If I were building a sales team, I could learn something from team USA for the 2012 Ryder Cup and Davis Love’s Captain’s Picks!

So, here is the team and why you want them:

1)  Tiger Woods

If there was one person from planet earth that you would put up against the aliens, wouldn’t it be Tiger?

Here is your super star sales guy. You aren’t going to promote this guy to manager (too much history!) but you don’t want to. You want your best sales guys in front of the customer going low. Mark him down as your top 10% year after year.

2. Bubba Watson

Sometimes you need to go long.  Risk taking in sales can pay off big. You might just bring in the green jacket with this guy. Prepare for a bumpy ride and some bad quarters, but keep this guy on the team – just might help you blow out the numbers. Get him some help with the paperwork.

3) Jason Dufner

Mr. Steady.  He may not be the first guy you think of to put in front of your best client, but you can avoid the HR department with Jason. Count him in as a top quartile guy day-in and day-out. And, don’t be surprised if you come in the office one day and Jason hands you a “major” contract.

4) Keegan Bradley

Believe! After going 1 for 1 in majors after the 2011 PGA, Keegan backed this up with solid and clutch performances. Give him the New England Territory or the Putnam Investments account and he will blow out the numbers.

5) Webb Simpson

Mr. Smooth. Another long putter guy, Web is a complete player. If you can survive the grind of a US Open, you can do just about anything. Give Webb two of your most complex and grueling clients. He will avoid mistakes – in both on and off-field performance. Focus on retention. Remember, someday, you may be working for Webb so treat him well!

6) Zach Johnson

The mechanic. The perfect new business guy. Lot’s of singles and doubles and the next thing you know he’s on the top of the sales leaderboard. Not every swing at a new client is pretty, but each one progresses down the funnel and the funnel is healthy. Throw in a few big wins, and you have a steady performer.

7) Matt Kuchar

A big smile can go a long way in winning over the big relationship client.  Like Webb, Matt is your man for the large account and the one you want to deepen the relationship. A big team player, this guy has developed steadily into a top player and a career winner. When the time is right, a management promotion makes sense.

8) Phil Mickelson

Phil would be the CEO if not for his value in the field. The right mix of raw DNA and creativity can blow away the client.  Phil will increase the average revenue per deal with creative solutions in every proposal. Occasionally it may backfire, biut most of the time he will be right there in the winers circle. Definitely a future captain and already a hall of famer, let Phil teach the junior sales team how to get it done.

9) Steve Stricker

You need the glue on the team to keep it all together. Super nice, if not a little boring, you aren’t going to get yourself in any trouble with Steve. No bad headlines, no calls from HR. Yet, Mr. Innocent can bring out the best in his team mates.. and, when it is all in the line, let Steve take the lead. Mr. clutch putter.

10) Jim Furyk

Your contract guy. Meticulous and detailed. You don’t want to see the sales process, but show me the results. At the end of the day, I can trust that the SOW is right, the “I”s are dotted and the “t”s are crossed – and most importantly, the deal is done.

11) Brandt Snedeker

A rookie on the sales team, Brandt is one of the guys you need out at the bar at the end of a busy week of sales. He’s is going to bring life to the party and earn the respect of the rest of the team with solid performance and clutch putting. Hey nothing wrong with being number 1 in putting! Drive for show, putt for doe.

12) Dustin Johnson

OK, so HR may call a few times, and you aren’t quite sure who he is… he may not show up every day for work, but put a club in his hands and hang on – this guy is going to bring in a few “major” deals and maybe a few heartbreakers along the way. Put him on the right client (or course) and team him with a “Mr. Putter” and you will make your numbers for sure.


Would you want to go up against this team? Good luck and good selling!

I am operating out of our Vermont Office – which is really a home office looking out over the mountains of northern Vermont including Mt. Mansfield and the surrounding hills  a few miles from the pristine Caspian Lake in Greensboro.

Today’s highlight includes the installation of a solar energy system to generate sustainable energy for our home.  In keeping with this blog’s focus on sales and marketing, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on the sales and marketing process that I experienced with the team from SolarTech in Vermont.

So, what was the marketing and sales cycle? Actually it was very typical of a “considered sale”.

The cost (before incentives) of the Solar Trackers  are over $50k – clearly an investment that requires consideration. Incentives bring this down nicely and the payback is reasonable considering the local cost of energy. So, this was a very substantial investment and a classic “considered sale” – where content and the web plays a role along with an active sales process.

1) My first step was research. Of course I spoke with my social network – others in the area that had experience. After learning that I wanted a tracker to maximize power,  I went to the web to search for trackers in Vermont and quickly found All Earth Renewables.  They did great work on SEO – on the first page of my organic search results. Their web presence includes Facebook and Twitter.

2) I posted to the AllSun product on Facebook – seeking to learn more from my network about options for solar power and researched forums to see whether there were any comments. I later ended up connecting with an experienced solar expert who looked over the proposal and the technology solution.

3) I wanted to discuss a solution, so I filled out a form on the web site seeking contact with a sales representative. The conversion form online was clean and simple. I had an introductory email within hours.

4) I was introduced to a channel partner, SolarTech, who managed the sales cycle. Rich Nicol engaged professionally in all aspects of the sale from feasibility to economic ROI. He handled all the objections and concerns and mapped out a solution tailored to our needs – a classic professional sales process.

In order to get this sale,  All Earth Renewables and SolarTech needed an integrated sales and marketing process.

  • Web visibility – organic search and social media
  • Channel Management – with an effective channel website including testimonial
  • Quality value proposition and product
  • Accessibility in a clean, professional website
  • Knowledgable and professional sales approach
  • ROI and product content
  • Professional service delivery leading to references and validation.



Often sales people do not actively follow up on marketing generated leads. This may be a result of poor sales behaviors, but it is more likely that sales teams are not confident in the quality of the sales leads they are getting. Marketing Automation is a powerful technology, but it is important not to “over automate” the classification of the lead.

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Guest Post By Vanessa Fox

The energy was palpable among the 250 sales enablement professionals at the start of the Forrester Technology Sales Enablement Forum 2012 — then Brad Holmes, VP, Practice Leader, Sales Enablement and Technology Marketing, Forrester took off his jacket, and then his shirt — to reveal his Sales Enablement HERO tee shirt. He fortunately stopped there, but the enthusiasm didn’t!

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A year ago, we posted this blog article “I will pretend to sell, if you pretend to buy”. This was a mantra of my old boss and friend, Sherwin Uretsky and one of his famous “12 sins of selling” that I am still trying to remember.

I thought I would dust off the conversation and reinforce the ideas with three key  points.

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“I will pretend to sell if you pretend to buy” This is one of my favorite quotes from Sherwin Uretsky, one of our Revenue Architects advisors and one of the top revenue architects that I know!

What does it mean?

So many people engaged in sales imagine that they can win business after gaining access to a particular client – or after a warm meeting with a prospective client. But too often, they fail to really listen to their gut . They fail to perform the basic qualification that they need to do:  BANT –  Budget, Authority, Needs and Timeline. Or SCOTSMAN: Solution; Competition; Originality; Time Scales; Size; Money; Authority; Need.

They are kidding themselves… meeting after meeting of friendly banter with the client….pretending to sell, and the client pretending to buy.

  • Wrong opportunity
  • Wrong decision maker
  • No BANT
  • Free consulting
  • Long sales cycle

When you see it, stop it. Ask yourself the question – what is the compelling event? What is the implementation date? What happens if the client doesn’t buy? There likely won’t be an answer and you will see that there likely is not an opportunity after all!