Monthly Archives: February 2012

Setting a sales quota is not sufficient to drive a salesperson’s behaviors. Setting a sales quota is not enough to ensure consistent success and results. Don’t get me wrong—you certainly need to set a sales quota, but don’t stop there.

You need to set other expectations such as:

  • Sales Process: What sales process should be used?
  • Product Mix: What is the mix of products that you want sold? For example, what percentage of total sales should come from new products?
  • Profitability: What gross margins do you expect the salespeople to meet?
  • Strategic New Customers: What expectations do you have for winning a new strategic customer, in a specific industry? For example if you had a product that targets the magazine publishing industry. You might target industry leaders like Hearst Magazines. Success with Hearst magazines could be leveraged to help you sell to smaller magazine publishers.

What expectations have your sales managers communicated to their direct reports following your annual sales meeting?

MORE is a tool that I found very helpful in setting expectations that go beyond a sales quota.

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The client is a Fortune 1000 engineering and software provider serving customers in the hand shake, success architecture, engineering and construction, manufacturing, digital media and entertainment industries.

Business Situation:

This client’s growth strategy included the addition of resellers to their sales channel. In order to maximize time-to-proficiency in selling their solutions, a new on-boarding process was designed and implemented.  The client looked to Wilson Learning as an experienced leader in sales effectiveness to help with program development and implementation.

The resellers are very significant to this client’s overall sales process; they drive approximately 80 percent of new business. Speed-to-proficiency in understanding their business and implementing a solution selling approach is essential as new channel partners are added.

With a significant number of new channel partner employees joining, the client recognized that this need applied to channel sales employees new to the company and new to the industry. Increasing speed-to-proficiency required a focus on their products, processes, and customer industries, all in the context of solution selling.


We were engaged to provide consulting in the design and implementation of a program.  Content from our flagship consultative selling program provided the core concepts and skills of solution selling, while industry-specific case studies were created to integrate the program’s content and provide for application.  The solution included:

  • Sales Leadership: senior sales leaders’ participation to support their role in driving the initiative.
  • Skills and Tools: were linked to support an existing Opportunity Management system already in place.  This was positioned as the “what to do” regarding an opportunity.  The consultative selling methodology was positioned as the “how to do it”.  The two worked perfectly together.
  • Process: sales managers and salespeople were trained in a multi-step implementation with case studies designed specifically for the customers industry and level of contacts they wanted their salespeople calling.
  • Follow up: a series of reinforcement emails, with links to reminders, tools, case studies etc. were sent at regular intervals to participants after the workshop. The emails helped to reinforce the counselor approach and inspire application.
  • Global Implementation: in these countries United States, Columbia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Australia, China, Singapore, and Japan.

Impact on Sales Performance:

  • Increase of 44% in the average contract size occurred post-training.
  • 4:1 return on investment: post-training analysis asked salespeople to cite a single sale and calculate how much they could attribute the sale to this program. The results revealed a 4:1 return on investment—for the single sale.
  • Sales increase of 10 percent: post-tests and assessments show a sales increase of 10 percent and higher across three vertical industries—manufacturing, building, and infrastructure.

Overall Results:

  • 70% of participants indicated change in their Preparation and Problem Solving skills.
  • 75% indicated that sales training program helped create new business opportunities or maintain relationships.
  • 77% indicated that they agree or strongly agree that it was easy to apply the skills on the job.

Customer Testimonial:

“The sales training has helped me recognize the different buying styles of people and processes. I use discovery questions to learn the buying process of each account- who I need to talk to and what their timelines are for making decisions.  I used questioning technique yesterday to help a client uncover advantages of making upgrades.”

Interested in a sales training program that can dramatically increase your sales per contract? If so contact me .

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The end of corporate profits is near! This is not one of Nostradamus’ predictions, it is my opinion based on history, facts, analysis and anticipating the future. Nostradamus, sales forecasting

According to Bernard Condon, a business writer for the AP, while analysts expect profit growth to accelerate, most of this growth is expected to come from only two companies in the S&P 500: Apple and AIG. If you look at the growth expectations for the other 498 companies, they only measure 1.1%, according to financial data provider .

Virtually every company has made cuts in their costs becoming more efficient and growing profits. Yet several companies are realizing that they can’t continue to grow profits by cutting costs. These companies have instead decided to start investing in multiple avenues:

·    Acquisition

·    New Products

·    New Markets

·    Sales Training

I’m not an expert on the first three investment options, but I do know that sales training can significantly improve sales and profits.

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Your solution provided us with a way to differentiate ourselves by taking the discussion from buying things to buying solutions. ” Vice President of Sales closing the deal, hand shake

Customer : A Fortune 500 global IT technology corporation provides voice, data, and other technology services.

Business Situation : This customer was expanding rapidly, and needed to train new salespeople as quickly as possible. They wanted their new account managers to have a common language, sales process, and a common approach to working with customers to help them to become productive as quickly as possible.

The customer wanted a partner that could help their regional offices develop market share more quickly by enabling account managers to differentiate in the field. The key indicator of success was salesperson productivity–how fast could they get started in new regions.

Approach : Specifically, this customer was looking for a firm that:

o    Was experienced in sales organization development in their industry.

o    Had proven sales process and language that supports that process.

o    Had the capabilities to provide both sales training as well as salesmanagement training support.

This initiative represented a significant investment for the organization.  It was critical to demonstrate results in terms of increased numbers of calls on a wider range of contacts and more calls at higher levels, as well as an increase in closed business.

Solution :

o Implemented The Sales Advantage Series (SAS) to provide the complex consulting skills needed to communicate credibly with executives and develop solutions that add value to the customer’s business.

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In my experience, not enough sales managers are coaching their people to Coaching Salespeople implement the sales strategy you agree to at your annual sales meeting.

To get the vast majority of your sales managers to coach effectively you need to teach them how to lead both the sales process and salespeople. Our studies have shown that the more sales managers are trained in how to support and coach their salespeople, the more those skills will be used and sustained in the field. A critical success factor is the link of how their coaching of the sales process and the salespeople will drive better sales results.

In my experience, providing this training immediately following the sales meeting will ensure that your sales meeting strategy and plans are executed quickly and effectively. The next opportunity to train your managers is probably your quarterly sales managers meeting.

While salespeople need to execute the sales process, sales leaders need to manage how effectively and efficiently the sales team and organization are moving customers through the sales process, and manage the outcomes at each stage. This is much more than just managing revenue results. It’s about looking at key metrics to ensure a healthy sales funnel.
Salespeople are a unique group of employees: fiercely independent, often geographically isolated, devoted to their customers and subject to great successes and disappointments. Four core roles are required to lead salespeople well:
·    Visionary —inspires organizational and individual growth
·    Tactician —ensures business results are achieved
·    Contributor —applies personal capabilities to achieve results
·    Facilitator —works with others to achieve results

Want to know more about coaching both the sales process and the salespeople?

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You Have 7 Seconds to Gain Your Prospect’s Trust

As you walk into your prospect’s office for the first time you have 7 seconds meeting others for the first time to gain their trust. What is your sales strategy? The first barrier to win a sale is the natural distrust a prospect feels toward salespeople.

This natural distrust is called Relationship Tension, and it invades nearly every relationship during the opening stages.  But it’s especially important for a salesperson to work to help the prospect overcome it so both can get on to relieving the second kind of tension that is slowly building, Task Tension: the desire to get something done.

So how do you relieve relationship tension when working with a prospect?  By building trust and credibility.

And how do you build trust and credibility?  By focusing on four main building blocks of credibility:

  • Propriety
  • Competence
  • Commonality
  • Intent

In today’s post, we’ll focus on the first two, propriety and competence.


Propriety is basically the “first impression” you’ve been told is so important.  And it is.

If a salesperson doesn’t “look the part” because he’s dressed too formally, too casually, or in some other way inappropriately, the first impression is going to be negative and trust will remain elusive.

Continue reading

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Investing in sales training could be the worst investment you’ll ever make. sales training workshop

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With smart strategic thinking you could achieve a return for your sales training dollars that will blow you away!!

You may not have had time in the context of the busy sales meeting to provide training for salespeople and their managers. In that case now is the perfect time to provide training while integrating it with your strategic sales meeting initiatives.

Before beginning any sales training there are a number of questions you want to ask yourself to determine what changes you should make to your current sales training, and why, before you make any changes. One of those questions is, Why make a change? In other words, what is the problem you want to fix or the opportunity that you want to seize? If you’re interested in reading some more questions, check out this page

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