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Developing a Top Notch Sales Program

Bill Borzage, CSO, Dun & Bradstreet, Emerging Businesses
Bill Borzage, CSO, Dun & Bradstreet, Emerging Businesses

Bill Borzage, CSO, Dun & Bradstreet, Emerging Businesses

Focus on the Basics 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by technological tools, but I feel the best thing you can do in sales is focus on the basics. At its heart, sales is identifying your target market and reaching those prospects with a meaningful value proposition that provides solutions which address your customers’ needs and helps them attain their goals. It’s a simple process: you build relationships with your customer base by creating a meaningful rapport, assessing needs, offering ongoing education, and consistently providing appropriate solutions. 

"The best technology is the one that supports the morale and success of the sales team"

From the perspective of managing a sales team, again, I feel the best approach is to start with the basics. You must have clear visibility and tracking from the first marketing piece down to the individual representative who closes the sale. Without this you cannot fully understand the sales process and the role your sales reps play in it: the tools help managers see what’s working best. With that information, you can engage in continual education, coaching, and development of all your sales representatives and leaders. Ultimately, your goal as a sales manager is to recognize and reward behaviors the organization is trying to replicate, and provide clear career growth opportunities for exemplary team members.  

Avoid Getting Lost in Technology  

A salesperson must focus only on tools that add value without getting in the way. An effective CRM is necessary, and analytics help improve the conversation funnel, but sales representatives must avoid getting lost in the technology and losing sight of traditional face-to-face and over-the-phone sales best practices, which will always remain the key.   

I feel the three most important qualities to building a top-notch sales program are:  

1. Excellent training: the education and development of the sales force and the leadership of the organization  

2. Excellent coaching: ongoing coaching to help sales representatives develop skills that enhances a customer focused sales approach and creates additional value to your customers 

3. A strong growth oriented leadership team

Simplification in Technology 

My wish list really boils down to one thing:  simplification.  I’d like to see much less bloat in sales optimization technology. Most optimization technology is sold based on their bells and whistles, when the actual leader only needs a bell or two.  Sales teams and managers must identify the things that accelerate and decelerate their sales velocity. Technology should make the analytics that matter as good as can be, and get rid of everything else that is nonessential, i.e., the things that take the sales team away from the phones and coaching.  The bottom line is the best technology is the one that supports the morale and success of the sales team and frees up salespeople and managers to focus on the thing that matters most:  lifelong satisfied customers. 

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