Sep 21, 2013

What Makes Sales Training Sticky?

Recently a LinkedIn member (Jacques Werth) started a very interesting discussion titled “Some sales research organizations indicate that a very small percentage of sales training provides any lasting increase in sales volume.”  Over 80 members responded, identifying one or more ingredients that they believe are required to make sales training “sticky” (to borrow this phrase from another contributing member).  The full discussion can be found at:   Click on link to Jacques' Discussion on LinkedIn



Analysis of said member responses revealed 7 significant contributors (see below) that were believed to have a positive impact on training stickiness.  (Members identified these items in their discussion contributions).

Mar 4, 2013

Key Messages from Eli Reisner's Recent Discussion Thread "OK, we got SalesForce. Now how do we get sales people to REALY use it?"

In January Eli Reisner started a Discussion in the LinkedIn Discussion Group Sales / Marketing Executives (CSO/CMO)”; the topic was “OK, we got SalesForce. Now how do we get sales people to REALY use it?".  This Discussion was fascinating due to both the topic and the overwhelming depth and breadth of the Contributor’s over 100 comments.  I was curious to see if there was a major theme that prevailed across the very broad nature of the Discussion so I undertook a brief analysis.  To do so I used a context within which to classify the many and varied responses.  That context is a four phase model that I use to view successful CRM implementations; the phases and some of their sub-components are briefly described as follows:
  1. ENVISION Your Solution - enable sales management and other key stakeholders to express their vision of their new CRM business system in clear and unambiguous business terms.
  2. DESIGN Your Solution - complete the design of the envisioned CRM business system.  Key deliverables of this phase include: sales business process design, sales management process design, technology infrastructure design (e.g., CRM solution, interfaces to other systems), participants confirmation – identify change readiness, and data and reporting design
  3. IMPLEMENTATION Plan - implement the CRM business system as designed in previous Phase.  Depending upon the Plan this may be done in several releases of designed business functionality.
  4. HARVEST Your Benefits - harvest the benefits defined in Envision Phase through full adoption by all participants.

Mar 3, 2013

What is a Realistic Estimate for Today’s Sales Win-Rates

I recently posted the following two questions on a LinkedIn Discussion Group:

1. For today’s sales organizations, what is a realistic estimate of the number of initially qualified complex sales opportunities required in the pipeline in order to pull one through as a won (signed contract) deal – 3, 5, 10? 

2. What should this multiple be in a highly functioning sales organization?

Definitions:  Qualified = Agreed upon (preliminary) assessment of client’s Need to Buy, Means to Buy, and Urgency to Buy; provider has potential solution, and competitive positioning.  Complex = Multiple decision makers, several weeks to months decision cycle, large dollar value.

These questions come up from time to time as one measure of the overall effectiveness of a sales organization.  In past Discussions Contributors have responded with answers in the range of 3 (see paragraph below).  This current posting resulted in responses that were similar to the previous wherein Contributors described that a reasonable goal was 3 Qualified Opportunities yielding 1 win; some went further to describe an aggressive goal of 2 to 1 for a highly functioning sales organization.  My sense is that these are very aggressive numbers.  However, I realize that these are very dependent upon the client’s decision making cycle, and where the sales organization engages the client. 

Jul 10, 2012

Sales Metrics and Sales Coaching - Can You Have Both?

I recently participated in a Discussion on “Sales Metrics vs. Sales Coaching”.  The author of the article ( makes a good point – keep sales people focused on a few things that they can perform at really well.  Don’t confuse them with too many variables.  Use their good behavior to coach others.  The following is my contribution to this Discussion, with later enhancements.

The topic is really “Sales Metrics and Sales Coaching”, not “vs.”!  Metrics and Coaching go together.  To paraphrase my great Italian friend Mike “one without the other is like a day without wine!”  Yes, most sales people when overwhelmed with too many measures simply self-select the ones they like and ignore the rest.  It is the responsibility of sales management to minimize this ambiguity.  Sales management must set the context within which their sales people can focus on a few key things and be wildly successful.  Ongoing, sales management would monitor what is going on both overall and with specific agreed upon measures.  Using insights from these metrics they would coach their sales people to greater success.

Jun 10, 2012

Implementing CRM Should Be Easy, Eh!

Thought that I would let my Canadian heritage show this morning!  I recently participated in an interesting Discussion initiated by Kerri Groves, a Brit from Vancouver now living in UK!   

The following summarizes the discussion and my contribution including some additional post-discussion thoughts.  Kerri started this Discussion with a question along the lines of “CRM has been around for quite a while and maybe has not produced the expected (or hyped) business impact.  Yet many still believe that a successful implementation is just as easy as downloading an app to your phone or pad.  No one views an ERP implementation this way!  So what’s up?”