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7 Benefits of a Prescriptive Sales Process

August 25th, 2014

7 Benefits of a Prescriptive Sales Process

By spelling out the steps that great sales performers use intuitively, you can develop the rest of your sales staff.

In most sales organizations, the majority of salespeople are B or C performers. There are never enough A performers in any organization, and they’re generally already maximizing their productivity.

One of the best ways to help B and C performers improve is to write out a prescriptive sales process. By spelling out the steps that the A performer often uses intuitively in her sales process, you can develop the rest of your sales staff.

Recently in working with a client we spent about two hours simply documenting what a salesperson should do on each of the various steps of his sales process. Here are seven benefits from that session:

1.       In forcing the process of thinking through the logical progression and the actual actions the salesperson should take at each step, we altered an early step and changed what the salesperson was supposed to say and sell during that stage. This was important because the sales team was generally inexperienced. Because of the technical aspect of the team’s offering, introducing a more mature person into the early stages allowed quicker credibility and better insights into the prospective client’s needs.

2.       Additional products and services cropped up. We created one additional professional service product that could also be sold. As we stepped through each of the various stages, we kept looking at what we were doing currently and how we could add additional levels of value.

3.       The sales manager began to fully understand not only what the steps in the sales process were, but why each salesperson needed to execute on them. This provided the sales manager a better platform for coaching, mentoring and monitoring opportunities in the pipeline. The 90-day sales training schedule began to include training on each step of the sales process, in which the sales manager would not only train the sales team on how to perform each step but also explain why.

4.       Improved forecasting occurred, because specific definitions of each action within each stage were defined. For example, let’s assume there’s a demonstration stage in your sales cycle. When do your salespeople move the prospect to the demo stage? Is it when the demo is scheduled or after it’s completed?

5.       You will separate yourself from the competition. During the sales process your company’s value proposition must be proven. It’s easy to print your messaging on brochures and your Web site, but letting your prospect feel it is critical to building “belief.” You must build a step or an action that takes place at the appropriate stage that can validate your messaging.

6.       One of the most important aspects of creating a prescriptive sales process is changing the sales process. If you and your competitors use the basic sales stages in the same sequence and say and do the same things during your prospect conversations, no one will stand out and prospects will become confused. When there’s confusion, there’s no decision. Change your sales process to stand out, be different and do something to make the customer remember you.

7.       We added a last step to the sales process: a customer follow-up at 90 days post-implementation to validate the customer’s satisfaction and to ask for a reference letter. These will now be hung in the office lobby and used in future sales calls.

The next step is for the sales manager to roll out the process, teach the salespeople how to execute, then inspect that the sales team is using the process as it is defined. Set a 90-day plan to implement and evaluate the results, create four or five metrics to measure its effectiveness, validate it’s being used and listen to your team. If it needs to be altered to increase effectiveness, that’s OK. But before you change, make sure you fully understand the impacts.

Let me know what has worked for you on creating a sales process.

Top 40 Sales Management Actions for Predictable Revenue:                    http://www.acumenmgmt.com./whitepaper.phtml

Ken Thoreson, President of Acumen Management Group LTD.

Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 15 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for clients throughout the World. Ken’s latest book is: “Building High Performance Sale Compensation Plans”.

Ken  provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com       www.AcumenManagement.com      www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

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Sales Mgmt: don’t over complicate it….

August 18th, 2014

Sales Leadership: Don’t over complicate it…

Last week I almost lost it.  While I was observing a sales meeting at a client’s site, (they were following our template/agenda for the meeting) when the president who is active in this meeting brought up a topic that took them down the rat hole.

My job was to keep them on topic but in this case I took over; they were discussing an important new program that is a Critical Sales Factor for this year- and the program was not working. As I began to peel back the layers of the issue as to why clients were not adopting the program it became evident.  The client had been focused on creating a complex software application that included multiple pages of screens/sub categories, checklists and mutual responsibilities that they expected their clients to use during this new innovative program.

When I said: you don’t show this to them during the sales process do you?  When the answer was YES!   I cringed… their attention to detail and process management was terrific, the application was designed to ensure a quality solution, but to a non-technology prospective client of theirs, it would scare them to death-way to complex.  I can imagine the prospects eyes glazing over and brains retreating to all the work they had to do without this new initiative. It was way too complex to show in a sales situation.

I was told many years ago, selling is creating Emotion, transferring Emotion, causing Emotion. In this case my client was selling process not the benefits of what the actual program would deliver or a compelling reason to take action.   They got so caught up in their approach that they forgot it’s about the prospective client’s issues and “How are we going to sell it?” We rebuilt the sales presentation with a 4 screen shots and a few PowerPoint slides.

As we sorted out this issue, a second topic came out; they were holding client meetings to explain their new program, but they were not converting those meetings to the actual next step where they had to schedule a meeting between their team and the client. Beside the issue I described above, in reviewing the details of issue number two, it became evident that my client’s internal teams did not consider these kinds of meetings as a priority. The result? Scheduling multiple people from my client’s office and the customers became a challenge to arrange.  Solution: we printed off a monthly calendar, blocked off 2 days a week for each week for the appropriate internal team and trained the sales team to schedule one meeting in the morning, and one in the afternoon for each of those 2 days.  During the sales call the prospective client was simply booked into what dates were available that worked for them!  Everyone could plan more effectively and the prospective client’s closing was on what morning or afternoon works for you?  (Alternative close 101)

As a sales leader we get caught up in implementation and execution of a variety of programs-all good things, but what we must constantly be aware of is methodology that appears to be sales prevention.

Keeping things less complicated makes it easier for a prospective client to understand your approach and their benefits and easier for your sales team to present.

HINT:  if you would like a copy of Acumen’s “Sales Meeting Agenda”, send me an email.
Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 15 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Ken’s latest book: Slammed! for the first time sales manager was released in July.

Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.           Ken@AcumenMgmt.com   www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

Life Enrichment: Be a Top Performer

August 11th, 2014

The Difference Between Average and Top Performers

In preparation to speak at a sales award banquet this week I was thinking about what kind of message I wanted to leave with the audience and in thinking though a variety of ideas I realized it maybe a common concept that ALL sales leaders must reinforce to their teams. Whether it is a January Kick Off event, a Monday morning sales meeting or a quarterly salesperson review session, sales managers must sell the need to “Plan for Success”.

Planning for success means you build a sales organization that is not opportunistic in account management, prospecting, etc, but focused on a methodology to ensure success. It also means that there is an expectation or attitude from management that is transmitted to the team that WE will be successful, WE are winners, WE are better and WE work together. This is part of the emotional make up that creates an atmosphere that separates the average performing organizations from top performing sales teams.

What do you need to create this environment? A sales management system that reinforces what you expect and a leadership and management style that is focused only on accepting high performance-in all aspects of life. This means every salesperson must have a:

• A yearly salesperson business plan

• A Top 15 Account Plans –if appropriate

• A rolling 90 day sales training plan

• Formal monthly/quarterly salesperson reviews

• Sales contests that drive fun, recognition and teamwork

• Measurement systems that promote success and show effectiveness

Every salesperson wants to be successful, as does every sales manager, everyone has good ideas, but execution becomes the key differentiator in success. You have to work on the methodology, but you also have to focus on the emotional aspects of success, I think you can summarize it this way: the difference in success is 3 simple words:

The difference between average performers and top performers are:

  •  Top performers do what is expected… and then some…
  • They meet their obligations fairly and squarely … and then some…
  • They are good friends, helpful neighbors… and then some…
  • They are thoughtful of others, they are considerate and kind … and then some…
  • They can be counted on in an emergency…and then some.

As you go about your week, make sure you do what is expected…and then some.

In my book: Leading High Performance Sales Teams, we discuss these ideas and others in greater detail; you can listen to a pod cast on the books also in our store: www.AcumenManagement.com

*Listen to a new interview podcast on sales management: http://businessinthe.am/ken-thoreson

Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 15 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Ken’s latest book: Slammed!, for the first time sales manager was released in July.

Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Ken@AcumenMgmt.com www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog: www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

Smart Salespeople: Power Network Map

August 5th, 2014

Smarter Salespeople: Power Network Map

This blog is dedicated to salespeople that never want to “dial for dollars” or who never want to make a cold call again! Now that I have your attention…

During a recent client sales meeting we talked about the power of networking, the need to expand the influence of one’s reach and effective ways to find new and better sales opportunities. One action was to assign each salesperson to at least one local networking/association event per month. If you aren’t doing this now, make it part of your active sales activity planning session. In fact, just today, as I was writing this column one of salespeople from that client called me to discuss the breakfast event he attended and “connection he made”. The person was in IT at a local law firm and he opened up to what was happening at his firm, who were players and the challenges/frustrations they were facing. The salesperson causally listened-didn’t sell, but booked a lunch meeting in the next week to simply work to expand the relationship! Smooth move. After the lunch or during that time the salesperson can work to better understand the situation, the relationships, political situations, budgets and business requirements. Then he can begin to sell!

If you aren’t “connected” in your marketplace do it! All successful salespeople are well connected socially, within their community and have defined business relationships. Are you? After the sales discussion at my client’s office it lead to the best new thought of the year! Create an Acumen Power Network Map!

What is the Acumen Power Network Map? After discussing the current sales environment, networking, in effective cold calls, lack of experience and a great deal of interactive discussions we created an approach that can immediately change your sales and marketing approach.

What are the secret steps to the Acumen Power Network Map?

1) Identify a “raving fan” of your current business; someone that uses your current services will recommend your company and can tell a story to anyone of your quality level of support.

2) Bing/Google/LinkedIn/Jigsaw/Facebook search that person’s business relationships, personal involvements, and identify as much information as you can find.

3) Develop a map of all associations/boards/activities/interests the person is involved with, (see diagram)

4) List all the individuals who are members of those associations/boards/activities that are associated/inter-connected with your raving fan.

5) Identify what organizations those individuals work for and determine if you wish to target those organizations that fit your company’s ideal client profile. Do they fit your vertical focus? Do you have existing Case Studies that fit their need? Have you sold similar organizations?

6), next, ask your “raving fan” to make a referral introduction to the targeted organizations and individual’s you wish to meet, either via an email phone call or even a mutual lunch meeting. Getting an introduction via a known source or a friendly relationship increases your odds of achieving a new relationship and meeting by 66%!

 

This kind of smart work will help you target sell more effectively, reduce your wasted telephone prospecting time, increase your odds to develop new account relationships and open the doors to exceed your 2014-15 quotas. Ken’s hint: Do your homework and count commissions.

Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 16 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Ken’s latest book is “SLAMMED!, for the first time sales manager.

Acumen Mgmt. provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Ken@AcumenMgmt.com www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog: www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

 

Life Enrichment: Passion

July 28th, 2014

Life Enrichment: Passion

During the weekend a friend asked me where I had been recently, when I mentioned that in July I had been in San Diego, Washington DC, Ft. Lauderdale and that I was leaving this week for Las Vegas he just shook his head and said: “I don’t know now how you do it!.”

On Saturday after working outside for almost 4 hours and then grocery shopping I started thinking about his comment-I seem to have a lot to juggle, as do many people but what keeps me on a fairly busy travel schedule is more than simply working-it’s a passion. It has been 16 ½ years since I started Acumen Management Group and the basis behind the company still drives me.

For the first time, I will share a portion of my Business Plan, its only one section and my purpose is not to reveal what I believe in, but hopefully to give you an idea to either share your values with others or more importantly, if you don’t have them, develop them for your company and/or yourself.

What Value We Bring

We work to leverage and add additional insight to our client base, allowing existing management and sales management programs to operate more productively. We may introduce new leadership and new programs to achieve the goals of the organization. Our experience, national exposure, existing programs and on-going relationships will accomplish more for our clients ensuring their success.

Tenets

• At every meeting our goal will be to build a better relationship.

• All commitments will be documented and completed on time.

• Client confidentiality will be maintained on all aspects.

• Our client’s time is money and will be valued accordingly.

• We will at all times seek to add value-when this stops our work is finished.

• We will seek to have fun and fulfillment in our role and company.

These concepts are important to me and provide me focus, purpose and describe my passion, notice there are both personal and professional aspects within these statements. I believe that is important for a successful leader.

Passion is a topic that drives life; without it the day to day events become simply a passage. I know a woman that is almost 80 yrs. old that continues to hike in the Smoky Mountains and swims almost every day, her passion is fitness. On Friday I saw a video on Facebook of a 95 year old woman that actively dances and can still shovel snow! These women have found personal passion to keep life active. Personal passion aligned with professional passion is critical success factor for success.

I get a kick out of coaching individual people; giving them idea’s and tools to make their company more successful. The ability to impact an audience and light a spark that ignites change in individual’s lives continues to excite me-it’s a passion that allows me to put up the with stress of airline schedules and hotel nights. But it is also fun.

I have said it many times, if you are not having fun, change your life. In my keynote I normally make the following statement: You can’t change the way you have lived your life, but you can change the way you live your life!

What is your passion? What is driving your life?

Have fun and enjoy your summer.

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 16 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2014.

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com

www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

 

Partner Hiring and Training

July 21st, 2014

Partner Hiring and Training Lessons from Sage Summit

Non-productive partner companies often hire the best, but fall short at training their talent. Don’t make that mistake.

  • By Ken Thoreson

    You see it in college sports — the top teams tend to recruit the top performers. In building a channel as a vendor or building a partner organization, that’s the No. 1 job of management.

    What tends to be missing or where weak vendors or non-productive partners seem to fail, however, are in two other aspects of management’s responsibility: proper onboarding and ongoing training and development.

    These two areas normally get casual attention, but seldom do they receive the management focus they require. If you’re attending the Sage Summit look to utilize your time to refine these points for your firm.

    At the Summit, as you walk the Exhibit Hall looking for new business opportunities and when talking to existing or new potential vendors, look beyond the sales stories and investigate new partner onboarding programs. How will the vendors work with you and your team? Does the vendor have a simple checklist for quality onboarding, or does it have a more proactive automated tool to ensure you fully understand its offering, market and sales approach? How long does the vendor estimate it will take you to begin to generate consistent revenue? What’s the vendor’s commitment and what is its expected commitment from you? Is the vendor interested in simply creating a channel, or is its philosophy driven by assisting the partner in building a business with the vendor’s product or service?

    With my clients I always suggest they need to fully understand the mutual level of commitment both parties need to be aware of and to make to each other for mutual success.

    The power of being at the Sage Summit is also the opportunity for ongoing development — both personal and organizational. The various tracks cover technology, but also leadership, sales and marketing topics. My program this year is “Bartender’s Guide to Cloud Profits”” It’s just one example of information that will be shared during the conference. If you aren’t attending the event then make sure you check out the Web sites and download the videos and PowerPoint decks and pick up as much as you can.

    Professional and personal ongoing training and development at your office is more critical. Just as the vendor onboarding plan is important; creating an employee onboarding process is the first step to decreasing the time to revenue or productivity generation. While each office might have a few unique training needs, there are standardized salesperson onboarding programs.

    The secret for the initial employee onboarding is the mantra I always reinforce with my clients: Inspect what you expect! For example, I have new salespeople call me and leave voicemails so I can listen to what and how they sell the voicemail. In a like manner by the end of the third week, the salesperson must be able to present the organization’s PowerPoint presentation to the management team to ensure they can properly represent the company. Make sure they can perform in your office before they’re exposed to your prospects.

    The next piece is ongoing training. With most of my clients I help them build a quarterly training plan — a minimum of two to three hours a month that includes sales skills, product knowledge, operations training and industry awareness. One easy idea is to purchase a sales training book for each person twice a year and have the team discuss one chapter a week during your regular sales meeting.

    The secret to high-performance sales is “in the field” training. I recommend the person who’s responsible for sales leadership schedule sales calls with each salesperson and actually track what kinds of calls (first call, discovery, executive presentations and so) are made with which salesperson. This ensures you’ve “inspected what you expected.”

    Got the idea? Training is a keystone for growth.

    Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 15 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

    His latest book is: SLAMMED!!! for the first time sales manager.  Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.

    Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

    Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

     

2014-15: Thought Leadership

July 14th, 2014

2014-15: How will you stand out in the marketplace?

In reflecting on the past year it seems our program at WPC 2013 set the pace for many client projects. Our Master the Cloud Business Builder series we built for Microsoft provided a prescriptive approach to accelerating revenues as partners built Cloud/Mobility practices. Embedded as one of the key components in the marketing segment was building a vertical market using Cloud solutions to increase sales velocity, one of the sub-elements was using Thought Leadership Marketing to help you stand out in the marketplace. Another aspect of the Cloud Builder marketing program was ensuring your messaging/value proposition was clear, concise and unique. Effective messaging is the number two biggest challenge facing Microsoft partners.

Since our breakout session at WPC 2013 last July in Houston, we have received an enormous number of emails and business opportunities from partner organizations that wanted to learn more about “separating themselves” from their competition. If you weren’t able to make it to the session, you can still see it on WPC Connect-it was rated in the top 20 of ALL events at WPC in 2013.

What is Thought Leadership? This quote from Fast Company: Golden Rules of Thought Leadership set the stage for our program at WPC: Dominate your market: learn how thought-leadership marketing will impact your vertical market presence.

You can achieve this in a variety of ways, and in my session at WPC I shared 10 actual examples and other marketing ideas. One great example would be scheduling and sponsor an event each month at the same date/time, same locations(s) that features an industry expert covering a pertinent vertical market issue or a panel of customers discussing their company’s problems and how they solved them (HINT: using your solutions). Inviting high level executives such as CIO’s to these on-going events will help build up your company as a thought leader.

From a sales perspective, we also stress that your sales team is trained to execute more effectively within a Thought Leadership philosophy. In our Cloud Business Builder program we stressed Acumen’s Business Guidance sales training program. In this format we use existing sales methodologies and add a key component where the salesperson can become a true consultant to the prospect by offering advice or suggestions that reach beyond the technology solution.

By combining better messaging, adding thought leadership marketing and Business Guidance selling techniques your entire organization can prepare to make 2014 your best year ever!

About the Author

Ken Thoreson, President of Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” business and sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 15 years, his consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout the world. Ken’s latest book is “Leading High Performance Sales Teams”. This was his 10th year speaking at WPC.

He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2014.

You can reach Ken at Ken@AcumenMgmt.com, www.AcumenManagement.com and his award winning blog: www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com.

 

Creativity for Sales Leaders

July 7th, 2014

Creativity for Sales Leaders

One of the traits sales managers must have or develop is a mind that is creative. The day to day pressures and various situations that you face are ever changing and appear at a rapid pace, the need to consider various options, offer unique perspectives or provide your team with fresh ideas is a critical to your success.

In many of my keynote programs I discuss creativity and the need to ‘break out and grow” as you build a “Gourmet Life”-the great news is that you can develop your ability to be creative. One factor that is well known is rather than work on a specific problem, it is sometimes best to leave it alone and let your mind relax and even focus on something else and like magic a solution to the first problem will occur. This is why many ideas may come to you as you lay in bed, take a shower or even simply during a walk. Creativity happens not with one brilliant flash, but in a chain reaction of many tiny sparks while executing an idea.

Jackson Pollock is known as a creative abstract artist, he would throw paint on to a canvas as if his designs were spontaneous inspirations. In fact Pollock spent years learning to control his pours/splatters to achieve the effect he was looking for.

You can expand your ability to develop creativity by brainstorming with individuals outside of your normal environment. It’s all about creating ideas, evaluating them and executing on them. Another example is J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, in the 1920’s, 30’s they battled around religious and literary ideas with the “Inklings” as group of unfashionable Christian professors from Oxford. Their ‘creative” stories were actually the result of discussions, debates and planning.

Creative leverage attempts to combine left-brain and right brain activities. What are the steps?

1. Start from scratch, don’t let existing factors color your thinking

2. Make sure there is emotion, this helps stimulate the brain

3. Take risks, challenge yourself to look at unique ideas that may stimulate other ideas

In my keynote program we share the 13 actions one can take to enhance their creativity, if you need to expand your creativity you can find books, workshops and coaches to build your power. As a salesperson, sales leader, or manager you can build a better life by adding some spark to your thinking power. Take the summer challenge and expand your perspective.

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 16 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America.

His latest book is, Ken’s 5th book: SLAMMED!!! For first time sales managers is now available: http://www.acumenmgmt.com/Books

Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com www.AcumenManagement.com Blog: www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

Slammed!!! for the first time sales manager: chapter 24

June 23rd, 2014


Slammed!!! for the first time sales manager, chapter 24

Traits of Highly Successful Companies

 New EBook: This week I thought I would share with my reader’s one chapter from my new book:  SLAMMED!!! For the first time Sales Manager, there are 56 additional chapters in this book. I hope you enjoy this chapter. You can download a free sample or order your book at: http://www.acumenmgmt.com/Books

  When employees feel that the company’s president and its management team are in alignment, a natural energy will begin to filter throughout the organization

 Over our many years of consulting, we’ve developed the following list of traits and values that characterize successful companies:

  • Corporate culture is deep and consistent.
  • Business strategies come first.
  • Effectiveness in business development is essential.
  • Best practices are consistent regardless of industry.
  • Sales is a corporate priority.
  • Structured process is key to success.
  • Teamwork prevails.
  • Training and recruitment are viewed as critically important.
  • Corporate image and branding are also viewed as important.
  • Compensation is linked to corporate objectives.

 Please note that these traits aren’t necessary listed in order of priority.

Want to assess how your own company stacks up against these characteristics? Simply “grade” your organization on how well it does in each area, using a scale of 1 to 5 (where 5 is the highest). That will give you a quick snapshot of its strengths and weaknesses.

 We’ve found that the most successful organizations—those that are accelerating in growth and profits—share two things: Strong leaders and high levels of motivation.

 Many books have been written on leadership’s impact on organizations. (As an aside, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s book, simply titled “Leadership” (Hyperion, 2002), speaks about his efforts to improve New York City but offers lessons that can be applied to everyday business. It’s a quick read; I highly recommend it.)

 If there’s one thing that’s clear about leadership, it’s this: Successful leaders have both a vision and a passion for their business. Without those two elements, individuals and their organizations will drift and be captive to the marketplace.

 One widespread definition of leadership speaks to this clearly, describing leadership as “the ability to make things happen by encouraging and channeling contributions of others, taking a stand on and addressing important issues and acting as a catalyst for change and continuous improvement.” (In contrast, another common definition describes management as the skill of attaining predefined objectives with and through the voluntary cooperation and effort of other people.” You can see the difference.)

 Leaders stand out by giving others their vision, creating hope, sharing success, addressing the issues that need to changed, holding people accountable and being focused on making everything work more effectively both for their employees and for their customers. When employees feel that the company’s president and its management team are in alignment, a natural energy will begin to filter throughout the organization. The resulting sense of purpose will carry a winning attitude into the marketplace.

 We believe it’s the leader’s responsibility to actively maintain the organization’s vision by focusing on the concept of belief. By that, we mean belief in what your organization does, why it’s the best in your market and why everyone in it must work together toward common goals. You must constantly reinforce this focus.

 One tactic for accomplishing that task is holding monthly employee meetings where company leaders have an opportunity to voice their messages, reinforce their organization’s value propositions, move toward the desired culture and establish an environment where everyone feels the presence of leadership. At these meetings, all managers should speak about pride in their organizations and express thanks to other departments for supporting their efforts.

 Once you’ve established an organizational vision, the next step in motivating people is helping them feel that they’re contributing to the organization’s success. To do this, create an atmosphere of accomplishment. Here’s how:

 1. Define specific objectives for everyone in the organization.

2. Establish accountability by holding each employee accountable for achieving those objectives.

3. Provide recognition to employees who exceed those objectives. 

Ultimately, leaders must carefully balance the approaches of building employee belief and requiring employee accountability to lead to what we call “aligning the soul of the individual with the goals of the organization.” When employees believe in the company’s vision and its potential to positively impact their lives and help them achieve their goals, that’s when real motivation will occur. 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 16 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America.

His latest book is, Ken’s 5th book:  SLAMMED!!!  For first time sales managers is now available:http://www.acumenmgmt.com/Books

  Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.     

 Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com


 


 


 

 

Super Teams, a book review

June 18th, 2014

Super Teams

Using the Principles of RESPECT to Unleash Explosive Business Performance

Written by Paul Marciano & Clinton Wingrove

Published by McGraw Hill

For a management book, this is an excellent page turner. The methodology and systems they discuss can be implemented by small to medium business as well as major corporations, especially those that want to unleash the power of their people. Not only are the principles that are covered a wonderful read, but the format of the book will assist the management team in implementing the recommended actions.

The book is broken into three simple sections:

1. What is a Super Team

2. The RESPECT Model

3. Assembling a Super Team

The super team is defined as: A SuperTeam is a team that consistently delivers a superior performance relative to customer expectations. The first section simply defines the Why an organization would want to implement their approach. A quick 38 pages sets the stage for section two.

The RESPECT Model is defined as:

• Recognition

• Empowerment

• Supportive Feedback

• Partnering

• Expectations

• Consideration

• Trust

Each of those topics are individual chapters, they are explored in detail and defined with clarity. This is not a book written for classroom discussion, it is meant for execution in the business world.

After each chapter the authors begin to assist the reader in the implementation phase for that section with active work groups. Each of these chapters end have summaries that include a standard format based upon the topic covered:

 

• Superstarter Questions-designed to make you think

• Team Assessment-designed score your existing environment

• Assessment Reflection Exercise

The last section is focused on building your team. They go into detail on leading the team, bringing in new members of the team, exiting team members and motivating the team. Again, tactical thinking with specific recommendations!

For those organizations that need to build a better culture of performance and desire better collaboration I would highly recommend this handbook for success.

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 15 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout the world. He was recently ranked in the top 50 sales & marketing influencers by Top Sales World magazine for the third year in row.

His book on: Leading High Performance Sales Teams has been a tremendous success, Ken’s 5th book: Slammed!!! For New Sales Managers was published this summer

Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com www.AcumenManagement.com Blog: www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com