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Categories: Sales Productivity

The Worst Super Bowl Ever? A Lesson in Sales Discipline

Well it happened again! I woke up the day after a big sporting event and read the news a little perplexed. The headline read, “Super Bowl draws lowest TV audience in more than a decade”. Another read, “Boring game plus New Orleans rebellion leads to ratings drop”.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation

How Sales Negotiation Training Courses Can Improve and Bring Value to Your Sales Team

There's a point as a sales leader when you know you need to make an investment in improving your sales team’s negotiating effectiveness. They see their sales teams routinely facing these negotiating challenges:

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Digging Deep Creating the Right Questions Flow for Effective Discovery

Enable your sales team to uncover business pain.

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Categories: Sales Process

Podcast: The Single Selling Motion

When salespeople learn methodologies, they can sometimes become overwhelmed by the tactics presented. However, effective processes aren't one-time events, they are executed together in one single selling motion. In our new podcast, John Kaplan breaks down some tips and tricks that help reps layer in new processes in a way that's simple and practical.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation

The Difference Between Sales Negotiation Training Programs That Work and Those That Don't

You're seeing the signs... Your account teams are negotiating price versus value Your losing margins and leverage in negotiations Your reps are green and they're negotiating with very experienced buyers Your teams have difficulty managing customer tactics Your internal process is slowing down negotiations

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Categories: Channel Sales

How to Define a Success Profile for Your Channel Partners

The expression I like to use about partners is that they’re not like your children, they’re like your neighbor’s children. You don’t have the authority to discipline them or to hire or fire their sales reps. Instead you have to coach and develop them as best as you can to help them drive results that will move the needle. This reality is a challenge – why should your channel partners listen to you?

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Categories: Sales Kickoff

How to Convert Skeptics at Your Sales Kickoff

In our recent sales kickoff webinar, a few of our attendees asked about how to present the content in a way that diminishes the amount of skepticism in the room. We put that question to some of our expert facilitators who often deal with a lot of skepticism when they're helping sales leaders drive change.  Since, many of you are about to launch your sales kickoffs, I've summarized their advice. This list may help you craft a few talking points for your event.

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Categories: Qualification  |  Sales Process

How To Ensure Your Sales Qualification Process is Making a Difference

You've got a sales qualification process in your organization. You feel like it should be making a difference. However, you feel like it still may have room for improvement. We've been there and we've talked to sales leaders just like you who have felt the same way. Here are some areas we encourage them to focus on to ensure their sales qualification process is making a difference.

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Categories: Sales Planning

Podcast: Key Concepts for Effective Sales Planning

If you are struggling to meet your 2018 numbers, you can probably attribute your challenges to the sales pipeline. Sales planning is one of our favorite topics to cover at the end of the year. There are those of you who are feeling the effects of lackluster sales planning. The bad news you're running out of time for this year. The good news is there are clear steps you can take to correct it moving forward.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

How to Improve Sales by Getting Other Leaders to Align Behind Your Sales Initiative

You know what's working within your sales organization. And, perhaps more importantly, you know what isn't. Many of the sales leaders we speak to know what needs to be fixed in their organization. Things like:

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Categories: Podcasts  |  Qualification

Podcast: How to Improve Qualification in Your Sales Organization

If you want to get your sales teams working smarter, you need a well-defined qualification process. Why do so many organizations struggle with qualification?

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Productivity

Why People Call These Solutions Some of Our Best-Kept Secrets

We spend a lot of time on our blog talking about challenges that face our customers and possible solutions. We try to practice what we preach, making our blog content focused on our customer, and less about us. However, today we are breaking with the norm and sharing a little more about Force Management. We've spent the past few years sharpening our methodologies, making them more robust and valuable for our buyers. As a result, we have several new and improved product offerings aimed at helping you achieve the positive business outcomes you need. Below are five offerings that will help you improve sales numbers. Some may call them Force Management's best-kept secrets (not for long!).

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Categories: Sales Transformation

How to Counteract the Fading Enthusiasm that Happens Right After Sales Training

If you've ever launched a sales initiative you know that you gain the return on the investment in the weeks after the training roll out. The critical events that happen after training can make the difference between a sales initiative that moves the needle and one that falls flat. Here are a few ways we recommend our clients counteract the fading enthusiasm that can happen right after sales training.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation  |  Sales Productivity

How to Boost Sales with Ten Small Changes that Make a Big Impact

It's the age-old question. How can you get your sales teams selling more, faster? We have spent countless hours helping some of the most successful sales organizations do just that. So, today on the blog, we're sharing a short list of ten small changes you can make with your sales team that will help boost sales.

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Sales Transformation

How to Increase Revenue by Improving the Manager/Seller Relationship

If you're looking to increase revenue, one of the fastest ways to do it is to improve the relationship between your managers and sellers. Making that link more effective, resourceful and aligned will pay back with significant results. We work with managers extensively in our Manager Coaching deliveries and those curriculums are based on a few basic tenets that you can apply to your own organization.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

Methods to Increase Sales: Celebrate Successes

There isn't a successful sales leader out there who isn't focused on hitting the revenue number quarter after quarter. We are all living and dying by the (hopefully accurate) forecast. While the major metrics are important to measuring the success of your sales and account teams (e.g., RMR, Average Deal Size, Sales Cycles, Churn). One of the most underrated methods to increase sales among your teams is to recognize success, even the smallest accomplishments. Lifting up small wins is critical after rolling out a new initiative to your sales teams.

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Categories: Sales Kickoff  |  Sales Transformation

Your Questions Answered: How to Plan a SKO that Makes a Difference

You may have noticed that we've been publishing a lot of content recently on sales kickoffs, including an on-demand webinar, an ebook  and even a Facebook Live chat about making sure your next SKO is effective. The content resonated with a lot of our blog readers and we received a slew of questions on the topic. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. Use the answers below to help you plan a successful event. 

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Transformation

Leading Through Seasons of Growth

Growth is often a goal of anyone leading a company. As many of you know, there is an art and a science to setting up your organization to successfully maneuver through seasons of growth.

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Categories: Channel Sales

Five Best Practices That Increase Revenue Out of Indirect Sales

A channel program is an effective way to increase your capacity and expand market share. However, without putting resources behind enabling this avenue for revenue, you’ll likely do more harm than good. To garner the many benefits that come from a robust channel program, you need to put the time and resources into ensuring your channel sellers have the same understanding of your value and differentiation as your own field or inside sales teams.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

Strategies to Increase Sales: Selecting Specific and Measurable Commitments to Action

One of the most important things you can do to ensure success of your sales kickoff is to have a plan for reinforcing the concepts, processes and/or tools you’re rolling out at the event. One of the best ways to ensure that reinforcement happens is to have specific calls-to-action at the end of the event. Too often, these CTAs are throwaways. They’re tossed on a slide at the end of the final day. The presenter rushes through them while everyone fidgets, anxiously awaiting to get to the airport or to the bar. Do yourself a favor. Spend time crafting the CTAs and ensure you’re rolling them out in a way that they actually completed.

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Categories: Sales Kickoff

Why We Hate Sales Kickoffs

Force Management just participated in Software Executive Magazine’s Executive Forum in New York. The event brought together executives from high-tech companies who shared best practices on things like driving customer success, building an effective channel program, and setting your organization up for a successful exit. One panelist mentioned his distaste for the traditional sales organization, specifically around the high-dollar investments companies make in salespeople that fail to show that their worth that spend.

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Categories: Sales Kickoff

Sales Kickoff Meetings: How to launch a sales kickoff that actually moves the needle

If you're like most sales organizations, you are earmarking a hefty budget for next year's sales kickoff. How effective these events are depends on the sales organization, the structure of the event and the commitment of leadership to ensure that it's an event that actually helps to move the needle.

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Categories: Sales Kickoff

How to Get More Buy-In for What You Need at Your Sales Kickoff

We've been writing a lot about executing an effective sales kickoff. While we aren't event planners nor do we center our business around giving big room keynotes, we do know something about aligning a major event to an important business strategy. Done right, sales kickoffs can often be the driver of company change. The event that marks the change from doing things the old way to the new way of operating.

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Categories: Sales Kickoff

How to Set Objectives for Your Sales Kickoff

If you’ve been in sales for longer than five minutes, you know that the sales kickoff meeting is a yearly tradition of many B2B sales organizations. The event is one of the few, if not the only, time that the entire sales organization comes together to align on what’s ahead for the upcoming year.

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Kickoff

Sales Kickoffs: The mistake you’re making when planning your SKO

The sales kickoff meeting is the yearly tradition in many sales organizations. They've been happening for decades. Some of them are legendary and you've probably shared a story or two with your colleagues about what happened when. "We were in Las Vegas around 2001. The meeting ended around 5 and then we went out...." Yeah, we've heard that one too.

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Categories: Differentiation

Methods to Increase Sales: Nailing Your Proof Points

There's not a salesperson out there that doesn't love having a multitude of case studies and customer testimonials that demonstrate the value and differentiation of your solutions. Proof points help move individual opportunities forward, gaining attention of prospects and mitigating purchasing risk. Elite salespeople know how to use them effectively. Elite sales organizations have a process around capturing them and using them.

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Categories: Channel Sales

The Critical Sales Skills Your Indirect Sales Organization Need

In complex sale organizations, the indirect sales team is often an afterthought. The Direct Sales organization is typically the focus of enablement dollars and training. However, the power of the channel comes from your ability to get the mindshare of the partners. They need to have the same understanding of your value and differentiation as your direct team. In addition, they need to be able to articulate those points in a way that's relevant to the buyer.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation

Why Your Sales Negotiation Training Isn't Working

There isn’t a company leader out there that believes his/her team has crafted a perfect negotiation strategy that will work seamlessly in any sales situation. Most organizations find their approach to customer negotiations could probably use some work. In a fast-paced selling environment with competitors constantly pushing new solutions and “incentives” at customers and those same customer’s demanding more “value” every day, you can’t afford to rely on an average approach to sales negotiation. You’ve got to make sure you get it right the first time.

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Categories: Channel Sales

How to Drive Revenue Growth Through Your Indirect Sales Channels

Channel leaders are in constant competition for partner mind share. There are only so many hours in a day or days in a quarter that a partner will actively sell your products. For those that sell other solutions, there may be an expanded time frame when your products are not top of mind. So how can you enable the partner to keep your solutions at the forefront with the right buyers and deliver the right value proposition to the buyer?

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Categories: Sales Negotiation

3 Common Misconceptions About Sales Negotiation

There are several misperceptions about sales negotiations that have carried over from outdated, old-school beliefs about negotiating with customers. The three most common misperceptions are routinely combined to limit the negotiating effectiveness of customer-facing teams.

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Categories: Channel Sales

The Formula That Can Help You Drive Improved Sales Channel Success

Achieving predictable and repeatable sales growth comes down to two major areas of focus – productivity and capacity. When you’re able to make your salespeople as productive as possible and you have enough team members to execute, your revenue numbers naturally increase.

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools  |  Sales Transformation

How to Ensure Your Sales Teams Get the Most out of a Sales Training Initiative

Anyone who has led a sales team knows that training doesn't instantly right the course in your sales organization. However, a focus on improving and executing on sales fundamentals can help even the most experienced account teams. The challenge is that training initiatives are often hefty investments, especially if you are leading a large sales team. If there's one thing you need to do, it's to ensure that your sales enablement initiatives are bringing the intended results. Achieving those goals begins with creating the right training initiative.

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Categories: Sales coaching

Strategies to Increase Sales: Reigniting a Veteran Sales Team

During any sales training program, a leader is faced with varying levels of enthusiasm. You likely have new sales reps who are still trying to establish themselves at the organization. This group is often extremely keen to learn and grow their own professional development forward. The challenge often lies in getting buy-in from your veteran salespeople. They’ve probably seen more sales training initiatives fail than succeed during their careers. They’ve been there, done that. They don’t have time to waste with flavor-of-the-month initiatives. Even with the likely skepticism that’s in place, good training can help reignite and refocus an experienced sales team. Done right a sales initiative can be the lynch-pin that reinvigorates a veteran sales team, giving them the tools, processes and content to go from experienced to elite.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation  |  Sales Process

Is Your Sales Process Crippling Your Negotiation Strategy?

We like to say that, “all the sins of the sales process come home to roost in the negotiation.” Meaning there is a clear correlation and intersection between your sales negotiation and sales process. If you’ve got a negotiation problem, it could very likely be tied to the ineffectiveness of your sales process.

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Categories: Planning  |  Sales Coaching Tools

Critical Factors to Consider When Selecting a Sales Training Partner

In the sales training industry the question, "Who does this line of work?" may be answered with, "a good many". There are dozens, if not hundreds, of sales training organizations out there who help clients become more successful. These training groups are used by companies in the hopes of improving sales performance, building a stronger team, and ultimately increasing revenue. It's as simple as that. But, how does an organization know which partner to choose? Below are critical points that any sales organization should prioritize when seeking to hire a partner to train their sales organization:

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Categories: Sales Transformation

How Do You Know You Need to Hire a Sales Consulting Firm?

Bringing in the right sales consulting firm can be a game changer for your sales organization. Things like shorter sales cycles, predictable revenue and improved sales productivity can take an organization from one that struggles every quarter to one that facilitates a path to repeatable revenue growth.   

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Categories: Sales Transformation

How to Make a Lasting Impact During Your Sales Initiative

The decision to partner with a sales training company or a sales effectiveness consulting firm can have major implications for a company, including the impact of the leadership. Get it right, and the rewards can be enormous, resulting in the kind of sales success that not only changes companies, but changes careers. We're often asked how to ensure success with a sales initiative. While there is no one magic bullet, a variety of factors can help set you up for lasting results. Below are six of the most important tips to make a lasting impact with your initiative:

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Negotiation

How to Align Multiple Functions Around Your Sales Negotiation Strategy

Many companies mistake sales negotiation as a function conducted exclusively by sellers. We consider negotiation a team effort. In a complex B2B sales environment, it is rare for an individual seller to negotiate an entire deal on his/her own without the support, guidance and active participation from the rest of the organization. There are multiple functions and teams involved in negotiation alongside the sales team. You would be doing a disservice to your company to only involve your sales team in the creation and execution of your negotiation strategy. Each function must have a clear understanding as to how negotiation is executed and agree upon what a great deal looks like.

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Sales Conversation  |  Sales Process

Creating and Capturing Value in B2B Sales

The key to creating and capturing value in B2B sales organizations often lies in the alignment between sales and delivery or customer success. As an organization, you need an efficient mechanism that enables your teams to speak the same language ensuring that what is promised in the sales process can actually be delivered on after the initial deal is signed. This connection can be a differentiator for a selling organization. It can also help with some of the underlying reasons that cause  buyers to choose your solution over others. 

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Productivity

Sales Productivity: How to Get Your Organization Aligned

Companies often function in silos, with sales, marketing and operations working separately instead of together toward common goals. As each department fights for budget and credit, inefficiencies become rampant. The longer they remain, the harder they are to correct. However, the power that comes from everyone moving in the same direction cannot be underestimated. Indeed, it takes work. But, the benefits that come from that effort are exponential. The question is, how do you get there? We're using this blog to break down how some of our most successful customers achieved alignment. Below are some of the best practices.

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Categories: Sales Conversation  |  Sales coaching

Improve Sales by Breaking Away from the Commodity Conversation

If you're selling in a maturing market, it is difficult to fight the commodity perception. There is a competitor always garnering for your market share. In a complex enterprise organization, the challenge for sales leaders is to pull together content, processes and tools so the sales team can make sense of it all and actually execute. 

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools  |  Sales Transformation

3 Components Your Sales Training Program Must Include for Managers

When it comes to a sales training program, top leadership typically has a clear understanding of what they want the program to accomplish. Unfortunately and all too often, these goals can turn into misguided directives for front-line managers and their sales reps. Those edicts often create a team that's good at gaming the system, rather than driving true sales results.

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Categories: Inside Sales  |  Technology

Training Your BDR/SDRs: Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Automation

The last few years have seen a proliferation of sales acceleration tools. While many have come and gone, the best have taken root and proven that they really can help automate the most menial and manual sales tasks. Time-consuming activities like sending follow-up emails, making CRM updates, even tasks like activity planning have been improved with automation.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

The Top 3 Signs Your Sales Organization is Ready for Change

Despite spending 30+ years talking to and working with sales leaders in organizations both big and small, I always go in curious.  And this curiosity has helped me learn a lot about leadership.  One thing I’ve learned is that a leader’s commitment to change can make or break the success of a large-scale sales initiative.

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Categories: Front-line Managers  |  Sales Transformation

Training For Managers: Providing The "How" To Improve Sales Performance

There's no time to waste in a sales organization. When you break a quarter down, there are a little more than 60 business days that can equate to selling days. Top leaders focus on (1) where they can deliver the most value to their sales teams during that short window of time and (2) how they can ensure everyone spends as much time possible on high-value selling activities. It's not enough to tell your managers what to do, you need to enable them with how to do it. One of the fastest ways you can provide impact as a sales executive is to provide processes, content and tools to help your managers succeed and improve sales performance. Here are some key steps to take:

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Categories: Sales Productivity

Sales Productivity: How Much Should a Sales Initiative Cost

Determining the budget line item for a sales initiative can be difficult until you start talking to vendors. There are a multitude of sales consultants out there with prices that vary just as much. Once you determine the key knowledge gaps you're trying to fill in your organization or the challenges you're trying to overcome, then it's time to connect with the right solution for your budget and pain points.

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Categories: Sales Transformation  |  Talent Management

Strategies to Increase Sales: Planning Ahead for Success

Visualization is an important sports psychology technique that the best athletes use. It has a demonstrable effect on individuals and teams, too: if you can see victory in your mind’s eye, and if you can imagine it in fine detail, you have a better chance of making it a reality. For sales leaders, visualization is just as important. You may have goals for your team, such as increased sales volume, year-over-year revenue growth or improved rep performance, but what would that success look like in practice? How would a high-flying team operate? How would they be different from the team you have now?

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Categories: Company Alignment

Strategies to Improve Sales: How to Drive Consistency in Your Sales Organization

The most successful executives never underestimate the power of gaining consistency in the sales organization. Whether it's in qualification, opportunity reviews, or customer conversations, the power of everyone executing in the same manner, with the same understanding can, be a game changer for your organization.

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Categories: Sales Productivity  |  Talent Management

Improving Sales Productivity: Owning the Talent Process

As a sales leader, you cannot underestimate the importance of owning your sales talent process. That means taking individual ownership of developing a cadence on how you attract, hire, on-board and retain top sales talent. We find that too many sales leaders across industries, across organizations, fundamentally underestimate the power of putting rigor behind your sales talent organization.

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Categories:

3 Questions Your Sales Team Should Ask on Every Deal

Consistent qualification is a struggle for many sales organizations. Sales teams too focused on the current forecast, inconsistency on the definition of qualified, a lack of appropriate coaching all can contribute to deals in the forecast that will never close.

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Categories: Customer Verifiable Outcomes  |  Qualification  |  Talent Management

Strategies to Increase Sales: 4 Keys to Creating an Elite Sales Organization

Elite sales organizations drive higher win rates, larger deal sizes, higher margins and predictable revenue. They are backed by a reliable team of sellers who know how to uncover customer problems and align their message of value.

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Transformation

Three Ways to Customize Your Sales Training

There are hundreds of sales consultants and trainers in the marketplace. All of them promising a motivating and change-filled program for your reps. However, anyone who has been in the sales game for awhile knows that many of these sales programs fall flat. Sure, they can be motivational for your team, but if the right steps aren't taken before the training, the initiative loses steam the minute the compelling speaker leaves the room. There are a lot of steps that a leader needs to take to create lasting change, but one key component to any successful change initiative, is to ensure that the content, tools and processes are customized to your organization and your buyers.

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Categories:

Three things that will help your sales reps make their mark

The Force Management team has had a productive and eventful few days at Outreach.io's Unleash Conference. There is power in a group of people who believe in elite sales organizations coming together to learn, mentor and develop plans to execute. I was happy to be a part of it and hope you are too!

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Differentiation  |  Qualification

How to Enable Your Sales Team to Execute at the Buyer-Level

The fastest path to improving sales results is to effectively translate the business strategy into execution, at the critical point of sale. Your salespeople need to be equipped to act in a way that's focused on nothing but the buyer. That focus is the key to enabling your sales team to execute repeatedly at the buyer-level.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

How to Improve Sales in a Startup Organization

A growing company, particularly at the startup stage, faces specific and unique business challenges on its path to repeatable and profitable revenue growth. Often times, sales teams selling a less-than-established solution find themselves discounting on price, running pilot programs that fail to turn into revenue and trying to differentiate unsucessfully against the "do nothing" competitor.

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Categories:

The Secrets to Aligning Your Company on Customer Value and Differentiation

 If your company is fast-growing and you find yourself leading a sales organization that has jumped from startup phase to mid-market, you may be experiencing the challenges fast growth can bring, including:

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Categories: Talent Management

The Team, The Team, The Team

I have been very fortunate to be a part of some great teams in my life. My freshman year in college I played football for the Defending National Champions of I-AA (now D-I), Boise State University. I transferred my sophomore year to Bowling Green State University in Ohio and played for one of the greatest teams in BGSU history. During the 1985 season we were ranked 20th in the nation ahead of some of the powerhouse schools like Texas and Georgia!

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Categories: Sales Messaging

How Command of the Message® Applies Across the Company

Stop for a minute and think about the departments and the sheer number of people that communicate with your prospects and customers throughout the sales engagement process. If you are selling a complex solution, these buyers may interface with dozens of your people and perhaps hundreds of messages throughout the process. It is up to your organization to ensure that those buyers receive consistency in that message. 

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Categories: Sales Transformation

Ten Reasons Why Our Sales Training Is Different

There are a lot of sales training organizations out there. Their blogs, tweets, LinkedIn posts may appear the same, but often there are some key differences between them.  That's the purpose behind us writing this blog post. We want to give those of you who haven't experienced a Force Management training some key reasons why it's different.  Below are ten reasons why our sales training is different from others in the marketplace:

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Categories: Sales Conversation

How Do I Simplify the Sales Process for my Enterprise Sales Team

In the enterprise sales organization, you likely don't have the problem of brand recognition. You have products, proven solutions and big logos that make it easier for you to get your foot in the door with prospects.

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Categories: Qualification  |  Sales Process

Why Your Qualification Process Isn't Working

I spend a lot of time on the road meeting with sales leaders and because of what I do, we’re often talking about improving sales productivity. Inevitably, the topic of qualification comes up in conversation. So many organizations struggle with defining this process and then getting people to follow it once it’s implemented. 

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Categories: Qualification  |  Talent Management

How Do You Hire Elite Salespeople?

Very often in our engagements, our customers ask us to comment on their people. They ask questions like, “What do you think of our people?” and “Do you think we have the right people?”. These are very common questions. Before I answer these questions about anybody’s people, I like to dig in a little further. I always ask them to tell me, “How do you define success in this or that role?”. It's amazing how many people struggle to give me a measurable answer to this question. A lot of people tell me things like, “They have to be smart”; “They have to have grit”; and my all-time favorite, “They have to have it".

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Categories: Sales Process

Don't Wait to Improve Your B2B Sales Process 

Sales is the engine that is accelerating organizational growth and fueling revenue. There's no better way to enable your sales team to sell more, faster than to align your sales process with how your B2B buyers buy. In addition, your salespeople need to be able to execute against it. It needs to clearly outline who does what and when they do it. Remember, having a CRM does not mean you have a sales process.

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Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement  |  Sales Transformation

How do you ensure the success of a sales training initiative? Steps to take before you start.

For every sales initiative that positively transforms a company, there are countless others that fall flat with time, money and resources wasted. If it has become apparent that you need to lead a sales initiative to improve sales rep performance, there are some key steps you need to take before you even think of scheduling a sales training event.

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Categories: Front-line Managers

How to Lessen the Burden on Your Front-Line Managers

The Force Management team is passionate about enabling managers. I solicit content ideas repeatedly from our sales experts and the number one topic they always send back my way is manager enablement. The reason why? They see that challenge consistently in the marketplace. Too often, organizations align the executive team and then roll out initiatives at the rep level without investing in the managers.

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Categories: Sales Leadership

New to the VP of Sales role? Here’s a Road Map for Sales Success

If you are a new VP of sales or head of a sales organization, you are more than ready to start driving results for your sales organization. Your execution plan depends on the current state of your organization. Perhaps you need to hire more reps or build an enterprise sales team. Or maybe, there’s been flat-line growth for the past two years and you’ve been brought in to fix it. The big question is where do you start? We've outlined six key focus areas below. This isn't an exhaustive list, but should get you going in the right direction.

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Categories: Sales Consumable Tools

The Most Powerful Tool for Your Sales Organization: What is a Value Framework?

A well-defined sales messaging strategy drives high-level buyer-focused sales conversations. It's almost impossible to grow your sales organization if your account executives are unable to articulate the value and differentiation of your products in a way that has meaning to the buyer.

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Categories:

A Lesson on Creating Buyer Value

I recently had the great pleasure of fishing with my dear friend, Dr. Bill down in Florida. Dr. Bill is one of the top doctors in the country in his field. This fishing trip was similar to the countless others we had taken, where we spend the time catching up on life and discussing our professions. Even though he is in medicine and I work in a sales consulting company (Hey, I could have been a doctor, it was all that medical stuff that got in the way, HA!), our talks about work are extremely stimulating for both of us.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation

Sales Negotiation Tools that Work

Successful sales negotiation depends on more than just an individual seller’s set of skills. Mastering tactical maneuvers will never provide the kind of framework your sales team needs to consistently win great deals for your company. An effective sales negotiation process leverages the value and differentiation of your company’s offerings, creates alignment across internal departments and provides sellers with a repeatable framework to use successfully in the field. You may have a relatively young sales force that's frequently having to negotiate with seasoned procurement professionals. Perhaps, you find yourself getting increasingly frustrated with the fact that your team is always having to discount on price. Or you know as a leader that there is a lack of consistency in how your salespeople approach deals.  If you're dealing with any of those challenges, it's likely your organization could benefit from developing some key negotiation tools that support your salespeople's ability to negotiate on value.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

How Much Does a Sales Initiative Cost?

One of the most common questions we receive from prospects concerns the cost of our engagements. We pride ourselves on delivering incredible return for our customers, but that doesn't mean we shy away from talking price with prospects. That's why we just published "The Cost of a Sales Initiative," a web page devoted to the inputs and levers that contribute to the cost of launching our offerings. 

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools

A Lesson on Resiliency and Process

There have been so many times in my life when I’ve admired the resiliency in others. The ability to recover quickly despite loss, hardship, or other difficulties is no easy feat. The quality is not to be underestimated. This past year showed me my own resiliency. 2017 was a difficult year for me. I experienced personal loss of family and friends which took the wind out of my sails. Even in their final days, each of these people stood in the face of incredible pain and their own mortality. It was so admirable and forced me to reflect on my own resiliency. I asked myself, “How resilient are you?” I didn’t necessarily have an answer and still don’t, but have found some clarity in reflecting on the topic recently.

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Categories: Differentiation  |  Negative Consequences  |  Sales Negotiation

Simple Strategies to Increase Win Rates

If each rep in your sales organization could win one more opportunity a quarter, what would that do to your bottom line? Increasing your win rates demands attention from the top-down and the ground-up in a sales organization. While lasting change always takes consistent effort and leadership, there are some simple strategies you can reinforce with your sales teams that will help them focus on closing more deals, faster.

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Categories: Sales Planning

Podcast: Sales Planning Tips for Reps and Managers

Like it or not, the end of a year is a good time to start thinking about your plan for the next year. Have you drained the pond this year? How are you stacked up for success next year? What's your plan to make the plan?

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools

The Key to Effective Sales Communication: Send to Your Team Now

If you are frustrated by what you’re hearing in QBRs, opportunity reviews or by the conversations you overhear reps having on the phone, there’s no doubt that improving the way your team communicates with prospects may help alleviate at least some of that frustration.

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools

Do Your Job: The Power of the Sales Plan

Years ago at Xerox, I remember sitting at my desk late at night. In my hand, was my commission statement for the 4th quarter. This commission check would be the largest of my sales career. I absolutely blew the doors off of my business. I was the number one rep in the region for the year and I earned another trip to Hawaii. So why was I miserable?

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Categories: Competitors

Never Lose to No Decision: How to Work with Your Sales Reps to Get Prospects to Act

In many sales organizations, the competition against “No Decision” is more fierce than it is against an actual company selling a similar solution. Sometimes when you’re going up against an established solution or the status quo, getting a prospect to invest and act can be an uphill battle.

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools  |  Sales Leadership

How to Make Role Plays More Effective for Your Sales Team

When role plays are executed the right way, they can be an effective way for sales managers to add value to their sales reps. They provide an avenue for a salesperson to practice an important sales conversation, rather than going into a customer call cold. It also gives managers a way to provide actionable feedback for improvement. Here are five tips for executing an effective role play session with your reps: 

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Competitors

Losing Deals to the Competition? The Mistake Your Organization is Making

Having an organizational understanding about what makes your solution better and/or different than the competition is critical to having a consistent customer-facing message that enables the business strategy at the point-of-sale. Even if they have the best product on the market, many sales organizations struggle with enabling their sales team to effectively articulate why they're different than the competition in a way that has meaning to the buyer.

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Categories: Differentiation  |  Sales Process

How to Use Differentiators to Influence the Sales Process

Enabling your reps with the ability to articulate your differentiation in a way that has meaning to the buyer can be the one thing that makes the difference between meeting your revenue goals or continuing to struggle in your sales organization.  As a sales leader, you are ultimately responsible for the number. It's up to you to make sure your reps, front-line managers and everyone who engages with customers are crystal clear on what makes you different from the competition.  

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Sales Discovery Process

Give Your Reps the Ability to Have Value-Based Sales Conversations

The sales conversation is such a critical component of the sales process, we call it "the moment of truth." It can often make or break an opportunity for a lead to move further along in the process. When sales organizations are struggling with making revenue numbers, the problem may lie in what your salespeople are saying to a potential customer.  Do any of these challenges sound familiar? 

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Categories: Differentiation  |  Sales Messaging

What's the Meaning of Command of the Message?

If you've never been through a Command of the Message engagement, it's difficult to understand what commanding the sales message really means  and how your organization achieves it. We write and talk a lot about having Command of the Message®  because we believe that without it, no sales organization can thrive in a competitive environment. Command of the Message is the hallmark of a high-performing sales team.

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Categories: Sales Execution  |  Sales Messaging  |  Sales Planning  |  Sales Transformation  |  Talent Management

How to Build a High-Performing Sales Organization

High-performing sales organizations don’t get there by chance. It is a predictable and calculated path to growth. The best sales teams have the necessary foundation in place so reps and managers are able to (1) spend time on high-value revenue activities and 2) (effectively execute with buyers. There is a sales motion in every organization that drives rep productivity and ultimately revenue growth. 

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Categories: Sales Messaging  |  Sales Transformation

Why a Sales Messaging Initiative Will Help You Accelerate Growth

When you are trying to accelerate growth in your sales organization, every component of your sales team and process needs to be maximized for effectiveness. Meeting aggressive revenue goals demands a focus on sales talent, sales planning, sales execution and sales messaging. Time and time again, we’ve seen organizations struggle with which area to tackle first. Indeed, it can be a bit overwhelming. Our customers that have been most successful typically start with aligning their company on the value they provide their customers and what makes them better and different than the competition.

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Categories: Sales Messaging  |  Sales Transformation

The Sales Snapshot

We know you're busy. That's why in today's blog post we are giving a quick snapshot of content we've published and discovered in the past month.  Run through our list below for this month's highlights.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation

Four Negotiation Skills to Arm Your Sellers with Right Now

If your sales team is challenged with losing margin in key negotiations, it’s often very apparent once you hit the end of the quarter. The problem with many negotiation sales trainings is that they treat negotiation as an event at the end of the sales process, rather than a process that should be driven by your business strategy.

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Categories: Competitors  |  Differentiation  |  Sales Messaging  |  Sales Transformation

Four Questions Every Sales Organization Needs to Answer

Leading a sales organization that hits its number repeatedly is a difficult and complex task. You are probably living these intricacies right now – complex solutions, gaps in your sales team, multiple buyers, product/sales/services not on the same page – Sound familiar? We’ve seen it time and time again. Truth is, the challenges you’re dealing with are common and sometimes, taking the first steps to solving them isn't all that complex.

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Sales Messaging

Four Key Sales Areas Where Great Organizations Take No Shortcuts

True alignment that drives predictable revenue means NO SHORTCUTS. No shortcuts on defining the problems your organization solves and how you solve them. No shortcuts on the steps you take to align behind your customer’s decision-making process. Very few buyers take shortcuts on the buying side, so great sales organizations can’t afford to take shortcuts on the sales side.

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Leadership

What Every Elite Sales Organization Does

Who doesn’t want to lead an elite sales organization? Leading an elite sales organization starts with building the content, processes and tools that drive the quadrants of sales effectiveness – message, sale, plan and talent. Beyond those areas are key tenets that top sales leaders follow. Their adherence to these fundamentals result in higher performance, increased productivity, revenue and market share.

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools  |  Sales Leadership

How to Make Your Role Plays More Effective

Mike Kunkle is a training and organization effectiveness leader with more than 20 years’ experience conducting projects with one purpose – improving sales results. Follow him at @Mike_Kunkle or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement  |  Front-line Managers  |  Sales Transformation

The Five Things You Don't Want to Shortchange if You Want to Be an Elite Sales Organization

There’s one thing elite sales organizations know. There are no shortcuts to success. If you don’t build the foundation for growth, you’ll struggle with the key tenets of a high-performing sales organization, which include: The ability to enable reps to be relevant and compelling at the customer-level Established cross-functional alignment that ensures everyone knows who does what and when Developed management cadence to accurately predict revenue and consistently achieve your number Build a process and tools so your managers can own their talent – hiring, retaining and coaching top salespeople to success.

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Categories: Sales Messaging  |  Sales Transformation

September: The Sales Executive Snapshot - ICYMI

Every week we are publishing content that aims to help you generate more revenue per rep and accelerate growth in your sales organization. In case you missed our latest post – here’s a quick roundup of what we’ve published.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation  |  Sales Process

The One Thing That's Missing in Many Sales Negotiations

When a sales negotiation results in a less than desirable outcome for your company, there’s often one thing that’s missing. It’s likely there was a lack of realization that negotiation starts very early in the sales process.

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Sales Negotiation

Five Essential Questions That Drive Success with Professional Buyers

For most sellers, their negotiation experience comes from a personal frame of reference. If their experience has been that negotiations is tactical and they’ve traditionally included procurement at the end of the deal, that’s probably how they’ll continue to approach professional buyers within the sales process.   

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Front-line Managers

Key Focus Areas for Accelerating Growth

There’s not a sales leader out there who isn’t trying to accelerate growth. Even if you are working at a company that’s killing it in the marketplace, there’s a moment where that growth will stall and perhaps decline. How can you work to ensure that you are able to maintain your growth rate over time?

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Sales Negotiation  |  Sales Process

Four Ways Sales Leaders Can Improve Their Negotiation and Sales Process Strategy

A great sales process should include a great negotiation strategy - one that helps professional buyers fully understand the value and differentiation of each option.  And one that helps them make the best decisions for their company.  As a sales leader, you need to enable your team to prove the fit and justify the value of your offering in a way that allows you to preserve margin and charge a premium for your product and services.

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Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement  |  Front-line Managers

How to Enable Your Sales Managers

When it comes to running a sales organization, no one can afford to waste time. High-performing leaders focus on where they can deliver the most value to their sales reps before, during, and after sales activities. One of the fastest ways you can provide impact as a sales executive is to provide processes, content and tools to help your managers succeed. 

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Sales Negotiation  |  sales challenges

Six Truths About Professional Buyers That Will Help Your Sales Team Negotiate Great Deals

Despite what many of your sellers may believe, procurement is not where good sales deals go to die. A shift in your team’s mindset about when and how to communicate with professional buyers can increase opportunities and create great deals.  As a sales leader, your negotiation strategy should help your sellers communicate the value of your offering and mitigate risk for the buyer. These six truths can help your sellers demystify the professional buyer and understand how to successfully work with procurement to negotiate winning deals:

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Sales Messaging  |  Talent Management

The Four Critical Elements that Sales Leaders Align to Drive Revenue Growth

There is a sales motion in every organization that drives sales productivity and ultimately, accelerated revenue growth. When you see companies that are outpacing their competition, it’s because they’ve defined a consistent sales motion and have aligned their functional areas behind it.  

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Sales Execution

Six Questions to Test Your Prospect's Decision Process

If your sales team is responsible for closing complex enterprise deals, you know that the process can be lengthy and complex. You’re probably also painfully aware that it can be fraught with peril. Anything from an unexpected objection to a shift in leadership can undo your team’s progress and kill the deal. 

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Categories: Sales Messaging  |  Sales Process

Sales Skills to Help Your Team Cross-Sell and Up-Sell

When it comes to sales pipeline, net new logos are never a bad thing. However, your sales reps ability to cross-sell and up-sell is often a lynchpin to your organization meeting its revenue goals repeatedly. Too often sales leaders issue a directive to pull money from existing accounts, in an effort to make those quarterly numbers. That creates a fire drill for managers and reps who are trying to push forward deals that aren’t baked. The end result is a lot of frazzled sales behavior and an increase in discounting. 

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Categories: Sales Transformation

Key Steps for Sales Leaders After a Sales Training

Many organizations go through the year with plans to implement new sales methodologies. Unfortunately, many of these plans will fail to boost sales productivity, and many will simply fade away as the year progresses.

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools

Five Must-Haves For Every Sales Process

Efficiency and alignment are critical elements of sales productivity. An effective sales process provides a vehicle to enforce discipline, repeatability, predictability and validation of progress throughout a sale. Most importantly, it allows for inspection and planning – in advance. Sales is the engine that drives your revenues. The process behind it deserves thoughtful attention. Here are five must-haves for every great sales process. 

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools

Sales Managers: Best Practices for Conducting Role Plays

When it comes to running a sales organization, no one can afford to waste time. High-performing leaders focus on where they can provide the most value to their sales reps, before, during, and after sales activities. Role plays are an often underused opportunity to add value to your sales teams. Done right, practicing important sales conversations with your reps can make the difference between a lost opportunity and a signed contract.

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Categories: Social Media

Happy Holidays

During this holiday season, we are grateful to those who have helped shape our business. Thank you for reading The Command Center! As part of the GrowthPlay family, we look forward to providing you even more valuable content in 2016.   

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Categories: Social Media

How to Drive Revenue with an Employee Advocacy Program

Employee Advocacy in its inception is the idea of providing great products and services as well as a positive work environment to encourage employee to get on their “soapbox” and sing the praises of the brand. We have all seen the evolution of communication unfold before our very eyes. We have seen society turn to social media as the outlet to voice their opinion for any number of topics, one being their employer. Organizations have picked up on this and now see the opportunity to leverage their employees and those connected via social networks.

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Categories: Sales Messaging

Don't Launch a Sales Messaging Initiative Without This List

As we move into the final weeks Q4, you are either feeling great about how your sales teams will end up or your struggling trying to pull anything you can out of the pipeline. If there is room for improvement, you may have a group of salespeople that are challeged with: 

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Categories: The Sales Curmudgeon

Back on Black Friday: The Sales Curmudgeon Returns

The Sales Curmudgeon is a sales management veteran who's been through countless sales initiatives. He knows why some projects succeed wildly, and others fail miserably.

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Categories: Sales Snapshot

The Sales Snapshot: Engaging the Digital Buyer

New research shows how organizations that prepare for increasingly digital disruption perform better financially. Despite that, only 12% of executives feel their organization is fully prepared for new realities of the B2B Buyer Journey.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

Your Sales Initiative: Three Ways to Guarantee Success

If you want to improve sales productivity and generate more revenue per rep, you need to be able to reinforce sales best practices. When we talk about sales transformation, we mean changing the behaviors of your salespeople in a way that drives results.

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Categories: Sales Leadership

Veterans Day: A Word of Thanks

Many of you shared our blog on “The Hill” featuring Raymond Redd and his tenacity to take on cancer and that infamous hill at Bowling Green State University. Thank you for showing the support that you did for Ray. We at Force Management were humbled by the response. We know Ray was as well. Thank you. We took the opportunity to share Ray’s story because we thought it was such an awesome example of tenacity and being “uncommon.” We often spend time highlighting best practices for leaders in business. However, sometimes, the best leaders are found outside the company walls. They’re in our communities, far from any boardroom or conference call. They’re often running the hill – without realizing the impact they’re making on those around them.

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Uncommon

Who's Doing This? Sarge and The Hill

Bowling Green, Ohio is one of the flattest places on earth. However there is one area located on the campus of Bowling Green State University which, at times during football practice, looked like Mt. Everest to me. This area is known as “The Hill” to BGSU football players. I hated this hill and this hill hated me. It stands ominously on the outskirts of the BGSU practice field. The players are sent to run this hill for basic conditioning and also as punishment for screwing up. In other words, me and this “Hill”, we got history. Recently, this hill has come to have special meaning to me. It’s become a symbol of being uncommon. So much so, that I wanted to share the story with you.

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Categories: Talent Management

Making the Right Investment in Sales Talent Management

When your business hits a significant growth hurdle the hardest challenge can be pinpointing the problem. Have you misaligned your priorities? Were your sales predictions off from the get-go? Is it your sales team that’s falling short of expectations?

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Categories: Social Media

Why We Hate the Term Social Selling

We’ve been in several conversations recently where the term social selling has been the focus. It’s not surprising that sales organizations are feverishly trying to equip their reps with the tools to communicate value and differentiation digitally.

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Sales Transformation

Five Questions Every Top Sales Leader Can Answer

The best sales leaders in the world are able to effectively articulate purpose, vision and strategy to their teams. Your team can’t drive results without understanding the direction they’re heading and the value in the end game.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

How to Make Your Sales Transformation Initiative Relevant

There are several factors that will help predict the success of a sales initiative rollout. Best-in-class sales organizations take a systematic and multi-faceted approach to reinforcement and adoption. One of the most important components is to ensure the transformation initiative is relevant to the people who are leading and participating in the effort.

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools

Three Ways to Add More Value for Your Sales Reps

When it comes to running a sales organization, no one can afford to waste time. High-performing leaders focus where they can provide the most value to their sales reps, before, during, and after sales activities. The best sales leaders see through the clutter to identify those high-impact opportunities.Here are three ways you can add more value for your sales reps.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

Measuring the Success of Your Sales Transformation Initiative

Measurement is a critical component to the success of any sales iniative. Benchmarking throughout the process provides the critical line-of-sight needed to ensure your investments are providing the needed return.

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Social Media

How to Account for Digital Buyer Behavior in B2B Sales

Digital continues to be a pervasive influence in B2B buyer engagement. Recent research by SiriusDecisions demonstrates the importance of B2B organizations having a solid understanding not only of how their prospects interact digitally with their organization, but how that behavior influences sales conversations.  The research makes the point that (1) digital can be a powerful resource for B2B buyers and (2) salespeople still play an integral role in moving opportunities forward.

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Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement  |  Sales Transformation

Five Ways You Can Use our Podcasts to Drive Sales Effectiveness

We’re getting some great feedback from you about how you’re using our podcasts them with your teams. (Have an idea for a topic? Email me). We hear that they're great tools to reinforce key concepts you may have learned in training and drive best practices on your team. Here are five ways you can use them right now with your teams:

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Categories: Front-line Managers  |  Sales Coaching Tools

Drive a Command Instinct with Your Sales Team

Your sales team’s ability to drive revenue is directly correlated to your sales leaders’ ability to lead. Recent research published in Harvard Business Review by Steve W. Martin, found that 69% of salespeople who exceeded annual quota thought their sales manager was above average. The survey of 400 sales leaders and more than 1,000 sales leader interviews, showed that one of the most critical traits a sales leader can have is "Command Instinct." (Side note: We love the name.) Martin writes, “Great sales leaders establish firm command over their team by exercising the power their title and position entail. For example, they hold their team to a higher level of accountability.”

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Categories: Talent Management

How to Improve Your Sales Talent Data

If you’re like most sales managers, you’re constantly taking shortcuts with the time you spend on managing your sales talent. In many sales organizations, activities associated with managing people often get put on the back burner either because we are uncomfortable handling them or because we’re too busy reacting to seemingly more pressing problems.

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Categories: Inside Sales  |  Millennials

Three Ways to Engage a Millennial Inside Sales Team

 For the first time this year the number of Millennials will exceed Baby Boomers in the workforce. For many companies, the inside sales function has become an attractive opportunity for these young adults to hone their professional skill and leadership potential. Yet, onboarding them effectively offers a new set of challenges for companies stuck in traditional approaches to sales enablement.

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Categories: Sales Messaging

Five Indications You Need a Sales Messaging Initiative

Messaging affects every aspect of the sales process, from the first communication to negotiation to the close. Problems with sales messaging can lead to bigger problems: negotiating on price rather than value, low productivity, and missed quotas, to name a few. If your organization is experiencing any of the messaging problems below, it’s time to address them. The longer you wait, the more impact to the bottom line and your revenue growth goals.

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Categories: Customer Success  |  Sales Snapshot

The Sales Snapshot: Customer Success and Higher Sales Performance

Best-in-class companies understand that customer success is an intrinsic component to revenue growth. When your organization is fully aligned on what creates value for the customer throughout the engagement process, it creates bottom-line impact.  This edition of The Sales Snapshot provides a round up of three articles that demonstrate best practices when it comes to customer success.

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Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement  |  Sales Transformation

Sales Executive Podcast: Reinforcing a New Methodology

A new sales initiative is typically coupled with a new methodology that needs adopting.  Top management is the driving force behind the adoption and reinforcement of any sales initiative. Sales leadership has a key role in making it a priority. Without executives to champion your initiatives, sales reps will have no incentive to execute new methodologies and your results will probably fall flat.

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Categories: Opportunity Reviews  |  Sales Coaching Tools

Ten Questions That Will Make You a Better Sales Coach

Providing constructive and consistent feedback is an important part of coaching your sales reps to success. Being an effective sales coach and understanding how to give productive feedback and drive success on your teams takes practice.

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Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement  |  Sales Transformation

Drive Sales Adoption Success with these Key Questions

When you invest time, money and resources into a sales initiative, you need it to be successful. Often times, if it’s not a success, your job may be on the line.

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Categories: Industry Insight  |  Sales Snapshot

The Sales Snapshot: Three Ways to Build a Culture of Performance

A culture shift may be the one thing that can turn around a company suffering from dwindling profits and market share. Today's Sales Snapshot pulls together some great resources on leadership and building a culture of performance

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Categories: Sales Execution

Eight Questions to Drive Sales Execution Improvements

If your organization is struggling with long sales cycles and an unreliable sales forecast, it’s likely you need to tweak your sales execution. When organizations need to improve their sales process, they’re often experiencing problems like:

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Categories: Front-line Managers  |  Sales Transformation

Sales Executives: Sales Transformation and Your Front-Line Managers

The success of a sales organization is a team effort. True success with any sales transformation is directly tied to how well your front-line managers are equipped to manage, reinforce and validate any new methodology.

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Categories: Sales Planning

Drive Consistency in Your Sales Planning Process

Repeatability and consistency drive effective sales planning. Sales organizations that provide their managers with critical line-of-site are able to create efficiencies in forecasting, account and territory planning and opportunity reviews. A salesperson’s time is valuable.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

Sales Executive Podcast: Sales Transformation Best Practices

The only way to drive lasting change in your sales organization is to reinforce best practices. Our Senior Partner, Dan Dawson has been on the front-lines of some of Force Management’s most successful sales transformations.

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Categories: Sales Transformation  |  sales challenges

Seven Secrets to Summer Sales Meeting Success

It’s early June. You missed your Q1 number and Q2 isn’t looking so good. You’re worried. And you should be. More than 60% of sales leaders who trail through Q2 don’t make their annual number. Like a lot of your peers, you’re probably thinking about your upcoming mid-year sales meeting and wondering what you’ll do differently.

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Sales Snapshot

The Sales Snapshot: 4 Things to Know about Today’s B2B Buyer

Shifts in B2B buying behavior create an incredible opportunity for sales organizations that embrace a 24/7, multi-channel, data-driven, customer-centric approach. A recent McKinsey report, outlines the key expectations of the new B2B buyer. Gone are the days when strong relationships with one or two decision-makers, or simply nailing the RFP process, held the keys to success.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

Building a High Performance Sales Team: 5 Action Steps

A high-performance sales team is the cornerstone to driving sustainable revenue growth. One of the most important responsibilities of any sales executive is providing your organization with the ability to consistently engage prospects and customers in high-value business conversations. Sales teams who are audible-ready to articulate value and differentiation sell larger deals more quickly. That point earned a lot of validation last week at the 2015 Battery Ventures Sales Summit. When Managing Director, John Kaplan, presented “Building a High Performance Sales Team,” we received a lot of great response on Twitter. So much so, we decided to share five key takeaways with the Command Center.

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Categories: Sales Snapshot

The Sales Snapshot: Resources For Developing Standout Salespeople

What sales team leader doesn’t want a team of high-performing reps? We spend a lot of time providing sales managers with the tools that allow them to replicate the behavior of their top performers. This edition of The Sales Snapshot highlights some of the latest articles on developing your salespeople. Remember, you're only as good as the team you lead. Use these tips to drive success. 

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Categories: Sales Planning

How Sales Managers Drive Rep Success

New research published in Harvard Business Review adds further significance to the role managers play in the success of your sales reps and your overall sales organization.

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Categories: Company Alignment

Build Organizational Alignment Around Your Value Message

Understanding the value you provide your customers is a critical component to a company meeting its revenue numbers quarter after quarter. In B2B organizations, it’s not just the sales and marketing departments who need to understand this value. It’s every person along the customer engagement spectrum. Remember, once you create value in your sales process, you need to capture the value in delivery. Communicating your value and differentiation effectively, requires a shift in mindset, an understanding that you aren’t providing product features, widgets and SKUs. You’re providing value that helps your customers achieve critical positive business outcomes that have bottom-line impact.

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools  |  Sales Transformation

Five Ways to Right the Course in Your Sales Organization

Many of you are just wrapping up another quarter. At this point, you’re either feeling good about how the rest of the year will go, or you’re scrambling to fix what’s not working, so you can turn things around.  Here are five things to help you recalibrate for the rest of the year. 

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Categories: Social Media

Do You Know What Your Salespeople Are Doing On LinkedIn?

Many sales executives understand the importance of getting their teams to use LinkedIn for connecting with prospects and customers. However, many of them lack a line of sight into what their reps are actually doing on LinkedIn.

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Categories: Sales Leadership

The Sales Snapshot: Three Must-Reads for Sales Team Leaders

Great sales teams don’t just happen. They require great leadership. Great leadership doesn’t just happen either—it requires knowledge, speed, and the right mindset. For this month’s sales snapshot, we’ve rounded up three powerful sales leadership reads you won’t want to miss.

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Categories: Sales Execution  |  Sales Planning

Dig Deep For Effective Sales Opportunity Reviews

Opportunity reviews can make the difference between a sales team that delivers on an accurate forecast and one that doesn’t come close. I believe the key to a successful opportunity review depends on sales leadership doing two things right:  (1) encouraging their reps to dig deep and (2) ensuring that the reps have the tools they need to execute on their action plans. Think about the traditional format that opportunity review conversations usually take. Ask your sales people about their perspective and you’ll get some surprising answers. I often hear sales people talk about the average deal review like this, “My average deal review is a 30-second conversation in the middle of a forecast review when my manager asks me if the deal is still on track.”

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Categories: Sales Transformation

3 Questions to Find the Right Sales Transformation Partner

You know your company best. You know what’s working and more importantly where you need to make the greatest changes. The problem with many sales training solutions is they take a “rip and replace” approach. They rip out everything you’ve been doing and replace it with a cookie-cutter approach.

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