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 It takes a disciplined process to produce an accelerated sales cycle.
November, 2008
Issue: 37
Looking at new software or hardware?
This month we cover 0% financing options for ERP and CRM systems and we offer you a quick list of 10 areas to address with your salespeople. Our Innovation this month is the SURE SPLITŪ WEDGE from Estwing, and the featured Podcast deals with "Getting your pricing in line with the customer requirement."

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Financing ERP and CRM initiatives
Peter Kusterer, NvestNtech Inc
When the term "ERP" first surfaced, and companies clamored to install these complex systems, I recall the frustration of missed delivery dates and cost overruns. When I would do seminars on "Enterprise Output Management" a.k.a., trying to get the ERP system to print a respectable invoice or report, I would comment to the audience, "ERP stands for Everything Runs Poorly". I could see heads nod in affirmation and a few smiles at the thought of it.
That seems to have abated and many people now reap the benefits of more sophisticated systems, although *print output remains a hot topic. You can run your ERP and CRM systems from within the confines of your company, or across the Web as a SaaS application.
If you are currently looking at infrastructure changes, but the initial cost may appear prohibitive, there is a feast to behold in low cost point-of-entry opportunities. Sun is offering free hardware trials, SAP and Microsoft are offering 0% financing on ERP and CRM solutions, and I am sure there are plenty of 'buy now, pay later' plans for anything you need in the way of software and information technology.
But, before you jump into these deals, it would be wise to talk to your accountant or CFO, first. The purchase of hardware or software will have accounting and tax implications for your business. Knowing whether to lease, finance, or purchase outright will vary across businesses and industries. You will want to make this determination in advance of signing any agreement or purchase order.
Also, this may be a time to revisit how you do your accounting. Whether you use QuickBooks, a more sophisticated accounting software, or financial modules in your ERP system, consider outsourcing your accounting in place of managing it in-house. Doing so can reduce the overall expense, reallocate computing resources, and possibly offer more accounting expertise without adding staff.
*If better print output management is one of your concerns, drop me a note and there is a good chance I can point you in the right direction, especially if it's related to secure check-printing solutions.
Talk to your Sales team 
Looking for business in all the wrong places
With the recent changes in the Economy, we weren't surprised by an increase in calls from clients and prospects about how to better manage their sales efforts. One area we emphasize is, this is no time to begin cutting back on Sales and Marketing expenses. In fact, it's a time to do just the opposite.
In both good and bad times, we have found that there are some character traits that can have a negative impact on sales. I have compiled a quick list of 10 areas that salespeople may fail to address that ends up costing them business. Work with your team to tighten-up any performance issues in these areas.
1) Lack of a disciplined sales approach - Without a clear route to getting an order, it's like using the map, only, of a GPS to reach your destination. Develop a turn-by-turn approach to selling. Lay out the steps required to get the business. Employ a disciplined approach to measure your progress of each step in the sales cycle. 
Read more of the quick list by clicking here.
from Estwing - splits logs with a difference 
SURE SPLITŪ WEDGE from EstwingThe SURE SPLITŪ WEDGE is described as: "This unique 5 lb wedge has a revolutionary concept in design which makes splitting wood fast and easy. This wedge has a fast taper head for easy starting. The Sure SplitŪ fins permit extra wedge action and the sledge will continue through out below the wood line for sure splitting." After looking closely at the rocket ship appearance and fins, I can envision how this would be an advantage over the traditional wedges, sledgehammer, and splitting axe I use now.
Click here to read the story behind this discovery.
Overcoming Sales Barriers
In This Issue
Financing ERP and CRM initiatives
Talk to your Sales team
Ask A Question?: Past newsletter issues
Podcast: Bring the pricing in line
A Good Read: The Consultant's Calling
Ask A Question? 

"Where can I find past issues of your eNewsletter?" 
 We maintain an archive of our FREE monthly eNewsletter of trends, tips, innovation, and better business models on our Web site under Hot Topics. You can reach the eNewsletter section by clicking here.
Most Downloaded Podcast
The presentation went well; your customer or prospect is interested in your ability to meet their needs. However, when your product management team presents you with the proposed selling price (or cost), you are confident that they will not spend that much for the requirement. How can you bring the pricing in line with what you believe it will take to get the order?
Download this episode - "Getting your pricing in line with the customer requirement."
Our podcasts are featured on iTunes, too.
A Good Read

The Consultant's Calling
The Consultant's Calling: Bringing Who You Are to What You Do, New and Revised (Paperback)
Revised and updated for consulting in the twenty-first century, this new edition is for anyone who wants to know what consulting is really like as a career, as a living, and as a life. Geoffrey Bellman reveals how to make the job rewarding both financially and personally as he examines the practical issues of managing time, clients, and money as well as such broader concerns as how to balance work with family life.

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