Sales Automation? Post COVID Lead Trends? Amazon Hiring To Fire? | This Week In Sales

On this week in sales we’ll be looking at: 

  • Sales automation
  • Post COVID lead generation trends
  • Amazon’s Hire to Fire strategy


What’s Your Sales Automation Strategy?

A recent McKinsey study shows that more than 30% of sales activities can be automated to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

However, lack of awareness of automation’s potential, inadequate tracking, return on investment (ROI) concerns, and delayed delivery challenges are hindrances to adoption.

Automated sales commission platform Spiff secures $46M

Companies connect Spiff to their customer relationship management (CRM) platform, business intelligence (BI) tools, or accounting and payment systems to automatically glean real-time sales data. 

While its prebuilt integrations include the likes of Salesforce, Looker, Snowflake, Quickbooks, and Stripe, the company also follows an API-first philosophy that opens things to just about any data conduit.

Through the no-code Spiff commission designer dashboard, companies can combine rules, variables, and conditions around commission payments so that when an employee meets certain preset criteria, they automatically receive their dues. 

This can support any number of commission structures, including deal splits, ramps, and team roll-ups.

Lead Generation Trends Sales Leaders Should Know

sales emails have now effectively doubled from the pre-pandemic baseline — 106% in March and 94% more email volume in April 2021.

Sales calls, too, trended up. Call events were up 72% and 65% in March and April 2021, respectively (compared to pre-pandemic baselines).

 In 2021, we find spending up a staggering 38% in both March and April 2021. The year-over-year uptick is 52%.

However, despite buyers’ preferences for digital sales interactions — 70%-80% of respondents to McKinsey’s research survey prefer over face-to-face — all this activity has not led to increased sales.

The HubSpot data indicates closed-won deals cratered early with the uncertainty surrounding the onset of the pandemic (-9% April 2020) and were underwater (up only 1% to negative) seven of the next 11 months. Things seem to have finally reversed in March 2021, popping 13% above the pandemic baseline.

The big takeaways here are that more activity is generating fewer results and that this hard work, especially in prospecting or awareness-generating activities, is not currently showing signs of reversing course.

Five Ps of Sales Success

Five Ps of sales—purpose, precision, personalization, productivity, and profitability.

Phil Harrell, a vice president and group director at Forrester, says in the report that modern buyers will place greater emphasis on companies’ social and corporate responsibility, and seller candidates will seek more than income when considering job opportunities.

Will, how much consideration do customers (or seller candidates) put on social responsibility before making a buying (take a position with a company)?

Amazon’s Controversial ‘Hire to Fire’ Practice Reveals a Brutal Truth About Management

According to the reporting, managers at the online retailer intentionally hire people that they know they’re going to fire. 

The fact that managers at Amazon might offer someone a job just so they can terminate them isn’t even the worst part of the story. See, managers at Amazon have a target rate for annual turnover. 

Managers are evaluated based on a metric, known as “unregretted attrition rate” (URA).  They’re expected to lose, either voluntarily or through termination, a specific number of employees every year. If you don’t, you’re expected to make up for it the following year. 

Result: Managers are hiring people they otherwise wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, just so they can later fire them to hit their goal.

To be fair, Amazon told Insider that “hire to fire” isn’t a policy and goes against Amazon’s leadership principles, one of which is “Hire and Develop the Best.” From the company’s website:

Do you have to be a practitioner to be a successful coach? (assuming you have access to data…) 

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