Do away with “Steak & Commercial” – Part 1

For anyone that’s been in sales, tech or otherwise, a frequently used demand generation tactic is something that a colleague of mine once called the “Steak & Commercial”. Customers and prospects are invited to a free steak lunch in exchange for listening to the latest sales and marketing pitch. Ultimately the goal is to uncover new sales opportunities by exposing a product’s value propositions to potential influencers and decision-makers.

Over the course of my career I have participated in, and presented at a number of these type of events. While the reception of the events tend to be positive, certainly from a vanity metrics point of view, I question how much real value is generated by these events.

Steak lunch


Let’s first determine what “value” means. For the vendor, the value is in the number of new opportunities that are generated and the resulting growth of the pipeline. One might argue that there is “soft” value to be gained, such as increasing customer touch points and thus increasing customer intimacy. However I would contend that the purpose behind relationship-building activities is to drive sales, now or in the future, and therefore only hard metrics matter. Continue reading

Don’t ‘Sell’ to your customers. Innovate with them instead.

A topic that I’ve been focusing on as of late is the shift in behavior of enterprise buyers. It all started from a conversation I had with Greg Ferro where he brought up the notion that we now transact in a “post information scarcity” business environment. Buyers today have access to a multitude of data, analysis, and feedback regarding the solution they are investigating. Today’s buyers often know a heck of a lot more about the vendor and competitive offerings than the vendor’s own sales organization. In the post information scarcity world, it is increasingly challenging for enterprise sales reps to get time with their buyers. Why would prospects meet with you if they can learn everything about you and your competitors on their own?  This has led me to give a few talks to sales reps on selling differently. In fact, the operative word should be “innovating”, rather than “selling”.

(source: Mimi & Eunice)

The approach I recommend consists of three core concepts which I’ll describe below. Continue reading

Survey Analysis (Part 1): Mobile App Marketing

This is the follow up to the developer survey I conducted a few weeks back. Last week I published the survey results in the form of an infographic. Today I’d like to share my analysis of the data collected.

Forty-one survey participants were asked about the marketing activities that they have pursued in the past, as well as the marketing activities that they intend to pursue in the future.  Of the 41 survey participants, 34 have previously released a mobile app and only 16 (47%) pursued marketing activities when their mobile app was released. The ratio of marketing versus no marketing within different app price points is shown below.

Continue reading