Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Jim Kaskade, Lori MacVittie

Blog Feed Post

The Big Change: Accelerating Sales Hire-to-Revenue

There's no doubt that the buying cycle has changed dramatically thanks to the availability of information and opinions on the web. The impacts on sales and marketing are significant, yet the changes seem to be slow in coming. One area that has always interested me is the training and focusing of new sales reps. It's especially critical in today's shifting world. Relevant information and insights make a new rep effective, yesterday's me-focused info and pushy sales approaches saend buyers running. So how do we evolve? I first met Trish Bertuzzi on Twitter about three years ago. Since then I've come to respect her insights on matters of sales. I asked her a few questions about the big change in sales. 

1. The buying process has changed dramatically thanks to the availability of information via websites, social media, communities, research, peer groups and more.  Yet sales hasn't changed quickly to keep up. Why do you think that's happening?

I don’t think sales has not changed but I do think they are struggling to change. Making the transition from being the keeper of all knowledge to being the person that has to jump into a sales process at the point where they have to add value much further along than they had to before is not easy.

In the past, when information was known only to a few, the sales person educated their prospect from get to go. They dropped what they thought were pearls of wisdom along the way and the buyer responded appropriately. Now the buyer self educates and by the time they engage with sales they have the basics well in hand and want sales to get very specific. How can your product/solution help me address this very specific challenge better than the status quo and/or your competitors?

They don’t want to hear about features and benefits. They do want to hear about how you have helped other executives and/or companies like theirs address the issue. And oh, by the way, tell me something I don’t know. The sales people who become trusted advisors are those who win and gaining that level of knowledge takes work and is an investment in success. 

2. What do you mean by context with regard to sales and marketing messages What's the big change that we need to make when it comes to training our new sales teams to speak to buyers in context? 

The context refers to becoming that trusted advisor and speaking a language that resonates with your unique buyer. Let’s say you can sell to the CFO, CIO and VP Marketing. In the past we would message to these contacts with a vanilla message probably based on what our product/solution does. It didn’t work that well then and it works even less well now. Each of these executives has a unique set of responsibilities and challenges. Putting your message into a context that resonates with them will get you heard. 

3. Traditional selling was steeped in a focus on setting goals based on metrics (# of calls, # of proposals etc.)  How does that need to change in today's world?

Does it need to change? Maybe the metrics are different but in sales you still need a measuring stick to understand where you are in your attainment of goal and if your only measuring stick is revenue, well by that time you can’t change anything to impact results.

There are a core set of metrics that need to be focused on but those metrics vary from one organization to the next. If you are selling into the enterprise you would focus on a very different set of sales process metrics than you would if you were selling into the SMB. Combine that with whether you are a hunter or a farmer and you can see that metrics are market and sales process dependent but they are a great predictor of future outcomes. Without them we are in a fingers crossed, hoping for the best situation. 

4. Why don't we invest in growing the skills of our selling teams?  What do we need to do to change that; culturally and tactically?

Why don’t we invest in growing the skills of our team.. that is a great question! We will spend tens of thousands of dollars in a recruitment and hiring process and then balk at spending a small amount of dollars on coaching and training. Why..why..why…

Every day should be a day of learning for a sales rep. Every interaction with a buyer should be viewed as a unique opportunity to figure out more about their industry, their challenges, how they are motivated, what impedes their success… you name it. But what do we do? We go to work the every day and go through the process of selling without stepping back to think about what we are learning.

Worse yet, our sales management teams are not fostering a culture of learning by not giving us the structure and/or the bandwidth with which to be strategic. I hear about it from reps all the time. They are so busy trying to make their activity metrics that they don’t have time to sit down create a strategic plan for how they will make their number.

You don’t always have to spend money to invest money to grow the skills of your team (but please feel free to do so and call us). Sometimes all you have to do is give them some breathing room to sit, think and share what they have learned.

5. We all know the first 90 days of a sales reps organizational life is critical to their success.  What are the top 3 things we need to do better, or start doing? 

Teach them about the industry/s they will be selling into.

Teach them about the day in the life of their buyers and how your product/solution can address very specific challenges unique to that buyer.

Teach them how to effectively use the tools you have place at their disposal.


Over the last two decades, Trish has promoted Inside Sales as a community, profession and engine for revenue growth. In the process, The Bridge Group has worked with over 190 B2B technology clients to build, expand and optimize their inside sales efforts.

By a combination of hard work and timing, Trish and team's research & ideas have been featured on Inc.com, by associations like SLMA & AA-ISP and across more than 68 sites in the sales and marketing blogosphere.

Click here to download Trish's ebook, Sales Onboarding: The Express Route from Hire-to-Revenue

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Rebel Brown

Rebel Brown guides organizations and individuals to harness the power of their minds to step into their ultimate potential. A masterful agent of change, for over 25 years Rebel Brown has inspired, coached and empowered individuals and businesses to unstoppable performance and results. As a recognized market strategist and turnaround expert, Rebel guided over 200 global organizations to step beyond their status quo perspectives to create profitable market advantage. She also worked with US and European venture firms to successfully fund and launch their portfolios. She also ran a consulting practice in Paris for three years, working with European clients. Fascinated by the power of our human minds to limit ourselves and our business results, she began her study of neural science. Her core question was simple. What could we do if we had no limits? Today, she brings the power of neuroscience to business (NeuroBusiness),fueling limitless thinking that drives powerful bottom line growth for her executive and corporate clients. Rebel’s work has been featured in media including First Business TV, Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Insider and Business Week. She is a Vistage International speaker and workshop leader as well as NSA speaker. She’s also been named one of the Top 100 Women in Computing. Rebel is also the founder and director of the Unstoppable U Foundation, a non-profit program committed to guiding kids to know that they are born to be Unstoppable!

@ThingsExpo Stories
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...