Kick-Ass Sales Kickoff Tip #2 – Assess Your Team

As part of our Kick-Ass Sales Kickoff series, we give you tips to start strong in 2015.

Today’s post shows you how to assess your team so you can uncover skill and knowledge gaps and design the best agenda.

Read more ›

Posted in Sales Management, Sales Training

Kick-Ass Sales Kickoff Tip #1 – Survey Your Team

As part of our Kick-Ass Sales Kickoff series, we give you tips to start strong in 2015.

Today’s post shows you how to take your team’s pulse and survey them to design the best agenda.

Read more ›

Posted in Sales Management, Sales Training

What NOT to do at Dreamforce: A Poem

Football is here. The leaves are turning.  Pumpkin Spice is back.  You know what that means.

Yep.  Dreamforce is here!

So many companies publish so many blog posts on what TO do at Dreamforce.  Some of our favorites:

benioff ultrasound

swag guide

welker guide

That’s all well and good.  But where are the guides telling you what NOT to do?

Well, we here at Kindoo believe that the mistake you never make is just as good as the achievement you never attain.

And thus, we offer to our booth-bound sales brothers and sisters some advice.

What NOT to Do at Dreamforce

Dreamforce is here and you’re raring to sellNo crazy eyes at Dreamforce
Your booth is set up and you’re ready as hell
Attention rainmaker I’m talking to you
When you’re in SF here’s what NOT to do

Prospects do think that salespeople tell lies.
When they walk by your booth don’t make crazy eyes.
You’re not the hunter and they’re not the prey.
Just smile, be friendly and they’ll come your way.

Prospects will then ask, “what is it you do?”
All about product most sales reps will spew.
Don’t commit premature elaboration.
Ask first, “can you tell me ’bout your situation?”

Some prospects who visit will not qualify
That’s OK. Be nice. Do not vilify.
Get a referral ‘fore they leave the booth.
“Do you know someone who’d like what we do?”

Moscone’s a circus. You think you must shout.
But follow these rules and you will stand out.
Be human and smart and you’ll have a great show.
And soon you’ll be rolling in commission dough.


Happy Selling,

Posted in Fun

Flip the Sales Kickoff (and Sales Training)

Quota is a BearPhoto Credit: Peter Stevens

Let’s face it.  Quota is a bear.

It never stops.  Q4 is here now.  But 2015 is only three months away.

And quota only goes up; never down.

The question is: Are you gonna get the bear?  Or is the bear gonna get you?

One way to get the bear is to get off to a fast start.

And one way to get off to a fast start is to have a great 2015 sales kickoff.


But Typical Sales Kickoffs Suck

No PPT. No Cry.

No PPT. No Cry.

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

  • We spend a ton of money taking our salespeople out of the field or off the phones for 3-4 days
  • We stick them in a room.  Everyone in the company sprays a firehose of information at them.  We crush their souls with Powerpoint
  • Within 30 days, everyone forgets 87% of what they’ve learned and goes back to the same old behavior
  • The CFO sends us a meeting invite to discuss “questionable expenses” from the kickoff

Sales kickoffs are great for many reasons.  You can build personal relationships.  You can fire up the sales team.  You can recognize top performers.  You can align the team around a common strategy.

But many sales kickoffs suck for learning because “learning by lecture” is too passive.  We need more “learning by example” and “learning by doing.”

There’s a better way.


Flipping the Classroom

Flipping the classroom is new approach to education.  It reverses the traditional roles of lecture and homework.

In the traditional model, the teacher lectures the students in class.  Then the students do their assignments at home, maybe with the help of a parent.

In the flipped model, students view short video lectures at home before class.  Then they do exercises in-class.  They collaborate on projects.  They get personalized coaching from an expert teacher.

Traditional vs Flipped

Sal Khan, CEO of Khan Academy,  made this model famous when he created YouTube videos to tutor his niece.  School teachers soon assigned his videos to their students and the movement took off.

Flipping the classroom reduces failure rates, improves outcomes and engages students.


Flipping the Sales Kickoff (and Sales Training)

Courtesy of Republic of Korea

In the same way, you’ll improve your sales team’s behaviors and engagement by flipping the sales kickoff.

So what would the process look like?

1. Make videos

4-6 weeks before the sales kickoff

Decide what you want people to learn.  Pick your best salespeople and experts on these topics and make the videos.  People can make great videos themselves with their smartphones.

Some of your topics might include:

  • Role plays of common sales scenarios
  • How I engage prospects with insights in the first conversation
  • How I teach the customer X
  • How I tell the story of X customer
  • How I ask questions to uncover needs
  • How I create a pain chain with the prospect
  • How I develop champions
  • How I negotiate for access to other stakeholders
  • How I handle X objection
  • How I differentiate us vs the competition
  • How I uncover the prospect’s buying process and create a close plan
  • How and why we won X deal
  • and a lot more!

You can post these videos to an intranet, shared drive or a system like Kindoo.

2. Watch videos and practice

2 weeks before the sales kickoff

Salespeople watch the videos and practice their own responses – whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them.

If you have a system like Kindoo, you can see who watched which videos and how engaged they are.

3. Practice, assess and certify

at the sales kickoff

Instead of hammering your poor salespeople with Powerpoints

  • have more interactive discussions
  • practice with exercises, role plays and feedback
  • assess and certify your people

4. Make more videos

at the sales kickoff

Take advantage of the fact that people are in one location.

You’re going to hear some great new stories and sales techniques.

Create a budget-friendly movie studio in a conference room.  Make more videos of your top salespeople and experts.

In fact, you can make professional business videos for an investment of just $240.35.

5. Share more videos and practice more

after the sales kickoff

People will watch these videos over and over again as they prepare for sales calls and meetings.


In Conclusion

Try flipping your sales kickoff and sales training.  You’ll get more engaged, more proficient salespeople.

If you’d like more tips for sales kickoffs and sales training, subscribe to our newsletter.

We’ll be publishing more practical tips throughout Q4.

Happy Selling!


Posted in Sales Training, Video

Make Business Videos for $240.35

scorsesePeople ask me…

  • What equipment do I need to buy to start making quality business videos?
  • Is it expensive?

I tell them…

  • Very little.
  • Nope.  It costs $240.35

If you’re just starting out, here’s a list of what you need:

Kindoo’s Business Video Gear Guide

Feel free to add your ideas in the comments.

Happy Shooting!  (and Selling)

Posted in Video

Learning from Executive Assistants

Multitasking Assistant

Photo Credit: Ryan Ritchie

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

YOU: “Hi, this is David from Kindoo.  May I speak to Susan please.”

TOM (ASSISTANT): “She’s in a meeting, but I can put you through to her voicemail.”

YOU: “Great, thanks.”

Awesome, right?  Wrong!

Susan is most likely not going to return your call.  She’s probably not going to even listen to your message.

You’re no better off.  In fact, you’re even worse off because that time is lost and you didn’t learn anything.

Instead, what if you did this:

YOU: “Hi, this is David from Kindoo.  May I speak to Susan please.”

TOM: “She’s in a meeting, but I can put you through to her voicemail.”

YOU: “Great.  Say, Tom, before you do, I’m just curious, how does your company train salespeople?”

TOM: “Whoa!  I’m soooooo glad you asked.  We spend $250,000 on three, three-day in person sales meetings a year.  Death by Powerpoint (if you know what I mean).  Sometimes we’ll bring in a sales training consultant.  That’s expensive too – and people forget what they learned as soon as they leave.  And we do weekly webinars, but they’re not very well attended because our salespeople are all over the place.”

OK, Tom’s response is my fantasy.  But stay with me.

Sales Prospecting Tip: ALWAYS ask a question before you’re transferred to voicemail.

Ask questions to learn if they:

  • Fit your ideal customer profile: How big is your sales organization? Do you use  Do you have any experience with video?
  • Have problems you can help with: How many reps are you planning on hiring in the next 12 months?  How engaged are your channel partners?

Now you can think on your feet and use this info to leave a better voicemail.  Or you can use it for the next email you’ll send to Susan.

I used this technique just this morning to (a) learn what my prospect is doing for sales and partner training and (b) have a great conversation with the assistant.  She was so interested, she volunteered to personally sponsor me for a meeting with the VP of Sales.

All because I didn’t just leave a message.

Just be honest and nice.  I find that most Executive Assistants will answer because they want to help their organizations too.

Happy Selling!

Posted in Sales

Make Better Sales Videos with your Smartphone

sales video production movie star

It’s no surprise that video is 200-300% more engaging than text (Forrester).

So if you want more engagement from your salespeople and partners, use more video.

“Sure David,” you say.  “I’m not Stephen Spielberg.  And I don’t the money for fancy-schmancy video equipment.”

Well, good news.  You don’t need to be Spielberg.  And you don’t need fancy equipment for great sales video production.

All you need is a smartphone and these five tips – you can be the Smartphone Movie Star in your sales organization.

1. Script

Write down your main points and rehearse them. Crisp, concise videos engage viewers. Rambling videos bore them. Feel free to use Kindoo’s 90-Second Script to help organize your thoughts.

2. Sound

Poor sound is distracting. Shoot in a quiet place. Your smartphone’s microphone should work fine if you are 2-3 feet away and speak loudly and clearly. If not, consider an external microphone.

3. Steady

Shaky videos are distracting. Don’t hold your phone in your hand as you shoot. Put it on a solid surface or use a mini tripod.

4. Shoot

sales video production iphone

  • Shoot in landscape mode, not in portrait.
  • Use the rotate camera feature so you can see what you look like.
  • Shoot in a well-lit place with the light in your face (not behind you).
  • Position yourself in the right or left third of the frame (see: rule of thirds)
  • Don’t read your script. Use a browser-based teleprompter if you need it.

5. Short

Most engaging videos on the web are less than 2 minutes. Longer than that and people get distracted. It’s human nature. Consider breaking long videos up into multiple shorter ones.

That’s it.  Go make some great videos.

Just watch out for paparazzi!

Happy Selling,


Posted in Sales Training, Video

Is Your Sales Video Copy Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

HemingwayAre you smarter than a fifth grader?

I’m not.

Well, at least the script for Kindoo’s next sales video isn’t.

Let me explain.

Look at the copy on the websites and collateral of technology companies.  A lot of them are complex, hard to read and filled with jargon.

And a lot of them simply use that same copy for the scripts of their videos.   A big mistake because videos should be even more engaging.

Next time you prepare a script for one of your sales videos, paste it into Hemingway App.

It’s a website that evaluates your copy and offers tips to write like Ernest Hemingway – clear, concise and active.

As a result, your copy should be easier to understand and more memorable.

The image at the right shows the results from Kindoo’s newest video script.  There are 22 shots and 30 sentences in this 90-second video.  And the grade shows that I am clearly not smarter than a fifth grader.

Some people might object: “But David, my products and services are more complex than Kindoo’s.  I can’t dumb it down.”

My response: Try it.  You don’t have to oversimplify to a fifth grade reading level if you’ll lose credibility with your audience.  But I bet you will make some improvements that your audience will appreciate.

Happy Selling!

Posted in Video

Is This 3 Year-Old the Ultimate Challenger Salesperson?

This kid might be the youngest challenger salesperson out there!

He’s trying to convince his mom to let him have a cupcake for dinner.

Happy Selling

Posted in Sales

17 Sales-Related Videos from Movies and TV

soscarThe Oscars took place this past weekend.  Since this is a sales blog, we’d like to give out some Sales Oscars awards (Soscars) for memorable sales moments in entertainment.

Warning: Some of these clips contain profanity.  

So without further ado, the Soscars go to…

1. Best Product Demonstration

2. Best Upsell

3. Best Cold Call

4. Best Price Negotiation

5. Best Challenger Sale

6. Best Positive Self-Talk

7. Best Objection Handling

8. Best Value Selling

9. Best Positioning

10. Best Questioning

11. Best Motivational Speech

12. Best Product Knowledge

13. Best Use of Own Product

14. Best Negotiation

15. Best After Sale Service

16. Best Customer Discovery

17. Best Client Commitment

I also made this list available as a YouTube Playlist.

I’m sure I also forgot some good ones, so please feel free to suggest your own in the comments.

Happy Selling!

Posted in Sales

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This blog is for sales leaders who want practical tips on how to sell more effectively and build great sales teams