Category: Uncategorized

Seeing What Others Cannot See

The PitStop Applies Systems Thinking To Help You Tackle The Hidden Complexity of Growth

The Sales PitStop is steeped heavily in what is called ‘Systems Thinking’ or ‘Systems Dynamics.’  That is a body of knowledge aimed at increasing the sophistication of decision making and analysis in line with the complexity of most modern day business problems.

Continue Reading..

Sales Programmes

Sales programmes from The ASG Group

The Sales Strategy Pitstop is a sales programme that includes sales skills workshops, access to new sales tools & techniques and directed action in order to impact on sales performance.

The approach involves:

workshop-elements_01workshop-elements_021workshop-elements_031

 

 


 

workshop-elements_01workshop-elements_021workshop-elements_061

 

 

 

 

Click on any of the above for more detail.


 

workshop-elements_01
Your sales people need training, but your organization needs results.  That can be a problem because most traditional sales training has little, or no impact on sales results.

All Sales Pitstop™ workshops delivered set goals for the impact of sales.  All participants leave workshops with specific sales priorities and a targeted impact on sales.

 


workshop-elements_021
Sales Pitstop™ programmes are aimed at identifying and exploiting hidden sales potential within your team.

Your team members complete a sophisticated diagnostic to pin-points areas of opportunity and quantifies the impact of any gaps or bottlenecks on sales.

 


 

workshop-elements_031

 

Sales Pitstop™ programmes impact immediately on pipeline opportunities. That includes our deal clinic methodology for advancing key deals with the use of The ASG Group’s industry-leading buyer-side research.

 

 


 

workshop-elements_01

 

The greatest challenge for many sales teams is not the absence of particular sales skill, or techniques, but other factors involved in the process of change.  All our programmes are underpinned by a 6 step change model.  The result is an accelerated process of adoption.

 

 


workshop-elements_021

 

Our sales programmes are about fresh thinking, they challenge old ways of looking at things, deliver new insights and result in break-troughs.  This is key to creating and sustaining change.

 

 

 


workshop-elements_061

 

The Sales Strategy Pitstop re-invents sales training in line with global best practice in learning & development, as well as sales.

We have taken action learning principles and applied them to sales.  The result is an accelerated process that tackles real sales challenges in an action focused manner.

 


The objective of Sales Strategy Pitstop Programmes is a sustained up-lift in performance.

 

 

Partner Pages

The Sales Strategy Pitstop® is designed to enable consulting organizations with a pedigree in ‘performance through people’ to extend their services to the sales function within their client organizations.

Continue Reading..

Sales Managers: Who’s In The Driver Seat?

Accelerating sales requires a new take on how the sales function is organized.  Managers need to put more of their people in the driving seat – to give their teams greater responsibility and scope to maneuver.

Continue Reading..

Want To Fast-Track Your Sales Agenda?

Most sales managers have an agenda that they want to push through.  However, they can be frustrated by the pace at which they can affect the changes required to make it happen.

The reality is that getting organisation-wide agreement about what must be done to accelerate sales can be a challenge.  Even if there is agreement, translating it into action can be tedious and slow.

Continue Reading..

The Secret Lives Of Sales Managers

No role carries with it more pressure to perform than that of the sales manager. That requires certain qualities in a manager, in particular a high level of confidence, drive and determination.

As the pack leader when it comes to selling, the sales manager must show that he, or she is in control.  Nothing less is expected of them.  Yet dig beneath the surface of the typical Alpha Male (or Alpha Female) sales manager and you will find that there are often unresolved issues bubbling away beneath that external veneer of control.

Few sales managers live in a perfect world, or work in a perfect company.  They have learned to live with the pressure of sales targets, increasingly demanding customers and more aggressive competitors.  There is little point complaining about these factors – they are simply part of the job description.

What Bugs Sales Managers?

So, what is it that bugs sales managers?  Well, when they take you into their confidence, many managers will reveal a range of bug-bears.  That is what they see as unnecessary yet often intractable obstacles to greater sales success. It is worth noting many of these are internal, rather than external in nature.

1. The struggle for recognition, appreciation, or power – many managers feel that although they are in the firing line when it comes to results, they don’t get the kudos, backing, or support that is needed.   This isn’t just an issue of politics and influence, because it tends to have a direct bearing on resource allocation to sales and sales support.  Underpinning this issue is the next factor.

2. Poor teamwork in support of sales, for example:

  • Support from the CEO – the relationship with the next level up is a major factor that determines the success and the satisfaction of the sales manager.
  • Support from Senior Management Colleagues – this is a key indicator of just how much sales is a part of the culture of an organisation.
  • Support from marketing – making sure that marketing is in direct support of the sales effort
  • Technical/service/delivery support to those selling – the level of support to sales during the sales cycle, as well as post sale are a key determinant of long-term sales success.  If the salesperson makes the promises then it is up to technical and delivery team to keep them.  This can be a source of frustration for the sales manager.

3. Strategic anxiety, for example where the sales manager is concerned about the growth direction of the business:

  • A concern about the direction the business is moving, such as the product roadmap, positioning strategy, operations, marketing and so on.
  • Un-addressed issues of focus in terms of what is being sold and who it is being sold to.  Although the product – market mix sounds removed from day to day selling, un-addressed issues in this area is the number one reason for poor pre-qualification for example.
  • Concerned about traction in respect of some important markets, or segments.  For example, the response of the company to specific market trends, or a change in the competitive environment.
  • The manager wants to push the business in a particular direction (often one that customers, or the market have suggested), but others don’t share the same vision, or at least urgency

 

4. People – Performance Issues

Almost every sales manager is concerned about the performance of at least one member of the sales team.  Often this performance issue is not new, it has been around for a long time but has often been creatively avoided.   Perhaps the manager lacks the authority, the determination, or even the courage to bring the issue to the fore and have it dealt with.  The situation may have festered for so long that both parties are now entrenched and a battle of wills in in play.

That is because there are often complications involved, the impact on the rest of the team, the legacy of the past, relationships with others in the organisation or perhaps a customer, or partner, dependence on the person for specific information, or perhaps even a legal issue.  The result is that the manager lives with a situation that isn’t just unsatisfactory, but can consumer lots of the managers time and energy.

 

Why do these issues frustrate managers and dog sales?  Well, while managers are busy managing their teams they often overlook the requirements of managing their wider organisational context.  It is not enough to coach the sales team, sales managers need to coach all those who have an impact on sales.  That includes the CEO and the COO!

Sales managers need to be more strategic, more political and more Machiavellian!  They must bring all those issues that have the potential to impact on sales performance into the open.  They must communicate and consult more widely with their management colleagues.  In short they must sell their sales agenda more effectively.

 

What Is The Strategy Pit-Stop?

The Pit-Stop is a familiar concept from motor racing, where the car pulls into the pits occasionally in order to refuel, repair and otherwise optimize the vehicle (and the driver too!).  It is designed to make the car go faster and increase the chances of winning the race.

The Sales Strategy Pit-Stop® for sales managers is something similar.  It is an opportunity to quickly pull aside in order to review performance and make essential corrections.  We have applied some of the key elements of the F1 Pit-Stop to sales strategy:

1. It has to be fast – typically a pit-stop is over in just 10 seconds.  The Strategy Pit-Stop takes a little longer – 30 minutes in total – however compared to the hours spent in strategy workshops and ‘blue ocean’ management meetings it saves organisations lots of time.  It means that when managers get together to talk strategy the agenda is focused and clear.

2. It must involve the team – a F1 pit-crew can be as big as 20 people.    The Strategy Pit-Stop pools the views and insights of all those concerned to drive sales strategy.  It is the most effective way of getting a consensus regarding strategy.

3. It helps ensure success – during a ten-second pit stop, a car’s competitors will gain approximately one-half kilometer over the stopped car.    However, Pit Stops are essential to winning the race, whether that is in selling, or in Formula 1.

4. The Pit-stop prevents problems before they happen – Some times drivers are forced into the pit lane by an unexpected technical problem, however in most cases pit stops are a pre-planned element of the race strategy.  It is an opportunity to refuel the car, change the tyres (especially if the car is seeking the advantage of lighter fuel loads, and softer tyres that deliver better traction).  It is also a chance to ensuring the driver can see clearly (by washing the windscreen!).

5. It involves the effective use of technology – in the F1 pit-stop even filing the tank is sophisticated (at a rate of 12, or more litres per second). Just as sophisticated computer diagnostics are attached to the F1 car, The Strategy Pit-Stop employs an online diagnostic to more effectively gather, analyze and report on all the information gathered.  Underpinning this diagnostic is a sophisticated body of best practice research and benchmarking data.

6. The pit-stop focus on how to optimize the performance of the car.  The most obvious being fuel and tyres, while others include the air intake; the wind-shield, suspension settings, and aerodynamic devices.  The Strategy Pit-Stop is similar it focuses on those elements essential to optimizing, or accelerating sales – one for each key features of the car – the steering (strategic direction), the sales engine, the driver and so on.

7. In the pit-stop there is a consistent methodology and nothing is left to chance. The Strategy Pit-Stop adopts a consistent unified approach, this ensures that all your colleagues are addressing the same issues and even using the same language.  It also enables comparison or benchmarking with peers and comparisons over time.

The Sales Strategy Pit-Stop® holds a mirror up to your organisation’s strategy for growth.  It asks the right questions in the most direct and straight-forward way possible (something that given the jargon filled nature of strategy is very important).

The Sales Strategy Pit-Stop® approaches the issue of business strategy from the sales and marketing angle to address the issue of how to accelerate sales growth.