients. The results have been far greater than expected. This is now a solid part of the sales team’s weekly plan and it really works very well, simple but effective. When talking about changing and setting targets or KPI’s for the team, the agreement was that activity should be bespoke to the sector you are in and the experience of your team members. What the leaders did say was the targets need to be very visible to the whole team, they needed to be reviewed weekly and everyone should be held accountable. The visibility and accountability are very important at this time when getting everyone together is impossible and yet you still need to people to work as a team. Be noisy in the marketing field, let your customers and potential customers know you are here to help and have solutions that could help them improve. It’s never been a better time to get your sales teams putting out relevant content every day to your marketplace, giving information, tips and guidance to help them succeed. We should be relying on the marketing team; we should be working with them to produce content to give awareness of who you are and what you do.What was clear from the discussion was it’s very important to know what you are measuring and having a plan of attack which has clear, measurable tasks that can demonstrate to you as a leader how the plan is being implemented and the likely success of the plan and over what time scale.