How to Look Like a Rock Star in the C-Suite: 5 Principles for ROI Stardom When Training Sales Managers

Monday, October 24th, 2016 - Post by Lisa Wicklman

lisa-wAs a learning professional charged with training sales managers, your mission is to deliver great training and then show the ROI of that training to the C-suite. But let’s face it: sometimes that’s a tall order. Depending on the type of training you choose, it can be difficult to cleanly connect the dots from your content to follow-on sales performance. And when that connection is weak, it can keep you from looking your best in front of senior leadership.

What if, instead of struggling for ROI, you could consistently wow the room with a clear link between your training and strong business results aligned with company strategy? What if you could look like a rock star every time you stood in front of senior leaders, making you an indispensable part of your company’s future? You can. When you follow the five principles below, you will be able to draw a straight line from your training to the movement of key metrics to improved company performance—every time–and the C-suite will at last see you as the rock star that you are.

Principle #1: Stay aligned with business needs. Every great ROI story begins with an L&D professional who is positioned, either … Read the rest

Understanding (and Overcoming) the Fatal Flaw of Sales Management

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 - Post by Tom Disantis

arrow-missing-targetSales, like other functions, is managed by metrics, and sales ops leaders work hard to design dashboards so that everyone, from the sales leader to the individual seller, understands how they are performing relative to their goals. However, when leaders become overly focused on these reports and the metrics contained within them, they can get in the way of effective sales management.

To illustrate this point, imagine for a moment that you’re a golfer who wants to improve your game. You’re tired of your buddies beating you every weekend and you decide to hire the pro at the local golf club for some lessons. On the day of your first lesson, you head down to the golf course, shake hands with your new coach, and eagerly await his golfing wisdom.

Now imagine that the conversation goes like this:

You: Hi there. I’m looking forward to you helping me improve my golf game.
Coach: Great! You know, the way to become a better golfer is to lower your score.
You: I know, that is why I hired you. How do I do that?
Coach: I suggest you practice more. The more balls you hit here will lower your score. And the … Read the rest

Proven Ways to Grow Revenue with Pipeline Management

Monday, August 29th, 2016 - Post by JasonJordan


Since so many companies have sales pipelines, you’d think that there’s a well-worn set of pipeline management best practices out there commonly used by sales managers. Even if that is the case–and I don’t think it is–do you know how many sales leaders struggle to manage their pipelines? An overwhelming majority, apparently.

In recent research we conducted with the Sales Management Association, 56% of executives confessed that their organizations were ineffective at managing their sales pipelines. Their companies waste a lot of time staring at pipeline reports, but this effort yields no increase in sales performance.

Not good news… Fortunately, you don’t have to do a lot of head scratching to improve the effectiveness of your sales force’s pipeline management because our research also revealed insights that provide a solid framework for just that.

1. Sales Processes
We discovered that the most effective pipeline management occurred in sales forces that invested the time to define credible standardized sales processes. More specifically, they had sales processes with clearly defined stages that were universally understood by all their salespeople. There was no guesswork as to which stage a particular deal belonged, and everyone felt confident about the data in the CRM tool. … Read the rest

How One Conversation Elevates Sales Results

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016 - Post by Michelle Vazzana

where do i start?

What separates a great manager from a mediocre one? While there are lots of little actions that divide wheat from chaff, there is one activity that elevates a manager’s performance to the top tier: time spent with reps in meaningful pipeline discussions.

Vantage Point conducted research into the practices of high-performing sales teams over the past two years, and the results show a clear and strong correlation between team performance and pipeline examination. High-performing managers make dedicated time for in-depth opportunity discussions about early-stage deals. This is good news as it makes the pathway to improved sales quite straightforward: to elevate team performance, set aside time to have these conversations.

Vantage Point’s research into this area includes comprehensive responses from 512 sales managers across 12 industries and all geographic regions of the world. Our goal for this two-year project was to identify those specific management practices that led to a higher percentage of sales reps at or above quota. It was not enough for a manager to “make plan”; instead, we were looking for practices that led to higher participation across the entire sales team. We didn’t want general coaching insights; we wanted specific management practices by sales role … Read the rest