I had a meeting yesterday with the CEO of a small business that currently has six people on their sales team. He is stuck in an awkward place because they are now big enough that they need to have a sales team, but they still don’t think they are quite big enough yet to have a dedicated sales manager. This is a tough spot that tons of business owners find themselves in. He needs to build sales to propel the business to the next level (so he can justify hiring a rock star sales manager). But until then, it means […]Read more »
If you have read many of my articles you realize that from time to time I like to use sports analogies. I was at yet another college lacrosse game several days ago, and sadly my team lost to end their season. We were tied at the half but then had gone down by three goals in the second half. Our team was struggling a little bit to get something going and seemed riddled with turnovers.
There are some tough players on the team and one particular player just seemed to kick it into high gear and by sheer will scored a […]Read more »
I was with a group of seven friends from college last weekend to help out a friend in need. We have all been friends for over 30 years and we get together once a year. What has been so fun to realize over the years is that we each have different talents. And we each have different weaknesses. This is not an earth-shattering revelation. But, now we have the maturity to realize that different people’s talents can and should be used appropriately, rather than trying to get everyone to operate the same way. We no longer attempt to put round […]Read more »
We work with many companies and help them dramatically improve their sales hiring effectiveness. Unfortunately, companies tend to ignore what happens after the interviewing, assessing and hiring are done. All too often, companies ignore the importance of having a systematic sales onboarding program in place.
The Sales Management Association recently released a research brief about salesperson onboarding. Two items that really jumped out at me from the brief are:
1. Those companies that have a very structured onboarding process and follow it consistently had the most positive results.
2. Consistently following a structured onboarding program shortened the time to productivity by 37%.
While these two […]Read more »
Sales hiring is not like any other type of hiring. For one thing, salespeople are the most difficult hires to get right.
Unfortunately, the cost of making a hiring mistake is high.
Statistics indicate that the cost of making a bad hire is between three and five times that individual’s annual compensation. That means if the base salary for a new sales rep is $36,000 per year and the company is superior at cutting ineffective salespeople free quickly (say, after three months) then the cost of one bad hire is $27,000 at a minimum. That is a very conservative estimate.
If they were making $75,000 […]Read more »
I was at a college lacrosse game this weekend between two top ten teams. On paper it should have been a close game; one team ranked second in the country and the other ranked 10th. It ended up being a blowout.
I learned some important things about the impact that a coach and her actions can have on the entire team. I believe they apply in the sales world as well as in the sports world.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of a coach:
a person who teaches and trains an athlete or performer
a person who teaches and trains the members of a sports […]
This March marked our sixth anniversary in business. It is hard to believe and fills me with a sense of accomplishment and pride. But it also makes me think, “Wow, we still have so much to do to help middle market and small sales teams excel.” There is still lots of work to be done.
In recognition of our six years, I would like to share my favorite six tips I have learned along the way about sales management.
#6 Work through the math of success.
All salespeople need to understand what they need to do to produce enough opportunities to close the […]Read more »
You are the leader of the sales team. You got there because you know what to do to sell your products and services. Whether your team is experiencing success or is struggling you probably have to direct your salespeople from time to time. Maybe you have to tell them exactly what to do and say to be successful. Certainly during onboarding you will spend a significant amount of time “scripting” them. You must make sure they own the stories about why your customers choose your services. They must learn the right probing questions to ask to get to the heart […]Read more »