Newsletter, Volume 12

SEDC logo Newsletter
                                                  for the Pre-Sales Community

Quick Links
Dear Pre-Sales Colleague:
This Month:
  • Webinars and Skill Sharpeners
  • Emerging Trends:  The Science of Sales 
Webinars and Skill Sharpeners
Webinars:  Watch for's webinar series.  These one hour sessions will cover best practices that help SEs prioritize their time, cleanse funnels, grow deals, and get faster technical decisions faster. 
Some webinars will be for specific audiences, for example, pre-sales leadership practices for managers, financing skills training for Sales VPs, and discovery techniques for post-sales personnel.  Each webinar will provide immediately applicable tools and take-aways.
Emerging Trends in Sales Revenue Generation
Sales methodologies have not changed much in 40 years, and sales remains largely a black art.  Sales process is fraught with missed forecasts, waste, inconsistency, and inefficiency.  We shrug it off as "just the way it's always been".
"Without exception, all of my biggest mistakes occurred because I moved too slowly", John Chambers, Cisco CEO, BusinessWeek, March 23, p 32.  In this economic winter, it never hurts to (a) consider some new thinking, and (b) do something to improve your situation.
New Thinking:  Leverage Pre-Sales SMEs Sooner Than Later
Pre-sales subject matter experts (SMEs) are historically one of the most neglected areas of sales operations, so they are ripe for process quality improvement.  Acknowledging this, some companies are now empowering the SMEs' technical credibility with enabling skills to become lower-cost highly-productive resources that consistently and repeatably drive revenue, reduce cost of sales, cleanse funnels, and grow margin.
We have a case study where a $1B company did a $25k pilot for a 12 SME team.  They achieved six figure payback in 60 days, and grew projected annualized revenue by $8.5M in 5 months.  Sales leaders chose to defer a general rollout until a new CRM came online.  One year later, nothing has happened and sales has lost about $8.5M for each SME team.
"Without exception, all of my biggest mistakes occurred because I moved too slowly".  There can be a large cost for doing nothing.  A few dollars on a pre-sales initiative can generate millions in annualized incremental revenue.
New Thinking:  The Emergence of "The Science of Sales"
Weighing yourself daily does not lose weight.  Yet as a recent study showed, measuring the calories from eating activities takes off the pounds regardless of your choice of diet.  Likewise measuring revenue does not grow revenue.  Yet measuring the quality of sales activities grows revenue regardless of the choice of sales methodology.
In manufacturing, quality and value-add drive revenue, so they are religiously measured.  Recently, manufacturing-like processes have been applied to sales.  Leads are raw materials.  Qualified deals are products in assembly.  Forecasts become very accurate.  Activity times and costs are fed into simulations for what-if and bottleneck analysis.
A recent case detailed a company with 2 years of revenue decline despite many marketing and sales initiatives.  A simulation showed that revenues fell when leads or sales reps increased.  It concluded that the bottleneck was low quality lead qualification.  A low cost simulation and religiously measured qualification quality yielded millions in new revenue.
As our case studies show, take care of sales process quality, and revenue just happens.
Just like in manufacturing.
New Thinking:  Sales Science for SMEs
SMEs, given their technical nature, are eager and willing to apply science to the black art of sales.  In alignment with your existing sales methods, they quickly embrace structured quality engineering and project management techniques for acquiring technical decisions. 
SMEs quickly drive revenue, get faster decisions, improve funnel quality, and grow margin contribution.  They become a lower-cost resource that can produce high margins.  Using proven quarterly 7 figure payback data, CFOs become open to pre-sales skills investment.
In this economic winter, it never hurts to consider some new thinking and do something.


Philip Janus
Founder & CTO