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Categories: Podcasts

Our Latest Podcasts: Keeping Pipelines Moving

The goal of this month's episodes was to highlight the key things sales leaders, managers and reps should be focusing on to improve pipeline health and increase margins. Check out our rundown of episodes below. Use them as ways to keep yourself and your sales teams motivated. Each episode is available on your favorite podcast player, so you can easily download, listen and share.

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Categories: Sales Kickoff  |  Sales Messaging

Use Your Virtual SKO to Invest in Your Salespeople

If you decide to move forward with a virtual sales kickoff event, it will have its benefits. You can forego the hefty budget required for hotel stays, travel expenses and other in-person provisions. Your sellers will be "out of the field" less, which means less time away from critical sales activities. You can also reset the event according to your organization's priorities, which may mean getting busy with SKO planning earlier or later than you’re used to. The budget saved from travel and entertainment expenses gives leaders and executives the opportunity to invest in their salespeople. With a virtual SKO, company executives and sales leaders have the chance to invest in sales initiatives and training aimed at improving their salespeoples' ability to hit their numbers next year. It gives these leaders an actionable way to support their mangers and reps, who have worked harder than ever to build pipeline and bring in revenue during these challenging times. Here are three ways you can use your next sales kickoff event to invest in your salespeople (and your organization's) success.

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Digging Deep Creating the Right Questions Flow for Effective Discovery

Enable your sales team to uncover business pain.

Use our Discovery Guide to teach them to ask the right questions at the right time and subscribe to our blog.

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Categories: Sales Messaging  |  Sales Transformation

How Sales Messaging & Qualification Work Together to Drive Scalable Growth

At any company life cycle stage, there are challenges that come with driving scalable growth. Defining where the biggest gaps or opportunities lie within a sales process is one complication sales leaders, their executive teams, and even their investment firms often struggle with. Determining which sales initiative will drive the most impactful results takes careful consideration.

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Categories:

Make MEDDICC Work for Your Sales Organization

Over the past few months new challenges may have forced the need for changes and shifts in your sales process. As you consider ways to help reps faster qualify opportunities, improve forecast accuracy, and increase win rates, make sure you’re looking beyond the process.

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Categories: Company Alignment

Drive Revenue by Aligning Your SDR Team With Your Broader Sales Organization

BDR/SDRs are vital to an organization's ability to gain market awareness, grow and scale. Keeping a growth engine going around this function is not easy. Its propensity for high turnover can make it difficult to enable BDR/SDR teams to make a consistent impact.

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Categories: Podcasts

Our Latest Podcasts: Navigating Today’s Sales Conversations

The goal of this month’s podcasts were to stay timely and relevant to the issues sales teams are dealing with right now. In each episode, we covered topics aimed at helping sales leaders, managers and reps navigate new buyer concerns and make positive tweaks to their process to improve the pipeline. For your convenience we’ve summed up the episodes below. Launch them on your favorite podcast player, download, listen and share with your colleagues!

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Categories: Sales Productivity

Sales Strategies Achieving Results Right Now

One of the most commonly asked questions our sales experts are receiving is, “ What are other companies doing right now?” We pulled together what we’ve been hearing from our customers into some key action steps for our blog readers. Our teams are talking to sales leaders across the country, every day. Below are the major themes we are hearing right now.

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Categories: Sales Transformation

How to Ensure Your Virtual Sales Initiative Gets Results

When companies invest in sales initiatives, they have specific outcomes they’re looking to achieve. Many sales leaders are trying to decide between (1) waiting for when they can schedule an in-person session or (2) moving forward now with a virtual training.

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Company Alignment  |  Front-line Managers  |  Sales coaching

Three Ways Sales Leaders Can Shape What's Next

The main goal right now for many organizations, including Force Management, is to effectively lead through the turnaround while supporting customers, employees and communities in the best way possible. That’s why we wanted to share some of the insights in this recent article by McKinsey & Company on how marketing and sales leaders can shape the next normal.

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Categories: Sales Transformation  |  Technology

What I’ve Learned from Virtual Sales Training

Right now, sales leaders around the globe are trying to determine what is the best course of action for their sales teams. Perhaps they planned a training initiative that they put on hold or they’re waiting to roll out a new solution to their buyers, and they’re trying to wait for the right time to start ramping up their sales team on the new strategy.

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Categories: Podcasts

Our Latest Podcasts: Get Focused

Our podcasts are a great way to refresh you and your teams on selling best practices. This month’s episodes featured some short episodes on how sales leaders can maintain productivity and improve focus on the pipeline. For your convenience we’ve summed up the episodes below. Launch them on your favorite podcast player, download, listen and tell your colleagues!

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Messaging  |  Sales Transformation

Aligning Your Sales Engine with Product Development: A CTO Perspective

Cross-functional alignment on the value your solutions provide for your customer is the key to accelerating growth. This symmetry is an essential link between your product team and your sales organization. If your salespeople aren't able to articulate the business value of the products you develop, customers won't realize their full potential. How many times have you seen a deal closed where the buyer is only buying one part of your solution, and therefore missing the bigger value for his/her business by not using the platform? 

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Categories: Front-line Managers  |  Sales Coaching Tools  |  Sales Leadership  |  Sales Productivity  |  Sales coaching

The Role Your Managers Play in Maintaining Sales Momentum Right Now

Sales managers play a critical role in driving the success of their organization. They’re the people charged with reinforcing methodologies, coaching sales reps, communicating up in their organization and ultimately meeting team revenue goals. The good ones are expert multi-taskers and that’s why we often say that sales managers have one of the most difficult jobs in their organizations. Managers are a key component to your sales organization’s ability to maintain sales productivity right now. Enable them effectively. Distinguish yourself as a sales leader by finding areas where you can provide the most support to your front-line managers.

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Categories: Front-line Managers  |  Sales Coaching Tools  |  Sales Leadership  |  Sales Process  |  Sales coaching

8 Resources to Maintain Sales Rep Productivity

Maintaining rep productivity is one of the top focus areas for the sales leaders right now. The most effective sales teams are the ones who are keeping focus on their buyer and executing a plan that's setting them up for success when business opens again. We've written a lot about productivity over the years. So, we're pulling together our top content resources for maintaining productivity.

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Categories: Differentiation  |  Sales Productivity

Reframing Your Buyer Message for What’s Happening Right Now

In the changing environment, your buyer’s challenges may also be constantly shifting. Elite sales organizations are assessing how this economic environment is impacting their buyers and adjusting their sales message accordingly.

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Categories: Sales Messaging  |  Sales Productivity

Maintain Sales Productivity: Five Ways Your Company Can Focus Your Reps on Selling Value

With the news about the COVID-19 pandemic changing daily, focus can be a challenge for a sales leader. The constant shift likely means pivoting between heavy-hearted decisions, board meetings, conversations with employees and the albeit adjusted revenue numbers.  Your customers are facing the same difficult decisions. How are you keeping your sales reps focused? Your managers equipped to maintain productivity? And, readying your organization for when the panic dies down? Here are five ways you can keep your teams focused. 

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Categories: Podcasts

Our Latest Podcasts: Stay Focused

We recently launched our new Audible-Ready podcast with four new episodes focused on how you can impact your numbers right now. Our focus is to provide short episodes that give you tangible tips you can use in your sales environments.  Below is a rundown of our most recent episodes. Listen to a clip and launch your favorite podcast player to subscribe, listen or download and save for later.

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Categories: Technology

How to Drive Great Engagement at Your Virtual Sales Training Event

Best Practices to Drive Great Outcomes Your work environments may be shifting, but you and your team still have revenue goals to make. Nothing has changed about the need to use your time productively. Until further notice – the goal in today’s changing business world is to make the necessary transitions and stay the course.

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Categories:

Get Busy: Responding to the Crazy Week That Was

It's Saturday morning and I am reflecting on this past week. It started off with my sluggish reaction to the time change; moved through a free-fall of personal wealth and ended with overwhelming public health concerns for my company and global community. I like to talk and write about things that give people “spirit”. What often happens, is that I wind up getting the most spirit out of the exercise. I think today is one of those days.

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Categories: Sales coaching  |  Uncommon

Remembering Jack Welch: Logos, Talent and a Disdain for Mediocrity

I was at the airport when I learned about the death of Jack Welch. The former Chairman and CEO of GE died Monday at the age of 84. As I boarded my plane that was taking me to meetings for my own company, I reflected on the impact his books Straight from the Gut and Winning had on my early business thinking.

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Categories: Sales Messaging

Keep the Focus on Your Buyer in Your Sales Process

The only way your reps are going to be consistently successful is if they're able to effectively align with their buyer's needs and desired outcomes throughout the sales process.  We've compiled our best resources for uncovering customer needs in discovery and aligning your sales process with your buyer's process below.

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Categories: Company Alignment

Our Best Resources for Aligning Your Executive Team on the Sales Strategy

Many companies underestimate the importance of alignment, especially when it comes to the growth strategy and the overall sales execution process. Without alignment, it's difficult to scale and keep a buyer-focus throughout your organization. If your cross-functional leadership team isn't aligned on what the focus is for your customers, how can your sales team effectively execute? 

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Categories: Sales coaching

Our Top Resources For Giving Effective Feedback

Developing effective feedback skills is an important component of being an effective leader. How can you coach your teams to success if you don't possess the ability to provide feedback in a way that's constructive and actionable. Below are some of our most often used resources on giving effective feedback. 

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Categories: Champions

Resources to Help Your Salespeople Enable Champions

Champions are a key component to selling high-level enterprise deals. If you know how to effectively enable and test a champion, you have an effective tool to advance your opportunities. We have covered Champions in a variety of our content. Here are a few of our most popular resources. 

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Categories: Sales Planning  |  Uncommon

The "Wanna Factor": What The Big Game Teaches Us

I hope that you enjoyed this year’s Super Bowl as much as I did. I am just getting back into the office after a great first part of the week on the road. I have enjoyed writing my recent football recaps, as I'm passionate about what sports can teach us off the field. My own experience playing athletics has taught me a great deal about life. And in Sunday's game, there were plenty of lessons in action.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation

The Power of Shifting Left in Your Sales Negotiations

"Shift Left" is a saying we often promote to our Value Negotiation customers. What we mean by this saying is that your salespeople need to start the negotiation strategy early on in the sales process. It needs to be a part of the far left columns in your sales process, not just in the late stages of the opportunity (the sections to the right of the page).

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Categories: Sales Negotiation  |  Sales Process

Is Your Internal Process Crippling Your Sales Negotiations?

There are two sides to every sales negotiation - the negotiation with the customer and the internal process that's going on in your own company, as your salespeople try to move a deal forward. When we ask sellers if their internal process helps or hinders their customer negotiations, the answer is always the latter. Most of sales leaders agree their internal process isn't really a process at all, rather a series of one-off requests and fire drills. That's why we encourage growing organizations to develop a negotiation strategy at the organizational level that's aligned with the company's overall growth strategy. Developing that plan requires intention and a concerted effort across your company, but the measurable results are worth the effort. The negative consequences of not taking action may be the very things that prevent your organization from truly realizing your revenue goals.

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Categories: Sales coaching  |  Talent Management

The Importance of Recruiting Sales Talent

As many of you know, I am a huge college football fan. I love the National Championship game (and playoffs) regardless of who is playing because there is so much “life” going on during the games. This week’s game between LSU and Clemson was no disappointment. Many of my friends turned the game off in the third quarter when LSU went up by ten. It is amazing that in the second quarter, LSU was down by ten points and looking like they were going to have a very tough night. I watched every play because I have so much interest and respect for what it takes to play on that national stage.

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Categories: Sales Execution  |  Technology

Making the Shift to Selling the Platform Solution

If you're making sizable shifts next year to enable your sales team to sell a platform solution, you need to ensure they're able to make that jump. These ideas look good on paper, but when it comes to actually getting your salespeople to convince the customer to buy, you likely need to invest in some enablement.

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Kickoff  |  Sales Productivity

Sales Leaders: What Your Top Performers are Thinking in Your Sales Kickoff Presentation

Many of you are prepping for your sales kickoff. We often put so much into the planning of the SKO, that sometimes we fail to give the same amount of attention to the actual presentation we will give at the event. The sales kickoff is often the one chance sales leaders have to get the momentum going at the beginning of the fiscal year. Past quarters are over and done with and the SKO is a time to start fresh, right the course and chart the path towards increased sales productivity and revenue.

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Categories: Front-line Managers  |  Sales Leadership  |  Sales Productivity

How to Help Your Front-line Sales Managers Lead Successful Teams

How important are front-line sales leaders to the execution of your sales initiatives? Absolutely critical. Of course, it sounds like common sense when you say it, but many companies still don’t understand how to support their front-line managers in a way that truly supports success.

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Categories: Front-line Managers  |  Sales Leadership  |  Sales Transformation

Four Support Tools That Drive Success for Front-line Sales Managers

Lots of companies seem to forget that when you put the word "manager" behind a sales title, you’re asking folks to become a developer of people. Many times, companies don’t actually put the right processes and tools in place to help front-line sales managers drive success for their teams.

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Categories: Sales Planning

The Plan to Make the Plan

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry It’s that time of year again when elite sellers are putting together their plan for 2020. Early in my career, I remember having an incredible year of performance. I was the top rep in my region and preparing to go to Hawaii for President’s Club. It was, by far, my biggest income year to date. Sounds like a great story, right? It was actually one of my darkest hours in selling. Let me set the stage for you.

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Categories: Channel Sales  |  Sales Messaging  |  Sales Transformation

Three Important Factors to Drive Measurable Results in Your Channel Organization

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

What Fuels the Sales Performance Engine?

There are many things that fuel sales performance, but two of the most critical are discipline and practicality for your reps. Without these two elements, it is difficult to achieve repeated performance and quota attainment.

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Categories: Front-line Managers  |  Sales Leadership  |  Sales Transformation

Five Characteristics that Build Successful Sales Leaders

Sales managers play a critical role in driving your sales organization’s success. Leaders in today’s top companies understand that it takes an enabled, successful sales management team to really impact revenue.

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Categories: Sales Coaching Tools

Stop Cold Calling: My Advice to Salespeople

The other day I was working with a seller who was a little frustrated with how hard it is to get people on the phone. He told me about a prospect who was furious when she realized she was on the other end of a cold call. The prospect yelled, “Are you really cold calling me right now? Why would you waste your time and more importantly why would you attempt to waste my time?!” The seller asked me if I could believe that someone would be so rude and my answer was an emphatic YES! I asked the seller, “What was your answer to the prospect?” There was a bit of a pause, so I interjected, “There is your answer”.

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Categories: Front-line Managers  |  Sales Leadership  |  Sales coaching

How to Create a Strong Blueprint for Your Sales Management Team

Sales managers deserve support from your organization, starting with a clear definition of what success looks like in their role. Great companies start with a strong blueprint that includes the processes and tools that enable sales managers to drive success at the team level. 

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Sales Productivity  |  sales challenges

The Fourth Quarter: What's Your Plan?

Now is the time many of us assess how our year has gone. Some of you may be scrambling to make the number, hinging the year on a few deals that you're waiting to close. Others of you may be riding out the quarter, perhaps pushing some deals into next year to give yourself a little runway.

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Technology

How to Align Your Tech Stack to Best Support Your Sales Teams

Matt Payne is the Senior Sales Enablement Manager at Jama Software which is a leading product development platform provider for companies building complex products and integrated systems. Matt is in charge of equipping the company's global sales team with the ability to sell business value.

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Categories: Sales Conversation  |  Sales coaching

Enable Your Salespeople to Sell the Platform Solution

If your growth model has you moving from a point solution to a platform solution, it's likely you are assessing how well your sales organization is enabled to execute this new type of sale. It's a trend we see frequently with the high-tech companies with which we work. The decision to create and sell a broader solution has its benefits, but without enabling your sales teams to sell that new functionality, the decision will never realize its potential. Don't simply train your sales teams on the features and functions of your platform, rather equip them with how to sell the value of the holistic solution broader and deeper in the prospect organizations. It's about articulating value and differentiation, but it's also necessary to define the sales process and qualification method that will enable your reps to effectively maneuver through more complex sales.

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Categories: Sales Messaging  |  Sales Transformation

A Sales Enablement Perspective: Enabling Command of the Message®

Marco Davi is a sales enablement professional with 15 years' experience in high-growth companies. He has worked with Force Management on our Command of the Message®  offering, implementing the program with a global sales force. Marco was responsible for the rollout in the UK office which included about 100 people.  He is also a certified facilitator of the program having participated in our training certification program.  Introducing and rolling out Command of the Message (CoM) in an organization is a major step in improving the overall sales strategy. As a sales enablement leader, I have seen and implemented my share of training programs. However, in my experience, Command of the Message is different than other off-the-shelf-type offerings because of its customization, particularly around the products and/or services that you sell. This customization is what creates immediate impact and provides sales reps with something they can use directly after attending the in-person training session.

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Competitors  |  Industry Insight  |  sales challenges

Understanding Why Sales Organizations Win: Q&A With Sales Researcher

Melissa Short is the VP of Reporting Services at Primary Intelligence. Primary Intelligence is a global leader in Win Loss and Customer Experience Analysis. Both solutions provide analytical insights that help companies win more and identify the root causes that lead to lost revenue and customer churn. In advance of her webinar with Brian Walsh, Force's content team asked Melissa to share some perspective on her research and the companies with which she works.

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Categories: Sales Kickoff

Our Best Sales Kickoff Resources

It is never too early to start thinking about your sales kickoff. Having a specific plan to align the event with the overall company growth goals and objectives for the year is critical to not only the event's success, but will help drive results after the kickoff. The best sales leaders in the world understand these events are about more than just the sales team. Used strategically, they can align the overall company on what's most important - the customer. That's why we've been writing a lot about the sales kickoff these past few weeks. The more your event is aligned with company-level objectives, the more it will set your salespeople up for success in the next four quarters.

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Categories: Competitors  |  Differentiation  |  Sales Discovery Process

The Missing Link Between Your Differentiation and Your Buyers

There are a lot of organizations out there that tout what makes them different from the competition. However, at times, that differentiation is simply talk and no action. What's on the PowerPoint slides fails to translate to the real-life customer experience. You can't just proclaim differentiation as an organization. You need to be able to justify it and demonstrate you really do what you say you do. That's step one. Step two is another area where many organizations fall short. It involves equipping your reps with the ability to articulate differentiation in a way that has meaning to the buyer.

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Categories: Sales Kickoff

Ideas for Planning a Sales Kickoff That Will Stick With Your Team

Many companies spend significant time and resources planning and executing their sales kickoff. If done right, the effort can be well worth it in the long run. Positive results can accumulate in the coming quarters and years down the line. In our webinar, "Your Next SKO: Stop the Insanity," we received several questions about planning a sales kickoff that will stick with your team. You can't underestimate the importance effective planning has on achieving these results.

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Categories: Sales Messaging  |  Sales and Marketing

How we Describe Command of the Message® to Sales and Marketing Leaders

It's a topic we get asked about frequently. Is Command of the Message a marketing initiative? Or, why is Command of the Message a sales initiative and not a marketing one? Indeed, the name may leave some confused, but once you understand Force Management's point-of-view, it begins to make sense for sales and marketing leaders, particularly those who are looking to create a better buyer and customer experience.

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Kickoff

Your SKO Agenda: Planning an Event that Aligns with Your Company Business Strategy

One of the keys to a successful sales kickoff is to execute it in a way that aligns with your organization's overall business strategy. From there, your SKO agenda should be prioritized by the objectives and the outcomes you want the event to drive as it relates to that strategy.

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Categories: Sales Negotiation

A Different Approach to Negotiation Training

Too many sales organizations approach negotiations as a series of tactics that need to be executed at the end of a sales process. Reps negotiate without a defined strategy, that leaves them helpless when dealing with much more experienced procurement professionals. They don't know what their give-gets are and if they do, they aren't aligned to the overall company strategy. Legal is going into the negotiations blind without the context they need to effectively respond in the negotiation. Frankly, by the time the deal is done, the margin is no where near where it should've been and sales leaders are left shaking their heads in frustration.

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Categories: Sales Discovery Process

The One Word You Need to Teach Your Sales Teams for Effective Discovery

Do you find yourself consistently frustrated with deals coming across your desk that: give away too much margin; aren't tied to the biggest business issue; have limited access to the economic buyer?

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Categories: sales challenges

Launching a Sales Initiative: What We Tell Clients Who Say They Can "Do it Themselves"

It's a conversation that can be uncomfortable. When we are talking to sales leaders and executives, we are most often dealing with very smart people. They know how to lead, how to sell, what's needed to be successful and perhaps more importantly, what's not.

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Categories: Industry Insight  |  Sales Process  |  sales challenges

Sales Best Practices: Enabling a Challenger Sales Team

Paul Liberatore was the Senior Sales Enablement Manager for U.S. and Canada at Welch Allyn, a leading global healthcare solutions company. Liberatore has more than 20 years’ experience managing enablement and e-learning. Force Management began working with Welch Allyn in 2012 in an effort to improve overall sales effectiveness and generate more revenue per seller.  The competitive medical marketplace is dealing with unprecedented fiscal challenges. As providers of all sizes continue to maneuver through health care reform, keeping your sales team prepared for the next hurdle can be a daunting task.

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Transformation

How to Get More Budget For Your Sales Initiative

You know what’s working within your sales organization. And, perhaps more importantly, you know what isn’t. Maybe your sales team isn't focusing on value in the buyer conversations, and they're giving up too much margin or losing deals all together. You need better access to the economic buyer and frankly, a better understanding of how your prospects buy.

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Categories: Industry Insight  |  Sales Transformation

How to Improve Sales in an IT Staffing Organization

Job growth in the IT sector is outpacing all other sectors and expected to grow 13% by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The opportunity for jobs is one thing, filling them is quite another. This recent Wall Street Journal article noted that unemployment in the IT sector dropped to a 20-year-low, forcing employers into a "historic" fight for people to fill critical roles.  For the staffing industry, these dynamics will put many firms at risk. If you don't have the right people to help your clients, they'll look elsewhere. The staffing organizations that will excel in this unique environment will have tools, processes, and content behind how they address these customer and candidate dynamics.

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Categories: Sales Conversation  |  Sales Planning  |  Sales Transformation

Does Your Sales Organization Have What it Takes to Be Elite?

 An elite sales organization is one that drives higher win rates, larger deal sizes, higher margins, and predictable revenue.  Can you confidently say you and your team excel in all of these areas?  Whether you're launching a new product, moving to a subscription model or trying to meet accelerating growth rates, it is difficult to scale if you don't have the foundation in place.

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Sales Transformation  |  sales challenges

Key Ways to Gain Executive Buy-in and More Budget for Your Sales Initiative

You know your sales organization needs some help. You're seeing the negative consequences of too many bad habits. Things like too much discounting, an inability to accurately forecast revenue and reps pushing for too many product demos that don't demonstrate value and differentiation to the buyer.

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Categories: Sales Leadership  |  Sales Productivity  |  sales pro

Your Sales Motion: Taking it from Excellent to Elite

Are we wired naturally to be elite?  Regardless of your title, role, occupation, the opportunity to be elite is sitting right in front of us. Salespeople, leaders and organizations strive to drive higher win rates, larger deals and better margins. Investors, shareholders and executives aspire to build high-performing sales teams, capable of maximizing market opportunities. They are not looking for okay, average or even good. They are looking for awesome, exceptional and elite.

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Conversation  |  Sales Leadership  |  Sales Productivity

Enabling a Global Sales Organization: Q&A with a Sales Leader

 Joe Marcin is the SVP of Global Sales at ClickSoftware. Click is a leader in field service management solutions, arming service leaders with real-time recommendations and operational intelligence. Joe is an experienced sales leader who has a breadth of experience selling complex software solutions globally. Force Management has worked with ClickSoftware to improve its sales productivity. In advance of his webinar with Tim Caito, Force's content team asked Joe to share his perspective on sales effectiveness. 

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Categories: Sales Productivity  |  Sales Transformation  |  sales challenges

Your Next Sales Career Opportunity: A Conversation on Mistakes to Avoid

Chad Peets is a Managing Director of Sutter Hill Ventures. He is responsible for GTM hiring globally and has placed more than 2500 software sales executives. Chad shared his recent conversation with John McMahon with The Command Center blog.  McMahon is a Force Management customer, a sales veteran and an adviser to some of the world's most successful software companies.  This post is part two of the conversation. Read part one here.  In the last conversation with John, we discussed components to consider when picking your next sales career opportunity. We reviewed the "3 Why’s" and five critical factors that should help you analyze if the company is going to be the right one for your next move. In this post, we discuss the mistakes people make when deciding on their next move. John provides some good food for thought as you consider your next opportunity. 

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Categories: Sales Conversation

Enable Your Salespeople to Help Buyers Stand in the Moment of Pain

As many of you know, my mother, Eileen Kaplan was a therapist who worked with the military. One of the greatest lessons that she taught me was making me stand in my moment of pain. This used to bug the stuffing out of me when I was younger because she always had a way of getting me to face reality. Today, as I travel around the world working with some of the coolest companies on the planet, this lesson is as relevant as ever.

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Categories: Sales Productivity  |  Sales Transformation  |  sales challenges

Your Next Sales Career Opportunity: A Conversation For Sales Professionals

Chad Peets is a Managing Director of Sutter Hill Ventures. He is responsible for GTM hiring globally and has placed more than 2500 software sales executives. Chad shared his recent conversation with John McMahon with The Command Center blog. McMahon is a Force Management customer, a sales veteran and an adviser to some of the world's most successful software companies.  Throughout my 20-year career of recruiting for and building software/SaaS sales organizations, no one has taught me more about my craft than John McMahon. The incredible part of my statement is that John has never been a recruiter. I believe that John is one of the most successful and influential people in the SaaS Industry. For instance, John helped develop Adam Aarons (former CRO of OKTA), Dali Rajic (CRO of AppDynamics), Chris Degnan (CRO of Snowflake), Dan Fougere (CRO of Datadog), Cedric Pech (CRO of MongoDB) and even John Kaplan and Grant Wilson of Force Management.

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Categories: Sales Conversation  |  Sales Negotiation

How Do You Define Value Specific to Your Customer?

One of the most-often missed points from salespeople using a value-based selling methodology is how  to define value. Here’s one definition: Something that provides incremental benefit to the customer, beyond what they would achieve from their most likely alternative (e.g., a competitor, doing it themselves, or even doing nothing). However, the pivotal point in regards to this definition is that it must align with what the customer wants to achieve. What are the positive business outcomes the customer is looking to achieve?

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Categories: Sales Conversation

Why Sales Reps Struggle with Metrics in the Sales Conversation

We’ve done hundreds of deliveries around our Command of the Message® methodology and there’s one topic that frequently comes up in our initial facilitation, even when we do refresher sessions for experienced reps. People continually struggle with defining the metrics in a sales conversation.

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Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement  |  Sales Consumable Tools  |  Sales Productivity

3 Ways Leaders Can Drive Sales Methodology Adoption through Technology

As a sales leader, you’re responsible for ushering your sales organization through different seasons of growth. On the journey, you’ll probably sort through a myriad of changing people, processes, tools and content. Along the way you’ll work hard to identify and leverage what’s working and change what isn’t. 

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Categories: Podcasts  |  Sales Discovery Process

Podcast: Tips for Attaching to the Biggest Business Issue

Even if you've been selling a long time, there's still value in getting back to the basics. Are you in the middle of an opportunity right now where you know you aren't attached to the biggest business issue? Do you need to do more discovery?

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Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement

The One Thing That's Missing in the Adoption Plan for your Sales Initiative

One of the most critical steps you can take after a sales initiative is to execute a well thought out adoption plan. Many organizations say they have a plan to reinforce the critical tools, processes and content that they roll out in training. However, these plans often fall flat and fail to have longevity when it comes to the sales organization. Organizations that nail it are the ones that invest the necessary time, energy and resources to get the critical elements of change management right.

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Categories: Sales Leadership

Leadership's Three Outcomes

At the start of 2018, I was in a place of reflection. I had lost two very important family members, a few friends and it sparked a few thoughts for me. I ended up posting it on my LinkedIn profile. It received a lot of comments, as it clearly resonated with my network. So this year, I wanted to build on that perspective, as I think many of you are in a place right now where you are charged with leading an organization to great success. 

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Categories: Adoption and Reinforcement  |  Front-line Managers

Accelerating Adoption: Tips for Front-line Managers

Let’s face it, the role of the front-line manager is not easy. They are responsible for salespeople, managing pipeline, interacting with other departments and ensuring that both they and their team are delivering on the expected results. It can be a lot to handle. When it comes to accelerating adoption of a sales initiative, one of the most important roles the front-line managers plays is to reinforce training concepts and skills in a seller's day-to-day activities. The front-line manager is a sales leader's "boots on the ground", helping to facilitate, inspire, coach and provide reinforcement. 

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Categories: Front-line Managers

Sales Managers Should Be Excellent Teachers & Coaches

This blog contains content from Chapter 1 of our eBook - Coaching the Coaches: Five Lessons for Training Front-Line Sales Managers. Start from the beginning here. "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch There’s no harder job in an organization than front-line sales manager, and that’s saying a lot, because there are a lot of hard jobs. In most sales organizations, great performance as a rock star seller correlates with future promotion to a sales management position. But unfortunately, here's how that scenario often plays out in sales.

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Categories: Front-line Managers

Sales Leaders Should Invest in Training Their Sales Managers to Lead

This blog contains content from Chapter 2 of our eBook - Coaching the Coaches: Five Lessons for Training Front-Line Sales Managers. Start from the beginning here. “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.” – Richard Branson The average tenure for a front-line sales manager is 18 - 24 months. Sales managers might have been rock star sellers, but leading is a whole different ballgame. Sales managers are not necessarily natural born leaders. They become leaders. Not by accident or luck, and not because they were good sellers.

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Categories: B2B Buyer  |  Sales Conversation

Align with the Buying Process: The Power of the Mantra

Many of our Command of the Message® alumni use the phrase "The Mantra”. The Mantra is a saying that we use to ensure the sales team is aligned to the buyer around their current state, what they're trying to achieve with a solution (Positive Business Outcomes) and what's required to get there (Required Capabilities).

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Categories: Front-line Managers

Sales Leaders Should Give Their Managers a Strong Sales Operating Rhythm

This blog contains content from Chapter 3 of our eBook - Coaching the Coaches: Five Lessons for Training Front-Line Sales Managers. Start from the beginning here. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle For sales leaders and sales organizations, the Management Operating Rhythm (MOR) is important. The operating rhythm is a major way that organizations support their sales managers. It drives the accountability that ensures your front-line sales managers focus on the activities necessary for repeatable success, and that they perform them consistently and at a high level.

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Categories: Front-line Managers

Sales Managers Should Possess the Ability to Partner, Serve, Protect and Coach

This blog contains content from Chapter 4 of our eBook - Coaching the Coaches: Five Lessons for Training Front-Line Sales Managers. Start from the beginning here. “Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett Great sales managers understand the difference between their number one goal and their number one job. While their number one goal may be to make the revenue number, their number one job is to develop people. To truly develop a team of people, managers have to be great at performing four distinct elements of a sales management role:

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Categories: Front-line Managers

Organizations Should Measure Their Success in Developing Sales Managers

This blog contains content from Chapter 5 of our eBook - Coaching the Coaches: Five Lessons for Training Front-Line Sales Managers. Start from the beginning here. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” – Peter Drucker You know you need to better train and support your sales managers, so you’ve put some key elements in place. You’ve defined your management operating rhythm, so your sales managers know what is expected of them and their teams. They understand a defined sales cadence that directs who should do what and when. Your sales leaders have invested time and energy into being coaches, role models and leaders of leaders. Your sales managers feel supported and equipped to do their jobs.

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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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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

This blog contains content from our Ultimate Sales Kickoff Resource Guide.  Check out all our great sales kickoff resources and tools here. 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

This blog contains content from our Ultimate Sales Kickoff Resource Guide.  Check out all our great sales kickoff resources and tools here. 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

This blog contains content from our Ultimate Sales Kickoff Resource Guide.  Check out all our great sales kickoff resources and tools here. 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

This blog contains content from our Ultimate Sales Kickoff Resource Guide.  Check out all our great sales kickoff resources and tools here. 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. Next year's sales kickoff will no doubt be a bit different. Many companies are considering virtual events and that has leaders wondering what their event objectives should look like and how they should change in this new environment.  Regardless of how  you execute the event, your SKO objectives still need to align with your organization's largest areas of opportunity for sales growth. Do you or your executive team know what you need to align your entire sales organization on to succeed after your SKO event is over?

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Kickoff

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

This blog contains content from our Ultimate Sales Kickoff Resource Guide.  Check out all our great sales kickoff resources and tools here. 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. Most organizations know their approach to customer negotiations could probably use some work. In a fast-paced selling environment, competitors are 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 get it right on every deal from the start of the sales process. 

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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 being a company 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: Sales Negotiation

Value Negotiation: Client Success Stories

When companies are giving away too much in the sales cycle, they often lack a repeatable process that enables sales teams to effectively negotiate. We see the problem frequently, especially when greener reps have to push deals through with seasoned procurement professionals.

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Categories: Company Alignment  |  Sales Transformation

Three Ways to Ensure Customized 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: Sales Transformation  |  Technology

How to Make Digital Content the Backbone of Your Change Management

This blog contains content from Chapter 1 of our eBook - Taking Command: How On-Demand Technology Drives Adoption of Sales Methodologies. Read the entire eBook here. Deploying a high-tech, digitally enabled sales engagement management system will allow your teams to learn, practice and master concepts wherever they are, whenever it works for them. That’s what will drive rapid, consistent adoption of sales methods across your entire team, no matter how large or spread out.

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Categories: Sales Transformation  |  Technology

4 Ways Mobile, On-Demand Content Helps Increase the Confidence of Your Sales Team

This blog contains content from Chapter 2 of our eBook, Taking Command: How On-Demand Technology Drives Adoption of Sales Methodologies. Start from the beginning here. The right digital technology instills confidence in sales leaders, front-line managers and throughout the organization.

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Categories: Sales Transformation  |  Technology

What An Engagement Management Platform Does For Your Sellers That Your LMS Won’t

This blog contains content from Chapter 3 of our eBook - Taking Command: How On-Demand Technology Drives Adoption of Sales Methodologies. Start from the beginning here. Choosing the right platform to support a new sales initiative can’t be an afterthought. You’ll need to provide your team with on-demand access to the content that helps them successfully drive buyer-focused sales conversations. How you provide access is critical to serving up the information that sellers can successfully comprehend and adopt. You’ll need a platform that meets sellers where they are - in their career and on their learning curve.

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Categories: Sales Transformation  |  Technology

How to Make Your Digital Content Digestible, So Your Sellers Will Consume It

This blog contains content from Chapter 4 of our eBook - Taking Command: How On-Demand Technology Drives Adoption of Sales Methodologies. Start from the beginning here. Sales transformation means doing the hard work. It means showing in words and actions that your sales initiative is a top priority for your company. It’s up to leadership to set the tone and provide processes and tools to drive long-term adoption of new sales methodologies. To instill confidence in your sellers, you’ll need to provide them with access to the right digital content at the right time, at their fingertips and on any device.

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Categories: Sales Transformation  |  Technology

How Digital Content Can Help Your Front-Line Managers Become Great Coaches

This blog contains content from Chapter 5 of our eBook, Taking Command: How On-Demand Technology Drives Adoption of Sales Methodologies. Start from the beginning here. A big part of your company’s sales transformation success will depend on how you support your front-line sales managers. Ultimately, it’s the sales managers who are responsible for leading, coaching and inspecting their team of sellers throughout the transformation process; and, that’s a tall order.  Opportunity reviews, deal coaching, negotiating the right margins – it’s a team effort that requires you to arm your sales managers with the tools and content to help drive success.

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Categories: Customer Success  |  Sales Transformation  |  Technology

Command Center Spotlight | Epicor's Story

This blog contains content from Chapter 7 of our eBook - Taking Command: How On-Demand Technology Drives Adoption of Sales Methodologies. Start from the beginning here. As told by Doug Gilkey, Vice President of Sales, Manufacturing for Epicor's  Global Business division.  

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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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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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