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Sales Leader, Revenue, Activities

TSE 1152: Managing Tasks as a Leader

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Sales Leader, Revenue, ActivitiesManaging tasks as a leader is difficult because all the tasks are urgent and you have the internal battle of deciding which tasks need your attention. 

You might have a meeting with recruiters about the hiring, or you’ve got to do an interview with some sales reps, or you’ve got to create a report for the VP, and other equally important stuff. The list could go on and on and in the end, you aren’t able to get anything done to bring in more revenue. 

The challenge 

As team leaders, the best thing we can give to the sales rep is our care and utmost concern. Unfortunately, though, things don’t go the way we plan due to minute tasks that bog us down. Team leaders are faced with the challenge of managing their time to do the things that will impact the entire team in a good way. 

The grumpy sales manager syndrome 

The grumpy sales manager syndrome is nothing new and you might have experienced an episode of it once or twice. You are the leader so it’s natural to be bombarded with so many things to do: 

  • make reports 
  • attend meetings with sales reps 
  • meet with recruiters
  • meet with marketing folks

You are swamped with many different tasks and it’s overwhelming you.

Mike Weinberg mentioned this in his book Sales Management Simplified where he discussed all the different sales management myths and challenges. He then explained it in a way that’s both understandable and relatable. In the book, he said that this problem stems from the executive

level. 

Company owners or VPs are usually the reason sales managers have a tough time in juggling all their duties and this has nothing to do with the reports they are asking for. Rather, it has to do with the culture that is set within an organization. Executives, for example, aren’t focused on sales and so they don’t do everything in their power to cater to the sales effort. 

First line of defense

All the departments in a company or organization are important for the entire operation to work successfully. The marketing team, the development team, and all the other departments you can name are imperative for the organization to thrive. But all these other departments won’t be getting any money unless the sales team brings in more revenue. 

Sellers are the ones out there who are battling it out against the others. That is a huge amount of weight for the sales team because if it can’t happen, the company may fire the sales leaders for the lack of good results. 

Salespeople are foundations of a successful company and failing to recognize that is a problem.  We need a culture that is built around salespeople. 

Rate the tasks accordingly

Sales managers don’t necessarily have a defined role and instead, they have interconnecting roles within the organization.  For example, if you are helping the team generate revenue, then all your tasks must be related to that. But that’s not always the case. 

To define your goal, try to list the things that you do on a day-to-day basis and rate these activities from 1 to 5. (1 if the task isn’t helping you in fulfilling your goal, 5 if the activity is directly related to accomplishing your goals).  For instance, a one-to-one meeting with your sales rep to help the CS team increase its revenue is a full 5 rating. The meeting is an opportunity for you to give pipeline reviews with the sales rep to help him close more deals.  

Going on key account calls and weekly sales meetings are income-generating tasks and are closely tied to your goals. 

Housekeeping

On the other spectrum, you can have others complete tasks such as cleaning your inbox, creating spreadsheets to track sales and metrics, and attending meetings not related to your role. Or, if you prefer, do these tasks in your downtime. If you want to clean your inbox, then do it in your downtime. If you want a spreadsheet, then use CRM. And, if you want to attend the meetings unrelated to your task, you can jump in for a few minutes to check how it’s going instead of sitting down the whole two hours. 

Assess the tasks and if it’s possible to get an assistant to help you, then hire one. There are several platforms like Upwork where you can find somebody who can do something for you on a project basis.  Rating your tasks will make your work more efficient and will give you time for the more important things. 

Focus on the important ones

Ask yourself a series of questions before proceeding to every task. 

  • Am I needed at the meeting? 
  • Will it run effectively if I am not there? 
  • Will this task help my goal in increasing revenue? 
  • Rate the tasks and pick the ones that are most important by focusing on threes, fours, and fives. 

Fives are the obvious things that must happen. Set down the time for your meetings: time for the one-on-one, time for talking to your sellers, and all the other activities that are immediate. You might want to do the interviewing for new hires on a weekly basis or you might want to review resumes on a monthly basis. 

You must decide the schedules for the different activities and follow through. 

In this way, you can focus on the things that you need to and not be around for things that you don’t need to be a part of. You can also set a time to motivate your team and raise their morale by going to weekly or monthly lunch. 

Time is important 

Time is important and your sales reps need your time in closing deals and making sure that they’re overcoming challenges and working effectively. 

You are the coach and the sales reps are the players, and the only way for the team to work out is if both the coach and the players work hand-in-hand. If you are bogged down, hiding behind paperwork, and locked up in an office without a chance to connect with your reps, then you are never going to reach your goals. 

Applying this to The Sales Evangelist team helped me set the right culture as a leader of an organization. 

Money comes through the door when you are focused only on the things that you need to do.

“Managing Tasks as a Leader” episode resources 

Sales managers and leaders have different strategies in managing their tasks. If you have a story, don’t hesitate to drop me a message or tag me on LinkedIn, Donald C. Kelly. 

Check out Mike Weinberg’s book, Sales Management Simplified

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program which aims to help sales reps and sales team improve their skills in finding the right customers and knowing the strategies and activities that work. The program also teaches you the right questions to ask in order to build strong values and close huge deals. Go to thesalesevangelists.com/freecourse to get the first two episodes for free.

Audible is also a great avenue for sales learning. It has thousands of books that you can read

and audiobooks to listen that can help you to grow as a savvy salesperson. 

Give it a go to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. Just type in audibletrial.com/tse. If you enjoyed this episode and learned from it, please do give us a review 5-star rating on Apple podcast. You can also share this podcast with your friends and colleagues who are using other platforms such as Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify

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Sales Process, Dealpoint, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 976: How To Not Make Your New Sales Process JUST Another Flavor of The Week

 

Sales is one of the hardest jobs in any organization. Sometimes optimism keeps sellers from recognizing the truth of the situation because they are focused on commission.

On today’s episode, we’ll talk to Tom Williams, CEO of DealPoint, about getting buyers and sellers on the same page as part of a new sales process. When organizations put buyer-centric processes in place, prospects feel heard and deals close faster.

Misalignment

Tom’s journey with DealPoint started when he was a sales manager overseeing a team of sellers. [1:07] He discovered that there was a misalignment between how his sellers perceived the process was going and how the buyers perceived it.

He spent a lot of time thinking about how he could use processes to bring the two sides together.

Perhaps the biggest issue is that the seller has happy ears because he wants the sale to happen. In many cases, sellers are naturally optimistic people, so they view situations differently.

The other big issue is that the buyer himself doesn’t understand where he is in the sales process. [2:44] Especially in the case of large organizations, the buyer may not understand all the steps required for approval, so he may not anticipate the roadblocks.

It’s important to understand both processes: the buyer’s process and what the seller is hearing about the buyer’s process.

Flavor of the week

Many companies change their sales process frequently because they are trying to address problems with the existing one. [3:48]

There’s a statistic that says you can spend as much as you want to put a sales process in place, and it might survive for 6 weeks, or even as long as 90 days. Eventually, though, your team will likely return to the old way of doing things, largely for two reasons:

  1. They don’t think the managers are putting a lot of effort into it, so it’s rep-driven.
  2. The managers aren’t seeing success because they didn’t implement the correct kind of process for their organization.

If it’s option 2, you should absolutely change the process so that you aren’t harming your sales team. If it’s option 1, there are things you can do to make sure your sales team is on board with the process so that everyone makes more money.

Building processes

Begin by looking at how your team implements your existing process. In Tom’s case, he discovered that his team saw the existing sales process as an extra job; little more than paper-pushing. [5:19]

At one point, he was withholding commissions until his team filled in SalesForce. He had tried all kinds of incentives and nothing was working.

Even then, they were filling in the SalesForce fields but doing the bare minimum.

The buyer and the seller have to be getting some value out of the process as well.

Make sure the process is flexible enough to support different types of sellers. Although you’ll always have a scripted component for your sellers, you’ll be holding your top sellers back if you insist that they use a script.

When you sell it to the reps, clearly outline the benefits. [7:05] Make them understand how the sales process will help everyone involved. Provide statistics that quantify the improvement you’ve seen as a result of a sales process, and they’ll be happy to follow it.

Help them understand that it’s in their best interest to adopt the new sales process.

Help the buyer

Your new sales process should include a mutual action component so that buyer and seller are negotiating. [10:56] Neither party wants to invest a lot of time in a deal only to see it fall away.

Once the champion has acknowledged that this product or service will definitely solve her problem, buyer and seller must decide how they are going to make this plan happen.

As you build the mutual action plan, the buyer, seller, and sales manager can verify that the plan is on track and that triple reinforcement can make sure the process is embedded into the funnel.

If there’s a step you aren’t aware of, it can cause a late-stage failure, which can damage your deal as well as your reputation.

Sales coaching

Management must be on board with the new sales process in order to keep it from feeling like the flavor of the week. [14:09] If the managers aren’t fully on board, the reps will immediately sniff that out and they’ll perceive the process as a waste of time.

Some teams use leaderboards to motivate their sellers, but if it’s used in a negative way, it doesn’t bring all the boats up. If, on the other hand, you’re sharing successes and challenges, it can help your team understand why the leaders are succeeding and how they’ve overcome their challenges.

Embed your sales process into the daily routine. [17:46] Fight against your team’s tendency to wait to input all their information on Friday afternoon when it isn’t as fresh in their minds.

Collaboration between buyer and seller brings the process into the forefront. For example, have the buyer fill in a form that provides the data you need so that you get more accurate data.

DealPoint

The idea of DealPoint is to get sellers and buyers on the same page. [20:09]

A long sales-cycle-gone-bad wastes time for both buyer and seller, often resulting from miscommunication or errors in the process.

Very rarely do circumstances change in the 10th month of the process that wreck the deal. Usually, it’s a problem that could have been sniffed-out in month two to save everyone a lot of time.

Doing so also builds up the seller’s credibility, because if the seller identifies quickly that the deal isn’t working out, the buyer will respect his handling of it and he’ll be willing to come back to him later with a new challenge. [20:47]

DealPoint gets the buyer and the seller on the same page. It brings both teams together with a visual timeline and conferencing and file-sharing capabilities that they can access at any time.

They can view milestones and post things like meeting notes, and it keeps everyone on track.

The question of “what is the next step?” drives a lot of business and it causes a lot of deals to crash because there wasn’t a clear next step. [22:08]

DealPoint is that single location where buyers and sellers can understand the next steps and keep the decision moving forward.

“New Sales Process” episode resources

You can connect with Tom and learn more about DealPoint at dealpoint.io or Tom@dealpoint.io. He enjoys talking about sales processes and he’d love to geek out with you for 20 minutes to talk about your process. He’s also active on LinkedIn.

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the salesevangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.

This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

TSE Hustler’s League

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. You can implement our training and strategies today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share it with someone else you think might benefit.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

AI Sales, Erroin Martin, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 951: How To Increase Sales Faster Using AI

Artificial Intelligence, Upselling, Erroin MartinOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Erroin Martin shares what he has learned about artificial intelligence and how sales professionals can increase sales faster using AI.

Martin is the vice president of sales at Conversica, with 20 years of experience in sales. Conversica does conversational artificial intelligence for B2B and B2C.

Robots?

Artificial intelligence is a series of algorithms that are statistical models looking to repeat tasks or transactions that happen on a routine basis.

Anti-lock brakes are a great example of AI. Many years ago, drivers were taught to pump the brakes when stopping to avoid having your car’s brakes lock up. ABS actually pumps the brakes for you. It’s a repetitive task that doesn’t require a human being.

In the business world, there are tasks that you don’t need to pay a human to do. The technology is artificial in the sense that it’s manmade. It’s intelligent because it can learn from its errors as well as from training models.

There are countless applications of AI in the sales space. AI can create a transcript of this conversation, evaluate past performance to predict the future and conversational AI which can handle some of the routine follow-up emails or tasks that happen in the sales process.

Healthy balance

The ATM is a great example of the balance possible with AI. Thirty years ago, people stood in line at the bank to deposit checks or handle transactions.

When the ATM emerged, people feared that it would take jobs from bank tellers, and for a while it probably did.

Now, though, there are still tellers in banks, but many of those tellers became loan officers or financial advisors. There are actually more people in banks today than there were before the ATM.

ATMs removed some jobs but it allowed the creation of better jobs.

The means of operating evolves.

Mundane tasks

The number one task that all sales managers want their people to do but which sales reps hate doing is logging their activities in their CRM.

Those tasks are important but they are boring. If you don’t record your activity as you go, it stacks up on you.

It’s a mundane task that is automated now.

Think, too, about the follow-up of a lead. Leads are the most important thing marketing can give you. If you try to craft an email to 10 leads, eventually you end up doing copy and paste.

AI can help you create inviting messaging and engage the human that responds until the human rep can respond.

Transcription tools also help sales managers provide coaching to their team members. It can help with re-education and help to highlight the best parts of what your team is doing.

Increasing sales

The next piece of AI is finding like-minded customers.

No matter how messy your databases, AI can look at your past wins and evaluate your current databases and identify those who are more likely to buy your products and services and engage with your company overall.

It’s one thing to find customers, but it’s another thing to keep customers and grow your customer base. You always want to make sure you’re talking to the right people.

AI can give you hard data about the conversations you’ve had that you can use to back up your efforts because human beings aren’t really good at assessing the subtleties of a changing market.

Big companies are like battleships and small companies are like speedboats. Small companies can be rocked by waves that can swamp the boat really quickly. Large companies can weather the waves better. AI can move an organization that is so large it doesn’t really feel the impact of smaller changes.

Understanding the customer

There are AI tools that help you understand your customers based upon what is in the news, and AI tools that help you track when it’s time to connect with your customer.

AI can make your time with your customer much more impactful.

Sales reps can also use AI to help with upselling to help you recognize when your customer is ready to engage in the buying cycle and to identify which customers are the best ones for you.

The best customers are the ones who have already bought from you before because you’ve overcome their initial fear and developed the relationship. They know what it’s like to deal with your products and services.

Conversica

Conversica works in a traditional format as a revenue-generating tool for both sales and marketing. It’s engaging inbound leads and following up with leads.

It also provides the ability to engage with partner leads.

Conversica uses AI to identify upsell opportunities and to make sure customers meet their quarterly needs. The finance team uses it to help with collections.

Everywhere they can automate the conversational experience,   Conversica uses AI.

Fear

Companies haven’t completely embraced AI for a couple of reasons.

No one has really thought about the technology and how it applies to their business. As a follow-on, there’s a great fear of the unknown.

Computers and phones once changed the dynamics of the work world by automating tasks.

Companies must have a roadmap of where they want to get and how AI can help them accomplish that. Failure to map out a plan will fall behind the competition. Those that do create a roadmap will be anywhere from 7 to 10 times more profitable.

Fear is fully understandable. Human beings resist change even though it happens all the time.

Adopt AI wisely. Find the areas where AI might serve you well. Set realistic expectations.

AI is a series of statistical algorithms made by people and trained by people. AI isn’t infallible.

It also won’t solve every problem your company has so don’t expect it to be a perfect cure. Along the way, you’ll uncover processes that are broken or struggles you didn’t realize existed.

AI isn’t a Hail Mary approach, but be willing to embrace change. It always happens.

Be totally, passionately into your customers. Understand their business and you’ll learn to recognize change before it actually happens.

“Increase Sales Faster Using AI” episode resources

Connect with Erroin via email or on Twitter @myconversica.

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers and provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share it with someone else you think might benefit.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, TSE, Sales Managers

TSE 757: 5 Mistakes Sales Managers Make and How to Fix Them

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, TSE, Sales Managers

A sales manager role can cost a lot, so today I’m sharing five areas where sales managers typically have struggles as well as some insights you can apply to your own practice.

1. Not having a clear expectation

When your sales team is just going in circles, without a clear direction as to where they’re going or what they need to achieve, this leads to a higher turnover rate. Also, not getting clarity from the management leads to lack of performance.

Solution: Have a clear objective. Have a clear understanding of who you go after. Check out Donald Miller’s book,Building A Story Brand

2. Focusing on the vanity numbers

Vanity numbers are the bigger numbers that look good but there’s really nothing inside. For instance, this could be the number of calls you make.

Solution: Focus on the results from that call. Look at the number of appointments made rather than just the number of calls. Focus on outcomes, not vanity numbers.

3. Micromanagement

Solution: Teach correct principles and you let people govern themselves. Find time to sit down with your sales reps.

4. No coaching

Solution: Sit down with the sales rep and help them identify the key indicators and see where they’re performing. Guide them and figure ways they can try to improve. Set one-on-one coaching once a week to new reps. But top sellers need coaching too.

5. Training

Product training is great but it’s not the only thing sellers need. You’ve got to teach them how to sell.

Solution: Bring someone in who can give a talk to them. For instance, I have 6-week training approach where I meet with the sales team. Then I help them develop processes to help guide them. Or get them to join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Bonus Area: Time Management – Follow the 12 Week Year

This is based on the book, The 12 Week Year, where you have to focus only on just 12 weeks at a time. Set that goal and see how it can significantly improve your career and life in general.

Episode Resources:

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Morgan and Michael Lennington

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Sales Leader, Kevin F. Davis, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 568: The Sales Manager’s Guide To Greatness!

Sales Leader, Kevin F. Davis, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastYou may have been an A-player salesperson or you still are, but that doesn’t necessarily make you an A-player sales manager. Recognizing the difference is one problem. Mastering the skill sets of sales management is another.

Our guest today is Kevin F. Davis, author of the book The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness: Ten Essential Strategies for Leading Your Team to the Top and he’s going to teach us what you can do to guide your team to greatness.

Kevin worked his way up in sales until becoming a general manager. He had the opportunity to train and coach about 250 sales people and directly managed sales teams as well as sales managers. He then founded TopLine Leadership, Inc. where they deliver sales coaching and leadership workshops to corporate clients and groups of sales managers in the last 27 years. Kevin has also written two other sales books, Getting Into Your Customer’s Head and Slow Down, Sell Faster!

First off, check out the Summit on Content Marketing on May 22 – June 02, 2017. Joined by over 100 speakers, including me, Donald Kelly) and I will be talking about bots and messengers as an effective avenue to qualify more leads.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Kevin:

Why Kevin wrote his new book:

  • There aren’t that many books specifically on managing salespeople effectively and he saw that void in that marketplace his book could help to resolve.
  • He wrote it to solve the most pressing problems sales managers encounter and be able to provide them with the practical set of skills, strategies, and tools they can use to take their team to the top.
  • Up to 80% of all sales managers don’t receive the training they need to be successful (either they don’t get any training or the training they get doesn’t solve the specific problems they have)

The number one problem of sales managers: “I don’t have enough time.”

Managers have to read 200 emails and spend two hours or more a day just looking at their computer screens. They are too overwhelmed by all the distractions that they no longer have the time to coach their salespeople.

The Self-Serving Bias

Most salespeople think they’re better than they actually are. We tend to overestimate our capabilities and we underestimate our weaknesses.

Apply this to a sales team and if you have salespeople thinking they’re better than they are and don’t fully appreciate the mistakes they may be making in working opportunities, they would not know they’re making those mistakes and they make more of them.

Unfortunately, salespeople are getting a lot less feedback on what works and what doesn’t. And what managers tend to do is sit back and wait for a sales rep to come to them and ask questions. So keep coaching your people. Don’t sit back and wait. Be proactive and coach them the entire sales process.

“The most salespeople in your team who are the least needy of you are probably the people who need and benefit from your coaching the most.”

Great salespeople don’t make great sales managers.

According to Kevin, a great sales rep who has mastered in their sales role inhibits that individual’s success as a sales manager.

As sellers, we love to take charge of a situation and work it through to have a successful outcome. Whereas, when you move into a sales management role the biases for action and decisiveness can lead us jumping into the conversation of a rep we’re coaching and their client.

This sends a message to everybody that you don’t trust your sales rep. This destroys any opportunity for valuable coaching following that meeting.

“The sales people that report to you are your Number One customers so you should care most about how they’re effective.”

From Being Task-Oriented to People-Oriented

Kevin believes that one attribute of a great sales leader is recognizing the importance of switching from focusing on tasks to teams

Focus on the people side and when you’re involved in projects, reach out and connect with people on a personal basis. Make sure they are with you and what you’re trying to do. Don’t be too task-oriented that you’re forgetting about the people component.

In Kevin’s book, he mentioned the story he read about Beth Comstock, who is currently the vice-chairman at General Electric, which is an example of how important focusing on people versus tasks is which is something she’s still working on up until today.

Understanding the Buying Cycle

Kevin says the sales forecast is a misnomer in that it should be a buying forecast. Understand the customer’s buying process to maximize the sale. How buyers buy is different than how most salespeople sell.

One of the biggest problems in sales is a sales rep selling too fast and moving too quickly. Kevin has tackled this in his book, Slow Down, Sell Faster!

Being “buying process”-focused improves the accuracy of your forecasts and takes the guess work out of sales. Asking better questions is key. What are their buying criteria in order of priority?

Kevin’s Major Takeaway:

Understand that managing and leading salespeople requires a completely different set of skills from selling. There’s a misconception that an A player sales rep will make an A player sales manager. Both jobs are completely different. Therefore, set a goal to become as masterful at sales management leadership as you are selling.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Kevin on his website, www.kevinfdavis.com and follow him on Twitter @kevinfdavis and LinkedIn.

Kevin’s books:

The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness by Kevin F. Davis

Getting Into Your Customer’s Head

Slow Down, Sell Faster!

TopLine Leadership, Inc.

Beth Comstock’s blog post, Best Advice: What I Learned from Jack Welch Hanging Up on Me

Check out the Summit on Content Marketing on May 22 – June 02, 2017. Joined by over 100 speakers, including me, Donald Kelly 🙂 and I will be talking about bots and messengers as an effective avenue to qualify more leads.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Help us spread the word out by leaving us a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or whatever platform you’re using.

TSE 514: Sales From The Street: “Hire Better Sellers”

David Thomson, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast Today’s guest is David Thomson who’s going to give us great insights into how you, as sales leaders, can make sure that you hire better people.

David Thomson is the Chief Revenue Officer at List Partners Inc., a sales intelligence resource company. David is going to share one of the major challenges he has seen around the hiring process, how companies drop the ball sometimes, and how we can become more effective in hiring. This results in higher productivity, increased performance, better retention rate, and a greater sales morale.

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Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:

One of the major challenges David has seen in the sales arena:

Promoting sales individuals into a sales management position where there is no process or system in place.

Strategies for Hiring Best Sellers:

  1. Bring in the right type of talent.
  2. Avoid surface level questions. Always dig deeper.
  3. Come in with 3 main questions then all secondary questions are based off of these questions.

Examples:

  • How would you achieve xyz results at this company? How long should it take? Who is required to do it?
  • Give me an example where you demonstrated in a previous position. (Then dive in and ask 4-5 questions from that question).
  1. Bring people from other departments such as marketing and IT for a cultural interview to see if they’re a good fit for the entire team.

A lot of the best feedback come from people outside of the sales department. So have someone completely outside of the sales department to give you a different set of lenses.

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David’s Major Takeaway:

Practice and do a role play. Grab a colleague or grab your manager and go in and ask them those questions before you actually go live into an interview. The more you practice, the better you’re going to be prepared.

Episode Resources:

Connect with David Thomson on LinkedIn or shoot him an email at davet@thelistinc.com.

List Partners Inc.

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Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

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David Brock, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 501: Sales Manager Survival Guide By David Brock

David Brock, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast How do you become effective as a sales manager (especially when you’re in this new role)?

Boy! A survival guide could surely come in handy so you would know the things to avoid and the things you should improve on.

Today’s guest is David Brock who’s going to give us an overview of his book, Sales Manager Survival Guide: Lessons from Sales’ Front Lines, which is designed to help sales managers best guide their team, help their team members become more successful, maintain the business side of things and still have fun, and help them lead their former peers.

David runs a number of businesses including Partners in EXCELLENCE. This is a boutique consulting company where they work with different companies to help them get to the next level of performance in terms of company growth or expanding customer reach.


Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:

David’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer.

Why another book on sales management:

  • Front line sales managers are one of the most important jobs in selling, yet they are least understood where there is least investment in developing people.
  • Not too many resources for sales managers.
  • This book is focused on front line sales managers and how they can maximize the performance of each individual in their team and their team as a whole.

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Key challenges of several front line sales managers:

  1. Lack of knowledge about their job

Sales managers just don’t know what their job is and they don’t know how to do it as effectively as they should. Being a top-performing sales rep doesn’t always equate to being a great sales manager.

  1. Not moving fast as a sales manager

Your job is to change things and maximize the performance of your people but not until you figure out who they are, what they’re doing, and what you need to be changing. Otherwise, this could be wasteful or harmful action.

How to get started as a sales manager:

  1. Figure out who your people are.

Spend time with your people. Get to know who they are and what their jobs are. Understand where they’re performing and where are the opportunities to improve their performance. Figure out who your customers are.

  1. Figure out how things get done in the organization.

Find out what’s going wrong. Then drive the change. Figure out the 2-3 things you need to do to start improving performance.

How to identify the right processes:

  1. Have a current sales process.

Your process must be able to move the customer through their buying cycle and help them reach a decision. Make sure your people are using your process.

  1. Figure out the roadblocks.

Identify the things that are standing in the way of your team’s performance (ex. training, tools, business processes, etc.)

  1. Understand the core processes, core tools, and skills development areas you can leverage to improve their effectiveness and efficiency.

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Key metrics to focus on:

  • Determining the smallest set of metrics that determine people are on track
  • Walking backwards and identifying what drives revenue and quota performance
  • Critical leading metrics and call metrics
  • Identifying critical activities that drive revenue
  • Tracking goals every week

Strategies for leading your former peers:

  • Be very clear about the expectations and boundaries.
  • Recognize the difference in between these roles.
  • Recognize that you may have to have tough conversations with your best friends.

Strategies for sales coaching as a new leader:

  • Embed coaching into each of your conversations.

Coaching is not just an evaluation but it should be embedded in your daily activities. Help people figure out for themselves how to be better at a particular area.

  • Take formal training on coaching to really understand how to effectively coach.
  • Spend at least 50% of your time coaching your people.

Business management tips for new sales leaders:

  • Understand the business strategy.
  • Translate the company’s business strategy into the activities salespeople do on a day-to-do basis.
  • Get things done through your people.

Make sure they understand:

  • Their job
  • Their performance criteria
  • What they expect
  1. Work with your people on a day-to-day basis

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David’s Major Takeaway:

The front line sales manager role is one of the most rewarding jobs as well as one of the most challenging jobs. Recognize the importance of your contribution to the organization and your role in shaping great young salespeople in moving them forward. Take great joy in seeing people develop and seeing people accomplish things.

Episode Resources:

Sales Manager Survival Guide by David Brock

Connect with David Brock on LinkedIn and Twitter @davidabrock.

Check out www.partnersinexcellenceblog.com

Check out Kwame Christian’s Negotiation for Entrepreneurs Podcast

Say goodbye to long, boring proposals and check out PandaDoc. Create electronic proposals to your prospects. Sign and receive payments without leaving your CRM. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to www.thesalesevangelist.com/panda

Donald Kelly, PandaDoc


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Warren Shiver, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 301: 7 Steps To Sales Force Transformation

Warren Shiver, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Best Sales Podcast A solid, performing salesforce is one of the most crucial elements in any organization. However, many salespeople tend to exhibit a strong resistance to change even when it’s called for. Change can cause a dramatic increase in your overall sales success but you have to make sure you did the right change.

So I’m bringing in Warren Shiver today to share some great insights into bringing change or transformation within an organization, why it’s needed, when it’s needed, and which parts of the organization need to be involved.

Warren is the author of the book 7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation. He is also the founder of Symmetrics Group, where they specifically focus on B2B sales effectiveness around sales forces, sales processes, skills, and training.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Warren:

The inspiration behind Warren’s book:

Most salespeople are more resistant to change than other functional areas

Change versus transformation:

  • Most sales organizations are doing well.
  • Change can be done through training, technology, or tool improvement but not a wholesale change.
  • Companies that are a result of a merger or a competitive change, have a relatively outdated sales force where transformation is needed.

What do you need? Change or transformation?

  • Look at what’s driving your need for change.
  • How compelling your driver is will dictate the level of change you should undertake.
  • Treat your transformation or change effort like an internal sale

Should you change even when you’re hitting quota?

  1. Look at the top performers in the organization.

Identify what they’re doing well and use that in terms of the change you’re driving (ex. process, methodology, etc.)

  1. Look at your current state and where you want to go.

Look if what’s making a top performer successful today is sustainable.

What parts of the business need to be involved in the sales transformation?

  • Marketing (#1)
  • Operations and supply chain
  • IT
  • HR (recruiting profiles, competency & talent development, compensation)

Creating a vision

  • What is the value you’re going to bring in the future?
  • How is your sales force still relevant in 1 or 5 years time in maintaining relevance with customers and maintaining competitive differentiation?
  • The mindset of consultative selling

Building a personal brand versus relying on a company brand:

Build a brand around your expertise through blogs, white papers, etc.

How to know the right metrics to best predict sales success:

  • Depends on your selling model, company, vision, current state, and what you’re trying to drive in terms of change
  • Get down with a critical view

Communication of status and results:

  • The need for sustained, committed, and authentic leadership
  • First level sales leaders – the lever or linchpin of your change
  • Equip your first-level leaders to model what it could look like
  • Be able to coach and reinforce it and communicate it

Success as a barrier to sales transformation:

  • Difficulty to create a “burning” platform among your top performers
  • The challenge of finding that leader with a transformational mindset

Episode Resources:

7 Steps to Sales Force Transformation

Sale Force, Sales Management Book, Donald Kelly, Warren Shiver

SymmetricsGroup.com

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Butch Bellah, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast, Sales Management for Dummies

TSE 203: Sales Management for Dummies with Butch Bellah

Butch Bellah, The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast, Sales Management for Dummies Is it your first time managing a sales team? Or are you struggling with managing your existing sales team? Our guest today may just have the perfect tool for you. It’s a book he’s written called Sales Management for Dummies.

Butch Bellah is a speaker, sales trainer, and author. He works with salespeople to gain more appointments, win more business, and retain more customers. Based in Dallas, Texas, Butch helps people find areas in the sales process where they have hung ups and he is truly passionate about professionalizing the profession of sales.

His first book, The 10 Essential Habits of Sales Superstars: Plugging Into the Power of Ten which hit #1 on Amazon’s list of Sales Books in August 2014 (and he has a picture to prove it!) paved the way for John Wiley & Sons publishing to approach him where they asked him to write a book, Sales Management for Dummies.

In this book, Butch offers a handy go-to guide for sales managers covering areas like management, building a commission program, budgeting, resolving territorial disputes, etc. – all necessary for creating a solid and successful sales team.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Butch:

Biggest issues sales managers come across:

  1. Defining territories
  2. Compensation plan
  • Be very careful with people’s money. Check it multiple times and test it for 6 weeks before you ever roll it out there.
  1. Managing different personalities
  • What motivates one might demotivate another. As a sales manager, you need to wear different hats.
  1. Set your sales goal high, set your sales budget low, set your forecast about where you think it’s going to be.

How to Keep Your Team Motivated:

  1. Keep the inspirational fires burning.

You can’t motivate someone to do something. But you can inspire them and give them a reason to be motivated. Find out what it is they’re striving for or the gold standard for them.

  1. Adapt your personality to every sales person.

Learn the in’s and out’s and nuances of each individual personality. Doing the same thing for everyone might cause you to lose really good people that don’t like to be managed that way.

How to Make Effective Sales Meetings:

  1. Set a schedule and agenda.

Work with a sales meeting calendar and plan ahead the topics to include. Back plan everything and know when you want to roll it out. Butch thinks Saturdays are the best time for sales meetings to avoid pulling them out of the market during weekdays.

  1. Bring in another voice.

Your team can get tired of hearing you all the time. Break that monotony. Keep it interesting. Give them a reason to want to go to your sales meeting.

  1. Offer something of value that they’re going to get from the meeting.

Product knowledge, sales skills or GAME (Goals, Attitude, Motivation, Education)

  1. Do role playing.

Get people comfortable to ask questions, overcome questions, build rapport, and do the basic steps you’re supposed to do all the time. This is a time for you to inspect what your people are doing.

Butch’s Strategies for Effective Time Management

  1. Hit the ground early Monday morning and have an appointment schedule for late Friday.
  2. Take 10 minutes at the end of everyday to make sure you’re ready for the next.
  3. Take 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon or evening to prepare for the week.
  4. Take an hour at the end of the month to look at the entire upcoming month and write down your goals.

Butch’s Major Takeaway:

Forget what you’ve heard about ABC (Always Be Closing)… it’s Always Be Prospecting! Get out and meet new people.

Episode Resources:

Get in touch with Butch through www.butchbellah.com or connect with him on Twitter @salespowertips and Facebook B2TrainingAndDevelopment.

Download a free copy of Butch’s first book The 10 Essential Habits of Sales Superstars: Plugging Into the Power of Ten by visiting www.butchbellah.com/TSE

Sales Management for Dummies

The Sales Evangelizers, Donald Kelly, Sales Facebook Group