Sales Productivity

Scaling Sales – Welcome!

Posted by | Sales Productivity | One Comment
Increasing sales productivity in business-to-business environments with complex sales cycles has been a never-ending pursuit.  In his book 'Birth of a Salesman',   Walter Friedman chronicles the 200 page playbook (later scaled down to 55 pages) that John Patterson, the founder of NCR, assembled in the late 19th century in his attempt to get his salepeople to systematically present and sell his cash registers.

Patterson was unusually focused on sales tools for his salesforce and was rewarded with one of the most successful companies in business history.  But this level of focus on tools to scale sales is unusual and the problem of low sales productivity is still very much with us.  CSO Insights documents in their annual survey of 1300 sales executives that only 52% of sales reps made their quotas in 2009.

This blog will pursue the conversation of B2B sales productivity, its role in scaling sales organizations and the critical role of sales tools in capturing sales best practices and driving sales growth.

New Rep Checklist

Posted by | Sales Productivity | One Comment
Sales reps are typically more mobile, work with more external contacts and draw on a broader base of internal support than the average employee.  This leads to a surprising amount of infrastructure that a sales rep needs in addition to the standard computer, phone, voicemail, employee phone list, business cards etc. that all employees need. 

Understanding all the pieces and getting the rep fully set-up in their first week is important for a fast rep ramp and is tricky because rep set-up can get lost in the cracks between sales / sales operations, HR, IT / telephony, development, and office management.
Having a new rep checklist that includes all the pieces across all the functions with the owners and the delivery dates noted is a good way to get a handle on this situation.  I started such a checklist a few companies back and have been adding to it ever since.  It has become a valuable sales management tool and my last checklist had 25 rep-specific items!

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