Sales 2.0 Conf: Benchmarks of True Sales Effectiveness

The Benchmarks of True Sales Effectiveness
Paul Melchiorre – Global Vice President, Ariba

Ariba was an early leader in the e-business revolution.  With great working products, it survived the tech crash a decade ago, and since thrived.  It is no surprise that today Ariba is a thought leader in Sales 2.0 best practices.

Paul launched his presentation with a Buyer 2.0 profile.  The “new” customer is informed by multiple sources, is empowered through knowledge, has higher demands, and is tech savvy.  It was a subtle reminder from an earlier session the Buyer 2.0 exerts far greater product discrimination and control over the purchase process than 5-7 years ago.

Post-recession, the nature of selling has changed.  Customers now value the sales experience itself over the Company, Product, and ROI.

What Drives Effectiveness in a Sales 2.0 World?

People.  Process.  Technology.   No mystery, that’s been a winning tripod for years.

How sales reps work with the customer has changed.  To me, Paul builds on Solution Selling concepts of exploring pain impacts to the organization.  But it is more.  The Sales 2.0 rep understands the impacts to all stakeholders.  They become the Trusted Advisor, perceived as the Thought Leader.  Sales 2.0 leaders can “visualize the Finished Basement”.

Think about the buyers in the sales process.  The CMO, CIO and CFO have different interests.  Sales 2.0 leaders understands all the stakeholders – their issues, pains, requirements, etc. They engage their customers how they wish to interact, using multiple communications channels.

A well-defined sales process ensures sales effectiveness that is repeatable and extendable to new hires.  Uses common standards to qualify leads and opportunities.  It mitigates risk in the sales cycle.

Help your customers see the “Finished Basement”.  This especially important if you’re selling transformational technology.  Help them see the end result.  Lock in the vision.

Paul underscored the need to have clear visibility across your sales organization.  Starts with training and education.  Every sales operation needs good repeatable process and accurate measurements.  Process, in my experience, is often weakly defined and poorly enforced in most sales environments.  I worked for 2 companies that used well-defined practices and accurate measurements via reporting to evaluate progress towards goals.  One of those companies started with the training foundation, and certified every new sales hire prior to assigning a territory. Ariba does this, too.

Paul listed 4 Principles of Success in training employees:

  1. Have clear objectives
  2. Be concise
  3. Understand your buyers/audience
  4. Speak to that audience

Paul advocated using top sales performers to deliver training. They make the best trainers. Their success and vision may not be passed along through osmosis.  They need to lead and be involved in training and new hire on-boarding initiatives.  Does your company today leverage the top performing sales reps to pass along insight and best practices?

Harness New Tools and Techniques

Best in class companies have changed their selling model to sell to the 2.0 Buyer.  Sales professionals who don’t understand 2.0 are set up for failure.  Even if they hire and employ the very best sales reps in their industry, companies that do not embrace 2.0 Sales will be left behind.  New tools and techniques are required.  If you still follow the same practices today you used 5-7 years ago, it’s time to change.

Knowledge sharing is the cornerstone.  Collaboration and Social Conversations on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, video message delivery via YouTube. Sales 1.0 tools like Salesforce remain in use to automate the sales process and provide reporting.  Paul recommended adding social media to your practices, and showed this compelling graphic indicating Sales 2.0 companies increased revenues by 37%:

Ariba’s Social Vision: We will leverage the collective IQ of our 4,500,000 customers. Our solutions are smart. But our customers are even smarter.

Sales 2.0 Conf: Motivating Your Staff: Not Just Fun and Games

Motivating Your Staff: Not Just Fun and Games
Kevin Akeroyd, SVP Field Operations at Badgeville

Incentive management is bribery.  It doesn’t modify behavior.  Spiffs are ineffective.  Incentives don’t work because they’re short term, not habitual, social, or rewarding.

[BOOM.  What a concept.  Spiffs have been used for decades to motivate a sales team to perform.  Guess what?  They don’t work long term.  If you’re running contests with prizes such as iPads, TVs, weekend trips, etc., just stop following short sighted strategy.]

2.0 Leadership Issues

  • Productivity
  • Process
  • On boarding
  • Low motivation
  • 5, 25,70 (5% keepers, 25% ok, 70% want to fire)
  • Low tool utilization, adoption.
  • Repeatability and predictability are tough

Typical Responses to Those Problems

  • Add software/tools to do the job
  • Additional training
  • Add more people
  • Use incentives (which don’t work)
  • Add process and measurement (metrics)
  • Add threats and performance plans

The end result is always the same, VALUABLE MONEY IS WASTED.

Why Don’t They Work?

  • They don’t motivate.  Teams need to perform at their highest level, and strive for more
  • They don’t encourage long term habitual behavior.
  • They are short term focused, without long term rewards
  • Not social.  Does not foster collaborative, recognition-centric environment.

Motivation Approach

3 components are Personal, Friends/Peers and Across Groups.  Personal is related to achievements and goals.  Now that I accomplished X, what steps are needed to accomplish Y?  Identity, progress toward success, a sense of entitlement and growth are integral to the Personal.

Friends/Peers is related to how do I rate among my group?  What is my place in the community, and what do my peers think of me?   Central to Community is sharing, and working with others towards common goals.

Groups is related to recognition across team/community as a leader.  It is recognition I have achieved Thought Leadership status, mastery of the domain, and can influence direction and decisions.

Sales Motivation

Recognition is worth more than Spiffs or VIP Access.

Keys to Success

  • Gamification enables Behavior Management
  • Should be integrated across all silos, apps, devices, and groups
  • Needs to be habitual, not just sometimes behavior
  • Provides a sense of progress towards a goal
  • Is Visual/Social – leaders recognized for achievement and status
  • Gamification isn’t a game, the result is a more rewarding desired business process

Who are the Leading Innovators Using Behavior Management?

IBM, Deloitte, EMC, CA, Marketo, Engine Yard, Avivia Health

Aren’t you surprised?

Innovator Results

These companies embraced behavior management principles to change how their employees work, and implement long term habits.

  • 500% increase in comments in employee communities, forums, collaboration tools
    (Side benefit: a substantial decrease of email, which isn’t social or collaborative)
  • 140% increase in time spent in-app, on-site / mobile
  • 60% increase in voluntary employee engagement
  • 22% Improvement in first-time certification, on boarding
    (better quality training results, shorter ramp up to productivity)
  • 17% increase in Customer Satisfaction
  • 31% improvement in process adherence, quality metrics
    (higher performance across the group)

An Integrated Platform Approach captures, rewards, and visualizes all behaviors whether customer or employer facing.

Design is Everything

Have clear business objectives.  Define Behaviors and Rewards.  Define Social Elements.  Configure the user experience.  Deploy with integration through your site, and track engagement analytics to measure progress.

This really is a Science, not an Art.  Kevin advised attendees to create a unique model to drive desired activity through all phases of the user life cycle.

Show progress, and how you got there, how you’ll get to the next step.  Who is ahead, who is behind you?  Make is visual using leader boards, achievement showcases, badges, levels, and point.  Make it a habitual process.  Use analytics, metrics, measurements, optimizations to generate a Behavioral Health Report.