Welcome!

Enhancing Your Executive Edge

February 23rd, 2015

Enhancing Your EXECUTIVE EDGE

How to Develop the Skills to Lead and Succeed

It’s time for another book review!  Last week I was on vacation and I had the time to read three books, one of them written by Kim Zoller/Kerry Preston was on Enhancing Your Executive Edge. Published by McGraw Hill, it is a terrific read for all executives and any manager.

In defining Executive Edge the authors quickly hook you in the Introduction, they set the stage showing their methodology by providing the reader an experience in self development and growth by providing an Online Assessment to first determine your current “Edge”.  I would suggest you take this assessment after reading this blog. www.whatismyexecutiveedge.com  The reader will immediately begin to understand their current environment.

As you read through the Introduction Kim/Kerry describe their plan of breaking the book into five major buckets with 18 distinct chapters:

  1. Self-management and social awareness
  2. Personal branding
  3. Communication and presence
  4. Business protocol-the details of Executive Edge
  5. Motivation, perseverance, and excellence

Throughout the book they make you work through various scenarios and check lists to assess your current status and your desired outcomes. In addition throughout the book they offer strategies to help the executive handle various situations, for example:

  • Strategies for Not Being and Looking Arrogant
  • Strategies for Working with Arrogant People
  • Strategies for Not Posturing and Avoiding Extreme On-Upmanship
  • Strategies for Working with Others who are Posturing

The chapter on “Knowing How to Read People” is outstanding!  Their check lists and 10 tips are critical in enhancing your ability to manage people, this chapter alone can assist any person in becoming a more effective leader.

One of the aspects that I always stress with my clients is to build “business Eco-System Partners”, or a network of people that can help you grow your business as well as your personal level of professionalism. In Chapter 6 the authors hit this topic head on and they show you how to Strategically Build Relationships and Influence.  As in every chapter they provide useful tips and at the end of each chapter they summarize their key points. The following chapter then moves on to showing the reader how increase your effectiveness by learning to Network and Business Socializing by helping you build a BLT.  This focus on creating “believability, likeability, and trust” in your business environment and in any situation. The authors walk you through their checklist in preparing for an event, how to work the event and how to appropriately follow up after the event. If your salespeople network this chapter would make a great sales training meeting, if you managers work events, this chapter is worth a discussion at your managers meeting.

Standing out is part of the concept of having an Executive Edge.  Kerry/Kim focus on Personal Branding extensively and how to build it; the entire section provides a great level of insight into how individuals can create a real presence.   Their helpful tips will provide you an action plan to increase your ability to increase your position; starting with “Appearance, Behavior to determining your Value.

This book is a great read for the first time manager and it would make a terrific book for an organizations management team to read and discuss. HINT: add this book to each managers Executive Development Plan.

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

What Sales Compensation Trends Are in Store for 2015?

February 12th, 2015

What Sales Compensation Trends Are in Store for 2015? 

By David J. Cichelli, Sr. Vice President, The Alexander Group, Inc.

This week while I am on vacation I am adding a Guest Blog, it should be of huge interest to the readers of this blog.

A look into the Alexander Group’s “2015 Sales Compensation Trends Survey” reveals that companies plan to offer moderate pay raises of 3 percent for sales personnel in 2015. This comes after a blowout year in 2014 with payouts increasing 7 percent over payments from the previous year, widely exceeding the 3% increase planned for 2014. Sales departments have a long history of overspending their compensation budgets. 2014 was a poster year for this practice.

Historically, projected wage inflation increases for sales personnel have remained modest since 2010. From 2011 through 2014, sales departments have projected their next year compensation payout costs to increase at a median 3 percent. Only in 2012 did the payouts match the projections. For 2011 and 2013, the payouts exceeded the estimate by 2 percent. For 2010, the payouts exceeded the estimate by 3 percent.

For 2015, we are again seeing sales departments estimate their compensation payouts to increase 3 percent. This is consistent with pay treatment for other corporate functions.

Much like the rest of the economy, most sales departments are expecting moderate sales revenue growth in 2015. Survey participants project a 7.5 percent median increase in sales for 2015.

The Survey results indicate that sales personnel hiring will be improving in 2015. Almost 65 percent of the reporting companies plan to increase headcount in 2015, the highest portion of reporting companies since 2010.

What else we can we expect to see in 2015? As the economy improves further, the demand for qualified sellers should expand. Hiring will become more difficult. If voluntary turnover increases as sellers seek improved compensation, we may begin to see an uptick in compensation inflation. The 2014 blowout might be a precursor signaling further and more generous wage increases for sales personnel in 2015.

Read more about the latest sales compensation trends, quotas, practices, costs and recognition events in the Executive Summary.

David J. Cichelli is the editor of the survey and a senior vice president with the Alexander Group. He is also the author of the best-selling book, “Compensating the Sales Force,” published by McGraw Hill, and the “2014 Sales Compensation Almanac,” published by AGI Press. He can be reached at dcichelli@alexandergroup.com.

Efficient Effectiveness: Sales Leadership

February 9th, 2015

Sales Management Thought Leadership:  efficient effectiveness

As an Eagle Scout I can discuss the topic of “Be Prepared” easily and based upon this past Sunday it even has more credibility. Boom’s Day” the largest fireworks display in the U.S  occurs each Labor Day weekend in Knoxville, TN-so what does that mean?  An estimated 400,000 people flock to the river front to watch the event; boats on the river, people lined up on the docks,  roads and every home, parking lot and condo packed with friends and neighbors.  As this was my first time to witness 45 minutes of noise, color and lots of OOOh’s and Ahhh’s I had to be prepared. Did I mention the potential of rain?

For two weeks, prior to Sunday,  I asked everyone about the event; where to park, when to arrive, double checked my reservations for my dinner cruise and thought of what to pack in my knap sack.  The good news was I found a parking spot in the first ramp I drove into, arriving at 2:30pm allowed my friends and I to casually walk thru Market Square, stop for  refreshments and sushi and then walk the 10 blocks to the river walk and boat launch. When the rain came we had hats’, ponchos, umbrellas and at 9:30pm when the show began, the rain stopped. On the walk back to the car, I took out my flashlight and the four of us made it home by 1am.  A great evening to remember.

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.
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

 

What is all this talk about added value?

February 4th, 2015

What is All This Talk about Added Value?

A mind is like an umbrella, it must be opened to work….

 During my keynote at a recent sales kickoff meeting I opened up the dialogue regarding how salespeople and organizations need to not only create value to separate themselves from their competition buy also the need for a company to prove their value proposition during the sales process.  Many organizations express their value on their website or marketing brochures, but fail in this important step of proof.

At this highly “product” driven company the salespeople were really struggling to understand the concept of being unique or what kinds of value they could offer, it was a lively session.   In a commodity business it is critical you consider value and what is really value. During a 90 minute keynote it might not be possible to create specific ideas around adding value or proving your value proposition but opening the mind to the concept is critical in today’s environment.

It comes down to the fact that without value added, anybody can do what you do, including your competition. Value added is up to the salesperson or organization in making the difference and if it is done right, no one will ever compete with you.

The strategic thought process question that should be asked before every meeting or client situation is:  “How can I add value to this opportunity?

There are three steps to adding value.

Step One: Forget what business you are in.

Understanding your business begins, paradoxically by forgetting your product/service. You’re not the product/services you represent. You sell dreams and you sell solutions; you simply deliver the product/service.  As a young salesperson I learned the power of this step, I found out the reason the client was purchasing my computer/software was to enjoy her weekends at the lake cabin!  That emotion is what I ended up selling. It is critical you always understand what the compelling reason to purchase is driving your client? I always stress this during sales strategy sessions.

Step Two: Move from the big picture to added value options

Ask yourself: What actions can I take that will add value to my offerings-that will exceed by clients’ expectations? What can I do that will position me as different from and more valuable than my competition?”  These can be the big questions that organizations can ponder during a strategic planning session or driven by the salesperson in each unique sales situation. One client of ours sold heavily on ROI; what we did was assist in creating a sales process where on stage 3 the salesperson would have the client visit our client’s website (make it a sales tool). The prospective client then would actually enter a few variables into a data entry form.  As a result the CFO of the client’s organization would create a business case for the project, this business case was then presented to the prospective client.  This added value, proved the companies value proposition and added a unique phase to the relationship.  What kinds of added value actions can you offer is a challenging session and will take time to develop. We suggest group meetings with a variety of employees, customer focus groups and brainstorming sessions during this phase.

Step Three: Value Add Evaluation

How can I bring this idea to my clients? Can I afford to do these things? Does it duplicate any other service we provide? I always suggest that competitors can ‘catch on” to what you are doing, but you don’t want them to “catch up”. It is critical you continually assess your ideas around the value you are bringing to the sales situation. Every six months schedule a strategy session to evaluate your sales process and your value add services.

It is a challenge to create value but the time and investment will pay huge dividends in revenues and profits.  Get creative, open your mind, find your competitive edge and win!

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

The Soft Edge; where great companies find success

January 19th, 2015

The Soft Edge

Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success

This week’s blog is a book review, The Soft Edge by Rich Karlgaard, published by Jossey-Bass.

This is an excellent management book for any level in any company, I recommend to my clients that they need to read a minimum of two business books a year and this book makes my 2015 list!

In the first chapter the author discusses the 3-sided triangle of business; the bottom is the Strategic Base, the left side is the Hard Edge and the right side becomes the Soft Edge. The hard edge is the traditional operations, ratios, measurements and systems of running any effective organization.   He spends just a few pages describing the importance of the Hard Edge and the 5 components that make up that side of the triangle.

Rich then moves on to describing what he means is the Soft Edge; “The Expression of Your Deepest Values”, it is made of 5 components as well.

  • Trust
  • Smarts
  • Teams
  • Taste
  • Story

 

Immediately he begins to build his case for the power of the Soft Edge management and then each of the following chapters takes the five components and breaks them into greater details and explanations.

Trust:  Trust begins with culture and values, as with many management focused books, the author quotes business leaders on the topic to reinforce his points. One quote: Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.  He described both internal and external levels of trust and makes his point by quoting a survey: “For the first time in in history, impressions of openness, sincerity and authenticity are more important to a corporation’s reputation than the quality of products and services”.

The amazing story was, I was reading this book on my way to Las Vegas to speak at a conference, one section of my program was on “building trust”.  During my speech I picked up the book, quoted from it to help me drive home my points!  When I packed my book, I did not know the contents of the chapters of this book, it was a total coincidence.

Smarts: There are two components: 1) the ability to learn new things and solve novel problems, 2) the ability to apply outcomes of learning-call this intelligence as –knowledge.

Teams: This chapter rings the bell, when he described the two pizza rule!  A team should never be larger than what 2 pizzas could feed.  He writes on the need to improve speed and execution, a great chapter on a topic that many others have tried to cover without Rich’s insights and story.

Taste: In this chapter Rich identifies key organizations that have focused on the “experience” of going beyond the aesthetic of the product, but creating the emotional connection.

Story: The point the author makes in this chapter is the power of having a corporate story (s), and the need to craft, share and create stories for both employees, customers and prospects. Building belief is critical in creating a sustaining business model.

In the Conclusion chapter he summaries the prior chapters by using a case study of a situation where companies have focused on the Soft Edges and where they have not-and the results. If you are not by the end of this book a believer in the power of the Soft Edge, this chapter will convince you.

Buy this book for each member of your management team and weekly, discuss one chapter at your management team meetings. It will make a difference in your success.

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 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.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

Increasing Velocity is a Critical Success Factor

January 13th, 2015

Increasing Your Velocity is a Critical Success Factor

 

It’s normal.  After any keynote presentation members of the audience will approach me to ask further questions on my program or make more in-depth comments on related topics, frankly I truly enjoy these kinds of give and takes.

Last Friday my topic was “Accelerate Your Business in 2015”, during the program I covered a variety of ideas, techniques and tools the audience could  use to drive increased levels of sales pipeline values and revenues.  A portion of what I spoke about was from a recent blog:  The One Must Do Action Step to Ensure a Great 2015!  In this in blog I covered why it is important to meet with your existing clientsat the beginning of every year and 5 potential outcomes you could expect from those meetings.  If you haven’t read it, it is not too late to implement the tactics I covered.

The interesting part of the one on one discussions I had was the tendency of almost every person that spoke to me suggested creating additional or new ideas/tools beyond the ones I had shared.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with creativity, being innovative or trying something new. What continues to amaze me is everyone had great ideas, however taking the time to create new approaches, or tools either delays the end result or in most situations-nothing happens.  Either something comes up or a distraction occurs and the sales/marketing/management programs fail to achieve their goals.

It seems people love to reinvent the wheel.

My recommendation is to use the idea’s/tools of others, certainly refine them to fit your focus, but rather than delay implementation or spending valuable time re-inventing or tweaking the program-simply execute it!   Increasing the velocity of everything you do in business today has become a critical success factor.

On Friday I had suggested the following ideas to accelerate your business;

  • Learn to Partner with other organizations, I call this business-eco system marketing
  • Implement a salesperson 20-20 campaign
  • Focus on a vertical market with in your business
  • Perform Account Plans on your top 30% customers
  • Learn to Cross Sell/Up Sell each of your products/services
  • Build Thought Leadership into your marketing
  • Create customer Power Networking Maps

During the presentation I covered each of these topics in greater detail as to the how to’s and the desired outcomes, if you wish to learn more about these ideas you can find them in  my various blogs on each topic. If you can’t find them reach out to me and I will share my thoughts with you. Ken@AcumenMgmt.com

Need other tools designed to increase your sales and sales management effectiveness? Don’t reinvent the wheel, check out the Online Sales Management Tool Kit

Lastly, what is your one best idea to increase the velocity of your business for 2015?

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 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

The One Must Do Action Step to Ensure a Great 2015

December 29th, 2014

The One Must Do Action Step to Ensure a Great 2015

What is the first action all salespeople must do to begin each year? It’s simple, but many times overlooked. The first action they need to do is reach out to every one of their existing clients, in a physical meeting if possible, and discuss with them their use/satisfaction and impact of the salespersons product/services on their company.  We call it the Annual Client Audit Review.

The objective of this meeting is actually made up of many sub-steps.

  • This will reinforce in the mind of the salesperson the benefits the products/services that were delivered-this builds belief in the company and belief by a salesperson is the most important emotion they must carry with them each day. It’s the inner desire to serve clients that separates the average performer from the top producer. When the salesperson truly believes in their product/services and their impact on their clients business -they will go the extra mile to win the order.

 

  • The second action, during this meeting is to discus with the clients “the client’s strategic objectives over the next 24 months”. This will help the salesperson plan a strategic sales roadmap as to how their products/services can potentially be used to assist the client in achieving their goals.

 

  • The third action with each client is to work them through an Account Plan. One portion of the entire plan is based upon mapping the current utilization of the existing product/services used by the client. Next the salesperson would walk the client through a Cross Sell/Up Sell program, showing them additional benefits of new offerings they have not taken advantage and how these additional products/services will leverage the clients existing products/services and bring new benefits. After the meeting the salesperson can then develop a strategy for the account and then create 5 tactical steps to further penetrate this account.

 

  • Don’t forget to ask for Reference Letter or a quote from your client.

 

  • Lastly, always ask for a referral, who do they know that you can serve?

These five actions will help the salesperson get off to a fast start-by working with and selling existing clients where they have trusted relationships and proven solutions. Immediate revenues, larger pipelines and increased levels of belief along with better customer relationships is a positive way to start the year.

What is your plan to get a jump start on 2015?

HINT: This Action Plan is assuming that in December the salesperson has already completed a 6 month Salesperson Business Planning exercise.

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

 

AMP UP Your Sales

December 15th, 2014

Amp Up Your Sales

Powerful Strategies that Move Customer Fast, Favorable Decisions

By Andy Paul

I kept nodding my head and saying; Yes, Yes, Yes as I turned the pages. Amp Up Your Sales, published by AMACOM, written by Andy Paul is a book you should consider for your 2015 sales training program. Andy has put together 40 chapters of concise, practical and most important the right information that when implemented can drive your sales to the next level.

He has broken his 40 chapters into eight (8) parts that range from;

  • Simplifying your sales
  • Accelerating responsiveness
  • Maximizing value
  • Selling through customer service

The first 9 chapters are focused on sales effectiveness. Right way Andy captures your attention by explaining the truth; how you sell is more important that what you sell.   This concept is explained in detail and frankly defines much of the book and then right away in the next chapter he hits another point. In my 16 years of sales management consulting I have found it to be a key success factor-the concept of a defined-specific sales process map. While many sales leaders believe they have a sales process, Andy’s explanation of changing a Light Bulb as compared to a sales process is exactly correct! As he explained, selling effectively is the power of the process.

His lesson on becoming an interactive salesperson vs a reactive salesperson is an absolute concept that truly professional salespeople must implement. In today’s selling environment too many salespeople are telling not selling their products/services.

In Part II, Accelerating your Responsiveness and Chapter 10, Andy begins to make his point of increasing The Speed of Responsiveness and introduces  Andy Paul’s Uncertainty Principle of Selling,  how by implementing his techniques you can change the prospect’s requirements and buying process and increase your win/lost ratios.

And then POW! , in the next chapter he hits it again with his New Sales Funnel explanation, this chapter is worth the price of the book alone.  He makes the case for why execution in the sales process and acceleration and sales responsiveness are the new buzz words in selling.  His graphs easily make the case for why buyers are more knowledgeable than before and why salespeople today must recognize the old sales process and funnel strategy must change.

Part III then opens the discussion how Maximizing Value-how to standout in the sales process and how to add that extra 1% of value to separate yourself from your competition. This concept is especially important with more product/service commodization. Becoming unique and using time effectively in your sales process are important lessons to learn.

During the last 6 months we have researched what major issues people are facing in their organizations. What was the number the 1 challenge?  Prospecting.  Andy add’s an entire section designed around Amp Up Prospecting.  A critical success factor for 2015.

The section that I really said YES too, was Mastering Stories that Sell. With our clients we discuss “tribal stories” or stories that can sell your services, Andy’s section on this is a home run.

As I stated, I would recommend this book to you, add to your 2015 sales training program. Buy the book for each of your salespeople, everyone should read the book, but assign a different chapter to each salesperson and make that person lead a discussion on the chapter at your weekly sales meeting.  Create your own book club, you will increase the performance of your team and increase the professionalism of your organization.

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

NON STOP SALES BOOM

December 9th, 2014

NONSTOP SALES BOOM

Powerful Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After year

by Colleen Francis

Time for a new book review-that must be added to your sales library! (Ken Thoreson)

I finished this book by Colleen Francis, published by AMACOM on my flight back from San Diego.  I could tell that the person next to me kept looking as I kept underlining various paragraph’s, drawing circles around bullets and folding over the corners of the book.  As I worked my way through the book he finally had to ask the question: “What do you find so interesting?

My answer: This book is the closest to a formal handbook on selling than I have read in a many years and as my clients need sales tips, this will be a great resource. In fact I will recommend it as an internal sales training book club tool as well!

As a sales management consultant for the past 16 years I have seen many business challenges and sales problems. One constantly arises; it has to deal with what I call the Wave Impact on sales pipelines, an organization experiences a large quarter of sales success and the next quarter is a drought, followed by another great quarter.   Colleen’s focus on NonStop Sales Boom brings together sales strategies and tactics designed to level off the boom to bust experience.

Collen consistently kept hitting key point’s chapter after chapter.  Quickly in chapter 2: The Sales Radar concept was introduced;   she captures your attention with her focus on “The 3 Categories of Tunnel Vision” and its impact on sales.  That chapter alone will begin to reset your view of the sales process.

One of great parts of the book are Colleen’s Power Tips. They are positioned throughout the book giving the reader an instant understanding the points she is making i.e. “Sales and marketing must agree on definitions”.  I have screamed that for years and she drives it home with a power tip!

As NonStop Sales Boom continues she explores the “new sales process”, while others have discussed this topic, I really enjoyed how Colleen took the time to explain how the various roles of the buyer and the salesperson must change and why they must change. This connection helps the reader better understand the logic and emotion of the issue.

Her chapters on negotiation are extremely real world, I have read many books and this one clearly and precisely provides tips and tactics as to how the salesperson can  collaborate before negotiation, and the chapter on “Fearless Negotiation” is great and a must read.

The last few chapters are focused on nurturing your current clients and developing leverage points within your client and within their business relationships. Once you have won them, how can you leverage them!  Again, 15 more ideas to improve your sales organization and prevent the sales wave from swamping your boat.

As I mentioned, with many of my clients I recommend they create a quarterly sales training plan that covers; product/service training, operations/CRM training, and sales skills training. I would recommend you buy this book for each of your salespeople and have them read a chapter a week-create your own book club.  Assign each salesperson to discuss a chapter during your Monday sales meeting, how it fits in your sales process, what were key learning points and develop a team discussion on the topic. Improve your skills and bring consistent growth year after year with NONSTOP SALES BOOM.

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

 

Do you Dominate the Conversation?

December 1st, 2014

Do You Totally Dominate the Conversation?

 This week I have asked a friend of mine to share one of his blog posts, Bob Terson has much to share, this topic is one of the secrets to sales success. Ken Thoreson

Two recent conversations I had—one on the telephone, one face-to-face in a restaurant—influenced me to write today’s blog. Both were with professional sales trainers, who shall remain anonymous; I have no wish to embarrass anyone. Both men have successful businesses, are in their late 40s, early 50s, with lots of experience under their belts—we’re not talking about a couple of rookies here. Both were interesting and likeable, except for their wearisome need to (1) completely dominate the conversation; (2) brag incessantly about how unique and successful their methodologies are, that no one else does what they do; and (3) constantly interrupt and direct the conversation back to themselves, which after a while became annoying to the Nth degree. Really, I couldn’t complete a thought without getting interrupted. It was so blatant it short-circuited my brain and I started looking for it.

  1. Dominating the Conversation: I have no doubt both sales trainers I spoke to, when they’re training people, preach the direct opposite of what they were personally practicing; otherwise they wouldn’t be successful. A true sales professional understands what my late father liked to point out—there’s a good reason we have two ears and only one mouth; he wants to get the other guy talking, so he can ascertain the information necessary to serve the prospect/customer. So, let me ask you, Do you practice what you preach?—personally, as well as professionally?
  2. Brag Incessantly: I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but let me remind you—no one likes a braggart! It’s boring as hell and all it actually does is reveal the depth of the braggart’s insecurities. Deep down he’s trying to convince himself, as well as you, that he’s cool as he’s portraying himself to be. A confident individual, the real McCoy, has no need to tell you how wonderful he is, how successful he is, none at all. He’s Cary Grant in North by Northwest, not Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street.
  3. Constantly Interrupting: If you consistently interrupt others, you’re showing them that they don’t matter to you, that you have no interest in their thoughts or opinions, not one bit. You’re demonstrating in no uncertain terms that it’s all about you—period, they don’t count a shred. You can tell them you care, but keep in mind what F. Scott Fitzgerald said: “Action is character.” It’s never about what you say; it’s always about what you do.

Let me suggest you monitor yourself at all times when conversing with people—personally, as well as professionally. If you catch yourself dominating the conversation, bragging, interrupting, immediately put a halt to it and say something like, “But enough about me; tell me about yourself—I’m all ears.”

Then listen like your life depended upon it. All the great ones are good listeners.

 

Robert Terson has been a sales professional and entrepreneur his entire adult life. He retired from his advertising company in 2010 after 38 years in business. Today, Bob writes, speaks and generously shares his time with others. Bob also does some LIMITED coaching and training. He lives in suburban Chicago with his wonderful wife Nicki. He blogs regularly at SellingFearlessly.com and you can follow Bob on twitter @RobertTerson and LinkedIn. His book “Selling Fearlessly“, released in October 2012, has received rave reviews and is available at Amazon.com.