The Daily Conundrum
If you’re like most sales professionals working in today’s hyper-connected, always-on environment, you struggle on a daily basis to meet your goals. The concept of work-life balance is a dated one as we continue to raise the bar on performance and financial expectations.

This struggle is real, because essentially your salespeople are tasked with 4 jobs, each of which could be a full-time job including; 1.) Outbound prospecting to ensure they have enough pipeline to meet coverage targets. 2.) Working and developing existing opportunities to meet quarterly and annual sales targets. 3.) Seeing to the needs of existing customers as they use your solution. 4.) Finally, and perhaps most tedious of all, managing internal expectations. It’s the last one where many folks desperately seek ways to simplify the process, trying to avoid duplicating updates to the various systems of record and to the many layers of sales management.

Forecasting is an evidence-based process that weights all the available evidence. The role of the forecast is to show what is probable and realistic and it should confirm that set targets are achievable. It’s often the case that targets are set ahead of time and are not supported by hard evidence e.g. this year’s target is “last year + 10% because we feel good about the business and have some evidence of increased demand.”

The forecast should be built using analytics rather than being a simple extrapolation of what’s in the pipeline. Analytics is used to interpret the opportunities, apply weighting based on historical data, and with this approach a more accurate and considered forecast is produced.

The start of a new year means a lot of different things to people, for some it’s the time to exercise more, eat healthier, read more, text less, and be happier. For sales teams, it’s both a time of endings as well as beginnings. Closing out the year in sales means getting those last minute deals in and determining which reps will come out on top and make it to club. The turnover to a new year means sales teams get to reflect and celebrate the successes of the last year as well as analyze the misses.

With this week’s announcement of a professional league for Esports, it’s time to recognize what great salespeople have known all along. Sales is a sport. Think about it. We love to watch others optimize a process to achieve a goal, whether physical or mental. Just like a sports team, great sales teams are built with an obsessive focus on stats and success metrics. Sales needs the right players, and those players need the right tools. Closing the deal involves a playbook of emails, phone calls, social outreach, or, gasp, in-person meetings. Just as sports has been “Moneyball-ed”, sales is being scrutinized in new ways to arbitrage the best people and tools.

When you set objectives and integrate them into your incentive plan, you change sales behavior. This is a known fact. But compensation is more than standard practice, it’s a business strategy—one that’s integral to keeping your team rowing towards a shared set of company goals.

This isn’t anything revelatory. People follow the money. But strategic and dynamic placement of these incentives is vital as compensation plans are the most concrete way to communicate what’s expected from your sales team—or any team.

Every sales leader is continuously searching for top sales people. They are evaluating talent looking for a demonstrated track record in closing big deals, ability to manage relationships, enterprise credibility and more.

While these traits and experience are important to individual hiring decisions, the profile of the overall team is often overlooked and team diversity is usually an after thought.

However, there is increasing evidence to suggest that diversity in teams and organizations may be a key indicator of sales success.

74% of companies are spending more on enablement efforts than they did last year, but sales enablement teams are struggling to quantify the value of on-boarding and training efforts and identify what activities have the highest impact on rep productivity.

With average turnover at 30% per year, management is putting increasing pressure on HR and sales enablement to hire even more quickly and shorten onboarding time so reps can get into the field and start selling.

What does it take to be a high growth company? In November, 2016, DiscoverOrg and Smart Selling Tools decided to find out. We surveyed 200 sales and marketing leaders about growth at their companies and a host of factors that could be accelerating it or inhibiting it. The survey included questions regarding their teams, budgets, …

I recently discovered a book by Daniel Coyle called, “The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t Born,  It’s Grown. Here’s How.” The author’s interest in the subject began when he noticed how there seemed to be talent hot-beds around the globe and wondered why they materialized there, and perhaps more importantly, why they didn’t materialize elsewhere. What …

Studies have shown that companies that successfully engage their sales reps have 2.5 times higher revenue than those with lower levels of sales rep engagement. If done right, the result is lower turnover and increased productivity. The secret to success, however, requires hiring the right salespeople, onboarding them effectively and optimizing their performance throughout their …