Online Sales vs Phone Sales

Tomorrow, World Vital Records will begin building its call center under our new manager Scott Spencer. He worked at (now The Generations Network) from 2003-2006. We are planning to hire 10-15 people in the next few weeks (part time and full time) to do genealogy sales, support and coaching. (If you know someone who might be interested, please use the Contact Me form on my blog, and let me know about them.)

#1 Need for Startups

In May 2005 Fraser Bullock, one of Utah's brightest lights in the financial world (formerly with Bain Capital, now runs Sorenson Capital, helped with the 2002 Olympics turn-around), spoke at the Edison Conference in Salt Lake City. Fortunately, I had my blackberry and I took extensive notes. Here are my notes from the middle part of his talk:
Management has to be adaptable. 1990 someone brought him into run home shopping network, pre-internet. Challenge was to get consumers to buy. They had a patent. Decided they had assets, what could they build that might be of worth. Built transaction processing engine for remote banking. Sold it to Visa International in 1994. In fast moving tech environment, if I didn't step back every 3-6 months to fundamentally re-assess our assets and the environment, I might be missing a paradigm shift. You need the discipline to step back.

Why Do Most Companies Fail?

I was asked Tuesday at the Corporate Alliance summit why most companies fail. My guess is that most companies fail primarily because they don't have the right team of people. The CEO might not be right, or the CEO hasn't chosen the right people in the right positions, because most CEOs don't know the talent level required at each position and the teamwork needed to build a successful company. This is especially true of young CEOs, who haven't been around the block, who haven't seen great talent in action, in all the roles necessary to build a successful company.

Auctioning Consulting Services

It's nearly 3 am, and I'm having one of those sleepless nights, where my mind is racing with new ideas and lists of things I have to do. I know (from experience) that I won't get back to sleep until I've written things down. And while I'm at it, I decided to blog about one of these new ideas. For several months I've been contemplating a shift in my career from pure startup entrepreneur to venture capitalist. I've been studying the history of venture capital and have learned that many of the pioneers of the industry and many of the leading VCs today don't just look for deals, but they create them. They help form companies, generate business plans, recruit management, and act in many ways like founders--they just don't often run the companies. This appeals to me a great deal. In fact, it is really what I've been

Using for Sales Leads

I've been fortunate in my career to have a business partner, Dan Taggart, who is an expert salesman. In the early 90s, every computer and bookstore that he visited agreed to carry our products. As a telemarketer he is superb. Once when our in-house sales reps were only closing about 20% of incoming calls (to upgrade to our newest CD ROM product), to demonstrate how it should be done, he took 17 consecutive calls and closed 100% of them.