Con-Com-T, Inc. Conceptual Communications & Training -- Jay Gentry

Develop Your Sales and Sales Management Team

Because all of our work is custom, the examples are proprietary to specific CCT clients. For that reason any specific references to those clients have been removed or obscured.
Analyze Sales Performance Levers and Optimize Performance
This tool provides structure for analysis of the different elements of sales performance. First, it allows an organization to prioritize the importance of different sales processes, activities, behaviors and skills to their specific selling environment. Second, a rating of current versus desired performance in each area generates a performance gap analysis. Third, using the priority rating and performance gaps it is possible to create an impact matrix. The entire process identifies where you will get the best return for an investment in developing the sales team.

The tool can be tuned for each situation but the four sales performance Categories are:

  1. Plan, Organize, Analyze, Prioritize
  2. Understand and Execute the Sales Process
  3. Optimize Relationships (protect and expand customers)
  4. Build the Sales Organization for the Future

"Put more discipline in the Sales Process"
We found that the sales team for a company which sells through multiple distribution channels had become too reactive and were not sufficiently influencing or driving business within existing customers… and were not targeting and capturing enough new customers. They wanted to "put more discipline in the Sales Process".

The Custom Solution included:

  • Models for integrating the Sales Management Process with the Sales Activity Cycle, a Consultative Selling Process, and several steps of that process
  • Formats to organize Territory Planning, Account Profiling, Opportunity Analysis and Action Planning, Call Planning, and Weekly Activity Planning

"Map and Organize a Complex Sales Process"
The sales organization for major IT manufacturer that sold solutions into the telecommunication space (orders were from $500,000 to several million) was having difficulty managing the several month sales process… false starts, dead ends, extended decision cycles, multiple proposals, and frustration with the ultimate success rate.

The Custom Solution included:

  • Selling Cycle Matrix that cross referenced the Stages of the Customer Decision Making Process with the Selling Cycle. For each Stage the matrix provided Description and Objectives, Questions and Issues (customer perspective and IT company perspective), Projected Output, and Communication Plan.
  • Strategic Questioning Guide (Solution Business Case)
  • Proposal Format and Template

Interestingly, one reason that the process was a "huge success" was that it streamlined the internal process to get funding for the pursuit of opportunities.
Individual Development Guide
In most organizations, the process for assimilation of new sales people includes several very specific element such as Company Orientation and Product Training. The rest of the process is often several weeks of thorough but haphazard experiences that expose the new hire to the selling environment and process. These experiences generally include riding with existing sales people, visiting company facilities, assisting in the preparation of proposals, presentations from different company departments, and on and on.

This informal process takes longer than necessary, leaves many gaps in the new hire’s experience, fails to fully prepare him/her for success, and often allows someone who does not have the aptitude or capability to succeed to ride for several months before failure is recognized.

To rationalize and organize the new hire assimilation process CCT has developed the concept of an Individual Development Guide. The IDG, and the accompanying Sales Manager’s Guide provides:

  • A new hire evaluation to target the knowledge and behavioral topics essential for the individual’s sales success
  • A method to orchestrate a series of exercises and activities to drive a person’s learning about those topics
  • A series of structured pre-briefings and debriefings with the sales manager to evaluate what has been learned and what needs additional work

You wind up with a much streamlined, far more effective assimilation process. You still ride with successful sales people or visit the factory… but with an organized set of questions to ask, things to look for, information to gather, and exercises to drive home and prove your new hire understands the key elements.
Comprehensive Training System
The manager needs to be on board and involved in order to get maximum value from a training program or process. We virtually always recommend a pre-training preparation as a critical element. Whenever possible, we prefer to have the direct managers or supervisors involved in that pre-training preparation. When well designed, it not only drives the expectations and behavior of the participant, it provides an orchestrated coaching opportunity for the manager… an opportunity to coach behaviors and perspective rather than simply performance.

Every solution created from the ground up...
...designed to performance based objectives...
...and the realities of time and budget