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 […]

Sales Goals: Activities Don’t Necessarily Produce Results

Sales Goals: Activities Don’t Necessarily Produce Results

I have written before about the need for sales managers to focus on activity goals with their salespeople as opposed to being only focused on the outcome goals (or closed business goals). There are many reasons for this:

Nobody can control whether or not the prospect or customer actually buys, so focusing exclusively on sales goals allows salespeople some room for excuse making. “The guy was never going to buy.” “He was such a jerk. It’s probably good he didn’t buy.”

If the sales manager gives direction to the salesperson to sell more, frequently the salesperson doesn’t really know how to make […]

How to Construct the Right Sales Compensation Plan

How to Construct the Right Sales Compensation Plan

I have recently had multiple discussions with business owners and CEOs about appropriate compensation plans for their sales teams.  Clearly there is not a “one-size fits all” plan,  but I thought I would share some thoughts that I use as guiding principles to help business leaders construct the right plan for their situation.

There are a couple of basic foundations that might seem obvious, but don’t always translate well to a good plan.

1. Incent the behavior you want.

This is obvious enough, but I am constantly surprised by compensation plans that are no longer relevant, because the business has changed, or the […]

Sales 2.0. What the Heck is That?

Sales 2.0. What the Heck is That?

If you are like most business leaders you have been around a bit and know the value of growing business through personal connections and referrals.  You may also understand the need to cold call when referrals don’t generate enough business.  But, how do you help a less tenured salesperson gain enough referrals?  Enter Sales 2.0, which is just a slick term for using social media for sales generating purposes.   Many company leaders disregard the use of these tools, especially in the B2B market, because they falsely lump Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn together.  It is the savvy leader who […]

Top Five Sales Management Mistakes

Top Five Sales Management Mistakes

I was recently interviewed by BusinessInterviews.com and one of the questions was “What are some common mistakes you see sales managers making that can be easily avoided or corrected?”  Well the real answer is that if they were easily avoided or corrected then the sales managers probably wouldn’t be making them, but I didn’t say that exactly.  You can read that interview here.   It got me thinking though about those common mistakes that sales managers make and I have come up with my Top Five List.

5.  Lack of Consistent Sales Process

Of the hundreds of sales teams we have evaluated, I would […]

Teflon® Man Improves Success in Sales

Teflon® Man Improves Success in Sales

Have you ever had a sales rep who was emotionally volatile?  Okay maybe you are saying, “Is there any other kind?”  We find it to be a problem that is not necessarily acknowledged or respected.  Instead we tend to accept volatile behavior from salespeople as part of the territory.  If you do, you are doing your reps a disservice and you are allowing them to miss out on sales that they otherwise might make.

I get it.  We expect our salespeople to be animated, charismatic, even emotional.  The reality is that if they are emotionally volatile, then they are likely missing […]

Sales Pipeline Review Meetings: Boring, Time Wasting and Useless

Sales Pipeline Review Meetings: Boring, Time Wasting and Useless

Are you still conducting boring sales team meetings where the whole sales team gets prepared to share what garbage they have in their pipeline?  Well if you are, stop it.

You might think that by publicly causing all the salespeople to share their deals in front of the whole team, it will make their competitive spirit come out and cause them to do more activity to create more opportunities.  WRONG.  This is why:

It causes perfectly good salespeople to spend time preparing slides or a report to get ready.  This time could be better spent selling something.
It causes salespeople to believe that the […]

Establishing Action Plans: Important for Both Solid & Under-Performers

Establishing Action Plans: Important for Both Solid & Under-Performers

I had a conversation with a very strong sales manager yesterday. We were discussing a couple of his salespeople and their nuances. He understands the importance of metrics and helping those new salespeople focus on the things they can control, having confidence that if the salespeople do the right things, then the sales numbers will follow. He has gone through the process of having other salespeople create an action plan of what they are going to do each week, so that he can help change their behavior.

As we were talking about one of his really strong salespeople, he revealed that […]

The Only Two Reasons Why Salespeople Fail and What to Do About Them

The Only Two Reasons Why Salespeople Fail and What to Do About Them

This may sound simplistic, but there are really only two reasons why salespeople aren’t successful:

They don’t do enough of the right activities to get enough opportunities
When they perform sales activities they aren’t very good at them

You may say “So what?”  But it is critical that the sales manager know which situation is the cause of the problem, because the each problem requires a different type of intervention.  The first is more of an accountability intervention and the second requires a coaching intervention.

Accountability intervention addresses lack of activity

When a salesperson is not doing enough of the right activities, do the math […]

The Six Steps to Effective Sales Talent Hiring

The Six Steps to Effective Sales Talent Hiring

One of the services we provide our clients is training to improve their sales talent hiring effectiveness.  The facts are stark.  Without a good process most companies have excessively high turnover rates, and the cost of that turnover is great.  National statistics indicate that it costs the employer between 3x and 5x the salesperson’s total annual compensation for each bad hire.  Fortunately there is a repeatable process that if the hiring managers will follow, will produce predictably great results. Here are the steps.

Determine whether you want to be proactive or passive in your approach.

What I mean is this.  Passive is […]