Preparing to Fail: Five Steps for Better Business Planning

Posted by Kyle Heller on Tue, Jan 26, 2016

This is the first new year of my life without my father, who passed away suddenly in the fall. During the quiet time over the holidays, I found myself at a confluence of thoughts: loss, grief, gratitude, and thinking a great deal about what I would characterize as missed opportunity. At the same time, in a less quiet moment, I also found myself rattling noisemakers and cheering with my two young boys as we celebrated and rang in the promise of another new year together.


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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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Sales is (Becoming More of) an Inside Job

Posted by Kyle Heller on Wed, Jan 07, 2015

ZS_REALITY_WORKS_ISR_EXECUTIVE_SUMMARYAt a 2013 Inside Sales Virtual Summit, one speaker noted, “Prospects now participate in sales presentations via Skype, web conferencing and video. These tools are quickly catching on and overtaking face-to-face visits and traditional meetings, which are expensive and too time consuming for busy buyers. Inside sales will soon surpass field sales.” While that prediction was made a little more than a year ago, the market seems determined to make it a reality. In fact, a recent study by ZS and Reality Works Group, “Outside In: The Rise of the Inside Sales Team,” found that 40 percent of large technology companies plan to increase their inside sales headcount by 2016. So, what’s driving that desire to change?


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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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Are You Paying Too Many People?

Posted by Kyle Heller on Mon, Aug 05, 2013

“I think we’re paying too many people on each sale. We paid 24 people on XYZ sale alone. How do we know how many people we should really be paying?” —CFO, technology company

Companies looking to improve sales performance and profitability evaluate their compensation plans each year in a process as predictable as the annual salmon run—salmon return to their native riverbeds and swim upstream en masse, where bears, eagles and others await their payouts. But while an effective incentive plan is critical, using only incentives can be inefficient and, worse, ineffective. Figuring out who the CFO should be paying can’t start at the comp plan. It requires a healthy swim upstream to understand what is actually happening, and why.


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