SBI Podcast (Sales Strategy, corporate strategy)

Stefano Redditi, EVP of Sales and Marketing for JAS Worldwide, joins us to discuss how he has successfully made this move upmarket to achieve enterprise customers. Stefano shares his experience from identifying triggers for change to navigating the resistance that accompanied the reorganization.

Scott Tapp, former CEO of Software Brands, joins us to discuss the evolution from being head of sales to becoming a CEO. The former sales leader turned CEO gives valuable insights that he has learned along his journey, and how to leverage your own path to the top job.

Direct download: AP_1828_Scott_Tap.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy, corporate strategy -- posted at: 6:56pm EDT

doesn’t produce results. Joining us for today’s show is Skip Miller, an executive who knows a thing or two about sales training. Skip has trained over 300,000 salespeople in 35 countries over the last 20 years and is considered one of the top sales trainers in the world. Skip is an ideal guest to help untangle why sales leaders continue to invest in sales training despite the lack of measurable results. Today’s show was recorded at SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. 

Why this topic? Loyal clients and followers of SBI are wasting a lot of money on sales training and I would like to put an end to this. According to a report The State of the Sales Training Industry published by the Association of Training and Development, there is $2.7B spent per years on sales training. Yet our benchmarks reveal that 85% of sales training does not result in better sales results.

Today we're going to discuss why this is happening and what you can do about it. Our guest is Skip Miller, the President of M3 Learning. Skip is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of wasted sales training and what to do about it.

What is the top reason for sales training failure? Skip describes the all too common ‘check the box’ approach sales leaders take when turning to training as the solution. Sales leaders want their teams to see that the company cares about them and is investing in their success. Implementing sales training efforts can be rolled out very quickly, providing a sense of accomplishment and a perception of bold change. Yet sales training rarely produces a result. Investing in sales training is habitual and habits are powerful things that rarely get broken. 

One reason sales training continues to be a habitual purchase is the cost appears minimal. Listen as Skip and I discuss the average investment for sales training that ranges from 1-3% of the quota of each sales rep. The cost of training seems small when reviewed as a percentage of the total quota, appearing cheap. However, when viewed in whole dollars the sales training budget is the largest expenditure within the sales force that doesn’t have a measurable result tied to the spend. 

If you prefer to watch a high definition video of the interview, click here.

To get training on the right track, Skip outlines four metrics to calculate the return on that investment for sales training. Those four metrics include:

  1. Sales cycle length before and after
  2. Average selling price (ASP), before and after
  3. Win rate, before and after
  4. Forecasting accuracy, which, on the 30-60-90 cycle should be 80-90%

To impact these metrics, effective sales training must focus on training reps to manage to the buyer stage, not the deal.  Managing to the buyer stage requires a custom sales process mapped to the buyer stages.  Without that in place, you’re hard pressed to make training pay off.  To evaluate your sales process, answer the evaluation questions starting on page 280 of the workbook

For sales training to produce a result, we discuss the need for a highly-customized approach. Skip shares his thoughts on the importance of an assessment up front to identify short and long-term goals of the training. For instance, the training goal may be to help reps to reach higher to senior executives, or qualifying or disqualifying quicker. Once you get the goals down, the training can be customized by the goals.

Skip and I discuss customizing sales training by industry.  While industry customization is important, it's less important.  It’s more important to hire smart people and teach them the industry and product, vs. hiring industry and product people and teach them how to be smart. Furthermore, customizing by channel should be a higher priority than customizing by industry. Inside sales reps need different training than an outside rep because the dynamics of the communication channels are different.

We finish the program with Skip’s thoughts on the future of sales training.  He’s trained over 300,000 sales reps, in 35 countries, over 20 years and has a great summary of what to expect from sales training in the future.

Would you like help developing your sales training approach?  Come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. To grow revenue’s faster than your industry and competitors every month, quarter and year is hard to do. 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: AP1701-Skip_Miller-18546.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy, corporate strategy -- posted at: 8:26am EDT

Joining us for today’s show is Mark Logan, a Chief Executive Officer who knows a thing or two about increasing enterprise value. Today’s topic is developing corporate strategy objectives. Specifically we focus on how to maximize enterprise value by selecting the right growth strategies.  Mark and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation.  To follow along, flip to the objectives phase on pages 54 – 59 of the workbook. 

Mark is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of corporate strategy objectives. As the CEO of WealthEngine, Mark has spent his entire career leading growth companies in the software and SaaS technology companies. His experience from companies like JD Edwards, Sybase, PeopleSoft, and the last few years with WealthEngine. 

Listen as Mark demonstrates how to create clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser-focused on the real drivers of revenue growth. This show is a must watch for executives of technology companies with high growth goals. Those executives from outside SaaS-based companies can borrow emerging best practices from SaaS leaders like Mark to leap-frog your competition. 

Why this topic today? Organizations that have too many objectives and priorities really don’t have any at all, they risk accomplishing nothing of significance. A CEO’s strategy often does not get executed because the sales, marketing, and product leaders, are in their silos pursuing what they feel is important. This causes strategic misalignment, and often results in subpar revenue growth. 

In the first part of the program, Mark provides an overview of his business and the approach to serving two very different markets.  We discuss the faced by serving two distinct markets and how Mark guides his team to succeed on both. 

Every sales leader who want to become a CEO someday needs to pay close attention to Mark’s comments about how to grow enterprise value of the company.  Every board wants their company to be worth more tomorrow than it is today. As a sales leader, you have a revenue objective, but not all revenue is created equally. Revenue for certain product categories may create more value for the shareholders than others, and there might be certain products that are more strategic for other reasons that just top-line growth revenue.  Understanding how to create enterprise value places you on a path to become a Chief Executive Officer. 

Not all revenue is created equal. Listen as Mark and I discuss the different types of revenue growth strategies. There are three types of revenue growth.  Starting with market expansion, this is where high waters are raising all ships and all companies in the market are growing. The second type of revenue growth is market exposure. In this case of WealthEngine, Mark was in the non-profit world and moved into the commercial world where he you exposed his company to a new exploding market. The third type is market share performance, a market is not expanding, but you are in the market because you can take share away from my competitors in that space.  Listen as Mark and I discuss the growth strategies in a use-case that you can think through for your business. 

Mark and I discuss how he guided his team to go after two distinct markets in non-profit and corporate. For the CEO audience, when you make a move in your strategy, you need to make sure that you’re thinking through the go to market implications of that move. Mark deployed a team of specialists, and aligned his functional sales organization with his corporate strategy.  When making a corporate strategy shift, make sure to carry that argument all the way through to its logical conclusion, and think through all the different functions all the way to the end user. 

Sales and Marketing leaders faced with a major corporate strategy shift, such as Mark’s case where they went from the non-profit world to the consumer world, realize that your whole playbook now needs to change. It’s an exciting change, but it still needs to change. A marketing leader for example, the way that you market to non-profits versus the way to market to corporate prospects is a diametrically opposed to the marketing strategy. Listen to the podcast of my interview with Mark as a use case to make sure that you’re staying in alignment, and constantly refreshing your strategic playbooks. 


Direct download: AP1703-Mark_Logan-18546.mp3
Category:Sales Strategy, corporate strategy -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT