Re: [fw-wiz] How to Save The World

From: Jian Zhen (
Date: 12/13/04

  • Next message: Devdas Bhagat: "Re: [fw-wiz] How to Save The World"
    To: "Marcus J. Ranum" <>
    Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 09:42:15 -0800

    Marcus J. Ranum ( [041213 07:52]:
    > Jian Zhen wrote:
    > >How bout garbage like those things that let you run a full demo of your
    > >product w/o leaving your seat?
    > If you don't know how to sell software effectively, don't blame your
    > tools: fix your sales process.

    Web demos are an invaluable tool when it comes to qualifying leads.
    For qualified leads, most companies are willing to send an SE out
    to do a full demo, possibly even w/ a eval box. But before you know
    whether the customer's really interested, a web demo is a great tool.

    It is much better than qualifying leads by simply asking a few questions.
    This is what effect sales processes should be like.

    > Maybe I'm being a crackpot as usual; maybe I'll get shouted down
    > by hundreds of list members emailing me, "yeah, I buy stuff from
    > web demos all the time!" - but I doubt it.

    I doubt it too. Nobody buys any enterprise stuff from just web demos.
    But, I certainly don't mind seeing a web demo from a vendor first,
    before I even want a sales to come out. I actually have to spend time
    to entertain the sales guy, whereas w/ a web demo, I can just drop off
    if I don't like it.

    > Uh, "voice" technology does a great job of that and it's
    > actually a lot more interactive and has the human touch.

    Imagine having 20-30 or more people on the phone and do a 'voice' poll.
    It probably will take too much time and cause too much chaos.

    > If someone was trying to sell me a piece of software
    > and wanted me to do some kind of online polling
    > webcast stuff, I'd laugh my b*lls off and - uh-oh, I
    > just accidentally got "disconnected" call me back when
    > you have a real sales force.

    Remember, not all web app sharing is for sales. As someone else on the
    list mentioned, web sharing can be a great debugging/troubleshooting tool.

    Imagine a customer who's 1000's of miles away and you have trouble
    diagnosing the problem via the phone. You can start a webex session, the
    customer can share one of his windows, and bam, you are on his box while
    he's watching, and you can quickly figure out what the problems are.

    Now I know you are going to tell me that the support guys are probably
    stupid and can't figure out the problems and the support process is
    broken or something. But that's just not true. These tools save people
    time, regardless whether you agree or not. :)

    > Yeah, that kind of garbage! Exactly. The way to let a customer
    > drive your product is to, uuuuuh, let them drive your product.
    > As in: "Dear customer, our product has:
    > - low desktop footprint; you can run our U/I off a CDROM so it
    > is tamper-proof and doesn't need to be on your hard disk if you
    > don't want it to be (or it's browserable - and works only with MS-IE)
    > - secure channels built in so you can run it over untrusted networks
    > - and, hey, we have a complete lab environment hosted on a
    > remote network so if you want to test drive we can give you an
    > account and you can play to your heart's content..."

    Absolutely, all these are great options, just like sharing your app via
    a web demo. It's what works for you, but that doesn't mean any of the
    options are bad. Just because you can't run it on a Linux desktop,
    it doesn't mean the option is bad.

    > None of this stuff is rocket science. What I am hearing is the sound of
    > an industry that is so in love with its silly garbage gadgets that it has
    > forgotten that the key to a successful sales cycle is the human touch
    > that convinces the customer that you're a) solving their problem,
    > b) there, c) care.

    No argument w/ the human touch part. But it doesn't mean you can use
    additional technology to bring you closer to the customers. The web tools
    can be used in many stages of the "customer caring" process.

    > The garbage you're talking about helps companies save thousands
    > and thousands of dollars by turning their sales cycle into a shotgun
    > blast of sales-spam in which, instead of working on having 100 good
    > customers, they try 5000 candidate customers and achieve sales
    > with the 75 most stupid and easily impressed of the lot. But you're

    Absolutely sales should spend ALL their effort on the 100 good customers,
    but how do you get there?

    You don't get to the 100 w/o having 5000 leads.

    Most people on the sales side don't need to worry about lead generation.
    They get qualified leads handed to them because many times marketing
    does the lead generation. The leads can be in the 5-10% stage but they
    are qualified already.

    The sales cycle doesn't start when you send out the SEs. The sales cycle
    started way before the sales and SEs go out to the customers.

    Sorry, don't mean to turn the list into a marketing/sales list.
    I'll shut up now. :)

    Jian Zhen <>
    firewall-wizards mailing list

  • Next message: Devdas Bhagat: "Re: [fw-wiz] How to Save The World"

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