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Sales Synergistics Strategy Guide

Get to Know Us

Thank you for visiting Sales Synergistics!

In nearly a decade of consulting, and training, we have spent time selecting providers for our own use.  In that time we have found that often, when we are seeking outside help to solve complex problems for our businesses, we rarely start with a clear set of criteria to assess what the "right" solution looks like.  

Often, the right "fit" comes down to alignment on core business principles and strategies.  This tool is designed to help you get a better sense of who we are and HOW we solve problems for our clients.  

By reading through the topics that matter most to you; the problems that you want to address within your business, you will get a sense of how we might work together and use that assessment as a criteria for talking further.  We hope the information and tools below are helpful whether we work together or not.  

WHO IS SALES SYNERGISTICS?

WHO WE ARE

Sales Synergistics is sales training and advisory firm that focuses on developing strategies for GROWTH through our core principles of the Sellers’ Perspective and the 5-Ring Framework.

 

WHAT WE DO

We seek to coach and guide organizational leadership to build the conditions for success around their frontline sales team and use that insight to build or source training for reps and managers to GROW

 

WHO WE WORK WITH

We work directly with the senior leaders of Mid-Sized enterprise solution and product companies in GROWTH MODE who recognize that they need to improve the performance of their Sales, Marketing, and Operations teams, concurrently -AND- are actively looking for the right outside help for THEM, not the masses.

 

CAN WE WORK WITH YOU?

There is no way to know that from a website.  If you want to know, we should probably talk.  But first, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you a senior leader within an organization looking for that 2% improvement that will help you reach that elusive 2X improvement to meet the goals you know you can achieve?

  • Are you a strategic visionary, dissatisfied with the status quo, and seeking for an organic, non-invasive, minimally disruptive way to revolutionize the CULTURE of your organization to become the team you know you need to be for the next decade.

  • Do you have the responsibility and respect needed to lead a new approach to integrating Sales, Marketing, and Operations for a more profitable future?

  • Is your organization growing instead of struggling, but unsure of which moves to make to evolve to the next level of productivity?

  • Are you just shopping for some traditional cookie-cutter training just to check the box to say you did some learning and development this quarter?  Just looking for a little something to help sharpen your people a little bit, but not really worried about real return on the investment (If that’s not you…YES, there’s a lot of that out there, believe it or not!)

  • Is your team struggling to make their numbers, your organization is really in trouble unless you turn it all around, and you need a full-service consultant to come in and take ownership of leading that rescue operation?  If yes, that’s not us, but we know the right people.

  • Have you read the Sales Synergistics Strategy Guide to know if our philosophy is aligned with yours?

 

To help you assess our capabilities, we present the Sales Synergistics Strategy Guide:

Within this document you will find detailed information about the concepts and the strategies that we use to help certain companies grow their revenue.  The reason that we say “certain companies” is because we never claim to be the right fit for everyone.  One of the key factors in whether we can help you or not is within this very document. 

Read through it and ensure that our Strategic Growth Philosophy is in line with your beliefs and values.  If at any point your gut tells you that these concepts are just too far removed from your experience for you to commit and apply them to your organization, then we may not be a good match. 

As you read this, do your best to NOT worry about the HOW, just decide if the content seems logical to you and we will talk you through our proven processes to ingest and implement them.  Also, ask yourself if your specific areas of need fall into any of these areas for which we have ready-built content and processes to serve you.  Click any topic below to link to the detailed content:

Strategic Growth Philosophy Ask yourself if you agree with the following core principles #1 - Your Frontline sellers are the primary revenue generating team in your organization.  To GROW, you have to optimize their production.  YES, optimizing their production DOES include training their skills and managing their activity to ensure they are doing enough  of the RIGHT Activities However, real optimization comes from improving the reps’ success on their individual opportunities #2 - If the sales team’s performance is the seed, your culture is the soil around it (a sales-focused culture of synergy), and the components you enable through and within that culture will fertilize that seed of performance to grow Talent alone will not succeed in the wrong environment.  The sellers are unable to optimize their environment on their own. #3 - As a senior leader, you CAN ensure that the team that supports and feeds leads to your sellers is aware of their keys to success and constantly working to ensure they are successful Strive for a frictionless process for your sellers to make incremental improvements #4 - Various internal interactions with other parts of your organization can limit even the most skillful sellers’ efforts to win new business, repeat business, and to develop advocacy This friction can exist in interactions with departments that directly influence customer transactions, such as finance,  or other divisions which are directly customer facing, like marketing Friction for your sellers reduces their time and energy available to delight your customers and create a frictionless buying process #5 - The first step to growth is to assess your culture around the key areas of the 5-Ring Framework: The Fertilizer to help your sales performance seed grow The 5-Ring Framework is just a tool to remember the 5 key areas that senior leaders must be actively promoting to ensure that customers and sellers have the resources and support that they need throughout the sales process throughout the total lifecycle of the customer #6 - Minimize disruption by focusing on leadership vs. moving the masses Most organizations look to push the organization forward by applying pressure to the large number of individuals in the “lower” tiers of the business to affect change.  However, the organizations that succeed do so by moving the smaller number of leaders through focus on the leadership behavior to influence the behaviors of their people. This creates a culture of intimate coaching and training that can be administered in a much more effective and cost efficient way

To Increase your New Business Revenue               Step 1 - Carefully map your target personas Understanding the specific types of clients your team wants to reach and ensuring that every individual who touches a client OR any product, service, or communication that will reach them, is a key component of a customer-centric approach to selling. Persona Mapping enables multiple effective sales strategies like account-based marketing, frictionless selling, and collaborative campaigns True persona mapping goes beyond role, title, and industry.  True Persona mapping dives DEEP into the empathetic exploration of your target personas needs, decision drivers, communication styles, and day-in-the-life struggles and pain points. Next-level persona mapping also explores the deeper goals and personal objectives in career and life that our target personas are LIKELY to seek.  This gives deeper emotional leverage than job-focused alleviation of business pain Step 2 - Analyze the Target Personas’ Buying Processes Your teams must understand that in 21st century sales, the customer will spend MOST of their time during the decision process AWAY from the seller. This time away includes actions like gathering outside information, deliberating internally (more frequently in committee, lately), and most often, just letting life happen to them without progressing their progress toward, or away from your solutions until acted upon by outside forces like market conditions or your competitors. The best teams know what their selected target personas are likely to be doing in between touches from their team members (sales, marketing, or any team member) within a very narrow margin of variation This helps the teams select the proper steps in sequence to ensure that all customer facing team members know where they are in the buying process and what the next best steps SHOULD accomplish Step 3 - Identify the Centers of Influence where they learn and network In 21st Century Sales, customers everywhere now are influenced through advice and information that they curate for themselves through a Trusted network of recurring mutual value built through Relationships earned from Insights that are current and relevant to the entire Breadth of shared Experience over time (Trusted Relationships of Insight from Broad Experience = TRIBE) Your team must determine What groups and people do the various roles within the target/client organization are part of the TRIBE? = Centers of Influence (COI’s) -- Professional Associations / Recurring shows -- User Groups (pre-existing outside those you create for your users) -- Industry Publications / Certification groups -- Blogs & Forums -- Training resources -- Vendors -- Value Added Reseller / Consulting Partners (Chanel Sales) -- Personal relationships with industry influencers -- Talent Recruiting Resources (Including Undergrad and MBA Programs) To easily reach multiple individuals within the target personas you have selected, your organization must establish presence and relationships within those centers of influence (COI) and thereby gain credibility for multiple clients/prospects in less time? Over time, Identify TRIBE for each Territory and set targets for getting established in those individual COI’s through regular content contributions, events, sponsorships, individual representative presence in various organizations and groups, strategic partnerships, personal relationships, etc. Step 4 - Assess your best rep’s activities for best practices As an organization that is currently successful but seeking a new level of performance growth, your team already has best practices that are working well for your ongoing revenue Rather than seek lots of new activities to change what your reps are doing to get that change, the most efficient means of growth comes in proliferating the best practices that are already present.  Many of these best practices are enabled, enhanced, or hidden by the natural charisma and intuitive/experienced reactions of your top reps.  This makes those practices very difficult to identify and even harder to pass on. For example: when asked how one top rep got such high close rates, the only key practice she could identify was “I just ask for the business.” While this may be true, this masks a myriad of interpersonal skills like timing and delivery of the ask, as well as all of the previous interactions that lead to the moment of the ask.  The rep’s presentation and presence, both emotionally and physically, carry far more weight than the ask itself or the choice of words when doing so. Most reps cannot identify all of these contributing factors, and these factors may be different for each scenario that they encounter. These best practices CAN be observed over time through real time interactions with the customers. This process takes a great deal of time and dedicated effort to observe, qualify, quantify, map out specific actions and their results on customer behavior Observation can effect the behavior, so it must be done organically, with a frequency that helps the reps behave naturally This observation process must start from a baseline of stated beliefs from top performing reps about what those best practices are.  Armed with that information, observers can then go out with something tangible to try to observe and thereby “Qualify” that best practice as valid and through ongoing observation “Quantify” the degree to which that activity helps influence customer behavior Through front line-leaders, in localized training and coaching, often through weekly team meetings and the like, these STATED best practices that are gained through conversations with the best reps, can be passed on to the other AVERAGE or below average reps in your organization for immediate use The degree to which these stated best practices improve the success of the average reps can also be measured as a means to Qualify the practice as effective or not.  This must be done one practice at a time, as not to overload the reps on the team with multiple things to attempt to implement, and as to not mask the proper attribution of any positive change to the right practice Step 5 - Identify “Actual” Sales process from reps of ALL performance levels With best practices identified and the steps are verified.  The steps should be “mapped” in a sequence of follow up that increases the chances of predictable success This process could vary significantly from the process that reps have stated they follow, but consistent observation should show the truth of the process that you and your team are able to uncover Find internal points of friction Within this identified process, certain points of consistent, systemic stress will be identified These points of stress are often hidden by various acts of heroics that many members of your organization take on to overcome these inefficiencies Some of your team members may cling to these acts of heroism as points of pride, validation, or job security.  Some may have been handling excessive work that they never should have had to take on for so long, that they now feel a sense of security in their outsized span of control over more of the various processes that determine their ratings and compensation These points of stress often exist at the boundaries between silos within your organization, through which parts of the sales process must flow and they always cause turbulence or slowing of the flow These portions of the sales process that have to cross barriers between sales, marketing, and various operations teams might be: -- various legal or operational approvals -- creation and distribution of learning collateral for customers -- customer hand offs from sales to implementation and onboarding teams -- Alignment between sales messaging and marketing messaging -- Production of quotes and contracts -- Turnaround times for customer deliverables ---- And many more Step 6 - Optimize Sales Execution activities according to Persona Buying Process With your team, prioritize the points of friction that can be eliminated quickly, with the least output or stress FIRST There may be other major projects or cultural shifts that will bring larger and more lasting improvements, but large change initiatives bring frictions of their own.  Starting with the simplest fixes first free up energy to tackle larger projects in turn, and the quick wins will build belief in the team for the general optimization effort as a whole. The changes made MUST be made with a focus on the customer’s needs according to their persona-specific buying process.  To that end, you should select your most profitable, or largest customer segment/persona to focus on first, as optimizations the success and satisfaction of that customer persona will have an outsized impact on your revenue vs. others Step 7 - Optimize company culture for Synergy focused on the 5-ring Framework Throughout all of these efforts, you can accelerate the 1st ring of the framework, SALES EXECUTION, by promoting a focus on all of the other 4 rings throughout the entire organization. Helping the entire organization understand their direct role in content strategy (as collaborators in the research and development of industry-leading thought, regardless of their role), affiliate/channel strategy (recognizing affiliates such as channel partners as external stakeholders to be groomed like customers), Advocate Strategy (as fueled by customer experience driven by the inputs of the entire company working in synergy throughout the entire lifecycle of the customer), and Mass Marketing (as part of the overall PR/corporate citizenship components of your company brand strategy, which involves the entire team in various ways, to include their personal presence on social media and other lenses within the public eye)

To Ensure Increased Recurring Revenue and Advocacy                             Carefully Map Your Target Personas Understanding the specific types of clients your team wants to reach and ensuring that every individual who touches a client OR any product, service, or communication that will reach them, is a key component of a customer-centric approach to selling. Persona Mapping enables multiple effective sales strategies like account-based marketing, frictionless selling, and collaborative campaigns True persona mapping goes beyond role, title, and industry.  True Persona mapping dives DEEP into the empathetic exploration of your target personas needs, decision drivers, communication styles, and day-in-the-life struggles and pain points. Next-level persona mapping also explores the deeper goals and personal objectives in career and life that our target personas are LIKELY to seek.  This gives deeper emotional leverage than job-focused alleviation of business pain Identify the Centers of Influence where they Learn and Network In 21st Century Sales, customers everywhere now are influenced through advice and information that they curate for themselves through a Trusted network of recurring mutual value built through Relationships earned from Insights that are current and relevant to the entire Breadth of shared Experience over time (Trusted Relationships of Insight from Broad Experience = TRIBE) Your team must determine What groups and people do the various roles within the target/client organization are part of the TRIBE? = Centers of Influence (COI’s) Professional Associations / Recurring shows User Groups (pre-existing outside those you create for your users) Industry Publications / Certification groups Blogs & Forums Training resources Vendors Value Added Reseller / Consulting Partners (Chanel Sales) Personal relationships with industry influencers Talent Recruiting Resources (Including Undergrad and MBA Programs) To easily reach multiple individuals within the target personas you have selected, your organization must establish presence and relationships within those centers of influence (COI) and thereby gain credibility for multiple clients/prospects in less time? Over time, Identify TRIBE for each Territory and set targets for getting established in those individual COI’s through regular content contributions, events, sponsorships, individual representative presence in various organizations and groups, strategic partnerships, personal relationships, etc. Assess Company Culture for Customer Experience against the 5-Ring Framework Diminished customer loyalty and advocacy is often a consequence of a starkly different user experience than the personalized service that they received during the buying process Determine the gaps in customer touches during the pre-sale and post-sale phases by analyzing the processes and best practices from the 1st ring of the framework SALES EXECUTION, and comparing the number, frequency, and quality of customer interactions afterward.  Examine the existing customer’s exposure to the other four rings, content, advocates, affiliates, and mass marketing/branding in the subsequent weeks, months, and years after becoming a new customer Optimize the company culture for Synergy Focused on the 5-Ring Framework Throughout all of these efforts, you can accelerate the 1st ring of the framework, SALES EXECUTION, by promoting a focus on all of the other 4 rings throughout the entire organization. Helping the entire organization understand their direct role in content strategy (as collaborators in the research and development of industry-leading thought, regardless of their role), affiliate/channel strategy (recognizing affiliates such as channel partners as external stakeholders to be groomed like customers), Advocate Strategy (as fueled by customer experience driven by the inputs of the entire company working in synergy throughout the entire lifecycle of the customer), and Mass Marketing (as part of the overall PR/corporate citizenship components of your company brand strategy, which involves the entire team in various ways, to include their personal presence on social media and other lenses within the public eye) Deliberately build SALES PROCESSES for existing customers with the goal of influencing customers to actively advocate on your behalf Serving as a reference for a company, or agreeing to be featured in an advertisement is a small step toward true advocacy Real advocacy is ongoing evangelism of your company’s brand from the voice of your customer.  Advocacy happens without prompting and leads to un-requested referrals on a regular and recurring basis Several techniques exist to encourage advocacy like: User community creation Events Gamification Incentive programs And more However, no practice for advocacy exceeds a leadership-driven initiative for ongoing customer experience and deeper relationships that are not driven by expected pending sales, but customer success

To Carve Out a New Territory or Line of Business                             Carefully Map Your Target Personas Understanding the specific types of clients your team wants to reach and ensuring that every individual who touches a client OR any product, service, or communication that will reach them, is a key component of a customer-centric approach to selling. Persona Mapping enables multiple effective sales strategies like account-based marketing, frictionless selling, and collaborative campaigns True persona mapping goes beyond role, title, and industry.  True Persona mapping dives DEEP into the empathetic exploration of your target personas needs, decision drivers, communication styles, and day-in-the-life struggles and pain points. Next-level persona mapping also explores the deeper goals and personal objectives in career and life that our target personas are LIKELY to seek.  This gives deeper emotional leverage than job-focused alleviation of business pain Identify the Centers of Influence where they Learn and Network In 21st Century Sales, customers everywhere now are influenced through advice and information that they curate for themselves through a Trusted network of recurring mutual value built through Relationships earned from Insights that are current and relevant to the entire Breadth of shared Experience over time (Trusted Relationships of Insight from Broad Experience = TRIBE) Your team must determine What groups and people do the various roles within the target/client organization are part of the TRIBE? = Centers of Influence (COI’s) Professional Associations / Recurring shows User Groups (pre-existing outside those you create for your users) Industry Publications / Certification groups Blogs & Forums Training resources Vendors Value Added Reseller / Consulting Partners (Chanel Sales) Personal relationships with industry influencers Talent Recruiting Resources (Including Undergrad and MBA Programs) To easily reach multiple individuals within the target personas you have selected, your organization must establish presence and relationships within those centers of influence (COI) and thereby gain credibility for multiple clients/prospects in less time? Over time, Identify TRIBE for each Territory and set targets for getting established in those individual COI’s through regular content contributions, events, sponsorships, individual representative presence in various organizations and groups, strategic partnerships, personal relationships, etc. Study the marketing and sales presence of your established competitors Your Branding and marketing should be already clearly defined prior to penetrating a new territory.  Tell YOUR story.  Present YOUR value.  You should be and REMAIN as distinctly YOU as possible. When entering a new market, whether a new geography, customer segment, or industry, you should be aware of the conditioning that already exists in that segment. With the assistance of experts already familiar with the new market, you should answer some of the following questions: How are the established brands in this market approaching clients?  What are the trends in customer outreach? How do clients in this space engage with these established brands? Have these clients been conditioned to be cost driven or value driven? Are there upcoming changes that are unique to this market that you should be aware of? WHY do clients respond to the various marketing efforts of these established brands?  Quality? Exclusivity? Frequency? Adjust your standard Go-to Market Strategy for a distinctive impact relative to top competitors using elements of the 5-ring Framework From the unique truth of your brand, select the most impactful points for your target personas within this market. Make the appropriate adjustments to the presentation of the key points without changing the essence of your unique brand. Incorporate the 5-Ring Framework Elements of AFFILIATE MARKETING CONTENT MARKETING MASS MARKETING To craft a go to market strategy built around your proven sales process Re-assess your existing sales process for effectiveness in this market closely as you begin to take on sales opportunities in the new market.

To Launch Your First Sales Team                                     Step 1 - Assess the Founders’ Activity Clearly, in the early life of a business, the founders are the only sales team to assess.  In order to understand how customers consume your products and services, the founders actions are the only actions to observe With the help of a coach, observe the client’s buying behavior against the founders’ actions Step 2 - Separate Sales Process from “Founders’ Magic” With the outside perspective of an expert coach, you can uncover the inherent process deviations, charismatic appeals, and various “heroics” and power plays that a future representative without the authority of founding ownership could not be expected to duplicate. These collected activities, called “Founders’ Magic” are often as much as 75% of the reasons that founders are successful.  Unfortunately, most founders do not conduct “Win Assessments” at all, only focusing on post-mortem loss assessments, leaving most of these Founders’ Magic activities hidden from view For this reason, most first sales hires are unable to achieve any of the success that the founder was able to do from their position of total control and authority.  This is irrespective of the expertise and experience level of the seller hired.  Paradoxically, in most cases, there is an inverse relationship between the experience of the new seller and their initial success, UNLESS that new seller is already immersed in the target market with a book of business or deep relationships to build from. Step 3 - Employ Personal Assistant to Create Training time In Founder’s Schedule The trigger for most small businesses to hire their first sellers is usually at the inflection point of there being so much time to devote to growing existing customers that there is little or no time to prospect and close new ones.  Furthermore, the sales activities that got the book of business to this point have a sub-optimal return on investment of time.  As the founders’ time becomes more valuable based on the brand equity that can be gained by working with existing customers (often as contractually obligated), prospecting and selling becomes less appealing by comparison.  The natural aversion that most individuals anywhere have to the stress and rejection of immature sales activities is also a huge deterrent.  As soon as the business has money to afford a sales rep, this pain is one of the first targets on the founders’ list. Due to the outsized effect of Founders’ Magic on the effectiveness of the sales process, the founder, unfortunately MUST NOT relinquish the full sales process until the Founders’ Magic has been replaced with repeatable processes that can be completed successfully without the personal charisma of the founder This cannot be done if the Founders are too busy working IN the business to work ON the business In order to find the time to complete the following steps, the first hire that founders should make, is to bring on an EXPERIENCED personal assistant to help them carve out time in their day to dedicate to the steps to follow.  This role is distinctly different than a VIRTUAL assistant on the other side of the globe working only from a phone and email.  This relationship should be personal, intimate, and most effectively, local and in-person as needed. Despite the feelings that some founders may have to paying for planning and coordination that they feel is their personal responsibility, or that having a personal assistant is somehow pretentious, or wasteful splurging, the founders must realize that their most important job is to plan, organize, and coordinate the BUSINESS itself.  The work of managing their personal calendar, paying company bills, picking up coffee, getting printing and mailing done, and other such tasks, MUST BE OFFLOADED for the founder to have the MENTAL FREEDOM to plan and grow the business. Once hired, the among the first tasks that the personal assistant should accomplish, should be to free up enough time on the calendar for the founder to carve out 2-3 hours per day for the steps below, by taking on tasks that can be transferred to them. Step 4 - Refine Sales Process with Coach With the help of an expert coach, analyze the steps in the sales process that the Founders follow and rank those steps 1-X from the least important to the most. Tasks like list building and customer research should be down at the bottom. Basic scheduling and time booking should be slightly above that. Continue moving up the workflow through activities like quote building, Proposal writing, and RFP responses For complex B2B sales, DO NOT, put any major customer outreach efforts low down on the list! Make some of the initial outreach for your top-tier, must-win, prospects as very high priorities, as high-level B2B contacts prefer outreach from peers or experts B2C Cold calling to random low level prospects, is not as high of a priority. Be sure to include Every single task within the workflow that founders have to do to mover a customer through the entire total value lifecycle and rate each step 1-5 / 10 / Etc. Step 5 - Begin to Offload tasks in Sales Process Workflow (Start with Lvl.1 Tasks) The tasks that are down at level 1, like list building or RFP Response writing, can be given to lower-skilled employees or outsourced to low-cost vendors, once the steps, and the performance standards have been clearly defined. After all of the basic tasks that can be assigned to the personal assistant have been transferred and are being completed to a high standard without fail, hire your first sales team member to fill the LOWEST PRIORITY TASKS. These reps will have less experience and skill and will, therefore, cost less to hire.  In most cases, with the right hiring practices, they will have less ego and personal experience to overcome, making them easier hires to train from the ground up. Step 6 - Grow Your First Rep Internally (Replace the Lvl.1 position) As your first, Level 1 sales team member grows in skill, hire a second team member to assist with the same job.  This will allow the original rep to train their own replacement.  With the help of a sales coach, this training process will allow the first Level 1 rep to organically refine their current actions and workflows into a process that can be repeatable, predictable, and easily taught to the new rep. Once the Level 1 Rep has trained their replacement to satisfactorily match their output, you can promote the first rep to Level 2 activites, using the same free time created by the personal assistant to then coach the promoted rep to replace YOUR efforts in the higher level activities. Based on the needs of the organization, you are free to hire for any level of activity you and your coach agree you should start with, ensuring that you always start low, and save the highest-level activities like closing and negotiations for last Document ALL of your New Reps’ activity to capture the TRUE sales, marketing, and operations processes that are causing your reps to WIN!  Groom your first rep to be your first sales Manager Work with manager to apply sales automation technologies to documented processes

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