25% of Your Qualified Opportunities are Wasted by Poor Sales Calls


Activate Your Sales Managers To Start Converting More Qualified Opportunities Into Revenue.

Tweet this: Qualified opportunities are the lifeblood of your company’s existence.

The dirty secret of most sales organizations is that many qualified opportunities are wasted by sales organizations that are relying on ad hoc management processes. Sales leaders in these organizations are living on a hope and a prayer that their team can close enough deals to keep business leadership from giving them the boot.

Increase Sales Productivity up to 23%

Research by CSO Insights has shown that by managing your team to a process can improve their productivity by a whopping 23%. Developing your front line managers to activate them as growth coaches for sales reps is key to executing this process management.

The dirty secret of most sales organizations is that many qualified opportunities are wasted by sales organizations that are relying on ad hoc management processes.

Start With Your Sales Process

It sounds obvious, but it’s striking how many sales managers don’t do the basics. The first step is to define your sales process, and then the hard part: make sure you and your managers are managing to it.

I’m mostly indifferent to what sales process and tools you use—each company and sales organization need to use what works best for them. I am not; however, indifferent to whether or not you use a sales process at all. Defining a sales process, or methodology, is critical to the success of your sales team’s ability to maximize pipeline opportunities. Without one, your organization will flounder and miss goals.

Without a management plan, your front line managers don’t have the tools they need to help their teams guide qualified opportunities through the sales pipeline to close.

While most companies and sales leaders know this by now, many fail to take the next step and formalize a management plan around their sales process. Without a management plan, your front line managers don’t have the tools they need to help their teams guide qualified opportunities through the sales pipeline to close.

Your Reps are Bumbling 25% of Their Qualified Opportunities
Tweet: Your Reps are Bumbling at least 25% of Their Qualified Opportunities https://ctt.ec/ZjJwb+

All sales processes experience the most acute loss of qualified opportunities at the top the funnel. Conversion rates are much higher in the latter stages of the sales funnel. So, ask yourself, what would a 5% improvement in your conversion rate at the top of your funnel mean for your overall result? It would be pretty impactful, wouldn’t it?

In our experience observing and assessing thousands of sales calls for our clients, we’ve found that at least 25% of sales reps’ interactions with prospects and clients are what we would score as red. That means that even the reps that you have invested heavily in training for are not properly applying the characteristics of what makes a successful call.

That’s 125 opportunities every week that you would have been better off not calling at all.

If you have 100 reps on your sales team and each of them are doing just one discovery call per day, that means your team is collectively throwing away 25 qualified opportunities every day. That’s 125 opportunities every week that you would have been better off not calling at all.

And these calls are going to continue every day, week in and week out, month after month. Until you find yourself at the end of the quarter trying to shake down your managers to eek out those last few deals to meet your objective before the clock stops. And then you have to start all over again in the new quarter.

Said differently, you would be better off if 25% of your sales reps just stayed home and didn’t make a single call. Because they are literally just throwing away qualified opportunities before that opportunity has a chance to really learn about the value of your solution due to ineffective discovery calls. If we can simply improve your discovery call conversion rate by 5%, and maintain your lower pipeline conversions, the revenue impact will be impossible to ignore! So, how can you do that?

Click Here To Download Our Free Opportunity Managment Guide >>

Activate Your Sales Managers to Drive Qualified Opportunity Conversion

stop wasting qualified opportunities CT graphicYour front line sales managers are the key to impacting this target.

For decades, companies have focused on skills training for business development and sales reps to improve sales team performance. We like to send them off to sales training where they’ll learn the proper skills they need to develop their individual territories and close deals. Investing in our market-facing reps to teach them better sales skills, conventional wisdom says, will impact revenue attainment from the bottom up.

This conventional wisdom has ignored the sales manager’s role in coaching and developing desired behaviors in sales reps over the long-term to ensure they are applying the skills they’ve been taught.

Your front line manager is so key to the success of your sales organization, and yet they’re simply thrown into the deep end without receiving guidance on how to manage their team.

How much training and development have your sales managers received? How often do you take the time to coach and develop your management team?

Further, do they have the tools that allow them to observe their sales reps’ behavior during the discovery call? Do they have the means and mechanisms to consistently assess their reps when they do observe them? And do they have the skills and the tools they need to become coaches that can develop and grow a high-performing sales team?

Your front line sales managers’ job is untenable. They have been recently promoted from account executive to management. They have had little or no formal training and suddenly find themselves managing 11 direct reports. This team likely includes two open head counts, three new hires, one low-performer, three mid-performers, and two high-performers—one of whom is threatening to quit. They have to report their 90-day forecast. They have pricing, product, messaging, Salesforce, their managers… The list goes on.

Your front line manager is so key to the success of your sales organization, and yet they’re simply thrown into the deep end without receiving guidance on how to manage their team.

If you want to narrow the performance variance you’re seeing in your qualified opportunities conversions, you will have the most success in doing so by activating your front line managers as coaches and multipliers. And you will want to get them to first focus on coaching and developing their under and mid-level performers.

Improve Under-Performing Sales Rep Behaviors

You know as well as I do that no two sales reps are created equal. The performance variance is fairly easy to calculate, yet difficult to narrow. But if you’re looking at improving conversion rates at the top of your funnel, from discovery call to proposal, for example, under-performing reps are going to be the lowest hanging fruit.

This is because under and mid-performing sales reps are the most likely to be wasting qualified opportunities at the top of your funnel. Your high-performing reps are already moving at least close to an optimized number of leads through this stage, so the improvement increment there will be minimal.

Activating your front line managers to improve under performers does not need to be complicated or time-consuming.

Activating your front line managers to improve underperformers does not need to be complicated or time-consuming. Once they know how to do it—and have the formal tools and/or processes in place to enable them—much can be accomplished within their normal, everyday workflow. They are likely already getting face-time with their reps on a daily, or at least weekly, basis. They simply need to add an observational element to see what their lower-performing sales reps are doing versus high-performers, and then include feedback and coaching during those scheduled interactions.

Let’s take another look at the discovery call. Your high performers are likely exhibiting behaviors that we would rate as good or excellent in most, if not all, of these characteristics of an effective discovery call.

  1. Start with an introduction and set a clear agenda.
  2. Share a compelling, provocative, and insight-led company story
  3. Identify a key issue or pain point personalized for the person on the other line
  4. Provide a relevant solution to the issue or pain.
  5. Qualify and close for next steps

Your low performers, on the other hand, either lack the knowledge that these are the key steps to converting their qualified opportunities or they lack the ability to apply this knowledge.

In either case, their behaviors need to be developed and coached through consistent, committed observation, assessment, and coaching to move them up to higher levels of performance. Your front line managers can effectively do this if they have a formal management plan, and the training and tools to execute it, they need to be successful.

Is your sales team simply throwing away hundreds of qualified leads every month? You have the power stop the waste by defining your sales process and formalizing how your sales managers are expected to manage to it. Your front line sales managers are the catalyst to moving your under-performing reps to improve their behaviors and conversions at the top of the pipeline, where the majority of your qualified opportunities are churning. If you can train and develop them into effective coaches, their impact will be multiplied throughout the sales organization to improve goal attainment.



CommercialTribe Case Study | Veritas Certify to Fly at Sales Kickoff

How do you effectively introduce new product messaging at scale and allow for practice, accountability, and certification? Certify to Fly.

Undergoing a company go-to-market messaging change and a new drive for global sales enablement, Veritas needed to efficiently ensure that a team of 135 instructors could master four new Sales Plays in order to effectively teach them to the sales force during the worldwide sales kick-off held in Orlando, FL. Partnering with CommercialTribe, the Veritas sales enablement team was able to deploy video-based Gold Standard Sales Plays to the instructors, allowing them to practice and certify in advance of the kickoff – as well as gain insights into how well the instructors actually knew the message.

The Challenge

With a new sales enablement focus with the split of Veritas into an independent entity and a firm mandate to create more effective reps, Veritas sales enablement developed a plan to produce video-based Gold Standard Sales Plays to ensure reps could observe “what good looks like.” Instructors were given the videos on an all-hands conference call and were expected to review and learn the message before heading to kickoff, where they were expected to teach the new Sales Plays to the sales force.

There was one problem: resources. With a need to take the new Sales Plays global, Veritas sales enablement was faced with a 2-month deadline for ensuring the 135 instructors were not only trained on the new Sales Plays, but also qualified, effective, and ultimately certified.

The challenge Veritas faced was a silent issue. After the initial webinar training, the team had to uncover how to ensure visibility and accountability into who actually practiced, as well as certified, at the new Veritas standard. Given the diverse geographical locations, the training and certification had to be done locally within the different regions.

“The program worked well, but it could not scale,” expressed Sean Cataldo, Director, Global Sales Enablement at Veritas. “Ramp up times were immense, and it took an entire year to prepare. The return was great, but the intense amount of in-person, unpredictable work made the process less scalable and unmeasurable.”

With 2 months to coordinate and train a global team of 135 instructors, Veritas needed a solution that could scale. In particular, the solution needed to broadcast the new Sales Plays, allow the instructors to practice, and asynchronously coach and certify. CommercialTribe was selected to take the effort global.

The Solution

Veritas devised the “Certify to Fly” program, where instructors would have to fully, and verifiably, certify on the new Sales Plays before attending WSMC and helping to train the global rep team.

Using the CommercialTribe platform, Veritas Sales Enablement created a Gold Standard scenario for each of the 4 new sales plays, all with relevant PowerPoint presentations, a detailed script, and a best in class video delivering the message.

Each of the 135 sales instructors were assigned a single Sales Play that they were responsible for delivering at the WSMC. During their preparation week, the instructor was able to access the Gold Standard scenario within CommercialTribe, review the delivery and content, and then practice their own delivery of that Sales Play. Once an instructor created a version showing mastery of the material, they were able to submit their session to selected subject matter experts for review, feedback, and certification.

Once certified, instructors were Certified to Fly to WSMC, break off into smaller classroom groups with reps, and confidently deliver the right message into the organization.

The Results

Using CommercialTribe helped Veritas achieve four key goals surrounding WSMC:

  • Establish Consistency – Ensure that all instructors were actively prepared to deliver a consistent message to the larger sales force
  • Ensure Quality – Through the submission processes, the Sales Enablement team was able to assess the quality of the message instructors planned to deliver
  • Provide Visibility and Accountability – Sales Enablement was able to track which instructors were actively prepared for the WSMC – and which were not. The platform automatically tracked views, practices, and submissions, as well as time to complete the exercise and certify. Additionally, CommercialTribe provided a video recording of each facilitator’s certification, allowing for a unique window into their proficiency.
  • Drive Adoption – By practicing the message in advance of the event, rehearsing, repeating, and recording the right content, instructors arrived more prepared to deliver and teach their peers/colleagues.

115 instructors logged into the system, with 70% submitting their practice sessions. Instructors who logged in viewed the new message 10 times on average before practicing, and practiced messages an average of 8.5 times before submitting for feedback. All training was completed asynchronously, eliminating the need for instructors to coordinate in-person time to practice.

Based on the results, Veritas has introduced CommercialTribe across its global sales team, helping ensure that every rep can see and hear the new message, practice the content as many times as they need to get it right and certify – before taking it to the marketplace.

Learn More About CommercialTribe Solutions »

About Veritas

Veritas enables organizations to harness the power of their information, with solutions designed to serve the world’s largest and most complex heterogeneous environments. Get industry-leading solutions that cover all platforms with backup and recovery, business continuity, software-defined storage, and information governance. Find out more >>

Key Takeaways

  • CommercialTribe designed a Sales Kickoff solution for Veritas’ global team
  • Over 70% of the team practiced
  • Instructors practiced 8.5 times on average
  • Veritas established consistency, quality, visibility, and adoption in their enablement program

“CommercialTribe for us is the cornerstone of the next generation of our enablement program. It’s one of the core elements that we’re going to rely on to take this into the future. CommercialTribe allows us to make messages available where and when sales needs them, and enable sales to watch and practice in an efficient way and critique themselves. They helped us pilot and scale out a new enablement initiative that we are now rolling out to our global team.”

– Sean Cataldo
Director, Global Sales Enablement

A Common Sense Guide to Recording Sales Calls


Recording sales calls doesn’t have to be a legal drama with this common sense approach.

When recording sales calls, it is always a good idea to tell the person on the other line that the call is being recorded. This is not just for legal reasons, it’s also about building (or maintaining) trust and rapport. If you start your call by first informing and then asking politely if you can record a call, you are legal in all US states.

This process is as simple as saying: “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today, Christine. I would like to record our call today so I can focus on our conversation rather than taking notes during it. Is that OK with you?”

Don’t worry about people abandoning a phone call just because you’re recording it. Call recording is a common occurrence these days, particularly in sales and customer service interactions. People have come to expect it. Your odds of getting struck by lightning are better than the person on the other line saying no (a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point).

Alternatives to Recording Sales Calls

If your organization has a policy against recorded calls, or if many of your sales interactions take place in person, there are common sense alternatives. One tried-and-true approach is a joint call with manager and rep. Their presence on a call should still be announced, but this allows sales coaching to occur without recording the call.

You can also practice sales calls, to be submitted and reviewed by management prior to making live client or prospecting calls. Common practice interactions include practicing voicemails, first pitches, walking through a demo, and roleplaying with a colleague. Practicing sales interactions improves seller performance without throwing leads away.

Recording Sales Calls – The Fine Print

Recording Sales Calls in the U.S.

Understanding the Legality of Recording Sales Calls | CommercialTribe Sales Enablement & Training SolutionBefore we get into the legalities of sales call recording, let me be up-front in telling you that I am not a lawyer and you should by no means consider this legal advice. Please consult your own general counsel if you have specific questions or concerns regarding recording sales calls.

California has the most stringent regulations regarding recording sales calls (real shocker there). Ever litigious, California courts have ruled over several call recording cases brought forward by its citizens over the years. The California Supreme Court has even gone so far as to rule (more than once) that a company that is not located in the state of California but is speaking with a California resident, must comply with California call recording law. In effect, making California law the law of the land, unless you don’t intend to do business in California.

This ties back to the first section of this blog. If you simply inform all participants that the call is being recorded as previously described, you are on the right side of the law in all 50 states without needing to worry about the specifics of each state.

Most webinar and conference providers automatically inform participants that a call is being recorded when they join. This is something that you will want to check on with your service provider. Even when you have an automatic announcement in place, it’s still a good idea to reinforce the message at the beginning of the call. Again, your main goal is to avoid the potential “yuck” feeling your prospects or clients might get by just being upfront with them.

Luckily, things only get easier from there. Simply put, U.S. federal law permits the recording of telephone calls and in-person conversations with the consent of at least one party. Technically speaking, this means that if you are party to the sales call and you consent to you recording the call, you’re not going to be raided by the FBI or the NSA.

Legal complications do enter the picture when you start looking at state call recording laws. Believe it or not, 38 states and the District of Columbia have all adopted the federal “one-party” requirement (that is a lot higher than I was expecting). The rest require varying degrees of what is called “two-party” consent but what actually means “all-party” consent. In other words, all parties involved in the sales call or in-person conversation need to consent to the conversation being recorded.

Click here for a full list of laws governing recording sales calls by state.

Recording International Sales Calls

As you might imagine, laws governing call recording vary widely from one country to another. Generally speaking, if you’re making sales calls into Canada and/or Europe you need to make sure you are getting consent from all parties involved in the conversation being recorded.

My 2nd best advice in this matter (again, 1st best advice is given in the first section of this blog!) is to simply do a Google search for the country you are calling to educate yourself and make sure you are finding information that has been updated recently, as laws do change.

The legality of recording sales calls comes up fairly often when we’re talking with clients and contacts here at CommercialTribe. The answer does not need to be as complicated as one might think. There is no law that flatly prohibits recording inbound and outbound interactions with your clients or potential clients. The complexities are in who needs to be involved in consenting to the recording.

In any case, it is simply best practice to be open about the fact that you are recording the call and gain the other party’s consent in the first place. This will not only protect you from potential legal repercussions but will also ensure you are not doing anything that will harm the relationship you are building with the other party.

Download Our Free Common Sense Sales Recording Scripts >>

How To Develop Your Sales Team Like You’re Saving For Retirement


Develop your sales team by borrowing these two powerful tactics from retirement saving.

Previously, we explored why sales team development is a critical variable in your future success—much like saving for retirement. We discussed the cognitive biases working against sales managers in developing their teams and how to think about that investment the same way we are taught to plan for retirement. But thinking is not doing. So, in this blog, we are going to show you how you can develop your sales team by applying retirement savings tactics.

Isolating the problem is the first step to solving it. But let’s not be naïve and suggest that self-awareness by itself is enough. Developing your sales team on an ongoing basis in the current operationally-driven sales environment is a tough problem for several reasons:

  1. Finding the time to focus on coaching competes with your core operational responsibilities.
  2. Good coaching requires knowing what to coach on, and that requires regular observation of your people and a keen ability to diagnose problems.
  3. Even if you could get past the first two, the pressure to deliver sales right now can be overwhelming.

To counteract these challenges, let’s apply a couple tactics that work for retirement planning to developing your sales team.

Develop your sales team using “automatic investment”

In the financial world, the automatic investment plan allows you to put aside a set amount of money each month. This tactic is proven to significantly increase retirement savings and keep participants on-track toward their retirement goal.The concept can work in the same way for developing your sales team.

Start by identifying a development area that you would like to see your sales team improve on within the next quarter. For example, you might say, “This quarter we’re going to focus on the discovery call. Next quarter it will be delivering an accurate, on-time forecast.” The key principle here is to focus each quarter on getting better at one thing.

Once you have a development area identified, run the development loop.

Step 1: Baseline
Use the first 30 days of the development loop to observe your sales team’s behavior in the specific development area you are focusing on to get a baseline for your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Resist the temptation to try and fix problems as you see them. Just focus on understanding the current state.

Step 2: Group & Coach
Once you have a feel for where your team’s skill levels are currently, take the next 30 days to group and coach. Based on your assessment, how can you most efficiently allocate your time and energy toward developing your sales team to have maximum impact? This will take some practice, but getting good at it will save you a lot of time.

Step 3: Progression
During the final 30 days of the development loop, look for progression. Can you see evidence that your team is improving? Celebrate progress on the skill the same way you would celebrate hitting quota and you will be on your way toward creating an environment for your people to get better.

Make this simple process automatic by running it quarterly and scheduling regular time on the calendar. For example, you will need to agree on the development focus each quarter, schedule dedicated time for observation and assessment, and share the baseline and progression results with the team. I also generally recommend taking one quarter off as needed, which should correspond with your “busy season”.

Develop your sales team using a “manager match” program

One of the tried and true tactics to get people to contribute to their 401K is a company match. This is where an employer typically matches up to 50% of employee contributions for the first 6% of salary that an employee contributes.

develop your sales team ecosystemWhether you are a secondline or frontline manager, you can pitch your own “manager match” program down or up. Here’s how it works:

Frontline managers agree to make an automatic development investment in improving their sales reps prospect-facing interactions. In return, the secondline manager will match that investment with an automatic development investment in their frontline managers’ team-facing interactions, thus the concept of a “manager match”.

For prospect-facing interactions, look at common interactions within your sales process like the discovery call, a solutions demo or delivering a proposal. For manager-team interactions, look at recurring meetings like a forecast review, deal review or quarterly business review. Note that these interactions may go by different names, such as one-on-one or team meeting, which is actually part of the problem. By clarifying the agenda and driving formality into these interactions, the team will become more effective. Standardizing what an effective prospect-facing or team-facing interaction looks like will raise the bar for your entire team and is one of the few levers a manager actually has to drive performance.


To run the manager matching plan over a year, alternate between one quarter focused on interactions led by the seller and the next for interactions led by the manager. If you are a secondline manager who wants your frontline managers to develop their sellers, what better way than to create your own automatic investment in your management team? All parties have equal skin in the game, creating a healthy environment for sales team development.

Both of these tactics that we’ve borrowed from retirement planning are powerful tools for developing your sales team. However, what I’ve profiled will simply be too much to process for many sales managers. The weight of trying to make the number, day in and day out, will continue to weigh them down. But if you are the type of manager who is passionate about sales team development and is looking to buck the status quo, these battle-tested tactics will help you put a system in place that allows you to not only build an environment for sales team development but also creates a long-term sustainable revenue generating machine. Talk about standing out from the crowd.


Your Demo May Stink if it’s Only Focused on You


How a Leading Fortune 500 Company Successfully Shifted their Demo Focus

There is a legend in the sales world about four finalists in an RFP process that were invited to give a two-hour demo of their solution. Each company’s sales representative was given the same basic agenda —you have two hours, show us these 10 things.

Sellers from companies A, B, and C — all dressed to the nines — showed up and did what they were told. They each presented two-hour demos that highlighted each and every feature.

Then in walked the Seller from Company D. Seller D approached the conference table and offered the buyer not one, but two options for the demo. Option 1 was the same two-hour demo that Sellers A, B, and C presented, but Option 2 was a 20-minute version that only touched on the features that specifically addressed their pain points. Which do you think the buyer chose? Yeah, Option 2. Do you think Seller D won the deal? Of course they did!

Differentiation is Key

So what is it about differentiation that is so essential not only in the sales process, but even more importantly at the demo phase? The enemy of differentiation is “sameness.” The human brain craves contrast, and sameness will cripple the buyer into a state of no decision.

While the greatest sellers and sales engineers understand its impact, the element of differentiation is still absent from many demos. While it sounds simple, too many demos are the same old show up and throw up feature dump that we all dread.

“Companies that tie the demo back to specific pain points and articulate the value of the solution, are 35% more likely to be selected as the preferred vendor of choice.”

Sales Benchmark Index captured this perfectly, “Companies that tie back the demo to specific pain points and articulate the value of the solution, are 35% more likely to be selected as the preferred vendor of choice.”

How a Leading Fortune 500 Company Successfully Shifted their Demo Focus

There is something in our DNA that makes it difficult to shift the focus of our demos from us and to the buyer. World class sales organizations understand this challenge and are taking proactive steps to equip their sellers and sales engineers with a safe environment to practice and develop their skills.

One organization demonstrating this approach is is a leading financial management company. A division within this organization partnered with CommercialTribe to improve a specific sales stage where they noticed a drop in conversion rates. This particular sales stage involved a solution demo.

As a way to level-set the effectiveness of their consultants and measure progress, the Sales VP and team utilized CommercialTribe’s Seller Development Coaching Guide (sample below) to assess the team’s recorded demos against the key components of an effective and impactful demo. Having this visibility into exactly where the skill gaps were, the team was then able to develop targeted activities to improve skills and behaviors.

Over the course of three activities in the CommercialTribe platform, the consultants were able to practice, and receive coaching on:

  1. Effective agenda setting — Focus on audience and pain points
  2. Demo orientation — Position solutions that solve the customer’s specific challenges
  3. Solution differentiation — Create distinction by leading to unique strengths
  4. Connecting the dots — Help the customer see themselves using the solution

As a result of these activities, the Sales VP saw 57% of his team members grow in overall effectiveness.

The Sales VP saw 57% of his team members grow in overall effectiveness.

“Before Commercial Tribe, we focused on telling our buyers about the solution and what it does. Now, as a result of our practice initiative, we are back to what matters most—what it means and why our customers buy.” – Sales VP

When you think about how much is riding on each and every demo, the revenue lift in effective execution, and the time it takes to develop a seller or sales engineer, this investment in a development loop involving observation, assessment, practice and guided coaching following a framework like the Seller Development Coaching Guide, will yield dividends in a condensed timeframe. The proof is in the results!

Download our Sample Seller Development Coaching Guide and see how these guided coaching paths can not only improve and develop your reps, but also activate your frontline managers to be better coaches.


How to Build a Manager Effectiveness Program (and Why it Matters)


Original Webinar Date: June 7, 2017

Watch Webinar

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While traditionally sales enablement organizations have focused on developing the Seller, few have an answer for how to best enable the Manager.

Consider this from CSO Insights: Organizations that invest in manager effectiveness programs achieve 107% revenue attainment versus 88% for those that don’t. That’s a top-line difference of $1.4M for the average 6-person team carrying $1M in quota per rep. It’s also the difference between making and missing the number.

So what is a sales manager effectiveness program? Watch this webinar and hear what we’ve learned from the in-person Manager Effectiveness Workshops we’ve held with senior sales and enablement leaders across the country. We’ll dive into the two key pillars identified as crucial to manager effectiveness:

  • Move management processes from ad-hoc to formal
  • Develop front line managers as coaches

And explore the specific processes identified as making the biggest top-line difference.

Why Sales Team Development Is Exactly Like Saving For Your Retirement


If long-term, sustained sales growth is part of your goal, you need to get serious about sales team development—before it’s too late.

Do you often wonder why you should be saving for retirement? Probably not. But how often do you wonder if you should be investing in your sales team’s development? Here are two commonly cited statistics that are meant to scare you:

What do these two statistics have in common? I will argue that the root cause is actually the exact same problem. Let me explain.

If you think retirement planning is your parent’s problem, I’ve got news for you. According to a recent study, nearly half of millennials have no retirement savings. The younger generation doesn’t see retirement as a priority, thinking first about student loans and financing the present instead. Getting people to save for retirement is an age-old problem, primarily because of “longevity disconnect bias”. People have a really hard time imagining what the future will be like, so they tend to ignore or de-prioritize it.

If you are a sales manager, you are faced with this same bias every day. Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You manage a sales team and your primary objective is to get your team to quota each month, every quarter. In the short-term, that naturally means inserting yourself into deals that are closest to closing, personally carrying any deal you need to, and riding your stars to try and make the number. In the short-run, that may indeed be the best plan to reach your goal.

But what sacrifices are you making when you prioritize short-term goals for long-term sales team development?

You are putting minimal attention on cultivating your early-stage pipeline for future quarters, you are creating dependencies within your team by trying to personally make up for deficiencies, and developing new sales stars gets lost in the chaos.

This pattern of putting short-term interests ahead of long-term sales team development may work for some time…but the music always stops. It’s the equivalent of waking up at 65 and realizing you have nothing saved, so you better keep working because retirement ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.

Make sales team development your priority

One of the investment products that may make sense for retirement is an annuity. An annuity is basically an insurance contract in which you pay a financial institution a lump sum or series of payments to be invested. Your long-term investment ultimately provides you with a guaranteed regular income in the future.

To get past “longevity disconnect bias” think in these terms when it comes to your sales team development. Ask yourself: “Are each of my salespeople paying me today?”

If not, what investments do you need to develop a future revenue stream? Delivering on your quota becomes more sustainable when you have more sellers on your team who are paying you.

Imagine your future self. How does it feel to have an entire team of sellers paying you?

Sellers do come and go, so it’s true that unlike annuities, they won’t be paying you forever. But there is actually another form of payment that—to some sales managers—is just as important. It is your reputation as a coach and your own development as a sales leader. When you commit to your sales team’s development, you become recognized as a multiplier of talent. You become someone that top talent wants to work for, and someone that people in your organization want to work with.

Continuing to look into the future, imagine what this would mean for your career. Sustainable, recurring “income” takes away the stress of just getting by day-to-day. And it allows you to strategically focus on the real challenges confronting you and your team in delivering sales objectives.

This future you’re imagining is not for everyone. Despite society’s best efforts, some of us are simply not going to save for retirement. Sales managers who recognize the long-term benefits of sales team development and are passionate about making it a priority are far more successful in generating revenue. If you are one of those rare sales managers who believe that the development of your team may be the single most important variable in your future success, you may be interested in learning about a proven sales team development framework, which we recently presented during BrightTalk’s Sales Training & Leadership Summit.


Why You Need A Sales Manager Effectiveness Program


Develop your sales manager effectiveness program to improve efficiency and increase revenue.

You have a lot on your plate when you think about your enablement priorities for this year. Sales enablement teams are being tasked with a broad range of services and responsibilities, yet continue to have to negotiate for the resources they need to accomplish key priorities.

Most enablement teams continue to focus their efforts to improve sales efficiency, increase revenue, and improve forecasting on training and developing their sellers. But what if I were to tell you there was a better, more cost-effective, and more efficient way? I’m talking about establishing a formal sales manager effectiveness program.

Why You Need A Sales Manager Effectiveness Program

sales manager effectiveness program-collaborationA strong management team provides the foundation for improving your sales team’s win rate, engagement, and retention. Sales managers who have been trained to effectively coach and develop their reps, as well as manage their productivity, are most effective at attaining revenue goals, improving sales team productivity, and retaining talented, driven salespeople.

The profitability implications for your organization should not be overlooked nor underestimated. And yet, few enablement organizations currently offer any training for sales managers at all. How could this be!?

Learn How To Establish Your Sales Manager Effectiveness Program with On-Demand Training Video & Downloadable Guides >>

How To Create A Sales Manager Effectiveness Program

I believe the core of the answer to this question is that it is a huge undertaking for enablement teams that are already overwhelmed and understaffed. The underlying reasons for this is two-fold. First, there is a lack of clarity around how to create and implement a successful sales manager effectiveness program. Second, there is a lack of commitment to training and developing sales managers.

Sales and enablement teams need to be able to commit and agree to long-term development disciplines and goals to make the program successful. This commitment requires a desire to improve, a dedication to a learning & development culture, and the ability to build collaborative relationships between the enablement and sales functions. Unfortunately, I can not help you with this reason for not developing a sales manager effectiveness program. It’s akin to helping an addict kick their habit—you can’t help them until they are willing to help themselves.

But I can help you with the first reason. Since I know that implementing a formal sales manager effectiveness program can result in a huge win for your sales enablement team, not to mention have a significant financial impact on the overall performance of your company.

That is why I want to show you how to do it. Register now to watch our How To Establish a Sales Manager Effectiveness Program recording, presented as part of BrightTalk’s Sales Training & Leadership Summit. During this training session, I provide the roadmap to building your own successful sales manager effectiveness program.