How Do CEOs Sell Effectively When They Lack Sales Skills?

How Do CEOs Sell Effectively When They Lack Sales Skills?

Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French with minor adaptation.

Who is your company’s top seller? Is it by chance the CEO or business owner? Have you ever wondered why a CEO might sell more than a salesperson, despite having less finely-honed sales skills? (That generalization reflects the fact that salespeople are devoted full-time to sales while CEOs must wear many hats).

Who is the Top Seller at Many Companies? The CEO or Owner.

Business owners are often the best sellers of their company — NOT because they have developed special skills […]

CEOs: What Should You Do About Your Sales Managers?

CEOs: What Should You Do About Your Sales Managers?

What does your sales manager do? What is he or she supposed to do?

If you are like many other CEOs and business owners, you have two different answers for those questions. My colleague, Karen Brown, recently blogged about the widespread misperceptions over sales managers’ value. We often witness a baseline misunderstanding about what role the sales manager should be playing in the organization.

Frequently, there is an expectation that the sales manager will sell and manage. And, in fact, the sales managers often have been promoted from the sales team after proving themselves as sales superstars, which may encourage ongoing dependence […]

4 Myths (Busted) About the Value of Sales Managers

4 Myths (Busted) About the Value of Sales Managers

What’s so important about having a Sales Manager?  After all, isn’t their job really about herding cats?  To save the day? You know what I mean . . . micromanaging so that sales representatives never fail?

You may have heard questions to this effect — questions which reflect a devaluation of the role of Sales Manager, and the idea that a Sales Manager is a “Nice to Have,” not a “Need to Have.” (Read on to see that myth busted).

That’s not the only common myth about Sales Managers. Another is the expectation that their job should come naturally to them. It might if […]

How to Structure Your Sales Compensation Plans

How to Structure Your Sales Compensation Plans

It seems that compensation plan structure is a hot topic with many Braveheart clients. The following are a few things to keep in mind when structuring compensation plans for your sales team.

1. Not all salespeople are money-motivated.

In fact, from the work that we do with clients and the thousands of assessments we see of salespeople, it appears that the majority of salespeople are NOT motivated solely by money. This means that ─ for most salespeople ─ increasing the commission opportunity will not necessarily incent them to behave dramatically differently. You could lower the base so substantially that they can’t survive […]

Top 5 Mistakes Made by CEOs Managing Sales (and How to Fix Them)

Top 5 Mistakes Made by CEOs Managing Sales (and How to Fix Them)

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 […]

Hiring for Sales: Round Pegs Do Not Fit in Square Holes

Hiring for Sales: Round Pegs Do Not Fit in Square Holes

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 […]

You Hired A Salesperson Who Has What it Takes to Succeed. Now What?

You Hired A Salesperson Who Has What it Takes to Succeed. Now What?

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 […]

How to Get Your Sales Hiring Right

How to Get Your Sales Hiring Right

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 […]

6 Rules to Help the CEO Who Also Manages the Sales Team

6 Rules to Help the CEO Who Also Manages the Sales Team

If you own your own company and also manage the sales team, this article is for you. I have written before that it is not the optimal situation when the CEO also directly manages the salespeople, but I recognize that it is sometimes a requirement until sales support a different structure. It is not ideal because you as the company leader have to pay attention to numerous other activities and cannot devote the attention necessary to drive sales. You may have been the driver of sales earlier in the company’s history (and you may still be) so you may be […]

Hiring Hunters: Don’t Rely on Luck to Hire the Next Great Salesperson

Hiring Hunters: Don’t Rely on Luck to Hire the Next Great Salesperson

One of the biggest challenges that middle market companies seem to face is the inability to attract and hire good quality salespeople consistently. Time and again it seems that they have had success with one or two hires but they can’t seem to duplicate their success. I believe it is because they got lucky and then tried to repeat the process of hiring another good one. Since it was luck the first time around that is pretty difficult to duplicate.

The Problem Is Two-Fold: 
1) Attracting the right candidates; and 2) Being able to pick out the ones that will work.

First, attracting the […]