Sheep, Drugs and Toasters – the Future of Selling?

What if there was a miracle cure for your sales teams, to make every person a high-performing quota-buster? In this blog I'm going to explore what it might look like and how you might find this silver bullet! Imagineering Last April we set up a special team to focus on bringing to market alternative approaches to drive sales revenue and performance. Some of the projects have already started to yield results, whilst others have had as much success as the Hindenburg airship:

  • Our attempt to develop a Siri-like automated sales assistant looked initially promising. However, after suffering from an attack of identity theft, thought to have been contracted whilst internet shopping during its break, our assistant decided that acting was its true calling and is now trying to "make it" in Hollywood.
  • The Sales Toaster failed to set the business world on fire - after it did just that to one user's home.
  • One team member's passion for sheep fueled a project to continue the cloning research that brought us Dolly the Sheep. The idea was to fuse the genetic code of some of the world's most successful sales people to create the "Super Rep." Unfortunately the clone also picked up on the creator's fondness for all things woolly and eloped with one of Dolly's cousins, never to be seen again.

At this point the team was under much scrutiny and its future was in doubt, but after many a broken egg we may finally have our omelet – Closerlin– a new drug that aims to boost sales productivity and effectiveness. Last week marked the end of a successful six-month clinical trial, the results and details of which are presented below.

f1   The Trial The trial involved sending a diverse cross-section of subjects ranging from college graduates to experienced sales professionals approaching retirement to the North Pole to sell a preview version of CallidusCloud's latest collaboration platform - the Integrated Collaborative Environment (ICE). ICE is specifically targeted at inhabitants of remote polar communities that are trying to improve community collaboration and share best practice.Selected at random, 50% of the trial subjects were provided with Closerlin, whilst the remaining subjects acted as a control and were given placebos. All subjects were given a broad and randomly assigned territory, an order book to record their deals and a notepad to record their activities and opportunities.
f2   The Results The results of the study have been very positive and have yielded significantly higher-than-expected results. The trial focused on tracking sales performance across a number of key metrics.All deal information was recorded on the reps' mobile CRM application, known as Paper, and provided the data for the study. As the charts show, users of Closerlin far outperformed their control counterparts. A 65% higher close rate, 88% larger deal size and a 73% shorter sale cycle clearly indicate the significant potential for Closerlin to help boost sales performance.
f3   Conclusions The above results are extremely enticing, but of course there is no such miracle cure. The approach some sales are taking is to roll out technology like iPads or other mobile devices en masse in the hope that simply being connected more will magically transform somebody into a high performer. This is like tossing someone the keys to a Ferrari and expecting him to become the next Michael Schumacher overnight!

  The successful sales leaders are looking at the bigger picture and analyzing where they need to make smart investments. Here are some of the things to focus on:

Sales can be a science, but not through an overnight "wonder drug." Smart investments in key areas will yield impressive results. Join us at C3, the year's premier Sales Effectiveness conference, May 6-8 in Las Vegas. Customers, partners and analysts will be sharing their insight on where to make your investment, including Peter Ostrow, author of the recent Aberdeen Group report that reveals how CallidusCloud customers outperformed their peers:

  • 181% larger average deal size
  • 52% shorter time to productivity for new reps
  • 67% lower sales rep turnover

Read the Aberdeen report on customer success. If you want to find out more, then please send me an email or tweet us @CallidusCloud.  

By Giles House | April 19th, 2012 | C3

About the Author: Giles House

Giles House

Giles House is Executive Vice President, and Chief Product Officer, SAP Sales Cloud.