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Solution Selling Through a New Lens (Part II)

June 5th, 2013 by Christopher Simone, Vice President at Treeline Incorporated

The Importance of Coaching

We recently shared a review of “The Challenger Sale” by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson of CEB.

The Challenger Sales Model is a framework for solution selling enabled by organizational capabilities and Sales management fundamentals. “The Challenger Sale” outlines three primary attributes of manager excellence as reflected in CEB data, “Selling, Coaching, and Owning”.  This blog focuses on the coaching attribute.   Why?  Embracing and evolving towards the Challenger Sales Model requires ongoing commitment, change management, trust, collaboration, and discipline.  Effective coaching can provide the transformative influence along this path; here are a few tenets reflected in the book:

  • Coaching is not training; coaching is the hands-on application of prior training and skills development.
  • Coaching is connected to the actual sales process.
  • Coaching is based on desired behaviors, not tangible outcomes e.g. conversion rates.
  • Coaching is tailored to the sales representative, and sales process/opportunity.
  • Coaching needs to be perceived as “safe” by the sales representatives, which therefore facilitates “safe training” opportunities.  A line, albeit thin, must be maintained between what could be perceived as performance management and what is perceived as beneficial coaching.
  • Coaching within the Challenger Sales Model enables “Innovation-at-the-deal-level” which is about “co-creation and collaboration” and definitely not “deal inspection” i.e. “Did you send the proposal on time?”
  • Sales innovation is about diagnosing encumbrances to moving the deal towards a purchase decision; it’s also about helping and teaching the rep to align his/her organization’s “… existing capabilities to each customer’s unique environment and then presenting those capabilities to the customer through the specific lens of whatever customer obstacle is keeping the deal from closing”.

Dixon and Adamson explore the importance of coaching while presenting data and figures which illustrate the significance of this attribute for excellence. They also share a simple framework for effective, hypotheses-based-coaching called “PAUSE”.  As expressed in the book, “… the notion of PAUSE can be powerful for the manager because it suggests this idea of slowing down and thinking through the intent and purpose of the coaching interaction as opposed to making it a “check the box” activity as most time-pressed sales managers are naturally inclined to do”.

As with our initial blog about “The Challenger Sale”, this blog is shared only as a primer and is certainly not a substitute for reading this powerful book.

Treeline (www.treeline-inc.com) is a sales focused executive search firm that has worked with thousands of sales candidates and hiring managers over the past twelve years.  Named for the outdoor adventurers who “climb above the Treeline” -the altitude beyond which trees can survive- for the rush, excitement, and challenge, Treeline also helps companies improve top line revenue with sales-focused professional services.  Treeline can help instantiate or define your sales structure and model, staff the model, and sustain the model — including help with promoting and sustaining a sales culture of performance.  Treeline is also the developer of DADOMATCH.

DADOMATCH is a technology and service that helps sales hiring managers define, find and hire the perfect fit faster and with less cost.  DADOMATCH provides an effective lens that highlights characteristics and the degree to which the role and candidate are naturally aligned.  DADOMATCH organizes and presents this information along with the candidate’s work history and accomplishments.  Please click here to view a sample.

Posted in Best Hiring Practices, Sales Recruiting, Comments Off

            

Treeline Sales Job of the Week: Eastern Region Direct Sales Manager

June 3rd, 2013 by Chelsey Canavan, Social Media Marketing Specialist at Treeline Incorporated

Company Profile:

Our client is a world leader in digital security, offering solutions as well as support services for government, enterprise and mid-market industries. They are a globally recognized organization and have received multiple awards for best innovation, best enabling technology and best software.

Job Description:

This position will be covering the entire east coast with 30% travel. As an individual contributor you will be selling direct as well as building a network of channel partners focusing on software, hardware and authentication services.You will be responsible for a multi-million dollar quota including new business development and account management.

Requirements:

Candidates must have a minimum of 7 years of proven sales experience within the security space. Experience selling direct as well as building channel partners is a huge plus. Experience exceeding a multi-million dollar quota of new and existing business, calling into C-Level executives as well as VARs is ideal. Bachelors Degree is required or equivalent work experience.

Job #1130
Base Comp. $100,000.00
Total Comp. $150,000.00

Get Started!

Posted in Job Search & Career, Job of the Week, Comments Off

            

Role-Playing During Interviews: Coffee, Anyone?

May 28th, 2013 by Chelsey Canavan, Social Media Marketing Specialist at Treeline Incorporated

Written By: Austin Merritt, the COO of Software Advice

While many companies hire based on candidates’ experience, others find raw talent to be a stronger harbinger of success. But, how do you identify and measure “raw talent” during the hiring process?

Austin Merritt, the COO of Software Advice–a company that presents reviews and ratings of recruiting and sales software–recently shared how he objectively measures raw talent during his sales team’s hiring process. In a post on Software Advice’s New Talent Times blog, Merritt shares his “coffee scenario,” a role-playing scenario used when hiring for his inside sales team. It closely imitates the process his team goes through when placing sales calls. Except, instead of advising the caller on what software to purchase, the job candidate advises the caller on what coffee shop to visit. Here are a few key tips Merritt has shared about his process:

Develop a set of competencies to look for

What are the top uncoachable competencies required for a person to thrive in a role? For example, when hiring for their sales team, Software Advice grades along the following criteria:

  • Articulation – Do they clearly communicate their thoughts?
  • Energy – Does the candidate appear alert and genuine on calls?
  • Ability to take control – Can the candidate steer the conversation?
  • Ability to think on their feet – Can the candidate respond calmly, but quickly?
  • Coachability – Does the candidate understand the scenario enough to apply?

Your competencies may (and probably should) be different. Identify what empowers current star performers to be successful, and make your list of competencies around these qualities.

Create a project that tests each of them

The “coffee scenario” is effective because coffee is a familiar subject matter. Candidates are familiar with coffee, and it allows interviewers to focus on talent over domain expertise. The topic should be common enough for candidates to complete successfully without much preparation. In Software Advice’s instance, they set up a 10-minute mock sales call, but it doesn’t have be a phone call. Create something you can present to an applicant before meeting them in person.

Use a universal grade scale for performance

To ensure that every candidate gets a fair shot, develop a scoring method that can be kept consistent. If someone scores low in one area, but nails the others, it may be worthwhile to give the candidate another shot at the role-playing scenario. It doesn’t take too long, and by giving people a second chance, you’re leaving no stone unturned.

Before you bring someone to your office, try out a short role-playing scenario for them to showcase their raw talent. It’s a quick and easy way to critically assess strengths and weaknesses during the early stages of an interview process.

Posted in Best Hiring Practices, Sales Recruiting, Comments Off

            

Treeline Sales Job of the Week: Strategic Account Manager

May 28th, 2013 by Chelsey Canavan, Social Media Marketing Specialist at Treeline Incorporated

Company Profile:

Our client is a rapidly growing company that is aggressively cornering an exciting emerging market. This is a cutting edge privately held organization looking to add sales talent to their team. They specialize in business information solutions that support an organization’s crucial business processes.

Job Description:

The Strategic AM will be responsible for managing an existing client base of 30-40 accounts. These will be large accounts $4M+ in revenue that you will maintain, up sell and build relationships with to ensure renewals. The role is primarily inside however there may be up to 25% travel nationally.

Requirements:

Must have minimum of 5+ years of successful enterprise software sales to large brand names accounts. Must be comfortable with selling at a high level. Looking for high energy, results driven, achievement focused mentality.

Job #785

Base Comp. $95,000.00
Total Comp. $180,000.00

Get Started!

Posted in Job Search & Career, Job of the Week, Comments Off

            

Stay Tuned!

May 21st, 2013 by Chelsey Canavan, Social Media Marketing Specialist at Treeline Incorporated

So you know the Treeline brand and all the great services we offer, right? If you do, that’s awesome! If not, get ready to be re-introduced to the nation’s award-winning sales search firm!

We are bigger and better than ever and will be launching our new website soon!

Looking to hire and add talent to your sales force?
It will be easier than ever to build your team with all our sales-focused services. Choose from a variety of services that deliver value and fit your need!

OR

Are you looking to accelerate your career and land the sales job of your dreams?
Quickly and easily find and apply to our job opportunities. Work with a recruiter who will take the time to understand your story and help you find the perfect fit!

Treeline is excited about the launch of our new website and we hope you are too! Stay tuned!

Posted in Job Search & Career, Sales Recruiting, Comments Off

            

Sales Managers, What Motivates You?

May 21st, 2013 by Dan Fantasia, Founder and CEO of Treeline Incorporated

Whether you are a Chief Revenue Officer, Vice President of Sales, Director of Sales, Sales Manager or a Team Lead it’s your job to motivate teams of sales professionals.

Being a sales leader is similar to raising a family. You have to put in long hours and offer endless sacrifices. Sometimes your hard work and commitment go unnoticed, yet you come back each day ready to make a difference and to win. Seeing your team succeed and hit the numbers makes it all worthwhile.

Strong sales leaders are dynamic and engaging speakers. They are charismatic and well-spoken, organized and have high expectations. They know how to bring life, energy and belief to a sales team. They know how to meet revenue targets and how to build high output sales organizations. Strong executives build and drive competitive environments around camaraderie and hard work.

These successful sales leaders understand that a motivated sales team will work harder to achieve success and as a result the company will continue to grow and drive revenue. They understand the big picture and acknowledge that it’s all-encompassing, but if you’re not motivated how will you motivate your team?

Highly motivated people constantly challenge themselves, building confidence and belief around their own abilities. In the role of a sales leader you have to understand that this is part of the job in-and-outside of the office.

So how do you motivate yourself?

Educate.

Invest in yourself.  Spend time to read sales books like The Challenger Sale, Spin Selling, and The Perfect Sales Force. Attend seminars, forums and networking events. Find and watch videos, listen to podcasts and learn as much as you possibly can. Consider yourself a student and don’t be content, be hungry to grow.

Compete.

Play competitive sports, set high goals at the gym, enter triathlons and set time aside for yourself. The point is you have to find areas of enjoyment where you can measure personal growth. This will reinforce confidence and conviction and build upon your ability to lead the field. This will encourage a contagious and positive mental attitude.

Exude Confidence.

This is a direct correlation to your ability to achieve success outside of the office. If you are constantly pushing yourself to be the best in your personal life then expect your success to overflow into your professional life. Remember why you like being a leader. A well-rounded confident leader is like roots to a tree, you help sustain your team. Your belief in yourself and ability to lead will in effect transpire, and your team will hold that same belief in you as well.

If you are a leader that has lost your motivation, shake it off.  Put a plan in place to achieve your own personal goals. This in turn will help motivate yourself and your team. We are almost half way through the year, so empower yourself and develop a personal plan for success. By taking the time to motivate yourself you will be seen as a more effective leader and as a result you will see your efforts in the success of your team.

Posted in Best Hiring Practices, Sales Optimization, Sales Recruiting, Comments Off

            

How to Decide Between Multiple Job Offers

May 20th, 2013 by Sam Swartz, Sales Consultant at Treeline Incorporated

A job search can be a lengthy, stressful and often time-consuming process. It can actually be a full-time job effort, especially if you are currently working full-time.

However, if you have conducted a productive search and interviewed successfully with multiple companies hopefully you will have the good fortune to have received multiple job offers. At this stage you would think all the hard work is over, but deciding which offer to accept can be just as difficult as the search itself. I found myself in this position not too long ago. I had two similar offers and I had to make the tough decision as to which opportunity would be the best fit for me.

Money is obviously an important factor to consider but by no means should it be the only factor playing into the decision. I believe that the most relevant factor to consider when choosing between job offers is how happy you can picture yourself at each potential company. No matter how much money a company is offering you, if you do not see yourself enjoying the new position then it would be a mistake to take the job. Of course money is important, we all need to pay our bills, but it is important to land at a company where you can see yourself working for many years in order to avoid being looked at as a job hopper. If you do not enjoy the place you work, the odds are that you will not last very long there. Be sure to meet with at least a few people at each company you are considering as it is essential to get a feel for whom you will be working and interacting with on a daily basis.

The next important aspect to consider is how much you can learn at each new opportunity. A great salesperson will seek out a challenging opportunity. It is crucial in your new position to have the opportunity to learn and grow both as a professional and as an individual. This played a big factor for me when I chose to work for Treeline. Here at Treeline I am a recruiter but I run a split desk, which means that I not only recruit candidates but I am also very involved in the sales aspect of the job as an account manager. I took the job that had more responsibility because I knew it would accelerate my professional growth and make me a stronger and more confident salesperson.

I am very happy with the decision I made in accepting my offer to work at Treeline because I knew what was important to me and I stuck by it. Hopefully if you weigh the appropriate factors when choosing between job offers you will make the best decision for yourself as a person and a professional.

Posted in Job Search & Career, Sales Success, Comments Off

            

Treeline Sales Job of the Week: Inside Account Manager

May 20th, 2013 by Chelsey Canavan, Social Media Marketing Specialist at Treeline Incorporated

Company Profile:

Our client is a rapidly growing technology company that is in one of the most dynamic and innovative industries in today’s market. This company is well positioned and a leader in the mobile application space.

Job Description:

This is an inside account manager sales position. In this role you will be responsible for driving new business. You must be comfortable prospecting for new clients and building strong relationships. You must be comfortable building relationships at the C Level specifically with CIO’s. This role involves innovation and creativity. You must be able to take initiative and have a competitive mindset.

Requirements:

· 5+ years of inside account management software experience
· Bachelor’s Degree
· Strong technical aptitude to understand software concepts
· Driven personality, sense of humor and strong work ethic

Job #768
Base Comp. $80,000.00
Total Comp. $140,000.00

Apply Now!

Posted in Job Search & Career, Job of the Week, Comments Off

            

Break Into Sales With No Sales Experience

May 15th, 2013 by David DeMelo, Division Manager

If you can believe it, it’s that time of year again where recent college graduates are now becoming alumni and entering the work force.  Many are in the same boat, trying to figure out their next move and start their professional career, but some may find themselves thinking “what career path is best for me?”

If you are driven, sharp, dynamic and love the thrill of a challenge; if you enjoy working with different customers, services and or products, where your efforts determine the outcome, then sales could be a great fit for you. Sales is an industry where you directly benefit from your success.

So you decide sales is a fit for you, but now how do you find the ideal role and land the job?

To successfully break into sales, you have to be able to present yourself as the best person for the opportunity.  This may seem general, but in actuality it’s all about the small subtleties that typically make or break receiving a job offer.

Here’s my advice to the graduating class:

Become a student of your business: The more you know, the better.  Expanding your sales knowledge is key to succeeding as a sales professional and especially necessary in proving your dedication to potential employers:

  • Read sales material, blogs, books, magazines, etc.
  • Attend sales seminars
  • Ask a sales professional about their experience
  • Watch sales videos
  • Experience a preceptorship
  • Work with a Recruiter

You should be able to explain to a potential employer why you WANT sales.

Leverage  yourself and what you have: People buy from people they like, they also hire people they like. It is important to be likable and make a connection with interviewers and recruiters.  Use your story, successes and experiences to “sell” yourself and build rapport.

Talk about your:

  • Internships
  • Summer work
  • Student-Athlete experience
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Financed education

Customize your resume for each sales role that you apply for: Remember that you will not necessarily have the employment experience in the sales industry, but still have relevant experience that will make you a candidate for consideration.  For example, if you are applying for a sales position that demonstrates the ability to troubleshoot or provide customer service then it would be worthwhile to list your relevant experiences.  Research the sales job that you are applying to for specific characteristics that the potential employer is looking for.  If an employer is seeking a hard working, organized, self-starter, sales-related or not, exemplify those qualities. 

Do not be too selective: It’s all about attitude.  Your first job probably is not where your career will end.  You are building a sales foundation, this is the beginning of your professional career.  Getting into a sales position without experience may be to find an employer who is willing to offer great training, is looking for someone who is hungry and willing to learn as well as someone who is a culture fit.  It’s important to have the right mental attitude and look for the key elements on accepting a job. As much as financials are important in considering an offer, do not let it dictate the interview.

Do not focus on the following:

  • The amount of Paid Time Off
  • Base salary
  • How quickly you can get promoted
  • How you get leads

Hiring managers are interested in setting you up for success. That means that they will support you, day-in-and-day-out. They want to see you hit the ground running. You will have to understand that hard work is required.  You will be entering a challenging but rewarding career.

Good Luck!

Posted in Interview Advice, Job Search & Career, Resume Writing, Comments Off

            

Be Your Own Marketer

May 14th, 2013 by Alyson Paltelky, Sales Consultant at Treeline, Inc.

Identifying top sales professionals can sometimes be a difficult task.  I have met many talented individuals, but sometimes they fail to truly represent their skills and successes on their resume.  In many cases, it’s after speaking with the candidates that they learn they are more talented than they realized; they just never kept record of their accomplishments.

Point being, know your worth. Leverage your skills and experience. Your resume is a platform to market and, in essence, “sell” yourself.

Whether you are a budding sales professional, seasoned top performer, or an active job seeker, you can all benefit from the same advice.  Whatever your situation, be prepared.  Focus on the following key attributes and keep record.  Make them the meat and potatoes of your resume and increase your chances of landing quickly.

So how do you prepare to successfully market yourself?

  1. QUOTA, QUOTA, QUOTA!  Know them and record your percentage.
  2. Accomplishments:  Top sales rep 11 out of 12 months, Presidents Club, 115% to Quota, closed largest deal in 2013, etc.
  3. Know your AUDIENCE (CIO, CTO, VP…), VERTICALS (Technology, Life Science, Retail…) and TERRITORIES.
  4. What are your Metrics or KPI (Key Performance Indicators)?  How is your activity measured?
  5. Know your average sales size and sales cycle.
  6. If you don’t have one, create a LinkedIn profile and build your network.  And be sure your resume and profile are in alignment.

Make your current or future job searches as a sales professional easier by focusing on these key attributes.  If you want to make yourself more marketable as you develop your sales career, utilize them to demonstrate successful growth. Hiring managers like seeing your accomplishments in numbers.  Once you get your foot in their door, use your winning personality to close the opportunity.

Posted in Job Search & Career, Resume Writing, Comments Off