Monday, January 31, 2011

The Puppy and the Data Tsunami

Back in May 2011, I came across a very interesting IDC study, "The Digital Universe Decade - Are You Ready?"

It delivered some "shock and awe" about Digital Universe, i.e., the amount of digital information in the world.

In 2009, they calculated it to be 800,000 petabytes (or 800,000 million gigabytes). That's the equivalent of a stack of DVDs reaching from the earth to the moon and back.

By 2020 the theoretical stack of DVDs will reach halfway to Mars as the Digital Universe grows to 35 trillion gigabytes and all major forms of media - voice, TV, radio, print - are fully migrated to digital.

But it appears that the IDC might be off the mark: according to Robert Pepper, Cisco's vice president for global technology policy, the Internet is not threatened by a tsunami. Rather it's threatened by a four-legged, big-eyed, tail-wagging creature.

"This is a much bigger deal than anyone thought,'' said Pepper.

It seems that a litter of pups are the biggest threat to the Internet. OK, not puppies per se, but "ambient video" also known as "puppy cam" or "nanny cam" traffic.

More than 26 million people--including yours truly--have visited the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam site. That's more Internet viewing hours than all
of ESPN online video.

And having spent 12 minutes at the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam site (most of it while multitasking), I give you my word of honor that it doesn't hold a candle to ESPN... but my 8-year old is mesmerized.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Building a Killer Tele-Prospecting Machine or "Doing Marketing Right"

How can Panaya, a "small" Israeli company, sell their solution to giants like Shell, Mercedes and other global brands? How can they do it without even meeting their customers?

Last Thursday, over 140 inquiring minds (including yours truly) joined Panaya at the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel to learn "How to Prospect Like a Lion from Zion."

Leading off was Amit Bendov, Panaya's CMO, who explained what he called the "Three Immutable Rules of Selling":
  1. Press the flesh
  2. Be there [close to your market]
  3. Go for the [easy-to-get] small fry
He then explained that Panaya violated all three rules: they had dozens of phone opportunities per week, never physically met their customers, and sold to some of the largest companies in the world. So what are the keys to their success?

Simply put, Panaya has an irresistible offer: they can tell a SAP customer how to make their upgrade 50% faster and 95% safer--during a 20 minute phone call.

Before the phone call, which is actually a Webex session with decision makers and techies, Panaya analyzes the prospect's SAP code and compares it with the newest SAP version. During the Webex, Panaya pinpoints just a few of the problems that will occur during an upgrade and tells the prospect how to fix them.

Then the prospect is faced with a choice: spend 400,000 Euros on custom development fixes or use Panaya's significantly less expensive, cloud-based, automated solution.

But don't get me wrong: Panaya's success is not just from a great product. It's also about:
  1. Savvy marketing and hooking prospects with a "free" salary survey of SAP professionals and asking prospects what SAP version they use and when they're planning an upgrade
  2. A clear business proposition that lets customers know why they should care—and not confusing them with technobabble or gobbledygook
  3. Acquisition and nurturing campaigns that lets Panaya cast wide nets and get maximum "gold from ore"
  4. Technologies that automate prospecting and help analyze performance and by creating processes that are designed to scale.
You don't get these results from just using the most popular 10% or 20% of Salesforce. You need to push it to the limit and connect it with add-ons solutions like Marketo for nurturing leads until they're ready to buy; Leadlander for discovering the 55% of your website visitors who don't leave their names; RingLead for de-duping leads and boosting the productivity of sales calls; and more.

And if you do all of this, you just might build what Amit Bendov calls "a killer tele-prospecting machine."