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Sales White Paper: Sales Leadership Whatever The Weather

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This White Paper discusses Sales Leadership. It introduces perspectives, ideas, measurements and tools to help Sales Leaders succeed in both buoyant and challenging trading conditions. The chief …

This White Paper discusses Sales Leadership. It introduces perspectives, ideas, measurements and tools to help Sales Leaders succeed in both buoyant and challenging trading conditions. The chief take-away from this paper is that there are key things sales leaders should be focused on regardless of the economic environment.

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  • 1. Sales Leadership Whatever theWeather WHITE PAPER
  • 2. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 1 Sales LeadershipWhatever theWeather INTRODUCTION ThisWhite Paper discusses Sales Leadership. It introduces perspectives, ideas, measurements and tools to help Sales Leaders succeed in both buoyant and challenging trading conditions. The chief take- away from this paper is that there are key things sales leaders should be focused on regardless of the economic environment. So what is Sales Leadership? Raymond LaForge of the University of Louisville, Kentucky, provides a good generic definition. He defines sales leadership as ‘activities performed by those in a sales organization to influence others to achieve common goals for the collective good of the sales organization and company.’ Traditionally, sales leadership activities are typically performed by top-level sales executives and, to some extent, by field sales managers. However, nowadays we can broaden the sales leadership domain to include self-leadership activities performed by salespeople. Many companies have seen the positive results of initiatives aimed at expanding leadership capacity by developing the leadership capabilities of as many employees as possible. This is often called empowering or enabling. In thisWhite Paper sales leadership refers in a general sense to management, including junior, middle and senior level managers and executives, and the tools and ideas in this paper can be used by all levels in the sales hierarchy. As with any of our webinars, there will be a big variance in the seniority and experience of the readership. Some of you will perhaps be in your first line-management role, having perhaps graduated from a sales rep position and inheriting a different set of objectives and challenges. Others may be more seasoned sales leaders, at Director, Managing Partner orVP level, tuning in to make sure you’re in step with the latest thinking and technologies. ThisWhite Paper aims to provide something for the complete range of requirements, since the ideas and recommendations have applicability right up the leadership hierarchy. However, if you want to dig deeper, or move wider, we urge you to get in touch with us individually. You can do this via email to: info@thetasgroup.com. The agenda for thisWhite Paper will cover 4 main topics. First, we will talk about what makes sales leadership difficult, discuss what happens when our trading environment experiences a downturn, or ‘correction’as the economists like to call it. Second, we explore what is important to selling organizations, and introduce a simple test for analyzing your sales success and helping you focus on the essentials. We’ll run through some real world numbers to bring this to life. From this it will be clear which of these essentials is the most essential. Third, we’re going to dig a little deeper into the sales pipeline, sharing with you some metrics that give you more of an insight into what’s really happening to your sales efforts. Fourth and lastly, we’re going to touch on some of the technology out there that will enable you to lead and coach your sales professionals more cost- effectively and productively.
  • 3. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 2 Sales leaders are much more under the microscope, with an increased focus on measurement, performance and effectiveness, and these metrics are now visible across the entire organization as well as up into the executive echelons. Sales leaders have to get the objectives right, develop the right performance metrics and make sure their teams understand the importance of them. There’s a new metric for productivity, and we’ll cover this a little later. Although many sales organizations invest a great deal of time and money to provide extensive training for salespeople, we see not as much attention given to sales manager training. Perhaps the assumption is that managers don’t need it, they’ve been sales reps before in some cases and management is, well, just management. But the fact is that these days sales leaders need so many more strings to their bow. The coaching and mentoring aspects of the role mean they need to know how to support the process and methods their sales teams use. They need to be like a small business owner, running their own business and constantly balancing short term targets with longer term direction. They need to be more proactive, try new things, take more risks, and generally provide an example to the business that this is what you need to do to deal with change, as change is a constant presence and customers and competition don’t sit still either. Sales leaders also need to be sensitive to emotions and strains in a team of high octane, high stress individuals. They need a range of listening, communicating and coaching leadership styles depending upon the situation and the individual, who could be the sales professional, the customer, the partner and so on. WHAT MAKES SALES LEADERSHIP DIFFICULT So what makes sales leadership difficult? In the 21st Century business seems to move faster and faster and technology has a lot to do with this. Bundled product offerings, more informed customers, shorter product life cycles, and more tailoring to customers has brought even greater challenges to selling and sales leadership. Sales leaders need to cut through this complexity, and provide a structure and communicate a vision that is properly aligned to customers’ needs and wants and can accommodate the ever-changing nature of the company’s business. They also need to develop their teams so that this vision and behavior is second nature to them as well. The need to get in sync with the buying process of a more informed buyer means relationships with customers are more involved, sometimes more collaborative and less rigid. This is in essence the consultative approach and one of the cornerstones of account management, working with customers to find those happy intersections where projects of a high value to the selling organization and also to the customer to address their business drivers. So while informed buyers require a new way of selling, many organizations already have this in the form of good account management practices. The gulfs between marketing and sales within the organizations can be very destructive, so sales and marketing leaders need to master integration of efforts, and coordinate cross functional teams and efforts. Selling strategically incorporates the best of 1:1 marketing after all. Leaders must instill a teamwork orientation throughout the sales organization and they have to get their salespeople and marketing teams to change their approach from‘me’to‘us’. This can be a delicate balance for the sales and marketing leadership.
  • 4. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 3 Organizations that were focused on growth, top line numbers, investment and the long term, switch their focus to cost reduction, risk reduction, the bottom line and the short term. Despite our rally cries that this is just the time when you should be investing, customers will look to reduce what they see as non-essential expenditure, such as marketing for example. Some readers of course may have a unique business value in cost reduction rather than growth, in which case you are positioned nicely. In fact one ofTheTAS Group customers develops and sells software which enables large enterprises to see exactly what is on their sprawling infrastructure and reduce costs by decommissioning those servers which are not adding anything except expenditure. The US credit crunch has provided our customer with what we inTarget Account Selling terminology call a compelling event for their finance customers to act quickly to reduce costs. Of course, we’re not all focused on helping that area of the customer’s Income Statement, and the recent events have caused many organizations to question whether they need to adjust their messaging, but it really does depend on the specific customers your organization enjoys, and what the circumstances are with their customers. WHENTHEWEATHER GETS STORMY A sales leader’s role is an incredibly diverse and challenging one. And it can be particularly rewarding when the ship is moving well, growth is good and salespeople are hitting their numbers and smiling a lot. However, as we’ve noticed at least twice this century, the world is moving faster than ever, and economic good times are shorter and downturns are coming more frequently as well. Are we in a downturn right now? If you’re reading thisWhite Paper and you do acknowledge that business is challenging at the moment, let’s explore what can happen when things become turbulent. Of course, as it is with everything to do with the selling organization, it helps to look through the eyes of your customers, and in fact you should really look through the eyes of their customers. When your customers’customers are not successful, then this might have a knock-on effect on your customers, and in turn your organization. Disappointing trading figures can precipitate a host of rearguard, sometimes knee-jerk reactions. Budgets can get cut, projects get delayed, decisions become more involved, sometimes employees are moved or moved on and a whole raft of investments, some of them earmarked for your organization, look doubtful all of a sudden. What looked like a sure-fire deal for this quarter slips a quarter, or may fall out altogether. In what seems like the blink of an eye, your pipeline no longer looks robust, your forecast looks shaky, and as a sales leader your instinct is to bring your salespeople close to you to figure out what is still solid and what you can do to fix what isn’t. This may also cause your organization to continue the domino effect by contemplating just the kinds of things your customers are doing.
  • 5. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 4 That’s why we invented the SalesVelocity Equation, as a measure of how effective your sales are. Focusing on just 4 elements is all you need to remember. In the SalesVelocity Equation, SalesVelocity equals number of deals multiplied by average value multiplied by percentage close divided by length of sales cycle. Number of Deals represents the number of qualified sales opportunities being pursued, $Value represents the average value of each sale, and of course any currency works, %Close represents the ratio of deals won to qualified opportunities, and Length of Sales Cycle is the length of time resources are being applied to a sales opportunity before that opportunity is won. The level of revenue that is generated by any organization in any sales period is proportional to the number of deals or qualified sales opportunities that are being worked; the value of each sales opportunity; the percentage of those deals that are closed; and inversely to the length of the sales cycle. For a growth oriented company, the sales leadership might, with appropriate sales performance disciplines, be successful in increasing each of the #Deals, $Value and %Close by 10%, and decreasing the Length of Sales Cycle by 10%. This results in an increase in revenue of 48% without any increase in headcount – which is almost equivalent to adding half the number of salespeople at no cost. THE SALESVELOCITY EQUATION Let’s take a step back for a moment.What are the most important things for sales organizations?TheTAS Index ran from 2007 to 2009 and surveyed around 2000 companies to help them benchmark their own sales effectiveness. In November 2011 we launched the Dealmaker Index, which extends the scope ofTheTAS Index, and you can take the Dealmaker Index for free at www.dealmakerindex.com. These were the top 5 initiatives as reported by those that have taken the survey: number 1: Revenue Growth with 92%, number 2: Customer Retention with 87%, 3rd equal: Profit Growth and Sales Effectiveness with 84%, and 5th: Increased Revenue per Customer with 70%. Four of these are what we call‘lagging’indicators, business results that come in some time after you’ve put in the effort for a certain time period. They’re in the past, you can’t influence them. They are items 1, 2, 3 and 5. Sales effectiveness, however, while it’s 3rd equal it is still viewed as‘mandatory’, or‘very important’by 84% of all respondents, and this what we call a‘leading’indicator. Crucially, it’s sales effectiveness that drives the success in the other initiatives. So if you get the sales effectiveness right, the others follow, and that of course is whatTheTAS Group has been focused on for the last 20 years. Sales effectiveness can be boiled down into 4 important things for sales leaders to keep their eye on at all times. A company’s sales effectiveness, or sales performance, is all about its sales velocity. How quickly or effectively can we put sales through the organization? What is our speed of throughput? This is a function of revenue generated for a fixed or variable cost. Our main argument here is that regardless of your economic circumstances, or how well you’re doing, or what your main objectives are, sales effectiveness and your sales velocity are changeable through the application of good or bad practices. An organization might be in growth mode, enjoying a successful position in a new or expanding market. Alternatively, that organization might be in cost reduction or risk reduction mode, in a declining market or in challenging economic times. #Deals x $Value x %Close Length of Sales Cycle Sales Velocity #Deals x $Value x %Close Length of Sales Cycle Sales Velocity 10% 10% 10% 10% +48%
  • 6. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 5 The organization that was doing $1m per month on the basis of 40 deals, 200K deal size, 25% close rate and 2 months sales cycle is now working on 30 deals, but through being more effective in its sales approach, has upped its deal value to $220K and close rate to 27.5% and reduced its sales cycle to 1.8 months, resulting in a new velocity of $1.008m per month, the same revenue, not the same costs. We hope you can see from this example that it pays to watch, and work on, the 4 key variables in the good times and bad Let’s bring this to life with an example below using some real numbers. Let’s say we’re an organization that in a given time period, a quarter, or a year for example, is working on 40 deals, with an average size of 200K and is closing 25% of the deals in that same period. The average sales cycle length is 2 months, making the sales velocity for the period $1m dollars per month, so $12m per year. If the organization ups its sales performance where all the levers improve by 10%, we now have 44 deals, average deal size of 220K, the close rate goes up from 25% to 27.5%, and the length of sales cycle comes down to 1.8 months from 2 months. This calculates to $1.478m per month, or $17.75m per year, the 48% I referred to just now. So while a 48% improvement might seem a difficult mountain to tackle, moving any of these levers by just 10% is manageable, and a realistic goal. Like compound interest through a financial institution, the effects can be quite spectacular. So that’s the growth scenario, what about a scenario in more challenging economic times? When a company is focused on cost reduction, the sales performance disciplines could result in maintaining the same revenue while reducing costs. Let’s imagine adverse trading conditions where marketing expenditure is curtailed with the result that leads are reduced, or worse still, where the sales force needs to be rationalized. If the number of deals is downgraded to 75% as a consequence of headcount or marketing expenditure reduction, you have the ability to maintain your sales velocity by paying attention to increasing deal value and close rate while decreasing the length of sales cycle by 10%. So revenue can be maintained and cost of sales can be reduced by at least 25%. Sales staff or marketing expenditure reduction, therefore, doesn’t necessarily mean reduced achievements. 40 x $200k x 25% 2 months = $1 mil. per month 44 x $220k x 27.5% 1.8 months = $1.48 mil. per month 40 x $200k x 25% 2 months = $1 mil. per month 30 x $220k x 27.5% 1.8 months = $1 mil. per month
  • 7. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 6 But if you only cover the first half mile at 30mph, half the average velocity you need for the whole journey, how fast do you need to go to get to the finishing line at an average of 60mph? Think about it for a moment. The usual answers are 90mph, or perhaps 120mph, to get back on track. The sad reality is that it should take you 1 minute to cover the whole mile at your target 60 mph, but you have just taken 1 minute to go half a mile at 30mph. You have no time left, you’re done. You’d have to move at faster than the speed of light to complete your goal, an impossibility in a car or in sales. So if you have a 2-month sales cycle and a couple of days left of that 2 months, and let’s say it coincides with the end of your quarter, but you’re barely half way to getting the deal, you’re in trouble. So what do you do? Well you do the equivalent of time travel to do the second half mile in zero seconds, you do crazy things. You ask for the sale well before the customer is ready to buy, before you’ve fully explored their requirements or proved your solution, or you discount heavily, and devalue your offering, just to get the deal in the door. It’s all about time and it’s all about velocity. But as you can see, it’s also all about measurement. You need to be able to measure the right things. You also need to measure them accurately, and be confident that the data is correct and that the data is sufficient to give you the right picture of your organization’s sales performance. Otherwise you can’t be sure that the assumptions and inferences you’re making are the right ones. So now let’s talk about measurement and take a look at the pipeline, the trusty and well used snapshot of where your sales are at. TIME ISTHE KILLER RESOURCE Readers probably noticed that in the SalesVelocity Equation there are 3 factors above the line and only one factor below it. You can suffer in one of the top factors and still do well. But if you suffer in the bottom factor, average sales cycle length, you make it very difficult for yourself. This is of course why sales leaders get nervous during more difficult times, because decisions get postponed, projects get put back, deals slip. Unless, of course, you are properly qualified in the right deals, you have proven your unique business value, you understand the compelling event for your customer, you have communicated the value to them, they agree with you on all these fronts, and you are correctly navigating their political map. When you really get down to it, it’s not usually money, time is the killer resource in business, and this is why length of sales cycle is perhaps the most important lever to adjust to your advantage. Closing the good deals as soon as possible, as well as qualifying out of the bad deals early, is crucial to the equation. It’s no use doing really well with the factors above the line if you let your sales cycle slip. You undo all of your good work and damage your performance, your sales throughput. We want to illustrate the important of time, or more accurately, the time value of money, with an analogy. We’re indebted to BarryTrailer of CSO Insights for this. Imagine you’re driving across a bridge. The bridge is one mile long and you have set an objective to move at an average speed of 60 miles per hour (‘mph’), this is your target sales velocity. If you prefer kilometers and kilometers per hour, it works just as well.
  • 8. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 7 But what do you know about that $1.6m number? Are there more deals in here? Have the existing deals increased in value? Maybe some of the deals that were in the Negotiate stage of the pipeline have moved backwards. Perhaps there is one new very large deal that entered the pipeline during the month and got to this stage very quickly. And what does ‘very quickly’mean?You could ask these questions for every other stage. Also, what’s the normal velocity of deals in this organization’s pipeline? How many deals are stuck in a given stage? So this traditional pipeline view may tell us quite a bit, but there are really too many questions to make this pipeline analysis valuable to the business as is. It leaves many more things unknown, and these things that we know we don’t know, if you follow, are the really important things. Instead, a pipeline view could pay attention to the health of each individual deal. How long have they been where they are? Any opportunities that have not moved for more than a certain time period, maybe 45 or 60 days, could be analyzed as being‘Critical’and deals that are static for perhaps 30 days, could be labeled as‘Stalled’. So while theTarget stage in the pipeline is fairly robust in absolute value terms, if you knew that $10m of the $19.7m (at the end of the period) is critical and therefore probably never going to amount to anything unless action is taken quickly, you could begin to get a better sense of the value of its pipeline.While this is a better view, it still doesn’t tell us the full picture. With supporting technology, you can look at what really happened to the pipeline during the period – right down to the individual deal level, and here is where your metrics can give you the confidence that you’re looking at the true sales performance of your organization. PIPELINEVELOCITY METRICS First of all, let’s take a look at one of 2 important things about a pipeline, and that’s its shape. You can see below 2 funnel shapes. The same number of leads are at the top of the funnel, the same number of deals come out of the bottom. Which is the better pipeline? The one on the left seems to have more coverage, and if you answered the left side, you would be wrong. When it comes to this idea of coverage,‘3X’,‘4X’and so on is not relevant. It doesn’t help you. The left funnel shape means you’re spending more time on the opportunities you’re going to lose, and you’re not deploying your more expensive resources on the later stages of the funnel where you really need them. It goes back to velocity, the second important thing about a pipeline, the speed you’re moving deals through the funnel. You can have all the coverage in the world, but it’s no use to you if it’s not moving, or if you don’t know if it’s moving, or in fact how it’s moving. To further speak to this, consider this representative pipeline below.This may be similar to the view you are using today to‘manage the pipeline’. This organization has 6 stages to its sales process:Target, Qualify, Needs, Proof, Negotiate and Close. You can see that the total pipeline value has gone up from $33.5m to $40.3m in the period and that the value in the Proof stage, for example, has increased by $1.6m. START END Target 22,901,437 19,788,524 Quality 4,401,770 9,579,837 Needs 3,985,050 6,681,734 Proof 758,732 2,394,224 Negotiate 1,045,320 1,163,461 Close 430,016 644,355 33,522,325 40,252,135
  • 9. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 8 With this analysis, for each of the pipeline stages, you can more accurately predict what’s going to happen in the future based on the current state of the pipeline, down to an individual sales person level.Traditionally we might have been focused on having‘4X’in the top stage of the funnel. Now with deeper understanding of the movement through the funnel, time can be focused on the sales process to maximize velocity through the funnel. In the past that wasn’t measurable, and until you can measure something it’s really hard to improve. Looking at static pipeline numbers is not very illuminating. Understanding movement from stage to stage, for each salesperson and for each deal, you can begin to uncover real insight that can help you to develop valuable foresight. And that’s good whether you’re in growth or cost reduction mode. If you can see the average time in each stage an individual salesperson spends, plotted against the average for the selling organization at the top, this can really help you coach your salesperson to optimum sales performance. Your best salespeople will be spending the right amount of time in each stage for your sales process and your organization. If your less successful salespeople are spending excessive time in the early stages, perhaps they need to hone their qualification skills to either qualify in or out more quickly. If they’re spending too long at the latter stages, this might be because they didn’t explore the customer requirements properly and are now wasting their and the customer’s time with a raft of different proposals. Of course you also need to balance this against the number of deals for each salesperson and their own individual sales velocity per day. The table above shows the movement through the pipeline in the month. For example, taking the top row, there was $22.90m in theTarget stage at the start of the period. An additional $9.16m arrived into that stage during the period, which is the number at the bottom of theTarget column, then back on the top row we see that $9.82m moved out ofTarget into Qualify, $2.1m moved out ofTarget into Needs, and $0.35m moved out ofTarget into ClosedWon, giving us the end figure of $19.7m at the end of the period from the table on the previous page. You can see this graphically below, paying attention to the dark blue bars. Of the $22.9m to start the period, $10.63m has stayed withinTarget, and a total of $12.27m has moved out, made up of $9.82m into Qualify, $2.1m has moved into Needs, nothing has moved to Proof, Negotiate or Close and $0.35m has moved toWon. $9.16m has come in, the light green bar, which is about $3m less than the $12.27m that has moved out, hence the $3m drop at period end to $19.7m at the bottom. Movement through the stages during the period START Target Quality Needs Proof Negotiate Close Won Lost Target 22.90 9.82 2.10 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.35 0.00 Quality 4.40 2.13 3.99 0.01 0.08 0.00 0.00 0.01 Needs 3.99 0.00 0.04 2.71 0.53 0.03 0.20 0.00 Proof 0.76 0.00 1.08 0.11 0.23 0.00 0.03 0.00 Negotiate 1.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.36 0.32 0.00 0.03 Close 0.43 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.14 Additions 9.16 11.39 6.21 3.08 0.83 0.36 0.59 0.59 Start Target Quality Needs Proof Negotiate Close Won Lost Additions End 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 22.90 10.63 9.82 2.10 9.16 19.79 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.35 TARGET STAGE
  • 10. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 9 This kind of technology is an example of what has come to be known as sales 2.0. Sales 2.0 takes its name from the general term web 2.0 and in a sales 2.0 environment, sales professionals want to learn, leverage and contribute selling knowledge at their own pace, when they need to, as they work, the idea of anytime, anyplace, anyhow. Finally, technology, and specifically sales performance applications, have the ability to provide sales leaders with the tools to coach their teams on specific deals. Obviously your sales performance application provides the framework for your salespeople to repeat best practice in the deals they are working. It gets them to do the right thing at the right time on the right deal. Also, the application collects an enormous amount of data that you can surface for the kind of reporting and metrics that we discussed earlier. But also software can help the leader be more proactive as well. Intelligent software can help the sales leader be more proactive. This is because it can give the sales leader a structure for asking the salesperson the right questions. This is made much easier in software compared to the world of paper-based sales and account plans. The great thing about technology is that it is just another delivery mechanism, but it has the power to scale, the power to leverage and the power to inform and communicate, when done the right way. The software-as-a-service model provides anytime, anywhere access to a sales leader and the collaborative process in terms of sharing, updating and communicating information is made almost instantaneous. TECHNOLOGY COACHINGTOOLS This is of course quite statistically heavy content, but does illustrate how good measurement, good data and good metrics can really bring some clarity to your pipeline numbers, and clarity is what you need whether you’re riding the crest of the wave or getting buffeted by the waves. It is also the first example of how you can use technology tools at your disposal to measure - and manage - your sales teams as effectively as possible. A second example is the webinar. Virtual meetings are a great way of getting the key buyers together at the minimum disruption to both them and you. This can greatly help you keep your sales cycle as short as possible, since you might not get the buyers together for a physical meeting for a month, but they can all spare half an hour from their laptops at very short notice. Additionally, from a selling expenses point of view, if you can conduct more meetings virtually rather than wasting travel time and money having physical meetings, not only can you reduce costs but also massively improve your productivity. Another way of using technology to be a more effective leader is in the area of online sales coaching. An example of this is DealmakerVirtual Learning System (‘DVLS’), theTAS Group’s online sales knowledge portal. DVLS is designed to complement training for reinforcement and sustained performance. The sales knowledge portal contains best practices from proven sales methodologies in streaming movies, audio, worksheets and other useful documents. So, technologies like DVLS can either be used in a self- reinforcing capacity or by sales leaders in a structured coaching capacity. Sales leaders can work with their teams through formal curricula or else develop customized curricula for continued learning and coaching topics. Once the curriculum is selected or designed, salespeople study the required materials, attend a virtual instructor-led meeting to reinforce their knowledge and then apply what they have learned to a specific sales situation. Leaders then complete the loop by reviewing progress with the salesperson to assess progress and set out what needs to be adjusted in a constant iterative process.
  • 11. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 10 Alternatively, in an opportunity management context like in the example below, a sales leader can study the sales mix of his or her sales team in a given forecast. In good times or bad, sales leaders want to know if there is a risk to the forecast, either because of one abnormally large deal which could make or break the forecast, or because the sales people won’t have sufficient time to close enough of all the small deals that they have in their pipeline to reach their forecast. They can fix it early, rather than too late, after the quarter. For example, in an account management context, if a sales leader sees an Opportunity Map with potential opportunities entered but no customer business drivers and initiatives associated, he or she knows that the research has not been done to come up with opportunities that feed into what is important to the customer. This then prompts the sales leader to ask: can you tell me what is important to the customer? What are their important projects this year? How do the opportunities you’ve identified feed into these projects? What does success look like for these projects? This helps sales people refine their approach, engage on only the right opportunities and cut down the sales cycle. SUMMARY It’s worth summarizing this journey of sales leadership through potentially stormy waters as well as calm conditions. First we explored Sales Leadership, what it means, what makes it difficult and what can happen when the economic conditions are less than plain sailing. Second, we went back to basics and looked at sales performance as a leading indicator of sales success and explained how the SalesVelocity Equation, with its laser focus on 4 important variables, should be your sales barometer whatever the weather. Then we looked at the shortcomings of traditional pipeline analysis and argued how velocity metrics give you the insight you need to figure out what is really happening to your pipeline in a given time period. Finally, we looked at the technology tools that can free sales leaders to coach their sales teams, rather than manage them, come rain or shine. Since we’ve stressed how important time is in this White Paper, we hope you feel that this has been time well spent learning about some of the Sales Leadership best practices recommended byTheTAS Group and our customers. If you wish to find out more, please contact us at info@thetasgroup.com.
  • 12. ABOUTTHETAS GROUP TheTAS Group helps progressive sales organizations increase their sales velocity resulting in higher win rates, bigger deals, shorter sales cycles, and more qualified deals in the pipeline. Our unique value is deep methodology embedded within intelligent Dealmaker software, 100% native in Salesforce. Smart coaching, delivered just-in-time, improves sales performance and accelerates sales results.We have changed the paradigm of improving sales effectiveness from traditional sales training to delivering sales methodology and insights when and where the sales person is working a sales opportunity. For more information visit www.thetasgroup.com Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved.This briefing is for customer use only and no usage rights are conveyed. Nothing herein may be reproduced in any form without written permission ofTheTAS Group.