Worth the Read: Three Links to Improve Your Sales Organization

Originally Posted on June 4, 2013 on the Force Management blog.

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Today I’m sharing three posts that got my attention in the blogosphere. When it comes to improving your sales organization, who doesn’t love a good list to get you thinking? And, Oracle’s problem in sales execution (outlined below) is something I’ve seen with hundreds of clients. A sales execution problem centers on management’s operating rhythm.

I’ve added my own thoughts to these posts. Let me know yours in the comment section below.

9 Shortcuts to More Effective Sales and Marketing Collaboration

Business to Community blogger Matt Heinz has a great list here. I’d suggest a 10th shortcut (which is related to Matt’s 4 & 5). Have members of sales and marketing (and product marketing, engineering and channels) work together in a multi-day session to create the actual sales messages the sellers will be using. Force Management clients refer to this session as “white collar prison” when we do this in Command of the Message®, but they mean that in a good way. At least by the time they see the results!

Top 20 Reasons Why Sales Managers Suck at Coaching

Wow. Jonathan Farrington writes, “17% of all sales managers are effective at coaching.” I’ll say it again, Wow. Here are two I would add to his list:

1. Their company has not defined competencies for the different sales roles, so when themanagers coach they’re coaching to the wrong areas.

2. Sales Managers don’t have a list of defined competencies for being a sales manager. Oh, by the way, being an effective coach is one of them.

Oracle Blames Third-Quarter Miss on Sales Execution

After their missed earnings expectations Oracle’s CFO recently said, “the problem was largely sales execution, especially with the new reps.” With a name like Oracle isn’t that something they should have seen coming? If you’re having sales execution problems and your sellers aren’t ramping up quickly, you likely have an ineffective management operating rhythm, specifically around your sales planning and talent management responsibilities. Hopefully, Oracle will realize this. Time will tell.

 

Tom Martin, Executive Director of Operations

Tom Martin is a 20+ year veteran of the sales methodology and training industry. He has a diverse set of global experience with sales (direct, indirect and inside), channel management, marketing, SFA/CRM, consulting, finance, legal, training, systems and operations. He serves as Force Management’s Executive Director of Operations.

Improve Sales Performance with Google Alerts

Originally Posted on Feb 5, 2013 on the Force Management blog

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Google Alerts is a fantastic, and free, resource to help you keep extra eyes on your prospects, clients, competitors…and even on how your own firm is being written about on the web. I was initially hesitant to start using this tool because I am overloaded with far too many blogs and email newsletters. However, I gave this a ten-day test period and came away a big fan.

Even if you are already overloaded by emails, here are a few reasons why you might want to use Google Alerts (though as with most things, use this in moderation!):

Salespeople

Problem: Having a hard time finding a valid business reason that is compelling enough for a prospect to take your call or respond to your email? Having an even tougher time finding information on business drivers because your prospect is not a public company?

Google Alerts Solution:  Set up an alert for the company and use a keyword that you think would help, for example “XYZ Inc.” “sales.” You might also set up an alert with the VP Sales’ name.

Marketing

Problem: Wondering how your marketing and sales messaging translates into the ‘real world’ and what your prospects might see when they search for solutions like yours?

Google Alerts Solution: Set up alerts referencing the Positive Business Outcomes your solutions deliver, or even the Value Drivers that are the most important to your buying audience. For example, “articulate value and differentiation” and “management operating rhythm” are on my list.

Executives

Problem 1: Wish you knew what your competitors were up to even though you don’t have a formal competitive intelligence initiative? Wondering if any of your alliance partners are starting to cozy up to one of your competitors?

Google Alerts Solution 1:  Set up an alert for the company names.

Problem 2: Wondering if anyone in the industry is being bought or sold?

Google Alerts Solution 2: Set up an alert for “your industry name” “acquisition”…be the first kid on the block to hear the news

Using the tool is simple. Just go to Google Alerts and enter each Alert you want, along with a few pieces of information – what type of Alert do you want (I use “Everything”), how often do you want it (I get some “Once a day” and most “Once a week”), and how many results do you want “Only the best” or “All results.”

That’s it! Try them out for ten days and play around with a few keywords. Delete the Alerts that aren’t worth the ten seconds of reading time. Let me know if you find other good uses for the Alerts.

Tom Martin, Executive Director of Operations

Tom Martin is a 20+ year veteran of the sales methodology and training industry. He    has a diverse set of global experience with sales (direct, indirect and inside), channel management, marketing, SFA/CRM, consulting, finance, legal, training, systems and operations. He serves as Force Management’s Executive Director of Operations