Go ahead, you can sing along if you want… 


On the 1st day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… the fruits of good sales strategy. 


On the 2nd day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… potential-based territory.


Most companies pull out a map, and voila, territories!  Geographical may be the right core of your territory design.  But maybe you should prefer, or mix in, one or more of five other approaches.  Leaders shouldn’t guess; they should analyze and then design.    


On the 3rd day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… prospect grading methodology.


Once you get a territory, you’re usually left to figure out:


  • Which of your existing customers merits more attention?
  • Which New Logos make sense to try to penetrate?


Great sales strategies predict which accounts are likeliest to bear fruit. 


On the 4th day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… quota set on potentiality.


You make quota; quota goes up.  Joe misses quota; his quota goes up less…or down!  Your manager vaguely explains that “we had to spread the number that came from corporate.”  This is not your manager’s fault.  This is a top-leader issue.  Every year should be a new year.  Your quota should reflect territory potential derived via a quantitative modeling tool.  Shout it out: Show me the data! 


On the 5th day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… Configuration, Price, Quote.


Cumbersome systems and processes drain away time in drips and drabs that go largely unnoticed.  Give salespeople efficient pre-sales automation and watch your results jump. 


On the 6th day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… a stream of leads that are sales-ready.


Over the last decade, forward-thinking companies came to grips with a brutal reality.  Traditional prospecting doesn’t work.  It offers negative ROI.  Lead development orgs sprang up, but most produce mediocre results.  Here’s a glimpse of top-class: 


  • Uses buyer personas and buyer process maps.
  • Creates high-value content; maps to buyer stages.
  • Designs deliberate lead nurture paths.
  • Sets lead-passing SLAs between Marketing, the LDR group and field sales.
  • Defines “return to nurture” path for leads that turn out to be premature.


On the 7th day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… enablement sensibility.


Excellence in sales enablement is consistently:


  • Providing the right content (tools, resources, experiences, SMEs, collateral).
  • Targeting usage at the right time (buyer stage) by the right channel.


On the 8th day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… effective sales methodology.


If you see “then a miracle happens” littering your sales process, you don’t have one.  Leaders must “own” the challenge of sufficiently simplifying key “hows.” It requires a multi-variable design exercise that few organizations have the stomach for.  Which explains why your sales process is “hope for salvation.” 


On the 9th day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… differentiated Channel strategy.


To thrive, Channel Partners must sell value.  But our programs look like the mass commoditization plays of last century. 


  • Throw out the arbitrary definitions of direct/indirect.
  • Win Partner loyalty by designing programs that serve their interests better.
  • Make it easier and more profitable to sell your products than your competitors’.


This doesn’t happen by wishing; it must be designed.  


On the 10th day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… one-on-one pipeline strategy.


Two hallmarks of excellent (bi-weekly) pipeline discussions:


  • Focuses on buyer-specific items and questions.
  • Review 3-5 opportunities per session (~5-7 minutes per opportunity).


On the 11th day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… compensation unorthodoxy.


Nirvana for salespeople: Stack a well-constructed territory, potential-based quota, and a great compensation plan.  What’s great look like?  One that rewards key leading indicator behaviors, not just outcome (bookings/margin). 


On the 12th day of ‘15 my VP gave to me… sales support for productivity.


Many tasks represent low-value activity for salespeople.  Good strategy avoids doing no-value items and funnels low-value-but-necessary work to lower-cost resources.  Your goal is overall productivity, not myopically focusing on reducing administrative headcount cost. 


Santa VP can pull all of these things out of his bag.  We are his elves.  We will do a working session in Santa’s workshop.  You bring your current strategy ideas; we’ll bring the egg nog.  Start with our first present: SBI research.


Kevin Avery

Challenges clients to design and implement innovative practices.

Prior to SBI, Kevin held leadership positions in sales, marketing, business and channel development in the high tech industry, concentrating in the Contact Center and Collaboration software.

Kevin was an A-Player salesperson who transitioned successfully into leadership. At Cisco Systems, his Enterprise Area sales team drove double-digit growth, with annual bookings exceeding $120MM. As Strategy leader for Cisco’s Contact Center and Collaboration specialist sales groups, he devised, designed and coached a competitive displacement sales program that netted over $125MM bookings with a 90% win rate and zero no-decisions. Kevin’s experience prior to Cisco at Spanlink – a packaged and custom software company and reseller-integrator – began at near-startup stage. Leading the sales team out of the company’s IPO, he grew revenues by 50%, then closed an OEM agreement with a $70M+ lifetime value. When the 2001 tech bubble burst, resulting in dissolving a $130M acquisition, he was instrumental in refitting and relaunching the company.


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