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The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million

The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million

Mark Roberge

ISBN: 978-1-119-20989-8

May 2016

224 pages


Use data, technology, and inbound selling to build a remarkable team and accelerate sales

The Sales Acceleration Formula provides a scalable, predictable approach to growing revenue and building a winning sales team. Everyone wants to build the next $100 million business and author Mark Roberge has actually done it using a unique methodology that he shares with his readers. As an MIT alum with an engineering background, Roberge challenged the conventional methods of scaling sales utilizing the metrics-driven, process-oriented lens through which he was trained to see the world. In this book, he reveals his formulas for success. Readers will learn how to apply data, technology, and inbound selling to every aspect of accelerating sales, including hiring, training, managing, and generating demand.

As SVP of Worldwide Sales and Services for software company HubSpot, Mark led hundreds of his employees to the acquisition and retention of the company's first 10,000 customers across more than 60 countries. This book outlines his approach and provides an action plan for others to replicate his success, including the following key elements:

  • Hire the same successful salesperson every time — The Sales Hiring Formula
  • Train every salesperson in the same manner — The Sales Training Formula
  • Hold salespeople accountable to the same sales process — The Sales Management Formula
  • Provide salespeople with the same quality and quantity of leads every month — The Demand Generation Formula
  • Leverage technology to enable better buying for customers and faster selling for salespeople

Business owners, sales executives, and investors are all looking to turn their brilliant ideas into the next $100 million revenue business. Often, the biggest challenge they face is the task of scaling sales. They crave a blueprint for success, but fail to find it because sales has traditionally been referred to as an art form, rather than a science. You can't major in sales in college. Many people question whether sales can even be taught. Executives and entrepreneurs are often left feeling helpless and hopeless.

The Sales Acceleration Formula completely alters this paradigm. In today's digital world, in which every action is logged and masses of data sit at our fingertips, building a sales team no longer needs to be an art form. There is a process. Sales can be predictable.

A formula does exist.

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Foreword Neil Rackham ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xv

PART I The Sales Hiring Formula 1

Chapter 1 Uncovering the Characteristics of a Successful Salesperson 3

Chapter 2 Five Traits Great Salespeople Have and How to Interview for Them 11

Coachability 12

Curiosity 16

Prior Success 19

Intelligence 20

Work Ethic 21

Chapter 3 Finding Top-Performing Salespeople 25

Build a Recruiting Agency within Your Company 26

Find Quality Passive Sales Candidates on LinkedIn 28

Find Quality Passive Sales Candidates through Your Team: The “Forced Referral” 33

Understand the Sales Talent Pool in Your Area 33

Chapter 4 The Ideal First Sales Hire 37

PART II The Sales Training Formula 45

Chapter 5 Setting Up a Predictable Sales Training Program 47

Defining the Three Elements of the Sales Methodology: The Buyer Journey, Sales Process, and Qualifying Matrix 50

Create a Training Curriculum around the Sales Methodology 53

Adding Predictability to the Sales Training Formula 54

Constant Iteration on the Sales Process 57

Chapter 6 Manufacturing Helpful Salespeople Your Buyers Trust 59

Train Your Salespeople to Experience the Day-to-Day Job of Potential Customers 60

Enable Your Salespeople to Build Their Personal Brand with Potential Customers Using Social Media 62

PART III The Sales Management Formula 67

Chapter 7 Metrics-Driven Sales Coaching 69

Implementing a Coaching Culture throughout the Organization 71

Creating the Coaching Plan Together with the Salesperson 72

Examples of Metrics-Driven Skill Diagnosis and Coaching Plans 74

“Peeling Back the Onion” 79

Measure the Coaching Success 80

Chapter 8 Motivation through Sales Compensation Plans and Contests 83

Criteria to Evaluate a New Commission Plan 88

Involve the Sales Team in Compensation Plan Design 89

Promotion Tiers: Removing the Subjectivity from Promotions and Compensation Adjustments 90

Using Sales Contests to Motivate the Team 93

The Best Contest I Ever Ran 95

Chapter 9 Developing Sales Leaders—Advantages of a “Promote from Within” Culture 97

Prerequisites for Leadership Consideration 102

From the Classroom to the Real World 103

Common Potholes from New Sales Managers 104

PART IV The Demand Generation Formula 109

Chapter 10 Flip the Demand Generation Formula—Get Buyers to Find You 111

How Can Your Business Rank at the Top of Google? 113

This Does Not Happen Overnight 115

Create a Content Production Process 116

Complement Content Production with Social Media Participation 121

Long-Tail Theory 123

Chapter 11 Converting Inbound Interest into Revenue 127

Marketing’s Role in Converting Interest into Revenue 128

Sales’ Role in Converting Interest into Revenue 137

Chapter 12 Aligning Sales and Marketing—The SMarketing SLA 149

The Marketing Service Level Agreement (SLA) 151

The Sales Service Level Agreement (SLA) 154

PART V Technology and Experimentation 161

Chapter 13 Technology to Sell Better, Faster 163

Accelerate Lead Sourcing with Technology 165

Accelerate Sales Prospecting with Technology 167

Accelerate Lead Engagement with Technology 170

Automated Reporting with Technology 171

Chapter 14 Running Successful Sales Experiments 175

Generating Ideas for Experiments 176

Best Practices of Experiment Execution 178

Chapter 15 HubSpot’s Most Successful Sales Experiments 183

The HubSpot Value Added Reseller (VAR) Program 183

GPCT 186

Chapter 16 Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here? 191

Index 195