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Quick Pearls of Wisdom from the Sales Illuminati

by Trish Bertuzzi on Wed, Jun 29, 2011


I spent the day at the Boston Sales 2.0 Conference  last week. What follows are the pearls of wisdom I was lucky enough to pick up.

Enjoy! (Note: you'll find some of my comments in italics)
. 

Customers

"An IBM study reports that 80% of CEOs say getting closer to the customer is a major priority."
- Keith Hontz, VP Sales Line of Business Solutions - SAP America

"Don’t interact with your customers without preparation. Three drivers: 1) access to contact specific customer info, 2) analytics to anticipate trends and 3) integration into one place."
- Chuck Penfield, VP CRM on Demand - Oracle

"Are all your customers created equally, and if not, shouldn't that dictate compensation?" 
- Chris Cabrera, Founder, President & CEO - Xactly

Compensating Generation Y

"Gen Y Sales Reps are risk averse. They want bigger base salaries and will take lower OTEs to get it. For Gen Y it is all about recognition, recognition, recognition."
- Chris Cabrera - Xactly

"Gen Y are focused on rapid career advancement. They make their quota and want a promotion. You can address this by creating levels within the same functional area – not necessarily requiring added compensation."
- Chris Cabrera - Xactly

Internal Process

Didn't catch who said this - sorry! "We created a culture of accountability and now we leverage a future of predictability.”
- Unknown 

"HP uses 'companion guides' when on boarding.  They have 3 components: 1) Knowing your company, 2) knowing your industry & buyer and 3) knowing your role. Reps have to successfully test out to move on."
- Kevin Purcell, ESSN Americas Sales Transformation Leader - HP

"HP has 5 financial metrics for Sales Reps they measure monthly.  Each rep receives a grade of red, yellow or green.  If you are red or yellow, you receive a letter and have to put together a plan to address the problem. Get 3 letters and it is 3 strikes and you are out. Creates accountability." 
- Kevin Purcell - HP

This is a great & overlooked point – "Marketing & Sales are silo’d but so is Customer Service/Account Management."
- Lisa Fiondella, Chief Customer Officer - Reed Construction Data

Sales 2.0 tools

"If you have to choose when you invest in Sales 2.0 tools, start with pipeline and analytics. Warren Buffet said 'In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.' But now we have predictive analytics that have us looking out the windshield."
- Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder & CEO - Selling Power

I love this definition - "Social software for sales is an emerging tools for unstructured activity." "Technology adoption by sales must be informal and in line with existing habits. Don’t let your systems get in the way of developing the right plan."
- Michael Dunne, Research Vice President - Gartner

Great quote! "Xactly is not in the 'compensation automation' industry, but rather in the 'analytics that change behavior' industry."
- Chris Cabrera, - Xactly

CRM

"Most people who are not happy with their CRM implementation – they never defined their requirements."
- Michael Dunne - Gartner

"At the core of every CRM is the customer profile, but it is about the past. Social media insight adds the now."
- Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President - ISM

This is great advice! - "Focus on the salesperson, have a game plan and don’t chase pain points, establish line of sight value on technology investments, have a plan to diffuse innovation across the enterprise, investigate SaaS and mobility."

- Michael Dunne - Gartner

The conference was a day well spent, great speakers, lots of time spent with technology vendors to learn what is new and great networking with some really smart people! 

Which pearl of wisdom did you like the best?

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Topics: inside sales management, technology, sales techniques

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