Joining us for today’s show is Andy Panos, a Vice President of Sales who knows a thing or two about making the number. Today’s topic is sales enablement and how to drive revenue per sales head up, and time to productivity for new sales hires down. As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Strategy section and flip to the Sales Enablement phase on pages 319 – 322 of the PDF workbook.
Andy Panos is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic of sales enablement as the Vice President of Sales for G&K Services, a billion-dollar company. G&K Services provides uniforms and facility service programs for companies that are focused on their image and safety. Andy’s responsibilities include leading the field sales and strategic account sales organizations, the CRM team, and the sales operations team. Andy is going to demonstrate how to drive revenue per sales head up, and time to productivity for new sales hires down.
In this episode Andy and I talk through several examples of how Andy is using sales enablement to drive revenue per head up. Each of these tangible examples will be fruitful for you to think through for your company. What is most important is the deep dive we conduct into the concept of a Field Advisory Board (FAB). The input from the board, is a foundation element of success in sales enablement. If you have a FAB, then you will benefit from listening to understand how to leverage the board more fully. If you don’t have a FAB, then watch as Andy describes how to build and operate an advisory board.
Why this topic is important? Getting an increase in sales head count is difficult, our friends the expense cops expect all the current sales reps to be at quota before they agree to add any new heads, and when new sales people are hired, there is little patience from the executive team members who want each to generate revenue as quickly as possible. The sales enablement function exists to onboard new sales hires and to drive revenue per sales head up, neglect sales enablement and forego adding head count in the future.
Sales enablement content is a topic that sales leaders can struggle to get right. This type of content can be a variety of things including content that our sales rep might share with a prospect on a sales call, it could be marketing content that you might use to prospect, or the marketing department might send content directly to the prospect. Andy describes a sales enablement approach that includes marketing creates content, with sales reps creating their own content sometimes as well. What we had to learn and land upon and agree as a leadership team is the marketing team owns content, period, they own the content strategy. However, the marketing team needed to understand and agree that sales has a very large part in providing input, and in the prioritization of what to produce and when.
Watch as Andy and I discuss the fundamental need for a new logo acquisition sales force to have a strong sales methodology. Very often, as everyone listening to this podcast is painfully aware, the buyer sometimes or the customer doesn’t express their need. A proper sales methodology is designed to pull out expressed and unexpressed needs. Andy provides solid guidance on why this is important and how to approach.
Success for Andy in sales enablement was no accident. Andy and his team implemented a Field Advisory Board to understand the needs of the field. We discuss that the Field Advisory Board originated from the idea that we didn’t want to have group-think out of a corporate office. “Even though the sales leadership team in the corporate office came from the field where all of us had carried a bag and worked our way through, that doesn’t mean that we really understand exactly what’s going on day-to-day in the car, on the phone, making those calls. We wanted the people who did that every day to be involved.”
Andy shares another key role of the Field Advisory Board was to go beyond feedback from just the best reps. Andy realized the reps we needed to help were the newer people, the ones that didn’t get by on their deep understanding of the industry and their great sales skills. The newer reps needed the job to be easier, they needed better tools, so Andy valued their input and wanted to make sure he had a diverse group providing input. Listen as Andy goes into depth about how he created the FAB, the frequency with which they meet and how to put a program like this in place for your sales organization.
The results have been tremendous for the sales enablement program driven by input from a Field Advisory Board. “We have seen an improvement in our turnover, and we believe that while many things contribute to the dramatic reduction in our turnover, we really think that it’s these tools that we put into place that have helped it mostly.” Focus in on what your priorities are, don’t create tools for the sake of creating tools, don’t adopt technology for the sake of adopting technology, that’s an easy pitfall.
If you would like to spend time with me on the topic of driving revenue per sales head up, come see me at The Studio in Dallas. The Studio is SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe-haven for learning and after just a few days clients leave with confidence and clarity your revenue growth strategies and sales and marketing motions to make your number.