Hiring Rockstars And Winning More Deals [Weekly Review]

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks
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hiring-rock-stars-winning-deals.jpgWelcome to your sales weekly roundup for December 18-24. This week we’ve got the winning formula to hiring A-players, new expectations for CMOs, unheard of tips for winning more sales and how AI has found its way into mainstream business. We’ll be away taking a short break next week for the holidays, but catch the roundup again on January 6. Happy holidays, and enjoy.

The Winning Formula To Hiring A-Players

Vp of Sales for one of the fastest growing POS companies in the world, Epos Now, David Duncan shares his methodology for hiring sales rock stars. Duncan is a reputable guy because he played a major role in growing the company organically (without VC funding) from 0-300 employees and $0 to $30 million in 5 years. He’s gone through at least 500 interviews with salespeople, and this is what he’s found:

  • After the candidate passes the resume and phone-interview process, he scores the candidate out of 50 using the following score card:

Source: Sales Hacker

1 – Unsuitable / Poor

2 – Did not meet expectations

3 – Average / Might have concerns

4 – Meets Expectations / Good

5 – Superstar / Exceeded Expectations

Anything under 34 – consider for rejection.

  • He asks a variety of questions throughout the process, borrowing ideologies from Mark Roberge and Trish Bertuzzi, meant to highlight potential all-stars. Rather than listing all of the questions he uses here, I suggest you check out his post on Sales Hacker.

  • Following this process he has:

    • Reduced involuntary attrition by 50%

    • Decreased ramp-up time from 5 months to 2 months

    • Increased average rep performance by 30%

Almost 70% of CEOs Now Expect CMOs To Lead Revenue Growth

“Goodbye brand ambassador, hello performance marketer,” writes mobile economist and tech journalist John Koetsier about the evolving role of the CMO. Highlights from this article, which are based on a report from the CMO Council’s website:

  • Today, 35% of CEOs have expectations that CMOs contribute to top-line growth.

  • The top way marketers can drive revenue and improve margin is tied at 44% between a) using data for effective campaign spending and b) embracing new digital advertising and engagement technologies.

  • Only 8% of CMOs are currently auditing, assessing and continually improving the customer experience; 7% were looking for strategic partnerships or alliances; and only 16% were teaming up with leadership executives on global business and strategy.  

Source: VentureBeat

Five Not-So-Obvious Tips for Winning More Sales

Customer experience thought leader Don Peppers outlines some lesser-known strategies for salespeople to win more deals:

  • Become the customer. Don’t just say it, do it. Get in the customer’s shoes by researching their values and fears, their successes, their wounds, the company’s approach to problem solving, the management hierarchy, etc. 

  • Never let an account manager present his or her own case study. Those who are too close to the case study can over complicate it, so try asking your founder to step in if they are available, or anyone who has to learn it from scratch.

  • If multiple people participate in the meeting from your side, rehearse the transitions. It’s too time-consuming to rehearse the entire meeting; try just the part where one person takes over speaking from another. That way, the entire meeting can be done in a few minutes or even several times if you have the chance.  

  • Appoint a “Pitch Ayatollah”. Peppers says, “The pitch ayatollah’s job is to make final decisions about what gets presented, what doesn’t, and how the meeting should flow.”

  • Don’t prolong a conversation once your objective is achieved. You got what you came for, now it’s time to wrap up. Any additional information you wanted to include can be brought up next time.

Artificial Intelligence Finds Its Way Into Business Through Sales

Enterprise reporter Ron Miller details the influx of AI in business through sales. It makes sense AI has entered the world of business through sales, he points out, because sales the part of the company that drives revenue. A few indications of AI ramping up in the sales community:

  • This week, Conversica scored a $34 million investment to build intelligent sales assistants.

  • Tact “a company started by a CRM industry veteran just raised $15 million to apply intelligence to the planning and execution part of a salesperson’s day.”

  • This week Salesforce released LiveMessage, a tool for incorporating messaging apps in their Service Cloud platform.


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