May, 2018

C-Suite Chats with Christian Valiulis, May 2018

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C-Suite Chats With Christian Valiulis, May 2018

Our very own CRO, Christian Valiulis, is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. Once a month, these members come together for Q&A sessions about relevant, important topics in the business world. The topics this month range from sales team success tips, to artificial intelligence (AI), to charitable work within organizations. Here’s what Christian had to say:

1. AI is being adopted in a myriad of industries this year. How can you use AI so that your sales team can achieve better results more predictably?

Christian: Use Data to Predict Target Sales

The key to success predictability driven by AI is data. Quality data inputted yields valuable information like buying trends, likelihood to close, and industry specifics. This allows sales reps to determine what phase of the buying process prospects are in and if their interest is genuine or they’re merely info searching and self-educating. AI supports more concentrated efforts where it counts.

Check out this Forbes article, Adopting AI Into Your Business Can Strengthen Salesto see how Christian and other Business Development Council members have used AI in their organizations.

2. Now that Salesforce has announced that it is teaming up with United Way to create a philanthropic cloud, what is the best way for biz dev professionals to promote charitable work inside their sales organizations?

Christian: Think Local

For mid-market companies like APS, it’s important to first start the giving initiative locally. Getting our staff members, executives, and even clients involved in charitable efforts gives everyone in our business an opportunity to give back. Fundraising competitions or seasonal donations encourage company-wide bonding and cultivates a positive work culture.

Check out this Forbes article, Six Ways For Business Development Pros To Promote Charitable Work, to see what Christian and other Business Development Council members had to say on how to encourage charitable efforts within your sales team. 

3. Training new sales hires can be difficult. What’s the most effective sales training technique that you use?

Christian: Focus On Coaching Rather Than Training

There is a big difference between training a sales hire and coaching a sales hire. During training, they are learning and absorbing knowledge you offer them. During one on one coaching and role playing, on the other hand, they are putting into practice the knowledge you’ve imparted to them. The key difference is that through coaching, they are learning it, practicing it, and competing with it.

Check out this Forbes article, 13 Winning Sales Training Techniquesto see where Christian and other Business Development Council members have found success when training their sales staff.

4. Preparing your sales staff to sell well is critical in building a successful business. Given the number of ways you can prepare your team, what does sales enablement mean to you?

Christian: A Guide For Their Actions

A puppeteer can give team members a puppet, provide a backdrop and stage, and expect a show. That doesn’t mean it will be a success. They may not know how to manipulate their actions or which strings to pull at the appropriate times to achieve the desired result, despite having all the necessary tools. Sales enablement is learning which strings (prospects) to pull and which won’t be successful.

Check out this Forbes article, What Does Sale Enablement Look Like When Training A Successful Team?to see what sales enablement means to Christian and other Business Development Council members.

5. What’s the best way you’ve found to organize and optimize sales territories?

Christian: Utilize A Self-Healing System

In my experience, a self-healing system is more effective than geographically split sales territories as skill sets don’t always translate across territories. This method naturally favors those who take initiative and close deals while putting those who don’t at a disadvantage. Sales reps are more incentivized to close deals when artificial barriers like geographic limitations are eliminated.


About Forbes Business Development Council:

Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only organization for senior-level sales and business development executives. Find out if you qualify at forbesbizdevcouncil.com/qualify.

About Christian Valiulis

Chief Revenue Officer Christian Valiulis at APS is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. As a national human capital management and full-service payroll processing company, APS delivers a unified cloud solution backed by guaranteed payroll tax compliance services. Christian oversees marketing and sales, channel partnerships, and strategic product and service alliances. Connect with him on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with his most recent publications.

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