CSO, CRO, VP of Sales: Which Leader Fits Your Company? Which Fits You?

By Masami Middleton

As sales consultants, we encounter sales leaders with a variety of fancy acronyms in their titles. In addition to the SVPs/EVPs of Sales, the sales leader landscape also includes CROs, CSOs, and CGOs. While these titles imply a distinction in roles, to most people, it’s just alphabet soup. 

What’s the difference between a Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) or Chief Growth Officer (CGO)? From the CEO or board member perspective, which role does your business need? For a sales leader, which role is the best fit with your capabilities?

The easiest way to distinguish between these roles is to compare their scope of responsibility, core objectives, and what defines success. Appointing a “big hitter” to a CSO, CRO or CGO role, rather than a VP of Sales, indicates the need for a greater span of oversight from a strategic, revenue generation, and customer lifecycle perspective.

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Using Buyer Personas to Drive Sales and Marketing Alignment

By Masami Middleton

How common is this scenario between Sales and Marketing at companies you’ve worked for?

Sales depends on Marketing to nail down the target customer and deliver leads.
Yet when the leads come in, the vast majority are not qualified.
As a result, the Sales team gripes about needing more help from Marketing.
After all, they’ve got a big budget – what are they spending it on?

Regardless of how marketing allocates budget and resources, I would bet the most common issue behind the conflict and misalignment is a lack of well-defined buyer personas.

Buyer personas create a common language between Sales and Marketing to talk about the real people who represent your ideal customer. The quicker you can relate to these target customers and address their pains and goals (at the top the funnel), the better you can meet their needs in every marketing or sales interaction down the funnel.

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6 Strategies for Sales and Marketing Alignment

By Masami Middleton

Like oil and water, Sales and Marketing teams don’t always “mix” the way they’re supposed to, and at worst, will view each other with suspicion or blame. This is a sad and ironic truth, given that everything these two teams do should support a singular goal of growing revenue. 

The benefits of sales and marketing alignment are compelling.  Together, these teams have the potential to reduce the sales cycle, meet the needs of high value customers across their buyer’s journey, and directly link ROI to marketing initiatives.

Underscoring the importance of a blended marketing and sales skill set, Forrester Research says the most successful sales people will become hybrid marketers1. By 2020, the need for B2B salespeople will change to demand a more “consultative seller”.

How can Sales and Marketing work more effectively together? 

Based on our experience addressing these opportunities for clients, and our first-hand experience with marketing and sales collaboration at Symmetrics Group, here are 6 strategies for achieving sales and marketing alignment.

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Top Performer DNA: Interview with Ed Calnan of Seismic Software

By Masami Middleton

As part of our Top Performers in Sales series, we recently had the privilege of interviewing Ed Calnan, Founder and President of sales enablement solution provider Seismic.  Ed offers perspectives on high performance sales from two angles -- as a leader of a high growth SaaS company, and as an enabler of sales productivity and collaboration for Seismic customers.

When asked what differentiates the best people in sales, Ed cites three key traits: 1) The ability to understand and navigate organizations, 2) Proficiency in addressing business problems, and 3) Discipline to learn from wins and losses. Ed and his Seismic team are uniquely skilled at these pursuits as innovators in customer engagement, sales process, and Account Based Marketing.

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The Five Disciplines Top Sales Performers Master

By Symmetrics Group

We asked the best of the best of our sales superstar network to tell us what drives their off-the-charts performance.

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10 Sales Facts You Cannot Ignore This Year

By Symmetrics Group

The world of sales is changing. Here are 10 sales facts you need to know to stay ahead of the game.

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Can We All Get Along?

By Per Torgersen

Do these comments sound familiar from your organization?  These are real quotes derived from interviews with sales people and other functions in various companies.

  1. “All they do is sit in meetings all day”
  2. “They never answer my calls and I never hear back”
  3. “He/she must have a 4 handicap in golf by now”
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Value building gets talked about a great deal...How about value in something really commoditized?

By David Szen

Here is me.  Just moved to Atlanta and all of the relationships I had to get simple things done have changed.  Why?  Because I moved and I am not flying back to Florida to get my teeth cleaned.  Sorry for that little moment.  One of the things we all do is use a drycleaner.  Unless of course, you have chosen “wrinkle-free” living or like to iron.  I admit, there are some occasions I actually like to iron but most months I use the drycleaner a couple of times.  Think about this one.

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Are You Better Off Than You Were 4 Years Ago?

By Warren Shiver

I read a post from Jason Averbook, CEO of Knowledge Infusion, and was inspired to apply his thinking to the state of B2B sales, especially with the first of three Presidential debates televised this evening. Given that the presidential election is almost upon us, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit the title of this post, and  famous political question, from a perspective of the major drivers of sales effectiveness.

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Did you bring any knowledge or insight to the sales call?

By Warren Shiver

The SEC’s Challenger Sales research has generated a lot of discussion and in conversations w/ some colleagues and ex-colleagues in the sales effectiveness space the past couple of weeks, we have discussed how to build this type of skill across his team in a sustainable way, not just run another training event.

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