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You Make Big Happen.

What if your pitch could be as easy to embed as a YouTube video?

Now it can. If you can embed a video you can embed all your pitches wherever you want. On your website, your blog, wherever you’re online.

Just check out one of my pitches on the left of this page (or at the very bottom).

So what’s stopping you?  Sign up and you’ll be out there in under 10 minutes.

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First off, the name “Enterprise Software” sounds like crap.

Not even JJ Abrams could make Enterprise sound sexy. Say, “Enterprise software” to someone in a huge company and watch even their eyes glaze over. Now try it on your co-worker. Are they excited to hear more?

No.

It’s slang for suck my soul. 

Enterprise software is complicated, slavish, unimaginative stuff built for top-down “automate and track” management.  Calling it sexy is like trying to make tax codes sexy. Or plastic slip covers. Oh, now management wants us to use soul-sucking software delivered though the cloud with a touch interface that let’s you share stuff? Can’t wait.

With Enterprise Software, nothing’s real. Everything’s far away. Everything’s a copy of a copy of a copy.–bastardized quote from Fight Club’s @chuckpalahniuk.

I’m not talking about the invisible, behind the scenes, “make it run faster/cheaper” Enterprise stuff because that’s sexy to engineers and bean counters. I’m talking about the software for us worker bees.

Every time something *is* cool, the Enterprise version sucks. 

Ever notice that? Here’s why: The intended value moves from you to your company’s management. Imagine what it would be like for the White House go to suddenly be in charge of choosing our apps for us then forced us to use them. The value would be for them not us. That’s the way it’s been for Enterprise software.

Want to disrupt the Enterprise? Go small. 

The big mistake startups make is to try to build a better CRM, ERP, PLM, CMS, or other big, already entrenched Enterprise system. Those things already exist and people despise them. The idea has been done.

Still, look at how many different folks are trying to build a prettier solution of the same idea. Instead, stop thinking about what exists and start thinking about solving a big, hairy part of the people’s everyday jobs. Reframe the solution completely by going as small and meaningful as possible. Then wins hearts and minds.

Reboot tasks that impact revenue.  

If you focus on a task that directly impacts the bottom line, the opportunity for success is far greater. Don’t update it, reinvent. Companies that pick a single key task, reframe it, and deliver a ton of value in a simpler way will find success with today’s professionals.

  • Box made sharing a file quick and painless.
  • Yammer reimagined clunky collaboration software.
  • SuccessFactors is a better way to think of talent management.
  • Same with Taleo and human resources.

It’s no surprise that most of these companies have been acquired by the big guys.

Let worker bees be the boss.

If you’re going after the front line, you must go bottoms up. Enterprises have moved from “no software” to “no shelfware.” That means they want to make sure their people love it before they invest. Earn your way up, then make sure you have a clear value proposition for management that doesn’t pull the rug from under the worker bees.

The 99% Web is an inclusion economy that invites the rest of us.

As much as we like to think of this era as unique, the recent “sharing economy” meme is just a part of a long history of making privileged resources available to the rest of us. In the same way movable type made books available to common folks, the internet has opened  to the masses what was once controlled by the few. Our personal lives have changed hugely with the accessibility and control of information, commerce, media and resources. The web has obviously affected how we work, too. It’s never been easier to get a business started, connect, reach markets, work remotely, or share ideas.

Even the choices for our productivity at work are no longer made by the few. Today, I’ll decide what’s on my “work playlist,” thank you very much. In fact, it’s probably what I use in my personal life, too. Whether I’m at home or work, I’m using my  iPhone, Google Docs, Evernote, or Dropbox.

 

 

New solutions for “sometimes” roles.

The truth is that sometimes your HR person spends time recruiting. Linkedin lets anyone be a recruiter, not just full-time recruiters. Today, it’s hard to find recruiters
using old school applicant tracking software
. It’s also true that entrepreneurs sometimes spend their time accounting. Quickbooks lets anyone do accounting, not just accountants. Both full time and “sometimes accountants” use the same solution. Full time Marketers use Facebook and so do “sometimes marketers” like your Orthodontist. I’m writing an article right now using WordPress and so are the full-time journalists. No need to point out how disrupted journalism has become thanks to  blogging and tweeting.

The truth behind these “sometimes” roles is that people were already doing these tasks as part of their jobs anyway. Sometimes we all transact, account, sell, market, and recruit. It used to be that these tasks each had their own exclusive (and complex) applications. Today, we have much simpler, cheaper, more widely available solutions that are incredibly useful for those parts of our job. You’ll use Square when you pay someone to fix your water heater and again when you go into Starbucks.

 

Selling sometimes is a part of all of our jobs.

The old saying that “we’re all in sales” couldn’t be more true today. As Daniel Pink says in his new book, “To Sell is Human,” there’s a “rebirth of a salesman” happening right now.

In a world where anybody can find anything with just a few keystrokes, intermediaries like salespeople are superfluous. They merely muck up the gears of commerce and make transactions slower and more expensive…We now go online to sell ourselves–on Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and Match.com profiles. None of these entities existed ten years ago. One day, the world began to change. More of us started working for ourselves–and because we were entrepreneurs, suddenly we became salespeople, too. At the same time, large operations discovered that segmenting job functions didn’t work very well during volatile business conditions–and because of that, they began demanding elastic skills that stretched across boundaries and included a sales component. –Daniel Pink

Today the sales software industry is just as exclusive, complex and frustrating as the Recruiting, Accounting and Payment Processing industries used to be. Sales software is made for full-time sales people and it doesn’t help them sell. We’ve gone from personal contact management in the 1980s, to on-premise enterprise contact databases of the 1990s, to the same solution delivered way more cheaply through the cloud in the 2000s. No matter how much lipstick you put on it, that’s thirty (30!) years of the same old thing.

It’s time for sometimes selling. We need something for the rest of us. Something built to help us do the job, not for our bosses. That’s why Crushpath exists. Today, we’ve announced the next chapter of the company and we have a year of big moves ahead of us that will challenge the status quo. It’s a fight worth fighting for and we hope you join us.

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Convention keeps your elevator pitch from standing out.

We all need an elevator pitch. The problem is how to create one that gets the attention it needs. Today, our personal sales pitch is buried in outdated media channels. We all have our resumes normalized on Linkedin and have standardized on tools like email blasting, cold calling, or filling out forms. It’s never been harder for our elevator pitch to stand out and be heard.

While there’s efficiency to these conventions, being on the giving or receiving end of elevator pitches has never been more boring for both sides of the table. As much as we hate receiving emails and calls, we end up using them when it’s our turn to reach out because there seems to be no other choice.

Lately, there’s been lots of examples of folks trying escape the ordinary.  There’s so much elevator pitch fatigue that anything creative gets viral media attention.

Applicant’s elevator pitch to Amazon goes viral.

Instead of sending in a resume like everyone else, this guy “sold” himself (literally) on Amazon. His creative sales pitch went viral and eventually made CNN, Huffington Post, Business Insider among others.

Aspiring Standford student creates an iPhone app as his elevator pitch

Getting a leg up above the competition is just as hard for aspiring students as it is in business. Alex Greene delivered a very targeted elevator pitch in a creative way that helped showcase his skills and made news in the process.

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An elevator pitch for a house? Put a face on it.

As emotional as buying a house is, the process is extremely impersonal. Neither side gets to know each other and the entire relationship is brokered through middlemen. Real Estate has begun to see buyers include “love letters” with their offer as a way for their pitch to stand out. I’m guilty of this in my personal life, too. My wife and I used Crushpath Pitch Sites to accompany our offer for a farm in New Hampshire. We were up against strong buyer competition but the owners felt our elevator pitch humanized our offer and said yes, even though we were asking below asking price.

The master of the online elevator pitch.

The master of creating the elevator pitch in social media has to be President Obama. In the last election, his campaign used Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Reddit, and Google+ to pitch specific issues, raise money and make his case. Not too long ago, this was done via email, snail mail or phone call campaigns.

Obama online elevator pitch

Are you still using email and phone calls to pitch?

Sensing a theme? If you want your elevator pitch to stand out, take a queue from political marketing: stop using traditional email or phone calls. Your elevator pitch needs to stand out. If you need some tips on how to create a creative elevator pitch, check out Crushpath’s free ebook here. If you know of other great examples, I’d love to learn about them. What do you use to stand out?