Category Archives for High Performance Habits

The Sales Evangelist; Ken Thoreson, Sales Management

TSE 124: Sales Management & Developing High Performing Sellers

The Sales Evangelist; Ken Thoreson, Sales Management Do you absolutely, truly, definitely want to slam your way to sales success? Our guest today will show you how. Ken Thoreson is a speaker, author, and consultant with extensive expertise in strategic sales management.

Ken Thoreson, Acumen Management Group, Ltd. president, is a sales leadership professional who “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes to pull sales results out of the doldrums into the fresh zone of predictable revenue. As a sales management thought leader Ken is recognized as an expert in sales execution, channel management, revenue generation, sales analysis, compensation, forecasting, recruitment, and training within the sales function.

Over the past 14 years his consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for companies throughout North America—from emerging, transitional to high-growth. Prior to founding Acumen, he led development-stage, entrepreneurial, and a $250-million national vertical software sales organization as vice president of sales. As a speaker, Ken energizes audiences and recharges their personal commitment to professional excellence to help drive personal and organizational change and growth.

In addition to the four released books based on his Sales Management Guru series, and Success Simplified, co-authored with Stephen Covey, Ken’s many articles and nationally recognized blog are excellent resources for executives who want to revitalize their organizations. He has been published in Selling Power, VARBusiness, Reseller Management, Business Products Professional and SmartReseller. He is currently a columnist for Redmond Channel Partner Magazine, a publication for Microsoft channel partners. Ken’s blog has been rated in the top 10 sales blogs in the United States and ranked a top sales industry social media user by Top View.

Ken is an author of four comprehensive, information-rich books about sales management. The latest of which, SLAMMED! For the First Time Sales Manager, is a fun book made for people jumping into sales management. Kens books are guide books with great tips, ideas, and tools for sales managers.

In this episode, Ken talks about how recruiting is a critical component of sales leadership and how it’s really about hiring the best candidate and not the best available candidate.

Ken is a leader at the Acumen Management Group that focuses around programs in place, alignment of compensation plan, marketing messaging issues and other issues that are preventing growth.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Ken:

Ken’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer

Ken’s books on Sales Management:

Your Sales Management Guru’s Guide to:

Leading High Performance Sales Teams

Creating High Performance Sales Compensation Plans

Recruiting High Performance Sales Teams

SLAMMED! For the First Time Sales Manager

Why break it down to 4 books instead of condensing it into one:

  • Sales leaders are busy
  • Designed as quick books with a lot of pertinent, textual information
  • Designed for sales managers to grasp the idea, see the examples, utilize the tools, and execute!

What separates high performance salespeople from the rest:

  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • Ability to adapt
  • Take selling as a profession
  • Constantly refining their skills and investing themselves
  • High levels of energy
  • Intelligence
  • Passion and Commitment

How his book on Recruiting High Performance Sales Teams is different from others:

  • Focused on sales managers’ creation of interviewing process
  • Taking the emotion out of hiring
  • Creating a scorecard defining 5 specific work experiences and 5 personality traits you want the person to have
  • Interviewing questions that you ask salespeople
  • Sample of a new-hire salesperson on-boarding plan

The top 3 most important points on recruiting:

  1. You are always recruiting: 20% of the sales manager’s time is to recruit
  2. Taking the time in the interview process to get it right: Interview at least 5 and at least 3 people in your company interviewing the candidate
  3. Social Interview/Case Study

The biggest mistakes people make when they’re hiring:

  1. Taking too long to make the decision
  2. Improper on-boarding
  3. Getting emotionally involved with the candidate

Success in companies vs. stagnant growth in others:

  • Leadership: Creating an environment of high performance
  • Having the right culture
  • High expectations
  • High accountability
  • Having fun!
  • One element commonly missed: VISION

Building your personal business vision:

  • Identifying your business plan and understanding your goals
  • Defining your personal training goals for products/service and personal self
  • Making sure the manager understands the salesperson’s vision and goals

The importance of VISION for business growth:

  • Motivation
  • Having a mantra for your life

On creativity: It can be learned.

How a manager can be effective as a coach or mentor:

  • Establish a formal one-on-one and face-to-face conversation at least once a month
  • Coach around performance, not the person
  • Creating an environment and then the tool set and the mindset that coaching is a critical element
  • Using the word “feel” in asking questions

Current projects Ken is working on:

  • Working with individuals, organizations, and major corporations selling independent distribution and helping them build programs to drive more products (Ex. Cisco, Microsoft)
  • Sales Manager’s Tool Kit
  • Doing keynote presentations and sales performance workshops at conferences

Visit their website for free information, videos, programs, and downloadable white papers. Also, find free information from his blog Your Sales Management Guru.

Or send him an email at

Ken’s Major Takeaways:

Think about what the definition of a professional is and make a commitment to increase your level of professionalism every quarter.

As a sales manager, focus not on the numbers; focus on the relationship and creating an environment that’s fun and with high expectations with accountability.


Jeff Zelaya, Sales Evolution, The Sales Evangelist, Triblio

TSE 086: Evolution Of The Sales Professional….Adapt or Become Extinct!

 Jeff Zelaya, Sales Evolution, The Sales Evangelist, TriblioBREAKING NEWS everyone! The sales professional is evolving. And the way that professionals are selling is changing rapidly too. Therefore, you need to keep up with the changes in the market as it continues to evolve.

In this episode, I had the awesome opportunity to speak with Jeff Zelaya, a social connector, a leading social selling expert, and the head of sales over at Triblio, a flourishing startup company that provides content marketing software, allowing businesses to measure content marketing ROI through data driven approach.

Jeff shares with us today a wealth of information, including the concept of how the sales professional is evolving and what YOU can do to make sure you evolve as a sales person and become a leader/authority in your field.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeff:

  • You have to be open to evolve.
  • Just because things have worked before doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow.
  • So he went back to college and studied sales: how it evolves, how it integrates with marketing, how businesses are evolving because of digital media.
[Tweet “Just because things have worked the same way before, doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow”]

The Evolution of Sales

Sales Back Then:

  • People picked up the phone and it’s wass easy to build trust.
  • People are not as cynical as they are today.
  • More open to having dialogue, conversation more so than today.
  • You can make things up and the buyer won’t have no way of knowing it.
  • The sales rep controls the entire process.
  • Pound the phone! Smile and dial!

Sales Now:

  • It’s a buyer’s market. The buyer is in full control.
  • 70% of the buying process is already completed without sales being involved.
  • Buyers are more educated and connected because of the Internet.
  • Buyers are consuming about five different pieces of content before even speaking to a sales rep.

How sales reps get in touch with someone on the phone:

In 2007, it shows an average of 3-4 cold calls before they can reach the prospect. Today, it takes 8 phone calls before you get hold of a live person. Double the work for the same pay off.

Sales 1.0 vs. Sales 2.0

Steps in making that change in the way you sell:

You still have to do some cold calling, advertising, canned pitches for certain scenarios. But start looking at new methods, new changes in your industry.

Empower yourself with the right tools.

  • Make sure you’re familiar with the technology.

What should be inside your sales toolbox:

  1. Content
  2. Social media
  • It drives sales conversation.
  • It provides value to people.
  • It is a way to nurture your relationships.
  • It educates your prospects so they can make the best decision.
  • Getting inbound leads through Twitter
  • LinkedIn Premium: Get leads delivered to your email though its lead builder capability
  • Sidekick by HubSpot: When you send out emails to a prospect, it allows you to see how prospects interact with your email. So you would know if they opened that email, if they’re clicking links in that email; if they’ve gone dormant and then opened it a couple weeks later – gives clarity to your job!

Continuing Your Success:

  1. Engage in groups – LinkedIn – join groups that are relevant to your industry and monitor those groups
  2. Leverage your college – Go to your college page on LinkedIn and use your connections to get connected to the right people.
  3. Go to your competitor’s LinkedIn page – Click on the followers and it gives you a list of everyone following your competitor. They may be clients that you might want to win!
  4. Have a great LinkedIn page. It should be complete, with your picture, nice background, with media in it, and have a really awesome page because it’s your online business card!

What Sellers Can Do to Create Their Own Content Today:

  1. Establish their thought leadership.
  2. Being knowledgeable not just about their product or service but the space/industry very well.
  3. Show that expertise and people will trust you, shifting from being a salesperson to being a consultant.
  4. LinkedIn gives you a platform to create content through LinkedIn Publisher to write articles about your industry, observations, valuable information; and LinkedIn Publisher will promote that to your network to bring traffic to that page and further interaction and engagement.
  5. Do webinars or create podcast.
  6. Invite prospects to be part of your content.
  7. Ask them for their expertise. Feature them in your content like blog posts.
  8. Promote your prospects by sharing to other people.
  9. They end up promoting you and exposing you to more, future prospects.
  10. Builds reciprocity.

Jeff’s Major Takeaway:

Connect with Jeff at To know more about Triblio and get a free demo, visit

Check out Jeff’s Slide Share on Social Selling Here:

Social Selling, The Sales Evangelist

Justin Su'a

TSE 007: 10 High Performance Habits That Lead To Success From Justin Su’a

Justin Su'aEver wondered what makes a top producer, a top producer?  Well, during this episode I interview Justin Su’a who has cracked  the “top producer” code. Justin is the Head of Mental Conditioning at the IMG Academy, the world-leading provider of athletic and personal development training programs for youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes, located in Bradenton, Florida. Justin’s clients perform in the NFL, Olympics, Dancing With the Stars, division one universities, and in numerous business corporations, the American Samoa National Olympic Committee and the U.S. Military.

After speaking with Justin, I learned that top producers are not born top producers, they developed these habits over time and become top producers! Now with that understanding, what is holding you back from being a top producer in your industry? If you have a desire to perform at your highest level, you MUST check out this episode. I promise you will enjoy it!


Here are habits highlighted in this episode from Justin’s article:

  1. Win the Morning
  2. Do Hard Things
  3. Embrace Feedbacks
  4. Learn From Failure
  5. Choose Your Attitude
  6. Do One More
  7. Have a Purpose
  8. Recommit Every Single Day
  9. Be Patient
  10. Fear No One


Learn more and connect with Justin Su’a 

Listen to this episode on iTunes or listen on Stitcher Radio.