How Inside Sales Reps Should Rate Themeselves After Each Demo or Sales Call

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 >

What Salespeople Can Learn From Steve Jobs

Originally Posted on Hubspot Sales Blog
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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 >

The Metrics Every Sales A-Player Tracks On Their Dashboard

Originally Posted on Hubspot Sales Blog
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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 >

Daily Habits of a Highly Effective Sales Rep

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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 >

How Do You Know You Have a Good Sales Team?

Originally Posted on VentureFizz Sales Blog
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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 >

5 Mistakes Your Sales Reps Are Likely Making

Originally Posted on Hubspot Sales Blog
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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 >

The 10 Chapters Your Sales Playbook Must Have

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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 >

The State of Sales 2.0 Today

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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 >

Top 14 Sales Skills Every Inside Sales Rep Must Master

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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 >

How to Create a Sales Mission Statement

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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 >

How to Hire Sales Reps: 5 Must-Have Traits to Look For

Originally Posted on VentureFizz Sales Blog

When you are hiring new sales reps, what traits are you looking for? I use the 5 below which have worked for me time and time again. And an in-person interview is your best way to test for these top 5 and below I will also share with you how to spot them. So here they are: 1) Conscientiousness This research on sales rep performance published by the American Psychological Association way back in 1993 found that the most predictive indicator of sales rep success is “conscientiousness.” Conscientiousness simply means achievement and dependability. We also can refer to it as “hard work until you get it done,” also known as “GSD” (i.e. Get S**t Done, implying that getting things done Read More >

The BIG Secret to Fixing your Sales Forecasting Accuracy

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I read a lot about how other VPs of Sales and sales executives at SaaS companies have struggled with accuracy in sales forecasting.  And every time I see that I wonder how they run forecasts. Most sales organizations typically lean on one of these three methods: They used traditional sales forecasting stages like “Best Case” or “Upside” or “Strong Upside,” which makes me laugh. I can’t help but wonder how that’s working out for them. This method is purely intuition-based, relying on the subjective gut feelings or judgments of sales reps and sometimes their notorious ‘happy ears’. This doesn’t work well and your accuracy will be very low, not only on the ratio of total dollar amount won vs. forecast Read More >

The 5 Biggest Mistakes All Sales Reps Make

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Even the best sales reps in the business make mistakes – and some of those errors are all too common. Sales reps are prone to common pitfalls when talking to prospects that can slow down a deal, trip up a customer’s understanding of your product, or even kill the deal outright. So how do you prevent yourself 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 Read More >

Sales VP: Here’s How To Grow Sales in the Next 6 Months

Originally Posted on VentureFizz Sales Blog
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The first half of 2014 is almost done. If your sales have not grown in the first half of the year, here is what you can do in the 2nd half. Use the framework of focusing on the 5 key elements of sales management or the 5 P’s – People, Planning, Process, Pipeline and Performance – to help identify ways to grow sales People To grow sales, you need enough quota-carrying reps. Do you have enough reps to work your sales pipeline and hit your quota for the next 6 months? Are these sales reps full-time equivalents (FTE), or are they new and need to be trained? Remember, it usually takes about 4 months for new hires to get fully Read More >

The Biggest Sales Management Mistake all VPs Make

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As a sports fan, you are familiar with the adage, “Practice like you play.” Coaches preach this mantra repeatedly, to instill a mindset of intensity and improvement among their players. Unless a player practices as if they were actually playing in a competitive game – running plays against defenders, competing like it was the championship game – that player’s lethargy, apathy and half-assed habits will carry over to games. The best athletes – LeBron James, Tom Brady, Cristiano Ronaldo –  spend so much of their time not only practicing, but practicing hard. They have heeded the lessons of their coaches. So why are Sales VPs still making thishuge mistake? We’re talking about the lack of emphasis and attention paid topractice. Read More >

10 Books for Your Sales Management Summer Reading List

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There are no teachers to assign you summer reading, but that doesn’t mean you should ever stop learning and reviewing best practices in sales management. There are many insightful books on both sales management and selling methods and you must always stay on top in order to build a repeatable, scalable and predictable sales model. Here are my recommendations for a Sales Summer Reading List you can enjoy on the beach, including some favorites from sales thought-leaders like Aaron Ross and Jason Jordan. These are great books to read yourself, or to give to your team of sales reps – no book reports required. 1. The Challenger Sale  – by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson Based on an in-depth study of Read More >

How Our Reps Do Their Quarterly Sales Review

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Each of our inside sales reps at InsightSquared is a “mini-CEO,” as my friend Aaron Rosscalls them. This is because they analyze all their own business by themselves. They fully own not only their quota number, but all of their sales performance analysis as well. I’ve noticed many sales reps in the SaaS space don’t have any sort of real-time context of what’s going on with their performance metrics because they don’t do their own sales analysis – that information is usually owned by their sales managers. This is a mistake in my opinion because a sales rep is always more empowered to succeed when they truly understand their data in detail. Radical transparency of performance metrics also leads to Read More >

How InsightSquared Grew 20x in One Year

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Following last week’s press release, in which InsightSquared announced 20x growth in the past year, we received a lot of questions from customers and partners about how we did it. In this post, I’ll share some of the crucial steps we took to achieve such rapid growth. First, we started with lead generation When it comes to smart growth, it all starts with lead generation – and data-driven marketing is your best bet for producing high-quality leads. Our marketing team grew from 1 person to 10 people in the past year (and we’re still hiring). In addition to team growth, we used our own product to evaluate which marketing campaigns lead to actual pipeline growth and to sales, not merely Read More >

Q2 Sales Contests That Will Boost Your Sales

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Sales reps deal with more indifference, rejection, and bad attitude throughout their workday than most. Sales contests are used as fun ways to lift their spirits, remind them of their larger goals, and keep them motivated – while simultaneously driving results in specific areas. We at InsightSquared believe in building a culture that rewards teamwork, competitiveness, and fun. We operate like a sports team. That’s why we run competitive programs all the time – quarterly ones, monthly ones, weekly ones, and a few additional, random ones along the way. Remember to run a tight ship when you run sales contests. Set a strict start/end date and time, center each contest on a clear and specific goal, talk about the running Read More >

Warning: Don’t Use the “SDR-to-Closer Ratio” to Build Your Sales Team

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I get asked all the time how many Sales Development Reps (SDRs) you need for each closing rep. “What is the ideal “Outbound SDR to Closing Rep Ratio?” “How many SDRs should you have for each Closer?” In fact, I get this question from other Sales VPs so often that I decided to write an article on it. My answer to these questions is always the same: how many Sales Development Reps (SDRs) you need per Closing Rep is a subjective, arbitrary number. Don’t think of it as a function of headcount – instead, focus instead on how many opportunities each of your SDRs is able to produce produce in total per month (or per quarter) when you’re building or scaling your Read More >

The 5 Key Sales Metrics Sales VPs Must Use to Analyze Performance and Results

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Sales is a metrics-driven contact sport. Here I’ll talk about 5 sales metrics that you should use to evaluate your sales team’s performance and results. When you track your 5 metrics historically, you’ll be able to analyze trending in your results categorized by these key areas with more clarity. Armed with these 5 metrics, you’ll be able to focus on the best sales opportunities in the pipeline and set up your sales team for success. 1. Open Opportunities in Total and per Rep (by # count, not by $ volume) This means: the number of open opportunities each rep is working at any given time. Figure out how many opportunities are created and thus are available for your sales reps Read More >

Don’t BANT. Just CHAMP! Sales Qualification Questions for Champions

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Most sales professionals are familiar with the qualifying acronym and methodology called BANT – Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing. But there are a few fundamental flaws with BANT. For example, the implication with BANT is that “B” or Budget comes first. However, Need, also known as pain, problem or challenges that the company is facing, is really the first and most important area that sales reps must qualify first before talking about Budgets, Timelines or anything else. On one hand, it’s easy to claim that one can just reorder and call it NATB, since Need comes first, speaking to the right decision-maker is second, then Timing then Budget. But that would not resonate well with your sales team who should Read More >

Rob Merklinger – Tactical Insights from a Sales VP

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Building and managing a sales team is Rob Merklinger‘s specialty. In fact, over the past 12 years, Rob has put together a diverse resume, encompassing sales management in a variety of different roles at various software companies. Starting out at Oracle, Rob rose from the ranks of a regional sales manager there to become the Director of Sales at Gomez and, for the past 3 years, has served as the VP of Sales at Intronis. Needless to say, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to sales processes and sales tactics. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Rob and picked his brain on how he manages his sales teams, how he deals with missing quotas and Read More >

How to Hire Sales Reps: 5 Must-Have Traits to Look For

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When you are hiring new sales reps, what traits are you looking for? I use the 5 below which have worked for me time and time again. And an in-person interview is your best way to test for these top 5 and below I will also share with you how to spot them. So here they are: 1) Conscientiousness This research on sales rep performance published by the American Psychological Association way back in 1993 found that the most predictive indicator of sales rep success is “conscientiousness.” Conscientiousness simply means achievement and dependability. We also can refer to it as “hard work until you get it done,” also known as “GSD” (i.e. Get S**t Done, implying that getting things done comes Read More >

Unlocking the True Definition of Sales

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I was recently a featured speaker on the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals webinar, and one of the attendees followed up with me and asked me how I would define selling in today’s day and age. To me, the answer has not changed from thousands of years ago. Yet I realized how many folks may not have the same answer as I do. When I wondered how other people would define sales, I asked them first and got variegated answers which ultimately led me to want to write this article. So here is the definition – and it’s really simple. Sales is simply this – it’s helping your prospects. Too simple?  OK, let me be slightly more specific. It’s Read More >

To Succeed, you Must Fail, and Fail More

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Failure is often looked down upon as unfortunate and unwanted. The emotions associated with failure are typically disappointment, shame or anger. But if people viewed failure as a step to success and a learning opportunity then they would end up being much more successful in the end.  Thomas Watson Sr., the original Chairman and CEO of IBM, once said  “The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate.”  I sincerely believe that. In sales management and in marketing you must experiment a lot and this means that you will fail often and fail a lot before you can succeed.  In fact, in work and in life, failure is an absolutely essential ingredient for success. Fail Fast Thomas Edison famously Read More >

Timeless Lessons in Sales and Sales Management from Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs was the brainchild of some of the world’s most popular consumer electronics today – you’re probably reading this on your iPhone or iPad – and father of one of the world’s biggest brands in Apple. However, there is one aspect of Jobs’ legacy that is often overlooked – the amazing sales lessons, sales management best practices and secrets to business success that he left behind. I’ve always been inspired by Jobs, his work and his philosophies. I believe that many of his ideas can be translated across business, and especially sales. Here are 9 lessons imparted by Jobs – from either his own quotes, stories that his peers told about him or his biography – that have resonated Read More >

Free Lead Generation App for Salesforce – Inspired by Mike Volpe

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We’ve always been inspired by the work of Mike Volpe, the Chief Marketing Officer at HubSpot who is one of the top authorities among marketing executives in high-tech industries. As the 5th employee to start at HubSpot, Mike helped the company grow into one of the biggest names in marketing software and built one of the best lead generation programs in the world based on metrics. Mike has always been a thought leader in marketing and last year he wrote a blog post about a graph that marketers should review daily which he calls the Lead Waterfall.  Mike noted that “using a daily leads waterfall graph is a great way to ensure that you hit your leads goals and never Read More >

Jason Jordan – Cracking Sales Management

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Sales management is a difficult endeavor to master, with many nuances amid a constantly-changing environment. Enter Jason Jordan, an author, recognized thought leader and a partner of Vantage Point Performance, a leading sales management training and development firm. Jason wrote “Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance,” a book that has been recognized as a groundbreaking piece of research and provides best practices approach to identify and implement the critical activities and sales metrics that truly drive business results. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jason on a variety of sales management subjects, including obstacles holding sales managers back, how managers can improve poor performances and help their teams ‘hit their numbers’ Read More >

[Infographic] 14 Magic Metrics of Successful Sales Teams

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For a sales manager looking for his first deep dive into sales analytics, it can be daunting trying to determine which sales performance metrics to focus on. Well, sales managers can consider their problems solved, with the release of our new infographic – produced in collaboration with InsideSales.com – displaying the 14 Magic Sales Metrics that the most successful sales managers and sales teams track. These sales analytics have been broken down into three distinct categories – sales activity metrics, sales pipeline management metrics and sales results metrics. With regular monitoring of the metrics in each of these three categories – and the subsequent analysis and coaching to follow-up – sales managers will be setting up their sales teams for Read More >

12 Best Sales Management Books EVER Written

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As you browse the shelves at your local Barnes and Noble (or the digital shelves of your Kindle), it can be hard to decide which sales management books you should pick up for your summer beach vacation. Each of them, with their shiny jackets and similar-sounding names, looks just like its neighbor. Fortunately, we have done the hard work for you and selected our official list of the 12 Best Sales Management Books EVER Written! Whether you were a sales rep who was recently promoted to a managerial role last week, or a grizzled old veteran looking to sharpen the managerial tools in his arsenal, we have just the book for you in this list below (with links in each Read More >

Sales VP: Here’s How To Grow Sales in the Next 6 Months

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The first half of 2013 is done. If your sales have not grown in the first half of the year, here is what you can do in the 2nd half. Use the framework of focusing on the 5 key elements of sales management or the 5 P’s – People, Planning, Process, Pipeline and Performance – to help identify ways to grow sales People To grow sales, you need enough quota-carrying reps. Do you have enough reps to work your sales pipeline and hit your quota for the next 6 months? Are these sales reps full-time equivalents (FTE), or are they new and need to be trained? Remember, it usually takes about 4 months for new hires to get fully productive. Do you Read More >

Interview with CEO of Sandler Sales Training

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Dave Mattson is the CEO sales trianing company Sandler Systems, Inc. which is a leader in international sales training and sales consulting. Dave first met David H. Sandler, the founder of Sandler Training, in 1986. He fell in love with the training material and methodologies right away and began working for Mr. Sandler in 1988. In his various training sessions and seminars since then, Dave noticed that when he says to the class, “Here’s a Sandler Rule,” students and participants listen with rapt attention. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dave on a variety of inside sales topics, including what sets the Sandler System apart, the evolution of sales management and key inside sales trends for 2013. How would Read More >

What is Sales Performance Management?

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There are several key trends in sales and sales management but one particular trend is especially exciting and transformational – the trend towards Sales Performance Management (SPM). SPM is an innovative discipline of sales management that is focused on driving more optimal sales performance with next-generation tools and metrics-driven best practices. Here are the 5 essential elements of SPM, which overlay the 5 elements of sales management: SPM Strategy: methodology, communication, execution, process SPM Optimization: continuous improvement of sales effectiveness and efficiency SPM Organization: hiring, training, culture, structure and compensation SPM Metrics: measurement of performance improvements SPM Technology: next-generation Sales 2.0 tools that enable higher sales productivity SPM applies more focused and advanced strategies, a more productive organizational structure, next-generation Read More >

Aaron Ross – Predictable Revenue Drives Growth

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Aaron Ross is the author of the award-winning bestseller Predictable Revenue: Turn your Business into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com.He is also the CEO and Founder of Predictable Revenue, which teaches companies how to grow sales faster and more predictably. Previously, Ross helped create a revolutionary Cold Calling 2.0 inside sales process and team at Salesforce.com that helped the company increase its revenues by $100 million. He has been featured in Time and Businessweek and is also the author of CEOFlow: Turn Your Employees into Mini-CEOs and Sons Love Drawing Mutant Robot Battles with Dads. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Aaron on a variety of topics, including what he learned during his time at Read More >

WARNING: Know Your 10 Sales Forecasts Killers

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There are many challenges to forecasting accurately, but you can be more effective at accurate sales forecasting methods if you manage your “sales forecast killers” carefully. Consider these 10 key forecast killers and if they creep up into your opportunities then flag those opportunities as “at risk”. Timing Time kills all deals. Look at the opportunity age vs. your average sales cycle (i.e. win cycle). Also if the opportunity is sitting in first two stages longer your historical won cycles for those stages, then they are “stuck opportunities” and should be flagged as at risk. Average Deal Size ($) Review the expected opportunity size vs. your average won deal size. If your opportunity is 3x greater than your average, it Read More >

What is Sales Coaching?

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We recently attended a webinar hosted by Salesforce.com called “Sales Coaching Master Class with Tony Robbins,” featuring Tony Robbins and Walter Rogers. We were truly inspired and thought this would be a great time to write a post about what Sales Coaching really means.  As discussed in a recent blog post, the best managers – and especially sales managers – are, first and foremost, masters at coaching. They provide guidance and encouragement to help employees facilitate the discovery of the right path while achieving stellar results. However, there is some confusion about the definition of sales coaching, especially due to some definitions of coaching in sports, which may not perfectly translate to coaching as a sales manager.  So, let me Read More >

5 Key Reasons To Use Sales Forecasts

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Sales managers depend greatly on the information provided by accurate  sales forecasting to guide their business decisions. In order to maximize sales and revenue while delegating resources and sales reps more efficiently, sales managers need to be able to predict the future performance of their organization as closely as possible. Here are five key reasons why data-driven sales forecasts are so critical for companies. 1) They are necessary for managing business effectively The best sales managers look at a wealth of information to drive all their business decisions, from deciding how many reps to hire for the sales team to delegating pipeline opportunities to each of these reps. For example, an accurate data-driven sales forecast that suggests a 35% increase in Read More >

Sales Leadership vs. Sales Management

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Leadership seems like a simple concept but it frequently perplexes us. Many of us confuse leadership with management – they are different.  Additionally, it is misleading that leadership is sometimes thought of as the rank or seniority of someone’s role in an organization. This is incorrect. To make things more confusing, many see leaders as those who possess charisma, make powerful speeches and have personal attributes such as charm. Perhaps my favorite definition of leadership comes from Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because HE wants to do it.”  Another great definition comes from Peter Drucker, the dean of modern management, who stated: “Effective leadership is not about making Read More >

What is Sales Management?

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In recent years, Sales Management has changed more rapidly as a practice and profession than ever before.  A lot of this has to do with the rapid disruption in the sales industry and a transition to the Inside Sales model which is much more measurable and transaction driven. I thought now would be a good time to redefine what sales management is and the new roles of sales managers. Things changed for many reasons, some due to the information asymmetry from the days before the Internet, which has transmuted into information parity that is now the prevalent de facto standard, not to mention the fact that the buying cycle is 70% finished (according to Corporate Executive Board) before a buyer Read More >

Why LESS is More When Sales Wants Leads

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Your sales team thinks that it needs more leads. So, you ask marketing to generate more and more that you think will help grow your sales pipeline and ultimately your bookings (and revenue). But does it really matter whether you get 1,000 leads or 100 leads if the output of both sets of leads is the same – let’s say both sets generate 2 customers or $20,000 in bookings this year (assume a $10,000 deal size for your $ACV, the annual contract value). In fact, in this case, it makes more economical sense for your reps to work on fewer leads, because there are high Customer Acquisition Costs associated with qualifying too many leads and running too many sales cycles Read More >

Steve Richard – The Secret Sauce of Prospecting

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Steve Richard is the Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of Vorsight, an award-winning sales effectiveness firm that specializes in training B2B sales teams.  Vorsight is currently ranked #1689 on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5000 fastest growing companies in the United States. Steve was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in Inside Sales in 2010 by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP). The AA-ISP also recently named Vorsight as the Service Provider of the Year for Sales Training for the fourth year in a row. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Steve on a variety of inside sales topics including what makes Vorsight different, how Steve defines analytical sales management and where the inside Read More >

Gary Vaynerchuk – The Future of Selling

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Gary Vaynerchuk is a social media expert, wine aficionado and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.  Since the release of   his first book – on wine – in 2008, Gary has published two more books (‘Crush It!: Why NOW is the Time to Cash in     on Your Passion’ and ‘The Thank You Economy’) with a third, ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in     a  Noisy World,’ due to be released later this fall. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Gary on a wide variety   of subjects, including how the sales landscape has changed, the importance of social media and his advice for sales     Read More >

Why Successful Sales Managers Separate Sales Forecasting and Pipeline Review Meetings

As a successful sales manager you must differentiate between your sales pipeline review meeting and sales forecasting meeting. These meetings are different and serve two different purposes. Though they are both meant as a way for sales managers to monitor sales, key leading indicators, and strategy, and to coach reps– they each have a distinct focus and objective. The Pipeline Review takes place in the beginning and middle of each month and is focused on the Top of the Sales Funnel and success in the future sales period, while the Sales Forecasting Meeting reviews Middle of the Sales Funnel opportunities in the current selling period. Here’s how to differentiate: Bi-Monthly Pipeline Review Meeting When: Every two weeks—once in the first few Read More >

Sales Management Interview with Ken Thoreson

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We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ken Thoreson who is a globally recognized Sales Management thought leader and strategist. He is also an author of multiple books and a frequent speaker at major technology industry conferences and sales conferences.  Recently Ken  was once again named as one of the Top 50 Sales Influencers by Top Sales World. Ken is also the author of How  to Manage Sales for Predictable Revenue – The 40 Critical Sales Management Activities that Drive Results.  Q: How do you define Sales Management and what is the top objective of a sales manager? I stress 2 topics about sales management and all organizations require both. The first is that sales leadership is  strategic and is Read More >

Sales Experts Series: Interview with Jill Konrath

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Recently we had the pleasure of speaking with Jill Konrath who is an internationally recognized B2B sales and sales management thought leader. Jill is the author of two bestselling books: SNAP Selling – which soared to #1 on Amazon within hours of its release – and Selling to Big Companies, a Fortune magazine “must read” sales book. She’s also a frequent speaker/trainer at sales meetings. Q: Congratulations on your success. How did you become an expert in your field? I am passionate about what I do.  I’ve worked with thousands of inside and outside salespeople over the years.  I love solving sales challenges. And, I’m willing to experiment to find out what works. About 10 years ago, I started focusing on Read More >

Top 5 Tips For a Successful 2013 Sales Kickoff

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It’s time for your annual Sales Kickoff meeting. You budgeted for it, selected the location, chose the annual theme, scheduled the fancy group dinner, maybe even hired a speaker too. Your objective was to achieve sales pipeline alignment, educate your team, and motivate them to drive results in 2013.  But the sales kickoff is an expensive event, especially when your sales team is tied up and not selling. Now you are wondering if it will be a success.  So here are 5 tips to make sure that the 2013 sales kickoff is the most productive yet and has the highest ROI: 1. Prepare To Run The Sales Kickoff By The Numbers Most companies will have planned a good agenda but Read More >

Featured Sales Thought Leadership: Sales Metric of the Year

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As part of our effort to feature thought leadership from various online sources, we are looking to showcase other blogs and introduce our readers to best ideas in the sales industry. If you’d like to be featured, email us at info@insightsquared.com. This week’s feature blog post is from Sales Benchmark Index by Greg Alexander titled Sales Metric of the Year for 2012 which he posted a couple of weeks ago. In general, we are fans of the Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) which is a professional services firm focused on sales force effectiveness. We enjoy reading their blog and like Greg Alexander who is the CEO there. He is also the author of 3 books: The CEO’s Guide to Getting More Out Read More >

How Successful Sales Managers Use Data to Get Ready for 2013

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Successful sales managers started preparing for Q1’2013 back in December. They invested the time to look at key sales reports and sales metrics. They looked at their 2012 revenue performance with respect to original goals to glean lessons for 2013. They also examined the territories and their teams to see if they have enough resources to hit 2013 revenue targets. In addition, they looked at ways to improve sales training. Finally they were putting finishing touches on the 2013 sales plan. And for every plan, they prepped for their 2013 Sales Kickoff meeting. To go through this planning process they did some specific sales analyses to get ready for 2013: 1.     Where in our sales process do we lose opportunities Read More >

4 Sales Reports for Successful Sales Managers

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Highly successful sales managers lead their teams to close more deals.  Among the key traits of successful sales managers is the desire to manage their business by the numbers, and as a result they make better decisions. Therefore, they regularly view sales reports for clear visibility into the key metrics that will help them close more. Here are 4 reports that great sales managers get from their analysts to win big each quarter: Bookings Trend How are sales doing thus far this month and this quarter? Successful sales managers need to know this to identify where they stand vs. goals and whether they are falling behind. If so, they can move quickly to fix it. Success in sales management is a Read More >

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