When the Leading Indicators Aren’t Followed with Lagging Indicators

I wrote last time about focusing on the leading indicators – the number of discovery appointments.  To continue with our example from last time, the salesperson needed 8 discovery appointments per month, because we calculated a 25% closing ratio off of their initial discovery appointments, and the salesperson needed to close 24 accounts for the year, or 2 per month.

What happens when your salespeople aren’t closing business at the rate expected?  It is time for coaching intervention.  There are really only two reasons why salespeople fail:

1) They aren’t doing enough of the right activity
2) They aren’t very good […]

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Think Leading Not Lagging by Answering Three Questions

It is that time again when all sales teams start with a fresh slate.  We’re back at ZERO and we have new goals to meet.  Do yourself and your sales team a favor, and make 2013 the year of the leading indicator.  This only requires a little up-front work on your part.  Just determine the answers to the following three questions:

What is the most important activity that your salespeople can do that opens up an opportunity?  In most selling situations, it is the initial discovery appointment where one either determines they have a live opportunity or not.
What percentage of these activities […]

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How to Motivate Without Bonuses

I worked with a client throughout 2012 who had to change their compensation plan early in the year to a fixed salary plan, which eliminated bonuses for its salespeople. The sales manager was very uncomfortable with this scenario, because he was highly money motivated.

The good news is that despite the sales manager’s fear about his team performing, they did, in fact, meet their goal for 2012. I guess this really does prove that motivation comes in all different shapes – not just in the form of money.What we learned through using our standard analytical, data-driven analysis with the client is […]

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What is Your Sales Team’s “Why”?

I recently read the book, Start with Why by Simon Sinek.  It was written for business owners, and it carries a great message about being able to articulate not only what you do and how you do it, but why you do it.  I went through the exercise for Braveheart Sales Performance and it helped me describe more precisely what we are really all about.  Our “why” has never been about generating income, but is about much more.  Revenue is merely a by-product.

Then I thought about the “why” concept as it pertains to salespeople and sales organizations as a sub-segment […]

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Help Your Representatives Get Things Done

I am reading the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.  Although the book was written in 2001, the principles are still relevant today whether using paper based organizing tools or advanced electronic tools such as smartphones and tablets. I know, you are thinking “Great here we go with yet another time management book.”  Yes it is a book dedicated to organizing and productivity.  As a matter of fact the sub-title is “The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.”  That is what grabbed me.  I must say that I am not even halfway through the book yet, and I am captured.

The book’s […]

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Show ‘Em

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I held The Braveheart Games, a client event where we shot all types of guns, threw hatchets and rocks, and caused a few explosions.  The shooting skill of the participants ran the gamut of experience.  I witnessed one of the range safety officers helping a relatively inexperienced shooter with an AR-15 rifle in fully automatic mode.  Instead of just telling her to push her left hand forward, he gently touched her hand and showed her what he was describing.  He had her perform the skill with his guidance.

This is a great teaching lesson […]

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How Do You Know if Your Salespeople Have or Can Develop the Necessary Sales Competencies?

I recently read Sales Competence, How Do We Know? By David Brock, and the premise was sound to the point that I even wrote down a couple notes.  The article spoke about making lists of competencies, and talked about a sales competency model or framework.  It all made perfect sense.  The example the author gave was of a particular client who listed 150 competencies.  (Whew!  That is a LOT of competencies.)   The general idea is to help aid in hiring the right salespeople, as well as in creating a development path for existing salespeople.

So then I started thinking, how could […]

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First Annual Braveheart Games

We did a unique and fun event with clients, prospects, and friends of the firm last week.  We held the First Annual BraveheartGames. See a couple pictures below.  It was a blast both literally and figuratively, and I learned that a unique client outing, although hard work, is memorable and ties people together – you with your clients, and prospects with clients.  My advice is to try something off-the-wall for your next client event.

[…]

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Do Your Salespeople Have Executive Presence?

This topic of executive presence has been front and center with me lately, and has come up in a wide variety of contexts.  If your sales force sells to consumers or sells products and services to lower level end users in a B2B environment, then executive presence may not be necessary, but it certainly would not hurt.  If your team sells to the C-suite, or has to gain the trust of high level influencers in a complex selling situation, then the concept of executive presence is key.

I was approached recently with the question about teaching executive presence.  As I thought […]

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