Elay Cohen – How to Achieve Ramp to Revenue & Deal Velocity

PipelineDeals sat down with Elay Cohen is a technologist, innovator and entrepreneur. He co-founded SalesHood to continue his passion and commitment to reinvent the world of sales productivity.

Elay Cohen is a technologist, innovator and entrepreneur. Elay co-founded SalesHood to continue his passion and commitment to reinvent the world of sales productivity.


I am going to talk about how to create a sales productivity machine. When I worked for SalesForce, we grew from $500 million in revenue to $4 billion in revenue.

My message for today is that first line sales managers make it happen. As an outline:

– Sales Values – the best sales managers create a great culture

– Team Cadence – the rhythm of running a business is important.

– Ongoing Learning – you can’t just learn at sales events or conferences. You have to encourage ongoing learning.


Sales Values – when we were growing SalesForce, we discussed how to create a repeatable process for selling and growing. One key element of building our sales process was determining our values, or what we call our SUCCESS formula. We created these 8 years ago and they’re still used by the organization today:

  • Seed and grow

  • Users sell for you

  • Compelling demos

  • Connect the dots

  • Experience events

  • Sell high and through

  • Show them the money

You can’t just take these values and apply them to your business. You know what your market looks like and what will jive with your business team. Make sure that your values become your mantra as a sales team and guide your decision making as a team. Everything you do should come back to your sales values and success formula.

What is your success formula? What are your values?

Winning Sales Managers Create Team Cadence – Cadence is all about the rhythm of your sales team. One way to create cadence is with a monthly sales team calendar. For example:

Week 1 – Kick off and forecast

    increase predictability

Week 2 – Sales Topic & Pipeline

    Improve Sales Skills

Week 3 – Sales Topic & Pitch

    Share Best Practices

Week 4 – Close and Celebrate

    Energize the Team

The difference between sales managers who are successful and those who are not successful is having the discipline to follow a rhythm and cadence in sales.

Balance Best Practice Execution with Inspection – It’s very important for your team to share best practices with one another to create community. This will create a share consciousness across the organization; this is what we did at SalesForce.

If you do not have a culture of communication and a dialogue, then you can’t effectively focus your reps on customer activities that matter.

Learning is relevant, ongoing, and immediately usable – Networking events are important for building culture, but you shoudn’t just be focused on learning at selling conferences. You need to build a culture of ongoing learning in your organization to be successful.

Here are some keys to building a culture that encourages ongoing learning

1 – World-class Onboarding – pre-work, boot camps and coaching

    Examples – document your firsts and help your sales people in their first time pitching a new customer, writing an email to a customer, etc. Make successful onboarding a part of your culture

2 – Ongoing Learning – Sales meetings, 1:1s, mentors

3 – Best Practice Sharing – Peer to peer deal strategies, pitches & proposals

Think Like a CEO and Act Like an Entrepreneur – First line sales managers make it happen. You need to own the outcomes.

Walk away with the following:

1 – what is your culture going to be?

2 – what is your monthly sales cadence going to look like?

3 – how are you going to build a culture of ongoing learning?

4 – how are you going to get your sales managers to own the process?

If you’re interested, check out the services at SalesHood for more advice on building a culture.

Sales Hacker Conference is a meeting of top sales execs sharing the unique sales hacks they’re using to attain nine figure revenues in B2B sales. Sales Hacker Conference was held on April 24th, 2014 at SPiN in New York City.

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