Posted on January 22nd, 2013 by Dave Stein
Funny thing. In the past few months we’ve found an unusually high number of our clients seriously concerned with inaccurate sales forecasting. To put it bluntly, they are finding it impossible to get forecasting right at all. In situations like that, it doesn’t take ESR long to diagnose the cause: a sales process that isn’t complied with or no process at all. (Sales leaders in those companies do understand the problem and the cause. They look to us to provide them with alternatives.)
Employing technology above and beyond basic CRM systems to improve the accuracy of forecasting isn’t new. We’ve written quite a lot about The TAS Group’s Dealmaker. White Springs and Revegy would also be included in those conversations.
I thought it would be valuable for you to hear from a colleague of mine, Michael McGowan. Michael has facilitated the sales process module of the International Selling Programme, of which I’ve been a part for the past 6 years. Here is the interview: Read more »
Filed under: CRM, Forecasting, Interview, Pipeline, sales process | No Comments »
Posted on January 18th, 2013 by Dave Stein
First I want to thank all of you who have endorsed me on LinkedIn. It’s a privilege to be acknowledged in that manner by so many of you whom I respect in return. What I found interesting is that the prevalent category for those endorsements seems to be “start-ups.” Sure, I know that “start-ups” is offered up as a choice when my name appears, but nevertheless many of you attribute that experience to me. You’re on target, Gerhard Gschwandtner, Jim Dickie, Dave DiStefano, S. Anthony Iannarino, Mike Bosworth, Lee Levitt, Keith Eades, and many more. Again, thanks.
My work at ESR has had me focused generally on mid-sized to larger companies. But having consulted over the years, individually, with more than 120 small companies, I appreciate the recognition.
As I write this, I’m on an airplane flying back from Heathrow to Boston. Then a CapeAir Cessna will take me home to Martha’s Vineyard.
Yesterday I had one of the truly memorable days of my career. I was invited to present to a group of 41 CEOs and their business coaches at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School for Executive Education. Read more »
Filed under: Account Management, Book Recommendation, Hiring, Leadership, Sales Strategy | 4 Comments »
Posted on January 7th, 2013 by Dave Stein
Ron D’Andrea knows a lot about how procurement professionals approach their negotiations with sales people. If you want your sales team to improve its success rate working with purchasing managers you’ll want to hear what Ron—and his firm—have to say.
Ron is President of BayGroup International, where he leads one of the few organizations covered by ES Research that trains both sales and purchasing professionals. That’s why it made so much sense for his firm to sponsor our most recent research study, The State of Sales and Purchasing, which explored the opinions of 637 sellers and buyers from 159 companies about the current negotiating landscape, where things are heading, and what works in today’s competitive business environment.
Ron participated in our 2011 thought leader panel Selling To and Negotiating With Today’s Tougher, Strategic Procurers/Buyers/Sourcers, and I’ve wanted to interview him one-on-one ever since. Here’s the interview: Read more »
Filed under: Buyers, Negotiation, Procurement, Sales Training Companies | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 17th, 2012 by Dave Stein
By Al Case, ESR’s Principal Analyst and Research Fellow
Selling through alternate distribution channels was not a subject addressed by many mainstream sales training companies as little as four years ago. Reseller channel sales was considered a specialty subject and it was addressed by a limited number of sales training companies. Many other training companies treated channel sales as though it was some flavor of direct sales. That isn’t the case at all.
Over the past 3 to 4 years, several significant events have occurred: Read more »
Filed under: Channel Management | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 12th, 2012 by Dave Stein
What will the guest speaker at your upcoming sales kick-off meeting deliver?
- Business improvement?
If you are planning on paying $5,000 to $50,000 (or more!) for the privilege of listening to someone talk for an hour or so, you need to think carefully before you answer that question. Read more »
Filed under: Presentations, Professionalism, sales training | 11 Comments »
Posted on December 6th, 2012 by Dave Stein
By Al Case, Principal Analyst and Research Fellow, ES Research Group, Inc.
Do you have an organization chart for your client/customer? If not, you should. For complex sales, you must.
The organization chart is an indispensable tool for understanding not only the organization’s formal hierarchy, but also for mapping and understanding the formal and informal (political) organization structures. Once you have developed a formal organization chart with the help of clients inside the company, official publications, or other means, the real work begins. Read more »
Filed under: Procurement, Relationships | No Comments »
Posted on November 26th, 2012 by Dave Stein
This event has passed.
Here is the archive of The State of Sales and Purchasing webinar (Registration required.)
Here is where you can purchase ESR’s Report: The State of Sales and Purchasing
This Thursday, November 29, ESR will publish a report which provides an enlightening look at the state of sales and purchasing. Our sponsor for this report is BayGroup International, a leading sales performance improvement provider with deep experience in improving effectiveness on both sides of the negotiation table.
We went to BayGroup earlier in the year proposing they provide guidance and assistance in a study on negotiation from both the sell- and buy-sides. I expect there are few of you on the sell-side who haven’t felt the surge of power and strategy on the part of corporate sourcing, procurement, purchasing, and buying organizations during the past five years. We wanted to measure that and provide some context for what you need to think about, plan for, and do during 2013 and 2014. Read more »
Filed under: Buyers, Negotiation, Procurement, Relationships, Research | 3 Comments »
Posted on November 12th, 2012 by Dave Stein
I’ve gotten to know the folks at AchieveGlobal much better during the past year than in the past. They invited me to sit on a panel at their client conference held in New York City last October. At dinner the evening before the event, I spent some quality time with Sharon Daniels, their CEO, as well as other members of the management team.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Sharon participated in two panels hosted by ESR last fall:
What you also may not know is that AchieveGlobal is owned by Informa, plc, a $2 billion UK corporation, with headquarters in Switzerland. Informa also owns Forum and Huthwaite, two other leading sales performance improvement providers.
I visited AchieveGlobal at their Tampa headquarters earlier this year. I met more of the team and got an opportunity to get a terrific tour of their operation. (Note: AchieveGlobal subscribes to ES Research Group’s research.)
One of the senior executives at the meeting that day was Chris Cowan, VP of U.S. Sales. Chris was kind enough to spend some time on this interview on the subject of sales management. I’m sure you’ll appreciate his experience, insight, and his focus on the customer…
Here is the interview: Read more »
Filed under: Interview, Sales Training Companies | No Comments »
Posted on November 7th, 2012 by Dave Stein
In this post I hope to accurately portray the perspectives of both the buy-side and the supply-side on the sales training RFP. Leave a comment and let me know how I did.
A bit of background
As a seller, coming out of sales, sales consulting, and sales training, I have a love-hate relationship with RFPs. I love them when I’ve written or influenced their content and, as a result, have exerted some control over the customer’s buying/decision criteria, and won the deal. I hate them (or rather disregard them, in most cases) when one surprisingly pops into my inbox and I quickly determine that my competitor has had a degree of influence in its content.
When ESR first started sending RFPs to sales performance improvement companies on behalf of our sales training buyer clients, the responses were as you would expect. Resistance, frustration, and even anger. After all, many sales trainers work with their clients guiding them through getting around the RFP process. Why should they do what they teach their clients not to do? they ask me. After all, they say, RFPs have been written or influenced by one supplier, putting anyone else who chooses to bid the business in a disadvantageous place. As a seller, I couldn’t agree more. Read more »
Filed under: Buyers, Competition, Procurement, RFP, Sales Training Companies | 8 Comments »
Posted on October 29th, 2012 by Dave Stein
I was introduced to the sales performance improvement firm, Executive Conversation, more than 15 years ago. At the time, I was consulting with a number of technology companies, assisting them in devising competitive strategies against some significant competition in some very big deals. Invariably those strategies included getting and maintaining access to high-level executives. I directed each of my clients to collaborate with their customers in building financial models to justify the acquisition of products and services. At that point I was more than five years into leveraging business acumen to win business for my clients and I knew what a differentiator it was. There were other levers that we used as well, such as acknowledgement of and collaboration with the customer on their business strategy. More about that below. Read more »
Filed under: Big Wins, Economy, Interview, Sales Strategy, Sales Training Companies | No Comments »