In this segment of the Women in Sales Leadership series, I talked with Mary Ford, Director, Sales Strategy and Operations at SecureWorks.
The sales operations team is often overlooked for the value that they bring to the sales force and a company's business overall. Mary shared her views on why might happen and what you can do about it. After Mary let me know how she got started in sales, we talked about:
Mary's definition of Sales Operations.
How to develop and evolve the Sales Ops team inside your company.
How the Sales Operations function has evolved over time.
Mary's suggestions for becoming a Sales Ops Rockstar.
Where the future of Sales Operations may be headed.
Finally, Mary shared her advice for women looking to move into leadership roles.
Mary Ford currently serves as Director, Sales Strategy and Operations for SecureWorks.
Previously, she was a member of the leadership team at Cbeyond, taking the company from start-up to a publicly traded, $450 million leading Cloud and Managed services provider to SMBs. She held a number of roles leading marketing, sales operations and learning and development functions.
Ford serves as chair of the Board of the Atlanta Track Club and as a board member for the Technology Association of Georgia Sales Leadership Society.
Ford is a graduate of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2014 and serves in a variety of other volunteer roles. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and aanMA degree in Telecommunications from George Washington University.
In this episode, I talk with Sebastien Denes, Senior Director SAP Digital Business Services. He talked with me about he incorporates social selling strategies into his sales process.
Sebastien began using LinkedIn about 10 years ago but said he really realized the power of social about 5 years ago when he moved to take a position in China. It was his way of staying connected with his colleagues in Europe. He also uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator to share content, engage with prospective buyers, stay in touch with customer and partners, and to plan for his sales calls. He also loves the educational value that LinkedIn offers.
Finally, we talked about Sebastien's keys to success using social media on a daily basis.
Sebastien Denes is a Senior Director and Head of RunSAP Center of Expertise APJ within the Digital Business Services organization at SAP. In this role, Sebastien leads the delivery of Run/Operations Services, overseeing a team of 120 professionals and managing the annual Run Services contribution.
His team advises CIO/CTO in various industries such as Banking/Insurance, E-commerce/Retail, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Utilities and Telecom.
Coaching done consistently is one of the best ways to ensure that all your salespeople are achieving their goals but coaching isn't the same as managing. Donald shared his thoughts on:
How he defines coaching.
Why it is so important, especially for a small business.
What an effective coaching session looks like for the sales rep and sales leader.
How often leaders should be coaching.
Ways to measure coaching effectiveness.
How coaching has helped Donald in his career and business.
Enjoy the interview!
Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire. Early on in his sales career, Donald struggled with sales, but through the proper training and coaching, he became a top performing seller. He has since taken it upon himself to “evangelize” the message of effective selling to struggling entrepreneurs, salespeople and anyone looking to improve their sales hustle. Donald hosts a popular sales podcast call “The Sales Evangelist.
He works with small to midsize companies in developing effective sales processes as well as training their teams. He is an award-winning sales and motivational speaker. When he’s not training, speaking or selling, he loves spending time with his family in South Florida."
In this episode, I talk with Federico Winer, Head of Entertainment Industries EMEA at SAP. He talked with me about he incorporates social selling strategies into his sales process.
Fede got started some years ago when he realized the power and importance of building an online brand. He uses LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator to share content, engage with prospective buyers and customers and plan for his sales calls.
You'll hear in the interview that Fede believes salespeople should be human and authentic. After all, people buy from people. He also thinks that doing your homework before sales conversations is important but that you shouldn't be over scripted.
Finally, we talked about Fede's keys to success using social media to drive sales opportunities.
Enjoy the interview!
Federico Winer has developed international business for media, sports and entertainment firms since the start of his career, with a firm understanding of how humanities and IT coexist. In his role as Head of Entertainment Industries for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at SAP, Fede is responsible for the generation of Entertainment industry revenue and pipeline. He is a trusted industry advisor for both SAP customers as well as SAP Account Executives across sectors like lotteries, betting houses, casinos, amusement parks, trade shows, game publishers and museums.
Account based selling and marketing are hot topics in business today. During this interview, Kristina shares research about what's working with regard to account based everything.
We discussed Kristina's views on:
The top trends in sales today.
How organizations should think about Account-Based execution.
How Account-Based changes the metrics for success for both sales and marketing.
Whether Account-Based is a realistic approach for most organizations.
An example of an account-based campaign that worked.
Finally, Kristina shares her perspective on what women in sales roles can do if they want to move into leadership positions.
Enjoy the interview!
Kristina McMillan leads the research organization behind all of TOPO’s practices. She works with TOPO’s analysts to develop best practice frameworks and actionable research that help clients cultivate world-class demand generation, sales development, and sales organizations. She is also one of TOPO's sales development experts and advises clients on all matters related to sales development. Previously, Kristina spent 12 years as a best practices consultant and practitioner helping build sales development and inside sales teams for companies such as Knova, Taleo, Eloqua, Five 9, Zmanda, and more.
In this episode, Lee Salz talks about sales differentiation and why it matters. We discussed:
Whether sales differentiation is a sales or marketing issue.
Why is sales differentiation is important…why it matters.
How you can differentiate yourself even if you sell a commodity product.
Though Lee developed 19 sales differentiation concepts, he discussed an example of a way in which salespeople can leverage sales differentiation.
Other ways that salespeople can incorporate sales differentiation into their sales strategy.
What is one of the biggest mistakes salespeople make when it comes to sales differentiation?
Mistakes salespeople make with sales differentiation.
What to do if prospect’s buy through RFPs (Requests for Proposal)…how can you use sales differentiation when faced with an RFP.
Enjoy the interview!
Lee Salz is a leading sales management strategist and founder of Sales Architects. He is the best-selling author of four business books with a fifth in development on sales differentiation that will be published by Wiley in April 2018.
His latest book “Hire Right, Higher Profits” is an Amazon best-seller and was the #1 rated sales management book on Amazon for 2014. His sales book “Soar Despite Your Dodo Sales Manager” was named by Amazon as one of their top 20 most highly-rated sales books of all-time.
He is also a featured columnist in the Business Journal, a member of the Sales and Marketing Management magazine Advisory Board, a member of the Sales Education Foundation Advisory Board, and serves as the Program Advisor to the Kansas State University National Strategic Selling Institute.
In this Women in Sales Leadership interview, you'll hear tips and strategies for running an effective sales discovery call, but first I asked Tonni about how she got into sales and what she loves about the profession.
Then we discussed:
How Tonni has prepared her sales team to run effective discovery calls.
How you earn trust and credibility quickly in the call to allow for effective discovery.
Tips for sellers who struggle to keep a prospect engaged throughout the discovery conversation.
Traits that women have that make them effective at discovery during sales meetings.
Tips for keeping discovery going throughout the sales process.
What comes first? Demo or discovery call?
Tonni's advice for women would are thinking about how to move into a leadership role.
Enjoy the interview!
Tonni Bennett is the Vice President of Sales at Terminus, a leader in account-based marketing software. She has scaled the sales team to 29 members over the past 2 years. (Terminus was ranked #2 at the Atlanta Business Chronicle's Pacesetter Awards as a top 5 fastest growing company in Atlanta.) Before Terminus she was a top producing sales professional at Pardot, PeopleMatter and SalesLoft.
I talked with Rob Kall, CEO of Cien about the deeper impact that artificial intelligence can have on the sales process. Cien's application helps sales leaders answer difficult questions with better accuracy. Questions such as:
I asked Rob about his thoughts about whether sales leaders are measuring what matters most to the business.
The impetus behind starting Cien.
The specific business problems that Cien is solving.
What he thinks about Salesforce Einstein.
And the benefits that artificial intelligence brings to salespeople.
Enjoy the interview! And don't forget to take the survey that Rob mentioned during the interview. Find it HERE.
Rob Kall is Swedish American serial entrepreneur, known for his data-driven approach to sales management and performance. His latest start up, Cien, is a new artificial intelligence app focused on helping teams increase their sales productivity by answering their most difficult questions.