Sales runs on information; access to it and use of it – The best sales people are those who learn how to access information

gist

The post ‘The ‘Gist’ of a new Sales Tool’ by Jim Keenan (@heykeenan) from aSalesGuy.com emphasizes beautifully that “sales runs on information; access to it and use of it” and that the “best sales people are those who learn how to access information […]”:

“I love finding good sales tools. Few things get me as excited as finding good tool to help me achieve my goals. One of the biggest areas for improvement is access to information. Sales runs on information; access to it and use of it. The best sales people are those who learn how to access information others can’t and know how to use it.

Finding information has usually meant research. Companies like Hoovers would compile all the info and we would go tearing through it looking for the tidbit to give us an edge. The problem was Hoovers controlled the info. If they couldn’t find it or chose not to add it, you didn’t get it. Google Alerts has upped the game a bit, but if you’re like me, you get a little tired of managing the tons of emails that come in everyday. I just couldn’t keep up with all the different alerts. This is why I’m excited about Gist.

Gist has the potential to be the next killer sales app. Gist is a new site that allows you to link your contact list to the web. After you sign up, you are prompted to upload your address book. Gist supports, Oulook, Vcard, Gmail, as well as LinkedIn and Facebook. Once your accounts have been set up, (you can set up more than one) Gist begins to pull all the information from the web it can and puts it into a clean dashboard by person, by company. What I like about how Gist works is I can see a client or companies entire web presence in a single click. Gist does a Google search and throws up all the relevant info on the people and companies in my contacts. It tracks the tweets, and blog posts, as well as any new web mentions. Getting information on clients has always been difficult. Gist is changing this and has taken a tremendous step into bringing sales people closer to their clients and what their clients are saying. Gist also provides the same rich information for the companies in your contacts, as it does for your contact list.

There are a few features I really enjoy. One is the ability to dial up or down the importance of a contact or company. The more important a contact, the higher on the dashboard you can make them show up. This gives you control on who gets more attention your watch list. Gist also syncs with your email account for better organization of all your account information. Gist gives you the ability to share contacts with other Gist users and merge contacts into a single view. (ex: multiple contacts at a single company.)

I have been using it for a few weeks and have just scratched the surface. I uploaded my entire contact list, not sure I’d do that again. There are too many people I just don’t care to watch. Gist does integrate with Salesforce.com. Which was a good move. I haven’t played with that feature yet. I am curious on how it’ll work.

Gist is headed in the right direction. As more and more people come online, via Twitter, Blogs, LinkedIn etc, Gist will provide you immediate information that can be used in the sales process, relationship building and a myriad of other business needs.

Gist is easy to use and easy to set up. I don’t see any barrier to adoption. Go sign up and tell me what you think. Playing with it is the only true way to find out how something works. Come back and give us your two cents.”

Please leave your comments on the original post.

How Sales People Make Money

After having posted ‘Metrics to measure around a deal’ and ‘Sales people do not like to be tracked, measured or accounted for against anything other than quota’, the post ‘How Sales People Make Money’ by Jim Keenan (@heykeenan) from aSalesGuy.com is a great reminder for me what simple and straight forward a topic ‘motivation of sales people’ actually is:

“Sales people get paid by selling stuff. The more stuff they sell, the more money they make. The biggest impact on what a sales person makes, in some cases even more than their selling, is the comp plan. Sale people get paid on commission. Therefore, a sales persons compensation plan is the key to his or her earnings.

Management creates the comp plan. Comp plans need to be 3 things; simple, consistent and motivating.

Simple – Sales people have to be able to know what they’re getting paid for, how much and when. If they can’t understand how much they’ll make on a sale, your plan needs work. Sales people follow the money. If they can’t quickly understand, in their head, how much they make on a deal your plan is too complicated.

Consistent – It should be clear what you (management) is incenting. If you are looking to drive greater sales of a new product, the plan needs to support new product sales. If you want to increase services, then incent services. Far too often the comp plan does not support and align with managements message. This causes anxiety. Imagine being told to sell silly widgets, when you get paid more on dumb widgets. It’s stressful.

Motivating – Comp plans are in place to motivate sales. Good ones motivate sales people. They energize the teams and push sales people to excel. When plans aren’t simple or consistent they lose their value because they don’t motivate

Sales people get paid by selling. Sales people MAKE money because of the comp plan.

What does your comp plan look like. Is it simple? Is it consistent? Is it motivating? Creating the killer comp plan is the most impacting thing sales leadership can do to drive revenue. Don’t leave it to sales operations, don’t rush to get it out. Be creative, engage the team, connect with product, and align it with the corporate goals and make it the best damn comp plan you’ve ever created.

It’s how sales people make money and the companies revenues deserve it.”

Disconnect between large vendor Marketing and the sales messaging needed for SMBs or channel partners

Great blog post at acsellerant.com by Bob Leonard from October 25, 2009:

“[…] Sales Enablement is the process of arming an organization’s salespeople with information that will help to close profitable deals. Sales Enablement delivers the most relevant information for a specific sales situation.

Sales people are what I call “just in time learners”. They are extremely busy. They are action-oriented. They have little patience for sitting, reading and digesting reams of information so they can later distill and communicate the most significant message for a particular sales situation. Salespeople learn what they need to know when they need to know it.

Sales Enablement should bridge the gap between the 35,000 foot PowerPoint and the, “I’m sitting across the table from a decision maker who is willing to take the next step… if I can show her that we are capable of solving her specific business problem.”

The specificity need not be deeply detailed, but it should address the particular problem… not describe issues that are universal across an industry. It should bridge Sales and Marketing departments. It should augment market research and global messaging with:

  • Competitive Intelligence – not at the vendor level, but of local [SMBs or your channel partners that sell to them]
  • Tribal knowledge – specific to the client industry in the local geography
  • Product knowledge from the minds of the technologists who have developed/integrated similar solutions, and
  • Answers to questions and objections encountered by salespeople who have sold similar solutions in that market.

Here are three common mistakes salespeople make when attempting to bridge the gaps described above:

Mistake #1: Giving the Feature/Benefit World Tour

These tours often happen during demos, presentations, proposals, and in printed and online collateral. They’re an attempt to show prospects everything that your product/service/solution can deliver. Don’t give the ‘List of the Top Ten Features and Benefits’. Your website should have that information. When in front of a customer you want to pick the two or three features and benefits that are meaningful to them given their situation.

A savvy sales enablement provider will help the salesperson pick the three most relevant features and benefits, and will translate them into higher-order value statements. As an example, the three most relevant value statements for an Electronic Records Management solution might be:

  1. A 25% increase in productivity due to improved access to information for daily tasks.
  2. An average 40% savings on paper storage costs.
  3. A 99% reduction in fines and penalties due to regulatory non-compliance.

If you know that all three of those are primary concerns with that prospect, you’ve just reduced your sales cycle significantly.

Mistake #2: Let Me Tell You All About My Baby

This happens most often when an engineer is brought along on a sales call. They are (usually justifiably) proud of their baby. They built it, and they love to talk about it… what it does, how it does it, why it does it this way, and so forth ad nauseum. There’s a time and a place for this conversation – when your techie is talking to their techie. When that occurs, it’s usually quite late in the buying process and the business people have already decided to go ahead.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, though. Summarize the solution effectively (and briefly) using graphics, then provide a link or a white paper which details the technical information. Your decision maker will be more at ease if he can give those details to his trusted technical advisor.

Mistake #3: No Proof Points… Just Trust Me

This is a situation that’s as old as B2B technology sales itself. Salespeople understand the effectiveness of case studies and testimonials. They constantly ask for them. But they never want to take the time to elicit them from clients. Your salespeople, and your technicians and customer service reps too, should be alert for positive statements from clients. When clients make these statements, the automatic response should be, “Thank you. We’d love to be able to use that in our promotional materials. Can I have someone contact you about it?” Then, whoever is handling your Sales Enablement should quickly follow up with a written testimonial, or if appropriate, an outline for a case study, for their approval. Don’t wait for the client to write it. It won’t happen.

Also be alert for situations where your solution has made a hero out of someone in the client organization. Those people will be happy to sit down with your Sales Enabler and tell them all about the problem that was solved, and how it came about, and the results achieved. Case studies with a client hero or heroine (she was smart enough to choose your solution) resonate with prospects. After all, who doesn’t want to be seen as a hero by their company?

Consider incenting everyone who has client contact to submit potential testimonials and case studies.

 

Job opening – Sr Web Marketing Mgr, Sales Enablement: Yahoo! Inc

Senior Web Marketing Manager, Sales Enablement: Yahoo! Inc

Job ID Old outdated!
Company Name Yahoo! Inc
Job Category Technology; Internet
Location Sunnyvale, CA
Position Type Full-Time, Employee
Experience 2-5 Years Experience
Date Posted October 26, 2009

[…]

About the Business Group: The Sales Enablement team is responsible for positioning and packaging all Yahoo! advertiser products, media solutions, product launches and Search. This includes messaging strategy, customer communications and sales materials and website management. This team is a part of the B2B Marketing organization.

Position: Sr. Web Marketing Mgr, Sales Enablement

The Sr. Marcom Manager, Website Marketing will be responsible for the development, launch, and ongoing management of infrastructure of all Yahoo! trade websites. This includes ensuring the sites effectively articulate Yahoo!’s value to key audience segments, promote solutions designed to drive sales and client adoption for advertisers, agencies and small business partners. These efforts will include coordination with regional teams around the globe to ensure a unified online presence in all regions.

In this role, you will not only lead a small team in optimizing the existing trade sites and launching new sites but you will also be part of the Sales Enablement team within B2B Marketing. The ideal candidate for this position is a motivated, self-starter who understands integrated marketing and accountable, effective communications.

Job Responsibilities:

· Manage all aspects of the B2B marketing website (infrastructure, content, visual design, user experience), ensuring the website maintains rigorous quality standards and adheres to all Yahoo! legal, policy, and brand guidelines and B2B marketing best practices

· Develop a content strategy/editorial calendar for the B2B marketing website to ensure that the content is fresh, dynamic and of topical interest to key audiences

· Work closely with internal partner organizations to ensure alignment of B2B marketing website with overall brand messaging and trade marketing communications plan

· Leverage B2B marketing website for promotional campaigns, product and research study launches, and brand campaigns

· Utilize data and analytics to optimize the trade websites and increase their marketing effectiveness on an ongoing basis

· Partner with Brand Marketing and UED teams to ensure trade marketing websites represent the best user experience and most appealing visual design for key audiences

· Oversee integration of other marketing website content into the B2B marketing website, including mapping content to current template structure, making recommendations for new modules/templates, facilitating the development of content and managing the engineering release cycles and deployment to production

· Manage the globalization of the B2B marketing website, including developing a global presence and working with regions to adopt and adapt website templates and visual style guide for localized presence

· Manage the ticket process, and triage/prioritize tickets for incoming requests for updates to B2B marketing website pages; involve UED, Creative and Engineering teams as necessary to execute on necessary changes

· Monitor traffic and conversion data, and provide reports on key metrics to B2B marketing on an ongoing basis

Minimum Qualifications:

· Minimum of 3-5 years website management experience in a corporate environment, preferably in a marketing-related capacity, preferably with international experience

Strong familiarity with the digital space and knowledge of how to demonstrate the value of online to our clients as well and internal stakeholders

· Demonstrated project management skills, including planning, prioritizing, setting timelines and driving the delivery of work on multiple efforts concurrently

· Demonstrated experience managing tasks across a variety of teams, preferably including Creative and Engineering teams

· Experience managing content via a Content Management System

Excellent verbal and written communication, interpersonal, organizational, presentation and planning skills

Creative, high positive energy and an ability to execute a must

Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or related field

[…]

Job opening – Head of Sales Enablement at Google

Old! Outdated!

Employer: Google
Location: Mountain View, CA.

The area: Enterprise

The Enterprise team focuses on integrating Google’s products and services into small and large businesses, educational institutions and government agencies. Consisting of high-achieving engineering, sales and marketing professionals, we work with a vast array of partners and customers to advance the company’s mission of organizing the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful.

The role: Head Of Sales Enablement

In Google Enterprise, we believe a salesperson’s success depends on the customer’s success and we offer our clients technology solutions to help them grow their business and maximise their return on their information software investment. This requires our Sales team to have varied skills and talents, including thorough knowledge of the SaaS business and Google offerings, understanding of information system infrastructure and the ability to sell effectively. This also requires our sales team to have highly effective communications material and collateral at their disposal.

As the Head Of Sales Enablement, you will be responsible for enabling our sales teams to grow their businesses across many product lines through effective and results-focused training, field tools, communication and marketing programs. You responsibilities include working with Product Marketing Managers, Corporate Marketing, Product Operations and Google Sales Training to create and deliver consumable, highly impactful field collateral, client presentations and product training to the Americas’ sales teams. You will own the vision, message/story structuring and packaging, orchestration and delivery of your sales enablement programs collaborating with many contributors as necessary. You will be able to and willing to operate at both strategic and tactical levels designing and delivering materials, programs and workshops on your own if need be. The overall vision is to grow this function and its team over time with successful strategies.

Responsibilities:

  • Work with Product Marketing team to solidify product core messages and guide the structuring and packaging of core messages into highly compelling sales training and client facing presentations/collateral.
  • Create and produce client/vertical specific presentation decks to address highly strategic sales situations and to provide to resellers/partners to leverage on behalf of Google.
  • Define and plan Enterprise sales product training curriculum incorporating skills based programs from other sales training units of Google.
  • Develop and implement measurement methodology for the Sales Enablement capacity.
  • Oversee work and eventually manage small team of Sales Enablement partners.

Requirements:

  • BA/BS or equivalent experience required, MBA a plus.
  • At least 12 years of working experience in sales, sales strategy, sales operations, sales communication or field marketing, vertical marketing, marketing communication.
  • Superior capabilities in communication – creation, production and delivery and desire and wilingness to train sales people to master this craft.
  • Detail orientation and passion for continuously learning and understanding Google Enterprise products and how to best sell/position these in specific situations.
  • Solid cross functional collaboration and project management skills.
  • Track record of high productivity and delivering results in highly ambiguous situations, startup environments.