Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Challenge Yourself with a Self-Assessment

There is tremendous power in self-reflection. I’ve found that implementing the practice as part of an annual performance review can be incredibly insightful and productive.

Our assessment challenges individuals to not only take stock of their personal performance and best practices, but also to look at their performance through the lens of their customers and co-workers. The way that I use this assessment tool is to ask each sales rep to either write their answers, or just prepare for a discussion with me. During a meeting to review, I offer my feedback and opinions on some of the questions; but the true value of the exercise is challenging them to look in the mirror. The questions are outlined below:

Self-Assessment for Sales Team

  • In general, do you enjoy sales? Why?
  • Do you enjoy your job: Selling the products and services Shamrock provides?
  • What do you like/dislike about working for Shamrock?
  • How do you assess your attitude? What would your co-workers say about your attitude?
  • How do you assess your work ethic? How would your sales team define your work ethic?
  • How do you assess your ambition and drive? What drives/motivates you?
Sales Skills:
  • Strengths: What are you good at? What would your customers say they value most about you?
  • Weaknesses: Where do you think you can improve? If your customers had one complaint, what would that be?
  • Messaging: Are you comfortable communicating Shamrock's/your value to clients and prospects? Are there additional marketing tools you need?
  • How do you assess your presentation skills?
  • Relationship Building: Do your clients like, respect, and trust you? Why?

Strategy & Execution:
  • How do you feel about your strategic plan to achieve success?
  • How well do you execute your plan? What systems/tools do you use to gauge progress?

  • What organizational system do you use to manage a large workload? Are there any areas that are lacking?
  • Do you think you choose to spend your time in high-impact areas? Flip it: What is the biggest drain on your time?

  • Are you satisfied with your sales results?
  • Where do you see your results in 1, 3 and 5 years?

These self-assessment questions will work well for some our sales reps, but perhaps not for all. Either way, it’s a great exercise of self-discovery that can be tweaked to use as you see fit. If there are other questions you’d add to the list, I’d appreciate your input.

Bob De Garmo

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

How Account-Based Marketing Is A Lot Like The Cleveland Browns

The energy in Cleveland is electric: With the Browns’ training camp in full swing, we can’t get enough of the pre-season preparation as we look forward to that first gameday kickoff. In order for the Browns to be successful, each player must do his job as it relates to the shared team goal. But if individual players don’t buy into that goal or plan—if they work independently toward their own singular visions—the entire team suffers.

The same is true in business: If your sales and marketing team goals are not aligned, you’ll be less effective. According to Forrester Research, organizations with aligned sales and marketing teams see an average of 32% annual revenue growth, while less-aligned companies see a 7% decline in growth.

Like an all-in team effort, account-based marketing (ABM) is one way to connect the two and drive more effective marketing outcomes. It’s a strategy that targets the relevant people who influence the sales cycle: ABM focuses on an account (i.e., a list of highly relevant prospects). By aligning sales and marketing through all parts of a company’s sales funnel, ABM yields a more personalized approach by making connections with key decision makers and offering content based on their specific role/responsibility or pain point, rather than the same general message blanketing the entire decision-making chain.

While we’ve been loosely using this targeted approach for years, ABM has gained recent momentum because today’s digital tools make it easier than ever to combine sales and marketing in one seamless effort without wasting time and energy bouncing back and forth between departments. 

The genius behind ABM is that it treats individual prospects and customers as their very own market—not as an entire industry. It’s a laser-focused B2B strategy that allows us, as marketers, to focus on potential/existing customers within a market, and then deliver personalized messaging that resonates with them, using specific and relevant channels.

This summarizes the basic ABM steps:
  1. Define high-value accounts/prospects and prioritize based on revenue potential 
  2. Identify key players and decision makers within each organization (do your research)
  3. Create a content strategy (don’t overlook the value of re-purposed content) for each account 
  4. Develop messaging that speaks to each of these audiences and their specific business challenges; make a personal connection 
  5. Identify key channels best used to communicate with your targets 
  6. Launch coordinated account-specific campaigns that are consistent across all delivery channels 
  7. Test, measure and re-deploy as needed   
If you’re not currently using ABM, don’t panic: It can be implemented in conjunction with traditional inbound marketing strategies: When you cast that inbound net and bring in a wide array of contacts, use ABM to help refine that list to high-priority prospects, and then take it from there.

If you’re interested in learning more about ABM connect with me at

Good luck,
Tim Connor