What I’m doing now and why I’ve shifted from consulting to instructing.

August 30, 2015
Kristin Zhivago
Well, when you start a couple of companies, you get pretty busy. We’ve launched the Cloud Era Institute, which is dedicated to the research and conversation about what has changed for business in the Cloud Era, what has stayed the same, and what managers can do about it. We just published our first State of the Cloud: 10 Truths for Managers report (it’s free – and packed with interesting interviews/insights)....
Selling Software

What they’re thinking while you’re pitching

May 11, 2015
Kristin Zhivago
We’ve been helping a company choose which cloud applications they should use in their transformation from a legacy, manual, silo-based organization to a cloud-based, automated, integrated system. So we are sitting through application demos given by application salespeople. Sadly, those salespeople are still miles away from where they should be. Why? 1) They still don’t ask you what you want to see.  Instead they show you what they think you...

Corporate versus cloud companies: No contest

April 21, 2015
Kristin Zhivago
There are two kinds of companies now: those that proceed according to corporate rules, and those that embrace the new fast-moving rules of the cloud. Corporate companies rely on hierarchies and structure and rigid processes. They meet weekly or monthly to look at financials and discuss the state of certain projects. They make decisions slowly. They inch along at corporate speed. Cloud companies manage by the hour and the day....

Getting onto the short list

January 27, 2015
Kristin Zhivago
When the Web first emerged as a commerce platform, everyone thought, “Wow – a way to reach customers directly!” Which was true, sort of. It’s still a clumsy and intrusive business. Even (and perhaps especially) the more recent “retargeted” advertising method, viewed from the buyer’s perspective, just gets in the way. An example: I bought some vitamins recently online at Vitamin Shoppe, something I do every so often. Vitamin Shoppe...

How to reinvent yourself

January 4, 2015
Kristin Zhivago
You will outlive your present career. That’s just the way it is now. We work for at least 40 years. The web, as we know it, didn’t even exist 21 years ago. The shift to the cloud and the explosion of mobile devices is changing the world yet again. Every new shift changes how people perceive what you offer, what they expect, and what they want to buy. The changes could...

Roadmap to Revenue makes Forbes 100 Coaching Book Recommendations List

December 11, 2014
Kristin Zhivago
Caroline Ceniza-Levine has published 100 Coaching Book Recommendations in Forbes, where she says “books make excellent holiday gifts.” Yep. Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy made the Sales and Marketing section, where I’m in some very good company, along with Get Clients Now, Made to Stick, Purple Cow, and Selling the Invisible.  Warms an author’s heart. Merry Christmas!  

How to avoid the most common business failure

November 14, 2014
Kristin Zhivago
My husband came into my office recently for one of our always-enjoyable discussions, settled into his business philosopher’s chair, and asked me, “What’s the most common cause of business failure?” Because of some earlier discussions, I had a feeling I knew where he was going. We agreed it was the reluctance of the business owner to leave his comfort zone and make necessary changes. When a business is first started,...

Are you an ember?

October 30, 2014
Kristin Zhivago
I have happily followed a strict business rule for a long time: I don’t work with jerks. I’ve recently added a new one: I don’t work with embers. I am not in the business of fanning embers in the hopes they will spring into flames. If the flame isn’t already there – if there is no passion, I’ll be helping someone else set the world on fire. Passion for what?...

Why I’m Buying from John

March 19, 2014
Kristin Zhivago
I’m in the market for a business-to-business software product. I’m pretty far along in my buying process and I have narrowed down my choices to three vendors. I contact them all. Two of the three salespeople who get back to me are what I would call “typical.” They are cheerful, chatty, somewhat excitable, and they say things such as, “Let me be honest with you” and “No problem!” Half the...

How to Beat Your Enemies

November 30, 2013
Kristin Zhivago
In your business life, you encounter several types of enemies. There are competitors, who are fighting for the same customers you’re going after, coming up against you in deals, telling those customers all about your weaknesses, and doing their best to “position” themselves against you. There are bosses or other people in power (such as investors) who have decided they don’t like you, and will do what they can to...

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