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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
@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.