President, Channel Group
By uniting sales reps from each product platform – print, online, events, and research – into teams called “pods” and tying compensation to group performance, not just individual performance, Faletra has driven growth of all the brands within CMP’s Channel Group.
Bob Faletra, president of CMP Technology’s Channel Group, a division consisting of the company’s CRN, VAR Business, IPED (The Institute for Partnership Education and Development, a market intelligence and research service) and XChange conferences, earlier this year re-engineered his sales force to take a team-based approach to selling across platforms.
Faletra has organized his sales reps into groups called “pods”;a series of regionally-based teams made up of reps from each brand vertical. The strategy is aimed at lifting reps and their group managers out of a single-platform sales mentality to one that benefits all products across the channel, with a new compensation plan to match.
Under the former structure, if an event rep met with a company that wanted to promote its brand in a print or online environment, that rep still attempted to steer the client back toward an event-based sale because he or she was rewarded for only that kind of deal. “If you don’t structure your compensation right, you’re not really trying to help the customer as much as you’re just trying to help yourself,” he says.
Now, says Faletra, compensation is tied to group performance. Product heads are not only compensated for hitting their own numbers for their particular product, they also have a significant portion of their compensation tied to the performance of all of the Channel Group’s products. Sales reps are compensated on their individual sales as well as the performance of their pod, which is made up of a cross-section of online, print, events and research reps.
The strategy has already netted an integrated project worth north of a million dollars. Faletra notes that morale has picked up significantly too. “If you put me in a situation where it’s to my advantage to get those dollars in whatever shape and form they come in, we’re out there selling together rather than individually,” he says.
Faletra’s “pod” approach to integrated sales for CMP’s Channel Group, started earlier this year, has already scored a client deal north of a million dollars.