Navigating Rough Skies in Sales

What a time to start a new sales leadership role at SugarCRM!

In over 20 years of selling, this has to be the most difficult time for sales representatives and managers alike. How do you navigate a deal or a forecast when there is no predictability given the current economic climate? I thought I would share the tools and ideas I have for continuing to drive to my numbers. It’s a brand-new company—new sales representatives, new managers, and new expectations!

plan-navigationWhen it comes to times like these, I like to think about flying. Normally, pilots that don’t have a line of sight because of bad conditions always use their gauges to safely operate their planes. I like to fly by the gauges much like these pilots. It helps me see what’s coming, take a temperature of the market, to strategize and plan.

Thank goodness for Sugar Discover! I wake up every morning to a set of dashboards that point me in the right direction.

There is a lot of data points I need to look at from renewal data to the new logo forecast and pipeline. In this turbulent time, I rely heavily on the Sugar Discover dashboard which allows me to make better-informed decisions.


Landing in the Storm

Gauges are crucial to pilots to fly the plane but they’re also crucial to another step: Landing. Without landing, taking off and navigating doesn’t mean anything—a successful flight means achieving the result of travel from take-off to landing. So, how do pilots land in a storm? They continue to use their gauges, they communicate, and they move forward.

Just like pilots, a sales team has to learn to fly in bad weather just as much as good weather because the market is always changing. There still needs to be an end goal of converting an opportunity, how long that takes and the customer journey may adapt but it’s crucial not to lose sight of the sales cycle.


Driven by Data, Not Chaos

Navigating Rough Skies in SalesBeing data-driven is a passion of mine but given my new world, it’s what’s allowing me to survive. Making informed decisions has never been more crucial because the details matter. Knowing the industry, revenue, people, and other information gleaned from Sugar Sell via Sugar Connect, Hint, and Discover have opened doors that I otherwise would not have known about.

As a leader, it’s important to make decisions based on the most accurate information available. So much like a pilot, flying through a storm, I use my gauges to navigate my team through this market. Data, alongside empathy, understanding, and patience, will see us through and I’m confident that Sugar has the right people to help navigate this situation.

  • Leader
  • leadership
  • sales
  • sales management
  • Sugar Sell
About the Contributor
Jason Rushforth
Jason Rushforth As GM, Americas, Jason Rushforth brings more than 20 years of product and SaaS experience to Sugar—all of it in CRM and CX. He is a respected technology industry veteran; his most recent role as VP and GM for Infor saw him implementing the vision and execution of their Customer Experience suite of solutions. Prior to Infor, Jason was VP of Industry Solutions and Enterprise Sales at Oracle, where he joined via the acquisition of Eloqua and was responsible for top-line revenue growth of the $750B Marketing Cloud. He served Eloqua as the GM of Industry Solutions and drove the go-to-market strategy for specific applications, resulting in a 1B+ sale to Oracle. Jason was also President of Front Office Solutions at CDC Software (now Aptean), and on the board of directors for Marketbright (now Act-On). Armed with years of knowledge in building out both MarTech and CRM stacks, Jason is a subject matter expert in the discipline of customer service, with thousands of speaking engagements under his belt. He is passionate about education and thought leadership, and energized to build relationships with customers, analysts, and prospects. As the newest member of the Sugar executive team, Jason sees great things in the company’s future, particularly with the Sugar Discover and Market products, which allow for other innovative capabilities to be easily implemented to create customers for life.