Innovative Go-to-market software company brings on seasoned executive to help lead them through growth phase

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 13:49

Our Story

Selling to Zebras

Twenty years ago, Jeff was asked to become the Chief Operating Officer of the newly formed Baan Supply Chain Division and overcome business challenges similar to yours – he was responsible for launching a new business and making it successful; quickly!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 15:33

5 Ways to Build a Better Sales Team


Complex sales, also known as enterprise sales is not something an individual should go at alone. From Business Development (BD) to your product team, professional sales organizations that communicate seamlessly achieve greater success. Here’s how to do it:

Monday, 28 August 2017 09:38

Sell More, Work Less

The Sales Evangelist and Selling To Zebras podcast

Are you selling 24x7…like at home, at work, in the car and the bar, at baseball games and school events? If so, you might be pitching too many deals and over-extending yourself.

Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:31

What's new with Selling To Zebras software?


Latest software updates

We've been working hard since our launch to give you easier ways to qualify and close your best prospects. Here is a summary of the most recent changes:

Thursday, 09 April 2015 11:56

When Strategizing Ends

Stay Creative

Thinking About Trying A New Sales Approach?

Thursday, 06 November 2014 12:22

Corporate Darwin Awards

Think About Your Solution

I witness this one a lot in the software space.
What you say: "The next version of our software is going to fix all of the problems".
What the other person hears: "Wait until the next version comes out before you purchase or invest the time to learn something that will be replaced." This is very similar to the Osbourne effect mentioned below. Keep a tight lip on upcoming releases or improvements to your product. Always surprise to the upside.

Let these hilarious, but very real samples of boneheaded business moves inspire you today.

Monday, 06 October 2014 16:03

Why does a value proposition matter?

Stay Creative

A value proposition is a statement, made by your organization, of the tangible value customers get from using your product or service. It refers specifically to the value derived from your offering, not a description of the solution.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 13:58

Stay Creative

Stay Creative

There are 2 ways to grow your company
  1. More time: Nights and weekends
  2. More creativity: Change something operationally (stay creative)
You can spend more time, working nights and weekends to help your business grow. You can also use that same time to get a little creative. Your time is finite so there is only so much more value you can add by continuing to operate the same way you always have. You need to devote more time to being creative, critical and forward thinking. Easy to say, harder to do. The hard worker mentality is not enough to grow your business, or your individual brand. This is because hard work without creativity will only allow you to compete on price instead of benefit when you are selling a product or service. The image above is from Google CEO, Eric Schmidt’s new book and has been circulating around the internet. It emphasizes the point I am making, but the caption might be ignorant of Android and Google + being obvious clones of successful products. The image does capture something interesting about creating additional benefit. Maybe the lemonade everyone drinks tastes fine and is downright inexpensive. Maybe you have to look at your market, get creative and solve a different problem. Maybe people aren’t just thirsty, maybe you can make them feel differently. If you think “Hard Lemonade” is the answer, you should probably have the foresight to see “Harder Lemonade” open a stand right next to you.

Do you know the customers you want to know

Want to grow your business a certain amount this quarter? Focus on the process and let the rest fall into place. The problem with goals is that a single victory appears long off on the horizon. The fragile creatures that we are don’t like feeling inadequate on our journey towards a goal. Large goals make it so much easier to tell yourself, there’s always tomorrow. You want to achieve success every day, not beat yourself up chasing it.

Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:08

The Customers You Need To Know

Do you know the customers you want to know

Have you started to catch up on customer retention material or looked at software that tells how many times you have touched a customer in the past 90 days. Do we really want this type of information about all of our customers? Are all of your customers worth knowing – worth keeping? The better questions to ask might be “Do you know the customers you want to know”?

There are many valid reasons for caring about customers (particularly for companies with a SaaS business model where client acquisition and exit is faster and more frequent than purchased solutions). SaaS customer retention and preventing customer churn has a dramatic effect on the business and lead to a variety of critical business challenges including:

  • Low-client retention dramatically lowers company valuation
  • High costs - FTE intensive to save an unhappy customer (not scalable)
  • “Save every customer” mentality which exacerbates the problem - no clear repeatable way to identify the right customers to retain (also not scalable)
  • No way to identify how much resource and “when to apply”
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 16:56

Do you really want a shorter work week?



There’s a deranged set of values propagated in society that separate hard work and success. A misconception implanted as late as late as the 1960's by our own department of labor that predicted a 14 hour work week. Do you even want a shorter work week? Well, you voted no when you enrolled in college, bought a smartphone, and started saving for that luxury car. You must have changed your mind when you realized how hard it is to actually get everything you want. The challenge placed in front of me and my team is to scale the education and tools to take a majority population of average sales performers and enable their potential to be top performers. They all want a shorter work week, but that will not likely be the outcome of our solution and shouldn’t be our goal.

calling executives

Still trying to sell a set of cool functions and features to an exec? You might be relying too much on comfort with your own product. The key to shortening sales cycles is to get to decision makers right away. If you're not comfortable talking about your product in the following terms, you won't be successful selling to decision makers. Take a step back and think like an exec with these 7 critical business issues an executive is always trying to solve


The first phase of SaaS is a land grab. The second phase of SaaS is maximing revenue per customer, and minimizing churn. Customer retention, or churn, is a key metric on the radar of every executive. You simply cannot build a sustainable business without measuring and maintaining an acceptable level of retention. Now what that retention rate is for your business will depend on the industry, but it is important to identify and fix churn issues that are in your control. The cost of acquisition is the leading economic factor in reducing churn. It simply costs more in sales and marketing to bring in a new customer than maintaining and growing the customers you already have.

Friday, 31 May 2013 13:15

Mortgage Industry Zebra

Selling To Zebras Review

I can't thank you enough for telling me about Selling to Zebras.

When I first went to the Selling to Zebras website and watched Kevin Calderwood's testimonial video I knew I had to find out about it.

I was working as the Director of Business Development at the time for a regional home mortgage company and was struggling to get traction. I had been hired to do a 4-6 month consult with this company to see if I couldn't expand their strategic relationships and find additional avenues to obtain home loan leads. This was an experiment as they had not previously had someone in business development. After 5 months of working extremely hard making calls, buying lunches, doing home shows and setting up meetings, I still hadn't gained any significant traction.

Friday, 12 April 2013 13:36

The Linkedin Zebra

The goal of a Zebra is to have your entire company aligned to the concept of your perfect prospect. This involves the cooperation of sales, marketing, research/development and all customer facing personnel. You start by defining the 7 key attributes that indicate a perfect prospect as well as the characteristics of the anti-prospect. Knowing when to walk away and devoting resources is key. In much the same way you devote sales resources to your perfect prospect by looking at these characteristics, your marketing should do the same.

Tuesday, 05 June 2012 00:00

Acquisitions You Should Be Talking About

The Hype

I simply can’t help myself when I see names like Instagram, Friendfeed, OMGPOP in the headlines. I blow through those articles like a set of self-help tapes wondering why I can’t devise one of these seemingly simple schemes. Its just those simple ideas that everyone thinks they could have come up with. When you hear these names they are probably being criticized, or adored because of their recent acquisitions.