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Is your Disorder Really your Genius?

Every person has a kind of genius. Sadly, many "geniuses" (instances of genius) appear as awkward, difficult, or maybe socially uncomfortable. This is mostly about other people, but unfortunately it means that many instances of genius get diminished...

Do you ever go on retreat? (vacation doesn't count)

Some professions have a tradition of going on retreat. I'm not talking here about vacatation with family or friends, although those are enjoyable and good for us. But I'm talking about an actual retreat, in which you take time away from the...

Don't be too proud of your product

A buyer's maturity should influence, even control, how you pitch your product. Immature buyers want to be educated, and want you to show them how they will be successful with the very basics of your service. They should also be able to access more...

Forget your resumé. Do an unsolicited loss analysis ...

You're applying, or interviewing for a big job? You're in sales, product, marketing, or biz dev? Forget sending your resumé out ... here's an idea that will get you noticed: Conduct an unsolicited loss analysis, gain insight into what's driving...

Why does Net Promoter Score fall short?

Everywhere you turn these days, someone wants to ask the Net Promoter Score question. When first introduced in an HBR article in 2003, it was a welcome way to simplify the customer discovery task. And NPS remains a useful tool.

Poll: Annual Churn Rates from #PulseConf2015

We were out in force at Pulse 2015, hosted by our friends at Gainsight. I spoke on the topic Lean Customer Success: Discovering Your Customer Story, and was really happy to see over 200 people attend my talk. I did some live polling using a...

Come see us at Pulse 2015! (And, what is #CustomerSuccess all about?)

We are excited to to sponsor Pulse 2015, hosted by Gainsight. If you are interested in #CustomerSuccess, this will be the place to be.

How to Get Feedback on Lost Deals

Many people who contact me about win/loss analysis are really only interested in thei loss analysis, or in understanding why they lose. They think they know why they win business, but are puzzled about why they lose, and they believe that they can...

Dear Alan: 15 minute interview guide for Win/Loss Analysis?

I recently had a request asking for help to design a win/loss analysis interview. As this topic has general applicability across industries, I thought I'd share some of that exchange with you, dear readers.

Does sales really "own" the customer relationship?

I hear this all the time: "Sales owns the customer relationship." Not true, folks. If it is true at your company, you've got a problem.

Buyer Relationships: I do not think it means what you think it means

Tweet this: @AWArmstrong: Buyer Relationships: I do not think it means what you think it means http://bit.ly/ocLWXl #sales #marketing #prodmgmt

The Main Thing is Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing, Part 2

A good friend and colleague of mine, Michael Papanek, once implored me to "keep the main thing". In fact,

Positioning beyond the product: Think relationship

When I say "positioning", what do you think of?

How can Win/Loss Analysis help you find untapped markets?

This week had a very smart CEO pose a great question to me:

What are we missing in terms of opportunities where we aren’t even considered? Frankly I worry (like all paranoid startup CEOs) that this may be the biggest opportunity for growth. Do...

The Factory vs. The Lab: Leaders know Which is Which

Teams requires both a laboratory, to innovate and design, and a factory, to build and deliver. Unfortunately teams, companies, and individuals spend too much time in the lab or the factory, and often confuse the these two very different...

Leaders don't make excuses: Crossing the Rubicon of Product Leadership

This week some titillating stories were published about Apple's internal culture. Among the news: Apple has hired a pair of ivy-league biz profs to codify its internal processes, leadership, and management culture. The case studies will be used...

Win/Loss Analysis MUST include wins (success stories don't count)

If you want to improve your win rates in the market, it is important that you study wins, and not just losses.

"We try harder" Ain't Enough: Differentiate Based On Client Experience


Worth repeating: What makes a relationship resilient?


I spoke last week at a gathering of sales people, and we really dug in to the concept of power in relationships. Many of us feel power imbalances in relationships, but perhaps none more than a sales person.

A Tale of Differentiation: The Discounter vs. The Price Leader

On Monday I met with two companies with very different approaches to price and margin. One company's sales team said:

"one of our strengths is that we are so flexible on price."

They view it as a differentiator that they are willing to get the...

Unsticking the stuck deal

By Alan Armstrong

Have you ever heard this story before?

Your price is (probably) not the problem

By Alan Armstrong

A true story: The date was June 23, 7 days before quarter-end. Terri came to the sales meeting and said she could close another deal, this one for $75k, but she needed a 50% discount to make it happen. Discount granted, and $150k...

Thanks for the discount, I'm still not buying yet

By Alan Armstrong

A true story:

SV PCamp proposed session: It's never about price

By Alan Armstrong

I've proposed a session for Product Camp Silicon Valley on April 2. Here's what I want to discuss.

10,000 Hours of Product Management

Have you read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell? It takes a lot of thinking about success and turns the thinking upside down. It's a quick and easy read, but I found it quite thought provoking and it's full of great stories.

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