What In the World are “UFOs” in Sales?

UFOs in Sales are "Unlikely & Failing Opportunities"
One of the top productivity killers for sales reps is over-focusing and over-investing in low-probability Opportunities (Opps) which clog up your sales pipeline and distract reps from focusing on the high-probability Opportunities. We refer to a bad Sales Opportunity (i.e. Opp) in a slightly comical and symbolic way as a  Read More >

The 3 Critical Gaps Between Planned Outcomes vs. Actual Results

There are always gaps between Strategy and its Execution, between business expectations and the actual results.  You can invest a lot of time into a solid Corporate Strategy or your Sales Strategy that you think will deliver exceptional results but some times the result will be off from what you intended to achieve.  Read More >

Building Teams: 5 Traits of Effective Sales Professionals

When you are hiring new sales reps, what traits are you looking for?  I typically try to look for the 5 traits below (these are the primary and the most important ones but there are others too) which have worked for me and will typically be useful for identifying effective sales  Read More >

The CHAMP Selling System’s Definition of Sales

A few years ago I was a speaker at the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals event, 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.  Read More >

12 Best Sales Management Books EVER Written

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  Read More >

10 Books for Your Sales Management Summer Reading List

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,  Read More >

Jason Jordan – Cracking the Sales Management Code

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  Read More >

Why I Share My Thoughts & Insights on This Blog

Simply put, I write about ideas, lessons, insights and issues that I find interesting and useful as someone who has run Sales or all Revenue in software/tech.  And I also write them with a goal of helping others in similar roles. I basically really have a primary goal to just  Read More >

Two Experts on Sales Management vs. Sales Leadership

A few years ago I interviewed Jason Jordan (author of the best-selling sales management book “Cracking the Sales Management Code“) and Ken Thoreson (of Acumen Sales Management Group, Ltd – author of “40 Critical Sales Management Activities that Drive Results“). Here I gleaned their thought son sales management and asked  Read More >

The CHAMP System

The CHAMP System includes these key areas: CHAMP Selling Methodology CHAMP Sales Process CHAMP Sales Leadership & Sales Coaching CHAMP Sales Metrics & KPIs CHAMP Elevator Pitch & Unique Value Proposition System CHAMP Negotiations

Daily Habits of a Highly Effective Sales Rep

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  Read More >

The 10 Chapters Your Sales Playbook Must Have

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  Read More >

The State of Sales 2.0 Today

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  Read More >

Top 14 Sales Skills Every Sales Rep Must Master

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  Read More >

The BIG Secret to Fixing your Sales Forecasting Accuracy

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  Read More >

The 5 Biggest Mistakes All Sales Reps Make

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  Read More >

The Biggest Sales Management Mistake all VPs Make

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  Read More >

How Our Reps Do Their Quarterly Sales Review

Each of our inside sales reps at InsightSquared is a “mini-CEO,” as my friend Aaron Ross calls 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  Read More >

How InsightSquared Grew 20x in One Year

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  Read More >

Q2 Sales Contests That Will Boost Your Sales

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  Read More >

Don’t BANT, Just CHAMP – Sales 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  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  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.,  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 InsideSales.com – displaying  Read More >

Interview with CEO of Sandler Sales Training

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  Read More >

What is Sales Performance Management?

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  Read More >

Aaron Ross – Predictable Revenue Drives Growth

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  Read More >

The Right Sales KPIs For Your Sales Reps

Measuring sales key performance indicators (KPIs) for your sales reps is critical for sales performance management and building a predictable, repeatable revenue generation process. Studying the “right” sales performance metrics lets sales managers determine which reps are struggling and in which areas they need coaching help with. Unfortunately, a lot of  Read More >

WARNING: Know Your 10 Sales Forecasts Killers

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  Read More >

What is Sales Coaching?

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  Read More >

5 Key Reasons To Use Sales Forecasts

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  Read More >