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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 – 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 >

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