One sales performance improvement company that has enjoyed decades of success is The Complex Sale. Had they merely rested on the industry-leading content developed years ago, they certainly wouldn’t be where they are today. On the contrary, they’ve invested, and adapted to the challenges present today in not only complex, but also more transactional selling environments.
I had the opportunity to engage with David Stargel, President and COO of The Complex Sale, on this interview. For those of you who “knew them back when…” and haven’t kept up, this will be eye-opening for you.
Here is the interview:
Dave Stein: David, it looks like you have had a lot going on the last couple of years at The Complex Sale. Tell me a little about where you have been focusing?
David Stargel: Dave, we’ve focused a lot on expanding our offering in several areas that complement our existing solutions. We’ve added skills programs around prospecting and selling more effectively to executives in today’s changed markets. We’ve also built a complete Demand Creation methodology and a Strategic Presentations workshop. And we’ve rolled out a completely new set of software tools for sales people and sales managers.
Stein: What drove these changes and new programs?
Stargel: Really it was fueled primarily by our clients along with our experience in the market. Clients came to us in areas where they felt their teams were really struggling and basically saying, “If you have a program in this area, we would prefer to do it with TCS.” We looked at those areas and at what we were seeing in the market and felt like these programs could have significant impact on our clients’ revenue streams.
Stein: What has been the reaction to the training from your customers?
Stargel: It has been tremendous. When we first rolled out some of the skills programs, I wondered how some of the senior sales executives at our clients would react. But they have been like sponges soaking it up. That, to me, confirms that we attacked the right areas where even senior people were looking for help. These programs have been so well accepted at companies like SAP and Comcast that they are quickly challenging our core programs in terms of total revenue production.
Stein: The new software tools sound very exciting. How do you see clients leveraging these new tools based on today’s market?
Stargel: In particular, I think sales managers will really leverage these new tools. Today’s front line sales manager is probably the most overworked professional out there. Their span of control is too big, they don’t have enough resources, they’ve got to find and hire talent and still provide a very accurate forecast. We can provide these managers with great analytical tools that will help them look at their pipeline and also analyze what the sales person is doing in their opportunities and point them to the trouble spots. This helps them not only prioritize their coaching time, but also to know at quarter end and year end, which deals they need to focus on to ensure that accurate forecast.
For the salesperson, we continue to focus on making it easier to manage their deals and on not slowing them down. That means making the tools work the way they work and where they want to work. So we focused on making the tools even more visual and easier to use, and added additional capabilities like Social Media connection and mobility through iPad versions.
David Stargel is President and COO of The Complex Sale. He has extensive sales and sales management experience including over 30 years working with the high-tech and services industries.
Prior to TCS, David was a Vice President with SAP America with responsibility for more than $50 million in revenues and over 100 employees. This responsibility included all sales, consulting, education, and customer service functions in a 10-state region.
David also served as District Sales Manager at SAP for a direct sales force responsible for Global Account Strategies for the largest global accounts in the southern United States. During this period he was responsible for hiring, training, and leading the sales force in implementing methodologies and strategies for managing the complex sale.
The Complex Sale is a premiere sales training and methodology company that helps their clients win the deals they can’t afford to lose.
Founded in 1994 by Rick Page, author of sales bestseller Hope is Not a Strategy® – The 6 Keys to Winning the Complex Sale and Make Winning a Habit® – 20 Best Practices of the World’s Greatest Sales Forces, TCS has trained thousands of salespeople and managers and transformed sales organizations all over the world.