Tag Archives for " Sales Manager "

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

The Sales Evangelist, Leadership

TSE 1150: How To Show Your Team You Care!

The Sales Evangelist, LeadershipSome sales teams complain about everything from marketing to CRM and comps, but if you develop the ability to show your team you care, you’ll overcome the negativity and establish a great work environment.

I’ve worked as a sales rep, as a sales leader, and as a consultant, so I understand that complaints are a normal part of the sales process. In some organizations, though, the sellers don’t complain as much because they believe their managers care about them.  

Imperfect selling scenario

It’s tempting to believe that sellers who don’t complain work in better environments. Even if they don’t get great leads, and if they don’t have the best CRM, or if their facility looks outdated, some sales reps enjoy what they do and they enjoy the people they do it with. Because the management cares about their welfare, the sellers are able to enjoy their work.

Although your CRM and your environment are important, culture plays a vital role in helping sellers thrive. In a subpar culture, typically the focus remains on numbers alone. 

Sales leaders

During the month of August, we’ll focus on sales leadership and the principles that will help sales leaders succeed so their teams can succeed. Of all the things you could possibly do to encourage your team, investing time in them ranks the highest. 

Just like a relationship with your husband or wife, the relationship probably won’t survive unless you spend time together. Nice gifts and other symbols of affection won’t overcome a lack of time together. The same is true for your kids.

Don’t base your relationships with your sellers on shiny new CRM or an awesome facility. Instead, demonstrate that you care about their success by dedicating time to help them improve their performance.  

One-on-one

Prioritize one-on-one meetings with your sales reps. Although sales leaders get bogged down by countless things that demand their time, you must invest time in the things that truly matter. Log it on your calendar so it won’t get pushed aside. 

In my own sales journey, when my own leaders prioritized one-on-one time, they were able to help me overcome challenges that were hindering my success. It also made my sales leaders seem human and it helped me see them as something other than a boss. I see her as a trusted friend and someone I can respect. Leaders who jump into the trenches with you have the authority to guide you. 

When my sales leader stopped investing in one-on-one time with me, my sales performance declined, not because I wasn’t doing my part, but because I was able to draw motivation from her experience and example. 

Share priorities

Be aware of your team members’ priorities and make sure that the things that matter to them matter to you, too. If my sales rep is engaged to be married, I need to be aware of her priority. I can support her priorities by making sure that she’s earning enough money to pay for an amazing wedding. I must make sure that, during our one-on-ones, I’m helping her figure out how to accomplish her goals. 

Better yet, if I know of someone who owns a wedding venue, I can consider connecting the two of them. As a leader, I can provide guidance and resources to help her achieve her goals. 

If my leader is willing to prioritize the things I value, I’ll do the same in return: whatever is important to her will become important to me. Whatever she needs me to do in order to be successful, I’ll be willing to do it. 

This kind of relationship isn’t intended to be manipulative or controlling. Instead, it’s a natural by-product of the leader’s care for the seller.

Go on-site

Once a month, or on a recurring basis, free your schedule to do site visits with your reps. Don’t go with the intention of taking over the meeting. Evaluate her progress and ask her afterward what she did well and what she might have done better. Help her improve as a seller. Demonstrate to your sellers that you value them enough to share your time. 

Give them room to make mistakes and room to grow. 

In Jamaica, families frequently send their 10-year-olds to the grocery store to shop for the family. That doesn’t happen often in this country. The opportunity helps children learn from their mistakes and gain valuable experience.

Give room for failure

Don’t jump down their throats when they make a mistake in the midst of a deal or when an opportunity flops. Guide them. Let them know you care. Talk to them and coach them. Then give them an opportunity to try again. 

Acknowledge improvement and give your team members room to lead and coach others when they find success. Show them how to become trusted individuals. 

“Show Your Team You Care” episode resources

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

As a savvy seller, you’ll want to continue learning, and you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial, complete with a free audiobook, on Audible. They have thousands of books to choose from and you can begin your free trial today. 

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating 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. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

sales team, sales leader, quota

TSE 1148: How to Build a Championship Sales Team

sales team, quota, sales leader

Whether you’re a brand new sales rep, a sales leader, or an experienced seller, the key to success relies on your ability to build a championship sales team. 

Will Richter drives revenue for medical device companies by increasing their sales volumes, reducing their operational inefficiencies and crushing their competition. He has the unique ability to find the blind spots in any company’s sales process and can turn around a growth plan of action and a winning team in less time bringing bottom-line results faster.

Deep assessment

Will points to leadership and culture as the keys to building a championship sales team. Whether you’re a business owner, a CEO, or middle management, the culture gets dictated by the leadership. They set the tone for the culture and they define the expectations for everyone on the sales force. Those leaders also determine what will not be tolerated. 

Once teams accept mediocrity, it becomes the norm. 

When you’re a sales leader, you’ll either inherit a team or you may get the opportunity to take some educated risks and build a team. You must do a deep assessment of the team’s skills, its motivations, its past successes, and get to know the team members. Find out what makes them tick. 

You cannot manage every member of your sales team the same way because they may have different motivators. If you don’t discover their motivators, you’ll struggle to create a championship kind of environment. 

People and culture

People are the fabric of any great culture. If you’re at the top, you’ve got to reassess your talent base, and you’re probably going to have to let some of that go. Think about the culture you want to create. Then, seek out people who have the experience and the knowledge you want. If your sellers are strong and they have similar values, they’ll outlast someone who simply looks good on paper. 

The average sales rep lasts about 18 months in any company. So if you bring a new seller on board, imagine the cost of onboarding plus the cost of training and the ramp-up time it takes for him to start earning money. Your company won’t likely make anything if he only stays for 18 months.  

Wrong person

The worst part of the sales leader job results from having to let team members know that they aren’t a good fit for the team. In fact, the higher up you go, the more these people have on the line. They have families and wives and big mortgages and a lot to lose. Will reports feeling a lot of empathy for these folks. 

At the same time, do not accept exceptions or excuses. Expect your team to have the same “win all the time” attitude that you have.

Will was hired to turn a sales team around in which only about half of the team members were strong. One gentleman who had been with the company for six years absolutely killed it his first year, but then he rested on his laurels. The company couldn’t fire him because people had tried in the past and it had become a political issue. 

Will had to work closely with the guy, giving him a lot of feedback and working to coach him up. But Will’s says that people are either coachable or they aren’t. If you aren’t coachable, you’re cutting yourself off from professional development. This guy didn’t want to be coached, so Will put him on a 30-day plan. The guy got in his face and screamed at him and eventually, they were able to ask him to go.

Difficult conversations

Will likes to build relationships by getting to know his sellers as people. He asks about their families and their hometowns, and what makes them tick. Then he recommends being an open book yourself. Be transparent and real about your shortcomings. 

As you coach your team members, speak factually. Leave the emotion and personal information out of the conversation. Stick to facts and data. 

Highlight the fact that she has a quota, she has a territory, and she has a quantifiable history. Now, she has a certain amount of time to accomplish this other thing in order to avoid moving to a new set of consequences. Document everything. Factual information feels less personal and it’s easier to digest.   

Background information

Create a profile for the kind of players you’d like to hire. How many do you need? What type of background do you want? Should they have a certain amount of experience? What kind of values are you seeking? 

Whatever your criteria might be, create a profile and then create a world-class recruiting strategy and a strong hiring process. 

Many companies place an ad on Indeed any time they need to hire a new seller. They sort through resumes, pick three, interview two, and hire one. It’s called reactive recruiting.

On the other hand, when you’re proactively sourcing candidates, begin by hiring a recruiter. Tell him exactly what you’re looking for and ask him to leverage his database to find candidates who meet your criteria. Have him call the candidates that meet your criteria and then screen them. Ensure that they are the top of the top before you ever sit down with them. 

Hiring process

Determine what you want your hiring process to look like. 

  • How many interviews should their be?
  • Who should they meet with? 
  • What kinds of questions should we be asking? 

Once you’ve matched the values, make sure you don’t hire reps with massive egos. Implement these strategies, then onboard them properly and train them thoroughly. That’s the foundation of a championship sales team. 

Once you’ve established your value system, you’ve put the right leadership in place, you’ve created the right culture, you’ve developed a good recruiting strategy, you’ve created your profiles, and you’ve built an excellent training program, then you must train your team on your product, as well as training them on superior sales skills for your market in your industry.

Your ultimate goal is to create a proactive sales management program that sets realistic but strong goals that hold the reps accountable. Recognize that your success is directly tied to your sellers’ success. 

Military tactics

Will calls himself a big fan of military and their tactics. He finds that leading from the front demands leaders who are willing to be in the field. If all they do is sit in the office, they won’t know what the team is doing. 

Sellers respect managers who get into the fight with them. After your presentations, talk with the seller about the call and the things that were great about it. Then address things that could have been done better. 

We all feel good when we accomplish things. It makes us confident. Understand, though, that there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive. 

Be mindful of managing the team’s time as well. What activities are they engaging in? Where are they going? Who are they calling? Are they making the best use of their time?

Young sellers often think they can cut corners. Approach-based management allows well-trained, talented sellers who engage in high activity levels to reach their goals. If they do the right things at the right times and the right places, they won’t struggle. 

Shared culture

You want to be in a culture with people who share your same values. Hire the people that you can trust and respect, and who are competent and honest and hard-working. 

We’ve all taken jobs where we didn’t know what to expect until we started working. Do a great job of smoking out the company’s values and culture. 

If you can’t click with the existing employees, your time there will be short-lived. 

“Build a Championship Sales Team” episode resources

You can connect with Will on LinkedIn. He’s happy to help sellers who are working to build a championship sales team. 

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

As a savvy seller, you’ll want to continue learning, and you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial, complete with a free audiobook, on Audible. They have thousands of books to choose from and you can begin your free trial today. 

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating 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. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that’s in sales about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Charles Bernard, Donald Kelly, Problem Solving

TSE 1051: How To Solve The Most Common Sales Problems

Sales leaders who can solve the most common sales problems will increase their productivity and improve their performance.

Today, Charles Bernard explains how a disciplined system for selling and managing can remove barriers to performance for sales leaders.

Bernard founded ‘Criteria for Success,’ an organization that develops online sales playbooks and provides leadership and sales management training. Charles was a top performer in his division with General Electric and has run several businesses as well.

Caught in the middle

Charles believes that the number one issue facing sales managers today is the feeling of being caught in the middle between the CEO/Management and the sales team. Sales managers must bring in the numbers, on one hand, while acting as a micromanager on the other.  He compares it to having a target on his front side with another on his back.

Charles finds that pressure from above is unfiltered and passed directly down onto the sales teams, whether it’s justified or not. And, he says, the sales teams hate that.

If management feels that something is wrong or that people are not doing their jobs, for example, it is the responsibility of the sales manager to balance the push/pull of the situation. She must absorb the pressure in order to adapt the message – without losing the importance behind it – to empower the team.

Passing the pressure from management to the team does nothing to motivate or incentivize sales.

Many times, leaders fall into the trap of thinking they must have all the answers for how things should be done. An enlightened manager should be able to pull the boss and the team together.  He should encourage conversations that promote transparency and foster teamwork.

Charles prefers for his sales teams to hear directly from the bosses and he often facilitates meetings to allow for such interaction. It allows each side to learn the concerns of the other and to work as a team.

Pulled in different directions

Charles cites the challenge of staying focused as another common issue facing sales managers. Don’t engage in too many meetings or with multiple different initiatives. Lack of focus prevents the managers from spending time in the field and with their sales teams.

It was a struggle but Charles eventually learned how to say ‘No’ to those who people who weren’t impacting sales.

Charles recalls numerous instances where he was asked, for example, to intervene with an upset client. He had to put his foot down and direct those calls to others in the organization better equipped to handle such situations.

It is understandable that sales managers want to prove their worth to the company. But it is a mistake to do so by getting involved in matters that do not pertain to their job or to assist with sales if the team is underperforming. It only serves to further scatter the focus a sales manager needs to succeed.

The purpose of the sales manager is to be available to the team. It must be the priority.

Inability to set goals

Sales managers often don’t have the time to spend on the proper vetting of the forecasts. As a result, they are often unable to create realistic forecasts and to set goals.

The need for realistic forecasting is obvious. The problem arises when the decisions made on that forecast – where the growth is coming from, how much we will grow, what the profits will be, and how the funds will be reinvested – are very linear and rigid. There isn’t a lot of thought behind it.

Charles believes that people should not think about what they are going to sell in a year. People tend to miss things like backlog, which is probably going to give you the most wind behind your sails.

If forecasting in 2018 for 2019, for example, you must see all the deals that didn’t close, at the individual and team sales levels. You want to know what stage they are in because that backlog will give you a jump on each quarter.

What is your backlog going in? What is your backlog coming out?

If you begin with a strong backlog of unclosed business and put that into your forecast, you can then see where you are short and what you need to do each quarter. It is very important to have a notion of forecasting that includes backlog. Without it, you are already behind at the start.

Sales advice

  • Rank your sales team. Who are your A’s? Who are your B’s?
  • Rank your customers. Who are your partners and who are your advocates? Who buys on a whim, or transactionally?
  • Build a playbook. Take all the knowledge in the company and make it available for everyone to access.

“Solve The Most Common Sales Problems” episode resources

Charles can be reached via email at cbernard@criteriaforsuccess.com, or you can call him at 212-302-5518. Charles can also be found on LinkedIn.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in April.

If you’re not familiar with the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, it’s a program designed to help brand new sales reps, as well as those who have been selling forever. The 12-week module offers videos you can watch at your own pace, as well as the option to join a group discussion. It’s broken into three sections: finding, building value, and closing. It’s amazing and it’s fun!

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

The episode is also brought to you by prospect.io, a sales automation platform that allows you to send cold emails in a personalized manner. To find out more about how it can help you automate your sales process, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never be the same.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Steve Richard, Execvision.io, Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, 5 common mistakes

TSE 1003: 5 Common Mistakes Sales Managers Make When Coaching

Steve Richard, Execvision.io, Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, 5 common mistakes

In our work with sales reps, sales teams, and sales managers, we encounter many people who believe that sales coaching doesn’t work, but many of them fail to realize that there are 5 common mistakes sales managers make when coaching.

Steve Richard, founder of ExecVision, shares how to avoid those mistakes, and he suggests you start by recognizing that there’s a difference between coaching and training.

Coaching

Training is teaching someone to do something new that the person doesn’t know how to do. Coaching is helping someone do something that they do know to the point of mastery.

If we expect a rep to embrace a certain behavior, we have to train him. If we don’t, that failure is on us. Then, after we’ve trained him, we have to overcome the “forgetting curve” which is a function of our brain’s tendency to purge information.

Coaching is the act of training iteratively, focusing on the person, and repeating that behavior until it becomes second nature, like tying a shoe.

Consider whether your organization is struggling with any of these mistakes.

1. Failing to define what good looks like.

We must give our teams a definition of what a call should look like. Include the key things you want them to say, the behaviors you want them to exhibit, and give them a target.

Give your team members total clarity on what you want them to do. [06:11] Develop consistency among your team members so you can hit bigger numbers.

Also, build a team of people who will identify these steps. Include managers, senior executives, and representatives from operations, enablement, and sales. A varied team can ensure that these decisions aren’t being made by people who haven’t made calls in a while.

Check out the book Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance for clarification about metrics. Learn the difference between activity metrics that you can control — things like making phone calls and sending LinkedIn connection requests — and objectives like having conversations with people which you have less control over.

Aside from simply giving your team members goals, give them a roadmap to achieve them. [08:32] How many activities should they achieve in a week to achieve their goals?

Many organizations have salespeople who are “unconsciously competent,” which means they don’t know why they are successful. Though it’s not bad, it’s impossible to scale. You can’t pair a new employee with someone who is “unconsciously competent” and expect her to learn the right way to do things.

2. Neglecting to train because of time.

Most every sales leader intends to coach his team. [10:26]

Managers typically know they have to be more consistent as a team, and they know that the way to do that is through coaching. But they also universally say that time is the thing that prohibits them from doing it.

They have the greatest of intentions, but something always gets in the way.

3. Misunderstanding how to train correctly.

It’s shocking to think of the amount of money that is spent on sales rep training. Sales managers, however, typically receive very little training. Many of them have never been taught to coach the right way.

Think, for example, of a sales manager who observes a call and then immediately launches into constructive feedback. Basically, he tells you all the things you did wrong.

When the sales rep hears it, his system sends a hit of the stress hormone cortisol, which triggers the “fight or flight” response.

The sales rep either defends himself by digging in his heels or he puts up a wall and stops listening. In either case, it’s not good.

Instead, try the model that Jim Kennan recommends: observe, describe, prescribe. Leave the judgment on the shelf.

Listen to the call. Recount what the rep did during the call. Then ask a question that prompts the seller to figure out what he could have done differently to improve the call.

People value more what they can conclude for themselves than what they’re told. 

4. Lacking observable moments.

If sales reps can’t listen to recordings of their calls, they’ll have no way to improve their performance. [18:45] They will only have vague ideas of what they think they did during the call.

During the 80s, the Japanese beat us in the auto industry because they were continually improving their operational efficiency.

Adopt the continuous improvement mindset that served the Japanese so well.

5. Making training ad hoc.

Your organization’s training must be habitual. It must be part of the rhythm of the company.

Make your training such a part of the process that it becomes the gospel.

It can be as simple as listening to 5 minutes of a call with a rep and asking for reflections. It will do good things for your company.

Instead of feeling like sales managers have to do all the work, involve the sales reps in their own development. Run call-of-the-month competitions where reps submit their best call every month with written commentary.

Give people an environment in which it’s fun to learn and improve.

“5 Common Mistakes Sales Managers Make When Coaching” episode resources

Connect with Steve via email or call him on his cell phone at (202) 302-3193.

Check out ExecVision’s Call Camp that breaks down real sales calls like game tape to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. It’s a free webinar that shares practical advice with sales reps, managers, and leaders to improve their effectiveness.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out.

They are offering a 14-day free trial, and half off your subscription when you use the code Donald at checkout.

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. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating 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 with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Alice Heiman, Alice Heiman LLC., Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 943: How Business Owners Who Don’t Like Sales Can Improve Sales Performance

Business owners often have to lead their sales teams despite the fact that they don’t always understand exactly how to do it. Often times, they’re simply ignorant about what to do. It’s absolutely true, though, that business owners who don’t like sales can improve sales performance.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking with Alice Heiman about the challenges business owners face when selling their product or service and how business owners who don’t like sales can improve sales performance.

Alice leads the Alice Heiman, LLC team, which helps companies drive sales growth and bring about sustainable change that leads to growth.

Challenges for business owners

Not all business owners hate selling, but many of them do. The truth is that the person who leads the company is the sales leader.

We have to help them understand their role in sales.

Most people who start a company didn’t do it because they loved sales, and though the entrepreneurial enthusiasm is necessary to start a company, sometimes it leads us down the wrong path.

We assume we’ll just build a great company and people will automatically buy, but the vast majority of business owners have no sales experience. They don’t understand strategy or tactics.

Whether it’s an early stage or a more mature company, many business leaders are abdicating their role as sales leader. The most successful companies have leaders that are very involved in sales.

Even if you intend to hire a sales leader, unless you understand sales, it will be hard for you to hire the right person and then coach that person to lead well.

Team approach

If you’re pursuing a company that is a billion-dollar or a multi-billion-dollar company, you can’t send a lone salesperson to capture the entire company. You have to think of your team as a whole.

  • What role does the salesperson have?
  • What role does the sales leader have?
  • How will the subject matter experts support the effort?
  • What role will the IT people have?

In order to be successful, you have to get everyone positioned properly, which means that the business owner must take a role as well.

Begin by addressing the simple question of how you feel about sales in your company. In many cases, you’ll discover a lot of negative perceptions of sales.

Often the sales leader must address a negative mindset, and begin by talking about the future of the company and how sales will help the company achieve it.

Then you’ll determine where you are right now.

Are you still doing the selling yourself? Have you hired salespeople to help you with sales? Are you ready to hire a sales manager to manage your salespeople? Do you have a sales organization built?

Once we know what the sales organization should look like when it’s complete, your company can begin building toward that.

B2B sales

Sales has changed tremendously,  but most business owners haven’t seen it yet. They are stuck with the notion of selling as they were previously sold to.

In B2B complex sales, you are a smaller company selling to a much bigger company with a long sales cycle and lots of complexities.

You must know your market first. If we know of companies that we want to sell to, we have to get smart really fast. The other option is to make lots of phone calls trying to set up appointments, but you’ll likely burn your people out.

Instead, take the companies you want to do business with and divide them among your team. Give them teams within the same industry so they can learn the industry and its language and do basic research.

It’s important to learn the right things rather than just whether they are a viable prospect.

  • What initiatives are they pursuing this year?
  • What are they posting this year on social media?
  • Can you determine their priorities?

Then figure out how to marry the information you found with your product or service.

Realize, too, that the one lead you connect with may very well block you from other decision-makers. Because they’ve been tasked with this project, they want to look like the hero, so they block you from interacting with others.

Work to find 9 or 10 people who could be involved in the sale.

Get educated

Be a smart, savvy problem solver because you can’t solve problems if you don’t understand what your prospect’s problems are.

Information, especially about large companies, is all over the place. Read annual reports, press releases, the president’s message, and read about products your prospect is launching.

Then think about your customer’s customer. How does your prospect serve its customers? Who does your prospect sell to? How does your prospect help its customers meet their goals?

If I come prepared, and I know your products and services and your industry, you’ll choose to work with me.

If you’ll approach sales as solving problems, perhaps it won’t feel so icky anymore. As a sales leader, focus on your salespeople so they can focus on your customer. If you have happy people who know what to do, if they love their product, and if they are well-trained, they will serve your customers well.

“Improve Sales Performance” episode resources

You can connect with Alice on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, or you can email her or check out her website and her blog.

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. It 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 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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, Sales Success, Donald Kelly

TSE 902: Numbers Alone Can’t Coach

Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, Sales Success, Donald KellySales numbers won’t tell you much about your sales team. They might tell you who’s struggling and who isn’t, but they won’t tell you where the problems lie. Numbers alone aren’t sufficient to help you coach your sales team.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll discuss the role numbers play in coaching a sales team, and how sales managers can improve in their own roles while they help their sales reps improve in theirs.

Think of it like a golf game. If you don’t know how to improve your swing, you’re going to repeatedly be frustrated by the game. You’ll only improve when someone helps you improve your specific techniques.

Realize, too, that my scorecard might tell you what kind of golfer I am, but it won’t help you coach me on my golf swing. The same is true of sales.

Look beyond the numbers

As a sales manager, before you do anything else, you should sit down with your sales reps and work to identify strong and weak areas. Until you identify the problems, you won’t know what to correct.

In my own sales career, sales coaching helped me truly improve my sales techniques. If my coaches had only looked at my numbers, they wouldn’t have known whether the problem was my script or my phone calls or my emails.

He can see that I’m not closing enough deals, but he doesn’t know why.

Sales managers that dig deeper can determine whether I’m struggling when prospects bring up objections or during my demonstrations.

Help sales reps perform better

You may recall during our episode last week that we suggested that your sales team is your customer. You should invest in them and guide them because they’ll make your job easier.

Kevin Davis, author of The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness, shared that the Sales Management Association published a paper in 2015 that indicated that coaching accounts for less than 8 percent of sales managers’ workload.

Most of the time is spent responding to emails, reviewing numbers, focusing on customers or prospecting. You shouldn’t be locked up in meetings all day. You should be working to improve your sales reps.

Shoot to spend at least 25 percent of your time improving your sellers. Give them suggestions about improving their messaging and their dialogue.

Kevin also spoke about the book called Extreme Ownership, which talks about leadership within the Navy Seals. It discusses our tendency to think that we’re doing everything right, and any problems are the fault of someone else. We fail to see our own role in the problem.

Accept responsibility

Your job is to bring people into the organization. You have to find customers and solve problems for them.

While there will certainly be things outside of your control, like businesses that close, you must take control of your funnel.

It isn’t marketing’s fault that you don’t have leads, because you could be doing other things to generate leads. Make sure you’re doing the things that are in your control.

Look at the numbers to find out what they are doing wrong, but look beyond the numbers, too.

Be willing to accept responsibility for the things that are within your control. Don’t blame others and don’t wait for others to fix the problems.

“Numbers alone” episode resources

Today’s episode is brought to you by Maximizer CRM, a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, which teaches you how to utilize video to stand out from your competition. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Sales Coaching, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 897: 15 Great Sales Coaching Questions You Should Ask

Donald Kelly, Sales Coaching, The Best Sales Podcast, The Sales Evangelist

As a sales manager, your focus must rest largely on your sales reps rather than your customer. You must win your sales reps over in order to get them to perform at their peak. Do that asking great sales coaching questions and building strong relationships.

On today’s episode, we’ll discuss how to help your sales team perform to the best of its abilities. We’ll cover 15 great sales coaching questions you should ask.

Questions to ask

1. Which part of the sales process is most challenging?

If you’re setting a lot of appointments but not a lot of demos, something is falling short in your process. Maybe you aren’t building value. If I can sit down with a sales rep and discover where the issues are, you’ll help your sales rep perform better.

2. What inspires you?

A leader knows what inspires his team. If you aren’t sure, ask.

3. What are the specifics of this particular deal?

Seek the specifics of every deal. Find out the challenges and the criteria in order to find out how great the deal really is. If you train your sales team to seek specifics, they’ll learn early to ask the important questions.

4. What have you tried so far?

When a sales rep comes to you with a challenge, don’t get into the habit of solving their problems for them. Don’t give him the answers. Help him solve the problem himself and teach him to be a problem solver.

5. Why do you think that didn’t work? 

Teach your sales reps how to evaluate a problem and determine why the solution didn’t work. Don’t let them just walk away from a failed attempt. Determine what went wrong.

6. What led to that assumption?

If your seller is assuming he lost a deal because the buyer didn’t have money, find out what led to that assumption. Teach them to go deeper.

7. Why do you think that happened?

8. What could you have done differently?

Give your sales rep a chance to do a post-game review, and give her an opportunity to be a leader who analyzes the process to figure out what went wrong. Help them take ownership so they’ll find a better option next time around.

8. Why?

If your seller tells you that a prospect is ready to buy, ask him why he believes that. If he tells you what he believes the customer’s issue is, ask why he believes that. Teach your team the 5 Whys to get to the heart of every issue.

9. What do you need to do to achieve this?

10. What are you willing to commit to?

During a one-on-one meeting, when a rep tells you her goals, ask for the long-term strategy that will get her there. Help her realize that she may have to come in early or work late to accomplish the goal. She may have to be creative.

11. When should we reconnect to see if you accomplished this?

Just as we follow up with our customers, we must follow up with our sales reps to make sure they are on track. If we check in regularly, we can keep them from straying from their mission.

12. What will keep you from your goal?

Help your sales reps anticipate the obstacles they might encounter. Especially when they report crazy numbers they are trying to achieve, help them be realistic by guiding them to predict struggles they might encounter.

13. Which metrics or KPIs are you working on?

When you know what your sales reps are working on, you can identify the places they excel. If one rep excels in prospecting and another excels in demos, put them together so they can help each other in the weaker areas.

14. What did you learn from the deal you lost?

We all fail sometimes. It doesn’t mean we’re a failure. It simply means we have some learning to do in one particular area. When we honestly address the core challenges, we can truly learn from our mistakes moving forward.

15. What successes did you have this week?

We need to celebrate wins with our team, but it seems that not enough sales managers do this. They need to know that we value their wins and that we care about their careers and their progress. They need to get wins and then celebrate them.

When you can teach your team to take ownership of the sales process, they’ll have more buy-in and they’ll be more committed to success.

When the team knows that you’re invested in their success, they’ll feel valued, and it will create the same bond that it does with a traditional customer.

Keep an open mind and an open door with your sales reps so they’ll feel comfortable coming to you.

“Sales Coaching Questions” episode resources

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is our online group coaching program designed to help sellers who have been selling for years as well as those who are new to sales.

Last semester, we focused on building value, and we’re beginning a new semester in the fall. To find out more or to apply, visit the Hustler’s League.

If you’d like to learn more about video and how to include it in your sales process, check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe so you won’t miss a single episode.

Leave us a comment about the questions you use when coaching your own sales team.

The book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley provides a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect and want from sellers. I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can learn how to sell by leading rather than supplicating yourself to the buyer.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Michael Simmons, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 884 : Sales From The Street-“Your Own Avatar”

The Sales Evangelist, Sales From The Street, Mike SimmonsWhen Mike Simmons made the move from individual contributor to leader, he tried to implement his own approach to the sales process. He eventually realized that his scripts and his processes wouldn’t work for everyone on the team. He discovered that each person needs a unique set of guiding principles.

On today’s episode of Sales From The Street, Mike shares the importance of guiding principles in the sales process, and how you can establish your own set of guiding principles.

Don’t duplicate.

Very often in sales, people copy the things they see working for other people. In my own case, I assumed that I should copy the people around me because they were finding success.

Taken to an extreme, Mike recalls seeing the same email used by multiple people, complete with the same typos as the original.

It took time for me to realize that I needed my own unique seller persona in order to connect with my customers, which is just as valuable as a buyer persona.

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t learn from each other; of course we should collaborate and combine our efforts.

Instead of simply copying others’ work, adapt their work in a way that is unique to you.

Don’t trust your preconceived notions.

Mike shared a story about his experience selling fitness equipment on a day when a customer entered the store in raggedy sweatpants.

He joked with his coworker about whether the guy would actually buy anything.

His coworker later said he almost didn’t get the sale because the customer heard Mike’s sarcastic comment and was put off by it. Mike learned on that day not to judge a book by its cover.

In fact, because he does his best work in board shorts and flip flops, he has learned not to let preconceived ideas limit his success.

Recognize patterns.

Mike became aware of guiding principles when he discovered Ray Dalio’s book Principles: Life and Work.

Our own patterns and tendencies evolve over time, and they are specific to our personality and outlook.

If, for example, you don’t really care much about relationships, it’s hard to be a solution-oriented sales rep who is focused on relationships.

“Mike Simmons” episode resources

Connect with Mike to learn more about Catalyst Sale. Launched to help sales leaders connect the right people at the right time, Catalyst Sale seeks to help sales executives engage all their available tools to cut through the noise  of a crowded sales arena.

Find Mike on Twitter, where he points out that he doesn’t schedule Tweets; when you see him Tweet, he’s doing it live and in-person. You can also find him on LinkedIn, and as well as on the Catalyst Sale Podcast.

When you reach out, mention The Sales Evangelist Podcast so he’ll know the context of the connection.

He also invites you to call him at (480) 772-7448. Before you call, though, text him to let him know you heard him on the podcast and he’ll return your call.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy.

Grab your free excerpt of the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint for all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.

They’ve also created a SlideShare free for you to use or download.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

Dan Cook, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 869: Sales From The Street:”Scaling My Sales Team”

Dan Cook, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

When it’s time to scale your team, there are dozens of things that can go wrong. How do you make sure you hire the right team members? What if they don’t work out? How can I make sure the people I bring are really good.

On today’s episode of Sales From The Street, we’ll discuss how to scale your team and make sure you can function and perform effectively. Dan Cook of Lucid Software shares how he created a sales team where there wasn’t one previously, and how he overcame the challenges that emerged.

Lucid Software grew from 35 employees in 2014 to almost 400 employees today. At the start of his endeavor, Dan was the only sales rep, and now the team includes almost 100 reps.

Figure out the sales process.

Before Dan could begin to grow the sales program, he had to figure out what it would look like first. He played the role of sales rep, figured out how to build a pipeline, discovered how to close deals, and documented every step of the process.

He got the green light to grow the team, and then he began the process of determining whether his success was repeatable. Could the four reps he hired repeat the same kind of success he had as a sales rep.

When things weren’t working, Dan was left wondering if the problem was the people he had hired or the system he had put in place. He had to figure out how to help them perform better.

Then, as the sales team grew to include more reps and more managers, the challenges of scaling grew in importance and sophistication.

Troubleshoot your system.

In the early stages, Dan’s priority was troubleshooting: finding places in the process that didn’t work and determine what the problem was.

Along the way, he discovered that every person is different. Each has a different level of experience and each “grew up” in a different setting.

As a result, each has a comparative advantage in certain areas.

Dan discovered his advantage was in the process and strategy side of building a sales program. He discovered that he did not have an advantage in software sales and tactically managing the different components of the sales process. So in things like prospecting, pipeline creation, negotiation, and closing, he wasn’t the strongest guy.

He quickly learned the need for self-awareness, and the ability to identify people whose strengths can complement or supplement your own. He recruited people who had experience managing sales teams who could supplement the places he wasn’t strong.

Establish the right culture.

You must recognize that you don’t have all the answers, and that your ego can get in the way of helping the team.

Dan stresses the importance of creating a culture that allows people to ask questions. He seeks a balance between inspiring confidence in his leadership while still acknowledging that he doesn’t know everything.

Dan allows his employees to ask dumb questions, and he has worked to get rid of the competitiveness that prevents people from asking questions. He strives to help his managers be humble instead of defensive.

If you set the right sales culture and build the right sales team, your results will follow.

Be reflective and ask good questions about what you’re good at and where you know you need help when you scale your team. Be willing to hire people who complement you. When you do, you’ll create a culture that leads to positive outcomes.

“Scale Your Team” episode resources

You can connect with Dan on Linked In, or email him at Dan@lucidchart.com.

Lucid Chart is a diagramming application that launched in June. Lucid Chart allows users to build account maps to better understand who they’re selling to. It streamlines collaboration between teams within a company.

On this 4th of July, declare your independence from mediocre selling. The buyer-based ideology presented in Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley will help your prospects see you as a leader. When they do, people will purchase from you instead of your competition.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. Video Jungle offers top-notch, state-of-the-art advice about video, which is a great way to offer relevant content on LinkedIn.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content. Share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

SaveSave

Sales Metrics, Sales Performance, SEO,

TSE BLOG 018: 5 Sales Performance Metrics You’re Probably Not Following

Sales Metrics, Sales Performance, SEO,“Every entrepreneur and business owners have one most common burning question running through their head, “How can I improve my sales?”

“What’s your sales metrics (the average revenue per sale)?” I respond back to them.

Unfortunately, almost all entrepreneurs and business owners stare at me clueless, unable to answer my simple question, which is perhaps one of the most common reasons why their sales never increase.

You see, knowing your sales metrics is super essential to sales growth because once you know it, you can dramatically (or methodically) skyrocket your sales and your competitors will get left behind in the dust.

 

Here are five sales performance metric you must follow:

  1. Website Traffic

The number one metric that every website owners obsess about is website traffic – a total number of unique visits to your website.

Surely, website traffic is supercritical for a successful online business, and you can monitor this metric quickly by using Google Analytics.

Your website traffic is a good indication to know whether your website is growing, stagnating, or declining. You can also measure this sales performance metric to see the efficiency of specific promotional methods. Let’s say, for example, your website experiences a sudden traffic spike after posting a guest post on a popular blog, which should indicate to you that you should be doing more of the same in the future.

On the other hand, if your website’s traffic is in decline for a very long time, this tells you that you should change your approach and try new things because whatever you’re currently doing is not working. If you don’t do it fast, your website will fail.

  1. Your Website Traffic Sources

In addition to knowing your website traffic numbers, you should also know where all those traffic are coming. Again, you can do this quickly by using Google Analytics (it’s free).

This free SEO tool breaks down your traffic sources into four different categories: organic traffic (traffic that comes through the search engines), direct traffic (traffic that types your domain into the browser), referral traffic (traffic coming from another website), and social traffic (traffic generated through social media).

Why should I care about all these traffic sources?

The answer is simple: each traffic source will tell you more information about your website.

For example, if 70% of your website’s total traffic is organic traffic, that tells you how well your site ranks in the search engine, which in turn will show you how effective your SEO strategy is. With over 40,000 searches per second on Google alone, today search engines have become one of the most important sources of traffic.

Referral traffic gives you an idea of a total number of visitors who come through other websites – perhaps you published a guest post, or a site linked back to content on your website.

If a lot of websites are linking to your site, your business can benefit in two ways: First, your website rankings will dramatically improve, and you’ll be less dependent on the search engines to drive traffic. Second, plenty of links referring your site means that you’re doing an excellent job and shows how valuable your content is.

Direct traffic is the total number of visitors who type your website URL into their browser – for instance, http://www.yourwebsiteurl.com. A good amount of direct traffic indicates a loyal following.

Lastly, social traffic indicates a total number of visitors that come from the social media sites. The more valuable, relevant, and shareable your content is, the more engaging it becomes on social media, and thus, more traffic you will get to your website.

Which traffic source is best for me?

Well, the answer isn’t simple. It all depends on the website type you’re running. However, one thing is for sure: it’s always beneficial if your traffic came from different sources as it will help minimize the risk of your website being slaughtered if your primary site traffic source shrink.

  1. Your Website Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is another critical sales metric, which has a significant impact on SEO. It tells you how many people leave your website immediately after arriving. So the lower your bounce rate, the longer your visitors are staying on your site (enjoying your content) and converting.

On the other hand, a high bounce rate indicates to you that your visitors are leaving, immediately after they arrive.

But, this sales performance metrics don’t tell you why they are leaving. You’ll have to do the spy work yourself by digging a little bit deeper. However, usually, a high bounce rate include poor website design, slow load times, poorly targeted keywords, and broken websites.

With these things in mind, you can easily and quickly improve your website’s bounce rate by making your site look professional, function properly, and publishing valuable content regularly.

  1. Your Best Performing Pages

Google Analytics also has a Behavior section that allows you to quickly see your top performing pages in regards to traffic volume.

Knowing which pages get the most traffic on your website is highly decisive as it helps you understand what your audience honestly respond to. If you publish different types of content on your site, this is when you can start to analyze what content type is working, and post more of those materials in the future.

However, traffic numbers aren’t the only way you can discover your “top performing” pages.

You can also look at the total number of social shares for a page, which is an indication of a high-quality article. Google Analytics doesn’t have this tool. However, there are plenty of other tools and WordPress plugins that displays this information, such as Social Metrics Pro.

Once you know which content is popular with your audience, the next step becomes even more straightforward: publish more of it!

  1. Your Website Conversion Ratio

The conversion ratio is another top critical sales performance metric, or perhaps the most vital sales performance parameter of all because it can have a massive impact on your website’s profitability – if you can only improve your conversion rate from 2% to 4%, you can double your profits, almost overnight!

Conversion rate indicates how well you motivate a traffic to take the desired ACTION.

Here’s how to calculate your conversion rate:

Conversion rate  = total visitors to your site/number of conversions

A website may have different conversion “goals.” For instance, if you’re running an eCommerce store, then you might have these three conversion goals:

  • Make a sale (number one priority!)
  • Ask a visitor to sign up for your email list
  • Ask a visitor to share your content on social sites (optional, but still highly valuable)

Understand this: if your website has high conversion rate, then whatever you’re doing is excellent. On the other hand, if it has a low conversion rate, either you are probably driving the wrong traffic, or your sales copy is weak, or your call to action isn’t powerful enough to drive conversions.

Because conversion rates can have a powerful effect on profits, you should spend your time and effort on optimizing your website for conversions, regularly. Even small changes can deliver a dramatic spike in your sales.

 

Author bio:

Annabelle Short is a writer in contentblossom and a seamstress of more than 5 years. Annabelle is a mother and she loves making crafts with her two children, Leo (age 9) and Michelle (age 11). When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits.

Coaching, Sales Coaching, Sales Manager, Alan Allard, Donald Kelly

TSE 741: How to Coach Top Performers

Alan Allard, Sales Coaching

We all know it, 80% of the business is coming in from 20% of the sales teams. But sometimes, we don’t necessarily focus on those top performers. What would that do for an organization if they could get their top performers to sell 5% more? Learn how you can coach top sellers to perform even better!

Today’s guest is Allan Allard and he helps top-performing sellers continue to sharpen their skills. Allan used to be a psychotherapist. But he soon found out that most of patients he had who were all dealing with depression and stress were actually salespeople.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Allan:

What is a top performing seller?

According to Allan, he defines a top performer as someone who is excelling in their industry in their company.

Factors why salespeople are not able to perform at the top of their game:

Wrong industry

  • Ask yourself, are you the right person in the right industry and selling the right product or service?
  • Sometimes, salespeople are in the wrong industry and performing on the average, but when put in a different industry, they begin to excel.

Mindset

  • Mindset is the general attitude and your approach to life and this is the key to being a top performer. It’s how we feel about ourselves.
  • If you are confident and know you can accomplish any goals, you are ahead of the game.
  • Changing your mindset will take you to the next level.

Feeling one-level down than your clients

  • You’re not coming from a “one down” position but from an equal position where you have tremendous expertise and power.
  • Realize that you have something your customers don’t have. So sit down and be comfortable with yourself. Top sellers have enough confidence and security because they feel equal to their prospects.

Doing what you’re told and failure to ask tough questions

  • People are scared to rock the boat and they want to please people. This is a common challenge for many people to get rid of this deep-seated belief and subconscious mind of “I”m not good enough.” or “I’m not talented enough.”
  • For that inner roar to come out you have to feel that you have the right to roar and there’s an appropriate place and time to do that.

The Biggest Challenge Top Sellers are Facing:

  • Top sellers don’t have anyone challenging them. Every one is in awe of them because they’re spectacular.
  • Many managers are so confident the sellers are going to bring in the numbers anyway so they leave them alone to do their thing.
  • But they’re not challenged to get to the next level. Nobody is giving them any feedback. They need to be challenged. High performers have unique needs.

Why focus on high performers?

That’s where you get the fastest results. They already know how to sell and they’re already motivated.

Things top performers need coaching on:

1. Exploring your shadow self.

Top performers are usually very hard on themselves. So they need to learn how to accept themselves and embrace themselves on deeper levels. 

Help them acknowledge and explore their “shadow” self – that part of ourselves where we want to hide from everyone, including ourselves.

2.Thinking more holistically about your success or 360-degree success.

High performers are often really good at what they do because they’re neglecting other areas in their life. Over time, they’ll end up in a not so good place and deeply regretful.

Allan’s Major Takeaway:

High performers have far more potential that’s untapped. As a sales manager, you need to have a bigger vision for that person. See more than they see in themselves and be able to bring that out. As a top performer, just think of your accomplishments like you’re just scratching the surface.

Episode Resources:

www.allanallard.com

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Selling Success, Jeff Bajorek, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 738: Rethinking The Way You Sell

Selling Success, Jeff Bajorek, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastToo often as sales professionals, we have the same old mindset that doesn’t give us the result we want. How about changing that? How about rethinking the way you sell?

Today’s guest, Jeff Bajorek, challenges sellers to rethink the way they sell. He is a consultant, speaker, sales advisor, and a podcaster.

He has been selling for several years and has learned that by rethinking the way you sell you will become successful.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeff:

Is Social Selling the New Cold Calling?

Focus on what allows you to bring value to your audience and personalize that. Think about those things that got you to the table in the first place rather than focusing on the likes you get.

Salesperson-centric versus customer-centric

  • Have empathy for who’s receiving that message otherwise it’s nearly impossible to convert anybody.
  • Most salespeople just see names as numbers and how many people they can reach. They want to make their quota but don’t realize that at the end of the day those prospects are humans. Being honest is the way to go.

The Power of Connection

  • Instead of focusing on hitting your numbers, think about calling, say, 50 people, and connect with 20 with them and make four sales.
  • Just put yourself in those 50 shoes and try to tailor your pitch or proposition in a way that it’s going to resonate with them so they will respond to it.
  • The reason you only get a 10% response rate is because it’s a garbage proposition in the first place.

Strategies for Scaling to Get Better Results

1.Put yourself in the place of the rep.

Think about how you felt when you were in that role and you didn’t know about anything.

2.Take notes and review.

Take extra time after each call and if you were in the position of the prospect, would that proposition have resonated with you?

Take notes of what worked and what didn’t and review those stuff. What do you need to change? What needs to stay the same?

3.Pay attention to things.

Be aware of yourself and don’t think about the next five dials while you’re on a call. Be there for the person you’ve got on the phone at that time. Really engage with them.

4.Motivate people.

When you’re a manager, your salespeople are your customers. But managers stop thinking about that all the time. As a result, the sales professionals lose sight of what they’re trying to do as well.

5.Instead of worrying about scaling at an alarming rate, just make it work.

Figure out what works. Make it work repeatedly. And then build it own as tolerably as you can. Don’t lose sight of what you’re doing.

Developing Underlying Trust

If you do it right, your best customers do the prospecting for you.

You’re in this business to connect with people. You’re there to help.

Jeff’s Major Takeaway:

Everything is coming at you a million miles a minute. There’s more room than you can possibly imagine. So stop, take a deep breath, and think twice about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Effectiveness increases your efficiency.

Episode Resources:

Check out Jeff’s podcast The Why and the BuyThey’re soon starting a book club where they pick a book every month and they’re going to do a live podcast recording where everyone can join the conversation.

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

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Number Games, Prospecting

TSE 602: Is Sales A Numbers Game?

Number Games, ProspectingDo you think sales is purely a numbers game? You’ve probably heard of sales teams or have been part of a sales team where they relate sales purely to the activities you do. But does the x number of activities automatically equate with sales?

Personally, I disagree that it’s purely just a numbers game. I think it’s a hybrid. If you have individuals going out there and just doing whatever they want regardless of what they do as long as they’re doing activities, you’re just going to get vanity numbers and results that don’t match up.

Work Smarter, Not Necessarily Harder

The biggest issue that I find with this concept of having salespeople doing activities and they’ll get results is that if you don’t have the focus on the right target, you’re not going to see results.

Know who you’re selling to. Know who you’re going after. You can’t just go out and get as many business cards as you can thinking you can put all those contacts into your email marketing system, send them emails, and they’re going to buy from you. Fatal mistake!

Take Your Shot on the Goal

As long as you take shots on goals and the more you take shots on goals, the more chances you have of scoring. In that situation, the number is a numbers game and you have to do stuff. But do stuff that’s going to produce results. You can’t just send people out and expect them to come back and bring in money when they’re not going after the right people.

What You Can Do as a Manager

Figure out even how to coach your sellers at least once a month, otherwise get someone else to come in and coach your sales team. There are lots of sales coaches out there. Maybe there’s someone in your team that can coach. Train them and get them to coach and help other sellers to get to the top performing level.

Effects of Not Properly Coaching Your Sales Team

  • Fast employee turnover
  • Faster burnout
  • They will feel less motivated.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

So is sales just a numbers game? Yes, but only if your sales teams know who to go after, if they know what to say, and if they have a proven process to generate results. Stay busy. Get out there. Pick up the phone. Talk to people. Utilize your network. Focus on the things that matter the most and that are the most effective to your business.

We’d love for you to join the TSE Hustler’s League. This is a 12-week semester where each semester, we focus on a theme and each week, we focus on a concept relative to that theme. This semester is focused on how to help you become more buyer-centric and increase your win rate of opportunities.

Episode Resources:

Join 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.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

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.

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DONALD KELLY, SDR, THE SALES EVANGELIST PODCAST

TSE 542: How Can I Become A GREAT Sales Development Rep (SDR)?

DONALD KELLY, SDR, THE SALES EVANGELIST PODCASTToday, I’m going to share with you FIVE things to help you become a better sales development rep (SDR) or help you work better with your SDR.

First off, let’s briefly define the role of Sales Development Rep. SDRs are also referred to as your inside sales team. They help to qualify or bring in some opportunities and get some introduction meetings.

  1. Understand the rules.

Make sure you know what rules the game is governed by. Some SDRs in certain companies may have two objectives.

(1) Creating opportunities – This means creating opportunities for the Account Executive by qualifying individuals. It requires a bit more digging and to prep them to make sure it’s ready for the account executive to take over the role.

(2) Setting appointments – This means listing information, finding people, and setting the appointment.

Check out the book, The Sales Development Playbook where they teach you how they extensively define these roles. Clearly define what your role entails to make sure you’re doing your job right.

  1. Plan effectively.

Use your time wisely. Some sellers just dial for dollars but to be more effective, schedule the times when you can prospect most effectively. Personally, the best time for me to make phone calls would be mornings at 8-10 am or lunch time 12-1 pm or in the afternoon at 4-5 pm. Then in-between those times can be allocated for sending emails.

Be on top of your planner. Don’t be governed by your role. You govern your role as a seller.

  1. Shadow some great SDRs.

Shadow those who are really doing well in the company. You get to learn strategies, tactics, and terminologies that you don’t know or have never heard of before. Be open to learning but don’t be telling. Be a sponge who’s willing to learn. Take insights while checking your ego at the door.

  1. Don’t fear a “no.”

Don’t worry about prospects saying no. They probably just don’t want to be bothered at this point. Put rejections aside. Move on and go to the next one. If someone isn’t ready yet, set them up for the next round. The more no’s, the more opportunities are going to be there for you to get yes’s. No’s are also helpful for you to disqualify people.

  1. Seek to disqualify.

As an SDR, your job is to get numbers on the board. However, we can get so greedy and hungry that we want to put something up so desperately that we let everybody go through. So make sure you’re able to disqualify people. When you seek to disqualify, the better you’re going to be able to qualify people.

Lastly, make time to sit with the Account Executives you’re setting appointments for at least once a week to find out what things they’re working on and what industries you need to focus on. It’s all about working together so both of you are aligned to achieve success.

Episode Resources:

The Sales Development Playbook: Build Repeatable Pipleline and Accelerate Growth with Inside Sales by Trish Bertuzzi

Join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers

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.

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Slip Miller, Donald Kelly, M3 Learning, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 539: Sales From The Street: “This Is How You Discover!”

Slip Miller, Donald Kelly, M3 Learning, The Sales EvangelistBuilding value is one of the most essential tasks we have as sellers. In order to do that, you have to make sure the discovery part of your sales meeting is done perfectly. Today’s guest is William “Skip” Miller and he shares with us great tips and strategies you can use during the discovery phase of prospecting.

Skip is the CEO of M3 Learning, a proactive sales management and sales training company that helps companies make their salespeople and sales managers better, qualify and disqualify better, and listen to customers better early on in the sales process.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Skip:

Lesson from Skip’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer:

During discovery phase, stop talking about what you’re selling and focus on the buyer.

What is Discovery in Sales?

Discovery is active listening. It is really understanding, from a mutual standpoint, what is it that the customer wants and here is what you have to offer and how that is going to fit the organization. And finally, realize if there’s a reason for both parties to continue the process.

The buyer/seller process is a mutual process. We talk about what the customers look for and what we do. Then if we agree, let’s take it to the next step.

Why is Discovery Important?

During discovery phase, you’re trying to find how much energy is really behind it. Sales is like a roller coaster. Be able to build up enough energy early in the part of the deal. Find the motivation why they’re calling or taking our calls or answering our emails. If there is a high degree of energy, the deal is going to come to a yes or no.

The “Cause ” Strategy

“Cause” is a nasty word to ask because when you use this word, you will find out somebody’s motivation. So start modifying that word in your early sales pitch and you will find out how much energy this deal has got.

Steps:

  1. Incorporate the word “cause” to your questions.

Examples:

  • What has happened in the last few months that caused you to say now’s the time?
  • As you look in the next couple of months, what’s causing you to say you’ve got to change…?
  1. Shut up and listen because buyers want to be heard.

The Biggest Mistakes During Discovery Phase

  1. Failure to ask good questions to get the buyer to start talking
  2. Failure to ask “cause”
  3. Putting some non-qualified deals in your funnel

Most of Skip’s clients have 80-90% forecast accuracy in Stages 4 and 5 because they’ve done good stuff in Stage 2.

The Quantified Cause

Get QC or Quantified Cause because most senior level executives talk numbers all day long. Find the QC and you get a great discovery call because you’ve understood what’s behind the buyer and by how much. Get numbers early in the sales process otherwise you’d be excited doing presentations and then all of a sudden what’s “super” in Stage 2 just turns “okay” in Stage 4.

Quantifying makes the buyer think and it gives you an idea of how much energy there is for this.

Get QC by ranging it.

Example:

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being great and 1 being near “we’re closing the doors”), how would you rank it now…

Questions During the Discovery Meeting:

Stage 2 has two value flags which you need to capture:

  1. Below the line

This is where you ask the feeds and speeds because if they want A and B and you sell D and C then there’s no use of you talking. Ask the feeds and speeds to make sure there’s a competitive fit.

  • Why did you call us?
  • What are you looking for?
  • Did you want the latest model or the older model?
  1. Above the line

This is where you find out energy and cause. Ask cause.

 

  • You’re telling me you’re losing 20% of your revenue for the next six months, you can see this could potentially make a dent in it…

Skip’s Major Takeaway:

Discovery is about asking, not telling. It’s about showing and giving. Ask great questions. Prepare your questions upfront. Know your audience. Prepare below and above the line questions otherwise you’re going to start telling and talking and showing and that’s not discovery. Ask and really care about this profession in sales. Listen. Really care and ask.

Episode Resources:

Know more about Skip on www.SellingAdvantage.net/tse and check out their special offer.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

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.

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Scott Love, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 533: Become the Sales Leader People Want to Follow

The Sales Evangelist PodcastAs a sales leader, one of the most important tasks is to be the leader that people want to follow. We often find sales reps leaving the organization, not because they weren’t making money or the product is bad, but just because of the relationship side. How do you become that sales leader everybody loves?

Today’s guest is Scott Love and he shares great insights and more about his book, Why They Follow: How to Lead with Positive Influence, specifically on how you as a seller, sales leader, or entrepreneur can create an atmosphere where the people we lead are willing to follow us.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Scott:

About his book, Why They Follow:

Find out what motivates people to follow and lead based on that. His book will show you how you can lead that gets people to choose to follow and do it in a positive way (not because of fear).

The concept of response ratio that people choose what response to give shows that employees give a 1 based on authority and a 10 (they respond with their heart and soul) because of a manager’s leadership skills.

People choose to respond based on how they respond someone to be.

Strategies on how to become the leader people want to follow:

  1. Trust is a key factor.

Get people to trust you. People make decisions so you have to lead them in a way that gets them to choose to respond. Build trust with your team by going within. Leadership is intensely personal. People make decisions on a personal and emotional level.

  1. Identify your core values.

If you had all the money and time in the world, what truly motivates you? Those are your core values and take time to identify those. Write them down and this serves as your guide or compass to measure all your decisions.

  1. Write down your life purpose.

This has nothing to do with business or sales. Take the time to identify and clarify your mission as to why you are on this planet and you become more confident and more decisive. You will know which direction you’re going in.

  1. Be a great follower to be a great leader.

Become “followable” first and everything else will fall into its place. Say that you won’t do anything unless it provides value to other people first. Go back to your core values and your life purpose.

  1. Find out what motivates your team.

Get to know your team and find out what motivates them since everybody is motivated by something different. While some are motivated by money, others are motivated by recognition. Look for ways to motivate your team for different reasons.

At the end of the day, people want significance and control. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is on top of the pyramid. It’s more than the money. It’s about the meaning.

  1. Practice what you preach.

If your actions don’t adhere to your values, then your team will see that disconnect and they won’t feel safe. They won’t trust you anymore. Are you living in the values you are espousing within the company?

  1. Give your team members the attention they need.

Don’t looking at your iPhones as employees are talking to you. Every time you have a screen on your hand, you’re not giving the attention they need.

  1. Give your members public recognition.

Show them why their work matters. There is a pattern that if we can show there is positive leadership between the employee and the boss, that’s enough for them to turn down opportunities. Salespeople want to have a contribution into this world.

Scott’s Major Takeaway:

Invest one hour a day in personal development. Listen to this podcast. Read books. This is going to build up over time. If you read and listen to people who have been down the road, you’re going to become the kind of person that people will feel safe with and be the person people will follow.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Scott Love on www.scottlove.com.

Why They Follow: How to Lead with Positive Influence by Scott Love

Check us out on our Facebook community, The Sales Evangelizers

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.

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Hiring Salespeople, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 527: What to Know Before Hiring Your First Sales Rep


Hiring Salespeople, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast Whether to hire an experienced seller or an inexperienced individual, that is a common question among many entrepreneurs who want to grow their business but don’t know who to hire the right people.

I’m sharing strategies which have worked for me and I hope this could help you whether you’re finding your first sales job or trying to hire your first seller.

Strategies for hiring your first sales rep:

  1. Start off with an SDR (Sales Development Representative) doing inside sales.

You can hire an SDR if you’re a small company and trying to hire your first sales rep so they can gain a good understanding about the business.

  • More knowledge and experience: This gives you a chance to learn a little bit more about the company because you’re mingling with different departments inside the organization.
  • Wearing multiple hats: Now if you’re in a small company, you may have to wear multiple hats. An entrepreneur would love to have some help with things like lead generation, lead development, or appointment setting.
  1. Find someone to come on board and work just for full commission.

The problem with this is that without any proven process for any sales rep to follow, they’re just going to be winging it. And this could result to a higher turnover.

  • Proven process: Have a proven process in place beforehand so once they come on board, they’re able to apply these and see results.
  • Proper training: The key is to train the rep on the proper procedures and the proper ways they can close deals so they see immediate results considering you have a shorter sales process.

If you’re trying to find a senior seller, and they’re earning based solely on commission and you don’t have a process in place, this may not just work.

  1. Develop them from being inside sellers to become a closers.

Start off with hiring an SDR that’s inside. Then you can develop them and have them go in the outside. Fine tune the process. Then hire the next SDR to come in and then that person will be the outside rep or the “closer.” Then repeat the process.

You can grow your company like this pretty quickly. Again, if they’re doing this just for full commission, you have to make sure they make money enough that they can survive. Or you can just give them a declining base + commission that’s gradually leading up to a full commission.

Some great questions to ask when hiring people:

  • What was the last book you read? (This gives you an idea if they’re willing to develop themselves.)
  • Why must you be successful in this position? (This tells you what their motivations are.)
  • What do you enjoy most about selling and the least about selling?
  • Why do you do sales?
  • Why do want this job?
  • How many books have you read in the last year?
  • Tell me why you believe in this product you’re going to be selling.
  • Tell me about your last sales/last close.
  • What is your why?

Check out our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers, to search for more questions you can use to ask during the interview process.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Hiring the right individual is important but have a process in place beforehand.

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.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes and I would love to read them here on the podcast.

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.

Say goodbye to long, boring proposals and check out PandaDoc. Create electronic proposals to your prospects. Sign and receive payments without leaving your CRM. It integrates well with other CRMs such as Salesforce. Pipedrive, and HubSpot. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to www.thesalesevangelist.com/panda

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


What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

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Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 477: Managers Need to Authorize Messing Up

Sales Manager, Sales Coaching, Sales Leaders, The Sales Evangelist As salespeople, one of our biggest challenges is a mindset that holds us back because of fear. Today, I’m sharing something to help sales managers take the fear away from their sales team so they keep on hustling. It’s all about taking on that mindset that you’re going to do whatever what it takes no matter what.

Know your why.

What motivates you? What is something that pushes you? Whether it’s to buy a home for you and your family or start a family or be a top performer in your industry, this is your year to start it right.

Be consistent and persistent.

Don’t just start like everyone else and then just quit after the first couple of weeks. Consistency and persistence are key factors in accomplishing goals. Do the hustle and do those big things.

Fear is NOT Real.

Fear is something so limiting and the truth is that it’s not even real. It’s not a physical thing. It hasn’t happened yet but because of our limiting belief, it pulls us back from taking action.

Ways to Overcome Fear:

  • Stop putting pressure upon sales reps to do what is right, do their best to perform, and bring in revenue; otherwise, they would be afraid of doing what is wrong.
  • Take fear away from them. We learn the most when we make mistakes and mess up. Without giving them the opportunity to make mistakes, they’re going to be always afraid.
  • Through failures, we’re able to fix those things and find solutions for them. Scientists even recognize that they’re still going to mess up because it allows them to go forward.

Your call-to-action:

Give them an incubator, which is a place where they can mess up and grow and learn from them.

Tell your new reps that you don’t expect them to get everything right, that it’s okay to mess up but you don’t want them to make the same mistake twice.

Episode Resources:

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.

 

Steve Cook, Donald Kelly, Sales Manager, Sales Team Improvement

TSE 418: Learn How We Blew Our Sales Revenue Out of the Roof By Doing a Few Little Changes

Steve Cook, Donald Kelly, Sales Manager, Sales Team Improvement Today’s episode is primarily about how you can disrupt the selling game by creating a model that is different than what other people are doing. That’s why I’m bringing in Steve Cook on the show today to talk about how his newfound approach to door-to-door selling has blown their sales revenue out of the roof, so to speak.

Steve is the Director of Sales Training for a solar company in New York. What started out as a door-to-door summer sales job has now turned into almost a four-year career. Being the third employee of the company, their organization has now grown heavily, consisting of over 350 employees as of to date. This means growing their revenue from $1M to now over $250M in just a period of 2-3 years. Wow!

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Steve:

Sales strategies to help increase your sales:

  1. Build a relationship up front.

Build relationships of trust (BRT). Disrupt the market by doing things beyond the norm. Change things up by building relationships of trust upfront. Become friends with them before you even talk about sales or about your product.

  1. Filter your market areas.

Once you find one area to work on, make that your little honey pot and go back and forth. Become the “mayor” of your area.

  1. Utilize the power of name-dropping.

Once you’ve gotten to know people, start name-dropping. (“I talked to Susan. I talked to Joe. They’re really interested.”) Then start the conversation from that point.

  1. Avoid using the word “sales.”

Break the stigma of the word “sale.” Instead of saying “sale,” say you sign someone up. Have that mindset that you’re educators, not salespeople.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.

Signing people up will start to drive the referral game. Follow the direct approach and ask who you could go talk to right now. Generally, people you’ve built trust with would be willing to just give you anything.

  1. Kill the concern before it arises.

Especially for the skeptics, kill those concerns upfront. It enables you to get rid of the speed bumps up front that you know are going to happen.

  1. Help people feel comfortable about what you’re offering.

The Team Approach: Disrupting the game of door-to-door selling

Have a set or closed model within the industry. What Steve did was that he created a model by splitting his salespeople into two specific roles:

  1. Ambassadors or setters

These people go door-to-door and essentially take the role as being the door-to-door people setting appointments.

  1. Closers

These people are trained on a level where they’re able to answer all questions and sell through the A-Step Closing Process that Steve created. (Steve was closing 95% of the people he sat with and out of that was only 5% cancellation rate)

The Baton Pass: One way to create raving fans

Focus on high-quality “baton pass” for individuals. This allows each individual to focus on their leg of the race and give their 100% in that one specific thing they’re doing as opposed to worrying about doing all legs of the race resulting in a depletion of energy and focus.

Steve’s Major Takeaway:

Don’t be afraid to be different than what the industry is saying. Create meaningful relationships with your customers upfront and this will change the entire game. It takes a lot of courage and patience and a plan. It takes a lot of hard work. Try it and stick to it.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Steve Cook on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Create interactive presentations that customers will enjoy and remember. Get a full demonstration of Prezi Business and see the power it has in action. Just go to www.prezi.com/TSE to help you tell more compelling, value-driven stories to your prospects.

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Andy Paul, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 364: Sales From The Street-“Part Two-Tailored Coaching”

Andy Paul, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Best Sales PodcastThis is Part Two of Sales from the Street with Andy Paul who graced our show last week and talked about different strategies for lead generation.

Today, he talks primarily about what sales managers can do to be able to cater to sellers using the unique strengths of people in their team.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Andy:

Dealing with scripts:

  • Process-driven versus flexibility
  • An issue on quantity versus quality
  • At the end of the day, it’s still a person talking to a person
  • Take advantage of the strengths of people in your team.

Strategies for managers:

  1. Coach your people.

Your first job is to coach your people because your success is completely dependent on their success.

  1. Manage the people, not the metrics.

It’s all about managing your people to make them more effective so their metrics improve.

Andy’s Major Takeaway:

Play to your strengths. Automation is good but these processes and tools don’t actually take the place of actual selling. Get yourself in a position where you can play to win.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Andy thru email at andy@zerotimeselling.com  or on LinkedIn and Twitter @zerotimeselling

Check out Andy Paul’s podcast Accelerate!

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

 

Monique Betty, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Hiring Sales People

TSE 338: What You Must Know When Hiring Your Next Sales Rep

Monique Betty, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Hiring Sales PeopleAre you hiring for the right reasons? Or are you just getting people on your team for the sake of filling in the numbers? Hiring is not a joke, not to your company and certainly not to the candidate. You’re basically investing your time, effort, and money as you go through this process so do yourself a favor and get it right the next time you’re hiring another salesperson on your team.

Today, we talk about Hiring 101 with the amazing executive coach Monique Betty who shares with us principles that can help sellers and entrepreneurs. Through her company CareerSYNC, Monique works primarily with professionals who have a desire to succeed in the workplace through continuously investing in their life. She works with individuals around the world especially those at a point of making a significant job change to do something completely different, those who don’t know how to position themselves in a new emerging field they want to get into, or those who simply want to invest in their leadership to step up within their organization.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Monique:

Challenges with job interviews today:

From the perspective of a hiring manager:

  • Finding a diamond in the rough – candidates who are highly capable but haven’t had yet an opportunity to demonstrate it
  • Takes a little more work through behavioral questions and hearing candidates speak about who they’re growing toward
  • Time is of the essence

From the perspective of the candidates:

  • Not spending time to step back and get their mindset established
  • The blinders can come in and they become linear-focused so it’s difficult for them to open a natural curiosity, ask questions about the industry, and do research the past, present, and future stances of the company

What to look for during the interview process:

  1. Curiosity

He/she must be curious about the industry, the company, the hiring manager, the team.

  1. Capability to learn and grow

This person may not have directly demonstrated success, but find out if they have the capability to learn and grow.

  1. Get a peek into the candidate’s curiosity.

You can tell if curiosity is hinged on motivation. Why are they curious? It’s not so much about what gets somebody in the door, but what will keep them in the door.

Strategies for improving your selection process:

  1. Make it a conversation, not an interview.

An “interview” connotes that someone else is making judgment on the candidate which is too much power given to somebody else. Instead, look at it as a conversation. Is it the right fit for both the company and the candidate? So it’s not a one-way street.

  1. Invest in the coaching process.

This allows you to talk in a safe, confidential environment to unhinge the things that establish the narrow mindset.

  1. Look for candidates with increased self-awareness.

Ask questions like – Do you know yourself? What makes you tick? What is your life purpose? Why are you here? Why do you get up everyday and do what you do?  – If someone has a command in this kind of language about themselves, this would say a lot about them.

  1. Set the conversation with transparency.

Be transparent and make the candidate feel comfortable so they can shine in a way that’s engaging and makes you want to bring them in.

Monique’s Major Takeaways:

Whether you are the candidate or the hiring manager, transparency is key. Motivation is key. Show your candidates respect.

For candidates: Have a command of your self-awareness, enter into a conversation, and become curious. It’s more than a job. It’s your livelihood. Is it worth investing in for you? Your curiosity will send into an interview scenario with the right mindset.

For companies: Trust your instinct. If there’s something that you couldn’t put your finger on but it just doesn’t feel right, listen to that.

Episode Resources:

Visit CareerSYNC to know more about Monique Betty and the awesome stuff she’s currently doing.

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.

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Salesforce, Increasing Sales, Donald Kelly, Justin Roff-Marsh, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 321: Embrace The Machine! Radically Improve Your Salesforce With This New Model

Salesforce, Increasing Sales, Donald Kelly, Justin Roff-Marsh, The Sales Evangelist Today, you will learn about an interesting concept about eradicating commission as part of the business model. Say what? Okay, hold your horses now. Our guest today has a pretty interesting perspective on eradicating commissions that you might want to tune into, plus more!

Justin Roff-Marsh is the Founder and President of Ballistix, a sales management and marketing consultancy where they build sales functions for organizations either from scratch or go into organizations and re-engineer their sales environment to look more like a production environment. Serving clients in the US, Australia, and the UK, they’ve worked with clients across these three continents over the last 20 years.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Justin:

The use of the word “process” in the formal sense:

Most organizations do not have a process but a bunch of people running around trying to sell stuff.

Core components of a successful sales environment:

  1. Start at the end, work backwards.

Figure out what activities generate sales and the various activities that contribute to sales which make the bigger contribution.

  1. Meaningful, selling conversations/interactions

These are the primary drivers of sales volumes. For field sales, the primary driver is the number of times of face-to-face conversations with potential customers. For telephone sales, the driver force is the volume of telephone selling conversations with prospects.

  1. Division of labor

To have people focus on selling, they have moved activities to customer service and engineering handling the following areas:

  • Transactional
  • Looking after existing accounts
  • Processing repeat transactions
  • Generating proposals and quotes
  • Handling issues

This takes away 60% of their work

  1. Prospecting and lead generation
  • Categorized under their Promotions subset of marketing
  • Promotions team generating almost 100% of the opportunities salespeople are prospecting

The repercussions of outsourcing your prospecting:

  • Economic incentive for both organization and provider to come up with a quick fix
  • It’s unproductive, you turn to telemarketers and the organization gets dissatisfied with the quality of sales opportunities generated
  • Provider works away from the work due to costly staff turnover
  • Incentives are wrong if you outsource this to someone else
  • Organizations have to figure out how to do this themselves

The idea behind doing away with commissions:

  • Figure out what people are worth and pay them their market value.
  • If you pay people on a piece rate, they end up competing with one another and the process ends up tearing itself apart.
  • Fosters division of labor and team-based approach selling

Justin’s Major Takeaway:

Read Justin’s book, The Machine: A Radical Approach to the Design of the Sales Function

Eliminating commission is a consequence of applying division of labor itself, not as a primary.

If all you want is incremental improvements, take 1-2 ideas from them but if you’re looking at sales and recognizing that you can’t achieve your growth objectives for the organization by scaling your sales function in its current form, then stop looking for worn-off fixes and read the book.

Episode Resources:

Get in touch with Justin through his blog at www.salesprocessengineering.net.

Ballistix

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

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