"Stop Helping Me Sell More"

By Michael Perla

One of the perspectives I’m fond of is around the dose-response relationship[i]. In other words, what is the minimum dose I need to take (or do) to deliver the response I’m looking to achieve. In exercise, you often see this with high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is where you intersperse short-duration, high-intensity intervals (e.g., 20-40 seconds of hard running) with active rest periods (e.g., jogging in between). With a minimum dose – say a 20-minute session – you can achieve high-levels of fitness and health.

As an analogue in sales, an up-front dose of more researching and planning at the start of a sales cycle  – before conducting sales calls or targeting accounts – can help to accelerate a sales professional’s results later in the sales process. The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) – now part of Gartner – has found that top-performing sellers often spend more time planning and qualifying than average performers.

With this relationship in mind, it helps to create a frame around a dose that could potentially be harmful as well. As with most things, more is not necessarily better. More exercise can equal injuries and repetitive stress disorders, not unlike too many sales methodologies or technologies can create frustration, fatigue, and eventual turnover.

We are finding that a lot of our clients are much more conscious and intentional of what they ‘throw’ at their sales professionals in terms of change. Too many change initiatives can equal lower productivity and dissatisfaction, usually the opposite of what the sales organization is trying to achieve.

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Sales Leader's First 90 Days: Learn and Take Action for Early Wins

By Hope Eyre

Introduction

This is a continuation our multi-part exploration of how sales leaders approach their first 90 days in a new role at either a new company or with a new sales team at their current company. 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 – only about 18 months.

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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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5 Steps to Sales Onboarding Success

By Joni Santos

How can you design an effective onboarding program for sellers that accelerates their time to productivity, while reducing employee turnover? In our recent blog post, the Case for Sales Onboarding, we highlighted the sobering data around seller turnover, departure costs, recruiting costs, lost revenue, and new seller ramp time. We also emphasized the importance of establishing desired outcomes and milestones for a seller onboarding program, defining success according to five C’s: Clarity, Connections, Comprehension, Confidence, and Contribution. 

As each ‘C’ builds upon the last, you can implement them as you would follow steps in a process, recognizing that the journey may not always be clean and linear.  In this post, we expand on how to apply the 5 C's of Sales Onboarding Success.

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4 Ways to Cut Cost of Sales (Without Cutting Heads)

By Tom Martin

Like many business projects, sales effectiveness projects are often focused on the big 3 – Increasing revenue, cutting costs and/or reducing risks. When we talk to sales leaders, the primary stated business objectives of sales transformation projects usually tie back to increasing revenue – capturing new accounts, improving up-sell and cross-sell, increasing renewal rates, increasing revenue per seller productivity.

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Does Your Go-to-Market Strategy Make Sense

By Michael Perla

Over the last few years, one of the most popular content assets on the Symmetrics Group website has been this our Go-to-Market Strategy Primer. It’s a topic that many companies struggle with, and it requires both quantitative justification and qualitative ‘color’ to be actionable.

When it comes to go-to-market related questions, we often hear the following:

  • Should I start up or expand my inside sales team?
  • Does my indirect sales channel actually cost less than my direct team?
  • How do our customers want to interact with us – through which channel, device, etc.?
  • Overall, how can I increase my sales productivity, while also lowering my cost of sales?

These questions and many more point to the challenges of developing a go-to-market strategy.

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How Can I Increase My Sales Productivity

By Michael Perla

There are a lot of platitudes, clichés or sayings today – call them what you will – around getting more from less … or less is more. Something like that … most companies are trying to squeeze out more productivity from what they have. It could be assets, people, or customers.

How can I increase my return on assets? Improve sales productivity? Obtain more share of ‘wallet’ from my existing customers?

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The Holiday Season: A Selling Obstacle or Advantage?

By Kelsey Peusch

Business to consumer (B2C) advertising has begun the holiday bombardment, yet businesses are bracing for the slowdown that tends to come in the last, most critical, moments of Q4. With quotas hanging in the balance, is it right to succumb to the notion that it is “…just a slow time of year” in the B2B world? This post explores several options for closing the gap and preparing for a quick start in 2015.

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What is the Key Lever in Driving Sales Productivity?

By Michael Perla

Back in May of this year, Sirius Decisions, a Sales and Marketing effectiveness research firm did an instant poll at their annual Summit conference around the topic of sales productivity. They found that …

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