Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Jonathan Fries, Tim Hinds, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo, Nate Vickery

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
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit y...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will discuss the vast to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) will feature the upcoming 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in a New York news documentary about the "New IT for the Future." The documentary will cover how big companies are transmitting or adopting the new IT for the future and will be filmed on the expo floor between June 7-June 9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. KBS has long been a leader in the development of the broadcasting culture of Korea. As the key public service broadcaster of Korea...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, will discuss how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outer...