System_Administration_Conference_TrainingThink sales training is unnecessary? New research says you’re wrong.

Sales execs expect to hire the best, brightest, and most connected salespeople they can find—reps who will hit the ground running and bring in big deals in record time. The idea is that companies can increase sales effectiveness by simply hiring the right people in the first place. This is only half true. Even the most talented reps have room to learn and grow.

Many sales organizations bristle at the idea of spending money on sales training programs. But recent research from CSO Insights shows a direct correlation between the quality of a company’s sales training and quota attainment.

CSO Insights asked participants in the annual “Sales Performance Optimization Report” to rate the quality of their company’s sales skills training.

In companies where programs exceeded expectations, 69.4 percent of reps made quota. In companies where skills training programs needed improvement, only 60.5 percent of reps made quota. There were also big differences in percents of deals won and lost. (Click here to download the full report.)

If you’re serious about increasing sales rep productivity, get access to the fastest proven method for quality lead generation—referral based selling. Take the Referral I.Q. Quiz and learn what it takes to run a referral business.

Plus, check out the latest from No More Cold Calling:

Inertia—Your Biggest Competitor

Does this sound familiar? You connect with a hot prospect, have several conversations, forge a solid relationship, identify next steps, and even schedule a specific time to talk. It’s all going so well. Then nothing … We’ve all been there. It’s frustrating and disappointing when a prospective deal goes from hot to radio silence. But it doesn’t mean the death of your sale. So, what do you do when prospects aren’t ready to move forward? (Read “Inertia—Your Biggest Competitor.”)

5 Tips for Becoming a Thought Leader

Our clients don’t just buy our products and services. They also buy our expertise. They want to work with the best of the best—salespeople who know their stuff, who ask the right questions and deliver tailor-made solutions. Think about it as if you were the buyer. Would you prefer to work with someone who only knows the ins and outs of what he’s selling? Or would you be more likely to choose an expert—someone who sees the big picture and can help you get a leg up on the competition? (Read “5 Tips for Becoming a Thought Leader.”)

It’s Time to Focus on Sales

Is your company great at generating ideas and marketing, but struggling to make sales? Our Interim Sales Advisor Program is created for great companies that have had enough sizzle and are ready to enjoy some steak.

Bring in Joanne Black to personally oversee the transformation of your business into a sales-focused enterprise. Click here to learn more. You can also call (415) 461-8763 or email Joanne at

Mark Zuckerberg Redefines Value

In the sales world, we equate value with ROI. Not so for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who just acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. He was thinking way bigger. This deal can’t be judged by the same standards as typical Wall Street mergers and acquisitions. In a social-media-driven world, it’s users, not revenue or profits, that define a company’s worth. What’s the message for salespeople? For me, it’s about thinking beyond (and even trashing) our standard metrics. (Read “Mark Zuckerberg Redefines Value.”)

Message to Management: The No-Cost Way to Improve Your Sales Team … NOW!

Sales managers can wreck a sales career or launch it. They can motivate reps who seem hopeless or derail the efforts of rising sales stars. Rene Zamora, a sales management thought leader and this month’s guest blogger, says the foundation of great sales leadership is simple: Believing in your team. Think belief is too “touchy-feely?” Check out what he has to say on the matter. (Read “Message to Management: The No-Cost Way to Improve Your Sales Team … NOW!”)

You Can’t Manage Your Friends and Still Be Friends

Successfully transitioning from sales rep to sales leader can be challenging, especially when you’re suddenly managing the same group of people who once were your colleagues. I did it, and I can tell you that becoming the boss wasn’t easy or much fun … at least not at first. Here are some strategies to help smooth your transition. (Read “You Can’t Manage Your Friends and Still Be Friends.”)

Join Joanne on Blog Talk Radio

Technology may be preventing you from making genuine connections with your buyers. So how do you cut out continuances, put an ending to pending, and stop stalling out? Sales coach Deb Calvert interviews Joanne about why it’s people, not technology, that will help you seal the deal. Click here to listen.