Monday, 23 May 2016

[NEW RELEASE] Buenos dias from Market Dojo!

Mid-week saw us release a couple more enhancements to the software, as well as many more general improvements to meet our growing customer demand. However two main highlights stood out that we would like to share with you in this blog...

Spanish language

We've seen increasing demand from Latin America and other Spanish-speaking regions across the globe and so we're really excited to add Spanish to complement our numerous other language options.

As one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, it really does increase our potential user base and across several continents to boot.  Give it a try today and let us know what you think!

PS: a huge thank you to our wonderful partner in Latin America, Bruno Alvarez, for all the time spent on helping us perfect this release.

Questionnaire templates

Another exciting release driven by a customer request is the ability to save existing questionnaires as a template to re-use in future.  

A superhost can keep tabs on which templates are created to ensure the library remains organised.  There's also the scope in the future for the Market Dojo team to pre-load our customers' libraries with some useful templates to help them get started.  This particularly applies to the SIM Dojo tool where we can provide some best-practice on-boarding questionnaires.

We hope you enjoy these new features, brought to you free of charge and immediately available to all.  Keep the ideas coming as we really do listen!

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Prepare to Pitch for New Business

We have been fortunate enough to be involved with a webinar produced by the Star Commercial Academy. As we have been in procurement, sales, and selling procurement solutions, we were able to offer our opinions on the topic at hand. The discussion was focused on sales presentations and what to look out for to enable success.

You can listen to the discussion here.

As part of the discussion, Market Dojo added their experience to 4 main questions.

Q: As recipients of countless pitches, what are the key things you go into a meeting wanting to be presented with?

Market Dojo: 
  • Research, research, research 
  • Time management and structure [courteous] 
  • Understanding the company and problem 
  • Asking relevant questions with feedback loop 
  • Keep it simple (clean pres) 
  • Flexible if things come up [projector fail...] 
  • Engaging, Enthusiasm, Honesty, Empathy

…….However it will vary on the personality so you need to adapt.

Q: And if you had to rank the 3 things you wished everyone would include in a pitch, what would they be?

Market Dojo:
  • Strong company pedigree 
  • Relevant personalised examples 
  • No assumptions or premature elaboration 

Q: Could you tell us about any distinctively brilliant pitches that stick in your mind?.....what was it that makes it so memorable? 

Market Dojo: (Recent pitch by RC) 
  • Arranged meeting promptly and flexible 
  • Prepared [presentation, flyers] 
  • Professional 
  • Didn't interrupt 
  • Personal, focused on our needs 

Q: Not every sales pitch is a winner. Thinking about pitches that have turned you 'cold' could you outline the types of things to avoid?

Market Dojo: (Recent pitch by an internet company) 
  • Too many assumptions [We CAN help you rather than MIGHT help you] 
  • Used amateur sales tactics [if you buy now...] 
  • Deliberately obtuse, lied [World leading, turnover, Market Makers, renewal rates...] 
  • Also they didn’t do what they promised they would do!

We had some great interaction with Ena Ryan from Progorex among others. Many thanks to the hosts and everyone else who presented.

STAR Commercial Academy is led by four directors who between them have both significant and relevant experience in customer management and commercial disciplines.

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

6 Important Life Lessons You Need to Learn

Alun, one of the founders of Market Dojo's intuitive eSourcing platform, shares his experience of his recent stint as a mentor and some of the knowledge and lessons he has learnt throughout his career. Alun's wealth of experience has played a massive part in getting Market Dojo to where it is today, so read on and benefit from his wonderful expertise...

My father once said the best time you will have in life is at university. Another friend also said you won’t be around so many similar people of the same age unless you end up in prison!

Recently, an opportunity arose to mentor a student from Bristol university. Given my previous memories I thought it was a great chance to give something back. My career progression was always built on my previous choices to end up starting my own business.  

I was set on that path however from my original summer placement at Rolls Royce. An obvious option for a Bristol Aeronautical Engineer. Followed by a graduate job at the same site, then falling into procurement as many do. After a short stint in consultancy, software sales, and finally a boutique procurement consultancy, I felt I had gained the skills and confidence to create our own business. Along with a couple Bristol Graduates, Market Dojo was born.

However, if someone had been there to mentor me when leaving university, would I have taken the easiest option? Would I recognise my negotiating position and look at other companies? Would I understand where I really wanted to go? (Not that I would change anything mind you).

One of the benefits of mentoring is that unlike managing, there is no impact on yourself or your workload (except for a small amount of your time). It is completely up to the mentee as to whether they act on your advice or take advantage of your time. However the challenge is that you also feel the need to motivate and inspire. So in some ways more difficult than managing and in others more rewarding.

My previous mentoring experience was assisting a fellow engineer to become chartered with the IMechE. I can gladly say that he became a fantastic engineer (congrats Simon!) although that was a structured methodology, unlike mentoring a Bristol undergraduate which has a  less defined remit.

As I first met my Bristol mentee, I realised how underprepared I was and  I thought to capture a few points you might ponder if you end up in that position.

  1. Have a think about what form the mentoring will take.  Having some structure about next steps will at least make the mentee think about the value of your time and what the expectations are.
  2. What questions can someone think about at an early age which will allow them to question their career path.  Do they want their own business?  What do they love doing and can they do that for work?
  3. What life lessons have you learnt that you can pass on?  Such as the importance of networking, your own power in negotiations, how such small things can drastically effect your career path...

All in all it is about inspiring the mentee to reflect on choices they have made and will make and their implications. Maybe that won't change their decisions but as long as they question them, it is the best you can hope for.

Here are some life lessons I have learnt over the years:

  1. Prioritise first what your boss asks of you.

In my first role at Rolls Royce, my manager told me this.  Although sometimes hard to prioritise everything, it certainly helps with a more hassle free life

  1. Don’t stress, life’s too short.  

When working in Brussels, there was a German gentleman who was about to give a very important presentation.  The only issue was the printer didn't work and he couldn't print off the slides.  If I was in his position, I would be simply panicking off the scale.  He calmly replied when asked that it simply doesn't achieve anything.  He will either have the slides in the end or not.  Easier said than done although you can see the sentiment.

  1. Pay attention.  

Interestingly I thought more about this watching a remake of the ‘Day of the Jackal’ as, if I remember correctly, he (the Jackal) was being taught a lesson on observation.  And if you really pay attention, there are many clues out there that can be missed.  For example when you go to a negotiation, looking at the type and quality of the decor, what was written on the whiteboard through to what questions aren’t being asked can give you a simple advantage

  1. Want to do the job.  

Or at least pretend you do.  Enthusiasm comes across and it is true when people say it is contagious.  You create a much better first impression if you can show passion.

  1. You’re in charge of your own destiny.  

Without trying to sound too melodramatic, or like a script from Star Wars, you meet people in life who can be quite negative and always say the cards are stacked against them.  In fact, generally speaking, no one is working against you, and no one for you, you are in control of what you can and can’t do and where you ultimately end up..

  1. Make eye contact.  

It shows respect and if you ever going drinking with a French person and say ‘Cheers’ (or in French - ‘A ton sante’) then they will remind you that you should look into their eyes to show sincerity.  

Do you have any life lessons to share?

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!