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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >

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