Sales Strategies for the Future w/ Steve Norman [Episode 712]

Steve Norman, B2B sales consultant, speaker, and author of Future Proof Sales Strategy: 7 Steps to Rise Above the Chaos, and Transform Your Team and Take Charge of Your Career, joins me on this episode.


  • Steve wrote the book Future Proof Sales Strategy to help B2B organizations get up to date and competitive and to adapt to change. A team is a living, changing organism. Be very serious about managing change; don’t miss a step.
  • Steve talks about non-specialized and specialized sales structures. Andy asks if the right people are doing the outreach. Steve says the older ways of prospecting are getting much harder as customers avoid salespeople.
  • Steve suggests a field salesperson, working with the inside salesperson, is required at a certain price point. Andy and Steve share their perspectives as former field salespersons.
  • The inside salesperson calls on the field sales specialist to make a call when it is worthwhile. Multiple inside salespersons work with one field salesperson.
  • Steve expects the field salesperson to have one or two good meetings a day set up by inside sales, while also setting their own appointments.
  • The book lists steps to future-proof sales. Employ the right sales structure. Recruit and promote the right talent. Assessments and aptitude tests help. Steve says to use structured interviews and give a sample work task.
  • Andy suggests how to improve sales hiring by tracking hiring data against the sales results of the reps that were hired. Sales forecasting skills could also be improved by tracking forecasts to results. Most companies don’t try.
  • Another step is to Develop high-converting middle-of-the-funnel (MOFu) capabilities. Steve explains specialization with regard to MOFu activities while working with buying committees.
  • Who should negotiate a deal? Andy recommends using contract professionals. Salespeople need to be skilled in trade-offs, bringing in other elements away from pricing.
  • Qualification, discovery, and needs analysis are skills needed for any salesperson to be future-proofed. Stay on top of change by continually learning proactively.
  • Steve talks about gap analysis and closing.
  • Where are the sales conferences on qualification and discovery? Steve and Andy consider putting one together.