M A G A Z I N E
SVP, INTEL SECURITY
SOME THINK HOLY GRAIL
WHEN THEY READ IT.
OTHERS THINK HOLY #$@%!
SBI’S ANNUAL RESEARCH REPORT
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M A G A Z I N E
M A G A Z I N E
JULIE LYDA, EVP,
M A G A Z I N E
DAVE MOORE, VP,
M A G A Z I N E
AARON STEAD, SVP,
PAUL ROSEN, CHIEF
M A G A Z I N E
CHIEF SALES OFFICER
AND SVP, LIONBRIDGE
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CHIEF SALES AND
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FALL 2015 9
HOW IT FEELS TO
MAKE YOUR NUMBER
What is it like to come out on top and make your number? It feels great!
That is what the top B2B sales leaders told us on page 50 in our feature, “How It Feels to Make
Your Number.” In August, the best in the business convened in Hawaii at the exclusive SBI Sales
Strategy Summit, where these progressive minds explained how they made their numbers — and
how you can do it, too. Coming from diﬀerent companies, backgrounds, and countries, these men
and women represent the gold standard in sales. Each one has wisdom to take away and apply
to your strategy in 2016, whether it’s growing reseller revenue (page 52), selling in the small-
business segment (page 60), or aligning your corporate and sales strategies (page 62).
It has never been more important for the product team, marketing department, and the
sales organization to work together, but it’s easier said than done. Turn to page 46 to learn
the prescription for developing your 2016 sales strategy, with critical inputs from product
management and marketing. We explain why you have to sell your vision to both your team and
other executives, as well as how using the right inputs will improve your chances for success.
Also in this issue, we explore the four eras of the modern buyer (page 20), get an insider’s
perspective on how the board views marketing and sales eﬀectiveness (page 28), and share
strategies for your life outside of the oﬃce (page 67).
We hope you made your number in 2015 and end the year with a big celebration. You deserve
to feel great about what you and your team accomplished.
As you head into next year, use this magazine to prepare for 2016; maybe next year you’ll be
telling us all how you made your number.
10 SBI MAGAZINE
HOW IT FEELS
TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER
A who’s who list of top sales leaders
convened at the SBI Sales Strategy
Summit to swap stories and share
secrets for revenue growth. These
enlightened minds have set the
standards for what it will take to make
your number in 2016.
THE RX FOR YOUR
Use this framework
to develop a sales
strategy that will set
you up for success in
the new year.
SBI’s exclusive summit
in Hawaii gave the
world’s most progressive
sales leaders a look
at tomorrow’s best
F E A T U R E S O N LY T H E B E S T
FALL 2015 11
The right performance conditions... the truth about best
practices ... your strategic alignment road map ... the silver
bullet to making your number ... and generating revenue
from segmentation data.
Insider Perspective: How the Board Views Sales
Making a relocation work for the whole family ... and
healthy lunch advice for ordering in.
The Overachiever’s Workout: Exercise on the Road
THE INFO YOU NEED TO MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS
ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICE
CEO & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
PARTNER – NEW BUSINESS
PRINCIPAL – TALENT MANAGEMENT
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The myth of the ideal hiring profile ... the ultimate
metric in customer acquisition ... strategy vs. tactics ...
understanding the four eras of the modern buyer ... and
strategy to execution.
Making 10,000 Reps More Productive: How HP Did It
The power of micro-questions ... how gamification will
change your life ... what do you need in your 2016 sales
plan? ... designing territories ... and why your reps won’t sell
the new products.
The Digital Transformation of McGraw-Hill
D E P A R T M E N T S
SALES TIPS AND TRENDS FOR MAKING YOUR NUMBER
SUCCESSFUL SALES APPROACHES PROVEN BY SBI RESEARCH
IT’S THE SALES LEADER’S
LITTLE BLACK BOOK.
Learn the best process to hire, coach and keep the best people.
Get your FREE signed copy at www.SalesBenchmarkIndex.com/TopGrading
S A L E S
T R E N D S A N D
T I P S F O R
M A K I N G Y O U R
N U M B E R
Standardized hiring proﬁles for sales reps
and sales managers are no longer effective. If you
continue to use them, you will hire the wrong people
and miss your number.
Why? The hiring proﬁle of an A player has
dramatically changed in the past 12 months.
Legacy proﬁles are backward-looking. They
describe what the job was versus what the job is
today. The vendors selling you these proﬁles and
the associated talent-assessment tools cannot
keep pace with the changing competencies.
Great proﬁles, instead, consistently refresh the
competencies needed to perform the job and the
accountabilities measured in the job.
Consider this: According to Compdata Surveys,
turnover in 2008 was 18.7 percent, dropping to 14.4
percent in 2011. It rose to 15.7 percent in 2014 and
is trending higher in 2015. If these online talent-
assessment tools are accurate, why is the failure
rate so high?
There is no such thing as the ideal hiring proﬁle.
Take the time to build a custom hiring proﬁle,
unique to your company, and you’ll hire the right
people for the job.
OF THE IDEAL
Standardized Hiring Proﬁles Are
No Longer the Answer
by DAN PERRY
95%OF EMPLOYERS SAID A BAD
HIRE NEGATIVELY IMPACTED
WORKPLACE MORALE 17%MORE TIME IS SPENT OVERSEEING
THE WORK OF A BAD HIRE
WHAT DOES A BAD HIRE COST YOU?
FALL 2015 13
THE ULTIMATE METRIC: CAC:LTV RATIO
Are You Spending Too Much to Acquire Customers?
by RYAN TOGNAZZINI
WHAT IS CAC:LTV?
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the total amount of
money spent on customer acquisition (sales, marketing, etc.)
divided into the total number of customers acquired. If you
spend $1,000 to acquire 10 customers, your CAC is $100.
Customer Lifetime Value (LTV or CLTV) is the total amount
of lifetime revenue generated from a customer. If you have a
customer who spends $100 a year with you for three years,
your LTV is $300.
Using the two examples above, your ratio would be 3:1, or 3x
LTV to CAC.
Simply put, LTV needs to be higher than CAC.
WHY IS THIS THE ULTIMATE METRIC?
If your ratio is too high (>5:1), you’re potentially leaving
market share and revenue on the table. Too low (LTV<2:1)
and you might be using ineﬀective or expensive channels to
acquire and retain customers.
Customer churn can signiﬁcantly impact CAC:LTV as well. If
you have 5,000 customers and 5 percent churn, you have to sell
250 new customers each year just to remain ﬂat. Can your sales
team keep up with this?
Getting this right means higher valuation, increased stock
price, and increased company value.
LTV than Level 1.
(Learn more on page 26.)
of companies know
and measure CAC:
3:1 to 4:1
IT COSTS 7X MORE TO ACQUIRE A CUSTOMER
THAN TO KEEP ONE, YET MOST COMPANIES SPEND
MORE THAN 80% OF SALES EXPENSE ON
ACQUISITION VS. RETENTION
IMPACT ON CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUE:
LTV IMPROVEMENT OVER LEVEL 1 PERFORMANCE
LEVEL 1 LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 LEVEL 4 LEVEL 5
If you have 5,000 customers, a
5% churn rate is 250. You have
to sell 250 new customers just
to maintain status quo.
THE IMPACT OF LTV
INCREASES WITH THE
SIZE OF YOUR BASE.
14 SBI MAGAZINE
WHAT HE KNOWS ABOUT MARKETING
COULD FILL A PIPELINE WITH LEADS.
LET VINCE HELP YOU TURN YOUR BUDGET INTO REVENUE.
VINCE KOEHLER, SBI MARKETING PRACTICE LEAD
Contact Vince Koehler at 770.241.1803 or email@example.com
What sales organization wouldn’t
like to increase their sales reps’ selling
time? HP, one of the world’s leading
technology companies, did just that.
How, you ask? We spoke with Stuart
Kerst, vice president of sales operations
of the HP Enterprise group to ﬁnd out.
To be successful, HP ﬁrst focused on
what would make the biggest impact.
Each year, the company completed a
sales rep satisfaction review with its
team. What are they spending their
time on? How are reps spending their
time, and what technologies are
supporting them in the ﬁeld? Kerst’s
challenge was to eliminate unnecessary
tasks, while making the necessary ones
Ultimately, their goal was to move
from 55 percent customer-facing time
to upward of 60–65 percent. A small lift
of only 5–10 percent multiplied across
Kerst’s team of 10,000 reps would have
a huge impact on productivity. The ﬁrst
area he looked at was sales support.
Greg Alexander, CEO of SBI, asked
Kerst a few key questions. “Was the
ﬁx mostly process work? Adding
technology? Or was it a blend between
process and technology automation?”
Kerst found that the two go very much
hand in hand. In one example, he says,
“We understood what the workﬂow of
the CPQ [conﬁgure price quote] process
was and determined we needed to drive
technology and automation into our
process to truly move the needle.” In
eﬀect, HP used technologies such as PROS
pricing software to enable salespeople
to complete self-serve quoting without
16 SBI MAGAZINE
Process and Technology Go
Hand in Hand
by DAN PERRY
going through the sales-operations
organization. The result? Going from one
of the industry’s worst quote turnaround
times to one of the best.
They were able to translate this
beneﬁt in many ways and especially
with channel partners. “When a channel
partner has a poor experience with you
as a vendor, and it takes four or ﬁve
iterations to get through a cycle, they
stop quoting you,” Kerst says. There was
business out there that HP didn’t even
realize they were losing. It never came
their way due to their reputation of being
hard to do business with.
But with new methods in place, the
company was able to increase channel
mind share by reducing the amount of
time it takes to turn around a quote.
Partners who previously didn’t quote
HP were now approaching them.
Kerst and his team were also able
to successfully lead one of the biggest
Salesforce.com implementations. For
a sales force of their size, they have an
astounding 87 percent adoption rate.
How did they manage this? Quite simply,
says Kerst, it was about adding value.
Salesforce.com allowed HP to increase
collaboration among the diﬀerent HP
regions for a single customer experience
across multiple continents. Again, HP
became much easier to do business with
on a global scale.
So, how can you have success like HP?
Kerst maintains you must realize you
can’t do it all. The key, he says, is to ask
yourself, “What is the true impact to the
business? What is the risk of doing it?
What is the cost of doing it? And ﬁnally,
what is the ﬁnancial ROI?” Only when
these align should you move forward.
FALL 2015 17
18 SBI MAGAZINE
A NEW TAKE ON
AN OLD ARGUMENT
Strategy Vs. Tactics:
How Can You Excel in Both?
by DREW KIRAN
Tactics involve doing things right. Strategy
is doing the right things. A famous Peter Drucker quote
is “There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great
eﬃciency something that should not be done at all.” Yet
this is the fate of many companies.
TAKE A LOOK AT THE FIGURE BELOW. The four
quadrants outline the relationship between the two.
A brilliant plan that is executed poorly will allow a
company to survive. The worst scenario is a poor plan
that is executed ineﬃciently. This will produce the
eﬀect of dying slowly.
IF YOU EXECUTE WITH GREAT EFFICIENCY, it will
ensure one of two predictable outcomes. You will
die quickly or thrive. The difference is having an
THE BEST POSITION is the upper right quadrant.
To thrive, companies must have a brilliant plan and
execute it with great eﬃciency. Having the right plan
ensures you will succeed. Having the right plan that is
executed brilliantly ensures you thrive.
WHERE WILL YOU BE IN 2016?
A poor plan
A brilliant plan
A poor plan
A brilliant plan
DOING THE RIGHT THINGS
20 SBI MAGAZINE
Much has been written about the
evolution of the self-directed B2B buyer.
The migration of B2C buying behaviors
into the B2B world changed sales forever.
At SBI, we have seen four eras emerge.
It is important you know which era
your buyers are in so you can respond
Let’s explore the four.
ERA 0 — BUYER BEHAVIOR CHANGE
Buyers started discovering
information on their problems and
potential solutions independently.
They began to de-value the relationship
with the salesperson. Sales teams did
not yet recognize the change in buyer
behavior and did not adjust their
FROM CONSISTENT TO UNPREDICTABLE
Understanding the Four Eras of the Modern Buyer Helps You Tailor Your Response
by MATT SHARRERS
ERA 1 — FRANTIC EXPERIMENTATION
Sales forces responded to the changes
in buyer behavior with various tactics.
Companies started to experiment with
things such as inbound marketing
and marketing automation. New,
gimmicky sales methodologies hit the
street, such as The Challenger Sale and
Social Selling. Lots and lots of activity
occurred but with little results.
ERA 2 — SALES STRATEGIES
Documented sales strategies were
more the norm. Executives learned
the diﬀerence between tactics and
strategy. Yet many sales and marketing
leaders did not understand how to be
a strategist. They grew up in a time
where they could make the number on
eﬀort and charisma. This learning curve
whipped out many well-intentioned
leaders. For example, the sales leader
began to realize he/she needed to
integrate the sales strategy with the
marketing strategy but did not know
how. The marketing leader needed
to integrate the marketing strategy
with the product strategy but had never
been trained how to do this. CEOs
realized that despite having functional
strategies, the revenue growth problem
ERA 3 — STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT
Strategies designed in isolation
don’t grow revenues. The alignment
between revenue-facing functions
is called Strategic Alignment. You
know you are strategically aligned
when product, marketing, sales, and
talent strategies are connected. This is
strategic alignment in a nutshell. You
are internally aligned functionally and
externally aligned with the market.
Revenue growth is no longer a sales
goal. All the functions understand
their roles, and they play them in a
ASK YOURSELF TWO QUESTIONS:
Which era are my buyers in?
What should my response be?
SYSTEMATIZES REVENUE GROWTH.
This is the one common practice among the top 10 percent of
management teams working at companies who consistently make
LINKS INTERNAL STRATEGIES TO EXTERNAL MARKET CONDITIONS.
This enables fast response to marketplace changes.
DRIVES FUNCTIONAL SYNERGY.
The mere working together of aligned strategies forces
departmental cooperation on a scale not achievable by respective
staﬀs. This lowers customer acquisition costs and increases customer
Have your recent revenue growth initiatives run out
of steam? Many companies have implemented projects focused on
early-stage buyers — persona research, buyer journey mapping, content
marketing, social selling, and mobile enablement, to name but a few.
Though well founded, these initiatives were tactics masquerading
as strategy. Big money is at stake: A typical company spends 35
percent of revenue on product (11 percent), marketing (5 percent), and
sales (19 percent). When it comes to revenue growth, spend must be
considered in aggregate. With 35 percent of revenue at risk, functional
misalignment is a deadly malady.
The snapback to this has recently been that the revenue-facing
functions (product, marketing, and sales) are developing individual
strategies and aligning each. The advantages to this approach are that it:
FALL 2015 21
IN INTERNET TIME
Break Down the Silos
by MIKE DRAPEAU
OF ORGANIZATIONS HAVE
SBI ON DEMAND.
THE SMALL BUSINESS
SBI ON DEMAND
STREET SMARTS T H E I N F O
YO U N E E D T O
M A K E T O U G H
D E C I S I O N S
Organizations can only
succeed in the marketplace if
they place the right talent in the
right performance conditions.
With weak talent, even the ideal
conditions result in below-
market performance. Strong
talent in poor performance
conditions also results in
Only strong talent and the
right performance conditions
result in a winning formula for
growth. It’s a 50/50 equation.
Establishing the ideal
from all business functions.
Sales teams are ultimately
accountable for revenue,
but the best sales force can’t
make the number without
good products and leads from
The right performance
conditions start with a
well-deﬁned strategy. Each
functional area needs an
operating plan to allocate
resources (people, time,
and money) correctly. But
individual strategies aren’t
enough. To systematize
revenue growth you need
strategic alignment, both
internal and external.
Strategies don’t execute
themselves. They deﬁne the
performance conditions. You
need great talent to execute
your strategies. Focus on
building a team capable of
deﬁning and executing the
functional strategies. What
types of people do you need?
What do they need to excel
at? When do you need them?
A great talent program deﬁnes
the people to be sourced,
hired, on-boarded, and
developed in pursuit of your
SEND MORE REPS TO
THE PRESIDENT’S CLUB
Find Your Ideal Model
by GEORGE DE LOS REYES
CLTV IMPROVEMENT FOR A LEVEL
5 COMPANY ON THE REVENUE
GROWTH MATURITY MODEL
COMPARED TO A LEVEL 1 COMPANY
OF LEVEL 5 COMPANIES
ATTAIN THEIR GROWTH
HOW DOES STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT BENEFIT YOU?
FALL 2015 23
similar to the market standards, are
caught in a competitive blood bath with
lower win rates, prices, and margins.
How do you know which camp you ﬁt
into? Leaders attempting to catch up are
doing things such as installing out-of-
the-box sales processes. They take the
easy path. Those deploying emerging
best practices are designing customized
processes for tomorrow’s buyer. They
were capitalizing on mobile and social
three years ago. These leaders listen to
the market and get ahead of the next
24 SBI MAGAZINE
The best practices of today are obsolete by the
time your team adopts them.
If you have gaps in your sales strategy when compared to best
practices, don’t bother ﬁxing them. Instead, look to emerging
best practices, and “leap frog” over your competitors.
It takes just as much eﬀort to implement today’s best practices
as it does tomorrow’s best practices. As Wayne Gretzsky once
said, “Don’t skate to where the puck is now; skate to where the
puck is going to be.”
Leap frog-style leaders achieve the multiplier eﬀect of the ﬁrst
mover advantage while the competition is stuck in the “me too”
Emerging best practices help you win more often with higher
prices. Leaders deploying today’s best practices, which are
VS. LEAP FROG
The Truth About Best Practices
by SCOTT GRUHER
Look to emerging best
practices to stay ahead
of the competition.
96% OF TIME
MAKE THE NUMBER
84% OF TIME
WE BELIEVE IN
PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES.
JOHN GIVES YOU
96% ODDS OF MAKING
JOHN STAPLES, PARTNER
Contact John Staples at 303.330.3250 or
26 SBI MAGAZINE
LEVEL 1: CHAOS
A corporate strategy may exist, but
functional strategies do not.
The company operates in an
environment that is neither stable nor
predictable. Functions operate in conﬂict
with one another, causing friction.
LEVEL 2: DEFINED
Corporate and functional strategies
exist but collect dust on the shelf.
While past successes are repeatable on
similar initiatives with similar scope,
management cannot rely upon such
outcomes. Because functions continue
to operate in conﬂict with one another,
friction still exists. And the customer
SBI’s 2016 annual research revealed the
key to successful revenue attainment is strategic
alignment. To help you plan your alignment road map
SBI developed the Revenue Growth Maturity Model.
As companies move up in maturity, their Customer
Acquisition Cost (CAC), Customer Lifetime Value
(CLTV), and Growth Attainment improve. The required
sales, marketing, and R&D costs are reduced. To
understand the impacts, see below:
REVENUE GROWTH MATURITY MODEL
How Much More Can You Get from Your Go-to-Market Investments?
by AARON BARTELS
FALL 2015 27
LEVEL 3: IMPLEMENTED
Corporate and functional strategies
have been implemented. On a daily
basis, functions operate in silos, focused
exclusively on their own strategic
execution. While friction within each
function has been removed, it still exists
among the functions.
LEVEL 4: MANAGED
Corporate and functional strategies
have been deﬁned, aligned, and
implemented. The company has now
achieved internal strategic alignment.
Functions are operating in unison to
support the corporate strategy. Friction
no longer exists internally, yet the
organization has not fully aligned itself
with the market.
LEVEL 5: PREDICTABLE
Corporate and functional strategies
have been deﬁned, aligned, and
implemented, both internally and with
the external market. The company is
now in full strategic alignment. The
organization is driven to excel, rather
than settle for improved internal
performance year over year. It seeks
quantum improvements that are
validated by the marketplace.
LEVEL 2LEVEL 1
IMPACT ON CLTV
% ATTAINING GROWTH OBJECTIVE
IMPACT ON SALES EXPENSE
IMPACT ON MARKETING EXPENSE
IMPACT ON R&D EXPENSE
IMPACT ON PRODUCTIVITY PER REP
-IMPACT ON CAC -3% -8% -16% -30%
LEVEL 3 LEVEL 4 LEVEL 5
28 SBI MAGAZINE
HOW THE BOARD VIEWS
SALES AND MARKETING
An Insider’s Perspective from the Chairman of the Board
by MATT SHARRERS
As CEO, you will spend many hours
in board meetings. You will also spend
hours preparing. But what does the
board really want, and how can you
best prepare? Greg Alexander, CEO of
SBI, sums it up nicely, “If everyone is on
the same page all the way through the
board and they agree on a set of KPIs,
then the prep work for the board meeting
shouldn’t be that laborious.”
Even if the CEO and the board are
Fred Florjancic, chairman of
the board at Ramsey Industries, spoke
with SBI to share the board member’s
perspective on sales and marketing
How does a board member evaluate if
the sales and marketing strategy is being
Florjancic says, “From a board’s
perspective, you have to start with
what the company really looks like. Is
the company a market leader? Are they
a follower or are they a turnaround in
process? Depending upon where you are
in that spectrum, the board will take a
diﬀerent view as to future performance.”
on the same page, what happens
when something goes amiss? First, if
you’re CEO, Florjancic suggests pulling
your management team together and
gathering the facts. After you assess the
situation, you must understand what
went right versus what went wrong. This
crucial step will lead you to fairly strong
conclusions as to what needs to be ﬁxed
and how you should go about it.
Additionally, Florjancic emphasizes
FALL 2015 29
IF EVERYONE IS ON THE SAME
PAGE ALL THE WAY THROUGH
THE BOARD AND THEY AGREE
ON A SET OF KPIS, THEN THE
PREP WORK FOR THE BOARD
MEETING SHOULDN’T BE THAT
the CEO’s role in leading sales and
marketing. He believes the CEO has
to be the No. 1 sales and marketing
leader in the organization. Even more
importantly, the CEO needs to be
out front with the customer, as he or
she is critical to understanding the
The last element of success in
Florjancic’s view is your team. He
recommends surrounding yourself with
the best team money can buy. “You want
the best people working for you, because
you don’t have all the answers as an
individual — you can’t possibly in today’s
very complex world.” He sees hiring,
onboarding, coaching, counseling, and
training as part of the manager’s key
functions. And at the end of the day,
Florjancic says strategy is pretty simple.
It’s the allocation of three things: people,
money, and time.
30 SBI MAGAZINE
If I asked you to tell me what your corporate
strategy is, would you know? Answering this question correctly
can have a large impact on your revenue performance. The most
successful organizations have been able to align the corporate
strategy with the strategies of the functional departments, such
as the product team, marketing organization, sales department,
and human resources group. In fact, companies that are
aligned in this way are four times more likely to make their
2016 revenue number, according to SBI’s ninth annual research
report. Although all are important, it’s the alignment of sales
and corporate strategy that many leaders struggle with.
THE SILVER BULLET TO
MAKING YOUR NUMBER
Aligning the Corporate and Sales Strategy
by JOSH HORSTMANN
WHAT IS A CORPORATE STRATEGY?
It’s where the company answers the
questions, “Why do we exist?” “Which
markets will we choose to compete in?”
“Who are we going to compete with?”
and “What strategic advantages do we
have that will allow us to win?” Answers
to these questions become inputs into
the functional strategies. This allows
the leadership team to decide how to
best allocate people, money, and time to
generate proﬁtable growth. For instance,
the CEO may decide to enter a new market
because the current market is no longer
growing. This decision ripples through
the company, making its way to the sales
team, who now must reorganize around
a hunter/farmer model to penetrate the
WHAT IS A SALES STRATEGY?
A sales strategy is the operating plan
for the sales team. It allocates resources
correctly to increase revenue while
reducing costs. When the CEO and
sales leader have alignment, the team
is laser focused on what the goal is and,
more importantly, how they will obtain
it. The team knows how Marketing is
going to support them with leads. They
understand the value propositions of each
product coming out of development, and
how they will beat the competition. No
matter how talented the sales leader, he/
she cannot make the number without the
support of the entire company.
WARNING SIGNS TO LOOK FOR
Below are a few red ﬂags that may point to
misalignment within your organization.
You try to ﬁx underperformance with
compensation changes and SPIFFs
Opportunities are stalled in the sales
cycle as prospects don’t see the value of
Product launches are pushed out to sales
with no prior input or collaboration
Marketing is creating campaigns with
little direction from sales
Aligning the corporate strategy to
the sales strategy is key to making your
number every year.
The most successful
aligned their corporate
strategies with the
strategies of the
% OF COMPANIES
ATTAINING GROWTH OBJECTIVE
Aligned Strategies Misaligned Strategies
PERCENTAGE OF COMPANIES OBTAINING GROW TH OBJECTIVE
FALL 2015 31
Market segmentation is dividing
the market into subsets of buyers with
common needs, priorities, and solution
options. You do it because it is important.
It helps decide where to compete and
how to win.
For sales, however, market
segmentation is interesting but not a
technique they use to bring in more
They should use it. Why? It would
result in revenue growth.
How? Convert market segmentation
data to account segmentation data.
The goal of account segmentation is
to understand which accounts are going
to generate the most revenue over the
shortest period of time and at what cost.
The unit of measure for the sales team
is the account.
The unit of measure for the CEO,
product leader, and CMO is the market.
This is a subtle, but signiﬁcant,
For example, if you tell a sales leader
that the oil and gas market is a $1 billion
market growing at 5 percent per year,
he/she cannot do anything with this
In contrast, if you tell a sales leader
that Exxon Mobil will buy $2.3 million
worth of your product in the next ﬁscal
year, a sales leader can assign coverage,
calculate quota, and build an account
To generate revenue from your
segmentation data, take it to the account
HOW TO GENERATE
REVENUE FROM YOUR
Take It to the Account Level
by BARRY WITONSKI
Alex Shootman President at Apptio
THE SBI BLOG.
IT’S WHERE I GO FOR
Sign up for the blog today at
FALL 2015 33
TOP FACTORS DERAILING LEAD FLOW SUCCESS
48% 44% 39%
Personas and buying
process maps (BPMs) are now
commonplace. Not that long ago
they gave you a competitive edge.
Not anymore. But there may still be
untapped potential in your BPMs
that you can leverage to gain a
The best BPMs cover three
important elements: the buying
phase, key buyer actions, and
micro-questions. Most BPMs stop
short of the third element. But
micro-questions are the key to
unlocking exactly what the buyer is
concerned with at each step in the
process. Creating a BPM without
tapping into the power of micro-
questions is a waste of time in
Micro-questions capture the
aspects of a purchase decision
that the buyer needs to resolve
before they move to the next phase
of the buying process. Without
this understanding, sales and
marketing teams commonly risk
accelerating the buying process
prematurely. They advance the
process before they’ve resolved
the buyer’s concerns.
How do you determine the
micro-questions for each step
in the buying process? Ask.
Conduct a series of interviews with
buyers. Discover and document
the questions, concerns, fears,
uncertainties, and doubts they have.
Investing in micro-questions
gives you an advantage throughout
the buying process. Marketing
teams use them to develop more
focused content. Sales reps use
them to better prepare for each
sales call. And the buyer is more
satisﬁed with the sales process
knowing their concerns are being
addressed along the way.
It’s as if you’re reading their mind.
OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
Capitalize on the Untapped Power of Micro-Questions
by ERIC BAUER
S U C C E S S F U L
S A L E S
A P P R O A C H E S
P R O V E N B Y S B I
R E S E A R C H
34 SBI MAGAZINE
Move the Bottom Half of Your Team
by RANDALL LEVEAU
Gamiﬁcation capitalizes on the
natural competitive instinct of sales
reps but in a way that focuses on beating
personal bests rather than trumping
peers. The result is a lift of more than 10
percent in metrics like quota attainment
and new customer acquisition.
But not all gamiﬁcation services are
equal. Here are the criteria you should
use in selecting a gamiﬁcation vendor:
Identify KPIs: Gather a list of
behaviors you aim to motivate, and
determine the associated KPI metrics
within your system of record.
Vendor Short List: Identify the
vendors who specialize in integrating
with your primary system of record and
begin the evaluation process.
Pilot: Begin a pilot program on a
select group of reps and measure the
eﬀectiveness of the conﬁguration before
rolling the program out across the team.
Aaron Stead, SVP, Sales @Infusionsoft
“I’M ALWAYS TUNED IN.
YOU DON’T GET
LIKE THIS THROUGH
36 SBI MAGAZINE
Eighty percent of companies will
have higher sales quotas than the year
before, but 40 percent of sales reps are going
to miss their number.
Of all reps, 19.4 percent will be out of the
job by year’s end.
Your products, prices, and competitors
are all changing.
How do you plan to make the number
amid such uncertainty? What head count
do you need to account for turnover, missed
numbers, ramp time, and more?
Sales planning starts with having the
right model to track head count, costs, and
projected revenue. The cost dimensions
must inform the production needed from
each rep in order for sales to break even;
and the model must be dynamic enough
to test all assumptions. The output of this
work will not only answer the question of
head-count planning, but also tell you what
sales budget you need in order to meet your
The model you create should be
informed by your CFO’s budgeting method
(percentage of revenue, competitive
aﬀordability, etc.), because that will
determine the budget questions it needs
to answer. You must continue updating
the model throughout the year as the
assumptions you have made give way to
new realities and raise additional questions.
Regardless of which budgeting method
you do use, the sales planning model should
serve as a ﬁnancial playbook for creating and
executing your strategy.
Strategy Among Uncertainty
by ADAM DAVID
OF COMPANIES HAVE A
HIGHER REVENUE TARGET
THAN LAST YEAR2
(56% ARE MORE THAN 20% HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR)
OF SALES REPS
MISS THEIR NUMBER3
OF SALES REPS
1 Sales Compensation and Performance Management Study 2014
Key Trends Analysis – Xactly
2 The State of Sales Productivity in 2015 (INFOGRAPHIC) – Salesforce Blog
3 The Twelve Sales Metrics That Matter Most – Harvard Business Review
0F SALES REPS HAVE
HIGHER THAN 40%
VARIABLE PAY 1
FALL 2015 37
OF ORGANIZATIONS HAVE
ZERO MEANS TO MEASURE
OF EXECUTIVES LISTED “ACCURATELY
TRACK AND MANAGE COST OF SALES”
AS THEIR MOST IMPORTANT AREA OF FOCUS1
THE TYPICAL ORGANIZATION SPENDS
$24,000 PER PERSON
ON IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY2
38 SBI MAGAZINE
ACROSS 220 COUNTRIES
For This Logistics Industry Leader, It’s an Art and a Science
by GEORGE DES LOS REYES
most potential. Robertson has laid out a
six-step process used by DHL to allocate
the right reps to the right territories.
1 The ﬁrst step is baselining
current performance on items such
as revenue, product mix, customer
and prospect count, and close rates.
DHL completes this critical step by
starting with sales strategy and market
segmentation. Then, they take it down
How does DHL, the most
international company in the world with
285,000 employees in 220 countries,
design its sales territories? SBI spoke
with Tim Robertson, the logistics
industry leader’s U.S. vice president of
sales and marketing, to ﬁnd out.
The objective of territory design
is simple. You want to put your best
salespeople in the territories with the
to a channel analysis, and ﬁnally to the
individual sales rep.
2 The second piece of the puzzle
is analyzing customer spend. For
Robertson, the diamonds are in the
details. DHL looks at not only the
available customer spend but also tries
to project the lifetime value of each
3 Next, they determine the market
FALL 2015 39
potential. In this case, you must take
the output from step two down to the
account level. The result is a stack
ranking of accounts, top to bottom based
on spend potential. “While this is a
mission-critical step in territory design,”
says Robertson, “I cannot overemphasize
the role that the sales manager plays
in weekly coaching sessions.” It is one
thing to have all the data, but the sales
manager must drive the actual activity.
4 The next step in territory design
is producing initial territories. Greg
Alexander, CEO of SBI, explains that
there are three ways to do this: the
customer-driven approach, the activity-
driven approach, and the geographic
approach. In the ﬁrst method, a sales
territory consists of a list of named
accounts. The second involves a
workload analysis. The third is based on
geographic assignment; a rep sells to all
customers in a given location.
5 The ﬁfth step is all about
rebalancing territory assignments.
At this stage, focus should be placed on
the number of customers, prospects, and
6 The ﬁnal stage is creating
territory plans, which also involves
assigning goals for these territories.
“This is an essential part of driving sales
performance,” says Robertson. “We’re
also continually making adjustments
throughout the year. If we see a
weakness, we make a quick adjustment.”
Use these six simple steps to properly
design territories to make your number.
THE OBJECTIVE OF
IS SIMPLE. YOU
WANT TO PUT YOUR
IN THE TERRITORIES
WITH THE MOST
HE DELIVERS ON TIME,
ON BUDGET AND ON SPEC.
HE ALSO DELIVERS 97%
PARTNER AND VP OF CLIENT SUCCESS
Contact Scott Gruher at 415.608.9954 or
“SBI TV MAKES BINGE WATCHING
GOOD FOR BUSINESS.”
Christopher Bray, Senior Vice President,
WW Consumer at McAfee
42 SBI MAGAZINE
How a 125-Year-Old Publishing Company
Became a Digital Marketing Powerhouse
by MIKE DRAPEAU
SBI recently spoke with Chris
Marjara, the chief marketing oﬃcer of
McGraw-Hill Education. Newly hired
at McGraw-Hill, Marjara is facing
a unique challenge. He is leading
the digital transformation of the
company’s textbook business. Marjara
is taking McGraw-Hill Education from
a traditional textbook publisher to a
This is no easy task. But it is one faced
by many marketing teams: reinvention
to stay relevant in the digital age.
Marjara discussed in depth one of
the biggest challenges — the budget. No
marketing team can be successful in
transforming their company without
the proper budget. But how do you get
the executive team on board? And once
you do, how do you determine what
your budget should be?
“Companies that are trying to
reinvent themselves need a big
marketing budget to do so, but long-
tenured executives married to the old
FALL 2015 43
business model are reluctant to invest,”
claims Greg Alexander, CEO of SBI.
“How do you change that?”
Marjara says it’s simple. It’s about
demonstrating real value. “You’ve got
to prove your worth and keep proving
your value every step of the way.” Only
then will you gain the buy-in from your
Once you have the support, the
next step is determining your budget.
There are four common budget-setting
methodologies. How do you know which
one is right for you?
One method is simply a percentage
of revenue. If your company does $100
million in revenue and 10 percent is
spent on marketing, your budget is $10
“This is the traditional method
of calculating marketing spend,
but it all depends on the context
of the marketplace,” says Marjara.
“For example, if you’re a brand-new
technology looking to make an entrance
into a new area, clearly you’re going to
be spending a signiﬁcant amount more
to acquire new customers.”
Alexander agrees. Though useful, this
budget-setting methodology must be
placed in the proper context.
The second budget-setting approach
commonly seen is competitive
benchmarking. This requires
establishing a peer group of companies
and understanding how much they are
spending on marketing. Then you must
look at your spend. Is it greater than,
less than, or equal to theirs?
Again, Marjara maintains it’s all
about context. What type of industry
are you in? Is it mature? Is it on the verge
of new innovations and technologies?
All of these issues must be taken into
account. Alexander recommends you
take it a step further and benchmark
at the program level. “Somebody can
always outspend you. It’s a question
of do you have the budget allocated
correctly across the programs and
are you intelligently spending to give
yourself a competitive advantage.”
The third method involves asking,
“What can we aﬀord?” In this case, it
is a matter of making consumption
choices. You are in survival mode
and must make some tough decisions
while looking at every dollar spent.
Prioritization is key to increasing
The fourth and ﬁnal budget-setting
methodology is a favorite of both
Marjara and Alexander: objective-based
budgeting. In this scenario, marketing
teams gather a list of objectives that
need to get done and list what it will
cost to accomplish each.
Alexander recommends asking
a series of questions. “How is the
marketing strategy reﬂective of the
corporate strategy? Are these mission-
critical objectives?” If so, they must be
At the end of the day, no matter
what your budget-setting method is,
marketing teams must get the budget,
allocate it, and spend it correctly. The
key to modernizing your marketing
team is investing your budget wisely,
for there is only so much money to go
THE KEY TO MODERNIZING
YOUR MARKETING TEAM IS
INVESTING YOUR BUDGET
WISELY, FOR THERE IS ONLY
SO MUCH MONEY TO GO
44 SBI MAGAZINE
WHY YOU CAN’T GET
YOUR REPS TO SELL
THE NEW PRODUCTS
The Importance of a Sales Enablement Plan
by DAN BERNOSKE
HOW DO WE TELL A COMPELLING STORY?
A successful launch hinges upon how
well you communicate. A compelling story
starts by addressing real market problems
on the buyer’s terms. That story must
compel someone to invest in you versus
the competitive alternatives. Yet you can’t
expect buyers to determine your product’s
value on their own. You must spur them
to action. Spell out the conviction of your
value proposition. Shift the buyer from a
price discussion to a value discussion.
HOW DO WE ENSURE ORGANIZATIONAL
READINESS FOR OUR LAUNCH?
The world is littered with failed
products because of poor launch
planning. Product management can
develop the perfect product, but that
alone does not ensure success. This is
the most critical step in your product life
cycle before you execute. Here are a few
ways to align functional leadership to be
ready for launch:
• Deﬁne the launch goals
• State the launch strategy (e.g.,
land and expand, replacement,
• Deﬁne the target buyers
• Create a risk-mitigation plan
• Hold functional leaders, including
marketing and sales, accountable
for their roles
HOW DO WE EXECUTE THE LAUNCH PLAN
TO ACHIEVE THE PRODUCT’S BUSINESS
A well-developed product and launch
plan will only be successful with
execution. Flawless execution requires
a relentless eﬀort to overcome old
organizational and buyer habits. Here
are a few keys to a successful product-
• Measure success against the launch
goals and promote quick wins
• Reinforce enablement through
training and coaching
• Incent the right sales behavior to
facilitate the launch
• Get ahead of possible issues before
they jeopardize success
A product road map prioritizes what the market
has told you it needs. When properly built, it continuously
spawns winning solutions and accelerates revenue growth.
Even the best products can become obsolete overnight because
competition is ﬁerce. So keep listening to the market and
innovate your products faster than the competition. Your future
success depends on it.
Your product road map provides validated ideas that deliver
real value. It sets your organization up to capture more market
share. But having a well-balanced product road map is only half
of the equation. The other half of your future success rests upon
a ﬂawless sales enablement plan.
This sales enablement plan must choreograph messaging,
planning, and execution of your product launches. It’s well-
synchronized with the road map’s timelines. This is the delicate
handoﬀ from product development to marketing and sales.
66%of new products still
fail within two years
(Booz Allen Hamilton)
96%of all innovations
(of which most are
new products) fail to
return their cost of
“I THUMB THROUGH MOST MAGAZINES.
I POUR THROUGH SBI MAGAZINE.”
Order your SBI Magazine today at
Paul Rosen, Chief Sales Ofﬁcer at OnDeck
FALL 2015 47
A Step-by-Step Guide to Success
48 SBI MAGAZINE
I sat, waiting for more. When I realized no other details were
forthcoming, I took another approach. I asked him if he had a
document or a PowerPoint he used to review his strategy with
his team. “No,” he said. “I just talk through everything with
the team on the forecast calls and at our annual kickoﬀ. I think
everyone’s pretty clear on what we expect.”
This leader had fallen prey to the kind of overconﬁdence that
assails many sales executives. His belief in his ability to be
articulate had trumped preparation and thoughtfulness. Learn
how to make sure you avoid his mistake. Strategy development
can seem like a heavy lift. Here’s a framework to help you think
it all through.
FIRST, DEFINE WHAT STRATEGY IS
What Is a Sales Strategy? It is an operating plan for a company’s
What Does a Sales Strategy Do? It allocates sales resources
eﬃciently to drive selling costs down and revenues up.
What Does It Mean to Use a Sales Strategy? It means the sales
executive will get the most out of his or her sales force.
NEXT, WRITE IT DOWN!
You must of course sell your strategy and vision to your
team. But you must also sell it to other executives — your peers
in marketing, product, and HR, for example. They don’t work
for you; you have to successfully inﬂuence them to do what you
want. You need a tool to help you: literally, a written document
you can “slide across the table.” My experience tells me very
few sales leaders have done this. Most strategies are vague and
undocumented. Or they are just a collection of diﬀerent tactics
with no glue holding them together.
GAIN ALIGNMENT BY USING THE RIGHT INPUTS
If everything is important, then nothing is important. And
if you place importance on the wrong things, you’ll be out of
LAST YEAR, I WAS
WORKING WITH THE HEAD
OF SALES FOR A FORTUNE
250 COMPANY. WHEN
WE FIRST MET, I ASKED
HIM IF HE WOULD WALK
ME THROUGH HIS SALES
STRATEGY. “SURE,” HE SAID.
THE MA IN INPUT S F OR A SU CC E S S F U L SAL E S STR ATEGY
FALL 2015 49
alignment with the rest of your company. Your strategy will
fail. Consider these ﬁve inputs:
Market research is the main feed into your sales strategy.
It conﬁrms you’re competing in the right markets for your
product, service, or solution. It tells you which accounts to
prioritize. Finally, it tells you what your buyers want from you
when you’re engaged with them.
The objectives for your sales strategy should be pulled out
of your company’s corporate strategy. For example, is your
CEO more interested in new logos or minimizing churn? Your
corporate strategy will tell you. And woe is the sales leader
whose strategy is out of alignment with his CEO’s.
Your company’s product strategy is what arms your gun with
bullets. You can have the best sales force in the world, but if
your products don’t solve your buyers’ market problems better
than the competition, you’d better provide buyer feedback to
your product team.
Of the ﬁve inputs, the one you’re tied most closely to will be
your marketing strategy. If it fails, you’re going to have a long
year. Figure out how many leads you need from marketing. Go
tell your peer down the hall. Gain agreement on how leads will
be measured and understand how your marketing team plans
to obtain them.
Finally, your talent strategy tells you how many people you
need when — and what type of people they need to be. It’s the
plan for sourcing, hiring, onboarding, and developing your
future A players.
USE A FRAMEWORK TO FOLLOW THE RIGHT SEQUENCE
Finally, be sure you do things in the right order. Did you ever
revise a compensation plan before you evaluated territories
and quotas? That’s a great example of performing work out
of sequence. It’s painful and usually fails to accomplish the
desired results. Here are the ﬁve steps involved in deﬁning a
properly sequenced sales strategy:
1. Planning: Develop the sales and data plans that will
allow you to make the number.
2. Engagement: Deﬁne the process by which the sales
team will interact with prospects and customers.
3. Organizational Structure: Conﬁrm you’re set up with
the right people in the right roles to execute the process.
4. Execution: Focus on the details — drive adoption of the
strategy through sales enablement and data analysis.
5. Support: Get low-value activities oﬀ your team’s plate
so they can maximize selling time.
Using these tools and this sequence, you’ll develop a winning
strategy. But once you implement it, don’t just walk away.
Evaluate your strategy on a quarterly basis, and make agile
adjustments as necessary. Don’t just wing it. If you do, you’re
playing fast and loose with your career as a sales leader.
• The sales strategy was
• A spreadsheet model
showed how the sales
team was going to achieve
• Other than that model,
sales submitted 10 funding
requests a year to approve
initiatives needed to help
• If approved, these requests
were executed in isolation
and typically produced no
• Sales drove activity to
make up for poor conver-
• The typical approach was:
“If we generate enough
leads, we will hopefully
close enough to make our
• Sales dreaded new product
• A new product launch
meant two days out of the
field, many new KPIs to
report upon, and a com-
pensation SPIFF that was
merely a distraction since
no one would attain it.
• Sales joked that new prod-
ucts were not released;
• Sales’ current products
were less attractive than
they were five years ago.
• Sales and marketing were
• The team leaders were not
• Sales seemed to get all
the blame for declining
revenue, yet marketing was
doing nothing to help.
• The sales strategy used
the corporate strategy to
understand its objectives.
• The sales strategy was
built around obtaining
those objectives; it includ-
ed everything needed to
meet those objectives effi-
ciently, because everything
was connected in pursuit
of the revenue goal.
• The sales team used the
market research to gain a
deep understanding of buy-
ers, learning what buyers
really wanted from them.
• Sales could approach
each call most effectively,
and, as a result, buyer
engagement and win rates
• The sales team was
included in product road
map decisions early and
educated on the benefits of
the next new release as it
related to buyers.
• The sales team was excited
about the new conversa-
tions they could have with
• The product team contin-
ued to ask for feedback,
which was acted upon to
• Sales and marketing
worked as partners.
• The sales team was direct
with marketing on what
was and was not working,
and marketing adjusted
based on the feedback.
• Sales knew they could
not succeed without the
support of marketing and
were appreciative of their
Here’s a quick look at how one large sales organization
operated before and after implementing this level of
strategic alignment. Does any of this look familiar?
HOW 1T FEELS
TO MAKE YOUR
NUMB3RTOP SALES LEADERS REVEAL THEIR
PROVEN PRACTICES FOR GROWING REVENUE
BY GREG ALEXANDER
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS RUPERT
hen some of the top B2B sales leaders
convened at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
in Maui, Hawaii, this August for the SBI
Sales Strategy Summit, nobody really knew exactly
what to expect. In one sense, it was like seeing the
who’s who list of heads of sales up close and personal,
as they stuck their toes in the sand and their hands in
their golf gloves.
In another sense, it was like watching a chemistry
experiment, where glass beakers containing the
most brilliant sales minds in the business were
poured into the same think tank, allowing dynamic
and daring personalities to mingle as they shared
unique approaches to making the number. And
allowing peers to ponder as they volleyed insights
back and forth across a shiny mahogany conference
table, while casually observing each other’s
DNA under the forgiving lens of a make-believe
The result? Nothing short of spectacular. These
people of uncommon ability discovered that they
actually had a lot in common. And though their
roads to success may have been driven with diﬀerent
products and companies located in diﬀerent states
and countries, their paths remained remarkably
parallel. This was a meeting of enlightened minds
that have set the stage for strategic alignment and
set the standards for what it will take for you to make
your number in 2016.
In this issue of SBI Magazine, several of our
attendees will reveal their proven practices for
growing revenue. Prepare to soak it up.
52 SBI MAGAZINE52 SBI MAGAZINE
“WE DON’T HAVE A ONE-
EVERYTHING WE DO,
INCLUDING ENGINEERING, IS
IN RESPONSE TO HOW OUR
PARTNERS DO BUSINESS.”
CHRISTOPHER BRAY, SVP, INTEL SECURITY
FALL 2015 53
Selling Through Partners
ALWAYS KEEP THE END CUSTOMER IN MIND
re you reading this article in a digital format? If
your answer is yes, chances are that Intel Security protects
your PC, tablet, or other mobile device and the Internet
service provider delivering it to you. Christopher Bray is
senior vice president of the company and is responsible for
consumer business worldwide.
While you might think that products designed to give
people the conﬁdence to live and work safely in a digital
world would sell themselves, it actually requires the help
of really good partners. The trick is ﬁnding them.
How do you know which ones have the potential to be the right ﬁt? Though scale and reach
are big factors for a company like Intel Security, it digs even deeper. “We look at [the] value
proposition they oﬀer their consumers,” Bray says. “And then we look at how we can integrate
security to enhance that proposition.”
Those who are actively engaged tend to make the best partners. “It’s not just about getting
the product out there,” Bray says. “It’s also about getting users to adopt the product and
retaining them over the long term.” Therefore, understanding the end user is key.
Knowing how to compete is also right up there. “Back in the day, most people would walk
into a big-box retailer and buy security software oﬀ that shelf,” Bray says. “Instead of going
after the 800-pound gorilla to disrupt that channel, we forged our own path with the leading
ISP provider at the time.”
Today the sale is actually B2B2C. “We’ve been able to increase our coverage because we
realize it’s about our customer’s end customer,” Bray says. “We don’t stop at the selling
partner; we think all the way through to who’s going to use the product.”
By knowing selling partners’ pain points and being able to put themselves in their
shoes, Intel Security has enjoyed long and comfortable interactions resulting in long-term
relationships and, more importantly, revenue growth.
“We don’t have a one-size-ﬁts-all model,” says Bray. “Everything we do, including
engineering, is in response to how our partners do business.”
HOW IT FEELS TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER
54 SBI MAGAZINE
Outsourcing as Part of
the Sales Strategy
THIS UNDERRATED TECHNIQUE CAN LEAD TO A SALES VICTORY
t ﬁrst glance, you might think Ted Grulikowski
is the head of a special ops unit of the military elite.
And that’s understandable when you consider his
responsibilities. As vice president of the B2B business unit
of MarketSource, the most successful sales outsourcing
company in the world, Grulikowski is an expert at
gathering intelligence and quickly deploying highly
trained, well-equipped ground troops into designated
battle zones to bolster existing forces or even establish key
installations for future acquisitions.
While there may not be anything covert about what he does, Grulikowski’s stealthy
maneuvers certainly deserve a medal of honor. The 200 companies that have placed their
outsourcing needs under his caring command — which includes providing inside, outside,
direct, and indirect sales support — have grown their revenues by a staggering $6 billion.
Results like that make it hard to explain why more companies don’t outsource at least
part of their sales operations. “Nine times out of 10, they don’t think of outsourcing sales,”
Grulikowski says. “They think of [it as] oﬀshoring, low value, people on the phone handling
billing issues.” In reality, he says, it’s a value-added resource that allows companies to acquire
capabilities they may not have.
“We look at what a company’s trying to solve and attack it from a sales challenge standpoint,
serving any market in a way that’s much more eﬀective,” says Grulikowski. MarketSource
helps companies make more sales faster and better by designing, developing, recruiting,
engagement life cycle.
“Many companies don’t have the latest and greatest sales-enablement tools,” Grulikowski
says. “It’s hard for them to scale a sales force up or down eﬃciently.” Fortunately, the brigades
at MarketSource stand at the ready. “We enable the legacy or existing sales team to focus on
the things they need to make their number.”
Obviously, thinking outside of the box isn’t a clichéd business goal for Grulikowski. It’s
what his life is all about. And though he prefers nicely tailored suits to fatigues, his approach
to outsourcing sales is that no mission, no matter how large or small, is impossible.
HOW IT FEELS TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER
FALL 2015 57
A New Organizational Model
for the Sales Team
HOW BLACK BOX SWITCHED IT UP FOR SUCCESS
ulie Lyda has impressive guns — something that came
in handy for this part-time ﬁtness buﬀ and executive vice president of
North American commercial sales for Black Box. After all, she led the
charge to take her company from a decentralized branch-based sales
team to a functional, centralized sales team after it had acquired 50
companies in just 15 years.
But what gave this provider of IT infrastructure solutions with 4,000
employees and just under $1 billion in annual sales the courage to do
so? Lyda says it was years of not being able to grow as an organization
or leverage their capabilities. “We could no longer reach clients the way
we wanted to reach them,” Lyda says.
Black Box realized it had very large enterprise clients and smaller ones, and it was serving
them by geography without a lot of focus. So the company identiﬁed the white space in each
of its accounts as well as its best talent. “We moved our best people to our best accounts,
providing a more economic approach to serving our SMB [small- and medium-sized-business]
clients,” Lyda says.
After considering the seven dominant B2B sales organization models, Black Box chose
stratiﬁcation, which involves stratifying accounts based on spend potential. Sure, switching
to this organizational model was more expensive because it involves specialization, but
the company knew its large enterprise clients were willing to pay the elevated costs for the
complex solutions it provided. Lyda says, “We spent a lot of time learning what clients wanted
from us, instead of the other way around.”
But with any new org chart comes new positions on it. Who would call on which clients?
“Prior to our reorganization, everybody did their own thing,” says Lyda. “We had no uniform
sales process.” But by understanding its accounts and buyers, Black Box came up with a new
ﬁve-step sales process that worked.
Of course, when transitioning from the old way to the new, you must make sure that two
things never happen. Lyda says, “You cannot lose key customers or top salespeople.” To that
in the decision-making,” says Lyda. “It’s about keeping everyone aware of what you’re doing
HOW IT FEELS TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER
58 SBI MAGAZINE
Developing a Talent Strategy
for the Sales Force
THE ABCS OF HIRING SALES-TEAM SUPERSTARS
nless you put a team of superstars in the ﬁeld,
it’ll be tough to make your number. Nobody knows this better
than Dave Moore, vice president of North American sales at
Businessolver. His company provides a SaaS solution that
allows employees and employers to get the most out of their
He says you’d better know your ABCs if you want to develop
a talent strategy. “We build A-player proﬁles for each of the key
roles in the sales organization,” says Moore. “Then we perform
talent assessments against them.” It must be working.
Businessolver doubled the sales force of its quota carriers in the last six months.
How does the company ﬁnd the talent it needs? By identifying key markets it wants to
compete in and the talent needed to win, every year. “We constantly look at our networks so
we can always tap into those A players,” Moore says.
But it doesn’t happen overnight. Hiring begins with assessments via phone screens. Then
the process moves to an internal recruiter, other sales leaders, and ﬁnally to Moore. Along
the path, they calibrate. If everyone’s aligned, they bring in the candidate to meet with key
stakeholders for tryouts. “SBI helped us implement a work tryout to have them perform tasks
and behaviors we expect from our sales consultants,” Moore says.
Once they ﬁnd keepers, onboarding begins. “It’s not just about assimilating them into the
company. It’s about deploying them quickly, getting them comfortable with Businessolver,
and having them be productive out in the ﬁeld,” says Moore.
Further, Moore says he has individual development plans to help each employee gain the
skills needed to succeed. To that end, the company uses a tool called Small Improvements that
allows Businessolver to engage with consultants on a quarterly basis to get input. “We’re in a
very agile and fast-paced industry, so we need more real-time feedback.”
Once all of these elements are in place, the company builds a bench of future leaders. “For
us, it’s a math equation,” Moore says. “We look at the span of control of our leadership team to
see where we might need additional leadership and for how long.”
HOW IT FEELS TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER
“SBI HELPED US
IMPLEMENT A WORK
TRYOUT TO HAVE THEM
PERFORM TASKS AND
BEHAVIORS WE EXPECT
FROM OUR SALES
DAVE MOORE, VP, BUSINESSOLVER
60 SBI MAGAZINE
“YOUR MESSAGE MUST CONVEY THAT YOU
UNDERSTAND AND EMPATHIZE WITH WHAT
THEY’RE GOING THROUGH; YOU HAVE TO
DEVELOP AN EMOTIONAL LINK.” PAUL ROSEN,
CHIEF SALES OFFICER, ONDECK (RIGHT)
Selling Successfully in the
HOW TO MAKE IT BIG WITH SMALL-BUSINESS CUSTOMERS
hink small. After all, thinking like a small-business
owner can lead to big revenue growth. Just ask Paul Rosen,
chief sales oﬃcer at OnDeck, which provides capital to small-
business owners; or Aaron Stead, senior vice president of sales
at Infusionsoft, which provides sales and marketing software
applications. These two sales leaders have been successful
selling in the small-business segment by adopting this mind-set.
And both agree that targeting the mind-boggling 7 million
small-business owners in this country alone requires getting
inside their heads. “These people work a ton and don’t have a lot
of bandwidth,” Rosen says. “They want to focus on their core competency.” And you can’t hide
the beneﬁt of your product or service. It must be simple and easy to understand. “They don’t
want to feel like they need a CPA or an MBA to ﬁgure it out,” Stead adds.
Moreover, small-business owners are laser-focused on time to value. “If they can bring
value into their businesses this week, [this] month, or this quarter, they are willing to pay for
that exchange,” Rosen says. In fact, to make its software even more palatable, Infusionsoft
oﬀers a monthly subscription service. “We try to stay lower than a car payment,” Stead says.
Of course, speed and price are just a few pain points to recognize. Your company’s brand
attributes also have to hit the small-business owner right where they live. “Your message
must convey that you understand and empathize with what they’re going through,” says
Rosen. “You have to develop an emotional link.”
owner is skeptical, primarily due to large companies serving mid-market and enterprise
businesses trying to enter their space without even trying to connect on their level,” Stead
says. “You have to convince them your product will solve their speciﬁc problems.”
In some cases, you may have to convince their lawyer, CPA, or even a meet-up group. “Small-
business owners often surround themselves with trusted advisors,” says Rosen. Bottom line?
Make sure that their circle of inﬂuence always includes you.
HOW IT FEELS TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER
AARON STEAD / PAUL ROSEN
FALL 2015 61
62 SBI MAGAZINE
Connecting Corporate Strategy
and Sales Strategy
THE CEO AND SALES LEADER NEED TO SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE
o some sales leaders, a corporate strategy is a
foreign object. To Paula Shannon, chief sales oﬃcer and senior
vice president of Lionbridge Technologies, it is her native
tongue. That’s a good thing, considering she is responsible for
staying a step ahead of the competition at the world’s largest
Not only is Shannon ﬂuent in the company’s objectives and
competitors by market segment, but she also knows which
products have been slotted to compete in those markets. No
easy feat since the company has a broad portfolio of oﬀerings.
This savvy has certainly helped Lionbridge achieve strategic alignment. But how does it
translate into sales? Flawlessly, of course.
Instead of handing salespeople quotas that they automatically try to negotiate, she explains
how they reached their numbers. “We want to make sure the pyramid doesn’t topple over,”
with our sales team.”
“This garners respect for the sales leader,” says Shannon. “It tells them I’m giving them
everything they need to succeed.” This also drives head-count allocation and hiring proﬁles,
also based on passion and integrity. “Thanks to SBI, we use job trial to ensure candidates have
both,” she says. After all, how people act when nobody’s looking is what deﬁnes a company.
By all accounts, Lionbridge team members must be on their best behavior. They continue to
outperform and outsmart the other guys by challenging customers to make sure they have all
the right steps in place. And they maintain the deepest expertise in their industry by staying
true to themselves. Shannon says, “We are language at the core.”
Such an unwavering focus starts with a well-deﬁned corporate strategy.
Yet making sure that the CEO and the sales leader speak the same language is at the heart
of any company ﬁring on all cylinders. It’s what connects the corporate strategy to the sales
strategy and, in turn, the company to its true potential for revenue growth. Shannon says, “If
we want our solution architects to articulate the brand promise to our customers, we have to
give them the blueprint.”
HOW IT FEELS TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER
FALL 2015 65
PUT TOGETHER A SUPERHERO SALES TEAM TO SNAG CUSTOMERS
injas actually exist outside of that famous group
of animated teenage reptiles. In fact, Brandon Tolany, chief
sales and marketing oﬃcer at Freescale Semiconductor,
claims they exist within the business unit of any great sales
And he should know. His company does just under $5 billion
in annual sales and employs over 17,000 people worldwide.
But before he turns his superhuman and highly technical
sales force loose on customers, he performs market research
to make the best allocations of people, money, and time. And
this process involves segmenting markets, accounts, and buyers.
“Freescale goes after vertical industries in the $332 billion semiconductor market,” says
Tolany. “Fortunately, more than half of it is in our wheelhouse.” But when adjacencies emerge,
he says they try to shift their resourcing on the ﬂy toward those growth markets. “We need a
lens that gives us a two- to three-year horizon for revenue, then we try to react.”
But that lens isn’t focused on revising Freescale’s go-to-market model every time the
wind changes direction. “For us, it’s less about product life cycle and more about customer
personality,” says Tolany. “It’s about reaching them during their design cycle.”
Apparently, Freescale doesn’t have to go far to do that. Tolany says the company’s ideal
customer proﬁle is somebody who’s already there. “If they already use our silicon and tools
and are familiar with our software, but we have a smaller share, we know we can sell them
Of course, the key to selling is being able to pinpoint when customers have the propensity to
buy. And that’s precisely how Freescale prioritizes resources. Tolany says, “There’s a window
and if you miss their design cycle, you may not get back in it for years.”
But knowing when means little if you can’t grasp who your buyers are and what they care
about. “We are 95 percent custom for every design we are in,” says Tolany. “They’re all about
lowest power and highest performance.”
Tolany is convinced his buyers make decisions based on past experience. That leads us back
to the importance of having superheroes on your sales team.
HOW IT FEELS TO MAKE YOUR NUMBER
REVENUE GROWTH MATURITY MODEL
WHERE YOU RANK
DETERMINES WHAT’S IN THE BANK.
Benchmark yourself against your peers and ﬁnd out if you’re positioned to make your number in 2016.
2016 STRATEGY WORKSHOP
Contact us at www.SalesBenchmarkIndex.com/2016Workshop
A C H I E V I N G
YO U R G O A L S
I N S I D E A N D
O U T S I D E T H E
O F F I C E
29% 86%DECREASE IN EMPLOYEE
RELUCTANCE TO RELOCATE
FROM 2012 TO 2014
OF ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDE
EXTRA INCENTIVES TO
FALL 2015 67
Making It Work for the Whole Family
by BARRY SOMERVELL
IN THE PLAN
Be inclusive when
deciding on things
like homes, schools,
decisions make all the
difference in how the
family will adjust to their
ANTICIPATE AND MITIGATE
Just as you plan for
challenges and risks in
business, think through
what may negatively
impact each family
member and proactively
address each issue in
MAKE IT AN ADVENTURE
Relocation is ﬁlled
with new experiences,
meeting new people,
and sometimes even
Embrace and celebrate
these adventures to
make your family’s
relocation a success.
You have been working hard, doing well, and
ﬁnally an opportunity comes knocking. It is the
perfect job and would be a big career advance.
It sounds great, but it requires a relocation.
Opportunities like this can be professionally and
personally rewarding if you plan with the family
68 SBI MAGAZINE
of hidden fat. Stay away from creamy
salad dressings; substitute them
for a clear dressing like balsamic
What you drink is as important as
what you eat. Stay away from sodas,
teas, and energy or sports drinks.
They are full of sugar, which means
more calories than you need.
Dessert and cookies are an absolute
no-no! Would you eat it at home?
Being on the road isn’t a license for
You don’t always have a choice in what
is provided for lunch when you are
traveling. But you do have control over
what you eat.
It’s lunchtime and you have been
asked to order in. Here are a few simple
tips to help you keep it healthy. If lunch
has been ordered for you, apply these tips
to the choice of food you select.
Stay away from anything labeled
“crispy” or “crunchy.” This usually
means fried, which can turn a healthy
piece of chicken into calorie overload.
It also has more saturated fat than you
Eliminate the bread on the deli
sandwich. Can you order it as a lettuce
wrap? Or take oﬀ the top layer of bread
and make it open-faced.
Exercise portion control. Just because
the food is there to eat doesn’t mean
you should. Keep your servings
to only three at any given meal. A
serving of food is equivalent to the
amount of food that you can ﬁt in your
cupped hand. Some sandwiches can
be considered two to three servings
based on the size. Remember, you
don’t have to eat the entire sandwich.
Salads are always a great option; be
careful, though. Salads can hold a lot
TO STAY FIT
A Catered Lunch Doesn’t Have
to Wreak Havoc on Your Diet
by LYNNE SHARRERS
FALL 2015 69
MEN HAVE INCREASED
200 MORE CALORIES
SODA VS. WATER CUTTING 1 CAN OF
COCA-COLA PER DAY IS EQUIVALENT
TO SKIPPING ENOUGH CALORIES TO
LOSE 14.5 POUNDS IN A YEAR
3 CANS PER DAY =
THE AVERAGE MALE CONSUMES
175 CALORIES A DAY
FROM DRINKS CONTAINING
Now it's 8 ounces
A cheeseburger 20 years
ago was 4.5 ounces
PER DAY THAN
20 YEARS AGO
70 SBI MAGAZINE
It Only Takes 30 Minutes to Stay Fit
While on the Road
by LYNNE SHARRERS
The hardest part about
business travel is ﬁnding time for a
workout. The ﬁrst thing to recognize is
that 30 minutes is all you need. The key
According to a survey conducted by The
American College of Sports Medicine,
high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
is one of the top ﬁtness trends in 2015.
This technique incorporates short bursts
of intense exercise followed by a low-
intensity recovery exercise. For example,
you can sprint for 30 seconds, then
walk for 60 seconds. You can use HIIT
both anaerobically (with weights) and
aerobically (with cardio).
You prepare for big meetings with call
plans and notes because they matter.
Take the same approach with your
workouts. Know what you will be doing
before you enter the gym. Write down
your workout on a small notepad or use
the Notes app on your smartphone.
FALL 2015 71
UPPER BODY CONCENTRATION LOWER BODY CONCENTRATION
TOTAL BODY CONCENTRATION
You need to incorporate both resistance and cardiovascular training. I recommend 20 minutes of high-intensity resistance training
and 10 minutes of cardio. The key is 10 strong minutes, incorporating intervals. Here is an example of a total body workout using
both resistance and cardiovascular training: ﬁve-minute warm-up before and stretching after your workout, 15-minute circuit
training, and 10 minutes of cardio. The circuit training should include three exercises in each circuit (ﬁve minutes per circuit).
An intense workout will burn more calories per minute than a lower-intensity workout. This leads to more calories expended
after your workout, the afterburn. Fitting exercise into your busy life isn’t always easy, and traveling just adds another level of
complexity. Make the time and take your workouts on the road to a higher level in only 30 minutes.
(7 upper curls,
7 lower curls,
7 full curls)
SQUAT WITH AN
(Use a medicine ball,
if available. Add a
push-up for higher
(Add windmill push-up
for higher intensity.)
FINISH WITH 10 MINUTES OF CARDIO
Your choice: treadmill, elliptical, stair-stepper, etc.
30 seconds at the highest speed
30 seconds at normal speed
30 seconds at highest resistance
30 seconds at normal resistance
(Do a squat and then
jump. Add a weight,
such as a weight plate
or dumbbell, for higher
(Lean against a wall in
a squat position, knees
directly over ankles.
Add a weight for higher
72 SBI MAGAZINE
On August 17, some of the world’s
most progressive sales leaders arrived on
the Hawaiian island of Maui to take part in
SBI’s annual Sales Strategy Summit. The
goal of this exclusive invitation-only event
was to work “on” the business, not “in” the
business, for a few days and emerge with a
winning sales strategy for 2016.
“I get invited to just about every sales
and marketing conference there is, given
my title and the company I work for.
But SBI’s event is the only one I attend,”
says Paul Rolls, executive vice president
of worldwide sales and marketing at
ON Semiconductor. “The reason is SBI
provides me with tomorrow’s best
practices, which are forward-looking,
and the other conferences just rehash the
same old stuﬀ.”
This year’s event was co-hosted by
SBI’s CEO Greg Alexander and SBI partner
Matt Sharrers. These two subject-matter
experts facilitated a two-day workshop
that applied the ﬁndings from SBI’s ninth
annual research report, titled “How to
Make Your Number in 2016,” to each
attendee’s speciﬁc business.
“SBI’s events are the best because they
only allow the best executives to attend.
They cap the event at a dozen executives,
which means I am collaborating with
my true peers and learning a lot. Other
conferences sell tickets and sponsorships,
and are focused on putting hundreds of
people in the auditorium. This results in
networking with unqualiﬁed people, or
worse, getting pitched by representatives
from the sponsors. To get into an SBI
event, you have to be invited, and you can’t
buy your way in,” says Paula Shannon,
chief sales oﬃcer and senior vice president
The ﬁrm is built on the benchmarking
concept, which is designed to enable peer-
to-peer knowledge sharing. This is best
facilitated inside the boardroom — and
outside the boardroom. Attendees were
able to network on two championship golf
courses and over dinners at some of the
island’s top restaurants.
“I traveled several thousand miles,
literally across the globe to attend this
event. The opportunity to socialize
with this type of crowd, in Hawaii, does
not come along every day,” says Joe
Vitalone, executive vice president of Mitel
Networks and president of the company’s
Which is better: in-person events or
networking on social media? Social media
is a terrible turn of phrase, for there is
nothing social about tweets, LinkedIn
InMails, or Facebook posts. Business has
always been done between people, in
social settings, face-to-face, and it will
always be done this way. SBI events are
designed to be, well, social.
Sharrers said it best when asked
why his ﬁrm would invest in bringing
its clients to Maui for a week: “I am
emotionally invested in the lives of my
clients. Being with them and their spouses
in paradise, having fun, and getting ready
for 2016 is a blessing, not an investment.”
SBI’s 2016 Sales Strategy Summit
by JOHN STAPLES
THE BEST SELLER FOR THOSE WHO
WANT TO BE THE BEST SELLERS.
The book that turned sales into a science.
Get your FREE signed copy at www.SalesBenchmarkIndex.com/MakingTheNumber
HE MAKES THE
COST OF ACQUIRING
AARON BARTELS, MANAGING DIRECTOR
Contact Aaron Bartels at 404.392.7914 or
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