Five Imperatives for Sales Effectiveness in 2013


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I delivered this webinar for The TAS Group ( in January 2013.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • @JonLondon Do you mean that the attention on lead gen is prominent, or that lead gen is now more effective than in the past, leaving salespeople overwhelmed?
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  • Ron, thanks for sharing additional research. I certainly believe you can use trigger events and prospecting to insert yourself earlier into opportunities and through an effective approach, even highlight and create opportunities that the prospect may not see clearly yet. More to your point on the data, whenever we present one set of data as overarching for everyone, we risk not addressing the possible sales nuances in a specific market, vertical or company. Until I dig in further, I'd assume that's what we have here, because there's no doubt from what many are experiencing (and multiple sources of research) that buying has changed and some buyers are researching deeply before involving Sales. That doesn't mean it's the same for everyone, everywhere, though. It will be interesting to review Julie's work. Thanks again!
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  • I think this is a very strong profile of what is occurring today and how salespeople need to differentiate and justify their offering in relation to a customer's need. I would bring light to two points in relation to this. The first is that salespeople have to work harder at really qualifying and understanding how a buyer buys. Processes and methodologies help but this is a real skill that needs to be honed. The 2nd is that lead gen from marketing is becoming so prominent and is leaving salespeople with an inability to focus in on the accounts they want and need to get to. Lead gen is important and catches a lot of interest but is it the interest from companies that salespeople need to sell to.
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  • I had not seen that before, Ron. Understand that the research I cite in the presentation is not ESR's, but rather that of other reputable research firms.

    Interesting... I'm going to dig into this. Thanks!
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  • According to Julie Schwartz, SVP of Research & Thought Leadership at ITSMA (IT Services Marketing Association), the first statistic on Slide Number 5 is debatable.

    At:... she writes: 'It’s widely believed that 60-70% of the buying process is over before prospects want to engage with a salesperson. So much information is available online that salespeople are thought to be unnecessary in the early stages.

    Our data says that this is a myth. In fact, we believe just the opposite: 70% of B2B technology solution buyers want to engage with sales reps before they identify their short list. That’s good news for providers. The earlier you engage, the more likely you are helping customers formulate their ideas on how to solve their problems. Earlier engagement means more wins.'

    As a trainer of phone prospectors, I'm biased and inclined to agree with her. That being said, it is an excellent presentation.


    Ron LaVine
    ACCT Inc.
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Five Imperatives for Sales Effectiveness in 2013

  1. 1. Five Imperatives for SalesEffectiveness in 2013Dave SteinCEO & FounderJanuary 9, 2013@davestei@thetasgroupThis presentation contains copyrighted material.Quotation is permitted with full attribution.
  2. 2. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com2What We’ll Cover…All graphics:
  3. 3. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com3#1: Hiring and Developing the Right People• ESR’s research shows that:– 20 to 33% of sales people aren’tsuited for the job– After two years, 4 out of 5 new hireseither:• Aren’t with the same company or• Are not delivering at or above quota– Use of a hiring process can reducewrong hires by 60 – 80%• The cost of a wrong hire is between$300k and $1m…
  4. 4. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com4#2: Managing Strong Customer Procurement Teams
  5. 5. #3: Under-Leveraged Reseller ChannelsWhat’s the trigger?• The economy and shrinking margins requiredalternatives to the direct model• Less need to conduct business face-to-face• Easier to train and communicate with channel teams.
  6. 6. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com6#4: Selling Products, Not Business Value• Your customers seek businessimprovement through:– Increased revenues– Reduced costs or– Risk mitigation.• Unless you tie your products andservices to specific andmeasurable businessvalue, you’re just a commodity.
  7. 7. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com7#5: Not Leveraging Social Media & Selling Technology• 57% to 70% of customer buyingcycles are complete before a supplieris contacted• Internet shopping for B2B productsand services is increasingsignificantly• Where are your buyers lurking? Yourcompetitors?• Research on your customers, theirmarkets, your competitors• Learning, learning reinforcement• Sales process automation:– Opportunity and accountmanagement– Pipeline management– Forecasting.
  8. 8. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com8Why is Research Important?1. Keeping up with too manychanges too quickly2. Predicting trends3. How others areovercoming obstacles andleveraging opportunities4. The answer may be whatyou can’t find for free onthe Internet5. Engage with experts.
  9. 9. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com9What Doesn’t Work?• Thinking that selling is more art thanscience• Not running the sales organizationlike the business that it is– Processes (sales, hiring, qualification,research, etc.)– (Thinking that hiring/qualification ismore art than science)• Not staying up with (ahead of)industry trends:– Your industry– Your customers’ industry• Counting on only Sales 101 to win.
  10. 10. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com10Imperatives and Recommendations1. Hire and develop the right people2. Collaborate with your customers’procurement teams3. Leverage reseller channels4. Sell business value, not products5. Leverage social media & sellingtechnologies.
  11. 11. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com11Imperative #1: Hire and Develop the Right People• Develop and implement astructured hiring process:– Understand how yourcustomer buys and what rolethe salesperson plays– Profile-based– Behavioral, structuredinterviews– Integrate assessments– Income verification,background checks– Sales call and salespresentation simulations– Rigorous reference checking– Individualized onboarding.
  12. 12. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com12#2: Collaborate with Customer Procurement Teams• Understand why and how the corporateprocurement function has gained so muchpower• Research how your customer sources fromother providers—buyers and sellers willbecome more collaborative• Know your customer, their business, andyour product• Reduce complexity wherever possible• Build appropriate support systems fornegotiators• Communicate more effectively• Procurement is not the
  13. 13. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com13Imperative #3: Leverage Reseller Channels• Understand the requirements ofyour market. How do yourcustomers buy?• The skills and traits for managing areseller are different from directselling• How will you gain more mindsharefrom your reseller’s salesreps andprincipals?
  14. 14. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com14#4: Sell Business Value, Not ProductsWhat business improvementmetrics does your customertrack?–Streamlined business processes–Higher productivity–Increased market share–Margin improvement–Higher quality–Higher revenues–Lower expenses–Quicker time-to-market–Improved cash flow
  15. 15. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com15#5: Leverage Social Media & Selling Technology• LinkedIn, Facebook for finding/buildingrelationships• Twitter, Chatter, Pulse for intra- and inter-company micro-blogging• YouTube, Slideshare, blogs for thought-leadership publishing, loyalty• Technology-enabled learning– Embedded and on-demand learning inCRM system• Technology-enabled selling– Dealmaker, other sales processautomation tools• Warnings:– Activity versus productivity– Not a replacement to a sales process– Adoption differs by industry
  16. 16. © 2013 – ES Research Group, Inc. ─ ESResearch.com16Summary• Objectively assess your current situation• Determine what the trends are• Research alternative solutions• Build a business case• Build a plan• Execute.Thanks!