VersionOne offers its software development project management tools through a sales organization of now 26 people, including sales representatives, product specialists, sales operations and executives. Early in 2008, VersionOne had several sales challenges which it sought to overcome. For example, the sales organization needed a process for ramping up new salespeople quickly to reduce the time from hire to first sale. The sales team sought a common language or way to effectively describe capabilities. Additionally, they needed a best practice to adequately process inbound requests from prospects. VersionOne also wanted to address the following concerns:
· How do we adequately train and coach our existing and new sales force when we are running around growing the business?
· If we are going to grow personnel and sales, we need to codify our best practices and learn how to repeat them and coach them. When are we going to do that?
· Are we saying the right things at the appropriate time in the sales or recruitment process?
· Many of our leads are inbound, so they are either already looking at someone else like us or we are the first on a list – how do we distinguish ourselves and conduct appropriate discussions?
· How well are we tracking our opportunities?
Solving these combined challenges would directly impact VersionOne’s revenue potential.
VersionOne’s sales and marketing team began working with Adam Shapiro’s SalesReformSchool, in February of 2008 by building an initial sales-ready messaging kit of scripts, success stories and conversation prompters. Later, they held three workshops, the last in September of 2008, all led by Shapiro. With Adam’s help, VersionOne immediately saw positive results.
The sales people were able to arm themselves with messaging tools that they could then utilize throughout each step of the sales process. These tools are especially helpful in knowing how to effectively qualify or disqualify a prospect early in the process. Together, they defined a common language for discussing opportunities as organization-wide. Most importantly, the new methodology helped VersionOne create a process for working through opportunities that honors what buyers need in order to make a purchasing decision, while also setting them apart from competitors. The net results have been remarkable – VersionOne more than doubled its sales in 2008 over 2007.
Richard Fuller, Vice President of Sales for VersionOne states, “Demand for our products were clearly ahead of our sales capacity….We needed a process that recognized the value of consistent messaging, the demands of a consultative sale and the realization that our buyers are well-educated and well-informed. With Adam’s help, we received all of this in a highly effective, repeatable process that helped us quadruple our sales team in less than one year.”
VersionOne CEO, Robert Holler also credits the hands-on guidance they received throughout their implementation by stating, “Adam is one of the few I have met with truly exceptional insight into sales messaging and the sales process. As we scale, it is beneficial to have someone to turn to for assistance with training and messaging. We subscribe to a CustomerCentric sales methodology and Adam just happens to be one of the best I have seen at helping teams reach their potential through the associated best practices.”
“Our sales methodology now drives a much more collaborative experience between sales and marketing. It definitely gets you 180 degrees away from selling on price and into consulting with customers on solutions to their issues or challenges that match up with the key strengths of our product. The methodology helps you clearly articulate and deliver your value proposition to the customer.”
–Denise Grey, VP of Marketing for VersionOne