At any given moment, the average sales rep is managing about 50 opportunities. Let’s say each opportunity has about 10 tasks and involves a team of about three others. That brings you to 500 tasks and 150 communication streams — at least.
The average sales manager is responsible for 8-10 reps, all of whom are managing their 50 opportunities — so, helping guide 500 opportunities to close. What stands between opportunity and close?
Thousands of tasks and deal-related conversations.
When you multiply these numbers by the size of a large sales organization, sprawled across territories and time zones, the result is an entirely di...
Quick question for sales managers: Do you add value in your rep 1:1s?
Let me guess: “Of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t do them!”
But are you sure? It’s so easy to let 1:1s be one-way discussions — reps review deals and we listen. But they should be about strategies to get more wins.
Three tips will make your 1:1s more effective: research before the meeting, decide beforehand which deals to discuss, and offer help that matters.
Your 1:1 starts before the meeting — with four questions about your rep's pipeline:
Building a new software category is a battle. Want a few war stories?
In honor of Dreamforce 2015, I thought I'd let you in on my top 3 sources of scar tissue and sleepless nights since Dreamforce 2014. I hope a glimpse of how the sausage is made is helpful and interesting.
First, when I say battle, I don't mean against competitors. I mean the brutal effort to wake up every day and figure out how to create an end-to-end solution — loved by reps, loved by managers, and loved by execs. We sell Predictive Sales Analytics and so far, the results have...
Sales execs used to rely on "gut and golf" to close deals, but today that's just not enough in an environment where only 30% of qualified leads typically close. Thankfully, data science can increase those odds dramatically. Machine learning algorithms constantly processing deal progress behind the scenes can deliver to the modern sales exec insights to help reps close deals faster, managers drive more revenue, and VPs deliver more accurate forecasts.
It sounds like a perfect world, right? The trick is to use data from CRM systems, emails, calendars, social media, and more, to identify actionable best practices that reduce risk...
This past week, I sat in a large networking company’s conference room listening to an irritated sales rep and his sales manager discuss challenges in their current sales process (as an aside, being able to listen in on these sorts of conversations is what makes being a product manager such an awesome job!).
The lively conversation centered around two big challenges:
1. Managers don’t know enough about the real status of their deals. CRM can’t provide it so they resort to spreadsheets and late-night phone calls.
2. Reps hate the inefficient, manual process of documenting their deals. T...
Selling is really about buying. But you knew that, right?
That means we, as sellers, really need to understand our buyers. This can and should inform everything we do as sales professionals. Let’s start with the fundamentals:
Knowing who your buyer is (and isn’t)Understanding how your buyer buys (or stalls)Studying who else is approaching your buyer (and why)Examining what your buyer considers a benefit (or changing how they think about the problem in the first place)Exploring how the buyer measures these benefits (and associated risks)
Building buyer personas can help. Knowing your...
I’m fully convinced. Empowering a sales rep can quickly change the dynamics of a relationship. I know because last month, a sales rep from a large technology company was trying to make a deeper connection with a university, but he was struggling to stay relevant in front of its IT department that interacts with numerous vendors over the course of a month, and many more over the course of a year.
The rep was getting nervous that he wasn’t a priority. And he began dreading the next “How are you?” conversation. Then one afternoon, when he was waiting at the a...
One of the best things about being a product manager is the chance to hear directly from customers about their greatest challenges. Just a few weeks back, a seasoned sales ops manager at a super-hot converged infrastructure company told me, “Reporting is killing us. We need to give our reps faster, less intrusive ways to tell us what’s going on, so they can spend more time with customers.”
At my last company we built traditional enterprise apps. Our product was highly-regarded and sold well, but direct sales was difficult and inefficient. Reps wanted more time in front of customers. Manage...