I’m excited to announce that my book “The Nonprofit Buyer: Strategies for Success from a Technology Sales Veteran” is now available on Kindle eBook!
For the low price of $9.99 you can now quickly download the book to your Kindle Reader or Kindle App. I’ve loved reading books on my Kindle over the years and also enjoy the fact that this is an opportunity to be green in my publishing efforts.
Let me know if having the book available in this manner is helpful to you and your organization. Also working on an iBooks version as well that should be ready later in the early Spring.
Each month I’ll be showcasing a nonprofit who has either used the Nonprofit Buyer principles, of which ‘Return on Mission’ is one, in order to support their work or, in this case, utilizes a technology solution as a mission advantage and can show a ‘return on mission’ instead of just your good old-fashioned ‘return on investment’.
This month I’m introducing you to Women Inspiring Women. I met the founder Leslie Sturgeon through work I did for Constant Contact. The following is a case study on how she achieved return on mission through her technology investment. Here are a few facts about this great organization:
I ran across this article that included a quick video from the CEO and Chairman of Ogilvy One which I found fascinating. The article is about the ‘Emerging Role of the CMO’ in a company, but the nugget of wisdom that I heard in the video is this:
Single most profound change is how buyers now control the buying process.
This is an amazing statement for any company to make. Sure many companies give lip service to listening to the buyer, but then all of their sales training materials talk of how to maintain control in the sales cycle and push the client towards the goals they have for every call, meeting, and presentation in order to close that immediate sale.
What the statement above supports is what has been my view years….that it is up to the buyers to assert themselves in a buying process and not be sold to in a sales process. Read more…
I never intended to get into a sales career. I was a good old-fashioned history major in college. Upon graduation the main choices in front of me were law school, grad school, teacher, or other such positions. I knew I wasn’t interested in being a lawyer and though I had given a little bit of thought to being a teacher I didn’t think it was what I wanted to do. With that background, I fell into my first sales job at Dell and was happy as it paid the rent and I liked technology.
In the 18+ years since that first job I’ve held positions in direct sales, marketing, partnership work and others. The success I’ve had is a direct correlation to how well I was able to bring together the interests of the vendor with the interests of a potential customers. What I’ve noticed in it all is that it takes a special relationship back and forth between vendor and potential customer, that either works or it doesn’t, to determine if a quality sale leading to a long term customer can be reached.
As the first part in this blog’s “Nonprofit Buyer” series I’d like to explore what I call “The Vendor Dance.” This is my name for the back and forth that happens during a potential sale and being good at it is crucial for your nonprofit to make positive, high impact decisions. Read more…
I woke up to my iPhone ringing and dinging from texts, voicemails, and tweets about Blackbaud purchasing Convio for 300+ million.
I was one of the first three sales reps hired at Convio in mid-2000. I was fortunate enough to sell several of the cornerstone clients the first quarter out of the gate when none of us were truly sure how nonprofits would take to this new type of offering. We saw great promise in the internet as a communications and fundraising tool. Let’s remember that at that time the internet was literally six years old in its commercial usage.
After a two year stint running my own business helping small to medium nonprofits and having had the wonderful pleasure of working with Jay Love and the eTapestry team, I folded that company into Kintera (started about the same time as Convio) at the end of 2003. In the 4+ years I was there we saw emails go from thousands to millions to billions. Not everything always went smoothly, but it was newly discovered country 7-12 years ago. Technologies have since matured greatly and the wild west got some rules and grew up.
Who could have foreseen that 17 billion is now donated online and it being the primary mover of donor interaction for most causes today? It’s pretty amazing.
Now here we are in 2012 and all three of those companies, Convio, eTapestry, and Kintera are safely tucked into the Blackbaud nest for 300mil, 25mil, and 46mil respectively.
So what does all of this mean for innovation in our sector? I believe it means three things:
Innovation is an attribute of companies and individuals that is highly lauded across the spectrum of activities. Last year, at the passing of Steve Jobs, the obits rightfully pointed to his legacy of technical and artistic achievement as they discussed his life and work. What always impressed me was his ability to sacrifice a currently successful product and its design for what he knew needed to be the next big thing. The term “creative destruction” grew popularity due to that kind of forward thinking. Innovation and creative destruction have been the means to the end of so much of the standard of living the world sees today.
In the world of business today technology is business and business is technology. Frankly, one can’t exist today without the other. The dry cleaners down the street even has sophisticated inventory systems. I can now track my Domino’s Pizza order on my smartphone and your car can drive/think for you based upon the conditions of the road. It’s pretty amazing.
When I say in the title, ‘Not just for businesses anymore”, I’m being a bit tongue in cheek, but I don’t think I’m over-stating the fact that many business leaders, who consider themselves ‘innovators’, do not consider the nonprofit/NGO sectors as enormous centers of technological innovation. That thinking couldn’t be more wrong, but it seems that not many know it or see it. Read more…