My regular guest on Front Line Friday is Bridget Gleason, VP of Corporate Sales for SumoLogic. In this episode, Bridget turns the tables on me.
Learn more about what’s in the future for sales. Be sure to join us for this information packed episode!
How do I identify and hire the best people? It’s problematic for many companies. Smaller enterprises struggle because they have a hard time implementing processes. Businesses tend to hire much more on emotion and the feelings they get when a candidate walks in. Smaller companies should be asking these following questions:
HIRING IS THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE. Things change in a small company for every 20 people you hire; you have to re-assess your hiring practices. This isn’t something you just set and forget.
This is a moving target; you really are hiring for a period of time. One of the critical things is to not over-hire early on. Companies should build a process and see how they actually sell the product and who buys it, before they hire a VP of sales. When you hire someone in a management role, they want to build a structure. See where the people walk first and what you are actually selling, which will give you an indication of the people you need to hire and when.
It is about sales productivity. Businesses have a very imperfect understanding of what that is. You have to measure productivity in sales like you measure productivity in the economy in general. In sales, your productivity is all about ‘how many dollars are you selling?’ or ‘how much revenue are you generating per hour of sales time?’ If you could improve their productivity in terms of how much dollars you are selling per hour of actual sales time, then you see a real difference in terms of what you are truly capable of as an organization.
Tools themselves are not the things that are going to drive productivity. It is the process and how we use them that are going to make the difference.
In the world that the investor operates in, it has been made more difficult by the fact that so many of the sales models are predicated on quantity vs quality. Companies have an inherent conflict, they want to incentivize people to make the number of contacts they need to make and make the number of calls they need to. But those aren’t necessarily aligned with the way the customer wants to buy. At some point you have to be able to reconcile that. You can’t design a comp plan from the top down; you have to build it from the bottom up.
My first job in sales?
Selling and networking products and desktop computers for Xerox.
My most powerful sales tool?
One book every sales person should read?
Winner’s Dream by Bill McDermott
Music that psyches me up before an important sales call?
I tend to go quiet and focus and role play the call instead of listening to music.