• Best Managed Companies Do  Pitstop

    Best Managed Companies Do Pitstop

    A group of managers from the Deloitte Best Managed Companies network did a Growth Pitstop last evening.  A great way to network. IMG_20160120_191859

     

  • Focusing on Potential

    Focusing on Potential

    “If people today are working to 60pc of their potential, think of what can be achieved when they increase their level of commitment and performance by even just 5 or 10pc.’”

    That is a snippit from an article by The ASG Group’s John O Gorman.  You can find the rest of the article on Business & Leadership.

  • Unmissable Smurfit Shool Workshop

    Unmissable Smurfit Shool Workshop

    There are a few places still available on the master class on unlocking revenue and growth at the UCD Smurfit School.  It is being facilitated by John O Gorman of The ASG Group.  Here is an overview of the event:

    You believe that your organization or unit could grow faster, but how to make it happen? 
    Most managers say that their organizations can and should grow faster.  That is supported by research showing that most firms are exploiting less than 60% of their full growth potential.
    In the Growth Pitstop™ masterclass John O Gorman will get teams started on the 3 steps to accelerating growth:
    1. Assess Growth Potential -Without an accurate & honest assessment of performance or potential, any growth plan, strategy or vision lacks a solid foundation.
    2. Agree Growth Priorities – Getting agreement on the priorities for growth isn’t easy.  But without it people will pull in different directions and resources will be wasted.
    3. Execute Growth Strategies – Action gets results.  Moreover a rhythmic discipline around execution (although unusual represents) a important source of competitive advantage.
    The objective of the master class is to help you to identify and unlock hidden revenue potential of between 7-25%.  This is achieved by leveraging the latest in growth science, analytics and psychology.
    The master class is fast moving, insightful and engaging, and is aimed at commercial managers from all backgrounds who are interested in maximizing the revenue performance and potential of their organizations and teams.
    Participants in this master class will be provided with access to an online predicative growth diagnostic. This will measure and benchmark your growth strategy, skills and execution against some of the top teams in the world.
    Key takeaways
    • Review your organization/team’s growth performance and potential
    • in terms of those factors that are essential to your organisation’s success
    • Identify gaps and ensure alignment with your key growth priorities
    • Benchmark the performance of your sales and marketing organisation
    • Identify any risks to target or barriers to sustainable growth
    • Identify opportunities to boost your leadership, management and team members activity & effectiveness in line with others in your industry.

    To book or find out more visit:

    http://www.smurfitschool-masterclass.com/events/a-sales-strategy-pitstop/

     

    About John O’Gorman

    John is a Business to Business coach who works with cross functional teams and sales leaders across Europe to pinpoint revenue performance opportunities and barriers to sustainable growth. He has worked in the UK, Germany, US, Canada, Ireland and South Africa selling and marketing high value B2B solutions.

    John coaches and facilitates teams across IT, Professional Services, Media and Financial Services to identify and exploit hidden performance and potential. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, International MBA, Diploma in Executive Coaching & Higher Diploma in Marketing Practice. His passion and practical focus to the acceleration of growth has been recognised internationally.

    John’s clients include several Fortune 1000 organisations, with five of his client ranked in the top 3 firms in their sectors globally. John is programme Director of Diploma in Sales Management at UCD Smurfit School. He is the co-author of three books on B2B revenue performance with a fourth on the way

    To book or find out more visit:

    http://www.smurfitschool-masterclass.com/events/a-sales-strategy-pitstop/

  • Is There A Performance Culture In Your Organization?

    Is There A Performance Culture In Your Organization?

    Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is the latest of the management acronyms and one you are likely to hear more often.  But just how relevant is it to sales managers and their teams?

    Why Performance Management Is Hot

    The focus of analyst activity is a good indicator of the hot topics for business at any point in time.  But you probably did not need the publication of analyst reports to tell you that Performance Management is hot. After all, managers are always concerned about performance.
    Continue Reading →

  • Adding ‘Revenue Performance Management’ To Your Vocabulary

    Adding ‘Revenue Performance Management’ To Your Vocabulary

    Our peers at Marketo, Callidus and Eloqua (among others) have reshaped the sales and marketing vocabulary over the past 12 months. The term Revenue Performance Management is now well established and can become a powerful addition to the vocabulary of any President or  EVP of sales and marketing.

    Continue Reading →

  • Changing Attitudes To Drive Performance

    Changing Attitudes To Drive Performance

    Attempting to change behavior without changing underlying attitudes and beliefs is likely to result in failure.  That is the message from The ASG Group’s John O Gorman in an article recently published with Colm Murphy of Dynamic Leadership Development.

    Click here to download the article.

  • A Week in the Life of The ASG Group

    A Week in the Life of The ASG Group

    Behind the scenes at The ASG Group

    Last week was an exciting as any other week at The ASG Group.  Looking at what happened during the week is a good way of understanding our work on driving sales perofrmance/potential (and why we love it).

    Continue Reading →

  • Can Coaching Really Deliver An Extra 19%?

    Can Coaching Really Deliver An Extra 19%?

    Effective coaching can deliver as much as an extra 19% in terms of the sales performance – that is based on research in 2011 published in the Harvard Business Review. There are strings attached however.

    The tendency for managers is to focus their attention on the leaders and laggards on their sales team. However research by the Sales Executive Council shows that coaching the middle ranks (in terms of sales performance) pays the greatest dividend.
    Continue Reading →

  • Selling IT in ‘the age of The Cloud’

    Selling IT in ‘the age of The Cloud’

    Our latest book is hot off the press. Called ‘Selling In The Clouds’ it is about ‘Winning the Sale by Building the Business Case for IT Solutions in the Age of the Cloud’.

    We wrote the book because; in this era of slashed IT budgets, competing projects and procurement controls; the vendor who helps the buyer to build a compelling business case for their service, software, or hardware will win.

    Continue Reading →

  • Better Hiring & Retention Can Boost Sales By 10%

    Better Hiring & Retention Can Boost Sales By 10%

    Improved talent management, hiring and retention in respect of sales could boost revenue by as much as 10%. That is according to a report by Accenture.
    Continue Reading →

  • Speed Secrets for Sales Managers

    Speed Secrets for Sales Managers

    Can racing greats like Mario Andretti offer any advice for sales managers? Well, surprisingly the answer is ‘yes’

    There are lots of interesting parallels between selling and driving a race car.  Both are concerned with speed and of course with winning .  For the driver the challenge is to get the race car across the line ahead of the competition – for the seller it is about getting the sale/key deal across the line.  For both there can be any number of obstacles along the track and the risk of a crash is always present.

    In the first of a series called ‘Sales Manager Speed Secrets‘ we borrow on the advice of racing greats, such as Ross Bently and Mario Andretti, to provide salespeople with valuable tips on how to accelerate the sale.

    Continue Reading →

  • Could The iPad Kill Solution Selling?

    Could The iPad Kill Solution Selling?

    The Apple iPad is seen by many as one of the decade’s greatest inventions. However it could become famous for another reason too – accelerating the demise of buyer pre-tender consultation with potential suppliers.

    On our research portal, called Buyer-Seller Insights we have published an insight into how a much publicized failed purchase of 700,000 iPad’s in Los Angeles could accelerate the demise of Solutions Selling.

    Continue Reading →

  • Want Your Customers To Spend More?  Don’t Do This!

    Want Your Customers To Spend More? Don’t Do This!

    One of the UK’s retail gains made a big slip last week.  A poster designed to encourage staff to get customers spending more was accidentally put up in a store.  A customer took a picture and a blaze of negative publicity ensued.  But the news story has implications for all of us as sellers.

    We share them with the sales community on The ASG Group’s Buyer-Insight website.

    If you want your customers to do more, then don’t do what Sainsbury’s did!

  • Insights Selling Gets A Boost

    Insights Selling Gets A Boost

    Research shows that many buyers are disappointed by their engagement with sellers. Quite simply they are not getting enough out of meeting most sales people – they are not getting enough new ideas or insights. Continue Reading →

  • Selling To Diverse Stakeholders

    Selling To Diverse Stakeholders

    Some organizations are a dream to sell to,  while others are a nightmare.  The individuals involved may be nice to deal with, organized and professional.  However when it comes to working as a group the people making the decision are pulling in different directions.  It is the difference between golf and basketball!

    Continue Reading →

  • Re-framing The Sales Performance Debate

    Re-framing The Sales Performance Debate

    There is a simple equation with which all the best sales managers are familiar. It is the ‘activity multiplied by effectiveness’ formula at the core of sales success.

    We published an article recently on how the activity by effectiveness formula can be used as a powerful exercise in your next sales team meeting.  It involves some creative thinking so as to get the discussion going and re-frames sales performance in terms of the two dials on the dashboard of a car (as shown in the visual above).

    Continue Reading →

  • How Healthy Is Your Sales Organization?

    How Healthy Is Your Sales Organization?

    A sales team’s strategy, process or skill-set may not be enough to ensure sustained long term success.  There is another vital ingredient linked to the achievement of almost every KPI in sales, but generally overlooked by sales managers.  It relates to factors such as the cohesiveness, clarity, productivity and motivation and is called your sales team’s organizational health.

    Continue Reading →

  • Just how C-Level is your vocabulary?

    Just how C-Level is your vocabulary?

    A great number of our clients are concerned with the quality of the conversations that their sales teams are having with customers and prospects.  

    Continue Reading →

  • SageCRM & The ASG Group Present ‘Top Tips For Effective Selling’

    SageCRM & The ASG Group Present ‘Top Tips For Effective Selling’

    The ASG Group has just published an eBook with Sage CRM, called ‘Top Tips For Effective Selling.’

    Available in multiple languages, the objective is to provide ‘an insight into how sales managers and owners of small and medium sized businesses can sell more’.  It also aims to share practical advice from seasoned sales professionals and provide access to a library of sales best practices.

    Continue Reading →

  • Find Us On RainToday.com

    Find Us On RainToday.com

    The ASG Group’s research into best practice in respect of selling and buying is increasingly being syndicated across the web.
    Continue Reading →

  • Is There Too Much Waiting In Sales?

    Is There Too Much Waiting In Sales?

    Tick-tock, tick tock: that’s the sound of another sales organisation waiting to be asked to tender or quote. It is a common sound.

    In research we published recently no more than four out of 10 deals in the pipeline are originated by the salesperson for a majority of sellers (77pc).

    Indeed, for almost half (46pc) of those we polled, fewer than two out of 10 deals involve the salesperson originating contact.

    Over on Buyer – Seller Insights we examine the business case for getting involved earlier and originating contact with the buyer.

    The results were picked up in the national media recently.  You can find the article here.

  • ‘Selling In The Cloud’ Goes To Print

    ‘Selling In The Cloud’ Goes To Print

    We are pretty excited because today we got the design work for our next book – ‘Selling In The Clouds’. If you are selling IT solutions we think you’ll be excited too.

    The book has been a work in progress for the past 12 months and takes our research into how IT buying decisions are made to a new level.

    ‘Selling In The Clouds’ builds on the Fortune 1000 IT buying model that will be familiar to anybody who read our 2010 Book called ‘The B2B Sales Revolution’ and is a response to the rise in cloud computing.

    ‘Selling In The Clouds’ is aimed at all IT vendors, not just those who are selling cloud based solutions.  It helps sellers to understand the decision making criteria for their customers and to present their solutions in the most compelling manner possible.  That is by means of the business case.

    ‘Selling In The Clouds’ goes to print in November, but we are already running workshops on its content.  If you would like to find out more please contact us.

  • Understanding The Buyer’s Journey

    Understanding The Buyer’s Journey

    As a sales consulting and research organization The ASG Group is proud of its pioneering research into how buying decisions are made and in particular the implications for the rise of buying processes and procedures for sales people.

    For years we have been revealing a more sophisticated approach to buying (all too often hidden from salespeople), such as that evident in following real-world buying process examples:

    research into buying processes and procedures

     

    As these examples show, buying decisions are often a lot more complex than sellers at first realize.  They can involve up to 5 stages – many of which do not involve the salesperson.  That has real implications for getting the deal across the line.

    We have just published a video on our Buyer’s Journey framework – it is designed to help sellers understand where their customer/prospect is at in their buying process and to use that information to maximize their sales success.  You can find it published on The ASG Group’s research portal (Buyer-Seller Insights)  and syndicated across the web.

  • 30 Million Sellers Are Missing Target!

    30 Million Sellers Are Missing Target!

    Missing target has become a global pandemic. At this very moment there are up to 30 million salespeople below target.  That is based on Aberdeen Group research which shows that approximately 3 out of 5 of the world’s B2B Salespeople are under-performing.

    At The ASG Group we have developed a sales instrument that enables managers to de-risk their sales target and boost sales performance.  That includes:

    – Assessing sales targets against a total of 51 risk factors
    – Pin-pointing gaps in terms of sales; skills, systems and process that are limiting sales
    – Highlighting priorities for the salesperson and calculating how they can boost sales performance.

    It does all of the above at an individual, as well as a team level – taking into account the fact that the opportunities and challenges facing each salesperson, or sales team are different.

    Because of our unique sales performance management software, called SellerNAV®, these results can be achieved without lengthy meetings, expensive consultantcyprojects and with little, or no lost selling time.

    Please contact us if you feel your sales target is at risk.

  • Developing An Effective Sales Team Performance Culture

    Developing An Effective Sales Team Performance Culture

    ’If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition at any time’.

    That is a quote from a manager in a popular book on team performance. But how to create such a team within sales is the question?

    Well, research by another popular author Prof. Peter Hawkins has the answer. He suggests there are 5 steps to building a high performing team in sales, or in any other area:

    1. Commissioning: The team needs a clear purpose and defined success criteria.

    2. Clarifying:  The team must clarify its own mission including purpose, goals and objectives, roles and expectations and importantly a compelling vision for success.

    3. Co-creating:  The team cannot simply be handed a strategy it must continually revise and review its approach.

    4. Connecting:  Engaging with others (stakeholders, staff, etc.) and transforming relationships that drive performance.

    5. Learning:  The team stands back and reflects on their own performance as the basis for continual improvement.

    As a sales manager you must be driving performance at the level of the individual salesperson, as well as for the team overall. Contact us to explore how we can help.

     

  • Are You Getting Involved Too Late In The Sale?

    Are You Getting Involved Too Late In The Sale?

    Up to 60% of the deals being chased by sellers have only a 20% chance of success. It is a sobering statistic!  

    The reason is because sellers are getting involved too late, often only when contacted by the customer.

    We asked a group of 81 sales people from more than two dozen industries about the stage at which they entered into the buyers buying process.

    We then asked them about their chances of success based on how early, or late they got involved.  The result – based on the seller’s own data – was the staggering finding shown in the visual above.

    Over on our research portal, Buyer – Seller Insights we delve into these results in more detail and use them to build the business case for the seller getting involved earlier in the buying process.

  • The Application Of Coaching To Sales

    The Application Of Coaching To Sales

    John O Gorman – a founding partner in the ASG Group and sales performance management practice lead – has completed a professional Coaching programme over the past 10 months.  With the programme over we interviewed him about what he learned and why he embarked on it in the first place.

    Q.1: What prompted you to complete the professional coaching programme?

    ‘We were beginning to hear a lot about sales coaching and I wanted to see what the best practice models executive and business coaching could be brought to sales

    I felt the B2B sales team we worked with needed more support at both a technical skills level and a behavioural level.

    The challenges our clients faced implementing change made me question why behavioural changes were not sticking and how to link a change in behaviour to a hard nosed business result.

    According to Objective Management Group, “only 15% of all sales managers spend as much as 25% of their time coaching and the time they do spend is generally ineffective” (Kunkle, July 3rd 2013).  Indeed the executive sales leaders I have worked with in my business have very limited understanding of what coaching means.

    I was hoping the course would help us embed the principles of change into how my business works with clients. And in turn ensure our Sales Performance Technology (called SellerNAV™) would help sales managers develop process and people change.’

     

    Q.2: What are the main things you learned from the programme?

    ‘· Real learning needs to happen from the inside out not the outside in. What I mean by that is we need to be willing to take learning to a deeper level and see the purpose behind the learning for us as individuals.

    · I learned a heck of a lot about myself and the requirement to dig deep to see what really matters.

    · Learned why change is so complex

    · Learned that there different types of challenges: With technical challenges the skill set necessary, e.g. the routines and processes, are known. However adaptive challenges require more than a new skill set. “They can only be met by transforming ones mind-set, by advancing to a more sophisticated stage of development” (Kegan and Lahey, 2009, P. 29)

    · The paradoxical theory of change is a crucial perspective for every coach and sales leader. People have the ability to be their own “expert”, they don’t need a coach to transfer their views onto the situation. They need a coach to actively support their journey.

    · According the philosopher Heraclitus (500 BC) “nothing endures but change, no one, can step into the same river twice”. As sales leaders we need to pay attention to this wise philosopher, no sales person, sales team or buyer can step into the same river twice.’

     

    Q.3: How has the academic perspective on coaching influenced the work you do at The ASG Group?

    ‘The executive sales leaders we work with have tough jobs. We are embedding the principles of coaching and change from the programme into how we work with clients teams. This is ensuring our Sales Performance Technology can help sales managers develop their people and hopefully improve the statistics from Objective Management Group. For an intervention to be effective it needs to be supported by a coaching contract.’

     

    Q.4: Has the programme changed your views of the importance of coaching to sales teams?

    ‘Yes managers can’t continue to manage just by numbers. They must look to coach and I mean really coach and develop their people. If a manager wants high performance and to unlock a sales team’s potential they are going to have to look beyond the traditional interventions. They must help their teams see how behaviour changes can deliver results. This won’t happen in one coaching session and by throwing technical solutions at adaptive challenges, it requires more than that.

    Managers must also learn to ask not tell their teams what to do. Experienced sales people can solve their own problems.

    It is worth looking at the make-up of the sales team. Each manager should in fact ask themselves have they really have a cohesive and effective team or just an information sharing working group of people who get together every so often.  Also what work is actually done in the sales team meeting? Food for thought there indeed.’

     

    Q.5: What advice would you offer to managers in coaching their sales teams?

    ‘The advice would be to listen, ask questions and consider the complexity that your sales people face daily. They are part of an ecosystem that is more complex than we often think.

    Develop your thinking around the challenges each person faces because they definitely have them. You may see your role as a team manager, but each individual must be treated as an individual with their own set of performance, process and development goals.

    As sales managers we will hear a lot more about performance mgt and talent mgt. At the intersection there is a key performance gain to be achieved. How to unlock this overlap will take a behavioural change for most managers.’

     

    Q.6: Would you recommend sales managers and directors to pursue a professional qualification in coaching?

    ‘Yes, absolutely.

    To unlock the potential of your sales team you need to understand the principles of coaching and have several models and tools in your bad.

    Models like Gestalt, Prochaska and the Immunity to Change can only help a sales manager.

    To coach you must have been coached, on this programme we had the privilege to be coached on every module. After a programme like this you know what it is like to be coached and you realize that maximizing the performance of people is complex.’

     

  • Are You Communicating A Compelling Business Case?

    Are You Communicating A Compelling Business Case?

    Your customers are more obsessed with numbers than ever before.  That makes helping to build the business justification for their buying decision key to winning the sale.

    At The ASG Group we have studied the IT Buying Decision in enormous depth over the past 5 years.  Our 2010 book The B2B Sales Revolution revealed a level of sophistication behind IT buying that was new to sellers.  Since then we have continued to add to our research.

    We have developed a series of skills workshops with a particular emphasis on the requirements of the Business Case for IT.   These in-company masterclasses typically help sellers to increase deal success by 5-10%

    If you would like to find out more contact us, or download the brochure here

    We also offer training in respect of building the Business Case / ROI for other complex sales solutions in sectors such as Lifesciences, Professional Services and Construction.

     

     

  • Insights on Hospital Procurement In The USA

    Insights on Hospital Procurement In The USA

    If you have been in hospital recently you might be interested to learn how any of the medicines used on you were bought.  Or perhaps more to the point maybe you are selling into hospitals.  

    Either way, we have just published an insight into hospital procurement on our Buyer Insights portal that you might be interested in.  

    The research shows a major gap in terms of procurement sophistication in respect of many hospitals and highlights opportunities for buyers and sellers in the sector.

    Click here to read the research on Buyer Insights