Last week I was asked for advice from a CEO running a small sales team at his startup – he asked if the most successful sales professionals track their own effectiveness and I shared with him what I give to sales reps as a tool to self-rate their calls or demos. Here are the types of questions successful sales reps should ask themselves after each call (of course, this is based on your context/situation and you can pick just the 10 most important to you or use the entire list below to briefly rate yourself on a scale of Bad-Average- Good to keep it simple). Did I establish the rapport and had a friendly dialogue? Did we have a connection, Read More >
A few weeks ago Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, gave an interview about the late Steve Jobs as someone quite different than the media represented him. Cook called Jobs “kind, patient, and human” in a Fast Company article titled “The Steve Jobs You Didn’t Know.” Reading this piece made me recall the time I spent a few years ago studying Steve Jobs’ marketing and sales insights. Jobs was one of the greatest business visionaries of all time, and I discovered some interesting lessons that every salesperson can learn from. Here are just a few lessons inspired by the late and great Apple founder which can help improve your sales skills. 1) Make your demo a remarkable experience. Many reps just Read More >
Every A-player sales rep knows that to be at the top of their game, they must combine the art of sales with some science. Reps need to have a handle on leading indicators so they can build their own personal scalable, repeatable, and predictable sales processes that help them consistently hit and even exceed quota. This is why it’s important all reps have access to a weekly (as well as a monthly and quarterly) dashboard that tracks their personal performance metrics. But what should be on this dashboard? How many metrics are too many, too few, or just right? A complete dashboard should include three main categories of metrics/KPIs that each rep tracks and analyzes: Sales activity metrics Pipeline metrics Read More >
What does a successful quota-carrying sales rep do every day? It’s no shock to learn that the best reps in the business are incredibly focused, organized, and clearly plan out each day with a set goal in mind. Here I wanted to share what I believe to be some highly-effective activities of my team’s best Inside Sales Reps. Keep in mind that every day is different and this is just a generalized example, but these are the types of sales activities you’d want to see your sales reps do throughout their week. There will always be breaks in between meetings and this isn’t a representative of each day, day-in and day-out. A number of these examples are based on my personal Read More >
If someone asks you whether you have a good sales team or not, what objective criteria or sales metrics could you use to say that you do? Most people look exclusively at results, rather than inputs, and answer based on whether their sales team hits their number. But here’s the rub: hitting your number does not necessarily mean you have a good sales team. Alternatively, if your sales team misses their number (even if they do this consistently), that does not automatically mean they are bad. This might surprise a lot of folks. While judging your team based on objective and measurable results (hitting the number) may be a legitimate approach (and correct in many cases), it is not always the right way to Read More >
Everyone makes mistakes, even the best sales reps in the business. Unfortunately, some of the most common pitfalls that reps trip up on when talking to prospects can slow down a deal, confuse a customer’s understanding of your product, or even kill the deal outright. So how do you prevent your reps from falling victim to these sales blunders? The best way to avoid these missteps is to be aware of the problems and take direct steps to improve your sales reps’ techniques.Here are the most frequent mistakes sales reps make that can be the deciding factor between closing a deal, and losing it. 1. Talking Too Much Many sales reps underestimate the importance of listening on a sales call. Read More >
Do you have an effective sales playbook? A playbook acts as a reference manual for onboarding new sales reps and covers key areas for ongoing sales training. But a sales playbook also has a more important function – it codifies a sales process that is conducive to scalable, repeatable and predictable sales. Because of this, best-in-class companies are almost twice as likely to to have a sales playbook. Each time a new sales rep joins your team, you can hand them a copy of your playbook and know they will learn your team’s most effective selling methods. A playbook isn’t a substitution for training, but it significantly speeds up the onboarding process and helps your team grow with ease. If your Read More >
Sales has changed. That’s no secret; the advent of technology and the evolution of the educated customer has forced sales organizations, sales managers and sales reps to change the way they used to do their jobs. According to The Corporate Executive Board (CEB), 57% of the purchase decision is completed before there is any interaction between the customer and the seller. In that kind of environment, there is no room for the door-to-door, field sales rep. But that does not mean sales reps have become obsolete. Far from it, in fact.InsideSales.com reports that since 2009, inside sales jobs – sales done remotely or virtually – have grown at a 7.5% rate annually, compared to just .5% for outside sales. By Read More >
What skills help make a quota-carrying inside sales rep successful? There is a complex set of skills that every ISR must possess in order to sell effectively and, as a sales manager, it is your responsibility to train and coach your reps extensively to enable them to succeed. Make sure your team is armed with the knowledge and expertise they need to sell, and you’ll see the results. Here are the essential skills I believe every Inside Sales Rep (ISR) needs in order to connect with prospects and win deals efficiently and effectively. 1. Product Knowledge A sales rep who doesn’t perfectly understand the product they’re selling is a completely ineffective rep. Product training should be one of the very Read More >
If your company doesn’t have a clear and strategic Mission Statement, you have an identity crisis on your hands. Without these statements, your business doesn’t have a clear direction or core values to help guide it into the future. It may seem like some marketing exercise, but in reality organizations with clear Mission and Vision statements that align with a strategic plan outperform those without, according to a study by Bain and Company. These core statements can help define not only the future of your company, but also the future of your sales team – including who you hire, how fast you grow sales, and more. Without defining your mission (and vision too), you’re missing out on important opportunities to Read More >
@epaley I have a quick thought/idea relating to your analysis on capital efficient startup growth. Will try to find you email and ping you.
RT @JonErlichman:Twitter First Quarter Revenue: 2017 $548 million 2016 $595 million 2015 $436 million 2014 $250 million 2013 $114 million 2012 $54 million
RT @jasonlk:If there was any doubt VC vs. Founder: Doing an 8x fund is probably 100x harder than one 8x exit But Being founder 100x harder than VC
@epaley Wish I've seen this data when it was published a few months ago. I talk about capital efficient growth all the time.