Johns Hopkins University | Carey Business School Sales Force Management Sales Technology Audit Project Winners
Sales Technology Audit & Virtual Engagement (STAVE) project.
Johns Hopkins University | Carey Business School Sales Force Management Summer Class of 2021, led by Prof. Joël Le Bon, Ph.D once again partnered with Vendor Neutral to help students learn to purchase sales technology in the B2B world through the Sales Technology Audit & Virtual Engagement (STAVE) project.
Digital Transformation has dramatically shifted sales, and today’s graduates must have the right tools and knowledge to succeed in this dynamic environment. Vendor Neutral and Johns Hopkins are providing these tools and supporting the next generation of sales professionals through this competition.
The summer program just wrapped up and we are especially excited to announce the final 3 winners of the students’ sales technology assessment projects!
Vendor Neutral Ecosystem
To guide the students in their sales technology selection, Vendor Neutral’s own Dan Cilley, CEO and Steven Wright, Chief Analyst supported the STAVE project in Prof. Joël Le Bon’s Sales Force Management graduate class
Vendor Neutral brought real-world application by sharing some of the capabilities from their Sales Technology Ecosystem that they follow with their own clients. Here’s a sampling of the framework and expertise they provided:
Engage stakeholders and establish goals for them
Identify vital roles within the organization’s sales hierarchy, including Sales Ops, Marketing, Sales Enablement, Sales Leadership, Demand Generation, IT/CISO, Inside Sales, and Field Sales. Including these stakeholders in the decision-making process is vital. Assign specific responsibilities in writing.
Identify technology gaps
What technology already exists within your organization? Does it currently bring value and the ROI you expect? Once you have determined that foundation of solutions, identify at which SalesTech hierarchy level in which you have gaps.
Audit capability gaps.
Understand the organization’s capabilities and opportunities for development. Don’t fall for the “shiny object syndrome.” Think strategically instead of reacting to the latest and greatest tool.
Consider vendors that potentially align to your process, priorities, and challenges.
To do this, organizations must look beyond the features and benefits of a solution. A vendor’s sales pitch is really just marketing spin. Instead, look deeper to clearly identify how they align with your process or match your priorities and challenges.
Analyze solution fit and ROI
Ask the right questions of yourself, the provider, and your peers. Your questions could include:
- What business objectives does this solution help with?
- Who and what are the processes necessary to extract value?
- Will we need to increase incremental headcount?
- What kind of initial and ongoing training is required?
- How quickly will we see a ROI?
- What are the ongoing costs to support the solution?
- What is the cost of doing nothing?
- What does the solution need to be integrated with?
- How much of the solution will we use?
- How is performance measured?
Sales Technology Assessment
Leveraging Vendor Neutral’s framework student teams were required to perform an entrepreneurial audit of a specific sales technology that could be used to improve sales organizations’ efficiency and effectiveness and to recommend areas of improvement.
Specifically, students research the following:
- Inefficiencies within the sales organization that led to a problem that the new technology can solve.
- How the technology can help the organization improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
- What areas can the technology improve on in the future.
The students used both primary (i.e., personal interviews) and secondary (i.e., research) data to perform their analysis. Their approach showed how to leverage the concepts, frameworks, methodologies, and tools studied in class to advance sales force management in the era of digital transformation.
Following the completion of the team projects, each team pitched their conclusions and ideas to the judges, led by Prof. Joël Le Bon, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Science of Digital Business Development Initiative. Acting as venture capitalists, the class voted for the most promising Sales Technology Audit & Virtual Engagement (STAVE) project by allocating funding to the best team and entrepreneurial pitch.
We continue to be amazed by the quality of the presentations and pitches in this competition. And it’s our pleasure to announce the winners of the Johns Hopkins University Sales Technology Audit & Virtual Engagement Challenge (STAVE) projects for 2021:
- Coveo– Presented by Team YYDS
- Gainsight– Presented by Team Insight
- Cirrus Insight – Presented by Team Visionaries
Congratulations to the winners and all the students involved for a phenomenal effort! Thanks to Prof. Joël Le Bon, Ph.D and Johns Hopkins University | Carey Business School for providing Vendor Neutral this opportunity to share our framework and Sales Technology Ecosystem with the next generation of marketing and sales professionals.