PMI Sales Performance Solutions

The best way to gain an understanding of what it takes to become a “top-performing” sales organization is to help top-performing companies grow their sales performance to the next level of effectiveness.

PMI’s impressive client base includes flagship companies from a variety of industries, and in working closely with these market leaders PMI has developed a full range of integrated sales best practices solutions. PMI solutions are modern and contemporary, and are built upon a proven customer engagement model that is based on understanding how the customer defines value.

PMI believes that without the support of sales leadership as proactive field coaches, most sales effectiveness initiatives fail. PMI’s consultants understand this quite well, as most of them served as senior sales executives or Chief Sales Officers in their pre-PMI careers.

With this in mind, PMI Sales Performance Solutions are supported by a full suite of sales coaching tools, questions and techniques to equip and enable sales leaders to drive adoption and ensure traction.

PMI also assists clients in their implementations of enabling technologies by providing advice and consulting assistance as needed to ensure that the technology is, indeed, enabling the sales team to receive more value from their PMI Sales Performance Solutions. Most PMI consultants have had direct experience with CRM/SFA technologies, and our solutions have been implemented with all of the leading brands.

Sales Processes and Best Practices

Territory, Pipeline and Forecast management

Value Articulation and Planning to Engage™

Sales Opportunity Management and Planning to Win™

Negotiation and Influence Skills

Strategic Account Management and Planning to Grow™

Collaborative Planning with Customers

Sales Management, Coaching and Review

Must-Win Strategists / Coaches

Sales Talent Selection and Hiring to Win™

Sales Processes and Best Practices

PMI assists clients in their deployment of sales best practices that will enable salespeople to achieve higher levels of consistency and predictability in their sales execution. By investing the time up-front with clients to help them understand not just what it takes to win business, but also, how their salespeople deploy skills, tools and job-aids when they win, PMI equips clients to:

  • Define the client-specific attributes of a sales cycle from lead to close
  • Have one common set of definitions and terminology for team communication during the sales process
  • Align internal resources and expertise for effective sales execution
  • Understand how their customers define value
  • Proactively position solutions to meet customer requirements
  • Articulate and differentiate their unique value

Through the assessment phase of each PMI engagement, client sales best practices are identified and verified with client sales leadership. Asking client top performers questions such as “How are the winners consistently winning business?” and “When you win, why do you win?” enables PMI to develop a foundation of sales best practices focused on how and why clients win business.

These client-specific best practices are merged with industry best practices to form a collaborative, phased approach for aligning, positioning and differentiating the client’s solutions and value with their customers drivers, objectives and challenges throughout the sales process.

Territory, Pipeline and Forecast Management

Whether a client’s territory assignment methodology is based upon geography, product/solution lines, customer size, named accounts, or most commonly, a combination of these, effective Territory Management programs can be the difference between sales success and failure. Performance Methods works collaboratively with our clients to create and deploy customized Territory Management programs that will lead to greater accountability for the growth, development and management of sales territories.

This approach to territory ownership is deployed through a model that establishes norms and metrics for operating the territory as though it is a business. These basic asset/liability and profit/loss concepts introduce a longer-term territory perspective to the field sales organization that is based on territory business planning, where the assigned account executive or account manager drives the business and growth of the territory using a business planning approach.

Pipeline Management for each territory is based on the Sales Process and Best Practices model developed through the assessment phase of each PMI engagement. PMI has learned from extensive work in this key discipline that the only way to ensure effective and accurate Pipeline Management is to base the measurement and flow of sales opportunities into and out of the Sales Pipeline on the client’s own Sales Process and Best Practices model.

Leveraging this model of client-specific best practices allows the account executive and sales management to assess the current status of sales opportunities through each stage of the sales process by using their own organizational experience working and winning sales opportunities.

Forecast Management is based on the concepts of Pipeline Management and Sales Process and Best Practices. PMI works in collaboration with each client to determine the milestones or activities for each stage of the sales process in order to fill in the blanks and provide the right recommendations and measurements for effective execution.

From this framework of best practices, sales management is better equipped to understand the status of opportunity and the actual probability and timing to close business based on their own selling experiences and history. By building upon a solid foundation of proven best practices and executables, PMI’s approach to Forecast Management has proven to be more accurate and deployable, enabling clients to remove the guesswork from their sales forecasts.

Value Articulation and Planning to Engage™

Selling is vastly different today than it was in the last millennium, and engaging consultatively with customers is a required skill for sales success in the customer-driven world in which we live today. The speed of business, the rise of procurement/sourcing, the commoditization of products and services and increased global competition are just a few of the drivers that are putting pressure on sales organizations as they try to avoid the “vendor trap.”

PMI’s Value Articulation and Planning to Engage™ workshops provide practical and contemporary skills and tools to help salespeople and account managers:

  • Understand their customers by asking the right questions of the right people at the right times
  • Discover how customers define value early in the sales process and how they can connect their value with these customer expectations
  • Engage more effectively with their customers and align with customer needs and team members
  • Communicate and articulate customer value and engage comfortably and confidently in “value conversations“ with customers
  • Position the advantages of their solutions by connecting with what’s most important to the customer
  • Create and differentiate the “unique value” that will set client salespeople apart from their competition

These interactive, high-energy, skills-based workshops help salespeople and account managers recognize the competitive advantage of presenting a clear and consistent value message to their customers before, during and after the sales process. The focus of the message is “customer defined value” which is derived from gaining an understanding of the customer’s drivers, objectives and challenges early in the sales process.

Responding with tired techniques that are “feature/ benefit/response” oriented simply isn’t good enough if you are going to align effectively with your customers, position your solutions, differentiate your value and win business. PMI’s Value Articulation and Planning to Engage™ workshops provide the tools, skills, best practices and probing questions that enable salespeople and account managers to drive more effective customer value conversations and higher competitive win rates.

Sales Opportunity Management and Planning to Win™

PMI’s Sales Opportunity Management and Planning to Win™ solutions are based upon the realization that as our clients’ go-to-market strategies differ – their competitive strategies and opportunity plans must differ, as well. To this end, PMI provides clients with customized opportunity planning solutions that are tailored to fit the way that they do business – as opposed to dated, “out-of-the-box” methodologies that assume all clients to be equal in their go-to-market needs.

To this end, PMI works with clients to implement plan to win processes, tools and job-aids that enable their salespeople and account managers to:

  • Build sales teams that connect with customer buying teams and enable strong alignment throughout the sales process
  • Discover customer drivers, objectives, challenges, and success criteria early in the sales process and connect their solutions and value with what’s most important to the customer
  • Measure and assess sales opportunities throughout sales execution to determine progress and areas of strength and weakness
  • Advance and manage sales opportunities using consistent tools and opportunity plans that are fully integrated with their sales process and account plans
  • Validate and prove to the customer the superiority of their solutions through effective referencing and success stories
  • Differentiate the uniqueness of their business value by using innovative techniques that connect directly with customer needs to measure results
  • Plan to win sales opportunities by selecting and deploying the right sales strategy to drive sales execution and achieve competitive advantage.
  • Create space between themselves and their competition!

Through PMI’s Planning to Win™ solutions, customized opportunity assessment criteria are developed, customer-specific value propositions are built, effective account teams are engaged, sales strategies are deployed and action plans are implemented. In collaboration with our clients, PMI builds the opportunity planning framework that best fits their business, equipping account executives and account managers with the tools to proactively plan to win competitive sales opportunities, drive revenue and meet and exceed their sales quota objectives.

Negotiation and Influence Skills

In today’s competitive marketplace, sales professionals are under increasing pressure to achieve revenue objectives while also building lasting relationships with customers. In addition, they are dealing with more informed buyers, sophisticated supply chain professionals, complex multi-party negotiations, and C-suite leaders trying to protect the bottom-line at all costs.

In order to address these challenges and changing needs, salespeople and account managers need to confidently approach every interaction utilizing a systematic approach to negotiating and influencing.

PMI’s strategic alliance with Shapiro Negotiations Institute (SNI) affords access to a global leader in negotiations and influence training. The SNI Power of Nice Negotiation Skills workshop is customized to address client organizational and industry-specific negotiation challenges.

Participants bring real scenarios to the workshop and apply learning to these scenarios so that time invested in the classroom translates immediately to bottom-line impact. Through a combination of interactive simulations, group discussions, role plays, and real deal application, participants learn:

  • How to craft win-win strategies at every stage of the sales process
  • A systematic approach to build confidence and precision in every negotiation
  • Tools to trade value and maximize opportunities throughout the sales cycle
  • A precise process vital to efficient and precise preparation
  • Strategic probing skills to find out what the other side really wants
  • Active listening techniques to identify type and build credibility
  • How to avoid making concessions without getting something in return
  • Best practices to effectively negotiate factors other than price
  • Fundamental rules for proposing and executing deals
  • Approaches to neutralize tactics and overcome objections

Today’s sales professionals need to confidently approach their opportunities utilizing a systematic and proven approach to negotiating and influencing.   PMI’s alliance with SNI helps our clients reduce price concessions, increase margins and revenue, improve win-rates, shorten sales cycles, and develop stronger customer relationships.

Strategic Account Management and Planning to Grow™

The Keys to Effective Strategic Account Planning

Today, many companies around the world are faced with a perplexing problem:  a significant amount of their business comes from a relatively small percentage of their “strategic” or most important customers, yet in many cases, these strategic or key customers do not consider these suppliers to be as strategic or important to their business. PMI believes that one way to address this potentially dangerous disconnect is through the implementation of proactive Planning to Grow™ skills, tools and job-aids to assist account teams in managing and growing strategic customer relationships.

Our experience in working with global leaders in practically every industry sector and their largest accounts has taught us that today’s strategic customers expect:

  • Their strategic suppliers to engage more collaboratively and understand what is most important to them
  • Access to key supplier resources and alignment with them that makes it easier to do business
  • Greater value creation, co-creation and realization from their most strategic suppliers
  • Stronger, more authentic, trust-based relationships that are not just focused on the most recent sale, or the next one
  • More proactive planning that is committed to the long-term growth and success of both parties
  • Measurable business value that can be translated into better ROI and total-customer-experience metrics

As one of the recognized global leaders in strategic account management best practices, PMI assists clients in deploying and implementing account Planning to Grow™ programs that provide them with higher account growth rates, stronger opportunity win rates, more effective deployment of resources and increased levels of customer loyalty. Through our extensive account management work, we have defined and published The Keys to Effective Account Planning for clients and this methodology provides the foundation for each PMI implementation.

PMI clients benefit from a contemporary, “new millennium” approach to  account business planning in which account teams meet together to learn and implement best practices, skills and tools, and build actionable account plans for specific strategic customers. To ensure ongoing customer/supplier collaboration, PMI also facilitates annual and quarterly meetings between our clients and their strategic customers to ensure that objectives and expectations are being met and exceeded by both parties.

Collaborative Planning with Customers

Have you ever felt that your customer is more strategic to your business than your organization is to your customer’s business? This is one of the significant and perplexing problems confronting many suppliers today. Yet when PMI interviews our clients’ strategic customers, (and we have interviewed hundreds of them) we frequently hear the customer state that they would like for their customer/supplier relationship to be more strategic.

PMI has determined through our extensive account management and planning work at the regional, key, strategic and global levels that many customers are interested in planning proactively with their “most important” suppliers – but their suppliers rarely ask them to do so. As a result, we have developed a complete, integrated approach to implementing and deploying Collaborative Planning with Customers for our clients.

This proven approach brings the customer and supplier together at the “planning table” in a facilitated workshop that is designed to connect customer and supplier teams and create a collaborative environment for customer problem solving. PMI’s Collaborative Planning workshops provide a customer/supplier forum in which the parties are equipped and enabled to:

  • Create a collaborative environment in which the supplier’s customer-facing team and stakeholders can reach agreement and gain alignment regarding objectives, strategies, and action items for the customer
  • Connect supplier and customer team members for optimal alignment and ease-of-doing-business
  • Explore specific areas of potential mutual value creation, co-creation and innovation to determine priorities, fit and best use of resources
  • Build customer-specific value propositions for “best fit” opportunities and areas of future growth that both parties are committed to pursue
  • Develop and execute mutual action plans in pursuit of these best fit opportunities by applying the most appropriate resources at optimal times
  • Follow-up to measure results and test effectiveness of the collaboration, the planning, and the execution

PMI’s Collaborative Planning with Customers methodology includes a full suite of tools and deliverables that have been designed in our work with many of the world’s most recognized corporations and deployed with their most strategic customers. PMI clients that have implemented our Strategic Account Management and Planning to Grow™ solutions drive their account management effectiveness to the next level through the deployment of Collaborative Planning with Customers.

Sales Management, Coaching and Review

The evolution that we have all witnessed as “old millennium” sales best practices have given way to new, more contemporary approaches to sales effectiveness and has become a driver for today’s sales managers and leaders. New, more modern, collaborative and effective sales coaching has become a critical component of all successful deployments of sales performance solutions.

PMI recognizes the challenges of today’s sales managers and leaders and has developed a high-impact, practical approach to sales coaching. By observing and leveraging the primary coaching skills and best practices of our clients’ top sales managers, PMI provides a unique program of coaching skills, tools and techniques to drive implementation, adoption and traction of each of PMI’s Sales Performance Solutions.

Sales leaders and managers serve as proactive coaches in all of PMI’s sales training workshops and are provided with up-front “coach the coaches” training to help them understand what they can expect in terms of value from their PMI Sales Performance Solutions. Sales managers and leaders are also equipped with client-specific coaching tools and application-specific questions and job-aids to drive adoption and traction after initial training.

When sales leaders and managers are equipped to coach their first deployment of a PMI Sales Performance Solution, they learn a set of proven field sales coaching skills and are provided with a set of application-specific tools and questions to help them create value for their salespeople and account managers during sales execution. This coaching foundation is built upon with each subsequent deployment of new PMI solutions, which means that the sales managers and leaders continue to use a common set of practical, real-world coaching skills across all of PMI’s Sales Performance Solutions.

Must-Win Strategists / Coaches

PMI’s Must-Win Strategists / Coaches provide sales and account teams with a competitive strategist in the form of a senior, experienced back-stage coach.  After all, every company has must-win deals for the month, quarter, and year. And they certainly have high-value customer relationships under attack from competitors.

To this end, PMI Must-Win Strategists / Coaches work with clients to enable salespeople, account managers and sales managers to:

  • Determine where they stand versus their competitors in the evaluation and selection process of specific opportunities
  • Deploy a proven approach to focusing on critical, high-impact accounts and opportunities and developing winning sales and account growth strategies reinforced by practical skills, tools and job-aids
  • Ask the right questions to determine:
    • The opportunity’s potential value to you and your customer and how that value will be realized
    • Your customer’s alternatives and priorities based on looking at things from their perspective and “thinking like the customer”
    • The steps and critical components of your customer’s decision and selection process
    • How to best align your sales/account team resources with your customer’s team members for optimal impact
    • Political considerations and leverage points within the customer’s organization
    • Effective messaging for different members of the customer evaluation/decision team based on what’s most important to them
    • The strengths and challenges of your offerings and how to best position and differentiate your solutions and unique value with your customer
    • Competitive strategies and tactics based on “thinking like the competition” and anticipating what your competitor is likely to do next
    • How to best leverage sponsors, supporters and past proven value in existing customer relationships for optimal impact
    • Winnable sales strategies with relevant, supporting tactics and action plans.

PMI’s Must-Win Strategists / Coaches can help you assess where you stand with your most critical accounts and opportunities while there is still time to make needed adjustments, determine your best course of action based on proven approaches and best practices, and equip you with the insights and actionable awareness to ensure that you maximize your likelihood of winning in those situations where losing simply isn’t an option.

Sales Talent Selection and Hiring to Win™

PMI’s Sales Talent Selection and Hiring to Win™ solution is based on decades of in-the-field development of a proven hiring process and a supporting tool set. The solution provides PMI’s clients with the tools and services to significantly increase hiring effectiveness so that success in the area of talent acquisition is consistent and predictable. Ongoing industry research regarding the short tenure of salespeople, account managers, and sales managers underscores the importance of selecting and hiring the right talent for the specific job roles a company requires to achieve their short- and long-term goals and objectives. That same research shows that a hiring mistake can cost a company from $200,000 to well over a million dollars.

To this end, PMI works with clients to implement Hiring to Win™ processes and tools that enable hiring managers to:

  • Tailor the hiring process for each job role to assure that the hiring manager knows precisely what a candidate’s strengths and challenges are before a decision is made
  • Build a hiring team for sales and account management positions, thus increasing the likelihood of objectivity and success with each and every hire
  • Increase the effectiveness of their interviewing skills by following a proven process
  • Engineer the right interviewing questions, the answers to which will enable the interviewer to determine whether a candidate possesses the required skills, traits, and behaviors for the position
  • Screen resumes to be certain that no time is wasted on unqualified candidates
  • Deploy simulations and other tests to assure that any and all weaknesses are identified and measured before offers are extended
  • Bring reference checking to a new level, verifying that a candidate’s assertions match the requirements of the job for which they are interviewing

Through PMI’s Sales Talent Selection and Hiring to Win™ solution, managers are provided with the tools, processes, and support required to hire the right talent the first time.