Four Components to Optimize Your Sales Organization

Four Components to Optimize Your Sales Organization

I recently gave a presentation at the ESA Leadership Summit
on ways to optimize a sales organization. The four components and main points I
discussed are applicable to sales organizations in every kind of industry, so I
want to share them.

As you read, keep this in mind. Focus on what is possible, not what doesn’t apply. Don’t say to yourself, “Yeah, but my company is different.” Rather come at it from the standpoint of, “How can we implement that to make us better?”

First, what do I mean by optimize? The word, as defined by Merriam Webster, is “to make as perfect, […]

Read more »
Marshmallow or Meanie Pants?

Marshmallow or Meanie Pants?

As a sales leader, there is one overarching thought to keep
in mind: It is your responsibility to push your sales reps to greater heights
than they would achieve on their own. Otherwise, you are excess cost.

When it comes to doing this, too many times we find sales
leaders who are extreme. They either want to be their salespeople’s friend
(marshmallow) or feel like they have to be drill sergeants (meanie pants).

I recently conducted a webinar for a group of both new and experienced sales leaders on this topic. Its focus was on sales leadership accountability and as is true with most […]

Read more »
Data Reveals Missing Accountability Traits in Sales Leaders

Data Reveals Missing Accountability Traits in Sales Leaders

Statistics abound about the abysmal state of quota attainment by salespeople. We’ve all seen the numbers. Of ourse, the data varies based on whose report you read, but it is safe to say that the majority of reps don’t meet their sales quotas.

However, I would submit that it isn’t all the sales reps’ fault. Many aren’t coached well and don’t understand what is expected of them to produce satisfactory results. They simply aren’t adequately trained and developed in their craft.

Qualities of a Sales Leader

Sales leaders must take some of the blame. There are three main skill areas that indicate […]

Read more »
How to Recruit Like a National College Football Champion

How to Recruit Like a National College Football Champion

Clemson whips Alabama for the National Championship and the 2018 college football season is over. This is an especially sad time in my house and for me. My son just graduated from the University of South Carolina and played his last football game in a disappointing bowl loss to Virginia. With Clemson a South Carolina rival, we were pulling for Alabama and the SEC. Their defeat, along with the end of the season and my son’s football career, means an especially gloomy time for me.

Why Clemson over Alabama?

Sadness aside, all the hoopla about the showdown between
Clemson and Alabama made me […]

Read more »
Are the Salespeople Out There Better than the Ones You’ve Got?

Are the Salespeople Out There Better than the Ones You’ve Got?

It’s no secret: I am fascinated by data, especially how it relates to salespeople, sales managers and sales success. And I have access to plenty of data, including details on 450,000 salespeople.

Who’s Better?

Lately, I was curious about whether there is any difference between salespeople currently employed and those salespeople who are candidates for new positions. (Yes, I realize that a currently employed salesperson could also be a candidate for a different position. However, those cannot be separated out from the database for this exercise.)

Database Deep Dive

The database I’m using is supplied by Objective Management Group, the leaders in sales specific […]

Read more »
A Fresh Perspective from the Trenches

A Fresh Perspective from the Trenches

I had the pleasure recently to meet Leah Zissimopulos of Crime Prevention, a security company in Florida. Leah is new to selling in the security industry and brings an interesting and fresh perspective. Here’s an article she wrote that I thought many would benefit from reading.

Leah’s words:

“At 23, I struggled not to take things personally. Cut me off on the road, I assumed you thought I was a bad driver. Speak harshly to me in a meeting, I assumed you thought I was stupid.

Thankfully, by 26, 28, 30 I began to realize the world does not revolve around me. That often, […]

Read more »
Can One Size Fit All Sales?

Can One Size Fit All Sales?

When it comes to sales, should salespeople do it all, or should individual functions be divided among multiple people, each having specialized responsibilities? I’ve had several conversations lately about the virtues of each approach.

Do it All vs. Split it Up

Is the do-it-all method, where one salesperson hunts, closes and then manages the accounts after the sale better than, say, where an inside salesperson handles the inbound or outbound calls (or a sales development rep, as they are commonly called, gets appointments scheduled) and other salespeople conduct those meetings and close the sale? The truth is: each way may be right […]

Read more »
No Selling Skills Required

No Selling Skills Required

Here’s a statistic you may have seen. I can’t remember where I read it myself. It said the mere act of following a repeatable sales process helps salespeople close 15% more business.

I wish I knew where the information came from, but since I couldn’t verify it directly from the source, I went searching for data myself that might support the use of a sales process.

But before I share what I found, let me precisely explain what I mean by a sales process.

A Sales Process Defined

For me, a sales process is a repeatable, logical series of steps that includes milestones. It […]

Read more »
What a Golfer’s Mind Can Teach Us About Sales

What a Golfer’s Mind Can Teach Us About Sales

There’s a great book by famed golf performance psychologist, Dr. Bob Rotella, called The Golfer’s Mind. I’ve been rereading it, as I do occasionally, and keep observing so many parallels to sales and the emotional discipline it takes to truly be the best one can be, that I feel the need to write about it.

The book is all about how to stay in the moment and focus on the target. In general, it is a handbook to enable golfers, both professional and amateur alike, to improve their mental game so that their mind doesn’t get in the way of their […]

Read more »
Trade Show Torture

Trade Show Torture

 A few weeks back, I was at a trade show (ISC West), and I’m still haunted by a sales interaction I witnessed. Maybe you’ve had the same thing happen to you at a similar event.

A Tortuous Attack

Here’s the situation (without names to protect the guilty): I was walking the show floor with a good friend who is also a business operator in the industry. We were casually strolling around, but we also had certain individuals and companies that each of us wanted and in a few cases, absolutely needed to see.

Suddenly, like a starving predator, this young man chases down […]

Read more »