Abuja, The Resource Curse

I landed at the international airport in the Nigeria’s capital Abuja – a planned city (Like Canberra or Brasilia) built in the ‘70s out of nothing – in thick haze of desert dust and a blinding sun. It is hotter than Accra, closing in on 100 degrees, but is much drier, so in the shade the heat is ... [Continue Reading]

A Bicycle, Dust From the Sahara

I wanted to find an alternative to walking and Ubering around town; the former is slow and the latter seems like overkill for super short trips.  So I opted to buy a bicycle in the used bicycle market off the "Circle" - an interchange on the edge of town. Melissa, a Seed staffer, kindly drove me ... [Continue Reading]

Cape Coast, A Short Slaving Primer

The intricate weaving and bobbing of traffic along crowded, overused roads of mixed quality seems nearly universal in emerging markets.  As does the collection of detritus, shacks, businesses, folks doing stuff; a road is an artery of life  The steady toots of horns ("I'm here"), dust, the medley of ... [Continue Reading]

Landed in Ghana

When you travel to spots a good portion of the way around the globe, the jangly, sleep deprived thinness starts in your first layover, usually 9 - 12 hours out, depending which way you are heading.  On this trip to Ghana, it hit me in Amsterdam where I had a 5 hour wait from my flight to Accra and ... [Continue Reading]

Empathy

Design thinking has highlighted how important empathy is with the end user in designing a product. The same can be said when thinking about your marketing and sales effort: think through how the recipient of your email, blog, call or presentation thinks. What matters to her? What constraints does ... [Continue Reading]

Social Media and the Head Fake of Engagement.

We live in a time of faux engagement - social media has turned things upside down, giving users a false sense of engagement: you can access a lot of information about a prospect quickly and (falsely) begin to feel like you know her. This makes engaging folks to sell to them very difficult; ... [Continue Reading]

Selling Across Cultures

Your sales challenge is big enough: how do you engage folks in a conversation that will lead to a sale. Imagine doing so across 12 time zones, a couple of oceans, in a second language and from another culture. I just had a call with a South Asian client about how to reach American targets to talk ... [Continue Reading]

Content is Overrated

Everyone is doing content based marketing these days and so we are overwhelmed with stuff read, to watch to tweet about. No one has time to consume most of it and most of it isn't very good quality. In fact it's bad. If you're going to produce content make it very high quality and limit the ... [Continue Reading]

Shorten That Sales Cycle!

This is a demand you'll hear from your CEO regularly. The sad truth is that there isn't a whole lot you can do to shorten the sales cycle of a new technology. People take time to absorb information and to measure the risks they are willing to take: all this figures into the time it takes to sell ... [Continue Reading]

The Hybrid Salesperson

Your mostly likely sales hire will be a hybrid salesperson - someone that has enterprise skills, can close bigger deals, run her own demos and draft her own proposals but does most business over the phone and via webinar. She will not travel more than 20% of the time. ... [Continue Reading]