Rachel Cavallo

If there’s anyone who understands how sales people tick, it’s Rachel Cavallo. Rachel specializes in strategies that drive sales forces to adopt real change… the kind of change that produces results. She has managed many sales force transformations, helping sales leaders realign organizations and define new selling models, as well as designed and delivered sales training, coaching, and change management programs. At Symmetrics Group, Rachel is loved for her creativity and big picture thinking – she has a knack for crystallizing complex concepts into a single picture with high impact messages.

Recent Posts

Show... Then Tell (with Win Themes)

By Rachel Cavallo

The value proposition. It’s at the core of everything we sell, right? Value propositions come in many varieties, but essentially they are the statements that say, “You need what we have to offer, and we are uniquely positioned to sell it to you.” We’ve seen the statistics that tell us how important clear value propositions are to buyers… But is the value proposition statement alone enough?

Show Versus Tell

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a writing workshop for parents of young writers. During this workshop, an author spoke about the importance of “showing” your audience what a character is thinking or feeling versus “telling” them outright. Apparently, many kids (and probably adults, too) tend to write things like “I was very scared” versus something more descriptive to engage the reader like…  “My knees were shaking, and I could barely breathe.” It got me thinking about how it is much more powerful to feel and experience a value proposition than to just read it or hear it in a presentation. 

Crafting Sales Messages

When we work with our clients on crafting sales messages for their customers, we start by encouraging clients to take their messaging beyond the singular value proposition statement. Generally, the value proposition is a statement that is very “we” focused – why our product is the best and why the customer should select us… 

To go beyond this level of thinking, we get our clients to think about the motivations of the individual decision makers and each criteria (rational or emotional) that might drive them to make a decision. Next, we ask our clients to think about their competitors and what value propositions they are offering the customer. Once we more closely examine these factors, we revisit the value proposition to ask, “it is enough?”

Generally, we need more. We need messages that will de-emphasize competitive strengths, counter competitive tactics, appeal to the motivations of the people who will be making the decision, and demonstrate that our offering is worth what we are asking for it. We brainstorm a list of these messages, and then we select the top 3-5 that will have the most significant impact. We call these win themes – they are more than just “we” messages – they are broad themes that set us apart across the entirety of our sales landscape. These win themes form the basis for how we execute our sales strategy.

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Making eLearning Work for the Busy Sales Professional

By Rachel Cavallo

So you need to train your sales force, but you want to minimize their time out of the field. eLearning is the perfect answer, right? In today’s world of cost and performance pressure, eLearning can easily become the silver bullet to “check the box” on sales training. After all, IBM saved $200 million, a 2/3 savings, by adopting a virtual training program for its employees (Source: IRRODL). But beware… you can easily make a significant investment that won’t move the needle as much as you think.

The other day I was sitting near a friend who had to complete “mandatory eLearning” on a new trend his company was trying to position with clients. As someone who is generally on the other end of these courses (the designing and building of them), I was fascinated by his running commentary. I listened to a few of the videos and heard some of his frustrations along the way, and it crystallized my perspective that there are some right and wrong ways to do eLearning.

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When the Specialist Has to Sell

By Rachel Cavallo

You know that guy… You really can’t deliver what you sell without him. He’s the expert. He keeps the lights on. When your clients buy from you, they are really buying him… and sometimes you need to introduce him before you can close the deal. Unfortunately, he spends his time worrying about that thing that makes him so special, so he’s not really focused on what it takes to sell a deal…. nor does he typically think about how he says what he says – he just gets the job done.

In a few days, however, you are taking him out of his comfort zone, on a plane, and through the lobby doors of the client who could represent your biggest sale of the year. If this meeting is going to be successful, how you and your specialist prep over the next few days is crucial.

How can you ensure you leverage the expertise of specialists while aligning them with your sales objectives and plan?

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Do You Run a Sales Team or a Group of People Who All Report to You?

By Rachel Cavallo

Whenever I am at a sales conference, I notice one prevailing theme.  Salespeople love to interact with each other and share ideas.  During breakout sessions, when we give salespeople an activity that involves sharing their experiences and asking for feedback from their peers, we observe so much engagement and enthusiasm… and often a reluctance to turn back to the instruction at the end of the activity.  To build on that, most surveys that we receive post sales meetings show that the sellers want more opportunities to share with and learn from their peers.

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When It Comes to Customer Face-time, Are You Your Team’s Own Worst Enemy?

By Rachel Cavallo

It seems that I work with basically two types of clients: those who know they want their teams to spend more time with customers and those whose reps want to find more time to spend with customers. Of course, in the era of cost efficiency and growing demands on everyone’s time, where is there possibly any additional time to plan for and more successfully execute calls with customers?

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Becoming Quotable: Win Themes

By Rachel Cavallo

Today, I read an article whose headline suggested it would tell me why some movie lines are more quotable than others. I thought I could learn something useful that might apply to my world. I could uncover the formula that would transform sales presentations from dull and boring to memorable and quotable… the possibilities! Unfortunately, the author’s conclusion was that no one really knows why some lines are more quotable than others. Wow – that was anticlimactic. So, I started Googling…

Topics: sales process
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Lessons in Leadership from a Local Legend

By Rachel Cavallo

Last month Tennessee lost the winningest high school football coach in state history. For 5 decades, he built programs at 4 different high schools in the Memphis area, and his passing rocked the community – I should know… I grew up there, I cheered on the sidelines for his teams, and like most of us in the South, I lived for those winning Friday Night Lights.

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Hunters and Farmers – Putting Food On the Table Couldn’t Look More Different

By Rachel Cavallo

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to work with two very distinct types of salesforces. One group is focused solely on pulling more business out of their accounts, and the other group is focused solely on going after new accounts. While working with these groups simultaneously, the distinction between the “hunter” and the “farmer” has become very real, and it’s given me pause to consider the unique qualities required to develop net new accounts and cultivate existing ones.

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Want your customers to listen? Tell stories and show pictures.

By Rachel Cavallo

Aesop’s Fables are believed to date as far back as 5th or 6th century BC.  The oldest fairy tales were believed to have been told and retold for generations before they were ever written down.  Meanwhile, my clients struggle daily with trying to get their customers to remember their sales pitch 10 minutes after they pull out of the parking lot.

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Are You Ready? SEAL Ready?

By Rachel Cavallo

 Last week I finished No Easy Day, the controversial book written by one of the Navy SEALs involved in the bin Laden raid. It was a quick read, and for a few days I was engrossed in the life of a Navy SEAL… reading voraciously about how SEALs become SEALs, how they train, and how they prepare for missions.

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