Book Review: Millionaire Upgrade

Millionaire Upgrade: Lessons in Success from Those Who Travel at the Sharp End of the Plane by Richard Parkes Cordock is a self-development book examining the millionaire mindset.

This is an interesting book, it takes a fictional approach to telling a real life story. The whole premise of the book is that the main character Tom is upgraded to first class by a kind and wealthy millionaire, who has a spare seat next to him in Business Class. The Millionaire protagonist usually books two seats for himself for comfort, but given that the plane is full, he agrees via the check-in staff to give up one of his seats to Tom, who would otherwise not be able to travel on the full plane. The millionaire chats with Tom and throughout the flight coaches him to develop a millionaire mentality.

There are some good nuggets of information […]

Book Review: SPIN Selling

In the last decade, SPIN Selling has become one of the most prominent sales methodologies. Primarily, the methodology is developed by the Huthwaite Research company under the direction of and based on the research of psychologist, Neil Rackham.

From the outset the research has metered itself by requiring strict empirical evidence to prove or disprove theories as they are examined in real life situations. This is a scientific view of sales behaviors from a group of scientists. There are no subjective opinions here, only hard facts and figures are used to back up statements and views. Sample groups are often wide, diverse and for the most-part large enough to provide a credible read on the activity or behaviour being measured.

The 30,000ft view of the SPIN selling approach takes us through four defined stages during a single sales cycle. It suggests that the use of effective […]

Back to Blogging: 2012 Events, Results and Wins

It’s been some time since my last blog. Since 2011, I have not only moved jobs, but also set my sights on conquering an entirely new industry, Virtualisation Backup and Management. This has spurred the demise of my previous blog, InfoSec & Beyond. In the last 12 months, I have been working hard to get to grips with my new role and am happy to say that it’s been a bumper year with significant successes. With some focus and mental elbow grease, I have chalked up the following achievements as a System’s Engineer at Veeam Software:

#1: Top Revenue UK 2012 #1: Top Win Ratio EMEA 2012 Only UK SE to publish a Whitepaper on Veeam Worldwide Website Worked on 6 of the top 10 deals won in UK 2012

Most notably, I have had the pleasure of being part of Veeam’s rapidly expanding UK North Team. Our team has had […]

Apprentice UK 2011 Final Winner: Nerds 1 The Rest 0

Last night the Apprentice final saw a battle of eclectic styles and personalities come to its conclusion, with Lord Sugar finally choosing his future business partner. The four finalists were:

Jim Eastwood – The Jedi Salesman Helen Louise Milligan – The “Almost” Unbeaten Master Organiser Tom Pellereau – Inventor, Genius, Nerd Susan Ma – The Spirited but Inexperienced Entrepreneur


After a serious grilling of each contestant and their business plan by Lord Sugar’s close associates, it was finally announced that Tom would be the winner of the Apprentice UK 2011. The finalists had seriously different styles this year, but I’m happy to say that nerd ingenuity clearly prevailed over spiel, efficiency and spirit.


Eco-Labelling – The Green Argument For Information Classification

It seems that if you are promoting a product or service these days, it’s mandatory to have an associated “Green Story” to back up your proposition. Earning cold hard cash for the benefit of both you and your customer is in some circumstances frowned upon, if there isn’t an ethical eco-friendly angle to your pitch. While I support green initiatives and do what I can to help with moves to improve the sustainability of the planet, hasn’t it all gone a bit eco-mad.

Those fabled 3 letters, E C O , are being used and abused by all and sundry to get that green tickbox filled. Whether a product in environmentally friendly or not, the ECO label gets thrown around like confetti at a wedding. We have Eco-Homes, Eco-Heaters, Eco-Computers, Eco-Laptops, Eco-Cars, Eco-Trucks… you name it we have it. In a shameless attempt to look more trendy, I’d […]

Phone Hacking, Corporate Responsibility and Employee Accountability

The UK has been awash with scandal upon scandal in recent months. Individuals and organisations who we are supposed to trust have abuse their positions and the circumstances available to them. Is this to be the century of corruption? The politicians led the way with the expenses scandal, immediately followed by questionable banking practices which brought the world to the brink of bankruptcy. Now in our latest installment of the “people doing what they really shouldn’t” saga, we have once reputable press organisations hacking into the phones of, well, pretty much everyone.

The world needs a double dose of the medicine that is corporate responsibility and employee accountability. Whether or not the chiefs at the head of these corporate tribes were aware of the activities of their employees, ultimately they have a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent this kind of unacceptable behaviour occurring. Failure […]

Information Security Drivers

Is it possible to acheive total and complete information security? The answer today is no.

On occassion, it is easy to become complacent and make an assumption of security. Implementing effective counter measures to possible breaches of security can give an over confidence in our perception of the level of security in our systems. The reality is that our applications and systems become increasingly more complex. The primary challenge of any development of technology is making something that works, making something that works but also has perfect security is a pipe dream. Modern operations systems can contain upwards of 50 million lines of code. There are always holes in applications and operationg systems. If you doubt this, check the amount of security patches released by any OS vendor you know.

With this is mind effective security becomes about understanding that it’s not possible to fill every hole and block every gap […]

The Importance of Hands On Technical Experience

To operate effectively in a pre-sales role detailed product knowledge is a must. You can not truly understand how a product works and it’s functionality without having some experience of it working on a real system. At the very least installing a demo or test environment will bring you closer to the capabilities of a product, but where possible get involved in real implementations, in real customer environments. Occasional secondments to the service delivery arm of your organisation can give you the opportunity to build some real world experience which can be applied to your current and future customer opportunities.

Practical experience is particularly useful in environments where you are working with multiple products and multiple product components. Understanding the underlying requirements of each component and how they will integrate with the other components can be of vital importance when proposing a solution. You may find that two of your […]

International Technical Sales – Top 5 Tips

I love to travel. I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively, experience different cultures and have worked in many multi-national teams. I would definitely class myself as a travel nerd. I found this WebApp on Trip Advisor and have been looking to get more pins in the map ever since. Here’s my current travel map (to create your own, use the links below the map):

Whitianga, New Zealand Cairo, Egypt Moscow, Russia Cochabamba, Bolivia Paris, France View my profile Create your own travel map.

Maps and pins aside, working outside of your home country can be a daunting idea for some. Especially, if you are not used to working with different cultures. Here’s a list of quick tips which I hope are helpful.

Top 5 Tips Tip 1: People are the same.

People are pretty much the same the world over. Of course, we all have different […]

Sales Funnel vs Buy Funnel – Sales Cycle vs Buy Cycle

As Pre-Sales resources we should have an in-depth understanding of the Sales Cycle and the traditional sales funnel. Although the Sales Manager orchestrates the deal, pre-sales should be aware of his strategy and the steps they are going to progress through to turn leads into closed deals.

I came across this video on YouTube. It is probably more interesting for Sales people, but I found it an interesting approach. The Interviewee hear has written a book called “The Funnel Principle”.

He argues that the traditional Sales Funnel is outdated and an artificially created process developed by Sales people for Sales people and not customers. The Buy Cycle changes the focus back to the customer, where you as a sales organisation are working to understanding the buying process of the customer and matching your activities to fulfil the procurement needs of the customer. The jury is out on this one […]