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4/4/17 2:10 PM

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Confessions of A Sales VP

When I was just starting out as a Sales Rep I thought, “I can’t wait until I become a manager,” the role surely has to be less stressful. All you have to do is chase Reps around and help them close deals, right? Then, when I became a Sales Director I thought, “I can’t wait until I become a VP” which has to carry less stress. I mean, all you have to do is get on forecast calls with Sales Directors, right? And the cycle continued until I became the top Sales Leader in the company. Well, by then I wanted to be the CEO but I’ll save that for a future blog post...

As I ascended the Sales ladder, I found one thing in common: every role has its own set of stress points. Not only that, but prospering at each level requires learning new skills that are prerequisites for being successful as the top Sales Leader (regardless of the title).

In the first blog of our impending series, learn how to effectively deliver sales information that will inspire confidence in your abilities as a Sales Leader from your team and stakeholders alike.

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3/21/17 2:15 PM

Sales Etiquette 101: Don’t Forget to Be Professional

Manners may go a long way, even in today’s fast-paced digital world. Some recent interactions with prospective employees gave me a reason to pause and reflect on my upbringing.

During the last 20 years, I’ve seen my share of sales people come and go. I’ve worked with some very successful ones who have pulled in seven-figure commission checks, and I’ve seen others that should find another profession. One thing I’ve learned, if you say you’re going to do something, do it.

Most importantly, this cardinal rule applies to hiring practices. Regardless of which side of the offer you’re on, do what you say you’re going to do and be polite in the process.

Keep reading for a few pointers you still need to keep in mind, even in today’s candidate-driven market and digital age.

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3/16/17 2:15 PM

Fight Quarter-End Fret with Sales Funnel Analysis

As a sales leader, you may wonder how you can minimize the high drama and roller coaster ride of the last few weeks of a quarter. In other words, how can you introduce predictability into your business? Listen folks, there’s no magic bullet but rest assured that there are ways to minimize the highs and lows of quarter-end. The first place to look is at the metrics of your sales funnel.

Don’t know where to start? Keep reading for a play-by-play of how to minimize quarter-end drama by taking a hard look at your sales funnel metrics.

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3/14/17 3:50 PM

A Beautiful Template for Presenting Sales Ops Metrics

Cold hard facts. Sales ops loves them. But how you present metrics makes all the difference. Crack open a spreadsheet during a meeting and you'll be met with squints. Pop a standard PowerPoint and you'll hear a low-pitch grumble envelop the room. The moral of the story? Pay close attention to how you present your metrics. Your analysis tells a distinct story every week, month and quarter. Make sure it's an engaging one!

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3/9/17 2:00 PM

What's The Lifetime Value of A Sales Rep?

 

I recently had the privilege of attending SiriusDecisions 2017 Sales Leadership Exchange. It was a great opportunity to meet and share experiences with senior Sales and Sales Operations leaders. While there were many great case studies and presentations on increasing the effectiveness of sales teams, one in particular resonated with me. That session, called “The Economics of Sales Talent: Recruiting and Retaining for Faster Growth,” was centered around the concept that every Sales Rep you hire has a lifetime value (LTV) to the company.

 

Keep reading to learn how Rep LTV is calculated as well as other factors you should consider to ensure you are recruiting and retaining your Sales hires for optimal growth.

 

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3/7/17 2:00 PM

The Last Mile: Ensuring Sales Kickoff Success

 

Congratulations on building the right team, getting them energized and delivering a great Sales Kickoff (SKO). I am sure your team was pumped up about your updated go-to-market strategy, product roadmap and marketing initiatives as well as your new sales messaging, tools and processes. They loved the networking opportunities and interactive sessions but may still have thought there were too many PowerPoint presentations.

So, how much did they retain? Is it time for a refresher? Is certification needed to reinforce new messaging or processes? In order to turn preparation into success, it’s important to examine whether your retention and reinforcement strategies are effective enough to yield results.

 

Read on to learn which post-event activities your team should focus on to carry out your objectives and achieve your sales goals.

 

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3/3/17 2:06 PM

Sales Leaders: Ensure A Successful Q1 Before Spring Has Sprung

I remember in school there was that period between President’s Day and Spring Break that seemed so long. You had just come off the holidays in December, then a long weekend, then what seemed like an eternity of full weeks of school. Not to mention, the days were short and the weather was unforgiving. Then magically, the days started getting longer, the air warmed up and Spring Break came along. Then it seemed like a downhill march to summer. I remember experiencing that cadence and see it now in my kids.

Just like school, sales has a natural cadence. There is the flurry of the year-end close — deals getting done at the very last minute, reps making club and accelerators being paid. That’s quickly followed by the excitement of Sales Kickoff (SKO) — bringing everyone together, awards being given, new product introductions and sales training. Then comes along the “long, dark winter” of Q1 — territories changing, pipelines flushed, the scoreboard set back to zero and reps deciding whether they’re ready for another year.

As a Sales leader and Sales Operations professional, it’s what you do in those critical weeks of Q1 that will determine whether the rest of the year is a “productive, downhill march to making the annual target” or a “long, uphill trudge to 80% achievement.”

 

Here are the four opportunities you need to seize post-SKO to ensure the former.

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2/28/17 2:00 PM

Sales Ops Meets Star Trek: 4 Tips for Defeating The No-Win Compensation Plan

When it comes to creating and rolling out compensation plans, being in Sales Ops is like attempting the infamous Kobayashi Maru test — the fictional, no-win cadet training scenario from Star Trek. We can never make everyone happy but we can aim to design a plan that will motivate your team and yield results.

 

Over the years, I’ve delivered thousands of comp plans to my sales teams. While there’s no secret formula to building the perfect sales compensation plan, here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way that will help you mitigate common pain points.

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2/24/17 3:10 PM

3 Stats That Prove Sales Operations is a Revenue Driver

Sales operations is a chaotic role. Those who thrive are jack-of-all-trades who excel (literally, ha ha) at holding the line on process, reporting on past performance and acting as the glue binding the sales team with finance, marketing, customer success, product, etc. Sales ops is rarely viewed as a strategic driver of growth. That's a shame. Few people are as well-placed as sales operations to implement dramatic, quarter-crushing strategies.

 

Here's some proof...

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2/21/17 12:30 PM

Three Ways to Improve Your Sales Planning Process & Stay On Track in 2017

 

Most of us are in the throes of Q1, when it feels like we just finished putting the last fiscal year in the books. The sales kickoff events are over and hopefully, your team is out selling, not finalizing their quota and territories. Now is the time to reflect on the past and prepare for the future with a sales strategy and the enablement tools in place to help you achieve your goals in Q1 and beyond.


Follow these three steps to improve your sales planning process, stay on track and hit your targets in 2017.

 

 

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