I just finished Aaron Ross’ new book entitled: Predictable Revenue. If you are in Sales or Marketing leadership you need to read it. If you are a front line sales or marketing professional, read it too and buy it for your boss. For those of you that don’t know Aaron lead the charge at Salesforce.com in building their Enterprise inside sales team. Aaron grew the team from just himself to over $100m in incremental recurring revenues over a few short years.
I was reading David Skok’s For Entrepreneurs blog (one of my favorites if you are interested in building SaaS sales and marketing teams) and I stumbled across this excellent interview with Aaron Ross. Below is my favorite excerpt.
One of the biggest productivity killers is lumping together a mix of different responsibilities (such as raw web lead qualification, cold prospecting, closing, and account management) into one general “sales” role. This creates significant inefficiencies:
1) Lack of Motivation: Experienced sales people hate to prospect, and are usually terrible at it.
2) Lack of Focus: Even if a salesperson does do some prospecting successfully, as soon as they generate some pipeline, they become too busy to prospect. It’s not sustainable. Any individual that tries to juggle too many responsibilities, will have a much lower ability to get things done.
3) Sales people have a reputation for being ADD – how does adding more responsibilities help that? For example, qualifying web leads is a much lower value distraction for sales people than managing current clients. And managing a large current client base is a distraction from closing new clients!
4) Lack of proper training and support: Their company doesn’t train them on how to prospect effectively, give them helpful tools or reasonable goals. Usually the guidance is along the lines of “make more calls!” Wow, that’s helpful.
5) Unclear Metrics: It’s harder to break out and keep track of key metrics (inbound leads, qualification and conversion rates, customer success rates…) if all the functions are lumped into single areas. Different roles makes it much easier to break out different steps in your processes, which means better metrics.
6) Less Visibility Into Problems: When things aren’t working, lumped responsibilities obscure what’s happening and make it more difficult to isolate and fix issues with accountable follow through.
If you want some insight into bleeding edge modern sales and marketing strategy, you can read the rest of the post here: