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Three Revelations on the Journey to Manager Effectiveness


Do you believe that the effectiveness of your frontline managers is the key to taking your sales organization’s performance to the next level? More and more, companies are coming to this conclusion. I’m not going to bore you with the data from the recent CSO Insights report:
Sales Managers Overwhelmed and Underwhelmed (which you should go read). It makes intuitive sense. The “force multiplier” effect is a common way you will hear it described. We can invest in developing the seller or we can develop the manager who is ultimately responsible for developing their 6-8 sellers, and without whom any investment in the seller gets shall we say…leaky. When we realize that value from our investment in the seller is leaking out if not reinforced by the manager, we also realize that that force multiplication can work positively…or negatively.

The economics for developing the manager are compelling and if we do nothing, things may actually get worse. Sounds like a problem worth solving!

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Unlocking a Sales Professional’s Potential by Improving Frontline Sales Manager Effectiveness– Part 2

 

Developing Frontline Managers: Coaches Need Coaching Too

 

In Part 1 of this “reflection,” I was trying to better understand the pain points of a dissatisfied customer, and I realized that our initial solution — a video practice platform designed to get sellers to watch an “example” of what good looks like, practice, and then submit their “take” for feedback, coaching and certification was too narrow, episodic, and out of seller and manager workflow.

 

 

I revealed a narrative around this customer's Rep A, who after 15-months in the role had plateaued in his development and settled into being a very average middle to low performer, and Frontline Sales Manager A who needed to coach the seller but simply couldn’t find the time and didn’t know where to begin.

  

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Get past "no" and move closer to the sale

 

No one likes hearing the word “no.” For many people, the word evokes such a visceral reaction that it often affects drive and performance. Salespeople face rejection everyday, and giving up isn’t an option. In fact, it can provide an incredible opportunity to turn the “no” into a yes—if you know how.

 

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Topics: sales coaching, sales improvement, sales effectiveness

Unlocking a Sales Professional’s Potential by Improving Frontline Sales Manager Effectiveness – Part 1

Moving Beyond Rep Development: Learning as We Go

 

“Joel is definitely not renewing this relationship” was a recent note I received from a key contact at...ahem...a customer who is now tagged in our customer success application as “Severe Risk”.  I’ve been the CEO of CommercialTribe since we founded the company three years ago.  And while today we’re fortunate to call some of the world’s most progressive companies customers, the below note is not necessarily focused on our successes, rather in what we’re learning from our failures.  

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Topics: sales coaching, frontline managers, sales effectiveness

CommercialTribe: Transforming The Sales Tech Landscape

 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Marketing, Company News, Development, CommercialTribe, sales coaching

The 2017 Startup Sales Stack Report

 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Marketing, Company News, Development, CommercialTribe, sales coaching

4 Quick Fixes to Make Sure your Sales Kickoff Provides Enduring Impact

 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Message Adoption, Sales Leadership, Development, sales coaching, Sales Kickoff

CB Insights Includes CommercialTribe in The Periodic Table of HR Tech

 

CB Insights recently profiled a Periodic table of HR Tech Companies – broadly defined to include software in workforce management, payroll, benefits administration, employee development, and recruiting and staffing – and investors that are redefining how employers recruit and retain employees.

CommercialTribe was one of the companies included in the Career Development space which is testament to our continued success and growth.

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Topics: Company News, CommercialTribe

Why Seller Motivation Needs a Makeover

By some estimates today there are more than 10 million sales people in the world, also known as professional persuaders. Today, the sales organization exists to organize and drive those sellers toward the actions needed to transact revenue, leading to the creation of what has been described as a coin-operated, compliance-driven culture.

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Topics: sales coaching

The Essential Dreamforce 2016 Game Plan

 
Each year, Salesforce.com does a spectacular job in bringing together speakers sessions, activities focused on helping you learn, grow, and succeed – no matter your industry, company size or role.

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Getting Multi-Threaded: Moving from Analog to Digital at LinkedIn Sales Connect 2016

 

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Unleashing Energy: 3 Steps to Improving Middle Sales Performers

 

The buzz continues these days around salespeople who are swimming in the middle of the bell curve—that complex group otherwise known as middle sales performers. Do a search and you can find lots of information about how to identify middle performers, how they stack up compared to others (the 20/60/20 rule), and the impact they have on business.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Leadership, sales coaching, moving the middle, sales improvement, video practice, spotlight

The Actual Toughest Sales Enablement Challenge for 2016

Sales Enablement wades through an ocean of challenges and problems every day. Some are well known – sales and marketing alignment, unclear mission, difficult metrics – and some are just becoming apparent – technology, data integrity, and messaging included. It’s easy to see these all as equal roadblocks to advancing the sales team and elevating the role.

Actually, none of these are even close to being the toughest challenge faced by enablement this or any year.

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Topics: Sales Enablement

Player-Managers Probably Aren’t Helping the Team

The player-manager may have died off with Pete Rose, but the legacy is still strong in baseball, soccer, and basketball. The theory goes that your best players, as they reach the end of their superstar prime, can have an impact both on the field and the bench. Players like Rose and Bill Russell continue to get time in the game, but spend a majority of their effort coaching and organizing the rest of the team. It seems perfect to put those who did it best – in baseball or sales - in charge of coaching, right?

As it turns out, the player-manager is more often than not failing to make an impact.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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3 Key Things I Took Away from SiriusDecisions Summit 2016

Last week –– along with 3000 other marketing and sales professionals –– I descended upon the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee for the 11th annual SiriusDecisions Summit

In addition to making incredible connections with key customers, having insightful conversations with SiriusDecisions Analysts, and networking with sales and marketing leaders at the Summit, I was glad to make time to do some learning.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Leadership

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Does Your Sales Cycle Include a Demo?

Product demonstrations are common to almost every sales cycle, a chance for reps to show off the platform or solution and push the conversation forward. Yet, they tend to be either heavily scripted previews at best, or a waste to a prospect’s time at worst.

Why aren’t reps practicing this crucial phase of the buyer journey?

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Why the Sales Environment is Unique: Reflections from ATD 2016

The Sales function has always been different. Those who have grown up in sales organizations and are now responsible for Sales Enablement know this. Think about it – only in the sales function have we stood up an entire training and development team focused on making that specific function better. We don’t have finance enablement, legal enablement, or marketing enablement. That would be downright ridiculous! 

So what makes sales different?

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Topics: Sales Enablement

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4 Sessions to Watch at the 2016 ATD Conference

ATD’s 2016 conference is taking place at home in Denver on May 22nd-25th. The Association for Talent Development’s annual conference covers all aspects of the learning and training space, with a particular focus on the strategies and technologies that enable sales. As usual, the event is packed with sessions to move enablement forward. 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Upskilling

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Sessions You Cannot Miss at the 2016 SiriusDecisions Summit

2016’s SiriusDecisions Summit is right around the corner – May 24-27th in Nashville. This event always serves as one of the most progressive windows into the evolution of the Sales, Marketing, & Enablement ecosystem. Over the past couple of years, the things that we’ve taken away have provided much of our strategic roadmap at CommercialTribe.  

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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How Many Steph Currys Are on Your Sales Team?

 

This is Stephen Curry. For those of you who don’t know, he’s the starting Point Guard for the Golden State Warriors, and more importantly, repeat Most Valuable Player of the NBA. He’s a do-it-all player who is reinventing how to score baskets – absurdly effective at putting the ball in the hoop from virtually everywhere on the floor.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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Are You Asking your Sales Managers to Be Sherpas?

For decades, sales leaders have compared getting to plan to the act of summiting a mountain.  Each year is a long journey, requiring preparation, hard work, discipline and teamwork to reach goal, just as is required to summit Mount Everest. There are just under 1000 attempts to summit Everest each year and only 50% actually succeed. And just like climbing Everest, far too many Sales Managers don’t reach the summit. 

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Three Traits of World-Class Onboarding Programs

Part of working with enterprise sales teams is being able to witness the range of approaches to new hire training. With so many different potential avenues to engaging reps early and driving long-term learning, it can become challenging to identify what an organization does right, and what is stunting growth.

Luckily, when you look at the top programs, you can identify three distinct characteristics that make an onboarding approach best-in-class: longevity, cadence, and practice.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding

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Silo Busting for Sales and Marketing

The narrative that team silos form in big organizations is true, but the impact of hidden knowledge reaches even the smallest of teams. No matter the size of the organization, the divides between Product, Marketing, Sales, and any other team can be well established and hard to break. Reinforced on all sides, it takes a tactical, well-thought plan to tear down the walls and increase interaction.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Leadership

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One Trick to Double the Value of Sales Kickoff

Sales Kickoff remains one of the best ways to energize the team, check in on performance and progress, and introduce the new strategies on hand for the year. This is when products and messages for most companies meet the road and start to reach your prospects. Adding a simple element to the formula – pre-work – can completely change the impact Kickoff has on your team and goals.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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The Power of Cumulative Practice

Practice is an incredible tool for sales teams. What reps say is critically important to whether a deal closes or a prospect converts, and the better reps can share the right message, the more likely they are to see a positive outcome.

Yet, practice does not automatically get at what SiriusDecisions calls the #1 reason why reps fail to hit quota: the inability to articulate value.

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Topics: Sales Enablement

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Video Alone Will Not Change Enterprise Sales Learning

A great recent article in Training Industry – Video Bytes: Just in Time Sales Training – gets at a change happening across the enterprise: video is becoming the best medium for learning initiatives. The benefits of video are rather clear, with reduced travel costs, deep engagement, and reusable content, and the impact is certain to grow through the next decade. 

But there’s a catch: video alone will not meet the needs of the changing enterprise.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Leadership

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CommercialTribe Secures $6M in New Funding

CommercialTribe today announced a $6 million funding round, supported by Boulder Ventures, Grotech Ventures, and Access Venture Partners! This next step forward allows the team the ability to scale its proprietary video platform, build more tools, and create better workflows to help sales reps hit the number.

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Topics: Company News, CommercialTribe

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What The Sales World Can Be Thankful for This Year

In the sales world, Thanksgiving usually means one thing: there is just one month left to close Q4 deals! With the pressure to generate year-end business, the functions surrounding sales generally get little time to give thanks and celebrate a year’s worth of accomplishments.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Marketing, Sales Leadership

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Video-Based Practice: Build or Buy?

When evaluating the need for video-based practice in a sales training toolset, today’s market may seem confusing. After all, anyone can record themselves via an iPhone, save that file, upload it to a shared folder, and voila - video! But at some point, the technology reaches a point where your homegrown system has to be compared to a professionally developed platform, which can make all the difference in addressing the problem you are trying to solve.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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The Perfect Storm Gives Rise to Sales Enablement Leadership

 A storm is brewing in sales organizations across the world. In its wake are changes that affect how sellers sell, how buyers buy, and the success of the business. At the eye of the storm is a relatively new role rising to prominence: Sales Enablement.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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Cutting Through the Noise: An Interview with Jim Moliski

Jim Moliski is the SVP Product Marketing and Sales Enablement at Corporate Visions, where he spearheads efforts to enable a diverse, global sales team to apply the right messages, content, and skills to be effective in the marketplace. The experience Jim brings to Corporate Visions helps to inform its own solutions that help salespeople communicate value across the three conversations that are required for a business-to-business selling engagement. Jim previously worked at Launch International, later acquired by Corporate Visions, and served as VP of Sales Enablement Consulting at The SAVO Group. We spoke with Jim about his experience in Sales Enablement, and the tools, strategies, and philosophies needed to help reps break the status quo and tell a differentiated story across the entire customer buying cycle.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Message Adoption, Interviews, Upskilling

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Learning Cycles and Certify to Fly for Sales Kickoff

In Part 1, I reviewed the idea of efficiency vs. efficacy in sales training, and many of the situations that challenging rep performance and ability. In Part 2, I covered the idea of the Learning Cycles approach to sales training, and Certify to Fly – a model for ensuring learning sticks before, during, and after your sales kickoff.

If you ask sales leaders what is on their minds in Q4, the answer is nearly universal: “How will we close the quarter?” If you ask them what else is on the horizon, the answer is again ubiquitous: “What’s the plan for sales kickoff?”

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Message Adoption, Product or Service Introduction, Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Learning Cycles: A Structure for Sales Training

In a followup to Part 1 – a profile of efficiency vs. efficacy in sales training – we suggested a framework to help bring structure to sales training.

Here, I’ll share that framework, and answer a key question: “how do you make sales training stick?” Given the ever-growing complexities across the buyer landscape, the question remains a perennial challenge and arguably the key issue facing sales leadership today.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Approach Sales Kickoff with a Goal in Mind

We recently surveyed a number of our enterprise clients on a topic familiar to every sales leader in the last quarter: Sales Kickoff. The question was simple – what is the value of your Sales Kickoff? The responses fell into three buckets: 

  1. Culture – the event drives enthusiasm, cohesion, and employee retention
  2. Recognition – an opportunity to acknowledge those that are contributing to the organization’s success
  3. Learning – ability to create alignment on the commercial plan from communicating go-to-market strategy to what the team needs to know to win
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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Your New Strategy for Sales Kickoff: Certify to Fly

Sales Kickoff challenges are enormous, and unfortunately all too common. We all struggle to coordinate reps onsite and verify that they review the new skills, messages, and behaviors we want them to learn. We make herculean investments in content, travel, and entertainment that can rival the spend on a new product itself. Yet, few benefits seem to extend beyond the event.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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Ascent Update for CommercialTribe rep2rep for Salesforce

Following the launch of CommercialTribe Ascent, a completely rebuilt CommercialTribe designed for ease of use and mobile practice, we are now excited to share the a full update of our Salesforce.com app, rep2rep! Here are the big changes made to the approach, and how they help your sales reps learn and apply more of your messages and skills. 

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Topics: Upskilling

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Conversations that Win: Unshackle Buyers from the Status Quo

The dominant theme to this year’s Conversations that Win conference was made clear on the main event of Day 2: a trip to Alcatraz and a tour of the infamous prison. The now-beautiful historic park, and site of one of the most intolerable places in US history, had an underlying message that Corporate Visions CSO/CMO Tim Riesterer shared in his keynote.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Message Adoption

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Marc Benioff’s Secret for Every One of Your Sales Reps

 

Marc Benioff pioneered an industry, built Salesforce.com into a $50B company, and plays host to Dreamforce – the biggest Mardi Gras style party for cloud computing in the world. 

So when the world descends on San Francisco for one week each September, Marc gets on stage to deliver a three-hour keynote…and always does it flawlessly. Now that’s impressive. 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Message Adoption

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The New Hardest Job in Sales – Reflections from Dreamforce Expo 2015

"Welcome to the world’s largest cloud ecosystem. At the Cloud Expos, you’ll find unlimited ways to transform your business…So take a deep breath and get ready to learn, learn, and learn some more." These were the words that graced the opening page of the Dreamforce Cloud Expos pamphlet.  

Benioff and company have thought of just about everything – meals, transportation, accommodations – and this year, there was even the Dreamboat – a luxury cruise ship to accommodate 1,100 of the now 150,000 strong that came to San Francisco this year. But if you ask me, they missed the couple of Xanax that should have come with this pamphlet!

 

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Efficiency vs Efficacy in Sales Training

Among the many casualties of the financial crisis of 2008, the economy suffered a loss of jobs. “Do more with less” became the unfortunate mandate from senior management. And you know what? We did. 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Message Adoption, Product or Service Introduction, Sales Leadership

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Join Us at the 2015 Corporate Visions Conversations that Win Conference

On Sept. 21st, Corporate Visions is bringing their insight-based Conversations that Win conference back, one of the most important events of the year for sales and messaging.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Sales Enablement Lab: Consistent Rep Stories

CommercialTribe Co-Founder and VP Sales, Jonathan Palay, was featured on the Sales Enablement Lab podcast, a regular review of new ideas in the space that has included guests like Tim Riesterer (Corporate Visions), Scott Santucci (Alexander Group), Jill Rowley (#SocialSelling), and Peter O’Neil (Forrester Research). 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Interviews

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Announcing the Release of CommercialTribe Ascent

We’re excited to announce the release of CommercialTribe’s newest platform, Ascent!

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Topics: Company News

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5 Must-See Sessions at Dreamforce 2015

Dreamforce 2015 is a behemoth, with over 140,000 visitors expected in San Francisco and more than 400 vendors at the Cloud Expo. Without a game plan in mind, it is easy to get lost and miss out on great sessions.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Defining Sales Enablement with Thierry van Herwijnen

Sales Enablement is a critical role that can make or break a company’s success, guiding how sales teams think about training, coaching, and measurable growth. Undergoing a tremendous evolution in past decades, the field has become highly methodical, helping link sales practice to performance.

Thierry van Herwijnen, Director Sales Enablement, Global Head Sales Knowledge Management at Wipro and host of Sales Enablement Lab podcast, is a progressive leader in the sales enablement space. We spoke with Thierry about sales enablement planning and execution and how to track success and performance. 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Interviews, Upskilling

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Three Characteristics of an Enterprise Sales Enablement Solution

Just about every week, someone asks me: “What does enterprise-ready mean to this market?”

 

Every industry has unique requirements that evolve with market demands. By recognizing what is unique to this industry, we can establish a set of characteristics that shape successful enterprise-level services in this market. Through our 2014 and 2015 learnings, we have identified three characteristics that a sales training platform must have to be enterprise-ready.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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The New Sales Tool Stack

Think back to 15 years ago: sales tech was finally coming online, in-person meetings still ruled, and Salesforce was entering the market as a young challenger to the status quo. CRM soon became the foundation of the new sales team, driving easy alignment with the sales cycle and a stream of data that anyone could use to improve the team.

15 years later, the world of sales technology has blossomed. Along with improvements to Salesforce came a broad variety of new tools – CMS, data/analytics, lead generation, company databases, email tracking, and more. For a growing or existing sales team, the options have become incredibly complex, often with no clear path to growth or ROI. Each team carries its own toolkit, often with only a CRM at the core and a mix of other solutions supporting the organization.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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On and Off The Court: How to Make Sales Coaching Work for You

As a sales manager, you hear a lot about the importance of coaching these days. Start with the fact that without effective coaching or reinforcement, 87% of training content is forgotten in 30 days. There’s even research out there to tell you how much time to spend on coaching! The sweet spot is 3-5 hours per rep per month with the typical manager expected to manage 8 reps and set aside on average 1 hour per week for coaching. The payoff is teams that exceed their goal by 7% on average. 

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Why Invest in a 3rd Party Sales Message?

More and more companies are today realizing the value of good messaging. What reps say at the moment of truth has always been considered more art than science. 

The need is heightened when you must navigate a complex sales process with multiple products and services to win. If your reps are more often consultants than “order takers,” and your messaging is stale, ineffective, or undefined, it may be time to invest in a 3rd party message development program.

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Topics: Marketing, Message Adoption

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59% of Companies Never Ask Their Reps to Practice

If you ask sales leaders what the single most critical factor to closing deals is, what do you think they would say?

According to recent survey data by Corporate Visions, 85% of companies agree that their sales team’s ability to articulate value messages rises to the top.  But that’s not all…  

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Topics: Product or Service Introduction, Sales Leadership

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Why Video is the Missing Ingredient in your Sales Training Plan

As an industry, sales training has relied on a mixed bag of the same tricks - kickoff, webinars, sell sheets, roleplay, etc - each designed to promote learning and more effective selling.

Yet, into the 21st century, the facts remain stunning: according to a recent survey by Corporate Visions, only 41% of companies ask their reps to practice skills and messaging, and 34% say no one is responsible for coaching and certifying rep proficiency. The lack of a more robust training process results in the same set of outcomes that we’ve experienced for centuries: not enough reps meet quota, company goals are missed, and attrition rates remain high.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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How to Upskill Your Top, Middle, and Bottom Performers

Defining Upskilling as a process isn’t the hard part: you take your existing sales team and segment it to strengthen and develop new capabilities. The goals are typically better win rates and faster sales cycles. 

The trick comes in execution: when completed effectively, the entire bell curve of your sales team’s performance moves to the right.

While there are many ways to segment your sales team (by tenure, role, or market segment), one of the most fundamental ways is to look at it by performance – your top, middle, and bottom performers. 

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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How Two Former Oracle Leaders Dissected Sales Skills vs. Behaviors

In part 1 of our interview, we spoke with Drs. Tom Tonkin and Mark Tuggle of the Sales Conservatory about their role in developing comprehensive sales skill and competency training programs. Both Tom and Mark worked previously with Oracle's Sales Performance Team, and later co-founded the Sales Conservatory. Part 1 covers the concept of sales skills versus sales behaviors, creating reps that take lasting abilities away from training and can adapt to any situation.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding

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Three Ways to Increase Adoption of New Sales Tools

A recent article by Jim Dickie of CSO Insights highlighted an issue we think about constantly at CommercialTribe: how do we help companies drive adoption of new sales tools within their team? With a full array of tools and solutions for different aspects of selling and learning – CRM, CMS, LMS: the acronyms may have your head spinning – every organization’s worst nightmare is failing to utilize its tools.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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The Recipe for a World-Class Onboarding Program

At 2015’s SiriusDecisions Summit, Sharon Little, Research Director, Sales Enablemen Strategies at SiriusDecisions, led a breakout session on the “Sales Onboarding Programs of the Year.” Pairing with top SiriusDecisions clients – Oracle Marketing Cloud, PTC, Zebra Technologies, and PrimePay – Sharon was able to not only identify classifications and goals across different approaches to onboarding, but also to reveal the top-line results that denote a “best in class” methodology.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding

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Marketing Will Help Save the B2B Sales Rep

Earlier this month, we covered the SiriusDecisions Summit, a convergence of sales and marketing that introduced new research on the buying process. Whether you focus on Sales or Marketing, the renewed importance of the rep was center stage, with new research by SiriusDecisions dispelling the myth that digital buying behaviors have taken full control of the buying process. 

So how does Marketing fit in?

 

 

 

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Topics: Marketing, Product or Service Introduction, Sales Leadership

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3 Ways That Graduation Looks Like Sales Training

First and foremost, congratulations to all May graduates.  By the time you put on your cap and gown, the work has been completed, which, in my opinion, makes the actual ceremony a great time for reflection.

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Topics: Onboarding, Sales Leadership

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The Rep Strikes Back – The 2015 SiriusDecisions Summit


The sales rep has taken it on the chin as of late. Conventional wisdom suggests that the role of the rep isn’t quite as important as it used to be.

In this digital age of social media, catchy sound bites like these get amplified. But at the 2015 Summit on Thursday, SiriusDecisions said, "not so fast." Of course, digital buying behaviors are changing the buyer journey, but maybe not in the way you’ve thought.

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Topics: Marketing, Product or Service Introduction, Sales Leadership

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Four Can’t-Miss Sessions from the SiriusDecisions Summit 2015

The SiriusDecisions Summit 2015 is rapidly approaching, and thousands of sales and marketing leaders are preparing for a week in Nashville. While many conferences explore the future of sales or marketing, few combine these perspectives into one cohesive event. Over the past ten years of the Summit, SiriusDecisions has evolved the topics, arriving on an age-old but still thought-provoking theme: aligning sales and marketing in the B2B space.

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Topics: Marketing, Message Adoption

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A Day in the Life of Your Sales Reps


Get a perspective on a day in the life of your sales rep team with Slay Huff.

Slay is CommercialTribe's Business Development Manager, helping to drive the team's scheduled visits and front-line sales strategy. CommercialTribe's Business Development team is designed like a Sales Development or "scheduling" team, a vital role in ensuring that the right messaging and insights reach a prospect and that the team articulates value. Slay has worked with CommercialTribe for a year, the first member of a rapidly growing sales team. You can connect with Slay on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Jumpstarting a Stalled Product Launch

Recently, we spoke with a company with what appears to be a common problem. Working together, their Sales and Marketing teams designed a new product launch and set realistic expectations and goals for its success. Collateral and messaging reached the sales team, and launch plans were in place for months. Yet, when the new product went to market, the launch didn’t meet expectations.

 

Months later, the company decided to reintroduce the product with a new approach.

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Topics: Marketing, Product or Service Introduction

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3 Skills Every World-Class Sales Manager Has

Reps get a lot of the focus when it comes to training, and that makes sense – your reps are out each day, manning the phones and scheduling the visits you need to hit sales goals. If they fail to articulate value, they cannot effectively convert leads and drive new sales. Peer mentoring, deliberate practice, and even kickoff helps them refocus and get it right.

But who’s responsible for the reps?

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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6 Reasons Your Product Introduction Process is Failing

If your growth strategy requires the introduction of new products and services and/or enhancements to existing lines, you need a well thought out product introduction process.  On the surface, it seems simple enough to update the sales team and expect they will effectively deliver the message into the market.

If it's so easy, then why do so many new product launches miss the mark?

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Topics: Marketing, Product or Service Introduction

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Your Sales Onboarding Videos are Too Long

Sales enablement in the digital age means a whole new suite of resources available to impact learning and cater to changing habits. One of the most impactful methods of sharing information with your new hires is video, a chance for reps to actually engage with and absorb content. One profile shared by Brainshark highlights a 3-6 times increase in learning retention with video, "compared to isolated audio or text/images alone."

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding

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How to Execute the Quarterly Virtual Kickoff

When the team starts to outgrow one office and spread across the country, it becomes impractical to bring everyone together for in-person training more than once a year. Even doing an annual Sales Kickoff means high travel and hotel costs, not to mention difficulties in quantifying the ROI. 

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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3 Ways to Divide and Conquer for Effective Upskilling

It’s two months after Sales Kickoff and there is momentum in the organization’s sails.  But learning doesn’t stop or start just because the one time to bring the entire sales team together for the year is over.  Reps are now in the hands of their managers and focusing exclusively on selling.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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Sales Enablement Is the Bridge Between Marketing and Sales

An Interview with Debbie Farese,
Senior Manager, Sales Enablement at HubSpot

We spoke with HubSpot Senior Manager, Sales Enablement Debbie Farese about the intersections of Sales and Marketing and the future of Sales Enablement. As technologies further mature and impact the role, leaders have to adapt to more data, more opportunities, and a greater ability to shift sales performance.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Interviews, Upskilling

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Three High-Impact Sessions from Forrester’s 2015 Forum for Sales Enablement

Peter O’Neill, Forrester’s VP Research Director, stood on stage to put a wrap on the 2015 Forrester Forum for Sales Enablement Professionals, hosted March 2-3 in Scottsdale, AZ.  Over the last 48 hours, sales and marketing leaders had come together to try and make sense of a field that’s changing more rapidly than ever before.

Via Thomas Tonkin 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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It’s Time to End the Sales and Marketing Scrimmage

It’s no secret that Sales and Marketing don’t always get along...

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Topics: Marketing, Message Adoption

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Troubling Turnover: 34% of SaaS Sales Reps Will Not Finish 2015

It’s time for another wakeup call.

Recent research by The Bridge Group and For Entrepreneurs shares an ongoing shift in 2015’s SaaS inside sales organizations, data that together tells a story of declining returns and growth in training.

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Topics: Onboarding, Sales Leadership

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The Future of Sales Training with Xactly's Sean Murray

We spoke with Sean Murray, Xactly's Senior Director NA General Business, about the role of technology in sales and how onboarding and training are changing. As technology continues to impact organizations of all sizes, the first to adapt often set the example for their peers. 

 

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Topics: Onboarding, Interviews, Sales Leadership

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2 Big Ways to Put Sales Training Content in a Rep's Hands

The final part of our series by Xactly's Brian Groth on planning sales training reviews making content available to your reps when they need it most. Part 1 covers planning training, including steps on framing needs and strategies. Part 2 reviews organizing new sales learning content and resources. Part 3 of our series explores how to find the right people to lead a new sales training effort.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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Do You Know Who Leads Your Sales Training?


Part 3 of our series with Xactly Sales Enablement Manager Brian Groth explores how to find the right people to lead a new sales training effort. Part 1 covers planning training, including steps on framing needs and strategies. Part 2 reviews organizing new sales learning content and resources.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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Are You Organizing Your Sales Training Content?

 

Part 2 of our series with Xactly Sales Enablement Manager Brian Groth explores how to best organize the content invoved in a sales training effort. Part 1 covers planning training, including steps on framing needs and strategies. 

 

 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Message Adoption

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Repetition, Repetition, Repetition: Sales Training with HomeAdvisor

We spoke with HomeAdvisor’s VP Denver Sales, Brad Fosser, about training, practice, and the technology that guides his plans for 2015. Like many other nationwide companies, HomeAdvisor has sales offices in Denver, Kansas City, Washington, D.C., and New York, making solving the challenges of delivering consistent messaging and training at scale extremely relevant to their mission.

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Topics: Onboarding, Interviews, Sales Leadership

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The Expert's Guide to Planning Sales Training

 

 

Part one of our series on sales training and enablement, by Xactly Sales Enablement Manager Brian Groth.

 

 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding

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The 5 Best Sales Training Articles of 2014

2014 is officially over, and that means an entirely new set of challenges, ever-higher revenue goals, and a wave of new hires to onboard. We're here to help.

Our most popular sales training articles of 2014 cover how we can better approach the 2015 sales plan, onboarding, deliberate practice, teaching, and the greater structure behind learning this year. Start off on the right foot with resources that drive new learning and more sales in 2015.

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Why an Inadequate Sales Training Program is Hurting Your Goals

As you drive toward revenue goals, sales training is one of the tools that helps to reinforce the right behaviors, enabling reps with the tools needed to win in the marketplace.

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Topics: Message Adoption, Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Three Ways to (Actually) Hit Your Sales Revenue Goal this Year

If you’re like most VPs of Sales, you’ll soon turn your attention to hitting the 2015 number. As we shared recently, creating your 2015 plan, with help from Cracking the Sales Management Code, is a more systematic way to engineer to success. To review, we broke apart the plan into three parts:

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Solving the Sales Training vs. Sales Manager Onboarding Paradox

Which of these sales training scenarios sounds more familiar?

Scenario A:
The sales training organization leads onboarding, with sales managers waiting on the sidelines. Yet, after two weeks of onboarding, reps are passed to their managers, who now expect to have fully functioning reps. 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Sales Leadership

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5 Sales Kickoff Myths Debunked

The annual Sales Kickoff is an event that exists to celebrate last year’s achievements, announce this year’s goals, and more broadly, set the stage for the year to come.  If done well, reps leave not only highly motivated, but also with a clearer line of sight on how to reach their objectives. For some, it’s the peak of rep motivation, when excited reps travel back to the office, ready to sell. To others, Kickoff can seem to be a difficult, generally unsuccessful event, expensive and spent away from the phone.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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Rest Easy! Why You Should Not Fear the 2015 Sales Plan

It’s a new year, which after a holidays season of family, food, football, and winter weather means the inevitable look forward to 2015. If you’re like most senior sales leaders, here’s the tension you may be feeling: According to CSO Insights, companies are arriving at an average 16%+ year-over-year revenue target increase, yet the percentage of CSOs with some or clear concerns on meeting those targets is greater than 60%

Don’t choke on that dessert!  Here at CommercialTribe, we’re thankful for our friends at Cracking the Sales Management Code and their 3-part framework, which can simplify what’s in front of us all. Get your free copy of the first two chapters, including a much more cohesive breakdown, here

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Topics: Product or Service Introduction, Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Why Should Messaging Be the Centerpiece of Your Certification?

Certification is used by many sales organizations as a critical tool in developing sales skills and passing along product knowledge. Despite many companies talking about it, though, few do it well. At the center of any effective certification program is the message – what reps actually say in front of customers and what’s often referred to as “the moment of truth."

Unfortunately, messaging is typically defined as a marketing exercise, developed between sales and marketing leadership and passed to reps through static content. Reps are then expected to internalize the message on their own time. 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Message Adoption

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[Guide] The State of Sales Training

The new CommercialTribe guide, The State of Sales Training, by CommercialTribe CEO Paul Ironside, is a systematic look at how we approach sales training today, the flaws in the process, and what we can do to make it better.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Message Adoption

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Why Peer Mentoring Should Be a Bigger Part of Your Sales Learning

The rep onboarding experience can be daunting. With the pressure to get on ramp as fast as possible, but a lack of progressive recognition that builds toward hitting goal, it’s no wonder that churn rates are a real problem for many companies.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Your Millennial Hires Still Aren’t Responding to Sales Onboarding

A recent post by River Software shared what every sales onboarding leader and trainer already knows: millennials, typically the new hire age group, are no longer responding to the normal sales onboarding model. River’s ideas are correct: the new era of reps do not respond to the standard classroom model, learn best from their peers, and more closely look for opportunities for continued growth. 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding

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Think Your Sales Kickoff Was Successful? Prove It.

You’re planning your next Sales Kickoff, which requires a herculean amount of time and effort. Besides ensuring everyone has a good time, what are you looking to get out of it? Whether the goal is to introduce new concepts, energize the team, or share tribal knowledge, you have a host of metrics that get you to the result.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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5 Ways to Generate Excitement Around Sales Kickoff!

Sales Kickoff, and any sales training event, has a purpose: train and enable reps to hit the number. While it may be useful to bring everyone together, reps often fail to see the benefit of taking a week away from their pipeline. By building the right excitement, engagement, and commitment, reps are more likely to get something out of their time away.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Upskilling

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Checklist: What to Do When a Sales Deal is Pushed

Have You Done Enough to Close?

While we hope that every deal will close easily, the reality is less clear. Due to pressures like financial restrictions or quarterly concerns (Q4 in particular), even deals that appear to be set to close can be delayed indefinitely. Not only does this impact your bottom line and number, but it also makes forecasting a difficult process and puts added pressure on your managers and reps to hit their numbers.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Smarter Sales Training and Onboarding Using the -30, 0, 30 Process

Sales Kickoff is not the only thing consuming your time in Q1: the expansion of budgets and new goals often means large-scale sales training, onboarding, and expansion, the growth of reps, managers, and even new executive leadership. The pattern is natural: since you are already focusing on training with Kickoff, bringing on new hires makes sense. Yet, we still face critical organizational issues when onboarding that not only lengthen the process and a rep’s time to productivity, but also take away valuable resources from your Kickoff.  Instead of sticking to the old model, the -30, 0, 30 day model can dramatically decrease your ramp times and churn, building productivity faster.

 

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding

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4 Ways to Reengage All Opportunities in Q4 and Hit the Number

Q4 offers the chance to tap old and stagnant opportunities and give them a significant push. Because of the pressures of Fiscal Year End and budgeting, prospects of all types are more receptive and more likely to convert. Use this information to your benefit and close more.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Why the 2014 Dreamforce Expo is the Modern Roman Forum

CommercialTribe Visits Dreamforce 2014


The Giants may have been in the NLCS last week, but you would have hardly realized it because their supporters were severely dwarfed by Benioff’s Army, which occupied the entire city of San Francisco. This year’s Dreamforce had a little something different for each of the 130,000 people, with keynotes, product introductions, sessions, parties, and a even a wild Beach Boys sighting.

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Topics: Message Adoption, Sales Leadership

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CommercialTribe October 2014 Product Updates

With the move to October comes a series of updates to the CommercialTribe platform and the launch of version 2.4!

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Topics: Product Development

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Free Scripts for Latent Opportunity Segmentation in Q4

Part of optimizing your Q4 schedule ahead of time means truly taking the time to qualify new and old opportunities. With limited time – few total business days in Q4 - focusing on the segmentation of the right prospects at the right time can make hitting the number a more methodical process.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Message Adoption

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The Last Mile: Why Bad Training Can Break a Good Organization

Centuries of sales training and billions of dollars of research have failed to answer one crucial question in sales: why do our attempts at getting our team to consistently engage prospects and customers with a great message ultimately fail? Marketing creates a great message and shares it with sales, yet, in the field, change is hard to come by. In reality, there is a fundamental missing link: the last mile - sales training.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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The Three-Step Process to Managing the Q4 Calendar

From now until the end of the year, you have just over 12 weeks. Removing weekends and holidays, you actually only have 55 business days left! How long is your sales cycle? Aside from driving urgency and building skills around time management, you need to be narrowly focused coming into the end of the year.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Use Sales Urgency in Q4 to Boost the Number

How familiar is this scenario? You had a great first call earlier in the year with a stakeholder that is fully qualified to buy. As you continued the discussion, you realized that budgets and end-of-year considerations were your best chance to tip the scales in your favor. So you set up a closing call in Q4.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Is Your Sales Team Practicing 6.5 Times? Build a Sales Practice Environment

Rehearsing makes sales conversations far more effective, yet few sales reps ever get the chance to do it. Here’s how to use the latest principles in social learning technology to make them want to learn.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Message Adoption, Sales Leadership

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3 Ways to Match Q4 Sales with Prospect Fiscal Year End

Guess what? It is already a day from Q4, the time when your prospects are also nearing the most important time in their accounting: fiscal year end (FYE). Fiscal Year End refers to the date when a company closes off its current year of budgeting, finances, and programs and shifts into the next year-long period of operation.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Use Social Selling to Amplify Results in Q4

As the world becomes more digital and enriched with new and better ways to communicate, it can become difficult to match what we want to demonstrate with actual use of the tools at hand. Relatively simple applications, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, are now very robust ecosystems, with their own unique voicing and content. Put simply, you have to learn how you speak to all of these audiences differently to be effective. In Q4, where sales pressures and end-of-year budgets make it critical to hit number and leads aggressively, social can be the trump card.

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Topics: Sales Leadership, Upskilling

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Flip Sales Training and Convert 13% More Leads

In the same way that our traditional education system often prevents students from reaching their full potential, standard sales training can hinder the growth of your reps, leaving them unable to learn and adapt and ultimately holding you back from hitting the number. The problem, it seems, is that reps, like students, do the bulk of trial and error learning on their own, missing out on valuable collaboration, coaching, and peer feedback.

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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Upskilling

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CommercialTribe September 2014 Product Updates

CommercialTribe is constantly updating and building upon our social sales learning platform. In September, we worked toward one major goal: make CommercialTribe better, faster, and stronger! As part of the upgrade, we're proud to announce CommercialTribe 2.0!

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Topics: Product Development

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Sales 2.0 Las Vegas Takeaways: Three Age-old Problems That We Need to Solve

Sales is changing - fast. At the Sales 2.0 Conference in Las Vegas, sales and marketing leaders talked about how sales is changing at a faster pace and intensity than we’ve ever witnessed before.

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Topics: Message Adoption, Sales Leadership

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How to Track Form Abandonment Using Google Universal Analytics Events

Form abandonment measurement is an excellent tool for monitoring how and why your visitors navigate and interact with your form-based interactions. Since testing and data are your only means to knowing user behavior on a live site, it is crucial to back iterate only with firm information, drawn from user analysis. Whether using metrics to track visitors or interaction with your sales training solution, the numbers matter! Thankfully, Google provides the best toolset on the market, for free, to enable you to granularly monitor your content: Google Analytics.

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Topics: Marketing, Product Development

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50% of New Sales Hires Won’t Meet Expectations This Year. We Can Do Better.

It’s time to rethink how we train our reps

 

“Education has been preparing our students for an economy that no longer exists. Technology and globalization have transformed our society.”
Dr. Yong Zhao
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Topics: Sales Enablement, Onboarding, Sales Leadership

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