What sales leaders can learn from John McMahon

Learn about sales leadership from one of the most qualified sales leaders of all time

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Over the past 30 years John McMahon has become renowned for creating some of the most successful sales teams at public software companies. Let’s learn a little about what makes him such an impactful leader. After all, the best way to become a great sales leader is to follow in the footsteps of one!

Who is John McMahon?

John McMahon is an expert on sales leadership in the enterprise software industry who currently sits on the boards of several companies, including the data cloud platform Snowflake and the application data platform MongoDB.

In addition to his career achievements McMahon is recognized as a Master of MEDDIC and for playing an integral part in its creation. MEDDIC, which stands for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify pain, and Champion, refers to a sales process created by PTC company employees working in the 90s under McMahon’s leadership. A website and the MEDDIC book were later launched by another sales leader to accompany and grow the MEDDIC framework, further popularizing McMahon’s coaching ideas.

John McMahon’s Achievements

So why are we talking about him, specifically? If you haven’t heard of him, here are some of his best-known accomplishments to draw a better picture about why John McMahon is such a big deal in the sales world.

  • Served as CRO at five software enterprises: PTC, GeoTel, Ariba, BladeLogic, and BMC.
  • Has served as executive board advisor to some of the most significant companies of the last decade, including AppDynamics, Glassdoor, HubSpot, Fuze, Sumo Logic, Sprinklr, Cybereason, Thoughtspot, and Lacework, Snowflake, and MongoDB.
  • Helped transform BladeLogic from its startup days to its $872 million acquisition by BMC.
  • Grew sales at GeoTel from $52 million to a $2 billion acquisition by Cisco.
  • Inspired and led Dick Dunkel and Jack Napoli to create MEDDIC – through which McMahon is referred to as the Greatest Sales Leader of All Time.
  • Authored recent 2021 book “The Qualified Sales Leader: Proven Lessons from a Five Time CRO.”

The Qualified Sales Leader” – Key Takeaways

In the perspective of McMahon, marketing can be a struggle for a business that has a good product but doesn’t know how to sell it. More specifically, companies need practical solutions to real life issues in sales management.

John McMahon’s recent novel applies his ample experience as a sales leader to paper in what he describes as his pursuit to write a conversational, narrative style textbook that takes people on a journey from the perspective of different people on the sales team.

Here are some key points he covers:

  • People can be great salespersons but terrible sales leaders. Sales leadership needs coaching, too, so find ways to coach them.
  • Managers must train their sales reps on how to prospect, build a pipeline of qualified leads, use and understand the sales process, prepare themselves for meetings, and analyze their sales calls.
  • Focus on what is important to your buyer and ensure consistency across your salespeople.
  • Improve manager to seller relations: managers should be able to articulate goals and challenges well to reps; they should understand the strengths and weaknesses of each individual; discourse back and forth should be clear.
  • Attracting a sales champion is key, but reps struggle to do so. He includes how to find them, how to prove oneself to the champion, and how to earn their trust.
  • Don’t confuse activities with accomplishment; don’t simply push reps through the sales process.
  • Look for specific positive characteristics when hiring and training sales reps – he outlines these in detail.

Certainly, there’s a lot more worth learning from his book, but it’s impossible to cover it all here!

A team is only as good as it’s leader

Using the teachings of a proven sales leadership expert John McMahon, company sales processes and leadership techniques become much more straightforward. Motivate your sales team with the right tips and tools to complete their goals – and harness technology to identify where your methodology is working or not working.

Download the white paper to learn more


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