Sales Managers: Never, Ever, Ever Give Up

Sales Managers: Never, Ever, Ever Give Up

I was in a conversation with a friend and sales manager yesterday and we were discussing their fantastic year— including all the changes that have occurred and the great sales growth they have experienced. He shared with me that he felt a little guilty because he let off the gas. The team was hitting on all cylinders and they were beating sales expectations. He eased up a little. Sales faltered for a few months. He felt bad that he failed his sales team because they probably didn’t sell as much as they could have had he stayed focused.

This is a common […]

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Long Sales Cycles, Large Transactions: Activity Plans Still Important

Long Sales Cycles, Large Transactions: Activity Plans Still Important

Of the dozens of sales teams I work with each year, there are always a few that sell large scale services or products with longer sales cycles; typically at least 6 months and as long as 18 months or more. Generally, the salespeople in these cases are paid larger base salaries because it is so long between sales and the upside variable compensation is less than it would be more transactional types of sales. In some instances, all the salesperson needs to do is close one or two deals a year and everyone is happy.

It seems that in these situations, […]

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Sales Leaders: The Next Step is Most Important in the Sales Process

Sales Leaders: The Next Step is Most Important in the Sales Process

I was working with a sales team last week that we have been working with for just a few months. They have, on the whole, a pretty strong group of salespeople. We were discussing certain deals in their pipeline and where they were in the process. Many of the conversations were similar. “They really liked what we had. They need to talk to their boss and then they are supposed to call me back tomorrow.” Or worse, “They were supposed to call me back last Wednesday and I have called, but they don’t call me back.”

There are two common flaws […]

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Salesperson Promoted to Sales Manager: Watch Out for This

Salesperson Promoted to Sales Manager: Watch Out for This

I find that when I work with sales managers who were previously high-performing salespeople, they tend to run into a couple of challenges. It is not unusual for their management style and abilities to be impacted by their previous role as a salesperson. Here is one example of a common problem when a sales star is promoted to sales manager, and how to resolve it.

The Typical Scenario:

The sales manager was a strong producer when they were a salesperson. They were likely highly motivated and maybe did whatever it took to get the job done. They were a self-starter, had a strong […]

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What Works for Sales Contests? How to Build a Sales Contest That Wins

What Works for Sales Contests? How to Build a Sales Contest That Wins

I had a discussion the other day with a sales manager at a client site. He was crafting a contest to try to spur some additional activity and business. He asked for my thoughts on how to structure a sales contest that wins, so I thought I would share.

Here Are Three Concepts That Will Help You Create A Winning Sales Contest:

1) Reward The Behavior You Want:

When constructing a sales contest, be sure that you are rewarding the behavior you want. If your goal is to increase sales, then the reward could come from the number of first appointments. If you […]

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Good & Bad News for Sales Managers Looking to Hire Quality Salespeople

Good & Bad News for Sales Managers Looking to Hire Quality Salespeople

It appears that the unemployment rate is going down. That’s a good thing, right? It means the economy is growing. Consumption is up causing demand to go up, which will help sales teams sell more. This is good news right? Well, yes and no. While it may make it easier on salespeople to sell when demand increases, it makes it harder on sales managers to find quality salespeople to do the job.

I hear the cry of many an employer stressing over the difficulty they have in hiring good quality salespeople. I have witnessed countless clients struggle with this. Even during […]

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Do Not Be Confused: Sales Activities Do Not Replace Sales Results

Do Not Be Confused: Sales Activities Do Not Replace Sales Results

I have written a bunch about the need for sales managers to hold their salespeople accountable to certain behaviors. As a matter of fact, it is essential that there be an agreed-upon sales activity plan which the salesperson has agreed to be bound to and which the sales manager has agreed to hold them accountable to. The accountability piece is essential in improving sales effectiveness.

We first have to set the standard of activity. Once the salesperson is doing the appropriate activity level then we can work on the coaching their effectiveness. But – and this is a big but – […]

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It’s Fourth Quarter: Your Sales Performance Now May Shape 2015

It’s Fourth Quarter: Your Sales Performance Now May Shape 2015

You read that correctly: what your sales team does right now may dictate how successful 2015 will be for you.

So, sales leaders, now is not only the time to get your folks pushing to close all the business they can in the 4th quarter, but it is also the time to lay the foundation for 2015. If you can get your salespeople focused on all the right behaviors this quarter, it will bode well for first quarter next year.

Frequently one of two things happens to sales performance in the 4th quarter:

1) The salesperson is well ahead of their goal, so […]

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What You Wish You’d Been Told BEFORE You Became Sales Manager

What You Wish You’d Been Told BEFORE You Became Sales Manager

I need your help. I have just begun writing the book that has been in my head for a few years. It will be a guide for first-time or “rookie” sales managers. It will be released in early 2015 and I may need your feedback from time to time on some of the content.

The intention of the book will be that those novice sales managers will take away the following items from reading the book:

Learn exactly what to do to have success with their sales team
Understand how to make the transition from salesperson to sales team leader
Know how to spend […]

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Sales Assessments Are Not Created Equally

Sales Assessments Are Not Created Equally

I just had a conversation yesterday with a high performing Sales Manager about the use of assessments with her sales team. This is a frequent conversation I have with company and sales leaders so I thought I would share. Those of you that know me, know I am a devotee of the Objective Management Group (OMG) battery of assessments for many reasons. I want to highlight the differences between OMG sales assessments and personality-type tests, to help clarify why I trust OMG sales assessments above all the others.

Differences Between OMG and Personality-Type Tests:

1. OMG assessments were created specifically for the […]

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