Strategies to Penetrate, Navigate and Win Complex Accounts

All competent salespeople are aware of their product’s features, benefits, and specifications. It’s learning how to master the intangible side of sales that separates a Heavy Hitter (truly great salesperson) from the average salesperson. How do you formulate an account strategy? How do you execute the strategy in the real world? And, how do you reach key decision-makers (from low-level evaluators to the CEO) and persuade them to buy?

Heavy Hitter training focuses on the most important aspect of sales: how to penetrate, navigate, and conquer complex enterprise accounts. Heavy Hitter training provides immediate results since it concentrates on personal interactions with the prospective customers, not the internal processes of the sales organization. Heavy Hitter training enhances your existing sales process methodology regardless of the forecasting framework your sales organization has adopted (Target Account Selling, Strategic Selling, CustomerCenteric Selling, Challenger Sale and so on).

Heavy Hitter training provides the missing piece of the sales training puzzle--how salespeople formulate an account strategy based upon customer politics, evaluator psychology, and the human nature of decision makers that are unique to every major account. Once the “grand” strategy has been created, Heavy Hitter training provides maneuvers and tactics to execute it when salespeople are face to face with prospective customers.

Heavy Hitter training is very different. It’s an enjoyable learning experience about mastering the human nature of complex sales. Moreover, real learning occurs when every participant is mentally engaged, physically involved, and encouraged to share their personal experiences. Heavy Hitter training is not the typical classroom lecture, it’s a completely interactive workshop filled with individual and group exercises that’s customized to address your toughest sales issues.




Sales PyschologyHeavy Hitter training addresses your most difficult sales issues 
While most sales training classes offer canned presentations of generic information, Heavy Hitter training is completely customized to your unique sales situation and specific areas of need. Prior to your session, interviews and background research are conducted to understand your market, product, and people and ensure topical relevance. More than just a “feel good” session, the goal is to deliver strategies and solutions to overcome your biggest sales obstacles.

Heavy Hitter training is a completely interactive workshop that includes extensive exercises and role-playing
No one wants to endure endless hours of classroom lecture. Besides, learning by example is the best way to learn. Heavy Hitter training is a completely interactive workshop where everyone can ask tough questions, share their experiences, work on their weaknesses, and learn entirely new skill-sets. The workshops include extensive individual, team, and group exercises.

Heavy Hitter training is a memory-based sales training program
Somehow, “successful” sales training has become associated with a thick binder of material the salesperson lugs home from the class (never to open again). Heavy Hitter training utilizes the concepts of sales linguistics (how the mind uses and interprets language) to ensure the information covered is understood and internalized. Instead of “death by PowerPoint,” every concept is demonstrated in a highly interactive environment that emulates a typical sales call.

Heavy Hitter training builds your sales organization’s intuition 
A key element of Heavy Hitter Sales training is “Tales from the Field,” or the sharing of information by the sales teams about how they win and where they lose. These experiences are analyzed and explained using models that everyone can understand and learn from. The sharing of this “collective intuition” stops salespeople from wasting time chasing bad deals, helps create a more predictable forecast, and gives each participant (from novice to expert) real-world tactics they can use immediately.

Heavy Hitter training is fun, exciting, and enlightening 
Life’s too short not to have fun and humor plays an important role in every workshop. Far beyond the normal bonding that occurs at sales meetings, there is a genuine excitement and enthusiasm from students to apply what has been learned on the deals they are currently working and immediately on next sales calls.

Sample Workshop Topics

Steve Martin's sales training workshops are completely customized to your unique sales situation and specific areas of need. To ensure topical relevance, extensive pre-session interviews and background research is conducted to understand your market, competitive position, products, and salespeople. Workshops are customized to address your critical sales challenges and use the terms and nomenclature of your products, company, and industry. Please visit the I.T. Sales Strategy Training and Selling to  the CIO page for an example of a detailed workshop agenda. and For a detailed workshop agenda Below, are a few sample presentation topics:

Selling to the C-Suite: C-Level Sales Strategies for Senior Salespeople
Every salesperson claims their product will help the customer save money, Selling to the Clevelbecome more profitable, or improve efficiency. As a result, these claims are seldom believed and very rarely acted upon by senior executives. Today, it takes a comprehensive strategy to winover the CEO, COO, CFO, and CIO. A strategy that enables a salesperson to differentiate himself from the competitors through value- Strategic value, Operational value, Political value, and Psychological value.
In this workshop, we review the following:

The Grand Strategy to Winover the C-Level
The Four Different Types of Departmental Buying Types (Consolidators, Consulters, Responders, and Bureaucrats)
Penetrating the Organization at Various Levels of Responsibility
Navigating to the C-Level: Identifying the Bully with Juice
Maneuvers and Tactics to Defeat Arch-enemies
Flanking Strategies When You're Stuck at the Wrong Level
The Human Nature of the C-Level: A Personal and Psychological Profile
Selling the Four Values of Your Solution: Strategic, Operational, Political, and Psychological
Presenting Your Solution: Using Logical Arguments, Emotional Appeal, and your Character
Organizing the Presentation to the C-Level: How to Gain Credibility, Overcome Objections, and Consensus
Connecting with The C-Level through Sales Linguistics(Using the Right Words at the Right Time to Persuade the C-Level to Buy)

Advanced Sales Call Strategy for Senior Salespeople
The salesperson's most important competitive weapon is his mouth, and the winner is the salesperson who uses words that reduce the customer's doubt, eases his fear, and fosters his fantasy. That's why it is critical that salespeople master sales linguistics, the study of how the customer's mind uses and interprets language. Customer inertia, the drive to "do nothing," far outweigh the logical reasons you espouse for buying your product. You can recite a litany of reasons and a laundry list of benefits, and the customer still won't buy. This session will equip salespeople with linguistic strategies to differentiate their solution from the competition and enable them to create a call to action that convinces the customer mentally and emotionally to buy. All competent salespeople can recite their products' features and specifications. Great salespeople build winning customer relationships based upon establishing rapport. In this session we review how to speak the customer's language and understand individual needs in order to execute winning sales calls.

Sales Linguistics: Recognizing How Customer are Neurolinguistically "Wired"
Speaking the Seven Different Sales Call Languages
Sales Call Planning, Structure, and Communication Themes
Sales Call Execution: Conducting Persuasive Sales and Calls Presentations
Communicating Strategic, Operational, Political, and Psychological Value
The Persuasive Elevator Pitch: Its Linguistics Structure and Compelling Delivery
Messaging to the Customer's Mind via Letters, Emails, Phone Calls
Understanding and Anticipating Your Customers' Thought Process
Mastering Account Qualification during Face-to-Face Meetings
Objection Handling using Offensive and Defensive Call Statements
Customer Sales Call Coping Mechanisms
Psycholinguistic Differentiation Techniques
Group Presentation Strategies and Tactics
Closing Strategies and Advanced Linguistic Tactics
Sales Call Segmentation using Sales Linguistics
Personal Persuasion and Establishing Dominance

The Psychology of Selling
Why aren't we selling more? Everyone's got an opinion. Some may say the Persuasioneconomy, the marketplace or lack of functionality. Others will say it's the competition. Perhaps, it's actually the customers. For a moment, put yourself in the position of your customer who is going to meet with multiple vendors, listen to their presentations, read their marketing collateral, and take a look at their web site. Given that, how will you behave with each vendor? Most companies are well versed on the logical arguments for selecting their product and we typically equate persuasion solely with satisfying the analytical mind. However, even the most well-thought-out decision is ultimately determined by emotional and subconscious influences. This presentation reveals the true decision maker --human nature-- the people, personalities, and politics of companies.

Sales Psychology Review
Rapport and Relationships Fundamentals
Understanding How People Communicate
Recognizing How Your Customer is "Wired" to Communicate     
Mastering Sales Linguistics (how the customer's mind uses and interprets language)
Conducting Sales and Calls Presentations
Messaging to the Customer's Mind (letters, emails, phone calls)
Product, Fantasy, and Politics Themes
Customer Fantasies and Political Realities
Understanding and Anticipating Your Customers' Thought Process
Strategies to Uncover all the Information and Discern the Truth
Maximizing Your Sales Intuition

Enterprise Sales Strategy and Complex Sales Psychology
The grand strategy to win the complex sale is based upon influencing the Enterprise Sales Strategypeople, selection process, and politics of customer decision making. In enterprise accounts, salespeople must penetrate large organizations, influence key decision makers, and dovetail their products' benefits to customers' internal politics. In order to win, they must build relationships with buyers in different departments all across a company. They have to persuade people to believe in their solution at all levels of the organization and compete against competitors with similar products and equal sales acumen. The winning sales strategy is a psychological operation that is built on understanding, predicting, and influencing human nature. The victor understands how the account is organized and anticipates how the key decision makers will make their buying decision. Moreover, the winner employs a linguistic strategy that enables his message to rise above all others, a tactical plan of execution, and impactful recommendations that compel decision makers to take action. Topics covered include:

Formulating the Grand Strategy to Win the Complex Sale
Political Account Structure and the Psychology of Organizational Buying
Tactics to Defeat the Competition
Winning Over Key Decision Makers at all Levels of the Company
Understanding the Political Structure of the Account
Determining Departmental Buying Types
Translating the Grand Strategy to Tactics
Assessing Account Position
Account Maneuvers to Improve Competitive Position
Win-Loss Analysis The Seven Premises of the Complex Sales Cycle
Survival, Successful, and Significant Customers
Categories of Buyers
Should We Pursue the Deal?
Bonding with the Bully with the Juice
Strategies to Find and develop a Coach

Sales Warfare Strategies: The Application of Military Strategy to Sales
All salespeople must be generals who create a strategy to win their warsSales Warfare Strategy long before the first battle begins. The successful military leader painstakingly plans how and where he will attack in accordance with the troops and weapons at his disposal. When the fighting starts, the victorious commander achieves his objective through battlefield maneuvers to gain the advantage and countertactics to neutralize his enemy's advance. In this presentation, military strategy and its application to penetrate complex organizations and defeat entrenched competitors is discussed. Salespeople learn how to influence key decision-makers and tactics for building winning relationships at all levels of the organization along with real-world techniques to defeat competitors (and stop wasting precious time). Topics include:

Military Strategy and Tactical Application For Underdogs to Defeat Gorillas
The Seven Principles of War and Sales
Should We Pursue the Deal?
Understanding the Organizational and political Structure of the Account
Determining Departmental Buying Types
Examples of Military Battles and their Application to Sales
Formulating the Grand Strategy to Win the Account
Translating the Grand Strategy to Tactics
Assessing Account Position
Battlefield Maneuvers to Improve Competitive Position
Marshalling and Commanding your Army of Resources
The Five Steps to Ensure Victory
Win-Loss Analysis

Mastering the Power of Persuasion
In this session, we review the deeper meaning of language. Persuasion is the process of building a personal relationship and mutual trust with customers by speaking in the spectrum of languages they use both logically and emotionally, consciously and subconsciously. We examine the layers of the human communication model and the interactions between the layers that enable a person to discern a message's accuracy and truthfulness. We study the inner-workings of the mind to understand the intangible, intuitive human element of the sales process. We analyze how to create rapport with the key members of the customer's selection team. Topics covered include:

Intensive Sales Linguistics Review and Exercises
Understanding the Deeper Meaning of Language
Structuring the Persuasive Corporate Presentation
Advanced Rapport Techniques
Group Presentation Tactics
The Seven Different Sales Call Language
Constructing Metaphors for Winning Over Customer
How to Winover the Subconscious Decision Maker

New Account Penetration Strategy
One of the toughest tasks in all of sales is to penetrate new accounts. The key is finding ways to connect with the busy decision maker and earn the right to a meeting. In this workshop, we review advanced “sales linguistics” strategies that will enable your message to connect. Learn how to use lasting psychological suggestions that compel decision makers to take action and meet with you.

Using Sales Linguistics to Penetrate New Accounts
Building your Personal Brand and Extending Your Network
The 1, 2, 3, Rest Repeat Compelling Campaign Strategy
Research on Buyer Communication Effectiveness
The True Impact of Social Media
Advanced LinkedIn Strategy to Win More Clients

Tales From The Field: Interview Session with Your Top Salespeople
"Tales from the Field" is similar to a roundtable talk show where top Tales-From-The-Field-Panelsalespeople are interviewed about their major wins and losses. However, this session goes far beyond discussing sales strategies and tactics. The psychological and intuitive aspects of selling are translated into common themes and models the entire sales organization can understand and emulate. The sharing of this "collective intuition" stops salespeople from chasing bad deals, helps create a more predictable forecast, and gives each participant (from novice to expert) tactics they can use immediately.

Customer Win/Loss Study and Results Presentation
The complex nature of the enterprise sales process requires huge investments of resources (manpower, time, and money) in order to win new accounts. Therefore, it is critical that deals are managed effectively. True win-loss analysis that is based upon extensive customer interviewing is the best way to understand the political, organizational, and technical aspects of prospective customers' decision-making process. This valuable information is presented at your sales meeting along with recommendations to improve new win competitiveness. The price for the win/loss study will vary based upon the scope of research and number of customer interviews.

Sales Training Workshop Pricing and Terms


Every Workshop Attendee Receives a Book Depending upon the Training Topic

Time is the real enemy because time is finite. There are only 30 days in a month and 90 days in quarter. In today’s world, it’s simply not feasible to take your sales organization out of the field for a week of sales training. Heavy Hitter training delivers the maximum impact in the shortest amount of time.

A workshop is typically held in conjunction with a planned sales meeting. Usually, it is at the end of the session, but frequently held at the halfway point of a multi-day meeting to break-up heavy, technical product-related training. As far in advance of the workshop as possible, each participant receives a copy of Heavy Hitter Sales Linguistics-101 Advanced Sales Call Strategies for Senior Salespeople or Heavy Hitter I.T. Sales Strategy depending upon the training workshop topic. The book introduces the training content and serves as an on-going reference following the workshop.

Half-Day Workshop  These on-site workshops are the ideal complement to your next sales meeting where you want to improve your team’s sales skills but don’t have the luxury of time. These workshops are great for large group settings and a series of workshops can be conducted over the course of the year that “walk” the sales team through the entire Heavy Hitter training program.

1-2 Full Day Workshop This intense on-site workshop is specifically designed to help each salesperson become a Heavy Hitter by instilling the models, strategies, and tactics as described in the Heavy Hitter Sales Philosophy. These longer duration clinics include a more in-depth examination of your sales obstacles, extensive self-exploratory testing, case study review, team exercises, and interactive role-playing. Each salesperson will understand how to interpret and speak each customer’s unique language and position your product depending on the customer’s needs, wants, and psychological motivations. Without the right sales strategy, persuasion and common sense are inconsequential. This workshop includes an extensive study of complex sales strategies and interactive win-loss review. Finally, the common themes and concepts gathered from detailed win-loss discussions are modeled for allHeavy Hitter IT SALES STRATEGY to understand and learn from.

Price and Terms. The price of the half-day workshop is $5,000 plus $25 per attendee which includes a copy of Heavy Hitter Sales Linguistics :101 Advanced Sales Call Strategies for Senior Salespeople or Heavy Hitter I.T. Sales Strategy for each student. The price of a full day workshop is $10,000 per day plus $25 per student and includes a book for each attendee (These copies are sent to your main address and you are responsible for distribution). All research and preperation time is included in the fees. Minimum fees do apply.

Please note that additional fees may apply depending upon travel requirements and all travel expenses (Steve is based in California) are prepaid in advance. 50% of fees must be paid in advance to lock in your training date and the remaining balance is due 30 days following the session. All fees are non-refundable should your event date cancel. All classes are taught personally by Steve Martin. Sessions may be rescheduled without penalty depending on Steve’s availability. Due to extensive travel time to international meetings outside of North America, there is a 100% fee uplift and full payment is due 21 days prior to the event. 



Steve W. Martin has conducted extensive research on the attributes of top salespeople and high performing sales organizations. He has interviewed thousands of top sales professionals and written over thirty Harvard Business Review sales research articles.  He incorporates these findings into an extremely interactive and enlightening keynote presentation utilizing on-line testing where audience members answer questions via their smartphones/tablets/laptops and then compare themselves to  study results.

This also presents sales leaders a great opportunity to learn about the composition and behavior of their sales organization as detailed test reports are provided following the meeting. Reports are segmented by roles such as sales manager, field salesperson, channel salesperson, pre-sales engineer, and sales support. Charactertistics associated to quota performance are provided and a comparison of customer interaction strategies.  Please click here to review the different types of sales research.


The Heavy Hitter Sales Management Workshop is an interactive learning session specifically designed for senior sales managers. Although novice sales managers will benefit greatly by attending, the workshop goals are to reinvigorate established sales leaders with new concepts of human behavior and synchronize sales management’s role in driving account strategy to the field.

Steve Martin serves as leader, educator, and facilitator for this workshop. The workshop includes extensive individual and group exercises along with brainstorming on your toughest sales obstacles and day-to-day management challenges. The session focuses on understanding the best sales organization practices based upon review of extensive sales organization research, sales leadership (managing “down” to the team) and refining sales strategy (managing “out” to the customer) and the sharing of management best practices from the world’s greatest sales organizations.

Sales Management Research

The Sales Organization Performance Gap - The Key Attributes and Metrics that Separate High-Performing Sales Organizations from Average and Underperforming Sales Organizations

A Comparison of High-Performing and Underperforming Sales Managers - The Key Attributes and Metrics that Separate High-Performing and Underperforming Sales Managers

Key Success Factors and Differences Between Excellent and Average Sales Organizations - Seven hundred and eighty-six sales professionals participated in this sales performance study. Twenty-five percent of study participants indicated they worked at an excellent sales organization, 45 percent at above average, 25 percent at average and 5 percent at below average sales organizations. .

How Compensation Impacts Organizational Performance - Study participants were asked to categorize their company’s compensation compared to other companies within their industry. Each category of compensation was then analyzed from a number of different perspectives to determine the impact of compensation on sales organization performance.

A Comparison of High-Performing and Underperforming Salespeople - The primary goal of this study of four-hundred salespeople was to reveal the key attributes that influence individual sales success.

A Comparison of High-Performing and Underperforming Inside Salespeople - This study reveals key individual and organizational attributes that determine inside sales success.

Sales Organization Strategy and Structure

1. Sales Organization Stages
2. Sales Organization Challenges
3. Product Sales Complexity Impacts Organizational Structure
4. Attributes of Great Technology Sales Organizations
5. Key Sales Organization Metrics
6. Effective Sales Management Styles at Each Organizational Stage

Sales Management 401

  • The Life of a Sales Manager: Managing Up, Down, and Out
  • The Power of Sales Intuition
  • Understanding Your Personality (Testing and Comparison)
  • Understanding Your Sales Management Style (Testing and Comparison)
  • Assessing and Working with the Selling Styles of your Team
  • Hiring the "Right" Salespeople
  • Advanced Communication Skills
  • Incentive Compensation as a Motivator (Comp plan review optional)
  • Challenges and Obstacles Brainstorming

Mentoring Your Team

  • Sales Warfare Strategies to Defeat Arch-Rivals
  • Creating the Grand Strategy to Win Complex Accounts
  • Understanding How the Objective is Organized to Buy
  • Coaching Reps on Sales Tactics
  • Assessing Intelligence and Accurate Information
  • The Psychology of Selling to the C-Level
  • The Manager’s Role in the C-Level Sales Cycle
  • Structuring the Customer Meeting and Presentation
  • Negotiation Strategy and Process Management

Sales Leader Best Practices

  • Sales Personnel Skills Evaluation
  • Personnel Development Strategy
  • Motivational Tips, Techniques
  • Risk Pool and Quota Attainment
  • Conducting Effective Sales Meetings

Prior to the workshop, attendees receive copies of Steve Martin’s books along with a suggested reading list. The reading is easy, enjoyable, and intended to help participants prepare for a productive meeting (without being overwhelming). Learn More about Sales Management Workshops. 




NEW groundbreaking buyer persona research project identifies and quantifiably measures how B2B buyers select vendors. Understand how buyers perceive the sales salespeople they meet with and what selling style they prefer. Explore the circumstances that determine which vendor is selected. Learn how different company departments and vertical industries make buying decisions.  Learn More



What Separates High-performing Sales Organizations from Average and Underperforming Sales Organizations?

The answer to this question Steve W. Martin conducted extensive surveys with top-level sales leaders, midlevel sales managers, and salespeople. The resulting research, The Sales Organization Performance Study Report, provides detailed insights on the characteristics of high-performing sales organizations, quota analysis measurements, and key sales performance metrics.

Seven hundred eighty-six sales professionals participated in the study byThe Sales Organization Performance Curve - Steve W Martin completing an extensive forty-two-part survey. The survey goal was to gather both qualitative information about the attributes of high-growth sales organizations and the associated quantifiable performance metrics. Participants were asked to share their opinions on their sales organization, their top sales challenges, and personal details about their own quota performance. In exchange for their candor, it was agreed that their names and organizations would remain anonymous.

The study results reveal there are fifteen significant differences between how high-, average-, and underperforming sales organizations perceive themselves, measure performance, staff their organizations, and operate. 

Learn More Watch the Performance Gap Webinar and Read the Report

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Steve W. Martin

Steve W. Martin is the foremost expert on Sales Linguistics and the Human Nature of Complex Enterprise Sales. He is the author of the "Heavy Hitter" Series of books for Senior Salespeople.

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