The Sales Acceleration Formula - Mark Roberge

The Sales Acceleration Formula - Mark Roberge

Know the principles of The Sales Acceleration Formula method, based on the application of data, technology and inbound selling to accelerate sales for a commercial team.

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Due to the evolution of the market and the emergence of new technologies, sales need to be increasingly predictable and follow a business process that directs the team and its results from the analysis of metrics and data. This is the premise of the book "The Sales Acceleration Formula", written by former HubSpot CRO, Mark Roberg.

The work is the result of the homonymous method created by the author, and reveals the action plan that substantially boosted the sales of the software developer for marketing.

In this perspective, Roberg's mission was to develop sales acceleration strategies that went beyond the goals and managed to raise the standards of hiring, training, management and demand generation.

Want to know how he did it? So join us in this summary and delve into the concepts of The Sales Acceleration Formula!

About the book "The Sales Acceleration Formula"

The book "The Sales Acceleration Formula", written by Mark Roberge, was published in 2015 by the international publisher Wiley, and has no Portuguese version.

The Sales Acceleration Formula methodology was born out of the need for Roberge to set up a sales team that was capable of promoting the predictable growth of revenues at Hubspot, the company in which he was Vice President of Sales.

His team was so successful that today Hubspot is valued at more than 1 billion dollars, a fact that inspired the author to produce this book, with the aim of bringing to his readers the infallible sales acceleration formula.

About the author Mark Roberge

Mark Roberge has a degree in Software Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA in business from MIT Sloan School of Management.

In addition to being a venture capitalist, angel investor and board member for numerous startups, the author is a speaker and senior consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.

Roberge was the first SVP of Sales for Hubspot, recognized as one of the main inbound marketing companies in the world, taking it to the level of 100 million dollars in revenue.

Among his vast list of achievements throughout his professional career, he was named one of the 30 best social sellers in the world by Forbes and awarded the Salesperson of the Year in 2010 at the MIT Sales Conference, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To whom is this book indicated?

The book "The Sales Acceleration Formula" is a must-read for all entrepreneurs, startup managers and sales executives who want to structure a winning sales team.

It is also worth noting that the teachings of author Mark Roberge can help revolutionize any type of company that depends on a commercial team!

Main ideas of the book "The Sales Acceleration Formula"

  • How to standardize the hiring of the best salespeople according to the type of company;
  • The 5 criteria for predicting a salesperson's success;
  • From the choice of the right salespeople, offer the same training to all of them;
  • Ensure that leads are worked on in the same process;
  • Keep the same predictable lead flow for each salesperson;
  • The two pillars of inbound marketing.

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[Book Summary] The Sales Acceleration Formula - Mark Roberge

Overview: The Sales Hiring Formula

Mark Roberge was the first HubSpot employee responsible for escalating a sales team, but when seeking excellence in this hiring process, he realized that the ideal formula is different for each type of company.

According to the author, salespeople have their unique strengths, which must be adjusted according to the sales context to which they are inserted.

With that in mind, he devised the first pillar of his method The Sales Acceleration Formula, defined as The Sales Hiring Formula, applicable to any organization that is looking for its high performance salesperson.

"The ideal sales hiring formula is different for every company... but the process to engineer the formula is the same."

Thus, the process for designing the ideal hiring formula should follow 4 steps:

Step 1

Establish a theory of ideal sales characteristics, scoring candidates on a scale of 1 to 10 for each characteristic that correlates with sales success.

Step 2

Define an evaluation strategy for each characteristic, checking, for example, the references of that candidate, as well as his behaviors.

Step 3

Score candidates' characteristics following a disciplined documentation process after each interview.

Step 4

Compare the characteristics of the hired salespeople with the success of post-hire sales, repeating the model to adjust the attributes of success.

From the interviews and admissions carried out, the author Mark Roberge found 5 characteristics that correlated significantly with the success of HubSpot's sales, and explains that they will be the main components of the hiring formula of companies that operate in fast-moving markets.

They are:

  1. Coachability: learn about the process, market or product, absorbing and also applying the points of improvement;
  2. Curiosity: seek to be interested and understand the context surrounding the potential customer and the future of the industry;
  3. Intelligence: ability to learn complex concepts quickly;
  4. Work Ethic: commit to the company's mission and professional development;
  5. Prior Success: having a history of notable achievements or high performance.

The author points out in his book, "The Sales Acceleration Formula", that it is essential to constantly reevaluate the hiring process, aligning the salesperson with the expectations of their consumers and organizational objectives to then accelerate the company towards the product and the market.

Overview: The Sales Training Formula

After selecting a team of excellence to act in HubSpot sales, Mark Roberge realized that he needed to solve the training dilemma within the company, because the training of salespeople was given by the "ride-along".

The ride-along determined that each new salesperson would have to follow in the footsteps of the oldest and most experienced in order to learn how to develop the best sales performance.

However, the author states that this type of training was neither scalable nor predictable, as it would provide a limited view of the ideal sales process, as some focused on emotional connection with the customer and were incredible at rapport techniques, while others were multitasking and achieved quick results.

"Every top-performing salesperson succeeds in her own unique way. Heavy reliance on ride-alongs during the training process jeopardizes a new hire's ability to shine using her unique strengths."

Therefore, Roberge chose to expose his new salespeople to critical learning, giving them the flexibility to apply their talents in the process and, therefore, created a standard training with their own sales methodology, supported by 3 elements:

  1. The Buyer Journey: represents the general steps by which a company progresses as the buyer purchases a product;
  2. Sales Process: gives support to the customer in their purchase journey;
  3. Qualifying Matrix: defines the information needed by a potential buyer to understand if it is possible to help him and if he needs help.

With the stipulated sales methodology, the author Mark Roberge submitted his new salespeople to a detailed course schedule and to a set of performance exams and certifications, such as tests on product knowledge and qualitative competence tests.

He also taught each one of them how to be a true marketer in the day-to-day business of the company, use the HubSpot software, practice inbound marketing and understand the desires of their customers.

In order to arrive at the ideal training model, it was essential to iterate through this process:

  • Six-Month Feedback Forms: review of the sales training program;
  • Correlations between Training Performance and Sales Performance: compare training performance with sales performance to find aspects that most influence the success of the salesperson training program;
  • Desired Behavior Changes in the Sales Team: requalify the sales team as the business evolves.

Through this methodology, Mark Roberge was able to design the Sales Training Formula, a fundamental stage of The Sales Acceleration Formula.

Overview: The Sales Management Formula

As HubSpot's Vice President of Sales, Mark Roberge was constantly challenged to find new ways to reinforce a sales coaching culture within the company, this being the central point of the entire process to be performed in The Sales Acceleration Formula.

In view of this, he created the "metrics-driven sales coaching" methodology, practiced by managers with the aim of boosting sales productivity.

To implement it, it is necessary to identify the skills that will have the greatest influence on the salesperson's performance and to personalize a coaching plan around the development of that skill, using metrics that correctly diagnose which ones need to be prioritized.

In summary, the coaching plan must be developed in conjunction with the salesperson, so that the salesperson can analyze his own results and understand his deficiencies related to the competencies that most impact the work of the team as a whole.

This methodology ensures that high-level metrics are treated equally by all salespeople, based on observation of activities and conversion rates at each stage of the sales funnel, such as leads created, leads worked, demos delivered and customers closed in the prior month.

Author Mark Roberge clarifies in his book "The Sales Acceleration Formula" that the success of sales management will occur with the following steps:

  • Do not demand from the seller an overload of skills;
  • Customize the coaching plan for this area of competencies;
  • Perform sales coaching based on metrics;
  • Promote continuous feedbacks;
  • Organize contests and sales compensation plans in order to motivate the team and conduct business strategies;
  • Develop future qualified sales leaders to train and manage new salespeople, while maintaining process excellence.

It follows, therefore, that adjusting the standards of the sales team promotes the survey of points of improvement, helps salespeople to overcome their challenges and difficulties and ensures that leads are treated by the same process.

Overview: The Demand Generation Formula

How do you generate a predictable flow of leads so that hired and trained salespeople can reach the right buyers? This is the question that motivated Mark Roberge to create The Demand Generation Formula, determined by the tactics of inbound marketing, that occur at the top of the sales funnel.

As explained by the author in his work "The Sales Acceleration Formula", this conception of marketing provides a lot of traffic from Google, expands communication with the potential customer, increases the business demand for qualified prospects and generates more profits than outbound marketing.

Its two pillars are:

1. Creation and sharing of quality content on the internet

This first tactic of inbound marketing requires the organization of a team of experts in content production.

Therefore, the author Mark Roberge suggests that the company hire journalists or people experienced in boosting the modern process of generating demand, bringing quality content to the final consumer.

This means that the professional involved in this process must understand the industry, the product's value proposition and the real needs of its customers.

2. Frequent online participation in social media

Social media is essential to disseminate content and engage the target audience in online discussions about their interests and opinions about the product or business in general.

This engagement tactic can be done, for example, on blogs, strengthening the company's image and attracting more and more leads.

Mark Roberge also states that, in order to be successful in this process of converting leads into revenue, there are a few more strategic steps that complement The Demand Generation Formula:

  • Focus your content on long-tail keywords, as they are less competitive and are more likely to attract the target buyer;
  • Use a Buyer Journey matrix to decide when to convert leads into sales;
  • Prioritize prospecting by engagement;
  • Divide and specialize teams in inbound and outbound marketing;
  • Align the sales team with the marketing team.

Once the mentioned tactics are put into practice, it is possible to fully implement inbound marketing to accelerate sales and the results of your commercial team!

What do other authors say about it?

Neil Rackham, in "SPIN Selling", says that there are four types of questions that can turn a disinterested person into a potential customer: questions of Situation, Problem, Implication and Need for Solution.

In the work "The 7 Pillars of Successful Sales", Rejiano Vedovatto and César Frazão make it clear that a successful salesperson not only knows that the customer purchases a product, but also what value this product adds to the customer.

Finally, in the book "Selling to Big Companies", author Jill Konrath clarifies that being focused is crucial. As you must become an expert in your clients' business, define your market carefully. Eliminate some opportunities for you to do a better job with those left.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

In the course of this summary, we brought the best practices regarding The Sales Acceleration Formula method, and now we will present 7 useful tactics for you to apply it in your company, always maintaining the efficiency and standardization of the sales steps:

  1. Build your sales team in a scalable and predictable way;
  2. Study the sales strategies of the most successful companies, and execute those that are relevant to your team or product;
  3. Establish a plan to hire, train and manage your high performance team;
  4. Empower your organization with a culture of experimentation;
  5. Adopt sales technologies that increase your company's competitive advantage and benefit your salespeople and customers;
  6. See your team's sales process through a point of view focused on data and technology analysis;
  7. Share all of your learnings with your sales team.

Did you like this summary of the book "The Sales Acceleration Formula"?

We hope you enjoyed our summary and managed to revolutionize your sales team following the methodology of author Mark Roberge. Leave your opinion in the comments, your feedback is very important to us!

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