Two weeks ago, I was in KW for the monthly Business Development and Senior Sales Peer2Peer event here at Communitech.  These events are a wonderful opportunity for sales leaders to meet-up and discuss many pertinent topics.  This is one of my favourite sales resources and there are also many other great Peer2Peer groups on a full range of topics that are important to both startups and more developed technology companies.

At this event, Mike Stankowitsch, a sales leader at OpenText, presented “How to Build a Successful Sales Organization”.  There was lots of great content here are my highlights from the session.

  • Use Situational Questions in the Interview Process Asking about past wins, past losses, or even hypothetical situations is a great way to dig into the goals and experiences of a potential sales leader.
  • CRM is Key I agree with Mike 100% on this. Every sales organization should be using a CRM as a central plank of their operations. CRM’s are great for recording all past activities, planning for the future, sharing information across the sales team, and creating and managing a sales funnel.
  • What is the Compelling Reason for the Customer for This Sale to Move Forward? This is an excellent question that Mike uses as part of the forecast review process. It is a great, simple question that makes sure the benefit of the solution is realized and recognized by the customer.
  • Sales Leader Must Lead by Example This applies to using the process tools, being on-time for meetings, and putting in a full day of work.
  • Celebrate the Wins Sales is an extremely hard job and when an opportunity closes it is worth celebrating. This can mean ‘ringing the sales bell’, a congratulatory email, or giving personal kudos.

I greatly enjoyed the session and the questions and comments that were part of it. If you’re looking for some other B2B sales leadership advice, check out our white paper Building a Startup Sales Team.