Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

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

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

 

Sales Compensation Planning for 2017

November 28th, 2016

Creating a Sales Compensation Plan for 2017

When it comes to how businesses pay their salespeople, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. That’s especially true for many companies with diverse products and services that include: a mix of products and services. Some pay commission based on sales, while others only pay on margin; still others blend both with incentives and special bonus plans.

Your sales management team must understand your company’s overall goals and structure compensation to align with them. In short, sales compensation should be not just a tactical focus for your organization, but a strategic one as well.

Sizing It Up

Compensation plans shouldn’t be developed in a vacuum. You’ll need to factor in variables such as new product launches and major promotions, as well as consider your personnel structure.

You should also address these questions: Is your company a start-up or an established business? What are sales goals? How long are your delivery cycles? What are your objectives: to secure new clients, incr. ave order size, add margin? Do you want to open a vertical market, new products? Each answer will help you design a compensation plan tailored to your company’s specific needs.

Understanding Cost of Sales Of course, you can reduce selling costs and enhance profits by capping sales compensation, but in the long run you get what you pay for. If you hire good salespeople and compensate them poorly, expect high turnover, which comes with costs of its own. A sales plan that compensates strong performance will allow you to attract the best salespeople — and retain them as well.

Calculating the cost of sales (CoS) is an important part of planning a compensation package. For a quick CoS ratio, simply take an individual’s salary plus commissions earned at 100 percent of quota and potential bonus opportunities, then divide by that person’s revenues to obtain the percentage. A more sophisticated approach adds in marketing expenses, corporate overhead, direct expenses paid to the salesperson and expenses related to sales support costs. CoS will vary from industry to industry. 

 

Examining the Options Compensation plans vary widely, but all should include “accelerators,” that is, increased commission rates for employees who achieve target levels.

  • Profit-Based: Commission rates change as margin levels increase. These plans are generally based on invoice, product or monthly averages of margin generation.
  • Revenue/Quota: Compensation is based on sheer volume achieved over the previous sales period or on a percentage of a quota achievement.
  • Balanced: Compensation is based on margin, revenue and a third component, such as quota attainment.
  • Team: Bonuses go to all team members when quarter-to-date (QTD) sales goals are achieved.

There are many variations and we recommend multiple combinations based upon the objectives of the organization.

Tailoring Tips Here are a few final considerations to keep in mind as you customize your compensation plan:

  • In new organizations focused on expanding within existing markets, the compensation plan will differ dramatically from that of an established company in the same industry. A mature, market-dominant company that receives a large percentage of its revenues from a small, loyal customer base can offer lower commissions and, perhaps, lower overall salaries. But a newcomer to an existing market probably needs to offer higher compensation to attract top-performing salespeople who can build a strong customer base.
  • New organizations in new markets need compensation plans reflecting the volatile environment, usually with higher-than- average base pay.
  • Companies in transition or undergoing a turnaround typically experience a higher CoS ratio; they may be best served by flexible plans incorporating morale- and team-building components.
  • Organizations positioned for high growth should develop plans covering brief, six-month periods. This will let management test theories and change direction while allowing the sales team to adjust accordingly.

Take a sales compensation assessment to evaluate your current plan: www.AcumenManagement.com

No question about it: Creating an effective sales compensation plan is hard work, but the effort typically pays off in both improved sales performance and achievement of your corporate goals.

 

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

The Perfect Close

September 26th, 2016

The Perfect Close

-A book review-

The quality of new sales related books coming out is amazing and The Perfect Close by James Muir is another high quality book to add to your library. James writing style along with his content makes his book contemporary and a complete book to take an average performer to the next level. You can find it on Amazon.

He caught my attention when he thanked Mahan Khalsa for his initial introduction into sales.  For anyone that has not read Mahan’s books, you are missing a legend.

I especially enjoyed how James takes the reader from sharing  information on his personal sales background (helps everyone relate to the challenges in selling)  to  research on High Value Selling vs Lower Value Selling and how the closing process and the sales process must change with high value offerings with levels of success up to 42% . And then quickly even on page 32 the author brings further research on developing the proper mindset for selling and closing by discussing several psychologists and their work on changing the minds individuals. Having mental toughness is important but understanding the internal workings of individual’s minds gives the superior salesperson the edge.

James then takes the reader through the tactics that must be executed to build to The Perfect Close.  This book is a must investment for every salesperson simply because the author gives the reader:  Questions, Planning Concepts, Tactics and Methodology to execute the sales process at a higher level.

Are you working the right opportunity-4 Questions to Test the Deal

Do you have a Plan?-A Checklist to Validate it

Are you building value-Why Should a Prospect See You?

Readers of this blog know I am a firm believer in the art of discovery and James hit this out of the ballpark-a chapter that can’t be missed.

What makes this book dance is Chapter 12 when James gives you the two questions that gives the reader the perfect close-they are simply brilliant.  What make it better is he then provides potential scenarios, examples and test situations where any salesperson can relate to their current list of prospects. Buy this book for this chapter alone-it will increase the velocity of your sales cycle.

In his next chapter James then put’s it all together summarizing the entire book.  Make this book one of your Acumen Book Club sales training sessions going into the fourth quarter and watch your quota numbers get crunched.

 

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

 

 

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need!

September 12th, 2016

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need!
-a book review

It must be book time! And what a perfect time to up the performance of your entire sales organization.

Anthony Iannarino has brought together the ideal sales guide and without question this book qualifies for the Acumen Sales Book Club. It is a must read because it covers the essentials of what top performers already know and do. This book will lift the performance of everyone on your team. What makes this book a must buy for your entire sales team are the two “parts” to his book. In working with our clients, whether we are building a recruiting/interviewing process-we test for mental toughness and creativity, Anthony’s part one hits the mark by focusing on the right Mindset. After ensuring the salesperson understands the emotional portion of sales and success, the author then moves to the Sales Skills in Part Two.

The secret is the content, he’s boiled down everything Anthony learned and tested into one convenient book, packed with useful material for everyone from raw rookies to tested veterans. He focuses on the building blocks that all successful sellers, regardless of industry or organization, share: a mind-set of powerful beliefs and a skill-set of key actions.

He explores nineteen essential traits and skills that nearly all great salespeople have, including…
• Self-discipline: How to keep your commitments to yourself and others.
• Accountability: How to own the outcomes you sell.
• Competitiveness: How to embrace competition rather than let it intimidate you.
• Resourcefulness: How to blend your imagination, experience, and knowledge into unique solutions.
• Storytelling: How to create deeper relationships by presenting a story in which the client is the hero and you’re their guide.
• Diagnosing: How to look below the surface to figure out someone else’s real challenges and needs.

Anthony then blends these emotional aspects of selling with the skills necessary to master to win. He touches on key topics but moves the ball up a level and makes the content current to our time.

Chapter 11 focuses on Closing: The Ability to ask for and obtain commitments.

Prospecting: The Ability to Open Relationships and Create Opportunities follows in chapter 12.

In chapter 14, Diagnosing: The Desire to Understand, you’ll learn how to discover the truth of your client’s challenges and how to ask the questions that differentiate you, while influencing your client to take action. KEN HINT: This is a lost art in most sales teams.

Chapter 15, Negotiating: Anthony shows how to make sure your client receives the benefit of the bargain while ensuring that you capture the value that allows you to deliver.

Chapter 16, Business Acumen: The Ability to Understand Business Principles, explains why business acumen is the new sales acumen. At Acumen we call this Business Guidance selling and knowing business acumen separates the A performers from everyone else.

In chapter 17, Change Management: Building Consensus to Help Others Change, you’ll learn how to manage all of the stakeholder relationships necessary to overcome the status quo. This chapter is a road map to developing and leading change, a must in selling new offerings.

Once you learn Iannarino’s core strategies, picking up the specific tactics for your product and customers will be that much easier. Hit your end year numbers with what you will discover in this book.

Whether you sell to big companies, small companies, or individual consumers, this is the book you’ll turn to again and again for proven wisdom, strategies, and tips that really work.

preorder.theonlysalesguide.com

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

High-Profit Prospecting

September 6th, 2016

High–Profit Prospecting

-book review-

It seems like new sales books are coming out every week but I can promise you this;  this is one that must be in your sales library.  It has made the Acumen Sales Book Club list.

High-Profit Prospecting by Mark Hunter, published by AMA (American Management Association) has laid out solutions to one of the top sales problems facing every sales organization. In 2015 Acumen performed a survey at every conference we spoke at asking each member of the audience to define the top 5 challenges they face in sales-filling the pipeline/prospecting were consistency listed #1 or #2!

It is my belief that organizations that expect Marketing to be responsible for lead generation and pipeline development are wrong-to win market dominance, Sales must drive prospecting.

As frequent readers of this blog know, I measure the successful books I read by the number of “page corners I turn”, Mark’s book earned an award of 24 pages with a host of underlined, circled and marked-up sections.  His sub-title says it all: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results, Mark broke the book into four sections with 23 chapters of jammed-packed ideas and tactics to help every salesperson at every level propel their business.

Just a few of the chapter titles will help you understand why I felt this is a powerful book:

  • Fit the Prospecting Plan to Your Market
  • Time Management for Prospecting
  • Best Practices for Making the Initial Contact
  • Winning at the Enterprise Level
  • Customer Engagement Dos and Don’ts

The chapters that justify this book and after 19 years of consulting with sales organizations I have found are the most challenging and overlooked are:

  • Referrals and other Major Pipeline Builders

In this chapter Mark shares many ideas but his four-step referral development process is great. He details how and what actions the salesperson must execute to ensure success in using a referrals. It is a sales training session all by itself!

  • Email, Communications and Connection

Many people believe we can sell or prospect using email, in the majority of situations it fails.  This chapter is a must read for Marketing teams and all Salespeople, Mark shares tactical steps, specific email scripts that can be tailored for your business,  many examples but his 3 Strategies to “get the email opened” are absolutely right on! Buy this book.

It is my recommendation every salesperson in your organization read this book and follow the Acumen Book Club process: Assign a chapter to each salesperson, ask them to lead a discussion on a weekly basis during your sales meetings.  As a Sales Manager develop a plan to train your salespeople how to prospect but also a plan to Inspect what You Expect that your salespeople are executing effectively.

What is your best method to prospect and fill your pipeline?

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

 

Selling to the Point

June 27th, 2016

Selling to the Point

  –a book review-

This book should be scheduled for your next Acumen Sales Book Club.

Selling to the Point by Jeffrey Lipsius is a unique sales training book and I have read many. What makes this book valuable is the author uses a story to drive home his key learning points.  The story revolves around the quest to cut the costs of selling by dropping the in-house sales trainer,  the  CFO uncovers what is separating their company from the competition is the unique sales philosophy of the Rick, the sales trainer. When he understands how  the salespeople are trained and sees firsthand the changed relationships they have with their clients he begins to believe-so much that he uses the sales training idea’s to improve his own “social dating opportunity”!.

What’s the magic learning points of this book?  Rick, the sales trainer breaks his ideas into 10 Law’s, here are just a few:

  • Salespeople will be successful when they understand that the point of selling isn’t selling. The point of selling is buying.
  • A salesperson’s job is to help his or her customer make a better buying decision. Salespeople are decision coaches.
  • The less a salesperson’s persuasion was involved in a buying decisions, the more internalized that customers buying decision will be.
  • It’s better for salespeople to be learners than to be teachers.

What I really thought was special in this book was a not only did Mr. Lipsius discuss these selling concepts, but by using the story line and introducing various salespeople, sales situations and prospective customers throughout the book; he shows the reader how each of the 10 laws can be used to improve the selling relationship. He even helped the CFO understand selling by helping to fix the CFO’s daughters  softball team’s top pitcher!  This not only made the book highly entertaining but the learning points were clearly described from the salesperson’s view point. I felt that a senior salesperson and especially a younger sales team will sit back and reassess their sales approach after reading this book.

HINT: In your sales training program, discuss the chapter, how the “Law” worked in the story and then discuss how the law can be applied to at least two prospects in each salesperson’s funnel. (For those that have read my past blogs or if you have not, I recommend to my clients that at least twice a year that your entire sales team reads the same sales book and discuss one chapter a week.  (Acumen book club)

For more insights on this very special book:

www.sellingtothepoint.com and Jeffrey’s blog: http://blog.sellingtothepoint.com

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

 

How to Get a Meeting with Anyone

June 6th, 2016

How to Get a Meeting with Anyone

_a book review-

This book had 32 page fold overs!  If you are a regular reader of my book reviews you know that when I find something of value, I will turn the corner of the page after underlining the key learning point.  32 is one of the highest number of page turners I have ever done!  This book, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, by Stu Heinecke, is a must read for Executives, Sales and Marketing people on your team.

First, as a Hall of Fame nominated marketer and Wall Street Journal cartoonist, Stu’s approach in getting to the CEO/Top Person in any organization is creative yet logical.  Running his own marketing company, Stu is both the rainmaker, marketer and executive and using what Stu has titled Contact Marketing: is the discipline of using micro-focused campaigns to break through to specific people of strategic importance, often against impossible odds, to produce a critical sale, partnership or connection, he has built a successful firm.  Using his approach himself, his first two clients were Rolling Stone and Bon Appetit.

Second, why this book has been so popular is the author does not simply discuss concepts or theories, but Stu shares with the reader 20 potential campaigns that includes tactics and actual resources/URL’s where you can access additional information to actually execute the selected campaign. As an example under Category #1: Art, Humor and Film, Stu estimated the cost/contact to be between $1-$500, as you progress you read about various real world examples that Stu or others have implemented to achieve amazing results rates. In Category #1 there are six resources listed ranging from the Cartoonlink to Office Depot! Each of the 20 categories provides thought provoking ideas along with a re-examination of what you are currently doing to drive lead generation.  Taking this micro-view vs mass marketing can lead to amazing cost/actual high level lead generation results.  Stu has even experienced 100% response rates.

If you are selling B2B larger ticket items or selling at Executive levels and you have not read this book you are making a major mistake. I promise you find multiple levels of value for this investment. When you read how Sandler Sales used the concept to drive huge returns or even how Paul McCord wanted to attract local builders to his business generated $1.1M for a total investment of $175 (including postage) you will quickly become focused on what Stu is focused on with this book.

Stu’s straight forward writing style with a combination of examples, along with interviewing over  40 major sales and marketing super star’s on their approach and reaction to Contact Marketing makes the book easy to follow yet blends in the credibility of the concept of Contact Marketing.

In Chapter 20: Social Media’s Expanding Role in Contact Campaigns, Stu admits he was slow to use social media but then moves through how to utilize social media in “breaking through”. Essentially using social media effecting a person or organization can become a thought leader, a resource to their market, building their own level awareness to potential clients.

What made this book for me was it was thought provoking, fresh and yet there was game plan with tactics to help the reader not only think about a concept but actually put it into play.  This book will change your mind, your game plan and generate new levels of sales for your 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

 

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