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Sales Management Thought Leadership:  efficient effectiveness

April 20th, 2017

Sales Management Thought Leadership:  efficient effectiveness

As an Eagle Scout I can discuss the topic of “Be Prepared” easily and based upon my upcoming vacation next week it could lend more credibility. Last year I had to catch two planes and a ferry to end up on an island in the Caribbean, while that sounds somewhat easy, it took planning and preparation.  Taking a vacation for me becomes a big project for a variety of reasons-but mainly it’s time to unplug and “breathe fresh air”.

We researched a wide variety of destinations, resorts and optional packages, we narrowed the search and checked out online evaluations and then compared costs.  I posted potential locations and asked for opinions on Facebook, I asked my travel agent for her thoughts and friends for their experiences. All of this helped us pick a great spot, it was rated the “best beach resort in the world”.

Next I had to organize my professional life.  Client projects needed to be finalized, meetings re-scheduled, mobile phones had to find International plans, and new proposals completed.

Now just a few day to go, we had to pack, purchase last minute items and think through options like umbrellas, sun tan lotion, books, mosquito spray and other health related item.

What does this have to do with sales management?  As a manager you must be prepared-at all times for almost any event.  The best plan is to have a plan and to consider what might go wrong or what could impact your ability to exceed your objectives.  I have simply listed below a series of topics for your consideration and for you to double check against your plan or lack of plan.

Do you have a plan?

       If you lose a salesperson

       If your sales team needs sales training

       To increase the sales culture of your team

       To increase your networking/partnering function

       That generates excitement for your products/services

       To say thank you to your support team

       That increases your level of professionalism/education

       To create a sales contest that drives revenue

       That adds net new customers to your base

       That drives the necessary sales leads for each month

       To say thank you to your existing customer base

       To increase your public relations exposure within your community or market

       That will increase/improve your vendor relations

       To improve your CRM effectiveness

       If your computer systems fail or are destroyed

That’s enough for now, but if I missed anything, comment below, let’s build a complete list for the future.

HINT:  this is a great idea for your next management meeting, simply begin by asking each of the departmental managers about their problems or contingency issues that arise on a day to day basis or what might occur if a disaster of any kind happens-then ask them for their plan.

Why is this critically important today?  In any kind of business environment,  the organization that operates the most efficiently generally out performs their competition, in more challenging times a focus on efficient effectiveness must become the mantra for the day.

Check out our  Sales Management Boot Camp, starts May 12th, 8 weeks of online, interactive training:

https://www.salesgravy.com/online-sales-training/course/Slammed!-The-New-Sales-Manager-Boot-Camp-(Starts-5-12-17)-233

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 18 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout the world

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

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

Be an Optimized Sales Leader

April 3rd, 2017

Be an Optimized Sales Leader

In every business cycle new ideas are built and strategies-tactics attempted to create a positive impact on the organization. For example, the role of quality control, Lean and Kaizen Management have been implemented in many areas of business to improve performance. In most cases each of these “re-engineering” type programs have had positive impacts; from just in time inventory, to ISO policies.  Most of these programs have been directed at inventory, process management, cost reduction, financial statements and even Human Resource management.  What has seemingly been overlooked in most companies and now is rapidly gaining a focus is the productivity, cost and methodology of the sales organization.

The impact of Sales Management Optimization Policy ™ must be applied to the sales organization. Essentially OP is defined as: “you must build your organization to excel in the tough times and to propel in good times”.  In a sales organization this responsibility is the Vice President or Sales Manager. Yet these individuals who have a major impact on the success of the organization generally have a job-life span of 14-18 months, limited training-at best and must operate in a pressure filled role with multiple soft and hard management skills in operation at all times.

In most cases sales management lacks methodology and a focus on running their organizations that manufacturing, inventory and financial managers have successfully implemented. Sales Management Optimization Policy takes into consideration the aspects of effective process management, standards and cost control into the sales organization.

Challenges:

In the current economic market, the successful Sales Leader faces many challenges:

  • Managing Lower Costs of Sales
  • Driving Revenue
  • Attaining Budget Goals
  • Managing Sales Teams
  • Working with Limited Span of Control
  • Achieving Goals with Stretched Resources
  • Working with Market Dynamics

The answers lie in two fundamental points. First;if it’s working, don’t mess with it” and for those companies where sales (revenues) are working there is little interest in disturbing that department. Second, when sales are not working two actions seem to take place; radical personnel change or high levels of micro-management on the actions to fix revenues.  We would argue that all organizations must look at a bigger picture and build logical and emotional judgements/systems in place not only to achieve the goals of the organization but to assure management systems/processes are designed to create the environment for successful sales cultures. Selling is emotional  and sales leaders must balance the need for building an environment of success and need for business management systems.

The interesting element in building an Optimal Policy within a high performance sales management approach is aligning the goals of the individual with the goals of the corporation. The smart sales leader will understand the basics of pure management, i.e. understanding the personal needs and wants of their individual team members or what most people today call EQ or Emotional Quotient.  In my Life Enrichment keynotes I discuss how management must focus on this point for themselves and their teams.

First, let’s address the business side of sales management. This element covers  key components of the tactical implementations of  sales management. The list below represents a Sales Management Business Plan.  Each of the  components would include goals, impact on the attainment of the  corporate goals, critical success factors, potential challenges, measurements and defined tactical actions required to achieve the goals. We recommend these plans are updated every six months with a 60-day assessment of trends or changing factors.

Statement of focus

Time line of planned events

Activity standards

Account plans

Sales organization design (18-24 month view)

Sales process design map

Customer relationship strategy

Sales technology implementation

Recruitment/hiring/training programs

Marketing/ materials

Public Relations awareness

Business Eco-System Partners and Alliances

Product and revenue projections-24 months

Competition Analysis

The second aspect of Sales Management must be the cultural human interaction or EQ.  It must be recognized that only managing by the numbers and focusing on activity based sales indicators will not create the environment for high performance. The goal of sales management is to achieve results and manage the business, it is critical that salespeople understand key ratios are to assist them in their personal job success not as micro-management. Yet we find often a line has been drawn between the salesperson and their manager in “talking only about the numbers”. The key issue for the individual  is to understand their formula for success and how the specific  salesperson’s performance matches against that company’s formula.

We must move beyond this mentality to truly understand the personal objectives of our people and communicate your interest to help the person. Sales Management today must assist members of their team in setting personal objectives  and assist their team members on achieving those goals.  We call this align the soul of the individual with the goals of the corporation. This is where coaching and real managing takes place and a managers trust level grows.

 Focus on understanding and improving the sales management process along with building your EQ sensitively to the needs of your sales team and you will experience the best that life can bring you: Sales Management Optimization!

 Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers,

Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

The 4 Levels of Sales Intelligence

March 20th, 2017

The Four Levels of Sales Intelligence

By Jeb Blount, Author of Sales EQ:  How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal

The speed and complexity of the modern marketplace is the domain of intellectual agility. Ultra-high sales performers possess four types of intelligence that are tightly intertwined, each connecting, affecting, and amplifying the others.

  • IQ—how smart you are. Fixed and baked into your DNA.
  • AQ—how much you know. Makes IQ relevant.
  • TQ—how fast you assimilate and leverage technology. Makes more time for human relationships.
  • EQ—your acuity for dealing with emotions. Your own and those of others.

Ultra-high performers combine high IQ, AQ, and TQ with high EQ to dominate their competitors.

Innate Intelligence

Your intelligence quotient (IQ) is an indicator of how smart you are. Innate intelligence is baked into your DNA. It is a talent no different than athleticism. You are either born with a certain IQ or you are not. IQ is immovable. In other words, you are as smart as you will ever be.

Ultra-high sales performers are smart people. They are keen observers and have insatiable curiosity. They have the innate ability to connect disparate ideas, data, facts and patterns to develop unique and original solutions to problems—a critical competency in sales for discovery, challenging the status quo, and developing unique solutions and recommendations.

In sales, however, where emotions rather than rational decision making carry the day, IQ is but part of the performance equation. Innate intelligence becomes relevant, useful, and powerful when combined with acquired, technological, and emotional intelligence.

Acquired Intelligence

I was delivering a two-day Sales EQ seminar for a client. On the first day, I noticed that a couple of the participants were disengaged. The rest of the group of roughly 20 people were participating and energetic. But these two were almost hostile.

At lunch, I asked the sales leader if there was something going on. He confided that everyone had been excited about the training except for these two, who had complained about having to go back to training. “They think they know it all. But trust me—these guys need this badly because they are struggling to hit their numbers.”

Average salespeople who think they know it all—I see it every day.

Innate intellect is useless on its own. It must be honed and developed. Unlike innate intelligence, acquired intelligence (AQ) is not static.

Regardless of your IQ, you can grow your AQ with schooling, training, reading, along with practice, adversity, and experience. Acquired intelligence makes IQ relevant and useful.

Technological Intelligence

Technological intelligence (TQ) is the ability to interact with technology and weave it seamlessly into one’s daily life. Those who fail to develop this ability or who resist developing it will be left behind.

As technology—especially artificial intelligence—becomes a ubiquitous part of daily life, humans with high TQ will thrive in ways that humans with low TQ will not.

It is essential that salespeople adapt quickly to working with machines. Salespeople can no longer afford to claim that they are “not computer savvy.” If you don’t get tech savvy and quickly, you will be left behind and out of a job.

In the future, there will be two types of salespeople. The first group will tell machines what to do. The second group will be told what to do by machines. Trust me, you want to be in the first group.

Emotional Intelligence

The ability to perceive, correctly interpret, respond to, and effectively manage one’s own emotions and influence the emotions of others is called emotional intelligence (EQ).

Today, the impact of sales-specific emotional intelligence (Sales EQ) on sales performance can no longer be ignored. Buyers are starving for authentic human interaction.

In our tech-dominated society, interpersonal skills (responding to and managing the emotions of others) and intrapersonal skills (managing your own disruptive emotions) are more essential to success in sales than at any point in history.

Emotional intelligence is the key that unlocks ultra-high sales performance.

Mastery of sales-specific emotional intelligence (Sales EQ) explains why one person becomes an ultra-high sales performer while another is just average, even though the intellectual ability and knowledge of the two people are equal. Sales professionals who invest in developing and improving EQ gain a decisive competitive advantage in the hypercompetitive global marketplace.

Jeb Blount is the author of eight books including Sales EQ Fanatical Prospecting, and People Follow You. He is a Sales Acceleration specialist who helps sales organizations reach peak performance fast by optimizing talent, leveraging training to cultivate a high-performance sales culture, developing leadership and coaching skills, and applying a more effective organizational design. Contact: 1-888-360-2249 or  https://www.SalesGravy.com

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Close

March 13th, 2017

The Perfect Close

-a book review-

21 page corners turned over! For those past readers of this blog and my book reviews you know that is an excellent rating.  For those of you that are new, whenever I read a new book, I read it with a pen in hand and I fold over the corners of those pages with high value. Believe me James Muir’s book, The Perfect Close is a great add to any sales library.

Early on James added a section titled “Why I Wrote This Book”, he writes of his history of sales and sales management-almost talking himself out of sale and coaching others in learning how to sell.  His stories are easy to relate to and James writing style is smooth and his content is spot on.  His 13 chapters flow logically, even though on page one he clearly states if you want to know his Perfect Close, skip everything and go to Chapter 12-more about that later.  This book is ideal for those salespeople that are new to selling or uncomfortable in a sales role. For those highly experienced salespeople, his ideas will rock you. They are new, scientific, tested and will add fresh concepts to your sales style.

What caught my attention in reading this book was how the author set up the reader by starting at the beginning of the sales process and how it allows The Perfect Close to work.  He starts by breaking down the closing mindset, but then locks you into the books focus by Chapter 3: Adopting the Right Mindset. This chapter was amazing, in it James moves into the buyers mind and the sellers mind with scientific descriptions as to how your mind can cause your mental, physical and even vocal interactions with a buyer to change. He goes in to great detail quoting various scholars and studies as to what key sales attributes are required for success, I will give them away-but you must buy this book to fully understand their importance.  They are warmth and competence. What signals are you giving out during that first stage of a sales interaction?  What questions are your buyers thinking and what are you thinking and how are your thoughts reinforcing these attributes?   This chapter is a MUST sales training program for any sales team.

As James continues to bring the reader to Chapter 12, he takes you into not only the logic but the science of what advancing the sale means and why a professional salesperson must understand what commitment/consistency and endowed progress means and how they lead to setting up the Perfect Close. Throughout the book his examples, tips and illustrations provide any salesperson with new thoughts on improving their skill.

Adding to his theme of a mental approach to selling, James covered in great detail the mentality of stimulating the buyers mind. Again, another chapter worth a sales training meeting. Just imagine how your sales will soar as you better understand how to had unique value and that your questioning techniques include a knowledge basis and cognitive style. The illustrations on this topic must be studied and reinforced to fully utilize this approach-they are certainly a sales differentiation technique that will change your approach and add thousands of dollars to your commission account.

Chapter 10 includes pre call planning and includes a long list of suggestions and a variety of sample forms. Chapter 11 then discusses setting up a sales call agenda, a tactic most salespeople don’t understand or more importantly don’t use.  The author’s examples make it easy to implement this ideas.

Finally in Chapter 12 James hits you with his Perfect Close. Just two easy statements or questions, brilliantly covered.   What really made this book is how he explains this idea and how he moves on with a variety and large number of examples on how to use his technique. He even created a sample sales scenario between a salesperson and a prospect to show how it works.  This chapter is golden.

If you are a professional salesperson, want to be one or a Sales Manager get this book. At the end of the book, James lists 5 pages of other top rated sales books that you should have in a sales library. PLUS James offers a robust list of resources associated with his book at www.PureMuir.com/resources

It makes the Acumen Sales Book Club, buy this book for each of your salespeople, cover one chapter a week during your sales meeting and during your Sales Training Meetings role play the concepts throughout the book.  At the end of the year you will be happy!

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

It’s Time to Recruit-not necessarily to hire,, Lesson from the Super Bowl

February 6th, 2017

It’s time to Recruit-not necessarily to hire.

A Super Bowl Lesson

After 8 days and 6 different cities I hope to make sure this message is clear-it’s been a busy week! I missed last week’s blog because of some of that travel but I also wanted to make sure everyone had time to consider the blog on sales compensation planning for 2017-it’s a critical component for building a high performance and self managed sales team.

The most critical component in creating a high performance team is attracting and selecting the right level of talent, however, hiring correctly is still the number ONE problem in most organizations.  While the jury is still out on the on college national signing day and their recruitment of high school seniors, and if you follow college football you saw Alabama again win the talent contest for football players. They certainly refilled their talent pool and Alabama actually turned down players that were highly rated.

What we saw at the Super Bowl on Sunday was something similar. What we saw at the Super Bowl for those of you who are not aware of the Sunday’s event; with very little time Tom Brady lead his team back from a 21 point deficit to win his 5th Super Bowl ring.  The record shows that he has accomplished similar come from behind victories every year. On ESPN he was quoted:  I kept telling myself and my teammates that we can still win this game.   While sport’s analogies are cliché, the odds of winning were with the Patriots, however the amazing story was Howie Long, FOX Analyst, comments that with Tom Brady, the Patriots have won 5 Super Bowls with a large number of new receivers, something like 50 different offensive linemen, 20+ new running backs and many new positon coaches-yet excellence has continued. How have they continued to create a successful organization?

While being interviewed, Bob Kraft, the Patriots owner, kept talking about not only culture, but organization process, attention to details and a focus on quality. They know that each year players/coaches will retire, move to new organizations, (they are losing their Offensive Coordinator today) and others will be let go. They have to be ready and continue to keep their talent levels and training programs at a constant peak.

I titled this blog: Now is the time to recruit—not necessarily to hire-is also important.  Recruiting must be a constant focus of sales management.  At this time of year many top performers are assessing their current employer and are asking themselves if they are positioned with a winner or if the frustrations of the past year or two have been worthwhile and if they have progressed professionally.  If you are not constantly seeking new and better talent, you will find that the top sales talent, may not be looking when you are.   We always tell our clients that they need to develop a marketing campaign to recruit talent as well as to find prospects-both pipelines are critical.

Recruiting is not hiring. In my book I mention recruiting is 20% of the Sales Managers job, it is that important to add quality to your sales organization. Honestly evaluating your current talent is important. In our SLAMMED! Sales Management Boot Camp we start the entire program with this exercise, with an honest evaluation you will be in position to recruit and hire more effectively.  Build an interviewing process, stick to it, have at least 3 people interview each candidate, be skeptical and you will see the results of your efforts-just like Bob Kraft or Tom Brady.

Also in our book, “Recruiting and Hiring a High Performance Sales Team”, I suggest that for every one salesperson you hire, you need to interview five and that a minimum of three people interview each person. While I can’t get into a complete recruiting, interviewing and hiring process in this blog, building a recruiting machine with a defined interviewing process will help you take the emotion out of hiring and help you select the winners required to make your organization a “super team”.

Our website has a free video on Hiring Smart and our On Line Sales Manager’s Tool Kit includes a complete interviewing kit as well as a 3 week New-Hire On boarding training schedule. www.Acumenmanagement.com

Check out those resources then focus on execution.   I hope your new year is off and running-in the right direction!

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

More Sales Less Time

January 24th, 2017

More Sales/Less Time

-A book review-

If want to exceed your sales goals this year-read this book…

I am not sure how some people do it?   Jill Konrath has written three other sales related books and now she hits the mark again with More Sales/Less Time published by Penguin books.

This book sets a different tone from her past books, Selling to Big Companies, SNAP Selling and Agile Selling.  In this book, Jill shares a highly personal story, sharing a lot of research that ends up providing every executive, sales manager and certainly all salespeople a formula to increase productivity. Her findings and action plans are a fresh approach to managing a salesperson’s business and personal life by creating a more productive time management plan. In the end, time is everyone’s most valuable asset.

What you will enjoy about this book is Jill created a story about her own professional sales life, with pipeline challenges, client work and worldwide travel challenges, plus including her active personal life. Everyone will relate to her realization that “things’ had gotten out of control. Everyone in sales will buy into her story, her attempts to increase productivity, her failures, this makes her “result” all the more real.  The other strong aspect of this book is the ton of research Jill had done along with many one on one interviews, that bring credibility and reinforces her thinking. (Jill has a complete appendix of available resources for you too…)

So what’s the meat in this book? In my opinion it is the essence first that in today’s crazy busy sales world, there are many distractions (CRM/Social Media/Internet, sales calls….) that eat into a salesperson’s key resource –TIME.  Jill takes you through her pathway of exploring various ideas, tools and even gamification to attempt to find her method to increase her productivity and time management.   I turned over the corners of 18 pages where I found major tips, new concepts and key points in her book.  You will find yourself nodding your head and say, great idea!

What you will gain by buying this book is a process to create a new time saving methodology for you! A personal plan that will:

  • Recover Lost Time
  • Learn to Get More Done
  • Make it Easier
  • Accelerate Sales

Those are just a few of the major sections of Jill’s book. The chapters I found most enlightening were Part 4, where Jill becomes The Time Master, her Time Master Manifesto should be hung on every sales room wall!  It’s worth the investment of the book.  Let me give you a hint: The Time Master becomes her avatar that possesses a deep knowledge and magical capabilities-like a wizard-a hero! 

Part 5 “Add the Secret Sauce” links everything together.

HINT: if you are a Sales Manager, Appendix 1 is for you: Leading a Highly Productive Sales Team

It’s a fun read with a lot of worthwhile content. If you are a sales leader, buy this book for every salesperson and run an Acumen Book Club-assign each of the 7 sections to a salesperson and then each week in your sales meetings, discuss the contents of that section with your entire team. Then follow up to ensure your team is working on Jill’s key points-I think you will be amazed at the increase in productivity.

Find it on Amazon, go to:  www.JillKonrath.com    a great site for content.

Let me know your thoughts?

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

Slammed! Sales Management Book Camp

January 9th, 2017

KEN: Normally I do not use this blog to promote, but I have had many readers inquire about out training programs and I wanted to let everyone know about this special opportunity.

Slammed! The New Sales Manager Boot Camp

We hear these comments all the time:

  • Revenues are flat
  • We have too much to do, we don’t have time to build a sales organization
  • I am frustrated with my sales team, do I have the right team?
  • I have a problem growing sales profitably
  • My pipeline is full, but nothing is closing
  • I don’t think my compensation plan is working
  • I am unsure what metrics to use to measure sales effectiveness
  • We seem to react to every opportunity

If you relate to any of these comments then SLAMMED! Sales Management Boot Camp maybe for you.  We start 2-24-17

To Learn More    http://ow.ly/VRmV307IMB5

Sales management is one of the most rewarding jobs in business when you know what to do and how to do it. This is what New Sales Manager Bootcamp is all about. Taught by sales management guru Ken Thoreson (one of the world’s foremost sales leadership coaches),  you will get everything you need to crush it in your new role.

You will attend eight live, virtual sessions with Ken in a small group setting (all sessions are recorded), in addition, you’ll have access to:

  • More than thirty self-directed video learning modules
  • Discussion forums where you can share best practices with Ken and other participants
  • Live chat room where you can interact with Ken
  • Ken will also be available for limited one to one coaching
  • Plus you’ll get all four books in Ken’s Sales Management Guru series including Slammed! For the New Sales Manager

In the course you’ll learn:

  • Important time management strategies for sales leaders
  • How to recruit, interview, and hire top talent
  • How to motivate your sales team
  • How to build and lead a high-performance sales culture
  • Compensation and incentive strategies
  • Coaching and training strategies for improving performance
  • How to effectively onboard new sales reps
  • How to evaluate your team and plan for the future
  • Pipeline strategies
  • Business planning strategies
  • How to build and create accountability
  • How to monitor leading indicators
  • How to manage and leverage sales dashboards
  • How to use Salesperson Business Plans to lead a self-managed team
  • And continued access to all training material in the program for twelve full months

If you are new to sales leadership  or never attended a sales management course this is a opportunity you must not miss. It is a rare opportunity to learn from one to the greatest sales management minds of all time. To ensure that participants get full attention class size is limited to 12 participants.

Enroll now to get instant access to pre-work and initial training videos. For questions please give us a call at 1-844-447-3737

To Learn More    http://ow.ly/VRmV307IMB5

 

 

Why 2017 Can Be Your Best Year Ever!

January 2nd, 2017

Life Enrichment: Why 2017 Can Be Your Best Year Ever!

Individually, at parties and in the news,  questions of New Year’s Resolutions are one of the major topics, recently I posted the following notes on my Facebook page, the post received many “likes and comments’ from a variety of connected friends:

May everyone and I mean everyone, enjoy the new year, enjoy your friends, make new ones, enjoy your experiences, create new and different ones, and as I was trained as a Boy Scout, always leave the campsite better than when you arrived…Life Enrichment should be our focus, living together with harmony, not divide our purpose. Vow to help someone else have a better life.

In a short post I tried to highlight specific actions that as a society and specifically individuals we can all do to “heal” our society but just importantly to ensure you enjoy a better life as well.  In many of my keynote programs I focus on Life Enrichment as a theme. Simply this means by taking positives actions a person can more fully enjoy both their Personal Lives as well as their Professional Lives. This balance of professional/personal life brings a better sense of success that leads to a better life, I call this Gourmet Living.

First, in my post I encouraged everyone to enjoy the year, drop the anger or craziness of the election, it’s bad for your health, tough on your friends and will bring a negative atmosphere to your life. Learn to enjoy the time you have with your friends, laugh, make time for a breakfast/lunch just to talk and develop deeper relationships.

Second, make new friends, expand your network of business/friends and enhance your contact with old friends.  Recently because of two boy hood friends and their current professional lives, I was in a position to help a younger women move forward in her life with a goal of impacting five new lives.  New people may bring you different experiences and perspectives that may broaden your life.  Reach out to open a dialogue at any chance you have;  yesterday at the Lady VOLs basketball game I had an ongoing conversation about the game with the Usher, it was fun and his insights to the team made the game more interesting.  (They won too!)

Third, leave your campsite in better shape, this has become a major mantra for me, perhaps as I reach my current age I have reflected more on life, but I would like to believe it’s a mantra I have attempted to always promote. Work on improving your local community, your church/organizations that impact others, take care of the environment, and mentor a younger person, whatever-volunteer.  I recently read it will make you live longer, make you more healthy, and happy.

A friend of my recently wrote a blog on the “One Person That Impacted My Life in 2016” I think it was a fabulous idea, today is a good day for you to reflect on that thought, name that person and thank them, make them aware of your feelings and then go make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

A few simple thoughts at the start of our new year I hope you enjoy.

BTW: In February we will launch “SLAMMED! For the first time Sales Manager, this 8 week online boot camp is based upon my last book. We will cover all the aspects of sales leadership, from recruiting, compensation,  leadership, training/coaching, management systems, etc.…I will be using our online video training series, workbooks, discussions and personalized dialogue. If you wish to learn more, send me an email

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com

Ken

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 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 fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2016. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

1st Quarter 2017, Are you set up for success?

December 20th, 2016

First Quarter 2017

Are You Set Up for Success?

Ken, are you crazy?  I have not finished the fourth quarter yet!  But as budget planning begins and business strategies begin to be set, it is your responsibility to be ready for 2017.  What do you need to have on your to-do list for the next 60 days? I have listed the top 10; let me know what I have missed or what is on your list?

  1. What are your revenue objectives by each quarter for 2017?
  2. Review your existing teams carefully, analyze each person’s strengths, weakness, rank the following on a scale of 1-5, (5=great), are they good enough to stay on your team for 2017?
    1. Sales skills
    2. Product/industry knowledge
    3. Operational knowledge
    4. Sales planning
  3. How many new people do you need to recruit? When do you need them fully up and trained? Hint: hire them NOW. Check out our book on how to Hire Top Performers.
  4. Review your marketing/sales operational teams. Do they really understand your market, your customers, and the benefits you bring to them?  What do you need to do to improve their business knowledge?
  5. Is your compensation plan effective? Did it achieve the results you wanted? Have your business objectives changed and therefore your 2017 compensation plans may need to be altered. (Take our free sales compensation assessment on our web site: www.AcumenMmgt.com)
  6. Re-assess your CRM/Sales Metric Dashboards for the entire year, what trends can you find or what activities need to be enhanced? Hold an individual salesperson review meeting to assess performance.
  7. What will be your “theme” for 2017? Define what the top 3 objectives that you need to focus on during each of the 1st and 2nd quarters?
  8. Schedule a “personal self-assessment” meeting, either with your manager or your peer team or even perform a confidential 360 analysis by using your sales team to comment on what you are doing well and what needs to be improved.
  9. What new elements within your sales training plans for 2017 do you need to plan for? Outside training? A book club? More role playing?  What do you need to do to improve the professionalism of your team?
  10. When is your 2017 Sales Kick-Off Meeting? Where will be held? What will you announce and how will you energize your team with vision, fun, and direction?

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 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 fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2015. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

Ten 2017 Sales Kick-Off Meeting Ideas

December 12th, 2016

Ten 2017 Sales Kick-off Meeting Ideas

 

While working with a client last week it became obvious that we are moving into the time to finalize 2017 budgets, compensation plans and something most sales managers don’t take enough in developing their 2017 Sales Kick Off meeting.

Already many larger organizations are booking their sales conferences for the first quarter where they will invite their sales teams, vendors, resellers/partners to hear plans to make 2017 the “best year ever”.  Keynote speakers, breakout sessions, new marketing plans and product demonstrations will all be coordinated to increase enthusiasm, salesperson belief and excitement that the New Year will bring.  I know this because I am already booked for five events already.  However just because larger organizations are planning their formal conferences, it doesn’t mean a smaller sales organization shouldn’t plan a Kick-Off event.

A New Year sales kick-off meeting can be organized as an off-site/overnight 2 day program or as simply as a ¾ to a ½ day event.  You should schedule them no later than mid-February and many firms will hold a mid-year event as well. However the basics of any sales kickoff event should include the following planning ideas. These idea’s are not in order of priority.

  1. A theme for the New Year. This should be a positive statement of your major objectives and something that can be reinforced throughout the year. “Be Brilliant on the Basics”, The Best and Brightest! Are only two examples.  You should then determine how you will reinforce whatever theme your chose with a gift, a banner but make sure every speaker comments on the theme.

 

  1. Include time for sales training on sales skills and hand out a sales training book that will be your first quarter “must read”. You can use the book for extended sales training during your meetings. (Jill Konrath’ s new book is hot: More Sales, Less Time ) HINT: Roll out your first quarter sales training plans at the same time.

 

  1. Announce a first quarter sales contest to help you get off to a fast start. (see previous blogs for ideas)

 

  1. Announce a 2017 yearly sales contest, this should be a big prize for exceeding the salesperson’s quota. Examples include: a trip to a resort, a cruise or a trip to an island.  Remember these kinds of incentive programs are not expenses but paid out of incremental revenues/profits. Your announcement should include pictures of the location, etc. Again, you can tag other contests to this and reinforcement is important.  These kinds of games will increase your sales culture and drive performance. See my book: Creating High Performance Sales Compensation Plans, for idea’s on sales contests. www.AcumenManagement.com

 

  1. Describe and show your marketing plans for the first six months-at least. This will show the salespeople how your organization is planning to support the sales team.

 

  1. Schedule the President of your company to give a short message on his/her philosophy on sales and the culture of your organization. Keep management involved in the meeting both during the meeting and afterwards during a social time.

 

  1. You may or may not announce your new compensation plan at this event, it all depends upon the degree of change you are making. With minor changes, it’s a great time, with major changes schedule a separate meeting. HINT: Do not roll out the new compensation plan as the last topic of the meeting, schedule it early in the afternoon, if your event is a full day meeting. In my book: Creating High Performance Sales Compensation Plans I cover an entire chapter on how to successful “roll out” a new plan.

 

  1. Make sure you make the meeting fun! As the sales leader work on activities, games, ideas that create the right culture and teamwork.  You can find many ideas online.

 

  1. Spend time having each salesperson presents their “Business Plans” for the first half of the year. Based upon the number of salespeople this can be done by breakouts into regions, smaller groups or as a single group. These business plans include not only forecasts but personal commitments to activity levels and professional growth. If you need an idea of what a Salesperson’s Business Plan, send me an email; Ken@AcumenMgmt.com

 

  1. Bring in an outside speaker. This could include a customer telling their satisfaction with your firm, a sales trainer or one with a motivational message that propels your team to excellence. Whoever speaks must reinforce your objectives, your theme and be relevant to your team.

This is your time to bring a coordinated program that set’s the tone for the New Year. Make sure you take the time to do it right.

What additional ideas do you have to make your sales kick-off meeting special?  Let’s share.

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 18 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 2016.

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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com