Brian

Brian Lastovich is the Online Marketing Manager at Base, the post-pc CRM, where he oversees all online marketing initiatives. He has 5 years of marketing experience in the B2B software startup space and starts his morning with a bowl of cereal, swim, and a stroll through his Twitter timeline. You can follow Brian on Twitter @Blast3413 or connect with him on Google+.

Articles by Brian:

    The Future of Sales Technology

    The Future of Sales Technology

    Do me a small favor. Google image search “sales software” for me. Seriously, head to Google Images and type in “sales software.” If you just shivered you’re not alone.

    The past is a scary place and those outdated legacy CRM databases have not adapted to the advanced needs of the modern day sales teams.  Yet before we look ahead, it’s important to understand the advancements in the sales world. Below are 4 ways we’ve seen the transformation of the sales industry:

    Static » Real-Time

    No longer is it okay to wait for a sales report. No longer is it okay to export sales data and then import it into an excel sheet. And no longer is it ok to wait until you’re in the office to follow up on that lead. It’s 2014. If I can get a pop-up notification on my phone that tells me if I leave now, it will only take 20 minutes to drive home, I should be able to get a pop-up notification that one of my deals has closed.

    PC » Cross-Device & Mobility

    Salespeople have been early adopters of tablets, smartphones, and even laptops. They’ve embraced technology so quickly that they usually purchase their own devices just to get ahead. A salesperson now will use up to 3 different devices to stay in touch with their prospect.

    Database » Productivity

    A CRM organizes your data. That’s it. Technology advancements have made it possible for an additional sales productivity layer, that goes a step further to help sales teams work in a more data-driven productive manner and focus on closing more deals. What tools will help you close more deals?

    Archaic User Interface » Consumer Grade User Interface

    There used to be this line between using consumer software and business software. When you’re in the office it’s business software, when it’s out of the office it’s consumer software. However, that line is becoming much thinner. Consider Twitter or even Uber. Thus, sales teams are finally starting to see better experiences with their business software.

    As our CEO has stated “If you’re using outdated technology that cannot adapt to the advanced needs of modern day sales teams, your competition will crush you.”

    If these advancements interest you, you’ll want to register for our webinar this week, The Future of Sales Technology. While being hosted by Base, we’re welcoming Clara Shih CEO of Hearsay Social, Gerhard Gschwandtner, CEO of Selling Power and Geoffrey James, Contributing Editor of Inc in a panel discussion. The focus will be on the discussion of sales technology. We’ve saved 200 seats thus far but look forward for you to join us this Friday the 26th.

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    [Seminar Recap] – The 5 Mistakes of Sales Training

    The Next Generation of Sales Training Seminar

    Tuesday’s seminar with Ralph Grimse, partner at The Brevet Group was 30 minutes of insight into the future of sales training. I think we can all agree that there’s an opportunity for improvement in the sales training industry and The Brevet Group is well on it’s way to lead the charge. If you did miss the seminar, register to watch the on-demand video here.

    In order to keep it to 30 minutes, we focused on the 5 common mistakes that organizations make and ways to overcome them in order to sell smarter. I will recap the 5 mistakes below.

    #1 Lack of Customization

    Organizations need to make the sales training content applicable to each sales rep. Not every rep has the same sales experience. You’ll have reps with years of selling experience and reps fresh out of school but it’s extremely important to take it into account. The content that’s being developed and the training that’s being shared needs to impact all of your sales force.

    #2 Ignoring the Sales Manager

    Too often sales training focuses on the sales rep while the sales managers are ignored. It’s important that all management is bought into the sales training program because reps will often look for additional coaching and guidance from their sales managers.

    #3 Training Through a One-Time Event

    Time and time again organizations make the investment in the one-time sales training event. However, data has proved that this is not the way reps (and adults in general) learn.

    #4 Confusing Product Training with Sales Training

    Product training does not equal sales training. Yet, organizations think if they bombard their team with training of their own product it will qualify as sales training.  Sure it’s important for sales reps to understand the particular product, but it’s also crucial that reps learn “how” to handle their sales conversations.

    #5 Zero Emphasis on Execution

    Many organizations believe that if they build great plans the execution of the sales training will take care of itself. For example, it’s common for a sales organization to choose a new best-selling sales system they believe will transform their sales results but without the consideration of the approach and delivery nothing will come about.

    You can listen to the full 30-minute recording by clicking here. Afterwards join us for our next seminar by viewing our upcoming events.

    Sales Training is Broken, Can it be Fixed?

    The Next Generation of Sales Training Seminar

    Traditional Sales Training is Broken

    You know the routine, sales results should be better and you believe you can get more out of your current sales team. So, you figure you might want to invest in a sales training program.

    According to IKO System, 94% of companies invest in some kind of sales training. Yet, data tells us that today’s sales training programs just don’t work. Sure, you might see a bump in sales but it has no lasting impact on sales performance. Did I mention the cost of bringing in a “sales expert” to talk with your team? (more…)

    [Seminar Recap] – Agile Selling with Jill Konrath

    Agile Selling with Jill Konrath header

    Wednesday’s seminar with Jill Konrath, author of Agile Selling was 30 minutes of powerful selling value! If you missed it, don’t sweat it. Make a priority to listen to our recording by clicking here.

    We touched on several topics of her upcoming book including important factors in the purchase decision, goal setting, understanding your competitors and a new way to use LinkedIn. Since there were many subjects talked about, I like to recap our conversation below. (more…)

    [Seminar Recap] – Building a Powerful Sales Engine

    Wednesday’s seminar with Craig Wortmann, CEO of Sales Engine, and professor of Entrepreneurial Selling at The University of Chicago, was our best attended webinar to date! If you missed it, make a priority to watch a recording of the chat by clicking here.

    Building A Powerful Sales Engine

    We had a lot of questions from our audience, and since we weren’t able to answer all of them in the time allotted, Craig and I will do our best to answer them here.

    As a refresher, during the online seminar, we discussed some of the most pressing questions that sales leaders should start thinking about if they are looking to build or sustain a powerful sales organization. Among our discussion, we covered several subjects including:

    • The 3 most crucial sales challenges of today

    • What happens to the sales department in 2020

    • An Art vs. Science sales debate

    • Why sales productivity can be lacking

    So here we go. Here are our best answers to questions the audience had.

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    The 5 Most Successful Shark Tank Deals And What You Can Learn From Them

    Shark Tank

    Shark Tank, a popular American reality television series on ABC, started its 5th season this September. For those who are unfamiliar, Shark Tank portrays the initial pitch between investors and entrepreneurs in a shortened televised format. There are many deals made on the show, but after due diligence that’s done afterwards, about half of those deals actually come to fruition.

    While the average viewership of six million may watch the show for the entertainment, it also provides a weekly education on how to successfully sell your product to high-profile prospects. And believe it or not, we can take away a lot of sales lessons from those success stories. Below I’ve identified the top 5 most successful Shark Tank businesses and what we can learn from them.

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    9 Ways I Became More Productive on My Commute

    My morning commute is terrible, but it’s really not that bad compared to the average Chicago commuter, who clocks 2400 minutes per month commuting. The first few days I didn’t do much besides listen to my Spotify playlist and eaves drop on the countless people staring into their iPhones and Androids. But then I realized how much time I was wasting every single day on my commute. With a little motivation and organization I started to turn my terrible commute into a tolerable one. Here’s what I did:

    1. Downloaded Audiobooks – If you’re at all like me, you love the feel and procession of a physical book. Heck, I’d rather purchase Seth Godin’s Tribes hardcover for $14.97, then buy the Kindle edition or audiobook. But then I stumbled upon Audible.com , and saw how easy it was to find and download audiobooks right to my iPhone or iPod. I won’t be making the complete switch to audiobooks anytime soon but it is a great way to catch up on some books I never got around to purchase. A few favorites in my queue are:

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    11 Do’s & Don’ts For Sales Teams From The Guy Being Sold To

    As an SaaS online marketer for the past 5 years, I am convinced that the success of a marketing and sales team is directly proportional to the relationship between the two. The closer they work together, the more successful both become. Because I like to practice what I preach, throughout the years I have observed my fair share of sales tactics, emails and phone calls. I’ve seen some work really well and others flop completely. I think it’s time to give back and tell you what works and what doesn’t so you can become a powerful sales machine.

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