Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Bob Marsh was running a sales team of about 125 people when he implemented CRM.
The day that the system went live, he looked around and said, “Ok, now what?”
What he found was the opposite — data alone doesn’t inspire action. To really affect sales performance, you need to adopt the modern sales methodology of Activity Based Selling — where sales leaders define the company’s key operating metrics and align their sales organization around them.
“There is a significant change — an important shift happening in all of sales — and sales is going to change,” Bob said. He is now the founder and CEO of LevelEleven.
Bob spoke at our Modern Sales Leader Roadshow event in Chicago about what it takes to run a modern sales team. Check out a preview of his session, followed by 10 important takeaways.
10 Insights about the Modern Sales Era
- “The old world sales leader is all about steak dinners, Rolodexes, frequent flyer miles, relationships. There was no such thing as coaching…Coaching was maybe a ride along every three months if you were about to get fired, maybe I’d come help you at the last minute.”
- “I bought CRM under the premise that if I could just measure what was happening within the sales organization, ultimately I could motivate what really matters. How do I keep people on track and focused? How do I know what’s going sideways? And are we having enough meetings? And are we doing what’s necessary? I was looking for an early warning system, and I didn’t have it.”
- “There’s this missing link between the investment you make in your people and your CRM system and all the technology around it…and really driving true sales performance.”
- “I think many people know this feeling: You look around your sales floor and say, ‘I’ve got a lot of people and they look really busy, but what are they doing? And are we really focused on what truly matters?’”
- “Your salespeople, [during] the majority of their day, they’re not closing deals all day long. In the highest velocity environment, they’re not closing deals left and right. Ninety-nine percent of the their time is spent on the behaviors that you’re hoping are going to lead to sales.”
- “Remember salespeople want [to close deals] too. That’s how they’re paid. It’s the most accountable position on the planet. And half of their income and their own self-worth and providing for their family — it’s all about hitting that number, because that’s how they make money. So, hammering people in this old way of ‘What’s your forecast’ and ‘Are you going to hit your number or not?’ isn’t particularly helpful.”
- “You’ve already made a massive investment in all those people. As an example, if you’ve got a 100-person sales organization, you’re probably spending a couple hundred grand on your CRM system, and you’re spending about 10 billion dollars on all those people. So let’s think about where the investment really is. All of those people, the way they choose to spend their time, and the way they choose where they’re going to put their attention…that’s where the massive ROI is.”
- “[As] a modern sales leader, CRM just becomes part of how you run your business, and salespeople are embracing it because they want technology.”
- “What are the controllable behaviors that your salespeople make decisions on day in and day out about how they’re going to be spending their time? Let’s focus in on that. Because that salesperson is making decisions right now, back at the office, on ‘What should I do next?’ And when you’re chasing your number all day long, it’s easy to get distracted.”
- “Sales coaching has turned into this metrics-driven, very objective, very important thing. [We’re] seeing more things like reps having good quality conversations to help the prospect buy. I think that’s a change in the market. You’re not selling; you’re helping people buy.”
Want to listen to Bob’s entire session? Fill out the form below to get access to the video for free.