enterprise sales executives

Recruiting Enterprise Sales – Getting Quality & Quantity

If you’re using LinkedIn to reach qualified sales candidates (which you should be) and not getting the quantity and quality of candidate flow, there’s a reason. Things have changed!  More people are looking, and more companies are recruiting.  It’s about standing out! 

First, those candidates you’re looking for are ALL on LinkedIn and the pool is enormous! 

The challenge is attracting attention and then getting them hooked.  Differentiating yourselves in a very crowded market seems challenging, but it’s not that hard. Honestly, with a little strategy and creative writing, you can get your candidate flow up after a few sessions.  Here’s why it’s so important… there are currently over 25K companies in the US looking specifically for Enterprise Sales Executives. Here’s what’s crazy, 95% of all the ads look the same.  Effective ads stand out, they speak to the candidates in their language quickly, and in a compelling way! The effective ad lets our qualified candidates know we have something special for them. This becomes more and more critical now that the opportunity to build and grow the sales effort is better than has been in a good while. 

Let’s start back with our sales training and apply some of it to recruiting…

Learn about what’s important to them. Listen and understand what they want and understand why it’s important.  Use what we know is important to them to write an effective ad to show them we are exactly what they want. Please don’t just publish a description of the job role if you’re serious about upping your recruiting game! We win at attracting the high performing sales candidates we want and need when we speak their language.  

Here’s the thing, we already know what high performing enterprise level sales talent is looking for.  We’ve listened!  They want intangibles like sales culture, inspiring leadership, independence, impactful contribution, and a mission worth believing in, to name a few.  They are also looking for tangibles like the opportunity to make big money when they deliver big performance, they want marketing and lead gen support, they want to hear our vision and know there’s a plan.  They want to be on a winning team! But you don’t need to be the Superbowl champs in your market, you just need to effectively share the vision along with a plan to get there!  This is the starting line to attracting top players.

Are you experiencing any of these?

  • Not getting the flow of candidates you need.  
  • Having to compromise or settle on the quality for your candidate pool.  
  • Confounded by what it takes to attract the best without breaking the bank.  
  • Finding that your new hire ramp-to-quota is too long, perhaps unstable, unpredictable, and potentially driving turnover.  
  • Too many reps not making their number and sucking up too many management resources.

The above symptoms are all closely connected to ineffective recruiting and not having a well-organized ramp path for new sales reps. Within 90 days, you and your reps should have clarity on how their success trajectory is doing and how they got there.  This is all part of the recruiting story, “you’re a fit for our team and we are going to help get you there.”  It gives “A” players the assurance they are not alone and the knowledge there is a team effort working toward mutually beneficial goals.  

The companies who win at recruiting top sales talent are those who know how to first attract a critical mass of qualified talent, possess a well-documented path to success, with a support team to help enterprise sales executives get the right help they need to succeed.  


Epic Sales B2B Hiring Fails

1. Being Emotionally Involved:

They’ll sneak in and get you every time if you’re not careful! Allowing emotions to come into play in the hiring process produces bad sales hires!  Usually, emotions get involved when there is no strategy or process.  You meet someone and you think “wow, they’re great!  They’re smart, attractive, articulate and both they and their resume have said how great they are too.”  STOP, WAKE UP!!!  You may be close to a bad sales hire.  If you’re reading this, you probably know how costly it is!  The time to train and manage, the time putting them on performance improvement, the time needed to start over, and most importantly… the lost opportunities that you can never recover.  First rule… do not rely on gut feeling!  It will get you every time.

2. Not Being Precise with the Sales Role:

There are several roles but the most prominent are the Hunter and the Account Manager.  My experience tells me Hunters do not make good Account Managers and vice versa.  Here’s how to tell the difference.  Ask the Hunter to map out their prospecting strategy they have used in the past.  How do they organize their time, how do they get to the decision maker and what is their contact cadence? Ask them to role play a first call.  Similarly, ask the Account Manager to map out their strategy to expand a key account.  Ask how they network using connections, what research they do and how do they use it? 

3. Decision Maker Access:

This is a make or break for your most important deals.  Unfortunately, many salespeople do not have the self-concept, a strategy or technique to get to the decision maker.  The higher your average sale size is, the more critical this becomes.  Ask your prospective hire how they negotiate to power, and in their opinion, how important accessing power is to win a deal.  If they don’t see it as critical, they won’t do it, and they will deliver to you a pipeline full of bloat (unqualified deals that will not close).

4. Not Understanding Their Money Concept:

This gets into psychology because beliefs drive what salespeople are willing to do and not do.  For example, if you charge more than your competitors because of quality, beliefs come into play.  Here’s an example, your salesperson buys everything on price in their personal life, because high value means the lowest price. Now when fielding a price objection, this belief does not support the right outcome.  You will find these folks are the ones with the lowest margins, asking for the most concessions for the customer. Therefore, it is important to measure these hidden drivers before someone is hired. 

5. Do They Really Know How to Handle Sales Complexity:

Complexity of sales cycle is usually associated with a higher price point.  Not only does it require access to a VP or C level decision maker, but it also requires herding cats (getting everyone on the same page), executive presence, and the ability to understand and talk to the prospects business strategy.  Ask them how they do this and ask for an example of how they have tied business strategy to a solution they have sold in the past. 

6. Are They Showing Off Their Goal Orientation:

The most successful people are goal oriented, particularly salespeople.  It’s more than just writing down numbers.  It’s passion about where you are going and why it is important to get there.  Consequently, evidence of how important a candidate’s personal goals are to them is key.  Also consider if the role offered allows them to achieve their goals, assuming they are at or above company goal.  Salespeople without a “goal mindset” are not salespeople who consistently achieve! 

7. Do They Really Listen and Have Excellent Questioning Skills:

How can you listen if you cannot get people to talk?  You can’t!  Questioning skills always come first.  A great salesperson’s first tool in the bag is their questioning skills, then their ability to listen.  Ask them their top 10 qualifying questions.  They should be able to rattle these off without a second thought.  If they can’t, that’s a problem.  Also, observe their listening skills in the interview.  Do they practice active listening (paraphrasing the key things you’ve said)?  Do you feel like you are being heard and understood by them or are they more focused on getting their own questions answered? 

8. No Excuse Makers Please:

This is an important one!  Responsibility in sales is defined as the absence of excuse making.  If you have a sales team now, I’m sure you have heard “I can’t because…” In sales you must find your way around obstacles.  The minute you say you cannot, in your mind you’re right and you stop trying.  Ask about the most difficult circumstances they’ve had to overcome. If they have not had many or ones that are not impressive, chances are they won’t be impressive in the sales field either. 

9. Don’t Settle. Select the Best:

Remember the top 20% is out there and your job is sifting through candidates quickly with little expense to select the best!  You’ll be glad you did.  

The top 20% of salespeople produce 125% more than average, the top 4% produce 250% more. 

Brad Smart – Topgrading
Success And Failure word on Signpost isolated on blue background

The One Sales Leadership Rule That Cannot be Broken!

There are not many simple rules in sales leadership that you can ALWAYS rely on. Here’s one of them… Great sales leaders know how to consistently find, select and hire top 20% sales candidates. It’ simple, great teams are made of great people! I know I’ve tried to build something big and got stuck before I could take off because of my poor hiring practices. Honestly, I was a bit naive. The scary part is that you can have all the other attributes to be a great leader, but if you miss it here you can’t really make up for it. Hiring well is the fastest track to a relatively stress-free management life that makes you look great in the meanwhile. I remember the new sense of controlling my destiny, in a very chaotic environment.  It was just what I needed to get where I was trying to go.

Think about this quote, what could this mean to your business? I will personally vouch for this; I’ve seen this kind of result over and over again.

“The top 20% of sales people produce 120% more than average, the top 4% produce 250% more than average.”

-Geoff Smart, Topgrading

I’ve seen a top 4% performer come in and change everything by showing what can be done. You don’t get those folks all the time, but when you do, it’s a total game changer… The team is lifted, new standards are set, and the future truly does take on a new perspective.  

Here’s the rub on sales recruiting without a strategy and a process in place. Today nearly 60% of 1 million salespeople recently surveyed are under quota, failing in their role, unhappy with their job and costing their organizations substantially. These represent most of the sales candidates that are in the market looking for a new job. No wonder it is so easy to make a bad sales hire.  A big part of the puzzle is to avoid letting underperforming candidates enter your interview pool. I have numbers that suggest you will become 368% better just by doing this! 

Remember there are just 2 types of candidates out there:

  • Those who have the right sales DNA, motivation and right fit sales experience for your role; and 
  • Those who do not. 

The top 20% have the right sales DNA to execute well in a live selling environment when the pressure is on to do the right things. Secondly, they have the motivation to do some of the less glamorous and difficult things required to be successful (prospecting comes to mind here) and must have the selling competencies required to execute. Here are some of those required competencies: 

  • The ability to ask tough penetrating questions, without fear of hearing the word ‘no”;  
  • The ability to control emotions in a difficult moment;  
  • Money perception (can they sell multimillion dollar deals and not sell on price);  
  • Rejection strength;  
  • Positive outlook;  
  • Lack of excuse-making when obstacles present themselves (and they will); and  
  • Commitment to doing the hard things.  

These are a few of the selling competencies that separate those who are the best (top 20%) from those who are not. 

It can be difficult to measure some of these things in an interview process because many of these high performing selling traits are hidden from view.  Here’s the big trick… having a strategy, a process, and the tools to uncover these hidden success traits, before you hire them!  If you’re interested, here’s a 5-minute read on hidden weakness and sales DNA, take a look here. It’s eye-opening! 

Consistently recruiting top talent is an art and a science and most importantly it’s easy to learn and immediately actionable. 

Until next time, stay shrewd my friends. 



sticky notes on wall

Enterprise Sales Executive Hires – 4 Absolutes Must Haves

1. Personal Presence

This can mean so many different things.  So here’s what really matters in this instance… how would they be received with your best prospect?  An Enterprise Sales Executive (ESE) should be involved in finding, managing, and closing million-dollar deals which means they will need to be talking the executive suite.  Therefore, who should that person be?  Do they have executive presence? Do they give off a believable and trustworthy vibe?  How is their articulation?  Is there a calm confidence? Do they get rattled easily?  There are also six hidden sales weakness that can derail someone’s ability to successfully operate in this kind of higher-level sales environment.   

2. Opportunity Qualification

 Ultimately the ESE needs to qualify and find million-dollar strategic problems that your solution can solve. Do they understand how to talk business strategy with decision makers to uncover those strategic problems? Are they able to effectively set up a meeting with the right people and set objectives?  If not, you will be paying someone to waste their time and company resources in pursuit of opportunities that don’t pay off.  This is where bloated pipelines and bad sales forecasts come from. Here’s how you determine if they have the skills… do a role play with them.  You’re the prospect and they are selling one of their previous solutions to you. First, watch to see if they attempt to set up the meeting objectives, here’s a basic example: “What are the most important things you’d like to cover in our meeting today?”  Then, do they ask good qualifying questions that will get to the heart of the matter? Here are more examples: “9 months after you put this solution in place how will you measure success? Assuming we were the perfect fit, when is it critical for you to have this live?  Why is that date important?”   Notice in the previous example, there is little to no product talk, and they should be using questions to get the prospect (you in this role play) to do most of the talking, while they are actively listening.  If these skills are not apparent (doesn’t have to be perfect), it’s time to say goodbye! 

3. Business Development

This is job #1 for an ESE.  One of the first questions are expectations.  Is there a current lead generation program at your company supplying leads?  If so, what percentage of net new leads are expected to be generated by the ESE from their own efforts?  Not having a mutual understanding of expectations can cause the wrong kind of turnover in the sales department.  Generally, most B2B marketing efforts are responsible for 40% of lead gen.  That leaves 60% to our new hire if this is your case.  Therefore, I would like to know the strategies and tactics they used in previous roles.  Strategies would include: the message (elevator pitch) they used; the companies they called on and why; their entry point into the organization and how they negotiate to the key stakeholders or decision makers.  Tactics would be their process (behaviors): networking; email; LinkedIn; cadences; how did they organize and execute, what were their numbers (time and effort spent vs. results).  If they cannot articulate this with convincing ease, it means this dog don’t hunt.

4. Deal Management

When you think about it, deal management is all about negotiation.  It’s about knowing what’s needed to win a deal and negotiating along the way to get what’s needed for the win. It’s herding the cats to bring everything together.  Some of the key pieces include… articulating a problem that is a must solve and why; getting Key Stake Holders to sponsor the project; getting buy in on decision success criteria and how it will be accomplished; getting early buy in on order-of-magnitude budget; making sure the person(s) who will sign the check agree to prioritize the spend (before the project proceeds).  Can your ESE candidate and those who are on your team articulate the process of what techniques they use to accomplish each of these things?  For candidates listen to them explain how they have managed important deals in the past.  This is not a place for “fly by the seat of your pants” selling, to see if it works.

If you’d like to see our description of “The Anatomy of a High Performing Enterprise Sales Executive” go here.

Selling competencies combined with sales DNA (the ability to execute in a selling environment) are the keys to getting your team to take things to the next level! 



enterprise sales hire resume

Enterprise Sales Hires – Don’t Let Resumes Fool You!

I must admit there have been many times I’ve been impressed with how some sales executives present themselves on paper.  But I must remind myself that many of those impressive resumes have been written by a hired professional, which is certainly worth giving them a point for effort. However, it will not tell you if they can sell and the underperforming candidates certainly won’t tell you if they can’t sell either.  The goal of the underperformer is to get the job to keep a paycheck coming in. Your goal is to eliminate these folks from ever getting close to being hire by your company.  If you’re reading this article, you probably already know what a drag on your progress hiring an underperformer can be! 

The good news is there’s always good information to glean from resumes to flush out the bottom 80% pool of candidates. The first key is to make sure you stick only to the facts on the resume and that you can validate it.   Here are 3 factual pieces that can help your initial screening process and be validated: 

First, a few things to discount… job descriptions, hobbies, words like developed, created, designed, introduced, engineered and analyzed. These descriptors are fluff… don’t be distracted by them. 

Stated Objective:

Many times you see stated objectives like sales management, but it’s submitted for a sales executive role.  These candidates are essentially saying they are looking for whatever they can find and did not take the time to customize their resume to fit the potential role.  Successful people know what they are looking for and don’t waste their time on opportunities that are not a fit.  If you decide to let someone in the process that desires another role, you risk of problems down the road can go up dramatically, if not addressed properly, up front.


As a guy who has interviewed thousands of sales candidates and hired hundreds, there is one resume attribute that does not lie… it’s consistent success!  Inconsistent accomplishments likely point to success anomalies. However, when you do see they’ve had consistent success across several companies, you have a high probability of an “A” player (top 20%).  “A” players are successful everywhere they go.  They also are very proud of their accomplishments which are easy to spot on their resumes. Here’s a rule I go by: If there are no specific and consistent accomplishments, they probably don’t have any, therefore no interview.  Yes, even when they are in your industry and may require little training.  You can’t train someone to be the best, it’s a character trait.   

Staying Power vs. Ramp Up:

The larger the deal sizes that your enterprise executives are going after, the longer the sales cycle will be. Typically, 6 – 9 months is the average length of a larger deal. You should plan on at least 2 sales cycles for a newly hired sales exec to ramp up to full production.  That means they should have a history of at least 4-5 sales cycles to be considered successful in a previous enterprise selling role.  When I ask how long their typical sales cycle is and compare it to their longevity at a company, many times it’s clear they leave before they can positively impact the companies they have worked for.  As an example, if someone says they had a 9-month sales cycle, but they left the company in less than 2 years…this is problematic.  Most likely they left before they were asked to leave, or they couldn’t figure out a way to be successful, leaving to find another company to support their potentially bad selling habits. When you see resumes that have great success but no stability, hirer beware! It most likely means they were handed a nice deal or two and then left after they had to start working their territory to be successful… it happens all the time.     

These 3-resume screening techniques will eliminate a high percentage of underperformers who are trying to get in your resume pool, save you a lot of time and it is a process that can be delegated.  Stay shrewd my friends. My true north for hiring is “don’t settle, select the best.” This reasoning originates from experiencing bad hires.  I’ve seen how much management time it takes, how in the end they underproduce, while losing deals to the competition to name a few. No matter how great a manager / leader you are, you cannot fix an underperformer. Getting the noise out of your pool of potential candidates begins with knowing what you are looking for on a resume before you invest any of your precious time interviewing them.  Keep your standards high and don’t settle!  Stay thirsty for the best and you will be rewarded! 

To find out more about the six hidden weaknesses along with other critical considerations go here

More thoughts on hiring next week! 



Your Sales Demos Are Killing Deals – 3 Reasons Why

You’ve sat through painful demos before. The ones that you wish were over shortly after they started.  These demos are deal killers! Could it be that your team may be guilty of the same? 

It’s not hard to fix, but first you need to know if it’s happening and then have a strategy to get things on course. Read on to diagnose if your sales effort has this deal-killing disease and how to fix it if you do.


1. You are talking too much about you and your product.

Does your team begin the first part of the demo meeting talking about what your company does, how many employees you have or who your customers are? If so, you’re losing your prospect before you get started.  Your audience wants to get to THEIR points fast and they want to stay on those points until they are resolved.  Every minute you spend talking about things that are not important to them, going too deep technically, or not going deep enough, you are losing your audience, eroding credibility, and putting your sales opportunities at risk.  Remember, your prospects have already done research on you. So, when you talk about you, keep it short and wait until the end.

2. There is little interactions.

The best sales presentation you’ll ever give is the one the prospect never sees… because it feels like a conversation.  In a demo, prospects should be doing the talking about 60% of the time. When it’s just you talking to them, they believe it is biased and self-serving, and it usually is. They can smell it a mile away!  They should be telling you what their frustrations are with the current state and why it’s important to get it fixed. By having your prospect talk this out with you, you are allowing them to sell themselves. 

3. You are showing them what they don’t want to see.

Often when I ask salespeople whose agenda is the most important in a demo (or any prospect meeting) they tell me it’s their agenda. WRONG! They believe their job is to show the prospect all the features of the product and why those features are so amazing… WRONG again! Everyone in the audience has priorities for the meeting, what they want to see, in what order they want to see it, and how much of each section they need to experience to feel comfortable about the solution.  There may be great features in your solution that you think are incredible but are just not important to them right now.  However, there are usually some key items that will make or break the deal. Know what they are, stay on point, let them talk it through with you and start knocking down more deals!

sales person looks at computer

I’m Tired of Excuse Making From the Sales Team!

Excuse-making from the sales team drives me crazy!  It’s like saying you give up and you can’t do any better.  The reality is it’s either BS or they just don’t know what to do.  My experience… it’s a little of both.  It’s okay to miss a sales target occasionally, but its never okay not to have a plan to improve.  Excuse-making begins when poor results begin to show, and the sales team doesn’t know what to do.   

So where does that leave you? What does one do with the excuses? The good news is you don’t have to know all the answers.  You just need to know that excuse-making is a deadly sales disease that stops progress cold and is unacceptable.  First, compare what your team is doing vs. what it should be doing. This article should help: Breakthrough Sales Growth for Small Tech – 9 Essentials

Start by asking some basic questions…

  • Do I have the right people in the right seats, and can they get us to our destination? 
  • Am I the right person to be leading the sales & marketing effort or do I need help?

Next, see if your team has a basic plan and a process:

  • Is the lead generation working?  Do they know the quantity and quality of leads we need to have to be successful?  Are we getting enough to make our goal? What are we doing differently today to get a better result than yesterday? What’s the lead gen calendar / plan look like for the month, quarter, and year? Are we getting real leads from our very expensive trade shows or are we just tracking who came by the booth?
  • Is the sales team’s one-to-one sales prospecting plan working?  Do we have a Target Account Profile that is driving us to win bigger more qualified deals? What is our qualifying message and is it compelling, easy to understand and directed toward the decision makers issues?  Are we having real business conversations with these targeted prospects that convert to sales opportunities or are we just taking what is given to us?
  • Is our close rate of sales opportunities near or above 30%? Are the opportunities in our sales pipeline well qualified and sponsored? Are these opportunities moving towards close with commitments from the sponsor along the way?  Are too many sales opportunities stuck in the pipeline with no strategy to move them to close? Why is our sales forecasting always off?

Don’t let your team focus on the wrong end of the sales problem which are the bad results accompanied by excuses to avoid responsibility.  Bad results always point to poor execution. The right end of the problem demands excellent execution of strategy, people, process, and metrics. This combined with coaching and accountability will elevate your team and your revenue fast!

BTW, I have a lot more questions (and answers) if you need them!


Your Big Deals Won’t Close – 4 Reasons Why

  1. You’re talking to the wrong companies, too often.
  2. You’re talking to the wrong people in the right companies.
  3. You’re talking about the wrong things to the right people in the right companies.
  4. Your sales team isn’t capable, yet.

These are the first four things I look at when I’m trying to help someone who needs to get their sales team on track. 

You would think most sales and marketing teams have #1 figured out… not so much. The good news is this is easy to correct and a big win for revenue.  Give your team the right bullseye to aim for and magic will begin to happen. You’ll become better as a team at knowing where you compete best and why.  Your deal sizes will grow, your sales cycle will shorten, you’ll waste less time and resources, and your team will gain confidence.  Here’s the tool we developed as a guide for our clients to find their “Target Account Profile.” 

Bigger, more profitable deals are always behind the door of the C-suite.  Decision makers make decisions! Everyone else just does what they say. To keep your big deals on track and to close on time with favorable terms, decision makers must be involved early.  The key for the sales team is knowing how to get there.   We call it “negotiating to power” and every successful B2B sales team knows how to do this well.  Make sure your team is learning the important skill of “negotiating to power.” This is a game changer! Here’s a 3-minute video that will help.

Decision makers make big decisions to keep the company growing, profitable and risk free. They think in terms of strategy, risk avoidance, profit growth, customer retention, etc.  They are looking for big impact once their challenges are resolved and are willing to pay big money (AKA the 3X rule) in return.  It is NEVER about our product, it’s about the solution it provides specifically to solve these important issues!  As sales professionals, we generally talk too much, and when we do, we are commonly talking to much about us… a true deal killer habit.  Check out the video above for help with this also.

There are four kinds of salespeople, one is powerful, the rest are not:

  • Those who can’t and won’t sell.
  • Those who can but won’t sell.
  • Those who can’t but will sell.
  • Those who can and will sell.

If you want to experience a paradigm shift when it comes to understanding the makeup of a successful enterprise salesperson, take a 5-minute read on the Modern Science of Salesperson Selection.


[VIDEO] 3 Keys to Closing Your Largest Deals

Does your pipeline have plenty of potential, but not enough closed deals? If you’re continually projecting large quarterly revenue increases only to be disappointed then this video is for you. Watch as Jeff breaks down the key elements of a successful sales pipeline.

successful sales team results

Breakthrough Sales Growth for Small Tech – 9 Essentials

There is nothing better than enjoying a great steak, prepared medium rare, cooked over hardwood coals, with a side of fresh hot fries, and an inky Cabernet, please.  A quality steak house always does the right things right and it shows in the amazing food it serves, in the high prices it demands, and in the many customers who are willing to buy.

Similarly, companies with successful sales teams have no trouble attracting customers, standing out from the competition in a crowded field, or commanding a premium price for their offer.  Just like a great steak house, they do the right things right.

So what are some of those right things to develop a successful small tech sales team?

  1. Having a strategy which the company uses to differentiate itself in the market,
  2. Correct target marketing and territory management that aligns with the differentiation strategy,
  3. Lead generation process, strategy and its effective execution,
  4. A selling system and its effective execution toward early qualification and deal management,
  5. Metrics used to identify early failure points and the corresponding sales process for improvement,
  6. A pipeline system that identifies quality opportunities over quantity of opportunities while delivering an accurate financial forecast,
  7. The effective motivation of the team (compensation, quota and mission),
  8. Hiring “A” level salespeople, meaning the quality and fit of the individuals on the sales team; and finally,
  9. Effective leadership that provides ongoing strategic direction and coaching of the team with measurable continuous improvement in each of the above items.

 And here’s the beginning of doing them right:

  1. Differentiation – Separating your company from the competition does not mean that you have to have the best product or offering. Often being the best can distract you from what the customer really wants.  Perhaps you have noticed it’s not always the best product that wins! It is so important to truly know and understand your customer.
  2. Target Marketing and Territory Management – Salespeople are expensive! Therefore, it is essential that we leverage their skills and time.  Give me a talented salesperson who is purposely directed to calling on exactly the right target customer with a strategy to get to the decision maker, and I’ll give you a winner. Typically, salespeople are not the best administrators, they need help with this.
  3. Lead Generation – Repeat of point 2 – salespeople are expensive! Sacred prospecting time is critical to every salesperson’s success.  However, a good lead generation program through effective marketing, leverages your salespeople’s time and tells you if your differentiation story is working.  If it is not working, return to step 1 above.
  4. Selling System – Can a new sales person consistently identify a problem with a significant consequence, from a decision maker within your target market, that your product or service can address? That’s the first key indicator to knowing if you have a sales team you can scale.  It is also the start of a meaningful sales cycle worthy of investment of your company’s time and resources.  Without a selling system that gets your sales people consistently across this chasm along with effective opportunity management, your growth opportunity will be stuck.
  5. Metrics – When training a dog who is having trouble getting house trained, you must catch them in the act and correct it immediately or it becomes a bad habit that leads to failure. So too, salespeople need clarity on what the right things are (and are not) with immediate corrections and rewards.   Well-designed metrics that tell you what is happening and when, will allow you to take the right actions that lead to success before it is too late. This is especially important in long sale cycles.
  6. Pipeline – The main thing is keeping the main thing, the main thing. In other words, knowing you have a clean pipeline full of opportunities with merit (versus a bloated pipeline) allows you to continually invest in growth, at your chosen pace.
  7. Hiring “A” Level Salespeople – What most organizations may not realize is that a non or underperforming salesperson is the most expensive salesperson you can hire. They bring everyone else down a notch and they leave untold sales waiting for the competition to enjoy, e.g. unrealized revenue that should belong to you.  If you don’t have a proven process to identify and find top talent with the right sales competencies for your environment, you will greatly limit your ability to grow and scale in any meaningful way.
  8. Leadership – This means just that. It’s first doing the right things listed above.  Then, as Covey says, it’s about doing them right.  It’s making sales people better at who they are and what they do. It’s about instilling belief through example, showing them that the future is bright with demonstrable proof, and giving them a path to success so they know how to get there. It’s about cultural change and transformation so that we know who we are, where we are going and how we are going to get there!

Good selling & sales team development!