Get Your Salespeople to Shut Up and Listen

Okay everyone knows that to be an effective salesperson one needs to listen to the prospects and clients. So, we all know that, then why is it so difficult to get your salespeople to do it? I have recently noticed that many of the salespeople in my client companies are very seasoned and have been doing their job for many years. They are very experienced, and some are even considered experts in their field. I have discovered that there is frequently an inverse relationship between the experience level of the salesperson or new business developer and the listening they do […]

Outcome Goals vs. Activity Goals

Sure we all know that the scorecard for sales reps is their closed business.  But, if we only focus on this “outcome” goal we may be putting too much pressure on the sales reps to perform and may actually reduce their likelihood of success.


Here’s what I mean.  We all know that our team and each individual needs to hit his or her sales goal.  However, they have absolutely no control over whether or not the prospect will actually buy anything, let alone anything from them.  When we, as managers, constantly harp on the end game, the closed business goal, without […]

Do Your Salespeople Use Proposals to Avoid Negotiations?

In some of my recent articles I have discussed the merits surrounding getting salespeople to hold off on producing proposals until the prospect is fully qualified.  I have observed that many salespeople produce proposals because they are not skilled negotiators and they somehow think that if they put the information in writing the prospect will buy.  The truth is that the proposal should really be a confirmation of what has already been agreed to, or has been determined that the prospect wants, needs and is interested in buying.  Unfortunately, salespeople frequently rush in before these factors are understood.


The skilled negotiator […]

Do Your Salespeople Rush to Provide Proposals?

Frequently salespeople are all too happy to produce proposals for anyone who is interested.  It is common that those same salespeople are avoiding truly qualifying prospects before producing the proposal.  It has become apparent to me through years of working with sales teams that much of this behavior is due to the belief that if they just put the information in writing they will avoid having to explain or address any concerns a prospect might have.  It is really a form of conflict avoidance.

Unfortunately, we allow salespeople to spend time producing pages and pages of proposals without truly understanding whether […]

The Scary Math Associated with Producing Unqualified Proposals

In my last article, Reduce the Fluffy Pipeline Syndrome, I wrote about the time, effort and money associated with salespeople producing unqualified proposals.  If you are having difficulty breaking your salespeoples’ habit of producing unqualified proposals get them to do the math associated with their lost income as follows:

1. Calculate the per hour rate of pay (based on last year’s total compensation divided by 52, divided by 40).

2. Calculate how long it takes to produce one proposal on average (1 hour, 2 hours?).

3. Then add in the number of hours spent trying to chase the prospect down after sending the […]

Reduce the Fluffy Pipeline Syndrome


Okay, so if you are monitoring your salespeople’s pipelines then that is a start.  Many managers focus on getting opportunities into the pipeline.  This is also a start.  If you want to be ultimately effective predicting closings and therefore revenue growth then you need to stop focusing on the pipeline value and focus on the pipeline velocity.  What I mean is that salespeople will typically behave in a manner that provides them reward and/or recognition.  Many salespeople seek the approval and recognition of their managers.  If you are focusing on patting people on the back for putting deals into the […]

Dedicated Sales Managers… A Must!

I was discussing with a senior manager of a potential new client recently the company’s organizational structure.  They have multiple branches with general managers, but no dedicated sales managers.  We discussed the merits of that structure, which are limited.  The only beneficial issue is that the company saves on compensation for the missing sales managers.  The downside issues are numerous.    At best, the GMs are part time sales managers.  It is hard enough to get full time sales managers to do all the things that will predictably increase sales, like:  coach every single salesperson weekly, hold them all accountable to […]

Crazy Sales Figures From A Must Read Blog Post by Objective Management Group’s Dave Kurlan

I welcome you to read the following Dave Kurlan post taken from his blog Understanding the Sales Force as it reports interesting sales figures that every sales manager should know.

Did you know that “6% of new reps exceeded expectations and 48% failed”?

Top 5 Insights From Latest Sales Organization Studies

Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and highly regarded sales development expert.

The folks over at IKO Systems were nice enough to send me a collection of infographics which they call 66 Crazy Sales Figures.  I finally had a chance to read through it and found 5 sales figures which, after I […]