Hope Eyre

Hope Eyre is a sales effectiveness expert who takes a roll-up-the-sleeves approach to building winning sales organizations. She regularly works side by side with sales teams around account segmentation and planning and has helped numerous complex organizations rethink they way they serve their largest accounts. Hope’s specialties include sales transformation, sales capability development, leadership development/coaching and performance management. If “sticky” could be a word to describe a consultant, it would be a perfect descriptor for Hope, as clients like to keep her around.

Recent Posts

The Chronicles of Account Planning: The Lion, the Whip, and the Chair

By Hope Eyre

The Good Old Days

In the 90s, when I was selling instead of consulting, I did a lot of account planning. You know, that thing where you and your account team get in a room, usually in Q1, and talk about the sales opportunities you’ll pursue at specific customers during the next fiscal year.

I learned my craft at SAP, and to be sure, our process was disciplined – with the exception of one episode involving dry erase markers that smell like their colors (one finds amusement where one can at a German company).

Our account plans were things of beauty, right down to the color-coded Harvey balls we used to visually denote the health of our selling relationships with decision makers.

The first iteration (building a new plan from scratch) took an agonizingly long time, as much as a full week of running down information for a complex customer:

  • What’s the customer’s corporate strategy?
  • Have there been leadership changes?
  • Did they acquire or divest?
  • What are the trends in their industry or changes to their market dynamics?
  • Who listened to the last analyst call; what did they say?

When we were done, we’d wrap our plan in pretty paper, tie it with a bow, and deliver it to our Sales VP in a formal presentation that solemnly conveyed the highly disciplined client strategy we intended to execute as a result of the entire process.

Then we went back to our day jobs.

It was an annual ritual as old as selling itself. We would check the box on planning, then thank our relative deities that no one would be uttering the “P” word for another 12 months. Time to get back to work; someone might buy something today.

Why didn't we ever make the connection between planning, client strategy development, execution, and winning?

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A Sales Leader's First 90 Days: Preparing for Day One

By Hope Eyre

A few weeks ago, we published a blog for sales leaders embarking on new roles that launched our multi-part exploration of how leaders approach their first 90 days and what we can learn from their experiences. The topic was born from a startling statistic: The average tenure of a Sales VP working in the same role at the same company is incredibly brief – about 18 months.

This is the first of four articles that, together, will tackle what we believe are the top 90-day challenges facing sales leaders taking on a new role:

  1. Cutting down on the initial chaos
  2. Learning your new organization deeply within 30 days
  3. Obtaining early wins to establish momentum
  4. Assessing organizational alignment with Sales and setting longer-term strategy

Seasoned professionals may glance at this list and think, “thanks for pointing out the obvious.”

But here’s the thing.

Sales is a messy business full of messy human beings, each with his own capabilities, expectations, personal goals, learning style, and political agenda.

Understanding them, harnessing their unique power, and avoiding mishaps is no mean feat – regardless of how much experience you have or the size of the operation you assume.

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The First 90 Days for a Sales Leader: A Guide to Success

By Hope Eyre

If you’re a Sales VP and you’ve been in the same role for more than 2 years – Congratulations, you’re above average (like a child from Lake Wobegon). You’ve already exceeded the average Sales VP shelf life of 18 months. Statistically, it’s just a matter of time before you change jobs.

Maybe you’re a veteran to the role, but you’ve taken on a far larger sales organization than you’ve ever led before. Maybe you’re a brand new Sales VP and are still shaping your leadership skills.

Maybe your company just reorganized, and you find yourself heading up an entirely different sales organization than the one you had previously – or even more daunting, you’ve been charged with building one out of whole cloth.

And maybe you’re hovering around that 18-month mark, and circumstances are making you wonder whether you should start looking.

So many of our long-term clients include sales leaders who’ve moved from one company to another (often more than once) that we decided to build a guide for achieving quick wins, avoiding pitfalls and setting a clear, long-term sales strategy within The First 90 Days.

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How to Say No to Your Customer

By Hope Eyre

If you would like to become an instant YouTube sensation, make a video on the most effective way for sellers to say no to customers, while maintaining or even enhancing their customer relationships.

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Sales Relic at Work

By Hope Eyre

Cloud Reshaping GE, SAP: “For an idea of what’s in store for IT workers at industrial conglomerate General Electric Co., you can look no further than German software vendor SAP AG, which Wednesday told the Journal’s Friedrich Geiger that “job cuts” would impact people developing and selling traditional packaged software.” The Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2014

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Millennials in the C-Suite

By Hope Eyre

There are an estimated 82 million Millennials and some are just a few short years away from entering into executive management. What makes them different?  What are they looking for in a buying process?  

Prepare yourself to start selling to them now.

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The Changing Nature of B2B Sales

By Hope Eyre

I’ve been reading a lot about the changing nature of B2B sales: journal articles, blogs, research reports, white papers, opinion from training companies and consulting firms, you name it. Exactly how the world of B2B sales is changing, what’s causing it and how sellers must adapt (or die, presumably) is subject to very broad interpretation.

Topics: inside sales
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To See Sales Trends in Action, Fly to LaGuardia

By Hope Eyre

“By 2020, 80% of business-to-business transactions will be automated. As a result … in the coming years we can expect the number of sales jobs to shrink from 15.5 million to just four or five million.”  -- Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and CEO of Selling Power. 

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Keeping the Bloodthirsty, Man-Eating Tiger at Bay

By Hope Eyre

Let’s say your company posted a dating profile on Match.com to attract sales managers. Do you sometimes have the feeling that this is how it would read?

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Selling in Our Culture of Fact Subjectivity

By Hope Eyre

I was sitting in a bar drinking martinis with my friend, Amy, on a recent Saturday night.

We were talking politics, and I mentioned the premise of my last blog post – that the confluence of affordable personal technology with a cacophony of media outlets has allowed our culture to create something new: personalized facts.

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