Milestone Partners: Managing a Sales Force
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Milestone Partners: Managing a Sales Force

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  • 1. How to Build and Manage a Highly Successful Sales Force
  • 2. For the past 16 years…
  • 3. My take on the situation:
    “Selling is Easy…
    Getting sales people who can do well it is Not.”
  • 4. The 9 elements of an effective sales force
    Talent Pipeline
    Aggressive Interviewing Process
    Competency Modeling
    Differentiated Products / Services
    Intensive Training
    Accurate Measurement
    Superb Sales Management
    Reward Success Lavishly
    Deal Decisively with Mediocrity
  • 5. 1. Sales Pipeline for Sales People
    One new
    high quality
    sales person
    Are you using EVERY possible tool at your disposal to find the absolute BEST talent?
  • 6. 2. Aggressive Interviewing Process
    Challenging Questions
    Question Script
    Multiple Interviews
    Multiple Interviewers
    Multiple Interviewees
    Team Interviews
    Role Plays
    Background Check
    Call last Employer
    Call ALL Referrals
  • 7. 3. Competency Modeling
  • 8. Talk too much
    Talk about their company way too much
    Don’t know my business well enough
    Don’t understand my customers
    Don’t know their own products & services
    Don’t tell the truth
    Don’t deliver on their promises
    Only worried about their commission
    Can’t prove their value
    Don’t ask the right questions
    Don’t ask the tough questions
    Are not really there to help ME
    93 % WASTE MY TIME!
  • 9. Competency Model: Trusted Advisor
    Asks superb questions
    Listens attentively – takes notes – keeps track of key issues
    Understands their customer’s business
    Understand their customer’s customers
    Is an expert on their products & services
    Is customer focused – not “closing” focused
    Tells the 100% truth at ALL times
    Keeps the client fully informed
    Sets clear expectations with the customer
    Keeps their promises
    Can clearly demonstrate superior value
    Never wastes a client’s time
  • 10. 4. Differentiated Products / Services
  • 11. It used to be…
    Good Fast Cheap
  • 12. Things have changed…
  • 13. Now you MUST deliver…
    The highest quality…
    At the lowest possible price…
    Immediately --- or sooner…
    All while giving consistently superior customer service for an outstanding “Total Buying and Owning Experience.”
  • 14. 5. Intensive Training
    Product training
    Sales skills training
    Advanced questioning
    Body language
    Handling objections
    Sales process training
    Sales call planning
    Account planning
    Business acumen training
  • 15. A few things you can’t train…
    Positive attitude
    Passion for the business
    Passion for serving customers
    Likeability / EQ
  • 16. 6. Accurate Measurements
    Be careful what you measure
    Just because you can measure something…
    Just because something is hard to measure…
    Get it down to a few key measures that truly drive the business
    Position measures as a warning system for help not punishment
    Tie rewards directly to key success measures
    Revisit the measures oftento ensure they are the right ones
  • 17. Remember: What gets measured and rewarded…
  • 18. Create A Dashboard of Key Indicators
    Talent Level
    Service Level
    MPSMargin Per Sale
  • 19. 7. Superb Sales Management
    MUST be able to “Walk the Talk”
    Excellent coach, teacher and motivator
    Always pushing their team to grow and improve
    Lifelong learner
    Creative problem solver
    Highly organized
    Connoisseur of talent
    Rigorous but not ruthless
  • 20. 8. Reward Success Lavishly
  • 21. But it is NOT all about money…
  • 22. 9. Deal Decisively with Mediocrity
  • 23. From the most successful CEO I know…
    Big picture I believe small – medium size companies that sell a commodity need manufacturers reps. Wide shotgun distribution. Some, maybe no, direct end user sales and then only if it doesn’t conflict with distributor pricing levels. 100% Commission. They don’t sell --- they don’t eat.  
    Any company regardless of size that sells customized or technical products needs direct sales people - trusted advisors – who can be trained and dedicate their time to the cause. Selective distribution. More of an end user sale. Comp is mostly competitive salary/benefits with opportunity to earn up to 50% of base salary as additional variable pay based on profitable selling performance.
    Don’t nickel and dime direct employee sales forces. EQUIP them. Blackberry, PC’s, great marketing communication literature, company car, CRM, tons of training…
    Nothing chases good people away as perception that sales people aren’t valued, listened to, or taken care of. Sales is the loneliest, quantifiable, visible job in the company. And arguably delivers biggest bang for the buck when you hire the right people.
    Hire people over the first ‘life curve’. Unless you have a lot of money, you need to bring in people in who have a bit more at stake – family/home/desire for career not just a job.
  • 24. Our company has: Score of 1 - 10
    A robust talent pipeline.
    An aggressive and well- developed interviewing process.
    A clear competency model of our “ideal” sales person.
    Highly differentiated and value-added products / services.
    An intensive training in all the necessary skills for sales success.
    Very accurate measure of what we know drives our success.
    Superb sales managers that absolutely set a living example of what we want our sales people to be and do.
    Developed numerous ways to reward our best people.
    The disciplines and courage to decisively with mediocrity.
    A highly successful sales force.
  • 25.
  • 26. THANK YOU
    If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to send a note or call.
    My email address is:
    Also, you might find value in the ideas I share in my blog. You can sign up for it at:
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