Collaboration Chat

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gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

Jonathan London, a leading sales expert shares his advice on competing more effectively in this short video

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OfflinePhoto of gschwandtner gerhard
gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

Warren Shiver, Managing Partner at Symmetrics Group shares the three essential elements of an effective sales process in this one-minute video interview.

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Key question: "How relevant is your sales process to your customer's buying process?"
Share your insight below.
OfflinePhoto of Stephen Rahal
Stephen Rahal said 2 years ago

IDC recently released their take on the social collaboration market with the inaugural MarketScape for Worldwide Enterprise Social Software. You can download an excerpt here

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gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

Chris Jones, CSO of PROS is opening a dialogue about Big Data. What is it? What should you do about it?

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Jim Dickie said 2 years ago

Preliminary findings from CSO Insights 2013 Sales Performance Optimization study find that only 10.4 percent of the 700+ firms surveyed so far have a formal program in place for leveraging Social Media.

If you are one of them, what are you doing?

If you are one of the other 90 percent, why haven't you?

OfflinePhoto of Curtis Dylan
Curtis Dylan:

We did an set of interviews with current customers about how they wanted to communicate with us, be communicated with, and Sociial Media was last on the list.

This may be because we are working with traditional manufacturing firms in the midwest who just don't see Facebook or Twitter as a must have.

Replied 2 years ago
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Mike Kunkle:

Jim, I worked with a company recently that is a B2C health insurance distribution channel. <Side note: Healthcare reform has significantly impacted profitability.> I had expected to see a lot more social media marketing and inbound marketing, especially for a B2C firm, but at the corporate office, there was quite a bit of fear around it, mostly due to regulatory and compliance concerns. As a result, it was highly regulated by corporate and rare. A few agents wandered onto Twitter, and following strict company guidelines, a few more created Facebook pages, but there was little done in terms of content marketing, social media interaction with clients, or lead gen. Before I left, a LinkedIn group was shut-down by IT, over concerns about what was being said in it. I don't think this will apply to that many other industries, but that's one story, at least.

Replied 2 years ago
OfflinePhoto of Tom Scontras
Tom Scontras:

Jim -

I would be interested in understanding the breakdown of those surveyed - i.e. revenue, industry, title, etc.

As an early stage company, we see social as a means to drive grass roots efforts to capture mind-share of "industry experts" and channel partners.  In 2011 we increased our following by 700% - however, could not directly connect revenue to the investment (in people).  

Being a start up, we have to ask tough questions - in this case, was the expense to support a formal program worth it, or would we get a greater return elsewhere (sales)? 

After one year with a full time social program (2011), and one year redistributing that expense in sales (2012) - I would tell you that we really need both.  

Net, we intellectually understand social, and want to be part of the 10.4%, however we'll need to find a different perspective in which to economically justify it (not revenue) before we do. 

Replied 2 years ago
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Marcello Medini:

Insurance is one of the most highly regulated industries, I used to work for a large insurance provider and had to leave because they basically had put in place a sales prevention department.

I personally was top 10 in the country for online and web created leads and sales but I ended up spending more time to get things approved from compliance than actually selling.

If you wanted to send an appt reminder card in the mail. It was held and scrubbed by compliance. I am not talking random checks every letter every email every posts.  

The branch went from being top branch in the mid atlantic to a shell with very few veterans staying . Turnover was extremely high.


I fully understand compliance is necessary and to ensure the company is not making false promises but when it gets to the point that you can't send a birthday card..


Replied 9 months ago
OfflinePhoto of gschwandtner gerhard
gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

It you were in a room with 100 smart sales operations manager, what questions would you want to ask? 

OfflinePhoto of Mike Kunkle
Mike Kunkle:

Good question! Off the top of my head, here are a few things I would ask:

  1. Of all the enabling technologies and tools available today, which ones are you using and why?
  2. What results do you attribute to these tools from question #1?
  3. If you are growing, what are the top 3-5 things that your team is doing to contribute to or support that growth?
  4. If you are not growing, what is holding you back?
  5. For your business, what are the leading indictaors on your dashboard that provide the most insight for your sales leadership team to improve results? 
  6. What is your view on aligning sales process and buying process, and how have you gained traction because of your focus on your market/buyers? 
  7. In our current 100-mph, info-overload, ADD-like, bright-shiny-object culture, how do you keep your sales team (from leaders to frontline) focused on agreed-upon priorities? (This assumes there are agreed-upon priorities, so a corollary might be, what role do you play in determining or influencing priorities and focus for performance improvement?)
  8. What split of time/effort do you spend on developing and support frontline sales managers versus frontline sales reps? 

Hope that might spur some discussion.


Replied 2 years ago
OfflinePhoto of Tamara Schenk
Tamara Schenk:
Great questions, Mike! I'd like to add a few:
  • How do you build a framework which allows your strategic accounts to grow with different growth strategies?
  • How to you connect the dots between growth strategies, skills, competencies and comp models?
  • How do you enable cross selling from an account management perspective?
  • How do you change your selling systems from a reactive RFP driven system to a proactive system tailored to get ahead of the RFP business, to generate siginificant value for customers?
  • How do you measure performance? What does performance actually mean in the 21st century, if we design backwards from the customer?
  • How do you factor in that people are motivated differently than we expected in the industrial age? I refer to Dan Pink's book "Drive"!

Geat discussion, let's continue!


Replied 2 years ago
OfflinePhoto of Mike Kunkle
Mike Kunkle:

Nice additions, Tamara! I suppose I might also ask about:

  • Which lead gen strategies are working best?
  • What have they done to improve selection (sales hires and sales manager promotions)? Are they using straight competencies, psychometrics, panels, behavioral interviewing, simulations, a mix, etc.? And after hiring, are they also leveraging what they've learned from that process to create more  effective individual development plans? If so, how?
  • Dan Pink, eh? ;-) Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. As you've probably seen from my exercise endeavors on Facebook (lucky you), I think there is a big difference between motivation and commitment. I spend more time these days wondering how to increase commitment, since in my experience, it trumps motivation every time. (I haven't done any studies on this... so have to admit it could have more to do with my personal wiring... but I don't think so. Emotion follows action, not the other way around, so if we're waiting around for people to get motivated first, it could be a long wait. If we can increase commitment in some way, I think it causes people to take action even when personal motivation is low at the moment.) 
  • And last, for now... one of your favorite topics that you write about so well... what have they done relative to creating account selection crtieria or buyer personas, and how do they translate what they've learned into a more buyer-centric approach, once they identify the right accounts?
Replied 2 years ago
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Jonathan London:

Without looking at the previous answers, I would ask:

  • how well aligned are your operations to the sales outcome
  • do you have a defined process of onboarding
  • can your measurements provide early indicators of success or failure
  • do you know how to repicate success
  • are you using information to get insights vs. just reports


Replied 2 years ago
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OfflinePhoto of gschwandtner gerhard
gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

What makes Selling so Cool? In this 1'47" video, Geoff James shares how his friend gave up producing movies to become a full time salesman.

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gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

Geoff James, the world's most widely read sales blogger talks about the contoversy around the book The Challenger Sale. What are your thoughts?

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OfflinePhoto of Mike Kunkle
Mike Kunkle:

Interesting to hear Geoff say that the top rep practices often can't be replicated.

In my analyses, I usually segment top producers into multiple slices to study them. One slice I use includes the top 20% and then the top 20% of that group, or the top 4% percent.

Over the past 15 years, while I haven't done a pure statistical analysis or study on this, I've certainly seen a pattern emerge. The top 4% often succeed based on their makeup, which is not replicable. the force of their personality or things which make them unique. You can codify that and try to hire more like them, but I haven't seen those things replicated. The remaining 16% are often "regular folks" who have figured out what to do to be successful, which can be reproduced by others.

I have a lot of respect for the CEB, the authors, their research, their stats approach, and most of their conclusions. I've seen, experienced and observed "Challenger," insight-selling behavior for years, especially in the consulting and from Partners in the professional services world. My concern with their work is more aorund their efforts to implement Challenger efforts organization-wide.

I also think they went over the edge a bit with the whole "solution selling is dead" thing. Given the massive info now available to prospects and customers, the shift to a buyer-centric market, and how late in the process that buyers are engaging reps/vendors, I don't think questioning, diagnostics, relationships, or solution selling will be dead anytime soon. (I do think buying from your golf buddy is fading, so I don't mean that sort of "relationship selling.")

The one idea I've heard that does make sense to me is staffing a deal review desk with insightful, Challenger personalities, and having them review deals and see, find or orchestrate insights for other reps to use and communicate. But trying to turn other reps into Challengers.... well, let's just say I'm watching to see what happens with that. I remain open to learning I'm wrong, but I don't see that one ending well.

Replied 2 years ago
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JOHN E Flannery:

By their own (SEC) admission, the Challenger is not an end to end process, and is therefore a behavioral based sales methodology. If you dont know where the buyer is in your process:

1- Your methodology will be far less impactful for the front line sales rep

2- Coaching is based on seller/Manager perspective

3- It will be tough to reflect this in a CRM (or other technology).

Replied 2 years ago
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gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

Ken Powell, VP Global Sales Enablement & Learning, SunGard, Inc  shares his views on what sales leaders need to think about in 2013. Watch this two minute video and share your comments below

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gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

SalesOpShop member Ken Powell  VP - Global Sales Enablement & Learning , SunGard, Inc shares three best practices for Marketing Automation. Please share your insights with our members below.

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gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

Is your sales organization aligned with the emerging opportunities in the market? Watch this 1 1/2 min video and share your thoughts with a one-minute video or a text comment. Max 50 words gg alignment.JPG


OfflinePhoto of Jacco vanderKooij
Jacco vanderKooij:

Gerhard - Companies today need to align their sales process to the customer's buying journey. Here is a road map that will help them to get there. We need to 'stop making noise,  and start making music'.

Replied 2 years ago
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Mike Bennett:

Great Question Gerhard; here is how we helped align Sales with Marketing at JAMF Software in a recent project.  The key is about have clear expectation and direction of the project in our departments.  Here is my video response.

Replied 2 years ago
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gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

2013.JPG What should sales managers do to have a great 2013? In this 89 second video John Flannery shares great actionable ideas.

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Kurt Shaver:

I like your suggestion to get the sales organization's social strategy in place. Too many sales execs leave social (media) strategy to the Marketing dept. This wastes the opportunity to deliver content through the company's most TRUSTED delivery network - the individual salesperson's social (business) network.

Replied 2 years ago
OfflinePhoto of gschwandtner gerhard
gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

Fire_Round.jpg John Flannery, a noted sales expert shares the three burning issues sales managers are facing today in 45 seconds. Please share yours below

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OfflinePhoto of gschwandtner gerhard
gschwandtner gerhard said 2 years ago

The SalesOpShop has grown to 400 membes that collectively manage over 30,0000 salespeople worldwide

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