Key Takeaways from Smart (and Successful) Leaders

Key Takeaways from Smart (and Successful) Leaders

I just moderated a panel discussion at the ESX conference entitled “How to Drive Performance with the Sales Team and Weed Out Underperformers.” The panel featured some very successful sales leaders and  I learned some great things from them. It was also an opportunity to review principles that have been around a while but are easily forgotten.

Quick Reminders

The following list is not earth-shattering, nor likely new information. However, it is predictive of success.

Use a predictive and repeatable process to hire sales talent.
Have set expectations when the new hire starts as to what they are to achieve and by when.
Focus on […]

Three Simple Steps to Account-Based Selling…Not Just for Account Managers

Three Simple Steps to Account-Based Selling…Not Just for Account Managers

In the world of selling, I am a die-hard hunter. I love the thrill of finding some new, exciting opportunity. I also love hearing about fresh, new issues, learning about others’ businesses and thinking about solutions to problems.

In my desire to hunt, I have fallen victim to the belief that it is more noble to chase down and “kill” a new client than to work with existing ones. I admit it. I am easily distracted – thus I like the fun possibilities of what could be with a new opportunity. If you have similar people on your sales team or […]

Four Components to Optimize Your Sales Organization

Four Components to Optimize Your Sales Organization

I recently gave a presentation at the ESA Leadership Summit
on ways to optimize a sales organization. The four components and main points I
discussed are applicable to sales organizations in every kind of industry, so I
want to share them.

As you read, keep this in mind. Focus on what is possible, not what doesn’t apply. Don’t say to yourself, “Yeah, but my company is different.” Rather come at it from the standpoint of, “How can we implement that to make us better?”

First, what do I mean by optimize? The word, as defined by Merriam Webster, is “to make as perfect, […]

What a Golfer’s Mind Can Teach Us About Sales

What a Golfer’s Mind Can Teach Us About Sales

There’s a great book by famed golf performance psychologist, Dr. Bob Rotella, called The Golfer’s Mind. I’ve been rereading it, as I do occasionally, and keep observing so many parallels to sales and the emotional discipline it takes to truly be the best one can be, that I feel the need to write about it.

The book is all about how to stay in the moment and focus on the target. In general, it is a handbook to enable golfers, both professional and amateur alike, to improve their mental game so that their mind doesn’t get in the way of their […]

Trade Show Torture

Trade Show Torture

 A few weeks back, I was at a trade show (ISC West), and I’m still haunted by a sales interaction I witnessed. Maybe you’ve had the same thing happen to you at a similar event.

A Tortuous Attack

Here’s the situation (without names to protect the guilty): I was walking the show floor with a good friend who is also a business operator in the industry. We were casually strolling around, but we also had certain individuals and companies that each of us wanted and in a few cases, absolutely needed to see.

Suddenly, like a starving predator, this young man chases down […]

Implementing a Sales Process: 4 Classic Mistakes to Avoid

Implementing a Sales Process: 4 Classic Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French.

The sales process is the backbone of a company’s sales operations.

In this article, we describe the mistakes made by sales managers in the implementation of the sales process. So it is assumed that the company has defined a procedure for formal and structured sales.

Mistake # 1: The sales process is not integrated with CRM

Even an effective and well-structured sales process is useless if its steps are not integrated into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Without this integration, your […]

Why Can’t My Salespeople Close Business The Way I Can?

Why Can’t My Salespeople Close Business The Way I Can?

I frequently hear this frustrated comment from business owners who originally built their business by closing deals themselves. The fact of the matter is that company founders do have a special passion for the services the company provides, for obvious reasons. It is also likely that you, as the founder, come with a greater presence than most salespeople.

You are an owner, an entrepreneur, a CEO. You can speak easily with other CEOs because you have common ground. You might also be able to provide negotiating concessions right on the spot, whereas you may not feel comfortable giving your salespeople that […]

Are You Guilty of These Common Sales Management Missteps?

Are You Guilty of These Common Sales Management Missteps?

I hear from sales managers all the time that wish they had known certain things way back when they first started managing salespeople. Some of the common misconceptions I hear are these:

The top salespeople just need to be left alone.
It isn’t my job to motivate the salespeople. I am not going to babysit them.
It isn’t my place to “micro-manage” them. I don’t need to know what they do every day as long as they are producing the results.
I can’t get my senior salespeople to use the CRM but that’s okay, they do a good job.
My people work as hard as […]

Teflon® Man Improves Success in Sales

Teflon® Man Improves Success in Sales

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

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