SBI Podcast

Today we're going to discuss territory alignment and demonstrate how to balance customer requirements, company revenue expectations and sales rep workload to grow revenues. As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Strategy section and flip to the Territory Alignment phase on pages 299 – 303 of the PDF. 

Joining us today is Jim Mears, the Senior Vice President for Motorola Solutions. Jim is responsible for the go to market teams in the U.S. and Canada.  Motorola Solutions provides mission-critical communications products and services to public safety and commercial customers around the world. This is done by providing them with real-time information, and by arming them with nearly indestructible handheld devices. Jim is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how to balance customer requirements, company revenue expectations and sales rep workload to grow revenues.

Why this topic? Some reps only make their revenue objectives by selling to the easy accounts. Yet others are spending too much time with accounts that do not fit the ideal customer profile. Yet still some sales reps have so many accounts to cover that they cannot serve all of them correctly. We call this territory misalignment and it is a common cause of missed revenue targets.

Would you like to balance your territories better or take a fresh look at what the customer requirements are? How about a debate around what the revenue expectations should be by patch and look at data to understand what the workload is at the sales rep level and how to match that up with the requirements of the territories themselves? If that's an exercise that you think might help you increase the probability of making your number, consider coming down to The Studio and spending time with us. I will put a room full of experts in the room and we'll dive into your data and you'll leave with optimized territories. 

Listen as Jim describes how Motorola adapted to changes in buying trends. It became evident in some areas that it probably didn't justify any longer a pure direct rep. Jim describes how he observed the trend and how he adjusted serving the audience through a combination of direct representation and manufacturer reps.  These partners rounded out the offering to customers on the service side and as sales agents for the company.

Jim discusses the objective criteria used when creating a territory. The first criteria include revenue in the territory, second was the level of competition, buying history, buying behavior, the post-purchase service needs, and finally the concept of the customer life cycle.  The final element involves understanding when a customer needs to engage with a salesperson and when maybe they don't. 

In Motorola's case, the customer engagement needs represent a five to seven-year cycle. In your company, it might be five to seven months’ cycle. Those are examples of objective criteria that you might use to design your territories. Are those the right ones for you? Maybe, maybe not. You need to understand what matters for your business and come up with your objective criteria when developing territories. Listening to Jim’s use case will help you think through the right criteria for your company. 

Territory misalignment is a common cause of missed revenue targets. Download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Turn to the Sales Strategy section starting on pages 258 of the PDF. If you would like to spend some time with me on this subject, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Direct download: AP1656-Jim_Mears-17932.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 7:50am EST

Today’s show is a demonstration on how a Chief Strategy Officer can help a sales team. A common challenge among sales leaders is taking strategic imperatives the CEO has laid out in the corporate strategy and translating that into an operating plan. The head of strategy can help sales leaders solve this problem.  As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Strategy section starting on page 258 of the PDF.

Joining us is Julian Lighton, Chief Strategy Officer at Renaissance Learning. Renaissance is the leader in K-12 education technology enabling teachers, curriculum creators, and educators to drive phenomenal student growth. Julian’s experience includes leading strategy at Hitachi, Cisco, Neustar, and Rovi, which is now TiVo.  Before that Julian was a partner in software and services at McKinsey.  Julian is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how the strategy officer can help a sales team.

Julian describes Value Creation Planning as a framework to understand how a company generates value for its shareholders.  This breaks down into a series of value drivers and underneath that a series of KPIs or metrics. For a sales leader, the top value drivers are going to be market acquisition.  The includes finding new logo customers, net new customers, driving wallet share, cross-sell, up-sell and finally renewals if you're in a subscription or services business.  Listen as Julian demonstrates what a sales leader really needs to understand to move each of the KPIs attached to the value drivers.

Why this topic? The best sales leaders we see blend strategy and execution masterfully. The average sales leaders we see don't understand strategy, even though they think they do because they think a collection of sales tactics is a strategy. This is not their fault. Most of them have never been trained on strategy development. This is where a partnership between the sales leader and the chief strategy officer can be a great partnership and produce great results.

The greatest contribution to the sales team by the head of strategy is to hold the strategic problem together (as opposed to breaking a problem apart).  This involves asking, "Which is the greater priority? Therefore, what am I really supposed to be doing?”  This approach keeps the problem from disintegrating and being left with five different problems.  Asking these questions prevents problems that aren’t commonly defined and fractured resources working on different things.

The final segment of the show addresses the elephant in the room.  Often sales leaders think strategy is disconnected from getting the job done. They're worried about hitting this month's quota. Why should a sales leader care about strategy? Listen as Julian outlines three reasons sales leaders should care about strategy. 

Evaluate your connection of the corporate strategy to the sales strategy at a deeper level.  Downloading our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Turn to the Sales Strategy section starting on pages 258 of the PDF. If you would like to spend some time with me on this subject, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing. 

Direct download: AP1648-Julian_Lighton.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 9:19am EST

Today we are going to demonstrate how to capture the attention of customers and prospects with great marketing campaigns. Campaign budgets are limited and these campaigns need to generate revenue. To follow-along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017 and turn to pages 184 to 189.

Joining us today is Andrea Brody the Chief Marketing Officer of BravoSolution. BravoSolution delivers strategic procurement solutions for global organizations. The solution helps procurement organizations go beyond cost savings to include risk management, corporate social responsibility and driving innovation as part of developing new products. Listen as Andrea demonstrates how great marketing campaigns capture attention of your target audience.

Every market has a “sweet spot.” Campaigns (and their budgets) generate revenues when focused directly at this “sweet spot.” Campaigns that are not hyper-targeted do not. Listen as Andrea describes how to generate a return on marketing campaign dollars with a clear objective, timeline, budget, accurate lists, correct media mix and compelling calls to action.

Performing well in the monthly operating review and quarterly business review requires campaign-driven marketing contribution.  Campaign offers capture attention and deliver pipeline influence.  

Why this topic? Campaign budgets are limited and these campaigns need to generate revenue. In B2B, marketing campaigns generate revenue when they are hyper-targeted, and do not when they are spray and pray. Today, we will demonstrate how to generate a return on the campaign dollar.

Capturing the attention of customers and prospects requires a focus on the ideal customer profile and personas.  Make sure you have marketing and sales alignment on your ideal customer profile. What is your ideal customer profile? Is it a $1 billion+ company in certain vertical industries? Then you look at the specific buyers and influencers to select the Personas. Ask yourself, "What are those messages that resonate?"

Listen as Andrea and I discuss the concept idea of ‘laddering’ up the message. This involves a steadily increasing level of engagement, leading ultimately a call to action to engage the sales team. Pay attention to digital body language such as a download of a whitepaper.  From there, let's say somebody watches a video. That might be a 30-minute time investment versus reading a blog post which might be a five-minute time investment. This is an emerging best practice and Andrea describes using technology, persona targeting and content to engage.

Direct download: AP1637-Andrea_Brody-17929.m4a
Category:Marketing Strategy -- posted at: 8:18am EST

Today’s show is a demonstration on how to cover the market completely with both direct and indirect sales channels. As a guide, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Flip to the sales strategy section of the PDF and review the Channel Optimization phase on pages 290 – 298. [p]

Joining us today is Rodney Foreman, Senior Vice President of Informatica‘s partner ecosystem. Informatica is the world’s number one provider of data management solutions, in the cloud, on-premise or in a hybrid environment. More than 7,000 companies turn to Informatica for data solutions that power their businesses. Rodney is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic having run multi-billion-dollar channel businesses with thousands of partners at IBM the past ten years, and now Informatica. Listen as Rodney demonstrates how to cover the market completely with both direct and indirect sales channels.[p]

How do you select, recruit, and on-board the right channel partners? Rodney describes the process that works. How do you attract the best partners who your competitors want as well, that have a customer base they have already been selling into? Once channel partners are selected, listen as Rodney describes on-boarding and activation to drive value and results from resellers. [p]

Why is sales channel optimization important? Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners is a surefire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to customers through partners when they want a direct relationship with your company is equally devastating. And within the direct and indirect channel model, there are multiple sub models to consider. Coverage model decisions have never been this complicated for we live in the omni channel era.

We also discuss how to identify partners that may not sell your product set or technology today, but they have an adjacent product. In this case, they’re selling where your product fits well with what they’re already selling. It’s an opportunity for you and the partner.

The show is summarized with Rodney sharing the three things you want from a vendor.  Rodney details those three things that should be incorporated into your checklist questions to be successful in the channel.

 

Direct download: AP1653-Rodney_Foreman-17932.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 7:39am EST

Today’s show is a demonstration on how to organize the sales team. This podcast is 51-minutes of high protein clarity on how to determine the type of reps you need and how to organize the sales team. Coupled with this deep demonstration is a workbook where you can go deep with your own sales force.  Download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to pages 282 - 284 of the PDF to review the Sales Organization Design phase of the workbook. 

Joining us today is Mike St. Clair, Vice President of Sales for Rentokil North America. Mike is responsible for revenue and market share growth throughout the US, Mexico and Canada for pest control, brand protection and interior landscaping.

Some of you are struggling with how to determine how many feet on the street you need, what type of reps you need, and which org model is the best one for you. My hope is that by demonstrating how to do this you can avoid costly mistakes. 

Why your sales organization model is important? Without enough headcount, making the case for the right quantity is required to hit your quarterly number. Where and how you place your reps must be right. Listen to Mike demonstrate the seven dominant sales organizational models, and why he did, or did not, select each at Rentokil.  

Here are the specific seven sales organization models Mike will demonstrate: 

  • Stratification (big accounts, midsize accounts, small accounts in a pyramid)
  • Hunter/farmer
  • Geography
  • Product specialists
  • Vertical industry specialists
  • Role specialists
  • Hybrid (2 or more of the above combined) 

Using Mike's company as a use case, validate that you have the right model, and evaluate whether alternative or hybrid approaches are better for you. We go into each of the seven types of sales organization models. Listen to each and identify which model you are using for your sales force today.  

 

Direct download: AP1632-Mike_St_Claire-17929.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 2:56pm EST

Today’s show will demonstrate how to create new markets through the development of new products.  We are also going to demonstrate how to attract new customers to an existing product, and how to convince current customers to buy more of an existing product. This is a deep dive on product strategy. To follow along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to product phase of the corporate strategy on pages 72 - 77 of the PDF. 

Joining us today is Sudhakar Ramakrishna, the Chief Executive Officer of Pulse Secure. Pulse Secure is a leading provider of secure access and mobile security solutions to both enterprises and service providers. As companies increase productivity through the adoption of cloud and an ever-mobile workforce, Pulse Secure provides the security to safeguard your company. Listen as Sudhakar demonstrates how to:

  • Create new markets through new products.
  • Attract new customers to an existing product.
  • Convince current customers to buy more of an existing product.

Enterprise value will only grow if you continue to expand.  Listen as Sudhakar answers how to succeed in existing markets as well as enter new markets. We discuss what's the cost of getting into those new markets and what's the cost of not getting into those new markets? The top priority first is to expand the market opportunity through new innovations and new products.  Second, growth is captured through a disproportionate share of that market expansion.

During the interview, we discuss the different types of revenue growth and which revenue growth is worth more than others and managing the portfolio along its life cycle. All in pursuit of growing revenues faster than our industry and our competitors. We debate whether a company should seek to create an entirely new category or should the company participate in a category within that category through innovation? New category creation has very different cost dynamics. Different customer acquisition costs and strategic time horizons. Listen as Sudhakar provides valuable insights into this decision for a CEO.

Sudhakar provides a great example of building trust and then expanding through innovation. Pulse Secure has a large base of customers whose investment is protected through software upgrades.  During upgrades, new features are unlocked to their mobile workforce and their transition to the cloud. It is a new capability in an existing offering that makes their investment more relevant to their needs today. Through this approach Sudhakar has been able to gain share in the marketplace.  He’s protecting the investment of those customers that bought products and then earning the right to expand your business with them through innovation.

All companies have portfolios, not just products, and those products are on different life cycles. Sudhakar and I discuss how the strategy's going to be a little different between products so this requires dynamic reallocation of people, money, and time, depending on where this portfolio is in its life cycle and the products within it.

Why this topic? Not all revenue growth is equal. Some revenue growth creates more enterprise value than others. Revenue growth that comes from increasing market share for a product does not create much long-term value because competitors can easily retaliate. Revenue growth driven by increasing prices of certain products comes at the expense of the customer, who can retaliate by buying less and seeking substitute products. Revenue growth driven by products that create new markets, attract new customers, and convince customers to buy more is the most valuable type of revenue growth.

 

Direct download: AP1658-Sudhakar_Ramakrishna-17932.mp3
Category:Corporate Strategy -- posted at: 2:46am EST

 

[p]

Today’s show will demonstrate how to improve the efficiency of a sales team by getting new hires productive quickly. Dave begins the interview by providing three key steps to fill open sales positions, and shrink the time from open position to day one.  The rest of the interview is focused on quickly moving from day one to productivity.  To help you follow along, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017 and turn to sourcing and onboarding on pages 290 – 292. 

Joining us today is Dave Wirta, the Chief Revenue Officer of Greenway Health with 1,800 employees. Supporting 75,000 providers and 8,000 individual practices, Greenway Health is helping to transform how healthcare is delivered by providing technology solutions. Greenway helps physicians and staff focus on delivering healthcare to their patients and not worry about technology and the business side of the equation. Listen as Dave helps his peers by demonstrating how to improve the efficiency of a sales team by getting new hires productive quickly

Dave's time to fill an open positions is only 30 and 90 days. That's an outstanding number considering the competitive market Dave operates within. A big part of the success in recruiting occurs during the interview process when the career path is described. Candidates can visualize what success may look like for them, how they will get there and where that leads them. Being able to speak about a a concrete career path shrinks the recruiting time because the candidates get excited. Listen as Dave describes in detail this concept of developing and articulating career paths.  

Why this topic? Starting a new year typically involves onboarding new sales hires. A long new hire productivity cycle can lead to a missed revenue target, and we don’t want that. There is a way to do this, and when done correctly, this can ignite revenue growth. 

In the first segment of the show, watch as Dave responds to these three questions: 

  • How long does it take you to fill an open sales position and what have you done to shrink this?
  • How long does it take for a new sales hire to reach full productivity and what have you done to shrink this?
  • How do you measure new hire time to productivity (time to break even, time to first sale, time to quota etc.)? 

Dave shares his expertise on some advanced concepts in the final segment. Outstanding guidance is provided to these questions faced by every sales force: 

  • How do you ensure the new sales hire fully understands his or her role and responsibilities completely?
  • How do you make sure the new hire has clear direction on how to develop his or her career day one on the job?
  • How do you make sure the new hire is placed in winning conditions? 

The second segment discusses the appropriate level of quota for a sales rep during the onboarding process. Dave also discusses the controversial topic of what to do with quota levels for open positions. The development and ownership of the onboarding program caps off the second segment. 

Direct download: AP1639-Dave_Wirta-17930.m4a
Category:Sales Strategy -- posted at: 9:15am EST

1