It used to be that sales people could hit their numbers by responding to inbound inquiries (leads, RFIs, RFP, etc) from various companies within their territory. Now, however, these same reps are forced to develop opportunities from scratch as go-to-market models are increasingly more account–based than in the past. In addition, most firms are finding their win rates for unsolicited RFPs drop below 25%, a fact that contributes to the growing cost of sales.
Most of the companies I speak with are focusing on changing their go-to-market models and asking their sales people to call higher in organizations.The term “trusted advisor” is batted about within the halls and conference rooms of vendor organizations.
I’ve yet to run into a marketing or sales leader who IS NOT encouraging their sales team to elevate their access level.
Who could have a problem with a sales organization focusing on gaining more consistent access to the budget holders that control their fate?
The real problem here is that these organizations do not realize they are making a dramatic and fundamental shift from being focused on market share (promoting products and measuring their unit sales) to a wallet share (the percentage of available spend a particular executive has in the vendors category) orientation.
Incremental changes don’t work when you are fundamentally changing the game.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard “our salespeople lack the skills or ability to (insert any of the following: cross-sell, sell higher, sell to value, get ahead of the RFP)” I would be a very rich person.
Most companies are acutely focused on their sales organizations, wanting to apply more structure, discipline, and measurement in order to maximize productivity, predictability, and transparency. A phrase often used to encapsulate this endeavor is “art to science.”
As you can imagine, we talk about “sales enablement” at different levels of the organization (Executive management, CMOs, VPs of sales, and individuals who are responsible for piece parts).
In all cases the view of what needs to happen to produce results is very different at each level, which is one of the core problems we have in our industry with building an effective sales and marketing systems.
In 1992, with my Marketing Management degree in hand, I went out in the market to find a sales job. At the time, I believed (and I still do) that you can’t really be the best B2B marketer unless you know how to sell first. One of the jobs I interviewed for was with a local dealer to sell fax machines (yes, it’s true . . . FAX machines).The VP of Sales interviewing me asked a simple question — what are the most important things to being a sales person?
In the movie “The Untouchables” Sean Connery’s character, Jim Malone, is targeted for a hit by Al Capone. The hitman breaks into his house and threatens Malone, pulling out a revolver, says, “Isn’t that just like a (derogatory term for an Italian) . . . brings a knife to a gun fight.”
Today, Forrester takes the incubation tag off our sales enablement research agenda and is launching a new coverage area called “Technology Sales Enablement” targeted for sales and marketing professionals involved in improving the performance of the sales organization. When you put “sales” and “enablement” together, you get a lot of different points of view.
So, what’s Forrester's view on thissubject? What perspective do we have to offer?
I love the saying “you get delegated to the people you sound like” - especially when it comes to selling.
At the end of the day, all of the work that goes on to build and support a product comes down to the discrete conversations your sales people have with customers.
This parody video is both incredibly funny (especially if you’ve ever carried a bag before, or work in a company dominated by engineers) and drives home an outstanding point – “you-centric”, jargon filled presentations more or less all sound ike this one.