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CanDoGo: STaaS (Sales Tips as a Service)

Why can't all the experts agree?  I'm confused.

All the experts don't agree. I'm confused.

I’ve been speaking with Larry McClymonds, VP Corporate Sales & Co-Founder of CanDoGo.  Been in touch with his customers as well.

In case you’re not aware of CanDoGo, it’s an new Internet destination that hosts articles, audio and video clips from 140 sales expert content providers (and counting).   The list is impressive:  Dr. Tony Alessandra, Jim Cathcart, Paul McCord, Tony Parinello, Jonathan Farrington, Neil Rackham, Tom Hopkins, Lee Salz, Jill Konrath, Denis Waitley, Zig Ziglar, and many more.

CanDoGo’s user interface is solid.  You can search by topic or expert. There is plenty of content covering most topics that sales people would want or need coaching on.  If you key in “price is too high” or “too busy” selected 30 to 90-second, hard-hitting “insights” are listed that contain coaching to provide guidance for the salesrep.  Larry told me that they have 75 articles on dealing with voicemail alone.

I’ve taken a strong position with respect to sites, articles and books with sales tips.  Directing salespeople toward a buffet of tips (and tricks) as a sales performance improvement strategy rather than training them on the use of a specific sales methodology (followed by coaching them to assure the appropriate behavioral change is taking place) is generally not in their best interests.  In fact, in many cases, it prevents the company from building and executing a strategic approach to sales effectiveness. 

If “tips” are to be used at all, the best of them collected from books and websites should be formally integrated into a company’s overall sales approach during the design phase.  For example, we’ve worked with companies that had integrated Tony Parinello’s VITO approach into the cold-calling component of their overall sales approach. The same goes for Jill Konrath and other experts.

I think CanDoGo has a potential market, but it certainly isn’t for every salesperson or every company.  If you have an interest in other Sales 2.0-type coaching tools, see my posting on Avitage.

Note: If you’re interested in taking a deeper look into CanDoGo, and whether it’s right for your company, you can purchase today’s ESR/Insight™  Brief.* 

* I’m trying something new, here.  I’ve been very reluctant to sell on this blog.  After reading a terrific Chris Brogan post, I’ve decided to follow his advice.  Let me know what you think.

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3 Responses

  1. I worry about companies that leave it entirely up to the individual sales person to decide what training they need and how it is delivered. From my experience, the best results and improvement for sales training will come if the learning directly supporting that company’s specific sales process. And which process is a lot less important than having one sales process that everyone is applying.

    Having a unified sales process does not sacrifice an individual’s ability to use their own style – the tips and nuggets from CanDoGo are often helpful for this.

    But if the company only served up a buffet style approach for training their sales people, the result could be some salespeople over-indulging on the dessert (motivational tips) and not getting a well-balanced meal (motivation – skills – knowledge- process).

  2. I’m commenting on your decision to explicitly sell on your blog, not on CanDoGo’s tip buffet. It actually worked, at least indirectly, on me. I’ve followed your blog for a bit, and obviously knew that you offered a variety of services, but I never really checked them out. However, after clicking on the link to buy a report on CanDoGo, I wondered what else you offered and signed up for a guest subscription. You’re providing solid information in your blog, it stands on it’s own, and at the same time it clearly complements your business, so why not tie specific offers to the content?

  3. CanDoGo and offerings like it represent a major resource for the future of learning for sales people. The behaviourist over-mechanistic approach proselytised by the top sales process advocates (You know who you are) represents industrial age thinking in a post-industrial society, (by the way, the fact they are packaging their stuff in new electronic forms is like, dare I say it, putting lipstick on a pig). The idea that sales process implementations fails because it is not properly reinforced by sales management represents group-think and vested interests overwhelming any serious debate as to whether these best practise methodologies deliver any value at all.
    In a complex unpredictable environment (which I think sales is) learning and applying that learning, is necessarily constructivist not behaviourist (as represented by methodological thinking). Take a look at Wikipedia’s definition of constructivist learning:

    Constructivism may be considered an epistemology (a philosophical framework or theory of learning) which argues humans construct meaning from current knowledge structures. These arguments about the nature of human learning guide constructivist learning theories and teaching methods of education. Constructivism values developmentally-appropriate facilitator-supported learning that is initiated and directed by the learner. This is the path through which educators (facilitators) wish to approach students in constructing meaning of new concepts.

    By the way, in sales, the role of “facilitator” is not that of some ivory tower sales trainer who hasn’t carried a real quota for years (if ever), the role of the facilitator is the emergent competence for the modern sales manager, one who allows space for their sales people to reflect on their immediate experiences of a failed call or a lost sale, and jointly agrees what specific action will fine tune that individual’s performance (no I am not talking about coaching ….please don’t let me start on sales coaching). It is in this context that CanDo Go represents an ideal resource for the frantically busy sales person to call upon.

    Learning and performance improvement goes on all the time in sales, not much of it in the classroom (or on the e-learning page or the snazzy I-Pod download), it is real time, socially constructed and relevant to the immediate challenges facing the sales individual.

    It is the stodgy command and control, industrial age style thinking so prevalent among western (predominantly male, can I say that ?) business people that leads to the mantra of “methodology to drive process implemented through reinforcement” (it is not a coincidence that the word force is in the word reinFORCEment) that makes our sales profession looking like lame ducks to colleagues in other disciplines. If our IT colleagues failed 3 or 4 times to implement an ERP system what would we think? Yet I know of major organisations who over the last 10 years have tried Power Base Selling then TAS then SPI’s New Solution Selling and still haven’t succeeded … Come on …wake up its like using a torque wrench for brain surgery. CanDo GO and similarly designed resources represents the future

    For the record I am a white western male and have absolutely NO connection with CanDO Go. I have probably delivered more methodology based classes, and led reinforcement implementations than 90% of all those certified to do so currently operating in the market, in addition I have certified dozens of others in a number of channel, account and opportunity management based interventions. Needless to say I don’t do that anymore.

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