Last week I had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion with John True, Managing Partner at Cultivation Capital and Adam Weber, Co-founder of Emplify, an employee engagement company, around strategies executives need to take now to position their companies for a bounce back.
Here are the key takeaways from that discussion.
I worked for a CFO once who would regularly say, “That sounds like a broken process.” I got tired of hearing that, not because he was wrong, but because he was right.
I often get calls from Founders or Sales Leaders asking if I will come in and evaluate their sales reps. because they aren’t sure they’ve got the right players on the team. I gently say to them that I’d be happy to interview each rep., and provide feedback, but only after I’ve had a chance to evaluate their sales process. Most of the time I find the people aren’t broken, their sales process is. Without a formal sales process and KPI around it reps. will flounder and sales leaders will be frustrated and clean pipelines will be a fantasy.
The dictionary definition of productivity is:
The KKJ definition:
So what’s the big deal? Why should sales leaders care about and measure the productivity of their sales reps? Because it matters. What I love about sales is it is the blending of art and math. I tell sales reps. I don’t care if they work harder or smarter- just hit quota! Productivity is the grease that makes the sales wheels move. Each prospecting call, email, discovery call, demo, and negotiation will all add up to success if done consistently and effectively.
I was doing a pipeline audit for a client a few years ago when I ran across a sales stage called “Stalled”. What is this, I asked? “Oh- That’s where we put all the deals that we think will close someday but are currently stalled out. We don’t want to lose track of them.” WTF????
So as crazy as this sounds, they aren’t the only company I’ve run across with a similar thought process. So let’s set the record straight. Stalled is not a stage in the sales cycle!
So, sometimes I refer to myself as “The Badass Sales Leader”. I do this to set the right tone for hard conversations I need to have with Founders and Sales Leaders about behaviors I have no tolerance for, like Sales Reps. who take their base salary for granted. Let me be clear. I’m all for paying SDRs, AEs, and CSMs a base salary along with commission and bonus. What I’m not ok with is NOT getting ROI on that investment.
T-minus 45ish days and counting. This year is coming to a close and even though you’re working hard to squeeze all the revenue you can out of 2019, it’s time to begin thinking about next year.
There are 2 ways I like to help my clients prepare for the next year:
We spend most of our life trying to add more to it. More money, more friends, more activities, more fun, and more time off. What if life, work, and sales weren’t a quantity game, but a quality game? What if you could enrich your life and work by saying “No” more often? We are over-scheduled, stressed out, and under the delusion that more is better. Saying “No” or “I wish I could” isn’t easy, but it’s better than saying yes and being resentful. #ownyourownshit
“Choose Discomfort over Resentment”
– Brene Brown
There are two areas that I introduce the addition by subtraction philosophy to my clients: People and Pipeline.
I regularly speak with founders that are looking to get out of the sales leadership role but can’t justify hiring someone who’s sole responsibility is to manage a group of SDRs (Sales Development Reps) or AEs (Account Executive). Instead, they’ve decided to add a quota carrying rep who will also play the role of sales leader. I cringe each time I hear this. Here’s why...
Diversity and Inclusion is the HOT topic in tech right now. It’s no secret, tech is too white and too male. I believe the uncomfortable conversation will have to continue to come from women, minorities, and anyone who doesn’t currently have a seat at the table, just like the #metoo movement.
I’m on a quest to help companies create an accountability culture. I believe a lack of accountability is affecting many company's ability to grow revenue, keep customers, and retain high performing employees. My quest to understand why creating a culture of accountability is so difficult led me to a place I didn’t expect - the realization that accountability is very closely tied to vulnerability.
I went to Atlanta last week for SalesLoft’s Rainmaker Conference. It was a great three days of networking, learning, and inspiration. I wanted to share with you my favorite sessions from my time there.
As 2018 began to fade and 2019 was on the horizon, I realized that I was in need of a new "Word of the Year". I've never been a New Years Resolutioner, rather I enjoy using a word to help me stay focused. 2018's word was "Authentic". It had served me well, although I knew not everyone in my life had been a fan. As I thought about the challenges I had faced with my clients in 2018, I quickly realized that DISCIPLINE was going to be 2019's word.
I had the privilege of moderating a panel of SaaS sales experts last night at the 1st SalesMentour STL event. So much great conversation around old school and new school sales and marketing techniques by John True, Kathy Gereau, Tom Hanrahan, and Mark Kosoglow.
Would you get in the car to drive to a place you've never been without directions, GPS, or Waze? Of course not. So why do so many companies think they can get to the "next level" without metrics, goals, or KPI's?
I'm seeing Sales teams without revenue goals, Marketing teams without monthly lead, MQL, or SQL targets, and Customer Success teams without renewal or up-sell goals. It's baffling. How do your employees know when they leave work each day if they have had a successful or unsuccessful day? How does the company know if they are on track to reach their revenue target for the year?
You’ve spent the last couple of weeks narrowing the field from 100+ resumes to one final candidate. Now, it’s time to close the deal. You’ve come this far so we don’t want you fumbling the ball on the 2-yard line. Here are the steps I take to ensure I seal the deal.
After doing the Behavioral-based interview, you should have a good idea what makes your candidate tick. Now is when I like to run them through some sort of assessment to see if they have the same competencies as other successful sales reps. who are doing the job today.
The candidate has made it through the resume review and the phone screen, now it's time to meet them in person or virtually and learn more.
In Part 1 I reviewed how I attract and select candidates to move onto the next step, the phone screen.
Now it’s time to meet the candidate.
The first step, when I go in search of a sales candidate for a client, is to help my client put together a hiring profile of the ideal candidate.