Product Tour: Salesforce for Google Apps – salesforce.com


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Salesforce.com and Google Apps


It’s always been just a matter of time before Google Apps and Salesforce.com got serious about one another. It appears that time is now.

Last week, Google started their own version of “AppExchange” and this week we get to see the benefit to salesforce.com:  Salesforce for Google Apps! This will go down as one of the great business advances of the year and will become a very big item on Microsoft’s radar.

What you can expect, maybe not today, but easily before the end of the year and probably before summer is Gdocs merging capacity replacing the current mail merge object in salesforce.com. As a user, one of the great features and biggest headaches is mail merge. It’s not a salesforce.com issue. It’s a Microsoft issue. Running the merge is a heavy process on most user machines and creates big time lags, application hanging, etc . . . resulting in many frustrated users.  Gdocs merge will eliminate this, as the process will run on salesforce.com or Google’s big, fancy powerful servers. This isn’t here yet, but should be very soon. Today you can link docs between Gdoc and salesforce.com with a click and send it to contacts. Very nice. 🙂

The incorporation of gmail adds one of the best email apps into the salesforce.com interface. Many people want more robust integration of email and now they have it. In the online demo, gmail runs as a separate app that you can send and auto link back to salesforce.com. Salesforce.com users can easily add Gmail via a web tab creating a fully embedded email app in salesforce. Outlook is a great application, but it takes up a lot of system resources. Gmail is web-based and simple to use. Add to it the best SPAM filter around and you’ve got a serious business app on your hands.

Additional enhancements include the ability to chat in salesforce.com using Gtalk and directly export salesforce.com reports to Gdocs. In this area, the Gdocs (spreedsheet) dashboard components are very nice and getting a recent upgrade. When you mix all of this together using iGoogle, it will be interesting to see who is the user interface of choice. Salesforce.com seems the natural choice. But with a  few more tweaks,  iGoogle may use salesforce.com as its back-end database, pulling all of its data from a salesforce.com org.

As you can see, I am very positive about this arrangement. In the current configuration, more businesses can start to drop Microsoft services and begin using Google. The complete integration is still a few steps away; but, with salesforce.com and Google, they do have the internal resources and vision to bring a tighter system to market in a very short period of time. As soon as mail merge can run with Gdocs, I’ll be recommending this application to everyone that will listen.

You can learn more over at salesforce.com. Here is the link:

http://blogs.salesforce.com/blogs/2008/04/announcing-sale.html

Randy Pausch Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams


I watched this lecture last night. Randy Pausch is the father of three young children, a husband, a tenured professor at Carnegie Mellon University. When he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer with only 3 – 6 months of good health remaining, he gave his last lecture.

His message is positive and not about cancer. He speaks about what he’s accomplished, how he did it and how we all can reach our potential. The lecture is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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Meetings created from cold calls.


In my opinion, cold call generated meetings tend to waste more time in business than the NCAA Tournament. It’s sad because these meetings can be a source for your most profitable business. So, let’s look at two things:

  1. Why do they give you time?
  2. How to properly act.

Salespeople need to realize that time is the most precious thing in business! When you get that, you’re about 25% on your way to becoming a killer salesperson. As it relates to this post, the time I am speaking about is the prospect’s time. Most of us don’t have spare time laying around to just give to some guy that calls us up out of the blue . . . unless the guy has something that we want! Get it?

Business people will clear time in their calendar for the following reasons:

  1. They want to make a change now
  2. They aren’t happy with their current situation
  3. They are tired of your sales calls and voice mails
  4. Their boss told them you called and they assumed a meeting was mandatory
  5. Their boss told them you called and they know change is good

When you look at this, most of these are very positive for the seller. So why do most sales calls result in NOTHING?

Here is a short, but not complete, list:

  1. You sound the same as the current
  2. You’re trying to SELL them
  3. You don’t listen
  4. I’ts obviously about YOU
  5. You talk too much
  6. You suck at sales
  7. You’re trying to complete everything for your quota
  8. You’re continuing the cold call

You sound the same as the current

Every industry has its own language and talking points. What inevitably happens is that you and all your competitors say basically the exact same thing, hitting on the same company strengths. Most of your industry language cannot be avoided; but, how you approach this content and interact with the prospect is completely in your control. Be different — enjoy your meetings. Remember, when all things are equal, people buy from their friends first and people they enjoy and respect second.

You’re trying too hard to SELL them

No one loves to be sold, but most people love to buy — especially when it’s someone else’s checkbook. When you do all the talking and think only in terms of your sale, you are trying to sell the prospect. Take a step back and realize this, when you help someone get what THEY want you will get the sale. Make everything about them!

The absolute best resource you can get on learning more about helping people buy is visiting a Jeffrey Gitomer seminar. You’ll have a blast and walk away being less of a tool.

You don’t listen

It’s very hard to be a good listener. For most of us, as soon as we sit down with a prospect we know what they need and how much better their life is going to be when they sign our contract. I call this internal noise. You must tune this out and the easiest way to accomplish this is to get on the customer’s side of the meeting. Drive the conversation so that you can connect with them on a personal level. Don’t “probe” for problems —  find out what’s important to them! Ask what they want —  don’t tell them what you have.

Silence is the best resource in sales. Some of my best meetings contain periods of thought where the prospect is given time to completely develop and explain THEIR opinion of things. It’s their opinion that matters.

It’s obviously about you

Look —  when you walk into the room, things are slightly stacked against you. Primarily, every other salesperson that sat in that room before you! When your job title references sales, it means you need other people’s money to stay employed. It’s harsh to think in these terms, but its true. Just look at some of your teammates and how they talk. My advice again is to be different, listen and HELP them buy from you.

You talk too much

As a salesperson, you need to be able to talk. Just be sure you understand when and what to talk about. If you’re a complete clown… well, that’s not good. If you’re too button-down . . . well, that’s not good either. Every conversation develops at its own pace. Do what you can to help the prospect speak 80% of the time, this is especially critical in the beginning of any conversation.

When a prospect is comfortable talking to you, they will naturally provide you a complete picture of what it is they want to buy from you.

You suck at sales

The truth is we all pretty much suck at sales! And that’s OK. The best salespeople help 30 – 35 % of their total quoted business become customers. We’re talking baseball numbers here. Knowing this, do your prospects a favor and don’t try and make being a salesperson more than it is. Be yourself, be real. Don’t be a nice, suit-wearing-gelled-up-tool. You’ll find a certain sense of calm when you come to terms with this. Especially the increased W2. 🙂

You’re trying to complete everything for your quota

We all need short term goals to make progress and develop. Many salespeople start to press in meetings because they are focused on meeting a quota number. If you’re fixated on quota, your W2 probably isn’t anywhere near where you want it to be. Quota is either average or unrealistic. On my team, quotas are used to give salespeople a clear understanding of what is average. We use them for SPIFFS.

The best salespeople always blow through quota. One of the reasons the best salespeople blow past quota is because when they are in front of a prospect, it’s always about that prospect. They focus on the here and now, they are patient, they let the prospect walk themselves to becoming a customer. My advice is to slow down, listen and help the prospect explain to you what needs to happen for them to become a customer.

You’re continuing the cold call

The entire process of making a cold call or canvassing takes tremendous courage. Picking up the phone and talking to a complete stranger is not an easy thing for most people to do. In sales, we all need to make cold calls. When our goal of creating an appointment is met, we need to realize the time for fast talk is over. The meeting is about connecting and helping people buy.

On a cold call, you and the prospect usually have a very short period of time to talk each other into a meeting. Everyone on the phone is qualifying each other and asking themselves, “Should I invest the time in this person?” To a prospect, investing time is a small price to pay if you’re the one that can deliver what they’re looking for.

On a cold call, you are asking the prospect to spend some of their time on the chance to buy from you. So, the only way to fulfill your end of the bargain is to know what it is they want and the only way to do this is to listen. Most of us will only tell the people that we like what we really want. People are more likely to like someone if they make them the center of attention. It’s not about you. It’s always about them. Get it!

Good luck

Sales Rules (13-17)


  • Manage the sale – don’t allow it to manage you
  • Don’t spill your beans
  • Never give without receiving
  • Make everything your own

Manage the sale – don’t allow it to manage you.

An unmanaged sale can easily run your life, stealing time away from other sales. Take five minutes to coordinate your efforts on calls, email etc . . . the easiest method to manage a sale is by understanding it from the prospect’s side of the table.

Don’t spill your beans

Patience. Repeated touches. Common sense with prospects builds credibility and trust. If you give all of your information too early or in one sales action you won’t have any reason for the prospect to speak with you again. Limit your information to what is pertinent at the time so that you and the prospect have valid reasons to speak with each other in the future.

Never give without receiving

If someone asks you for something you must always expect something in return. It can be of small or large value. It doesn’t matter, so long as the rule is set. Operating in this way helps build credibility and respect between you and the prospect. If you always say yes, than the prospect will see you as a “yes” man. “Yes” men are never trusted and don’t get referrals.

Make everything your own

You will learn many methods and tips throughout your sales career that can help you become a better salesperson. All of these are worthless if you don’t invest in making them your own. Don’t be a robot! Add your own personality and style.