FOR MEDICAL DEVICE SALES AND SERVICE COMPANIES: HOW TO ADD $1M - 3M+ IN SALES IN 12 MONTHS OR LESS WITHOUT ADDING ANY NEW SALESPEOPLE

In this page, I’m going to walk you through the exact process you can use to add millions of dollars to your topline sales in 12 months or less, without adding any new salespeople to your team.

I’ll show you exactly what you need to do to get predictable sales, predictable conversions, and consistent and scalable performance from your salespeople and teams.

Some of over the 200 companies and clients that we’ve worked for, sold for, channel managed, or sold to...

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The Proof is with the Medical Device Companies we’ve helped…

SalesManagment.io is the only company that’s spent the last 38 years in the medical device & service industry, working with OEMs, ISOs and hospitals. Our Walk-to-Sales process isn’t an academic creation or an ivory tower solution. It was created by wearing out shoe leather in the field selling every day to hospitals, imaging, centers, and other clinicians.

  • Sheri - Territory Manager for an ISO
    $70k to $1.4M in Sales

    Before: Unproductive territory far underproducing other territories and reps

    After: $1.4M in sales that exceeded previous sales by $220K and quota by $450K

    Time Frame: 3 months to $120K, 12 months to $1.4M

  • George from and ISO and Reseller of Radiology Equipment
    Losing money on $200K in Sales to becoming largest ISO with annual sales of over $5M

    Before: 5 sales rep only producing $200k in annual sales but costing almost $1M in 2 years

    After: 22% growth quarter over quarter. ROI on salesforce in first quarter

    Time Frame: First Quarter, Constant Improvement 2 years running

  • Marcus at a Regional ISO
    $1.6M to $3.4M in one year

    Before: Loss of their highest performing sales rep reduced sales by $340K per quarter

    After: Sales increased 213% in 8 months. Customer attrition eliminated.

    Time Frame: 8 months

  • Dave from an ISO of Radiology Products
    Stalled Growth to an overall 35% Increase in Sales and a 220% increase in new accounts in 4 months

    Before: Declining growth and no new accounts. Salespeople were only selling to existing accounts. No system or consistency across the sales team

    After: Increased new customer accounts by 220% in the first 4 months and overall revenue by $2.6M in 12 months

    Time Frame: 12 months

  • Mike - PACS and Medical IT vendor
    $0 to $450K in Sales in 5 Months

    Before: Spending $1M on a sales team that produced no sales except OEM referrals

    After: Reduced selling costs to under $250K and generated $250k in sales quarterly

    Time Frame: 7 months

  • Scott from #3 DR Manufacturer
    $3.2M to $11.6M in Sales in 12 Months

    Before: Worst sales division in the company for a decade; No reps hitting their quota

    After: Finished the year above quota by increasing sales to $11.6M from the previous year’s 3.2M. #2 division in the company. Every rep hit or exceeded their quota

    Time Frame: 1 year

  • John from Global Manufacturer of Digital Radiology Equipment
    $0 to $2.6 Million US in Annual Sales in 6 Months, Service revenue uptick to $6.7M

    Before: Sales declined from $25M to $0 as the market shifted technologies, 12 reps only sold upgrades and service to existing accounts. Extremely high turnover of reps - 6 in one year

    After: New account sales went from zero to six in the first year. Increased capital sales of new installations to $1.2M

    Time Frame: 1 year

  • Frank at a Regional ISO
    $336,000 of additional profit in 6 months

    Before: Chasing bad deals had the win-rate of salespeople stalled below 30%

    After: Increased number of qualified opportunities and win-rate above 41%. Deals closed in Q1 and Q2 that would not have closed without these changes resulted in adding $336,000 in bottom-line profits for the first half of the year

    Time Frame: 6 months

  • Kevin at a Regional ISO
    $419,00 in additional profit in 7 months.

    Before: Competitors driving down margins. Salespeople focused on price. No uniform messaging between reps

    After: An additional $267,000 in profit was added to the sales by focusing the sales team on value based selling, and giving them new skills & scripts

    Time Frame: 7 months

  • Chris at a Regional ISO
    $1.8M to $2.6M in one year

    Before: No plan, no leads, company was being pushed further and further downstream to specialties with smaller deals and lower margins

    After: Sales were increased from $1.8M to 2.6M in a year by changing the go-to-market approach of the company and moving back upstream

    Time Frame: 1 year

  • George at a Regional ISO
    $1.2M Top-Line Increase one year

    Before: Sales stalled and forecasts were indicating a substantial decline in revenue. Two sales reps and three service reps poached by his largest OEM partner, who then took the territory direct. An online seller supported by their National Reseller owner took clinic business and eroded margins on downstream sales.

    After: Applied SalesManagment.io methodology to focus all efforts on the relevant KPIs (including appointments per week, proposals per month, and for customer expansion), and building the skills to improve those KPIs. The decline of sales was reversed and $1.2M in additional sales were closed over the previous year.

    Time Frame: 1 year

Who This Is For: Owners and Sales Managers of Medical Device Sales and Service Companies

This is for you if you have at least $1M in annual revenue, and want to add $1M to $3M/year or more in topline revenue.

You’ve got great offerings, both with your product and service solutions, but your sales team:

  • Isn’t producing nearly what they should be in terms of revenue, new clients, or additional business with existing customers

  • Has difficulty converting leads into opportunities, and opportunities into closed business

  • Spends more time talking about price than value, which is squeezing your profitability

  • Would rather chase low margin/poor fit business with existing clients, rather than do the hard work of prospecting and winning new clients.

You might be getting pushback from your sales team about your pricing, your products, and the market itself.

Or your sales team may have a list of reasons (that sound a lot like excuses) why sales aren’t happening, deals get pushed out, and accounts go radio silent for weeks or months at a time.

In the rest of this post, we’ll show you how to change those negative results and how you can easily introduce sales best practices into your business.

Any sales team will dramatically improve their performance if they do the right activities in the right order, executed skillfully

Adding $1M - $3M+ in top line sales is completely doable in less than 12 months, if you follow the right strategy.

What makes executing on the right strategy so challenging is that each industry has its own specific set of right things -- activities, order, skills required, etc.

We know what the right things are because we live, breathe, and work in healthcare sales. We’re the only company dedicated to solving these issues specifically for Medical Device Sales and Service companies.

Company Background

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Russ Emrick, and I’ve been creating high performing sales teams in the medical imaging world for the past 25 years.

I’ve worked within companies, and been an outside “hired gun” to turn around disastrously underperforming sales teams. I’ve worked with giant OEMs like GE, Konica Minolta, and dozens of smaller companies doing between $3M - $300M in revenue. I started a successful Imaging sales and service business and sold it during the PSS merger-mania. For two years I was President of NHD, at the time the largest independent service association in the United States.

In 2015 I started a consulting firm to help sales managers, salespeople and companies convert more leads into clients and improve sales performance.

My co-founder Shawn has worked with companies in sectors as diverse as finance, medical imaging, travel & tourism, software development, and B2B industrial sales, bringing experience and perspectives from all fields to help companies spot their biggest opportunities for growth and to act on them immediately. Prior to those engagements, he spent several years as an equities trader, professional fighter, and software developer.

His software development company specializes in creating tools and systems that bring salespeople, sales management & senior management into alignment, and simplifying all aspects of the selling process.

He’s the author of Dealing with Difficult Customers: How to Turn Demanding, Dissatisfied, and Disagreeable Clients Into Your Best Customers.

Together we reverse engineered everything Shawn and I have done that’s worked to create massive change in medical device sales teams, looking for the common elements of success.

After a lot of work, we found something exciting - the most successful interventions:

  • Didn’t require a lot of time

  • Didn’t rely on learning new selling / closing techniques

  • Didn’t require overhauling the way companies do business, or structure their sales teams

  • Could be implemented quickly, and with minimal disruption

In short, we’d discovered the Master Keys of medical device & service sales, and found a way to make it available to any company that’s willing to put in the effort.

2020 is turning out to be a very different year - it’s no longer business as usual. What was “good enough” in years past isn’t going to cut it any more. To help more Medical Device Resellers - and to make that help affordable - we founded SalesManagement.io to make it possible for any medical device & service company to implement the changes necessary to create high performing sales teams.

The Master Keys Of Medical Device & Service Sales

You work hard to grow your business. You’ve built a great company and offer solid products and service to healthcare providers. Many clients value your company and love doing business with you. So why are the headwinds keeping you from adding more business so strong? Why aren’t your salespeople doing better?

You’re asking yourself:

  • What should my growth goal be for the next twelve months?

  • What’s the most effective way to scale up my sales process?

  • How can I create predictable and scalable growth?

  • How can I spend less time working in the business and instead spend time growing the business?

You’re working hard. You’re putting in the long hours. You’re doing what the business needs.

You see other companies hitting their numbers - OEMs going direct and taking your market share. What are they doing that you’re not?

The answer isn’t what you’d expect.

Everyone is facing the same market challenges, hiring salespeople from the same pool of talent, and experiencing the same headwinds of healthcare.

Contrary to what you might think, companies that are growing sales are NOT smarter, better or even luckier than you.

So what makes them so successful?

Founders and leaders who double or triple their sales are running their sales teams using a completely different playbook.

One that most people don’t even know exists.

A playbook that has clearly defined objectives that achieve the goals of the business, and holds the sales team accountable for execution. A playbook that dramatically improves performance by doing the right activities in the right order, executed skillfully.

  • Instead of sales people independently running their territories, they work within a proven system that delivers predictable results

  • Instead of juggling multiple priorities, the salespeople are focused on the major drivers of lead generation and closing business

  • Instead of looking back on ‘hit or miss’ metrics, such as quota attainment, the team is managed from inputs that predict results - proposals to customers, appointments per week, and demonstrations scheduled.

  • Instead of ‘ad hoc’ coaching and training, a planned and systemized process is used to improve the skills and activities that wins and growth depend on

Soon we’ll dive deep into how you can make this playbook a reality for your business and get your sales rocketing to where you need them to be.

4 Principles, 3 Steps and 1 Central Idea

The complete answer to how to achieve sales growth for Medical Device Companies can be summarized in 4 principles, 3 Steps and the 1 Central Idea we’ve already stated.

For Medical Device companies, increasing sales and growing revenue requires improving the performance of salespeople by doing the right activities in the right order, executed skillfully.

You get your team to the point where they can do the right things, in the right order, executed skilfully by working through a process:

  • Establish your current state (present) - the WHERE

  • Determine your future state - your goal - the WHAT

  • Identify the gap between items 1 and 2 - the WHY

  • Create a Gap & Hurdle obliterating Playbook - the HOW

  • Walk-to-More Sales with each salesperson - the DO

Increasing your sales by $1M - $3M+ in less than 12 months is completely doable when you follow SalesManagement.io’s 3 Step System.

We work with clients to create dramatic improvements in their sales organizations by clearly defining the expectations for your sales team, and solving any obstacles in their way. We help you create a mentoring handbook and then work with you in upgrading your team’s skills, abilities and performance to attain their sales quotas.

What differentiates our process from other sales improvement plans is that it has been created by Medical Device salespeople, and it’s been used successfully with medical device & service sales teams. What makes the system work is the specialized expertise and experience that comes with the process.

Go from WHERE you are today → to WHAT you want → by solving the WHYs obstructing → with the expertise of HOW to obliterate the hurdles and gaps → then DOING the right sales activities in the right order, skillfully = SUCCESS $1M - $3M+ Sales Increase

Now let’s flesh out the SalesManagment.io steps more fully

Step 1: Planning to Win

Every great initiative starts with planning. The better the planning the greater the success. The better the foundation, the higher and stronger the building will be.

This step, Planning to Win has three important components:

  • Getting clarity on the current situation

  • Establishing the goals (destination) you want to achieve

  • Charting the course: finding and solving existing hurdles and gaps

Put simply, by doing this work we’re going to build a bridge to the future you want for your business, your family, and your salespeople. Then we’re going to take your business, put high-test in the tank, slam the pedal to the floor and blast from where you are now to where you want to be.

Part 1: Get Clear On Where You Are Now

Planning starts with getting very clear about where you are starting from:

  • What assets and resources do you have to work with?

  • Do you understand your clients buying process?

  • Do you know your current results, costs, and performance levels by salesperson for at least each of these 3 areas?

  • What are the activity levels needed for key sales tasks and are each of your salespeople meeting those levels?

  • What are the gaps and obstacles that have been preventing sales growth?

  • What challenges are the salespeople reporting that are impeding growth?

  • Are these challenges consistent across all salespeople, or is each salesperson reporting different issues?

In short, Part 1 is where we get clear on your starting position and your numbers.

Here is where we’ll find the gaps that we need to fill in order to help our salespeople reach and surpass their quotas.

If you already have the information you need, it’s just a matter of collecting it in one place and interpreting it. If you don’t have it, we’ll help you start measuring these key metrics, so that you can chart a more direct path to your goals.

This is the part of the process where the deck gets stacked in your favor. We do that by ensuring that you know what will have the greatest and fastest impact for the business.

Q: We’ve already got too many reports, and it feels like we’re drowning in data. It’s not feasible for us to add in even more measurement.

Our experience is that most reporting in sales organizations is backward looking, and doesn’t do a good job at helping you understand the impact your salespersons efforts now have on future sales.

These ‘rear-view’ metrics are important. Often they are the big picture business results necessary for the organization to continue, like hitting quota and making the top-line revenue expectations. But you can’t manage from them because they are outcomes.

There’s a basic truth we often forget when managing sales teams: We can’t force clients or prospects to buy from us. Ultimately, it’s their decision.

That means that managing our people based solely on what our clients/prospects are doing is doomed to fail - ultimately the decision to buy is in the hands of the prospect/client.

What we can manage is what we do to influence and impact our clients & prospects.

How many sales calls are people making?

How many proposals are getting presented?

How many demonstrations are being done?

How skillfully are each of these things being done?

When we focus our efforts on these areas, we can certainly impact the results.

It sounds simple and obvious, but it’s worth remembering that effective sales management is about focusing on the impact of the areas we can control (what our salespeople are doing, and how effectively they’re doing it), not on the areas we cannot control.

A second key principle here is that people play differently when you’re keeping score - we have all experienced that in our own lives. I play a golf round very differently when it’s for fun versus when I’m betting dollars on each hole or I’m in a tournament.

As W. Edwards Deming taught, “what gets measured gets done.”

To that end, one of the most important principles we instill in those managing sales teams is this: “For every report, or every question you ask about the current state of sales, activity, etc… Know what action you’ll take for any type of response.”

This strategy dramatically changes the kinds of questions you ask, and helps you focus on the areas that you can directly impact.

So, if you’re going to ask a salesperson to do more prospecting, ask yourself:

  • What does “more” mean?

  • How long should he try before deciding it’s not working?

  • As his manager, how long will you give him to start generating revenue when he tells you he’s “trying to do more prospecting, on top of all my other responsibilities”?

In short - there’s magic that happens when you’re asking better questions, putting very short term action plans into place, diligently measuring results and updating your plans based on those results.

We’ll work with you to ensure that you’re only measuring what matters. In many cases, this means that you can stop paying attention to some of that data you’re drowning in right now, as it isn’t helping you keep your sales team focused on their most important goals.

Q: Our deals are very complex, and there are a lot of reasons we might not win any given deal. How can we realistically measure all the different variables?

The good news is that you don’t have to measure everything. There are a few key reporting areas that allow you to make great decisions, when you measure individual performance against company average. Things like:

  • Activity rate per salesperson at each stage of the sale

  • Win rate per salesperson at each stage of the sale

  • Time between sale steps per salesperson / deal

The specifics of these differ from company to company, of course, but this allows you to compare effort & results from your top salespeople to everybody else, to see both what’s possible & what areas need attention.

In general - lower win rates (at any stage in the sales process) require training, and lower activity rates require you to ensure that the salespeople are doing all the activity required.

Part 2: Goal Creation and Alignment

Having determined where you’re starting from, now let’s dig deep into where you want to go. Let’s establish the most important goals of the business and translate those goals into objectives for the sales people to achieve: an OKR system - Objectives and Key Result.

OKRs translate your business aspirations into tangible objectives whose success or failure is measured by specific and quantifiable Key Results. This is the same system Intel and Google used to become two of the most valuable companies on the planet. OKRs are what Andy Grove, Bill Gates, Larry Page, and other luminary CEOs credit their success to.

Steven Covey (“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”) famously said that the best way to start anything is to “begin with the end in mind.” So here in our journey you decide what your goals are.

  • Where do you want to be?

  • What Objectives will be required to get there?

  • How will we measure progress and achievement - Key Results?

Goal setting might seem easy or obvious, but setting the right goals can be a tricky thing:

  • Do you want top-line growth or more market share?

  • Is revenue growth top priority or is increased profit more important?

  • Are the people responsible for achieving the goals (ie your salespeople) on-board?

  • Do they agree with the goals and are they willing to commit to accomplishing them?

  • What will your salespeople need to do differently in order to hit these goals?

Thinking through these questions may be the most important part of the process. This isn’t conventional goal setting. Sales goals by themselves aren’t necessarily actionable and may not even be aligned with the larger overarching business goals.

Goal Setting used conventionally is just a tactic, not a strategy - which is why goal setting seldom really works. How many New Year’s goals survive past January?

Critically here, we’re considering your larger goals and creating actionable (and immediate) objectives. Many programs talk about the importance of focusing on the long term goals, but it’s far more important to be crystal clear about how to obtain them and improve results over the next 3-6 months.

By ensuring that your team’s objectives are working in service of your longer term business goals, it becomes a lot easier to identify what you and your team need to do today, tomorrow, and next week to achieve them.

Q: Wait - goal setting? Really? Everybody talks about setting goals, and it’s almost always just that - talk.

We agree - most goal setting is pretty meaningless. As we mentioned earlier, goal setting as a tactic almost always fails. To paraphrase Andy Grove: it isn’t enough to know what you ‘have to do’, you also need to know how to do it.

Planning to Win isn’t conventional goal setting - instead you’re building a complete foundation starting from where you are today and crafting solutions with objectives tied to quantifiable results that get you to the destination you’ve established you want to arrive to. Whew - that was a long sentence, but it sums up the Planning to Win process perfectly. It also differentiates a complete result oriented action plan from wish, er, goal setting.

Q: What about all of the other important success factors, such as the compensation plan or hiring ‘A’ players?

We get it: a sales team has a lot of moving parts, especially for Medical Device Sellers with a field sales force. So the big questions are ”what’s most important” and “how should the powerful levers be prioritized?”

Our sales management process is based on the proven premise that doing the right things, in the right order, and doing them skillfully will increase revenue. Your top priority is to find out what drives sales for your company, and how you can do more of those activities (and be more effective while you do them).

Compensation plans, talent, and all of the parts that make an effective and powerful sales engine impact performance. However, we can hack at the leaves or chop at the tree. By all means, work on improving every area you can - but recognize that the more time and effort you put into the highest leverage activities, the better your results will be.

Ask yourself:

  • “What are my salespeople doing on a regular basis to win sales?”

  • “Are they effective at doing those necessary tasks?”

  • “What should my salespeople do more (or less) of?”

Word cloud of issues affecting medical device companies

Q: Isn’t this just common sense?

Exactly! That’s why it works. A specific process that gets followed methodically is much like a “how to win checklist.”

There’s nothing simpler than a checklist. Pilots and surgeons use checklists because they work.

In essence, a checklist says: “There are a million things you could be focusing on right now, but here are the things that you absolutely can’t skip, and that absolutely require your focus right now.”

Giving your salespeople clear guidance on the highest and best use of their time, effort, energy and focus is one of the best investments you can make to improve your sales teams performance.

That’s why setting the right goals up front is so important - it ensures that you’re able to create alignment with your sales team about what’s expected of them, what areas you’ll be focusing on, and what can safely be ignored.

Q: If something that simple really made such a difference, I’m sure we’d already be doing it… there must be a valid reason it’s not getting done.

The same thing can be said about health and dieting, couldn’t it? We all know what to do and for the most part the answers are simple: eat less, exercise more.

But it’s hard to put in the work today that will help us tomorrow, when the pressures of the moment are so pressing. In “The 4 Disciplines of Execution,” Sean Covey calls this the whirlwind. We’re so busy fighting fires and working the daily demands of the job that we sacrifice the important to the urgent.

Here’s the truth: as complicated as many consultants want to make things, sales growth doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. Sure, sales teams have many moving parts and you can work on everything from commission plans to hiring to more training.

But what moves the needle fast?

What immediately increases sales with the least amount of change and disruption?

How can you make sales predictable, consistent and scalable without another complex process, massive (unrealistic) change, and disruption to the existing salespeople and operations?

We’ve found that success happens by going a mile deep and an inch wide, and this process of goal setting help you find the right inch.

When I was learning golf, I tried to do it on my own at first. I watched a video and then went out to the range to hit some balls. 50 things were going through my mind: my grip, my stance, hold my arm, swing straight, don’t bend my elbow, follow through, on and on. Needless to say I didn’t have much success - or fun.

On my next visit I hired one of the Pros at the course. He had me focus on one thing, often for weeks. We started with my grip, then moved to my stance, and so forth.

Most importantly - we worked in a methodical, process oriented model. He looked at what I was doing, and was able to identify a few root causes to my many problems. By working on my grip, a lot of downstream problems went away. By fixing my stance next (and keeping a great grip), my game was effectively transformed.

Transformation with 2 changes, instead of jumping back and forth between dozens of problems that stemmed from poor fundamentals.

The focus on single, high leverage steps and activities until they are mastered is not only the way to get better at golfing, but also sales. Remember: right activity, right order, executed skillfully.

We’re going to do something similar with your sales team - instead of focusing on specific and idiosyncratic issues, we’ll help you identify the root issues, and give you specific exercises you can use to address those.

By doing those, you’ll see a lot of the idiosyncratic issues disappear.

Part 3: Chart the Course

Our previous work has identified the gaps and challenges standing between the goals we want to achieve and our current results.

All that is left for this step - and I promise the other steps are shorter and don’t require this much thinking - is to come up with how to win. Now we create the first set of action plans (individualized per salesperson) that will allow them to be more effective with their time and activity.

There’s a wonderful exchange between legendary Intel founder and CEO Andrew Grove and Ram Charan. “Ram, you’re a typical academic. I asked you how to solve a problem and you told me what to do. I know what to do, I just don’t know how to do it.”

  • Charting the Course is the How. This is where we get very specific on how salespeople will make their number and exceed quota. It is how your business goals will be met. Namely

  • What activities need to be done

  • What order should they be done in

  • What skill level and knowledge is required?

  • What is the optimum frequency for the key actions?

The individual action plans are thematically linked sets of goals that you’re directing your salespeople to focus on over the coming weeks, based on their strengths & gaps. By focusing on the 2-4 highest impact levers, you’ll be able to ensure there’s directed focus on these high priority areas.

We’ll work with your sales manager and each salesperson to set objectives and key results, with an eye to ensuring agreement on both sides. To that end, with each goal you’ll need to be crystal clear in what you expect, as well as how you’re going to judge your salesperson performance.

Q: How is Planning going to resolve the headwinds of healthcare and the pressures I’m facing in the Medical space?

We get it: Medical Device Resellers have a unique set of challenges - and we have solved them for dozens of companies just like yours. We’re not saying planning is how you improve, only that planning prepares you for success. Steven Covey, wrote in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” that there is nothing worse than climbing a ladder only to find it’s leaning on the wrong wall.

Planning is like the key to your car - alone, it doesn’t get you anywhere. But without it, it’s a lot harder to get started.

We are saying that relentless execution of the right activities done properly brings success. Every business is different – with different challenges, staff, and customers. Step 1: Planning to win, maps out what “right” means for your business, salesforce and customers.

Q: Isn’t this a lot more work for overwhelmed sales managers already working 80 hour weeks?

Many of our clients thought the same thing until they went through the process. They found that preventing problems and proactively improving results takes much less time - and is much less frustrating - than dealing with fires, failure and rep turnover.

Even though it seems like there are a million different things you could be trying to manage, it all comes down to 2 issues: ability or motivation.

In my first management job, I asked a rep to do something. Frankly I can’t even remember the details, only that for weeks, I kept hearing all kinds of reasons it wasn’t getting done.

Finally I sat down with him and discovered the real problem: he didn’t know how to do it. He didn’t want to lose face by telling me he didn’t know how to do it, which was why he’d been giving me a lot of reasons it wasn’t getting done.

I learned something invaluable that day: a lack of performance boils down to one of two issues:

  • They don’t have the ability or knowledge

  • They aren’t motivated or interested in doing it (or putting in the amounts of effort required)

Ability or activity. Either a person doesn’t have the ability, or they are not not doing the activity, at least at the level needed to be effective. In other words - at each stage that influences the sale, there is either a problem with activity, or with effectiveness.

Q: Whenever I’ve tried to get my salespeople to improve before, they’ve told me that the real problem is our pricing, or the other competitors in the market. How can I get them to agree to focus in on the areas identified in this step?

This is one of the reasons it’s so important to have put in the work in steps 1 and 2, because without the information and data you gathered there, you end up getting into debates & arguments with your salespeople that tend to be settled by HiPPO (the Highest Paid Person's Opinion).

You answer the salesperson’s objections about the “real problem” with the data you’ve collected in step 1.

By this point, you know their conversion rates for (at least) each of the following for each salesperson:

  • Opportunity => Qualified Prospect

  • Qualified Prospect => Submitting Contract

  • Submitted Contract => Sale

You also know each salesperson's activity in each of these areas on a week to week basis.

This allows you to create internal benchmarks for what’s possible in conversion rates & activity levels.

If your most active salesperson doesn’t also have the highest conversion rates at each of those steps, then you can point out how they’d be better served to focus on bringing their conversion rates up to the internal benchmark for each stage.

It’s tricker when salespeople with high conversion rates say that they cannot add more activity without compromising their conversion rates, but in this case you can look at the higher activity salespeople to determine what the “lower bound” of conversion rate is with increased activity.

Your job in managing salespeople is to be able to understand the tradeoffs between inputs (activity) and output (conversion rates), and to ensure that you’re optimizing for those two things.

A 100% close rate does you no good if they only talk to 1 prospect per year.

Nor is talking to 100 prospects useful if your close rate is only 1%.

Finding the balance between quantity and quality of activity that yields the highest revenue per year is the name of the game.

Q: In this step, we identified a number of skill or activity areas that I think our salespeople can improve on. Which one do we pick in this stage (or do we try to focus on all of them)?

To answer this, imagine stacking the stages of your sales process (an example sales process below):

  • Identify Opportunity

  • First Contact / Qualification

  • Uncovering Needs / Communicating Your Value

  • Submit proposal

  • Win sale

However many steps there are in your sales process, the basic rule here is the same - Prioritize activity increases at the end of the process, and skill development at the start of the process.

Take a look at the example below - a 1% improvement in Lead to Opportunity conversion and in Opportunity to Close conversion respectively lead to a 13% increase in revenue.

Of that 13%, 10% comes from the improvement in Lead to Opportunity conversion, and 3% comes from the increase in opportunity to close conversion.

The 1% improvement in the lead to opportunity conversion generated 10 new opportunities. Of the 4 new deals, 3 can be attributed to the improvement in lead to opportunity conversion, and 1 can be attributed to the improvement in opportunity to close conversion.

Of course, there are other benefits as well - by improving salespeople’s skills in identifying leads & creating qualified opportunities, they’ll waste less time chasing deals that can never close, which frees up more time to ensure that they’re able to give full attention to the prospects who have the ability to buy.

So, where you focus first depends on what gaps you’ve identified. If there are skill gaps early in the sales process, then focus there. If there are easily fillable activity gaps later in the process, then focus there.

What we find most often is that these two things work together. Improving the skills early in the sales process generates more activity for salespeople later in the process.

Q: Are we setting these goals on our own, or including the salespeople in the process?

It’s vitally important to get your salespeople on board with the goals you’re setting - otherwise it’s just more noise from the top.

Luckily, most salespeople welcome this process - the ability to get clarity on what is a priority, and what is a “nice to have, but not critical” is a conversation that’s often overlooked in sales organizations.

It’s too easy to tell salespeople all the things you want them to do and expect them to get done, without having an honest conversation about tradeoffs and limitations.

Often, just having these conversations yields tremendously actionable insights into ways to improve salesperson productivity, as they’ll naturally ask the important question “If you want me to do focus on these areas, what should I stop doing to be able to do that?”

We often talk about $150/hour work vs. $15/hour work.

In essence - when you look at what’s required of your salespeople in a given week, how much of what they’re doing could be replaced by a minimum wage employee who was given clear instruction?

We’ve worked with many companies that realized that in order to ask their salespeople to increase their prospecting by 25%, they’d have to find a way to reduce the time salespeople spent in administrative or non-sales activities (doing expense reports, data-entry for quotes, unnecessary non-sales meetings, initial prospect research, etc).

But since the benefit was clear and the revenue implications were in the 6-7 figure range, it was easy to reallocate some activity to non-sales employees (who were paid much less than the salespeople).

The agreement here, of course, is that this activity is only reallocated so long as the salespeople & sales manager can prove it’s worthwhile - increases in sales activity or sales effectiveness must accompany these changes. Luckily, by this stage you’re well equipped to be measuring what matters to ensure that is the case.

Q: What do we do if it turns out to be a skills issue?

It’s easy to think that you can fix skills issues by providing training for your salespeople. But you can probably already remember times when training had no impact whatsoever. What gives?

Here’s a simple way to tell if you can fix your problem by investing in training. Just run the “if your life depended on it” test. Ask them, “If your life depended on you doing this, could you do it?”

I can’t juggle bowling pins. If my life depended on me keeping 4 pins in the air for a minute today, I’d just have to be glad my will is up to date.

But if I knew that I had a month to prepare, there’s nothing that could stop me from learning how to keep those pins in the air for as long as it took.

I wouldn’t learn it just by reading a book, or watching a youtube video, or sitting in the back of a class. I’d study, practice, get feedback, figure out why I was dropping them, and continue that cycle until I could keep them in the air indefinitely, knowing that if I didn’t my life was forfeit.

Like juggling, selling is a skill. You need knowledge, as well as the ability to translate that knowledge to action.

Consider the case where a struggling salesperson can’t get past the first meeting because they don’t know the 4 hot features that differentiate you from your competitors. Or the reasons your solution is a better value, even with a higher price.

If they don’t know these things, you have a training issue. They need to learn these things, and to practice effectively communicating that knowledge to prospects.

No amount of incentive or increased activity will help them, since they don’t have the skills required.

It’s a whole different story when your salespeople have the skills or knowledge they need, but aren’t using them.

Unlike juggling, I know how to jog. So if my life depended on me jogging for 10 miles, I could do it today. The fact that I don’t do it regularly has nothing to do with my ability or knowledge - it’s a matter of motivation.

We see this in salespeople all the time - asking the question “What do you need to accomplish this week to stay on track to hit your quota” will often get you a different answer than the question “What did you do this week?”

Similarly, asking “How much work would you put into this presentation if your life depended on you getting the sale” will often yield a different answer than “How much work did you put into this presentation?”

What needs to change in these cases is behavior - more of the right activity done in the correct sequence.

They know how to do what you’re asking, they’re just not doing it.

In this situation, monitoring activity levels and getting feedback becomes the lever to change behavior.

Step 2: Building the Manager’s Playbook

At this stage, we’ve done the hard work of gathering information, organizing it, and planning.

Avoiding this “pre-work” is one of the core reasons that change efforts fail, but since you’ve done it, we’ll put all of that blood and sweat into an actional playbook that gives the operational instructions, the “know how”, to the team.

This step is all about ensuring that your sales manager has the ‘how to’ instructions for the salespeople to act on the plans created in Step 1. Specifically, this is about bringing to life the concept of “doing the right activities, in the right order, executed skillfully.”

If something’s not getting done, or not getting done in a timely fashion, or not being done well, then it’s the job of the sales manager to recognize that quickly, and to work with the salesperson to correct it.

In Step 1, we worked with your sales manager to identify the activities for each salesperson that require the most focus over the next 4 weeks.

For each salesperson, there may be a different “most important thing” to be working on, and we need to be clear about exactly what that is.

It’s not enough to just identify what needs to be done, though - that’s why in this step, we work with your sales manager to ensure that there is absolute clarity between the salesperson and the sales manager about what is expected, what constitutes a “win”, and what tools the sales manager can use to support each sales person.

Step 2 is where managers get clear about how to help their people perform the activities of the sales job. Often we tell people what must be done, but forget the how part. The insight from Andy Grove bears repeating. He rebuked his consultant for telling him the ‘what’ without the ‘how. “Ram, you’re a typical academic. I asked you how to solve a problem and you told me what to do. I know what to do, I just don’t know how to do it.”

That’s the insight we’re leveraging in this step - once you know the what, you need to also have the how.

Working with your sales manager, we’ll develop a manager’s playbook that’s focused on the areas of improvement identified in Step 2. Managers will use this playbook to ensure their salespeople are putting in the work needed to develop their skills, as well as to boost their most productive selling activities.

Your salespeople will improve their performance if they do the right activities in the right order, executed skillfully.

The managers playbook is a set of tools & practices that your sales manager can use to help your salespeople make the changes needed to dramatically improve their selling efforts.

It’s broadly made up of 3 areas:

  • Activity & Success Reports

  • Training interventions & exercises

  • The “must-do” activities required of the salespeople

The idea isn’t to create a 100 page report that will sit on a shelf somewhere - but rather to give your sales managers actionable information they need.

The playbook will be developed using the assets and information collected previously. If you already have a strong reporting culture in place, then we’ll just verify that the information you need to be reviewing regularly is included. If you don’t, then we’ll help you identify how to gather the information needed for your reports.

Similarly, if you already have strong messaging and marketing materials in place, we’ll just help you validate that all your salespeople are familiar with them. If not, we’ll show you how to develop these critical assets (as they’ll be integral to your salespeople’s skill development).

We’ll also ensure that your sales manager is comfortable with critical training tools (such as the most common objections playbook, role playing at each stage of the sales process, demonstration / presentation audits, etc) required to fulfil the plans we created.

Q: Is a Playbook really necessary?

There isn’t a coach in all of sports that doesn’t operate out of a playbook. There isn’t a winning team whose players don’t know and follow a playbook as if it were their bible.

The playbook allows your sales manager to be explicit about what their salespeople need to do, as well as how they as managers are going to support that salesperson activity / skill development.

Q: How will the sales manager use the playbook in managing a salesperson's required activity in the short term?

In the last part of step 1, we identified Activity and Skill Development opportunities for your salespeople to work on. In the playbook, you’ll be picking the highest impact of those, and helping your salesperson move the needle by focusing on that one thing.

Here’s an example of well done & poorly done entries for this stage:

Poorly done activity goal:

“For the next 2 weeks, focus on prospecting”

And here’s an activity goal done the right way:

“Your goal for the next week is to have 1:1 conversations with at least 10 viable new prospects, as defined in our Minimum Prospecting Requirements guide. A 1:1 conversation is defined as a phone call, virtual meeting, or in person meeting with that prospect (we’re measuring conversations here, not outreach attempts - voicemails and emails don’t count, nor do cancelled appointments).

The evaluation criteria is simply the percentage of your goal of 10 conversations that you manage to have. If you book 10 conversations and 3 cancel (meaning you actually have 7 conversations), you’ll get a score of 7/10.

10 or more conversations will get you a score of 10/10.”

Poorly done Skill Development Goal:

“For the next 2 weeks, work on your objection handling when selling our service package.”

And here’s a Skill Development Goal done the right way:

“There are two expectations for this. The first is that you'll meet with the other salespeople successfully selling this service package, and from them gather the 5 most pressing objections our existing clients give for not using the service. You’ll submit these objections (and the best response to each) to me by email.

The second is that, during a role-play discussion, you'll be able to gracefully accept any of those objections, determine if they're a root objection or a smokescreen, and to handle them appropriately.

The first 5 points are for meeting with other salespeople & generating the list of objections. You will get one point for each of the objections you identify (along with its response).

The second 5 points are for your performance during the role play. Immediately after the role play, we'll discuss your performance and I’ll assign the points based on your ability to skillfully handle the objections.”

Notice the specificity, and the easy ability to measure success, failure, and effort put in by the salesperson on the well done versions of these goals. We’ll be working with your sales manager to create high impact focus areas for each of your salespeople.

Step 3: Help Salespeople Walk-to-the-Sale

This is where the rubber meets the road. The steps to this point were about goal setting, gathering data, planning, and getting your sales manager ready.

This step is about how to turn those plans into action, and do the week in and week out work with our salespeople.

We’ve established what it takes to be successful, written a playbook on how to execute, and now we simply have to help our people perform.

Here, you’ll be using SalesManagment.io’s platform to monitor your salespeople’s progress towards the goals you set in step 1, following the playbook from step 2.

Your sales manager will enter the key activities each sales rep needs to accomplish on a weekly and monthly basis. They will also enter the specific goals and areas of improvement that’s been identified in the prep work we’ve done together.

Once this is set up, we’ll work directly with your sales manager & each individual salesperson on a regular cadence of mentoring & monitoring.

Using the playbook created in Step 2, the manager will work with each salesperson directly to improve their activity level and skills.

The process will start by focusing on the most important activities needed to increase sales, and the largest gaps hindering performance. Each rep will have a plan tailored to their needs based on their job, their territories, and their past performance (or lack thereof).

For each goal that your salesperson is working on (whether it’s based on activity or skill development), each cadence will record the following data points:

  • Score

  • Successes

  • Challenges

  • What they’ll do differently in the next period to address those challenge areas

Each time you meet, it’s important to look back over past attempts - you don’t want to see your salespeople running into the same challenges week after week.

What you do want to see is evidence of them applying the “thoughts for next time” into their work in the following week.

This is the area where disciplined focus is paramount, both from your sales manager and your salespeople.

The process of reflecting back on the week of work, and of being brutally honest about how much effort went into the areas you’ve identified as “the most important” is going to be enlightening. It will also give you real-time insight into how well your salespeople are doing on each of their goals.

Q: How often do we need to hold these cadence meetings?

Depending on the goals you’re working towards, and how your sales process is structured, we typically recommend one of 3 schedules:

  • Every week

  • Every second week

  • Every month

Whichever one you choose, though, it’s important to remain consistent and to not skip sessions.

And make no mistake - It is going to be tempting to skip sessions (both for you, and for your salespeople).

Sometimes that temptation is going to come from sheer activity - when you’re going all-out to close deals, closing out the quarter, dealing with a surge in existing client requirements, etc. It can seem like this just isn’t urgent enough to warrant the meeting time.

Sometimes that temptation is going to come from salesperson embarrassment - they know exactly how they’re going to be scored on each goal, and if they haven’t done well they won’t want to see that low score reflected (none of us do!).

Wherever it comes from, though, you can’t let it win the day.

This step is where the magic happens. The routine, boring, diligent magic.

It’s a lot like going to the gym. You can’t say “I went once in 2012, so now I’m fit.”

You can’t say “I go to the gym whenever I have nothing better to do, so I’m fit.”

Much like going to the gym, there are going to be days when it’s hard. Especially early on, it’s going to be somewhat humbling.

The key to getting better is to keep pushing through - being careful not to go too hard & burn out, but also being diligent about ensuring that you’re putting in the work regularly.

Q: We’ve set an activity goal for a salesperson, but they keep finding different reasons why it’s not getting done - what’s happening here?

This is likely a skills issue in disguise. More specifically, it’s likely an issue with a lack of time management skills.

Typically this comes from overly optimistic forecasting on the part of your salesperson, and you can help them by ensuring they’re asking themselves better questions as they plan their week.

For example, asking them:

  • How are you going to ensure you have the time to do these activities, when over the last 2 weeks you ended up getting pulled away by something else?

  • How will you handle your phone ringing, or a client email that comes in during the time you’ve scheduled for these activities?

  • What don’t you think you’ve planned for yet, that could disrupt your ability to complete these tasks in full next week?

  • What are your plans to address those issues if and when they arise?

Bonus Step: Review and Repeat

Okay - there’s a fourth step. A bonus step - the secret sauce that keeps you rocketing from one sales pinnacle to the next - over and over and over again. Let’s call it the “Continual Forward Progress” step.

It’s simple: review and repeat. Leverage your success by now working on new goals and priorities - the new set of skills that will blast your sales team’s result further into the revenue stratosphere.

As your first goals get accomplished, new goals will be added. The same is true for skills. We started by focusing on the most important activities and gaps, but as these get resolved we can make further progress by improving and working on new goals and skills.

The SalesManagement.io platform will chart the progress of everyone’s improvement, giving you the feedback on when to change priorities, goals or even circle back and give additional help and assistance. The SalesManagement.io platform becomes your GPS for revenue growth and sales team improvement.

Summing up...

If you can:

  • Focus on the high value, low disruption areas that can be overseen by your sales manager

  • Give your sales manager the tools to quickly identify both strengths, and “roadblock areas” for each salesperson

  • Give your sales manager the training / ability to help their salespeople break through these roadblocks

  • Ensure your salespeople (and sales manager) know the highest priority items they MUST complete on a weekly basis, and accept no lapses in these few critical areas (whether it’s sales activity related, or training / skill development)

  • Measure what matters frequently, and adjust focus based on the data (not preferences or salesperson stories)

Then you can add at least $1M - 3M+/year in topline revenue, with minimal disruption to your sales team.

There are two ways you can achieve this:

Option 1

Option one is to try to get your sales manager & sales team on board with these things, and hope that they can implement them on their own.

However, there are a few challenges with this:

  • The issues that have stopped your team from doing this already, will continue to exist - it’s not simply an issue of knowing what to do, but rather an issue with actually doing the right things, at the right times.

  • Speed of implementation is key here - trying to have your team figure all this out on their own will require trial & error, and it will take months (if not years) to get it tuned in to the level that you need it to add millions to your topline revenue.

  • The cost of doing this on your own isn’t in the fees you save, it’s in the opportunity cost of the sales you’ll lose in the meantime.

Option 2

Or you can work with SalesManagement.io and get your sales team working on the highest impact, lowest disruption areas immediately.

Some of over the 200 companies and clients that we’ve worked for, sold for, channel managed, or sold to...

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Case Studies

These aren’t hypothetical points - here’s how some of our clients have put these practices into action to drive massive sales improvements in 12 months or less.

  • Sheri - Territory Manager for an ISO
    $70k to $1.4M in Sales

    Before: Unproductive territory far underproducing other territories and reps

    After: $1.4M in sales that exceeded previous sales by $220K and quota by $450K

    Time Frame: 3 months to $120K, 12 months to $1.4M

Sheri took over a moderately successful territory that had been open for almost a year in a very competitive situation. Sheri attempted and failed to sell into the market segment both familiar to her (chiropractic) and which were successful specialties for reps in other areas (orthopedics). Sheri’s first 2 quarters produced only $70K in sales which would have meant missing quota by 86%. Sheri was considering leaving and the company was on the cusp of replacing her.

After analyzing the territory’s accounts and where Sheri had successfully closed business it was determined that she was spending 85% of her time in the specialty that only the 10% of sales closed in. It was also uncovered that while Sheri was an excellent ‘ant hill kicker,’ that is she could prospect and develop opportunities, Sheri’s close rate was an abysmal 17%.

By refocusing Sheri into the area of highest potential (imaging centers) and then mentoring her on closing business, Sheri turned around her performance in under 3 months and didn’t have to leave or be replaced. Sheri exceeded quota for the year by $450K and turned in the best performance for the territory in the company’s history.

The turnaround and sales results were so profound that the analysis and Walk-to-Sales process is being rolled out to other team members. While this effort is just starting, the results in 60 days have been the following

  • Opportunities in the pipeline for all reps is up 37%

  • Sales Velocity - lead to closed business, has decreased the sales cycle from an average of 210 days to 160 days.

  • Close rates for all salespeople have increased by 2%, adding $220K in additional revenue per month.

  • George from and ISO and Reseller of Radiology Equipment
    Losing money on $200K in Sales to becoming largest ISO with annual sales of over $5M

    Before: 5 sales rep only producing $200k in annual sales but costing almost $1M in 2 years

    After: 22% growth quarter over quarter. ROI on salesforce in first quarter

    Time Frame: First Quarter, Constant Improvement 2 years running

George was the Founder of an ISO based on his service expertise and customer connections. George built a large ISO that dominated his geography for service and support. He hired 5 sales reps to expand the business into capital sales and expand his service revenue. After two years of sales activities, George has spent almost $1M but with paltry sales (under $200k a year) and a negative ROI on the cost.

George was a great engineer and business leader but lacked experience in sales and in managing a sales team. George needed to learn sales management or hire a VP of sales capable of ensuring revenue growth and sales results. Russ was engaged to help George do those things and to create a sales team that was effective.

Sales were increased in the first quarter with use of the Walk-to-Sale process with each of the 5 reps. A VP of Sales was hired and coached for a year. The sales force was reduced to three reps, and those that could not make quota were replaced. The performance of the sales team enticed better OEMs to partner with the business. This expanded their equipment offerings and got the team into better, higher-margin accounts.

  • Marcus at a Regional ISO
    $1.6M to $3.4M in one year

    Before: Loss of their highest performing sales rep reduced sales by $340K per quarter

    After: Sales increased 213% in 8 months. Customer attrition eliminated.

    Time Frame: 8 months

Annual sales fell off almost 50% with the departure of the company’s top rep to an OEM competitor. The company had consistently sold over $3M per year but did only $1.6M a year after losing their star rep. A partner had to exit the business and a significant resizing of the company occured.Three reps were hired to reignite sales but none were producing good results.

By identifying and holding salespeople accountable for specific weekly activities sales increased 213% in 8 months. The star performer was replaced by a predictable selling system that made all of the reps successful. As the business had become profitable and consistent in selling again, the remaining partner was able to sell the company and exit with a significant gain.

  • Dave from an ISO of Radiology Products
    Stalled Growth to an overall 35% Increase in Sales and a 220% increase in new accounts in 4 months

    Before: Declining growth and no new accounts. Salespeople were only selling to existing accounts. No system or consistency across the sales team

    After: Increased new customer accounts by 220% in the first 4 months and overall revenue by $2.6M in 12 months

    Time Frame: 12 months

  • “Russ was asked to help our company solve two problems that were becoming more and more acute. We were in jeopardy of losing our OEM contracts because of declining sales and our lack of landing new accounts. Profits were declining because of hyper competition and the OEMs going direct. All of the adverse healthcare forces acting on dealers had stalled our growth and we were even considering exiting the business.

    Our existing VP of Sales was our best salesman and we thought he would be able to run the team. Instead, John continued to be everyone’s closer but did almost no managing or coaching (improving the team). Our compensation plan rewarded sales regardless of the source or margins of the business. Lastly, we had no structured approach to managing the team’s activities or assisting them other than in an ad-hoc, hottest fire type triage.

    Russ helped us make and manage the organizational changes needed to solve those problems. We switched our VP of Sales to a better role - a closer, and moved a salesperson with an MBA and excellent managerial skills into the VP slot. We recrafted our compensation plan to reward new business more significantly and paid on the basis of margin contribution, not top-line revenue. Russ worked with the new VP for 6 months to ensure that he had the coaching skills to keep the team coordinated and progressing on the specific activities and metrics expected.

    Within 2 months of these changes being implemented we saw a dramatic improvement in both new account selling and closed business. By the end of the second quarter we had landed twice as many accounts as we had in the previous year. By the end of year one, besides the additional sales and profits, we were secure in our OEM agreements. Growth has not stalled since and continues to grow on a year over year basis.”

  • Mike - PACS and Medical IT vendor
    $0 to $450K in Sales in 5 Months

    Before: Spending $1M on a sales team that produced no sales except OEM referrals

    After: Reduced selling costs to under $250K and generated $250k in sales quarterly

    Time Frame: 7 months

  • Russ was brought into the sales team as a technical advisor based on his years of experience, both as a Radiology manager and as an engineer. After a terrible year without any market penetration or sales it was decided to ask Russ to replace the VP of Sales in North America.

    Realizing that IT sales required significant technical expertise Russ implemented a channel strategy supported by Digital Sales Specialists. This reorganization saved the company over one million dollars in 18 months and enabled us to double our installation base of customers. Whereas we hadn’t had one sale in the previous twelve months that wasn’t from an OEM partner, we consistently landed more new clients each quarter, eventually installing our system in two of the largest IDN’s in the US.

    Russ helped us expand our business into Canada and Puerto Rico. We were able to open a Corporate office in Denver, CO and place a permanent staff of technical support and operations in the US because of our increased sales and account base.

  • Scott from #3 DR Manufacturer
    $3.2M to $11.6M in Sales in 12 Months

    Before: Worst sales division in the company for a decade; No reps hitting their quota

    After: Finished the year above quota by increasing sales to $11.6M from the previous year’s 3.2M. #2 division in the company. Every rep hit or exceeded their quota

    Time Frame: 1 year

  • When Russ took over the sales division in the West, he wasn’t starting from scratch but digging out of a deep hole. We didn’t have a single reseller doing over $1Million in sales west of the Mississippi. In some states we weren’t able to convert a single customer from our large install base of CR into DR.

    The sales team hadn’t hit their numbers in years, they’d gone through half a dozen salespeople in the previous 2 years, and they were struggling to live on their base salaries. Three different managers had tried and failed to fix the situation.

    Within the first 3 months, Russ identified key customers, channel partners, and the roadblocks that were preventing salespeople from being successful in their territories. Russ used a disciplined focus approach with each salesperson to identify and fill the gaps identified.

    By the 6th month, Russ’ team had already sold more than the previous 12 months, and by the end of the year the Western Division was the 2nd highest division in the company. The Western Division was profitable for the first time since its creation, had 3 million dollar dealers (up from zero), and exceeded its quota by increasing sales from the previous year by 363%.

  • John from Global Manufacturer of Digital Radiology Equipment
    $0 to $2.6 Million US in Annual Sales in 6 Months, Service revenue uptick to $6.7M

    Before: Sales declined from $25M to $0 as the market shifted technologies, 12 reps only sold upgrades and service to existing accounts. Extremely high turnover of reps - 6 in one year

    After: New account sales went from zero to six in the first year. Increased capital sales of new installations to $1.2M

    Time Frame: 1 year

  • The transition from CCD technology to Digital Detectors had outdated this company’s offerings. Salespeople didn’t know how to successfully sell the new technology or shift the company’s value proposition.The lack of success reduced commissions and salespeople left the company, causing high turnover and replacement costs.

    SalesManagement.io identified a market-product fit for the current offerings of the business. Instead of replacing the salespeople who left an in-house lead generation team was created. They created opportunities for the salespeople to sell into. Sales went up and turnover stopped. After successfully implementing both demand generation and a playbook (the Walk-to-Sales method) in existing territories, the open territories were filled.

    4 new accounts were sold in the first quarter and 6 in the second. The new account success broke a string of 18 months without a single new installation. As the salespeople were able to focus on selling instead of prospecting in the wrong healthcare space they were able to not only follow up on the lead generated by the inside salesforce but on existing customers. This reduced customer attrition by 63% and dramatically impacted service revenue in year one, upticking the support revenue by $6.7M. Only 1 salesperson left in 2 years after implementing these changes.

  • Frank at a Regional ISO
    $336,000 of additional profit in 6 months

    Before: Chasing bad deals had the win-rate of salespeople stalled below 30%

    After: Increased number of qualified opportunities and win-rate above 41%. Deals closed in Q1 and Q2 that would not have closed without these changes resulted in adding $336,000 in bottom-line profits for the first half of the year

    Time Frame: 6 months

  • Deals worth over $1 million were stopped in the last quarter of 2018 by purchasing because the company’s products weren’t on the customer’s GPO contract. Two of the deals were reversed after issuing PO’s to Frank’s company. Salespeople didn’t include GPO contracting in their qualification process and had no experience dealing with the purchasing departments of the hospitals or clinics they were selling to.

    We instituted a 3 pronged approach to solving this. The goal was to not only insure that accounts were qualified, that is they could by from Frank’s company, but also to resolve any reasons that would prevent buying.

    First, a new qualification system was implemented. All reps were trained on how to discover the GPO affiliation of their prospects. We eliminated chasing bad opportunities and refocused on developing qualified opportunities. Close rates were increased from 27% to 41% - a 152% increase in performance.

    Second, we trained the reps to work with the purchasing departments for contract compliance and alternative solutions if a problem existed. This ended up not only helping with getting more business accepted, but increase our margins by understanding and better relationships with the purchasing agents.

    Lastly, we reached out to the GPO reps in our territory and found ways of getting on the GPO contracts, either through our OEMs or through expanded exception permissions. We were able to get refurbished sales and additional product lines accepted by the GPOs when pricing would have otherwise eliminated the hospital from buying anything. The GPOs were pleased that we paid their fees and assisted them in making sales. One deal in particular – was worth $240,000 top-line with refurbished portables and new DR. The GPO accepted that the new DR detectors qualified and they approved the refurbished portables based on the DR.

  • Kevin at a Regional ISO
    $419,00 in additional profit in 7 months.

    Before: Competitors driving down margins. Salespeople focused on price. No uniform messaging between reps

    After: An additional $267,000 in profit was added to the sales by focusing the sales team on value based selling, and giving them new skills & scripts

    Time Frame: 7 months

  • At our first sales meeting with all 9 salespeople and the sales manager it became evident that every rep had a different approach and message to their prospects. Most took a “product” centric approach – asking what the customer had already been quoted on and then matching that configuration and attempting to win by offering a better price. If the customer didn’t have any quotes “brochure” selling was started. The rep pulled out a brochure and sold from it.

    Kevin’s company had significant advantages over his competitors. He kept portable replacement batteries fully charged and ready for the top three brands. His engineers were all OEM trained and he had an average on-site response time of 4 hours or less. Many other distinguishing factors existed that his salespeople were not promoting or making prospects aware of.

    We immediately required all sales reps to sell the company first. Deals where price was the principle factor in deciding on who to buy from were evaluated on a case-by-case basis and disqualified if the margins didn’t warrant the cost of selling to the account. Salespeople emphasized the company’s 30 years of continual service to the area, their service record, and the value of uptime and support over initial purchase price.

    The transition to a value based approach was not without difficulty. We lost two reps and had to replace the Sales Manager because they could not make the shift in thinking. However after 7 months Kevin sold more equipment at higher margins with 2 less salespeople. Kevin calculated that his additional profits were $419,000 dollars and expected that number to triple in the next year.

  • Chris at a Regional ISO
    $1.8M to $2.6M in one year

    Before: No plan, no leads, company was being pushed further and further downstream to specialties with smaller deals and lower margins

    After: Sales were increased from $1.8M to 2.6M in a year by changing the go-to-market approach of the company and moving back upstream

    Time Frame: 1 year

  • A reactive approach to the market and today’s headwinds were making quite a mess for Chris’ team and company. Smaller deals were being chased – often out of state and far away. Small service contracts were being sold outside of the company’s expertise, such as a bio-medical contract on EKG units. Chris’ primary business had been in orthopedics and imaging centers when he bought the company. Over the past three years he was doing less of that business and far more work with chiropractors and urgent care facilities – all good clients, but with low end needs and even lower margins.

    We did a SWOT analysis with Chris and his two salespeople. A market position was established where Chris was eminently prepared to win. Relentless execution directed at that focused group of clients and the stopping of extraneous pursuits resulted in adding $813,000 in sales in 12 months.

  • George at a Regional ISO
    $1.2M Top-Line Increase one year

    Before: Sales stalled and forecasts were indicating a substantial decline in revenue. Two sales reps and three service reps poached by his largest OEM partner, who then took the territory direct. An online seller supported by their National Reseller owner took clinic business and eroded margins on downstream sales.

    After: Applied SalesManagment.io methodology to focus all efforts on the relevant KPIs (including appointments per week, proposals per month, and for customer expansion), and building the skills to improve those KPIs. The decline of sales was reversed and $1.2M in additional sales were closed over the previous year.

    Time Frame: 1 year

  • George’s company has a significant install base that was being eroded by on-line sellers and the OEMs taking his accounts direct. We implemented a customer focus and measured salespeople on their results in terms of customer retention and expansion. The increased focus reversed attrition, generated referrals, and even enabled switching product lines to eliminate the former OEM from the business.

    New business was developed in a “spiral out” approach, i.e. working from the existing accounts, getting referrals, and doing business with affiliated healthcare partners of the customer.

    Most importantly lead measures were used to work the reps territories instead of simply the ‘hit or miss’ approach of quota attainment. By monitoring proposal activities, demo’s completed, and appointments per week, forecasts become reliable.

    The year’s sales were $1.2M over the previous year based on the reps new focus and activity level. Every rep met or exceeded quota and the company experienced no turnover.

Here’s what is going to happen when you work with us:

  • You will add at least $1M-3M+ to your topline revenue in 12 months if your team follows the process

  • All of your salespeople will be hitting or exceeding their quota

  • You’ll reduce turnover of your highest performing salespeople

  • Your sales manager will be able to quickly identify and remove roadblocks to sales for each of your salespeople, helping them close more deals with less effort

  • Your managers and salespeople will have a shared “north star” that ensures common understanding about the most important weekly activities

  • You’ll spend less time and experience less frustration managing salespeople

  • You’ll be able to achieve consistency between salespeople in performance and results

  • You’ll be able to have consistency in the marketplace with client messaging, expectations, pricing and sales

Here’s what you get

Now if you wanted to get this job done before by hiring outside experts, new sales managers, or a whole new sales team, it would cost you at least $150k - $250k just to get started - and doing so would be making a gamble that this time, somehow, it’d be different.

By working with us, you can supercharge your sales team and add $1-3M to your topline revenues within 12 months, all for under $1,300/month.

We’ll work with you through each of the 3 steps to profitable sales growth. Here’s what that looks like:

  • Three half-day planning sessions with you & your sales manager to work through the three parts of Step 1 - Planning to Win. You’ll immediately get our “Planning to Win Discovery Guide” to prepare for the sessions. During this time, we’ll ensure that you’ve got the information you need, or work with you to put a plan in place to start collecting it. We’ll identify your resources, gaps, and start working towards identifying the highest leverage areas to focus on with your sales team. At the end of this process you’ll have set your goals, established an action plan for accomplishing them, and have a manager’s playbook ready for the sales team to execute on.

  • 3 Months of weekly 1:1 calls with your sales manager to keep things on track, answer any of their questions, work through problem areas, etc. During these calls we’ll ensure that the Sales Manager's playbook is up to date, and help create any new sections as required. We can review specific sessions with salespeople, make suggestions on high-leverage areas to focus on, diagnose issues with salesperson performance in their weekly goals, etc.

  • 3 months of calls between Russ + Shawn, your sales manager, and each of your salespeople individually, to ensure they’re focused on the right areas and activities. We’ll be there to guide your sales managers & salespeople through step 3 of the process. As you saw above, these calls are where the magic happens - we’ll dive deep with your salespeople, help them identify the most impactful areas they can be working on, and help them & your sales manager track their results over time. This will allow you to get off to a running head-start, and give your sales manager immediate experience in seeing the SalesManagement.io methodology applied within their sales team.

All you need to do is book a call.

Bonus

Now because you are reading this, we are going to do something extremely special:

For a limited time, we are going to offer a full year of access and use of the SalesManagment.io platform if you act now.

  • 1 year access to the SalesManagement.io platform. This web-based software was purpose-built to apply the SalesManagement.io methodology, and makes applying all of the principles a breeze. We’ll be using it extensively through the 3 month 1:1 access, and you’ll have full access to it for the rest of the year as part of the program. You’ll also be eligible for discounts to continue using it indefinitely. It’s almost like getting to keep Russ & Shawn on-board forever.

  • 12 months of support. You will see a dramatic increase in profitable sales within the first 90 days following the SalesManangement.io process. However, you and I know that capital sales can take much longer. So we will remain available for additional coaching and support for one full year. We’ll work with your managers and salespeople on an as needed basis for any hurdles or growing pains that might happen while you increase your business and sales. Naturally, there are some guidelines around this that we’ll discuss on our call.

A Word of Warning

We can’t work for everyone. We’re putting our money where our mouth is and promising that for every hour of work you invest, we’ll put in two. So, we can’t do this for everyone, and we can’t offer such personalized service forever. .

Our existing Medical Device Companies have paid us $50k, $100k, and $150k+ for this work. We’re making this offer now because we’re turning SalesManagment.io’s process from a one-on-one in-person system into this new online, streamlined accelerator program. So for now, while you’re here, we can make this offer. We won’t be doing this for very long. The time to get onboard is now.

If you really want to turn up the heat on your sales, get more business and rip market-share from your competitors, now is the time to hit the pricing button below and book a call with Shawn or Russ.

Who this is for:

Again, this is for owners or sales managers of Medical Imaging Service and Sales Companies that are highly motivated to increase their sales and market-share. It’s for owners and sales managers that know their sales team can do better and will do whatever work is required to make sure that happens.

Who this isn’t for:

We know from 38+ years of experience and after working with dozens of Medical Device companies that the headwinds are fierce and the challenges can seem daunting.

We also know that sales can be improved 30%, 40%, doubled and even tripled by implementing the right processes. We’ve seen it - we do it.

But this isn’t for everyone.

Because it isn’t a silver bullet.

It’s a process that needs to be worked through, with incremental progress repeated over and over again to reach your goals. We roll up our sleeves and work with you until sales are dramatically improved. Our past results and commitment to work alongside you - with your managers and salespeople - is why we can offer a ridiculous guarantee.

But if you want just another sales fad, the hot system of the week, that won’t require your sales manager & salespeople to commit to change & be accountable for that commitment, we’re not going to be a good fit.

Guarantee

We offer an action-based guarantee. If our clients execute the action plan - where they engage in all of the scheduled workshops & calls, and do the assigned work between workshops & calls, and are still not able to see an increase of at least $200,000 in topline revenue over 12 months, then we offer a full 100% money-back-guarantee. That's it. Our process works and we put our money where our mouth is.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s different about your methods / process than anybody else?

As I write this, there are 1,245,043 people listed as sales consultants or trainers on LinkedIn. There are thousands of books, courses, and training offerings out there - so why us?

Simple.

First, we have the case studies to prove the results. We’re not making up claims out of thin air, especially in this market. We’ve delivered dozens upon dozens of times. And not just general business results - results for Medical Device Sales and Service companies just like yours.

Second, SalesManagement.io’s system wasn’t created in some MBA classroom or a boilerplate solution copied over from every other selling system. It was created by a team of experts that to this day sell medical devices and services to healthcare providers. We’ve led teams and sold for some of the largest OEMs in the healthcare space, founded our own ISO, and sat on all sides of the desk - from being a hospital buyer, to a salesperson, to a sales manager.

Third, this isn’t another training. This is about you getting measurable results and putting more sales on the board and profits in your pocket.

We don’t Hail Mary a manual and some advice over the castle’s wall and tell you to do your best. We roll our sleeves up and get right in the mix with your sales manager and salespeople.

We work with your people to ensure that progress is being made, and that skills are not only being learned but put into practice. We help you monitor progress, fill gaps, and solve whatever sales problems are hindering your revenue growth.

We only measure our success by yours, We only get paid for delivering results, not training, not promises, not “borrowing your watch and telling you the time".

Finally, we’re taking all the risk. Our 10X Guarantee says that if you don’t get at least a tenfold bottom-line profitable return on the cost of this program in your first year, we’ll either continue helping your sales managers and salespeople or refund you the complete investment you’ve made. The choice is yours.

Q: Can’t I just replace the sales manager and non-performers until I have a working team?

This is a very common solution, that almost never works. The tenure of a Sales Manager has fallen from 24 months to 18 months and now sits at under 12 months. The turnover for salespeople is over 22% annually for Medical Device Sales.

If replacing people was the answer this turnover would eventually stop - but it hasn’t.

Q: Can’t I just invest in more training/hold more meetings/add more CRM & Tools?

Training is a good thing. However US businesses spend over $1 Billion annually on training and tools. Yet the number of salespeople hitting quota has declined every year for almost 10 years, even during our economic recovery.

With only 4.6% of leads ending in closed business and the average win rate for salespeople being 34% of submitted proposals, clearly more training and more management tools aren’t moving the needle.

Q: What if it’s just that my salespeople aren’t working as hard as they could be? Can’t I just push them to work harder?

After all sales is just a ‘numbers game.” Push harder. Demand more. The more balls you swing at the more runs you hit, right? Are you sure?

Here’s why that strategy never works out long term:

First, everyone is working harder and smarter these days. In fact, everyone is working past capacity.

Today the issue isn’t a lack of anything, including effort or smarts - it’s overwhelm. It is having too many balls to swing at instead of swing at the right ones.

Second, without the motivation and skills to hit the ball it doesn’t matter how many balls pass the plate or how often they get swung at. Practice doesn’t make perfect - perfect practice makes perfect

Q: This all seems to make sense - why can’t I just implement this on my own?

Actually that’s the ultimate plan - that you’re able to increase sales and revenue, or your team is.

But right now, going it alone means countless losses in time, effort, and money. It means trying to fix problems without necessarily knowing what is going to work.

The hit-or-miss approach is costly, and frustrating. Even the greatest players need help. Tiger Woods has a coach. Tom Brady has a coach. The best teams have help.

Q: My salespeople tell me that a bunch of big deals are right around the corner - why not just wait and see if they’re right?

I remember a meeting with dozens of ISOs when ACA was passed. Without exception they all believed that the hard times would pass. Capital spending would go back up and business would return to normal.

A wait-and-see approach isn’t going to turn around sales.

A team isn’t going to get better on their own.

The ability to beat your competitors, sell on price, or grab your share of the business isn’t going to improve by just waiting out the hard times or current situation.

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