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The Outcome-Centric Selling Blog

Getting the right people on your sales bus

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 13-Feb-2020

In his widely acclaimed Good to Great, Jim Collins shows that lastingly great organisations pay particular attention to not only getting the “right people on the bus”, but also making sure they are in the right seats (= roles) - as well as taking proactive action to get the wrong people off the bus.

This principle - relevant right the way across every organisation - is particularly critical when it comes to the sales function. Sales leaders simply cannot afford to recruit the wrong people, to put people into roles that fail to align with their talents, or to retain people who are either never likely to perform or who might only achieve their goals at the cost of compromising the culture of the organisation.

The potential cost of failure is amplified in any sales role. It’s not just about the cost of hiring or the subsequent wasted renumeration - far more significant is the opportunity cost associated with lost revenue, missed targets, unhappy customers and tarnished reputation.

CVs and claims of past performance are often deceptive. Hiring on the basis of past experience alone rarely guarantees future success. Even inept salespeople can come across well at interview. What can sales leaders do to ensure they end up with a bus full of positive role models?

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Podcast: The Foundations of Sales Effectiveness

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 20-Jun-2019

I recently recorded a second wide-ranging podcast on the foundations of sales effectiveness with Michael Webb of Sales Performance Consultants Inc.

We continued to develop the topics we had discussed in our initial podcast, and this time we turned our attention to the need to find ways of eliminating the avoidable errors that so often prevent sales people from achieving their full potential.

Inevitably, we turned to the structural and cultural foundations of successful sales organisations - and the reasons why (despite the huge sums of money invested) so many CRM implementations fail to deliver the hoped-for improvements in performance.

We also discussed some of the basic foundations of any scalable sales "process" - including the critical importance of recognising the common characteristics of our ideal customers. I hope you enjoy listening to our discussion...

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What if all our candidates are imperfect?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 11-Oct-2016

When it comes to political elections, we’re often faced with imperfect choices. But we can’t defer our decision. We have to live with the choice we make on Election Day, whether we choose to vote for someone we are wholeheartedly enthusiastic about, resign ourselves to supporting the least worst option, or choose to abstain.

The nature of politics being what it is, it’s becoming increasingly usual for all of the limited number of candidates to have very obvious imperfections.

Whether we vote or abstain, we have to live with the consequences. But - thank goodness - we’re not forced into having to make the judgements when hiring sales people. We can take as much time as we need, without being forced to make a final decision on a single pre-determined date.

We may have to accept imperfections in our politicians. But we’d be very foolish to recruit any new sales people if we have any significant reservations about how whether they are likely to fit in, or how they are likely to perform…

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