FSS Summer School: Sourcing Sales Enablement Solutions 101

School is not out for summer! But don’t worry, in Part 2 of our series with Brian and the team at 5600blue, we are giving you a study guide that will make sure everyone is going to ace the class.

In our always-on, always-connected, digital world it is increasingly simple to source solutions from a global marketplace. This is good news and bad news, while competition is good for things like innovation and pricing, a larger pool of options often means more complexity when understanding:

How do you select the right option for your business and your business objectives?

This is very apparent in the emerging function of sales enablement that we talked about in our podcast. There are a growing number of tools, services, solutions and consultants ready to help you.

To feel confident, organizations should re-examine how they sources solutions, including sales enablement. To share industry best practices, Brian and team put together a guide that we think you will find helpful: Sourcing Sales Enablement Solutions: An Organizational Guide To Holistically Support Sales & Drive Organic Growth.”

CTA: Be sure to visit the 5600blue blog here. and download the sourcing guide, and be sure to let us know what you think.


On Thursday, July 20th, join John Flannery at the Del Mar Hilton for a round table discussion on how to drive revenue through sales process.

John will share insights into how to define (and refine) your sales process. This approach has helped Flannery Sales Systems’ customers to:

  • Use objective criteria to improve predictable revenue streams
  • Allocate human and technological resources efficiently
  • Increase visibility into new areas for growth
  • Identify skill deficiencies and coach to improvement

Successful strategies used by top performing companies will be shared during this 75 minute session.

Seating is limited. Admission and self parking are free. The Del Mar Hilton is located right across from the racetrack on 15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd. in Del Mar.

July 20th from 7:30 – 9:30am. Continental breakfast will be served.

Contact Malinee to save your seat:  malinee@drive-revenue.com or call 858 518-7039 with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there.

In this month’s On The Road Again, John informs of updates on Insight Selling and how to improve your sales, one conversation at a time. Click on the arrow above to view.

Flannery Sales Systems - On The Road Again

John was in Newport Beach  last week working with a new customer in the financial services and financial technology industry at their National Sales Meeting.

Their focus is on how they sell as the differentiator in the buying process. Listen in on other featured articles in our upcoming newsletter by clicking on the arrow below. 

Flannery Sales Systems - On The Road Again

Listen in on our first video of the new year, as John discusses the importance of using patience in developing sales opportunities. And after 3 decades of sales methodology rollouts, the market has shifted and sales leaders are looking for customized programs for the markets they compete in. So click on the arrow, and/or check our blog to learn more on these topics.


Last weekend we got into the Holiday spirit by attending a Christmas parade in Encinitas, the next town up the coast from us in Solana Beach, CA. After finding a parking spot, I happened upon the flashing sign in the attached photo. Upon first impression, it struck me as the very thing NOT to do as I round out the last month of a very busy year filled with family and the team at Flannery Sales Systems. However, as my personal, community and business commitments pick up around the Holidays, I do find it critical to schedule downtime for myself in order to maintain my balance and sanity.

Each morning, I start the day with a twenty-minute quiet period. During this time, I’m usually alone, although lately our new dog has decided to join me. I make it a practice to put away all my electronic devices, news sources and other “outside” influences. The only thing I keep is a reading on how to focus on the present moment and remember all the things I have to be grateful for.

My latest, favorite read during this time is a book by Terry Hershey called Pause: Becoming More by Doing Less. The chapters are broken into weekly two to three page reads, each with a focus on a different aspect of spiritual development. Each reading helps me put my mind in a positive place and prep me for the day ahead. On the rare occasion I don’t get the chance to start my day with this twenty-minute reflection, I feel like I’m running hard all day, and not nearly as effective, or present, as when I do.

There’s no shortage of information written on the consequences of neglecting to take care of yourself and succumbing to the manic pace that has become the “new normal”. This frenetic behavior has many subtle and often dangerous outcomes. Recently, I stumbled upon an article that summarizes this perfectly — The Disease of Being Busy.

Developing a practice of quiet reflection is about reduction, not addition. At this stage in my life, I have so much to be grateful for, and I find that my daily meditations help me slow down so I can savor each moment. Here’s hoping that you and your family have a blessed, happy and relaxing Holiday season. I look forward to connecting with you in 2017.



December is upon us.  How will you focus your team this month to successfully close business and maximize revenue potential? One key way is to avoid discounting. This may be easier said than done, especially in the fourth quarter when buyers are working hard to get the best deals possible. But, here are two proven skills we teach our clients in every workshop we run.

Prove Value

This is one of the most fundamental and important skills we work on with salespeople, and it is central to any customer-focused selling methodology. In order to avoid heavy discounting at the end of the sales cycle, sellers must thoroughly understand their customers’ primary business objectives, the key challenges they face that prevent them from achieving those objectives, and the financial impact of doing nothing. Then, they must align the specific product/service capabilities with those challenges in the form of a question, such as “if you had a printing service that could turn around jobs in 24 hours and offers free delivery, how would that solve the challenge you’d mentioned related to compressed timelines and skyrocketing costs?”

Once that value has been established, when buyers ask for the discount at the end of the sales cycle (they will ask for some concession), sellers can return to the value they had both agreed their product or service would bring. When asked for the discount, a seller might say, “you agreed that using our printing services would save you an estimated $50,000/yr in rush charges and delivery fees. Has anything changed since our last conversation?” Reminding buyers of the value of your solution and the cost to them of not changing is key to closing business without price concessions.

For more on the questions sellers should ask in order to thoroughly establish value, take a look at our three-part series “Helping Your Customers Achieve Their Objectives”.

Refine Negotiation Skills

Proving value is something all good sellers do at the beginning of the sales cycle, while skillful negotiating happens at all stages. You’ll often hear sellers say, “he’s just a good negotiator,” as if it’s something you’re born with and you either have it, or you don’t. Nothing could be further from the truth. All salespeople can be trained to be great negotiators. Here’s what they must know:

  1. Have a negotiation plan – you must be prepared for a negotiation – you can’t just “wing it”. Before walking into any closing meeting, sellers should have a plan in place to respond to pressure.
  2. Know your floor – calculate the lowest price you’ll go to in order to preserve margin and revenue opportunities for you and your company.
  3. Push back – remind your buyer about the agreed-upon value of your product, or if they’re prepared to deal with the cost of not moving forward.
  4. Offer other concessions – be ready to offer your customer other concessions that aren’t related to price, things like extended warranty, training, a dedicated service rep, etc. These offer your customers value without eroding your margins. But…if you do offer something, be sure to ask for something in return. What can your customer give you? Think about things like exclusives, referrals, testimonials, etc.
  5. Be prepared to walk away/Have a full pipeline – there are times when a buyer will not move forward without unreasonable discount requests, and good sellers must be prepared to walk. Tell your buyer, “I’m not going to be able to offer you the discount you’re requesting. But, what I would like to do is take some time to think about our conversation today and get back with you next week.” Sometimes knowing that they’ve pushed you as low as you’ll go is all a buyer needs to move forward.
  6. PRACTICE– as with all skill development, practice is key to mastery. Role-play negotiations to prepare for big meetings. Practice pushing back and offering non-price concessions in exchange for something of value to your organization.

In summary, ensuring your sellers are able to prove value and negotiate effectively is key to helping them avoid the price concessions that customers are sure to request in December.


On another customer visit to Asia, John discusses the importance of having Sales and Marketing focused on the best targets for new business, as well as the items that a salesperson must have before presenting a proposal to a prospect .

John reports back from his original hometown on the upcoming topics in our newsletter to include Ask A Sales Leader with Melissa Clemens. Also, we revisit “Doing Simple Better”; what are the basic components, which are often overlooked or minimized, when developing sales opportunities.


Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 10.05.46 AM

John and the team will be back in Asia at the end of this month working with customers to reinforce the use of their sales process to help meet business objectives.

If you will be in Tokyo or Shanghai between August 30th and September 7th, and would like to participate in a session, or just meet for a coffee to discuss Sales, let John know at john@drive-revenue.com.

Our customer base has extended to 16 countries, with participants from the programs who speak 21 different languages. We have collected a wealth of knowledge on buying from all over the world, and would like to share insight and learn about your markets. Here’s hoping we see you soon.