SalesTechStar Interview with Rachel Clapp Miller, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Engagement at Force Management
Rachel Clapp Miller, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Engagement at Force Management shares a few thoughts on what it takes for B2B sales people to ”own their success”:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Rachel, tell us about yourself and about your role at Force Management?
I am the VP of Marketing and Content at Ascender by Force Management, responsible for demand generation programs, as well as platform content. Prior to this current role, I was the VP of Marketing at Force Management. I also have an extensive background in media, including work with both local and national news networks.
We’d love to hear more about Ascender by Force Management, what inspired this feature and how does it drive sales effectiveness?
At Force Management, we are focused on driving great outcomes for our customers, not just at a company-level, but also for the individual. This belief is what drove us to create Ascender. We wanted to provide an easy way for sellers to sharpen their skills and excel, beyond the enablement of their company. The Ascender platform does just that by expanding the accessibility of our elite selling expertise to individual contributors and small teams.
Force Management has been successful in helping improve sales performance for B2B companies for the past twenty years. We have the results that show companies can expect their value to significantly increase after implementing our methodologies. For example, we’ve seen companies more than double their customer conversion rates and have significant increases in average deal sizes. These returns are huge, but behind those results are individual salespeople who are crushing it day in and day out, executing on their pipeline in an elite way. We wanted to provide a better way to enable that individual success. We saw an opportunity to provide a mechanism for individual salespeople to succeed, no matter their selling organization. With Ascender, salespeople can own their success. They take control of how they want to improve.
There are other subscription platforms out there that make promises of sales success. What sets Ascender apart is its tie to the Force Management point-of-view on sales effectiveness. Our methods and processes work for any user. We’re just making it easier to access.
We’ve centered Ascender around three foundational areas: curriculum, content, and community. This foundation also differentiates the platform. We found other options were disjointed, only focusing on one or two of these components or having them spread out on multiple platforms. We wanted salespeople to have an all-inclusive approach so they can engage on the platform, easily, quickly and then get back to what they need to do that day. We are updating the platform almost every day. We want our users to feel like they are getting new information every time they log on. You also can’t underestimate the power of having the MEDDICC curriculum and certification program on the platform. It’s the gold standard for qualification in our industry and our course is self-paced and provides a certification upon completion. This designation can be a real asset for anyone looking for a B2B software selling position.
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When it comes to optimizing end to end sales output and processes today, what do you feel still holds B2B sales teams back?
Salespeople often lack time or resources to advance their skill set. They have a quota to meet and they have a pipeline to fill. Under the pressure to make the number, sharpening your skills can often be left on the to-do list.
That’s where we come in. Ascender is for sellers who want to crush their quota, but need something easy to enable the constant grind of sales. They know that being elite is earned, and they are looking for resources, beyond what their sales organization can provide, to get to that next level.
Tell us your point of view on what it takes to be an elite B2B sales person in a dynamic market?
You need discipline. Day in and day out you have to be committed to doing the activities that matter when it comes to your customers, your sales process and your company. We always say it takes knowledge, skills and character to be great. You need the knowledge of what to do. You need the skills that enable how to do it and you need character, a mindset that motivates you to solve your customers’ biggest business problems.
Gone are the days when you rely solely on your internal sales enablement team to ensure you make your quota. Elite salespeople own their own performance and career progression.
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How can sales leaders step in more proactively to help their teams drive goals given today’s B2B market environment?
The best sales leaders know that to maximize their organization’s impact on the number, they need to both lead from the front, and also provide the how. They need to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to help their teams fuel front-line results. Especially during economic change, the best leaders will be the ones who focus on preparing their salespeople to weather the storm, and come out stronger.
This effort can take many different forms, depending on the sales organization’s internal structures, company goals, and ultimately who their buyers are. Every company is different, which means a one-size-fits all approach isn’t going to work, and it certainly won’t stick. Salespeople have been through many routine training sessions that often lead to one-off successes. If you want to enable the organization and drive the transformation that equips lasting revenue growth, you need cross-functional alignment on the four essential questions:
- What problems do you solve?
- How do you solve those problems?
- How do you do it better or differently than the competition?
- What’s your proof?
At Force, we’ve seen sales leaders equip their team’s to drive results, regardless of external challenges, by focusing on improving sales effectiveness in four critical areas: message, execution, plan, and talent. The more you have a cadence around one or more of these areas, the more your sales organization will meet or exceed goals, outperform the competition, and drive sales resilience.
And finally, a few views on salestech as a segment and how you feel this space will shape up over the next few years?
There’s a lot of sales tech out there and it’s all making promises of improved revenue and sustained growth. It’s important for companies and salespeople to weed through the noise by understanding what they really need to be successful and then finding a platform with the capability to get them there.
Our experience has shown that when it comes to salestech, salespeople want turnkey solutions that make their days easier and give them more time to execute with the customer. They want short snippets of information that can make them better, as well as more robust learning opportunities they can consume on their own time.
As a segment, the salestech that will succeed is the tech that is focused on the customer – and for us that’s the person who excels at the grind of sales. That’s what we’ve tried to do with Ascender.
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Force Management provides real-world experience to help sales solutions and create management tools that produce measurable results for end users.
Rachel Clapp Miller is Vice President of Marketing and Digital Engagement at Force Management