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Sales Contests: Building a Culture of High Performance

May 23rd, 2016

Building a Culture of High Performance: Sales Games

At this time of year sales management must be looking at pipeline levels and goals for the 4th quarter and determining if there is the necessary level of activity to ensure targets will be exceeded. Organizations need to focus certainly on the short term-30 days sales cycle and end of year, but they also need to have a longer term perspective.  As an executive you must also focus on creating an atmosphere of fun, high performance and teamwork.

In this blog I wanted to share a few ideas from my books on sales management: Leading High Performance Sales Teams and Creating Sales Compensation Plans for High Performance.  In both books I share ideas for sales contests/games as well as how to properly roll them out and manage them.  In many cases I have seen great sales contest ideas poorly executed, it is critical you  think through what your objectives are and what you want the results to be and then CLEARLY write down the objectives, rules and incentives. The first rule, remember cash is not what you want to use during sales games-that is what your commission plan is designed to achieve.  The second rule is that creating fun in your sales culture is the main outcome-surely you may wish to add “net new client’s” or sell certain products/services and increase sales-but it is sales leaderships objective to make the sales contest is a fun experience. “If it isn’t fun, it isn’t selling”.

You might enjoy this video on Building a High Performance Culture:

Different types of contests will help you achieve different goals. Some should be held annually to address sales objectives, company business strategies and potential seasonal fluctuations. Others can be scheduled as needed to help launch new products or services, promote new releases or upgrades or tie into your customers’ larger campaigns. Still others can consist of short-term incentive games designed to motivate sales personnel to accomplish specific objectives by a specific deadline.

A Contest Sampler

Following are a few typical goals, along with ideas for contests that may help achieve them:

  • Increasing sales volume. Consider adding a cash      bounty for each additional new seat, new customer, or revenue sold beyond      a certain target value. Set a quarter-to-date objective above your sales      goal; that way, everyone on the team can win.
  • Improving customer service. Periodically survey your      entire customer base. If satisfaction reaches a certain goal—for instance,      when 95 percent of your clients say they’re “highly      satisfied”—and if your company is profitable, everyone gets a cash bonus.      Keep a visible scorecard of your goals and results so that everyone      maintains a constant awareness of your objectives.
  • Acquiring new clients.      To boost the number of new clients you add each      quarter, consider creating a “bounty bonus” plan. For example,      salespeople could earn a bounty bonus—either in cash or in points that can      be redeemed for rewards—for each new client or each competitive      replacement of a specific vendor’s customer. In addition, you could offer      bounty bonuses for salespeople who exceed their quarterly or annual quotas      for new accounts or net new revenues. You might even create and post      “Most Wanted” posters with the bounties prominently displayed to      help keep salespeople focused on contest objectives.
  • Overcoming seasonal slumps. If your sales typically      slow down over the summer, try launching a prospecting activity contest in      March, April and May. For instance, award sales team members points for      each new face-to-face call or sales demonstrations that they make during      those months, with accumulated points eventually eligible for prizes. Such      an effort can go a long way toward increasing the number of opportunities      in the pipeline from June through August.

Competition Considerations

Following are some issues to consider and questions to answer as you plan sales contests:

  • Determine what you want the contest to accomplish
  • Set the ground rules. Are all sales executives on an equal basis for the contest?  Be sure to put the rules in writing, making provisions for those and other situations that could arise.
  • Make the contest length the same as the      sales cycle.
  • Set specific goals that can be measured weekly or monthly.
  • Incorporate an exciting theme.
  • Consider making rewards gifts, rather than cash.
  • Boost team members’ motivation by getting their families involved.
  • Never run contests to the last day of the month or sales period.

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 third 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 as one of the top 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

7 Steps to Success for Sales Managers

May 16th, 2016

7 Steps to Success for Sales Managers

-A book review-

After being a VP of Sales, consulting on sales management for 19 years and after writing four books on sales management, Max Cates, author of 7 Steps caught my attention in the first five pages.

Those of you that have read my reviews before know that I score a book by the number of pages that I fold over the corners that include something I found of value; this book scored 24 folded pages!

Recently I have written a lot about the emotional aspects of sales leadership, Max starts off in the first chapter on First Step: Manage Yourself, with a heading “Self-Management Question Number One: Are you a trusted leader? This emotional connection can only come first when the sales manager is under personal control. The author makes the reader evaluate themselves and understanding that without trust the emotional bond that allows a manager to coach does not exist. Without trust the relationship becomes dysfunctional. Max’s style is to pose a question and then provide the reader the opportunity consider the issue with the examples/case studies and definitions, he focused on “Adaptability, Mental Toughness, Bad-Boss, Ego and EQ”. And that is all in the first 40 pages!

After that Max takes you into what is necessary to build an effective sales culture by giving the sales manager the specific framework on what someone needs to do to actually make it happen. His five steps with real world examples is terrific.

After setting the stage, he moves into Chapter Two, High Performance Teams Begin with Hiring. This is the number one hardest part of being a sales manager and the most important. In the book Max provides the foundation for any sales manager to create the “systems” necessary to hire the right person.  In my book on Recruiting I used the phrase “Hire the Best, Not the Best Available”, Max does an excellent job describing how to do it!  A few of his sub-titles justify this book easily:

  • The Science of Selection
  • Hire for Traits, not Skills
  • The Sixth Dimension
  • Body Language
  • Seven Tiebreakers
  • Red Flags

After we have our teams, as Sales Manager needs to Build a Winning Team, Become a Successful Servant Leader-two more chapters that gave me additional insights into what many sales managers fail to achieve.  Based upon Max’s past experience, he uses TQM as a cornerstone of this total sales management approach and specifically provides the reader 9 main components  of “Flow”. I kept circling and noting the various points throughout chapter four.

In Chapter Five, the author will open your eyes/brain into the power of generating higher levels of performance by creating: Sales Empowerment: Beginning with Ownership. Again he takes a step by step approach to help the reader understand the issues as well as the specifics on how to-do each action:

  1. Give Control to Get Control
  2. Develop By-In
  3. Empowering Your Team to Success
  4. Developing a Self-Managed Sales Team

Max then closes the book on chapters six on: Success Through Performance Measurement and chapter seven on Continuous Improvement, maintaining Success.

What I really liked that many books tend not to do is provide a Conclusion. He summarizes many of his key points with five critical needs of salespeople:

  1. Structure
  2. Challenge
  3. Respect
  4. Involvement
  5. Support

Are you providing these to your team? I hope you are thinking about your sales management performance and what needs updating, I know I was after reading this book.

I highly recommend any sales manager or executive is also their organizations sales manager to buy this book and READ it.  It offers insights into the psychology of sales management as well as tactical actions to take to create a high performance sales organization.

 

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 third 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

Sales Management Shouldn’t be a Horse Race

May 3rd, 2016

Sales Management Shouldn’t be a Horse Race

First of all I don’t enjoy gambling and second, I really don’t know how to read a horse racing program. When it comes to betting on a horse race I tend to look at the color of the Jockey’s silks or the name of the horse.

Last weekend a group of East Tennessee friends and I attended Keenland horse racing track near Lexington KY for an afternoon “at the races”. With a lot of laughs, good food and a few beverages we netted out with a loss of $26-overall a good day.  It occurred to me later on the drive home that our random decisions of determining which horse to choose and how much to bet, simply showed our ignorance and certainly a casual attitude to our investments.  (To be truthful the biggest bet we made on any race was only $10.)

During the past 18 years of consulting with hundreds of firms and certainly talking to thousands of people I have witnessed the same ignorance and casual attitudes in managing sales teams. That happens because of many reasons; lack of good pure sales management training programs, lack of previous exposure to sales leadership mentors or poor management styles.

It happens in so many aspects of the job of sales leadership. I have often written about the many aspects of how to build a high performance sales team and the many challenges that any sales manager faces on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. You can find my white paper on the 40 Actions Sales Managers Must Take to Build Predictable Revenue.

The challenge is to keep it simple with a focus on: inspecting what your expect and building on accountability.  What do I mean?

Unlike reading a jammed packed statistical Racing Program-that does not make sense to me and acting randomly, sales leaders must follow the Acumen Recipe.

  1. What is your vision for the next 24 months? What are your goals?
  2. Do I have a quality recruiting and interview/selection process for new salespeople?
  3. Is there a new hire on-boarding program designed to ensure the new people are ready to sell?
  4. Do you have a quarterly plan to train your sales team on: products/services, sales skills, company operations?
  5. What are the 5 metrics you are using to predict future revenues and sales performance?
  6. Does your company have a strong value proposition and can your sales team articulate it?
  7. How are you creating an emotional buy-in by of your sales team to your organization?
  8. Is your sales compensation plan achieving the strategic goals of your organization?
  9. Are you following up on the details? Inspecting that your salespeople can sell, can discuss your products/services the way you want them to? Are you holding them accountable for results-is a real world way?
  10. Is everyone having fun? (This is a major focus most sales managers miss.)

Step by step you can logically and systematically become a high performing sales organization. If you have a challenge understanding this 10 step sales management “race program”, then let me know. It is our goal at Acumen to improve your odds of winning.

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 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

 

Life Enrichment: Is your campsite in better shape than before you arrived?

April 26th, 2016

Life Enrichment: Is your campsite in better shape than before you arrived?

 

If you are not familiar with the question posed above it’s a mantra from my Boy Scout days and training. Whether you are a Sales Manager that regularly reads this blog or any other job role I wanted to raise this topic as I see this as a major question in our world today.  During my keynote programs I sometimes use this question to make a point and if there are Boy Scouts in the audience they get it immediately.

First let me explain the question, under the Boy Scout understanding, when you ever arrive at a campsite it should be in good condition but what is the most important is you leave the campsite in better condition that when you arrived. Is it cleaner? Is the campfire/rocks appropriate? Is there firewood set aside for the next campers? Etc.

Second, what does that question mean for you?  In my connotation I would ask you:  are you leaving this world in a better shape than before you arrived?  Obviously, individually we might not have an impact on the world stage, but we have the opportunity to impact the lives of an individual, the community we live in or the people we interact with on daily-weekly basis. It does not have to be something huge or widely recognized. It becomes an attitude with action.

Life Enrichment is about you creating an environment where you feel fulfilled. In my keynote program I often talk about this as a Gourmet Life. For example; last week I had the privilege of interviewing nine high school students for our church scholarship program, during the interview several students spoke about their lives outside of school.  Two spoke openly about their church program where they raised money (washing cars/selling donuts) and then randomly they would walk into a grocery store and pay for someone’s groceries, lunch for the car behind in a drive-in or a shopper at the local Walmart. These teen agers were learning the inner feeling of what it is like to focus on giving back and making their campsite/community a better place.

This past weekend, I helped organize a golf tournament and community fund raiser for our volunteer fire department. We had 100 people golfing, a live auction and other fun ideas to help our fire dept. sustain itself and to help protect our lives.  We had over 55 people working on the committee to help pull off the event, all had differing levels of responsibilities, and everyone pitched in with a smile.  After the event I had a lot of comments about how positive the fund raiser was and while we raised a lot of money the real winners became the people who participated. Lots of laughs, handshakes, new relationships and a higher level of communication between everyone, but also a good personal feeling about making something positive and giving back to the community.

To me that is an enriched life is all about and our campsite/community became a little bit better.

What is your plan this quarter to make your campsite a little bit better? I would enjoy your comments on what everyone is doing to make this world a better place.

  

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 2015.

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

What is all this talk about a Sales Process?

April 20th, 2016

What is all this talk about a Sales Process?

It occurs almost every time I speak at an event or every initial client visit. Whether your organization is using CRM or not I find that most organizations have not taken the time to define, write out and train their sales team on how to use prescriptive a sales process.  Why is this important enough to write about? The Results!

The more prescriptive process you create, the greater success your sales team will experience.  Salespeople tend to lose opportunities when they execute poorly, this is due to lack of training but it is also because they missed something during the sales process. They missed it because they simply forgot to execute at some point or they didn’t have a pathway to follow.  Remember, A level salespeople probably don’t need this kind of sales mapping, but you can move a C level salesperson to a B level by providing tools, guidance and process to follow.

I always use the example of Subway sandwiches and how their counter people are trained to simply walk down the counter by asking your certain questions as you sandwich is built. If your sales teams execute that well you get the production Subway does!

How you define a sales process is important.  Just yesterday I was speaking with a small business who mentioned they had a good sales process defined, in going deeper in our conversation I learned they had no tools, nothing documented and nothing reinforced.  Recently in working with an Acumen client we spent about two hours simply documenting what a salesperson should do on each of the various steps of their sales process, it enlightened the existing sales manager and created the beginning of a new sales driven culture for the company.  What happened?

  1. In forcing the process of “thinking through’ the logical progression and the actual actions the salesperson should take, we altered the second step and changed “what “the salesperson was to say and sell during that stage.
  2. We created one additional professional service product that could be re-sold.
  3. The Sales Manager began to fully understand not only what the steps in the sales process were, but more importantly WHY the salesperson needs to execute on them.
  4. Actual definitions of each action within each stage were specifically defined.  Why is this important?  Pipeline values become more accurate. Let me describe this in more detail.  Let’s assume there is a “demonstration” stage in your sales cycle, next ask yourself, when do your salespeople move the prospect to the demo stage: When it is scheduled? Or after it is completed? This is an example of the kinds of detail that will come out during the process.

This is an example of a Discovery Stage:

Discovery (Opportunity) Stage 3                                                                                                      

  1. Discovery Meeting(s)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (KEY STEP – this is how we differentiate ourselves.)

Salesperson Responsibility:

  • Lead the Discovery Questioning  with a Focus on landscape of the opportunity & Document Current Process
  • Identify Critical Business Issues
  • Identify Roles of prospects Team
  • Goals for Future Business Solution

o   Identify people attending the demo

  • Establish Success Factors
  • Take Good Notes , attached to CRM
  1. Summarized Findings Document
  • Create Findings Document in CRM
  • Review Findings Document for Final Version
  • Contribute Notes to Findings Document
  • Submit Findings to prospect along with appropriate  Case Study
  • Modify sales Pathway and discuss with Prospect
  • Determine if Tech/Support Team support is required
  • Coordinate Additional XXX company  resources, if required
  • Send  Letter from  President   
  • Update CRM

 

  1. During the sales process your companies Value Proposition must be proven. You can build a step or an action that takes place at the appropriate stage that can validate your messaging.  We created what we expect to be a unique idea for the client to prove theirs.
  2. One of the most important aspects of creating a prescriptive sales process is changing the sales process!  What I mean is; if you and your competitors use the basic sales stages in the same sequence and say and do the same things no one stands out and prospect becomes confused. When there is confusion, generally there is no decision.  Change your sales process to stand out, be different and make the customer remember you. Refer to my previous blog on the End of Solution Sales.
  3. We added a last step: a follow up at 90 days post implementation/installation to validate customer satisfaction and ask for a reference letter.

The next step is for the sales manager to roll you the process, teach the salespeople how to execute and then “inspect what you expect” that the sales team is using the process as it is defined. HINT: As a Sales Manager, work through what you think the sales process should look like, then hold a sales meeting to “brain storm” with your salespeople as to what they think the prescriptive process should contain. This will help build a buy-in by the sales team.

Set a 90 day plan in place to implement and evaluate the results;  create four or five metrics to measure its effectiveness, validate it is being used and to listen to your team. If it needs to be altered to increase effectiveness that is ok, but before you change-make sure you are fully understand the impacts.

Let me know your thoughts on creating a sales process. What has worked for you? What hasn’t?
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 2015.

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

 

 

If it is too good to be true, it is! Sales Managers protect yourself…

April 12th, 2016

If it is too good to be true, it is!

KEN: Today I want to introduce John Moroney to you! He is more than a guest blogger, John has worked for Acumen Management Group for many years and is re-joining our organization after a long permanent engagement with a former client. He provides great insights into the challenges all sales organizations face.

Do you remember early on in your career getting really excited when you got a call that went something like this, “Hey John, we are on a fast track to select a vendor this week for our mega project and we hear your company is really good. We need your best proposal by tomorrow so we can present to our CEO to make a decision Friday. Call me right away!”.

Oh boy, were you drooling or what! This would be the quickest sale in your life – you already were thinking about what that commission check would buy. Except – it was too good to be true.

What was happening here and what should our starry eyed sales person have done?

There are at least three possibilities:

  1. The prospect is really going to make a decision and you have a real opportunity
  2. The person who contacted you thinks they are going to make a decision
  3. The prospect is really going to make a decision and you have no opportunity

Let’s take these possibilities in order and explore.

Situation #1 is extremely rare and is almost certainly because the person contacting you has a previous relationship with your company or someone else has directed them to contact you. There may be a real opportunity but before you jump and send the requested sales proposal, why not back up the prospect a bit and schedule a call or visit with the key people? You may be able to give them a more intelligent response including some options. Just to stay realistic, this situation occurs less than 5% of the time.

Situation #2 is a fairly common and often is prompted by a change in the organization. For example, a new VP or Director has joined the prospect company and quickly realizes there is a need for your product or service. The subordinate who is given the task to get the proposals may think there is a decision about to be made, but an experienced sales person will know that is unlikely. The good news – there may be a real opportunity for your company but the somewhat bad news – it Is not happening in the next week. Treat this as a qualified sales prospect and stop salivating. One approach would be to trade the proposal for a meeting with the requester or better to schedule a call with the boss before going too far. Of the three situations, this is by far the most common.

Situation #3 is sometimes known as “becoming column fodder”. The team tasked with selecting a vendor has already decided on who they want (see #1 above) but the executive committee/CEO pushed back on the team. The committee/CEO were expecting to see three choices (i.e. three columns A, B & C), particularly for cost comparison purposes. Hence, the panicked need for your proposal by Friday. There is almost no chance you will ever hear from the prospect again after sending the proposal. You will need to change the game to have any opportunity to win this business. In this situation, you do have some leverage. The prospect needs something from you but you need access and opportunity to extend the decision process. There are two tactics you must employ: (1) Make your offering comparable in price to the competitor and (2) uncover what the prospect is uncomfortable about the preferred choice. Get agreement to make a presentation to the team as the “cost” of the proposal. Go above and around the team if necessary – remember, you have very little to lose. Focus your presentation intensely upon how your company is superior to the competitor in the area of discomfort but equal in every other way. Typically, the anxiety the prospect has for the competitor is not about the product or deliverables but more about reliability, quality, responsiveness, etc. Avoidance of risk is the predominant concern at this point in the sales cycle, so a calm, smooth, confident approach is vital. This situation is fairly rare, less than 10% of all sales opportunities fall into this category.

For many of us, experiencing these sales opportunities has taught us to slow down and step back. So although, we may recognize something is too good to be true, it still takes skill and patience to work the opportunity particularly when the prospect could be inexperienced and reluctant to engage. Good selling!

What are your thoughts?

 

John Moroney is an energetic operations and sales leadership executive with over 30 years of experience in high technology products and services with a particular passion for sales process design, deployment and improvement. You can reach him directly at:  JohnM@AcumenMgmt.com

Acumen Management Group, www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog: www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com

 

Emotional Sales Leadership

April 5th, 2016

Emotional Sales Leadership

I was recently interviewed on a podcast based in Europe around the topic of the importance of emotional leadership. The interviewer asked me a series of questions regarding the topic and why I felt it was a critical success factor for most organizations.

In retrospect based upon the podcast I came away with even a stronger opinion on the topic of generating the right level of emotion-that is positive emotion into the sales team.

It is important to track sales metrics to better understand the sales formula or recipe for success and to analyze leading indicators that will allow the sales manager to better predict future revenues. Balancing the mechanics of sales management with emotional leadership techniques requires the sales manager to take the next step up the ladder of professionalism. Many times we have seen organizations with failing sales or lacking the growth they expect to simply throw money at a sales training organization to fix the problem.  That approach simply becomes a band aid.

I am not saying sales training does not work or is not required but many times the ability of the sales trainer to interject their emotion/passion during the workshop helps pump up the sales team and short term impact occurs, however several weeks later that emotion is no longer felt and sales fall back to the original level.  We call this the balloon effect. The air or excitement has seeped out of the balloon and now it is simply limp and looks like it did before the balloon was blown up-just like the underperforming sales team.  Many times the sales manager enjoys the emotion as well, but they simply forget to reinforce the sales skills or to build on the positive emotion from the event.

So what specifically can any leader do to create Emotional Leadership?

  • Create an atmosphere of fun: make sure the sales team enjoys their job.  This is not to mean that accountability and expectations are not set, it simply means that there is excitement about what the salespeople do and how they do it.  HINT: Run an annual sales trip contest.
  • Provide a vision: where will the company/sales team be in 18-24 months? Share an expected Organization Chart and ask the team for their insights. HINT: set sales objectives that lead you to your goal.
  • Focus on training salespeople on belief: focus on how your products/services benefit your clients as much or more as what your products/service do. HINT: Visit client offices to see the impact you company has had on their organization.
  • Create a sales training program on attitude: Use video’s or books that share the concepts of mental preparation and positive attitudes, not the simple rah/rah material but courseware that changes lives.  HINT: Twice a year focus on this kind of training.

As sales leaders you must recognize that every time you walk into a room, talk to someone or even send an email the message you send gets magnified.  Use emotional leadership to create an environment of high performance.

What other ideas do you have to create that positive emotionally driven sales team?

 

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 2015.

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

 

Sales Leadership: Why Winners Win!

March 24th, 2016

Sales Leadership Thoughts:  Why Winners Win!

Salespeople must be trained on the emotional elements of success at the same level that they are trained in pure sales skills training.

Last week after speaking at a conference a person mentioned to me she really enjoyed the topic; Why Winners Win.   It is one of my favorite parts of the keynote and the four points I make wrap up many of the beliefs I hold, so I thought I would share them with you today

The first element is: Winners Create Optimism.   One reason is they dare to dream what others can’t imagine.  In the past sociologists told us that you needed talent or hunger to succeed and win.  There was a study done of highly talented individuals and those people who worked extremely hard (hunger) that never became successful and those highly successful talented or hard working (hunger) individuals.  The result was the groups that were successful had an additional ingredient: optimism, not a simple happy go lucky feeling, but a real attitude that good things will happen. The secret to this ingredient is you can develop it. Work on the positives of life.

The second element is: they recognize fear as opportunity.  Winners aren’t immune to fear, but instead of stopping them, the go with it.  They treat fear as a signal and push through to experience new heights of living. Feel the fear-do it anyway!

The third is: they build dreams.  Winners can visualize, they create of the image of their dream into reality.  Our dreams shape us and we can’t do what we can’t imagine, people who get what they want often figure out what that is by letting their ambitions soar instead of censoring them before they emerge. Winners hang on to dreams…they are self fulfilling prophecy; positive illusions promote the capacity to productive work and a successful life.

The fourth action is: Winners reduce frustrations.   Winners focus on what will go right, not what will go wrong, losers see the sand traps around every green, winners see only the greens—go for the pin!   Remember that past frustrations build anxiety, while we must recognize frustration, it is a healthy by product of working towards your goals/dreams. Frustrations are simply steps to achievement.

Keep reading:  Two great books to keep your mind on track.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

My blog on Creating Intensity is also focused on the emotional aspects of sales leadership and sales team performance.

I hope these ideas will begin to make your week, month and year terrific!  Remember to build a Gourmet Life! Put the right ingredients in place and your Menu for Life will guide you to a highly successful and happy life.

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 2015.

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

Sales Management: What is your goal–today?

March 14th, 2016

Sales Management: What is your goal—today?

 

Sales leadership is a constant focus on many various facets of business-it’s one of the reasons sales management is a one of the most difficult jobs in any business.  The person responsible for driving revenues has to focus on their sales team; its activity levels, their sales opportunities, morale/emotion, training, customers, perhaps marketing as well as other departmental interactions. It is because of these numerous aspects that many sales managers get distracted or lose focus.

In my list of the Top 40 Actions To Build Predicable Revenue  I have attempted to build a check list with a purpose description in order to assist any sales leader in building their methodology. Download it and compare it your list.

Obviously no one can focus on 40 actions or even 20 steps everyday-just juggling the various items that can come flying in or at the sales manager at any time is hard enough. What I like to do with our clients is to help them build a mentality of execution-getting something done!  I will frequently send a quick email to a variety of past and current clients asking them What is your Sales Management Goal-Today?  The purpose is simply to reinforce the aspect of thinking about what “I” need to do today to achieve a higher level of performance from my team.

As you will see from the free download, there could be a variety of actions that might be required today!  It may be as simple as checking CRM for quality/updates or developing the quarterly sales training program or making sales calls not to attempt to close an opportunity but to evaluate the ability of a salesperson and coach them to a higher level.

Take this opportunity to daily position yourself to do it better or think and act on improving your team.  Sounds easy but many times its Friday morning and many Sales Managers realize they have not “moved the ball” forward on several critical aspects of their job.

How about you? What is your sales management goal-today?

 

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 2015.

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

 

Creating Intensity

March 3rd, 2016

Creating Intensity

The Job of Sales Management
A Series of Tactical Actions to Drive Success

During the balance of the year I will outline 40 steps a sales leader can take to achieve predictable revenue. They are not listed in any priority- as every sales organization is at differing levels of maturity and needs. If you run a channels organization these ideas will be pertinent to your team as well as your dealers/resellers/partners.

Every player does not give 110% every day, it’s the coach’s job to increase their intensity and the effort they give”….. This quote came from Butch Jones, head coach at the University of TN.

This is part of what I call the emotional job of sales leadership, it is one thing to analyze data and create sales programs and systems, and it’s another to create the right culture. Last week my keynote at a sales conference was titled: Building a Culture of High Performance, during the program I discussed this side of leadership and the need for both personal and professional actions one can take to raise the bar of excellence.
In a turnaround situation this emotional aspect of sales leadership is critical, if you are building a new team it is a necessity. What does the emotional Sales Leader need to do?
1. Stay focused on energy-yours and your team’s
2. Pay attention to their plans, their daily/weekly execution and their intensity…
3. Be on top of everything…. Pay attention to the details to ensure EVERYTHING works.
4. If you expect them to work at 100%, your focus, your energy must be 120%.
5. Always be more aware than the team… of all aspect of the sales/marketing focus
6. As a leader in any organization recognize that your focus/intensity/enthusiasm must be above the ones your lead.

Your team wants to feel the energy and belief, as a Sales Leader work on this emotional transfer. Being a leader and having vision and communicating emotional is a Critical Success Factor in Sales Leadership. In my book on Leading High Performance Sales Teams I cover the tactical steps build this belief.

Notice, in this blog I used the word Sales Leadership not Sales Management, there are two different aspects to building a high performance sales team, leadership and management- you must know the difference and you must be both!
When I spoke with Josh Dobbs, Quarterback of the Univ. of TN this summer (at the airport) his biggest comment was that Butch was a motivator, not a coach, not a buddy, but a motivator.
What are you doing to increase the intensity of your team?

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 2015.
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