Tech Bytes & Insights

Is Performance Killing Your Culture or Is Culture Killing Your Performance?

Posted by Kyle Heller on Tue, Nov 17, 2015

A recent HBS article confirmed what we all intuitively know: Well-executed quotas and bonus programs are highly effective tools for motivating sales teams. This increase in motivation and resulting sales performance, however, comes at a cost. And while the administrative and financial investments are significant, the biggest price to pay for an overdependence on sales quotas to drive results may be within the culture of the sales team.

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Topics: Kyle Heller, sales, ZS Associates, incentive, ZS, compensation, High Tech, sales team, culture

Channel Strategy: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted by John DeSarbo on Tue, Nov 10, 2015

Over 2,300 years ago, on a dusty plain in Greece, an ambitious general executed an innovative tactic that revolutionized military strategy. In the Battle of Leuctra, the Theban army, led by Epaminondas, was under attack by the merciless Spartans. The Spartans, the 800-pound gorilla of their times, had not lost a battle in years.

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Topics: John DeSarbo, tech, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Strategy, Channel, Planning Budget, Partners, Ancient Greece

The Sales Operations Maturity Curve

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, May 13, 2015

Sales operations plays an important role in many organizations. As many of us have seen, companies are required to do more with less in an effort to improve the bottom line. That doesn’t bode well for sales operations. As a function without a direct link to revenue generation, the sales operations team is often perceived as a contributor to an increased cost of sale. However, with the right set of capabilities and organizational maturity, these teams can expand from a support function (cost) to a valuable strategic sales planning and execution support partner that drives revenue. This transformation is a critical step toward arming the sales force with information, expertise, speed-to-market and efficiency, as well as becoming a partner in winning new business and driving organic growth from current clients. To begin this journey, sales operations teams should focus on improvement within the following categorical functions:

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales operations, Anaplan, Anaplan Hub15

Social Selling: An Old Dog With New Tricks

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Fri, Mar 13, 2015

I have written and presented on the topic of social selling, but my voice is just one among many and it seems that often these voices are not in harmony. I find that many people often confuse social selling with social media, thinking it is a relatively new phenomenon. But the truth is social selling is as old as the concept of sales itself. The fundamentals of effective selling remain the same. Empathy, relationship building, active listening, providing insight and reinforcing value are essential. New collaboration platforms and virtual communities haven’t changed the rules of engagement, but they have changed the tools of engagement. Social media channels are merely another way for salespeople to exhibit these behaviors. B2B sales coach, speaker and author S. Anthony Iannarino, thoughtfully reminds us, “It’s never good to overpromise and under deliver. But that is what social selling has done. It has been offered as the panacea to all the problems that ail sales organizations, and in doing so, the case has been greatly overstated.” If selling hasn’t changed, what selling skills should we emphasize that will be enhanced by the new social media?

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, social selling, social media, sales, ZS Associates, sales force effectiveness, ZS, High Tech

Subscription Sales: Five Steps to Fixing a ‘Recurring’ Problem

Posted by Kyle Heller on Fri, Oct 10, 2014

I recently took my two sons to the planetarium show at a local museum. We sat together in the darkness, unable to see our hands in front of our faces, and got lost in the allure of the night sky: planets, constellations, comets and the spectacular collisions that happen when two objects try to occupy the same space at the same time.

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Topics: Kyle Heller, sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Subscription Sales,, SaaS

Value-Based Selling Achieves Results: Now, How to Achieve VBS?

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, Apr 09, 2014

Spring is finally starting to break through in the DC area, and I’m emerging from a runner’s hibernation in preparation for my spring and summer race schedule. This winter I faced a number of obstacles: an unusual amount of snow and particularly cold mornings, a nagging lower-back strain and a full travel schedule.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, value-based selling, tech, technology, tech companies, technology companies, VBS, customers, sales, marketing, ZS Associates

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