Some consider sales an art, a symphony if you will, in which technology and networking harmonize to generate leads. If that rings true, Rick McCutcheon — founder of PartnerTalks and Full Contact Selling (and Spark Centre Advisor) — could be considered a maestro. With 25 years of experience in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and social selling, McCutcheon has become an expert in utilizing both for entrepreneurial success.
Social selling is developing relationships on social networks as an integral part of the sales process. For business-to-business selling, for example, LinkedIn is a prime channel for early-stage companies to build their network of industry professionals, and this is one area where McCutcheon’s specialty lies.
“Early-stage companies should build a network of industry professionals not only to generate leads but also for guidance and growth.” McCutcheon says, “Linkedin is a great platform to leverage for building your network and is crucial for success. My own network includes Microsoft CRM end-users, reseller partners, ISV partners and Microsoft sales employees. Knowing as many people in these groups simply makes success easier.”
At the same time, CRM serves as a tool for tracking customers, prospects and opportunities for the long term. “No matter how busy you are, you must always be selling and seeking new opportunities to grow your business. CRM is a tool that can help find those opportunities,” he adds.
So what led McCucheon to become an expert in digital sales? His story begins with an introduction to contact management software (the original CRM application). Fascinated by the efficiency and effectiveness of contact management software, McCutcheon made the decision to try his hand at selling it. He became the Canadian representative for Act!, a leading CRM and Marketing Automation platform, enabling him to establish his own company, Archer Enterprise Systems, to implement and train the systems. After selling Archer, McCutcheon turned his sights to founding Full Contact Selling, a company that for the last 20 years has assisted businesses with restructuring their sales process and integrating it into their CRM systems.
Rick McCucheon’s work with social selling, CRM and advising early-stage companies hasn’t gone unnoticed. In addition to being awarded the prestigious designation of CSP with Distinction (Certified Sales Professional), he is also a six-time recipient of the coveted Microsoft Dynamics MVP award and has travelled worldwide to share his leadership for the Digital Transformation of B2B Sales with thousands of technology professionals. When the pandemic hit, and his conference appearances were cancelled, McCutcheon looked for an alternative outlet to continue his leadership in the Microsoft partner ecosystem: that outlet was PartnerTalks.
PartnerTalks is a weekly multimedia thought leadership program hosted on LinkedIn that highlights the people, organizations and events impacting the Microsoft Business Applications system. Designed for active members of the Microsoft Community, PartnerTalks has garnered more than 30,000 followers on LinkedIn and recently wrapped up its 150th episode, which featured McCutcheon’s conversation with Molly Fuchsel from DUG User Group Communities about the upcoming DyanamicsCon events.
With connections being a strong note in digital sales, it’s no wonder that a LinkedIn connection with Sherry Colbourne, President and CEO of Spark Centre, would flow into an additional role: Advisor.
After connecting with Colbourne, McCutcheon knew that guiding early-stage companies through digital sales was a natural extension of what he had already accomplished, and he became a Digital Sales Advisor at Spark Centre, an innovation centre in Oshawa, Ontario.
Since that first connection with Spark Centre, McCutcheon has proudly worked with many successful clients, like First30, a SaaS platform that creates an effective onboarding process for new employees, and NotaryPro, the first company in Canada to offer remote online notarization services — both of whom have demonstrated incredible potential in their respective industries. “The most rewarding thing about being an advisor is taking an entrepreneur’s idea from the whiteboard and turning it into a working company that becomes economically stable,” he says.
With all of his lived entrepreneurial success and sought-after expertise in social selling and CRM, Rick McCutcheon has been hitting all the right notes, but as a true entrepreneur, there’s no doubt that it’s only a matter of time before he expands his repertoire further.