What Kind of Sales Coach Are You?

Coaching is what separates good sales teams from great sales teams. According to recent research, 87% of on-the-job training and onboarding is lost within thirty days without coaching or reinforcement activity. But companies that spend at least three hours per month coaching each rep show 11 percent greater revenue growth than those that spend fewer than three hours per month.
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Don’t Make These Common Revenue Mistakes

Calculating Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) and applying it to strategic business decisions can get ridiculously complicated when a sales organization is juggling hundreds of customers and thousands of prospects. Proper discipline and awareness of the following pitfalls can make a sales operations manager the beacon of reason in the otherwise messy process of calculating subscription revenue.
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Tipping the Scales of B2B Startup Growth

Scalability is one of the primary considerations every startup founder makes when conceptualizing their business. There are countless ways to get from the garage to the NYSE, and countless books written on each. Some companies have the luxury of waiting to “monetize” until they’ve already reached astronomical size. But for those of us at B2B companies, it’s impossible to grow without selling something.

Sales is a tricky world for startup founders, especially engineer founders. Life would be so much easier if the old adage “If you build it, they will come” still held up. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. But if we examine the methods of some of today’s fast-growing startups, we can see a few ways to tip the scales in our favor and make growth easier.
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How to Perfect Inside Sales Handoffs

Inside sales handoffs between reps are critical in an Inside Sales team. When the baton is dropped at the handoff, deals slip before they close and customers have poor experiences, leading to churn and missed opportunity. But creating an airtight flow from marketing to business development to account executives to customer success results in happy, satisfied customers and fast sales cycles. Creating this quick-flowing sales process is the goal of every sales leader, but actually achieving it is a huge challenge to most teams, especially when they experience serious growth. It’s common to see otherwise successful sales organizations fall into the trap of turning their managers into drill sergeants. Here’s how to avoid letting it happen to you.
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Why Modern Selling Needs More Rally, Less NASCAR

NASCAR is up there with apple pie and country music as one of the most uniquely American things around. In Europe, they don’t care quite as much as Americans do about NASCAR.

But they do love rally racing.

In NASCAR, cars are optimized to race in a circle as fast as possible, over and over. There is only one route to the finish. In rally, the route has twists and turns and may not be revealed to the competitors until the day of the race. NASCAR is highly predictable, and a huge amount of work goes into preparing and optimizing along a very narrow scope of possible situations. There is only one way to go: Left.

Rallying, on the other hand, requires both a driver and a navigator to think creatively and react to a huge variety of situations to make it to the finish line. Teams get very creative with how they get from point A to point B.

The sales world could learn a lot from the world of rally racing.
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Four Focus Areas to Win in H2

The first half of 2015 is complete, posing a challenge and an opportunity. For those of us in sales, this is a key time to evaluate our work and make adjustments that can take our operations to the next level. As businesses prepare for the second half of the year, here are four focus areas to set your sales organization up for a stellar H2.
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Four Successful Sales Teams Later, Here’s How to Build Yours

Building a sales team is one of the hardest challenges and most important steps to get right for startups looking to scale up their business. It certainly doesn’t come naturally to the average engineer cofounder. But an excellent sales team can make the difference between achieving hyper-growth and having to fight tooth and nail to capture marketshare. Over the course of my career, I’ve scaled up sales teams at three hugely successful startups, and I’m working on my fourth. Every team is different. But I’ve put together the following fundamentals which can help anyone create a cohesive team capable of building a large roster of satisfied customers in today’s digital world. Even if your sales team is already in place, these considerations will help you maximize their effectiveness and continue to grow quickly.
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Why CEOs Are Hiring Listeners, Not Talkers

The rise of the information economy poses serious questions to the conventional methods of driving a sale, and in the years since we started Datahug, the changes have accelerated. The primary concern of the sales community of late has been the viability of the B2B sales rep in the face of what SiriusDecisions refers to as “disintermediation by digital buying behaviors”. The huge availability of information from peers and industry sources on just about every technology available means that buyers are changing the way they make purchase decisions. A fear exists in the industry that buyers are beginning to educate themselves on products long before ever talking to a sales rep, and that this shift may cut the sales rep out of the purchasing process entirely. But as the findings from SirusDecision’s 2015 B2B Buyer Study revealed, this fear is unfounded. Buyers still interact with sales reps at every step of the purchasing process, just in different ways than they have in the past. So what does this mean for a CEO building a sales team?
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Three Remedies For a Long Sales Cycle

Every member in a sales organization fears the stagnation of a drawn-out sales cycle. Leads wallow in an uncertain purgatory between qualification and close. Prospects may seem convinced one day, and unresponsive the next. Deals wither on the vine, and reps miss their quotas. If you’ve been at a company where this is taking place, you know it’s a poor time for morale. Sales cycle length is one of the most important barometers of success and sources of insight for a team. Luckily, there are a few jumpstart methods to shorten your sales cycle. There’s no silver bullet, but these steps will ensure you’re putting your team in position to succeed.
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Why I Stopped Questioning My Team’s Sales Forecasts

As a CEO, I feel pressure every board meeting to deliver an accurate sales forecast. I often find myself transferring this pressure for forecast precision to my VPs. They in turn place the same pressure on their sales managers. Almost all sales organizations suffer from this downward motion. By the time this momentum of priority gets all the way down the chain to the sales reps, they get pulled off their accounts and into deal review meetings for entire days to interrogate close dates and guess pipeline stages.
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