Posts Tagged ‘end of year sales’

Zen and the Art of Snow Shoveling

December 13th, 2010

Zen and the Art of Snow Shoveling

What does that title have to do with Sales Management? After spending 20 years growing up in Wisconsin and another 30 years in Minneapolis, I finally connected the dots after waking up this morning in East TN and having to shovel my driveway!  At 22 degrees, and enough snow to make my rather steep driveway a challenge to “get out of”, I put on the Volunteer stocking hat, gloves and began the process.

At first the brisk air and crunchy snow felt like old times but then the pattern began and the Zen and Art kicked in. As I pushed the snow down the drive and reversed my pattern shoveling up the driveway, dispensing the snow, the vertical shovel paths defined my movements. As I cleared the lower portion of the driveway  which is much wider and designed to allow  backing up my car to turn and make the drive up the hill, the pattern changed, clearing one segment diagonally, the other in almost swirling  triangle pattern.  Each area of the driveway required a different approach. As I was finishing and looking back on the driveway and tossing handfuls of salt, it occurred that sales leaders must look at a variety of situations and develop unique patterns to solve their problems.

Shoveling snow allowed me to think about the week’s priorities, sort through the various client projects and make decisions regarding what actions to take. I was amazed how clear the objectives were defined. The shoveling patterns allowed my mind to work on a totally unrelated problem, yet my sub-conscious mind was automatically ranking and stacking each client project.  This is much the same effect that is achieved in the Zen sand gardens, where you can rake different patterns.  The impact of releasing your mind will allow your mind to actually work more effectively. Several weeks ago I wrote a blog on sales leadership time management, it has had over 1,000 reads; taking the time to create time to focus on unrelated actions,(like shoveling)  can help sales leaders, refocus, re- charge and re-aligned priorities or even help solve personnel problems or specific sales strategies.  Find your time and action to that allows your mind to work independently, your results will astound you.

As sales leaders plan for 2011, break out of the standard traditional pattern, explore something new, consider the alternatives, the options and even try different approaches to your budgeting and sales/marketing strategies.  You might re-read my blog on creativity to help you create new patterns for growth!

Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead!

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

The Power of Impact: what is your plan for 2011

December 6th, 2010

The Power of Impact; what is your plan for 2011

An interesting Thoreson theorem; the more you personally impact the lives of others, the more you succeed professionally.  One of the points I make during my keynote program is the need for a person to find balance in their lives=both personally and professionally.

When you find an individual that is working on improving others lives, you generally find a person that is also successful from a professional perspective. This does not necessary mean simply financially successful, but successful in manner of a completeness in life. The name of my program: No Regrets: A do-over recipe for success defines a 3 step process to create a better life.  One of the three steps in building a Menu for Life is the need to make this a better world by finding ways to increase your personal ability to positively impact the lives of others.

I actually have created an IMPACT Hall of Fame where I collected names and stories of individuals that I have met or read about; like Michelle Nichols, who has started “National Hug Your Child Day”, or Millard Fuller, from Atlanta that started a program called “Habitat for Humanity” and Ken Haught, who started a small program in St. Louis program called Stephen Ministries, that has now impacted the lives of thousands across North America.

These kinds of individuals have had impacts beyond their wildest visions. Yet others do it in smaller ways; one of my neighbors is active in a program called “Hugs for Soldiers”, another donates hours at the animal shelter, and still another has each grandchild propose each year at Christmas one charity that the entire family will focus on during the New Year. The entire family votes on the best proposal-what a way to teach the power of impact.

 As 2010 ends and we begin to define our new goals for 2011 I challenge our readers to not only set your goals professionally, but seek out an idea designed to have an impact on the world or even on a single person’s life and then act on it!  It will surprise you how you feel and how it will improve your life. For more information: http://www.acumenmgmt.com/seminars.phtml

Let me know what thoughts are for 2011 or if you someone you would like add to my IMPACT Hall of Fame.

Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead!

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

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

Sprint to the Finish–It’s that time of year…

September 27th, 2010

Sprint to the Finish—–It’s that time of year…

 A shaky banking industry. Roller-coaster days on Wall Street.  Budgets being cut. Purchasing decisions being delayed.

With that economic domino effect affecting us all as 2010 winds down, ending the year on a high note will be more challenging than ever. At Acumen, we’ve been offering the following advice to our clients and their sales teams:

Keep it in perspective. Recognize that if you are in the information technology sector, it is the best place to be in tough economic times. You sell what’s especially in demand right now: Solutions that can increase efficiency, cut costs and enhance customer relationships.

  • Stay optimistic. Remember that clients and prospects are seeking help and you’re in a position to both reassure and assist them.
  • Work harder. (Sorry, but that’s what’s needed.) Try to stretch yourself both in terms of attracting new customers and better serving existing ones. Sell professionally; execute brilliantly.

Meanwhile, the standard end-of-year scenario still applies, too. As always, this is when accelerated compensation programs kick in. More importantly, it’s when many management bonus systems take effect, rewarding executives for driving certain levels of pretax income to the bottom line or attaining their revenue targets.  and it’s no wonder that, just like every year at this time, sales teams feel like they’re in the last 100 yards of a big race.

Following are five additional steps to help you stay out in front as you approach the 2010 finish line:

  1. Count the days. In the same way that consumers track holiday shopping days, know how long you’ve got left to sell this year. Doing the countdown adds urgency to the process for you and your prospects. (Hint: How can you use the remaining weekends to boost business?)
  2. Consider all your resources. Can you turn to colleagues to strategize about opportunities and develop winning tactics? How about doing site visits? Can an existing client or a vendor contact help create credibility with prospects?
  3. Plot-closing strategies. Think about why prospects need your solution and exactly how they’ll benefit from implementing it, whether it’s generating revenues, improving productivity or better serving customers. Then figure out a reason for them to act now. You may have a sense of urgency driven by end-of-year deadlines for quotas or bonuses, but you need to show prospects how moving forward at this point will benefit them.
  4. Make contact twice weekly. Never let a week slip by between meetings with prospects. If you see them on Tuesday, see them again on Thursday. Stop by at a convenient time-but always have a valuable reason to visit, such as providing an implementation plan or a reference letter.
  5. Keep prospecting. Sales organizations often drain their pipelines by the end of December. January may be strong with leftover business, but February, March and April typically lag. It’s important to ensure that marketing and prospecting levels remain constantly focused on future pipeline development. We recommend that you take your calendar and block out specific times for prospecting between now and year’s end.

One last tip for coping with today’s economy: In the downturn following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I developed a short personal motto that successfully reinforced the need to keep moving forward. It was: “Take action. Stay positive.”  I suggest that you develop a similar slogan to help you navigate these difficult times. Having a strong foundation can make all the difference in how you end the year and position yourself for 2011.

Ken Thoreson. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull

revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for clients throughout North America. Move up and move ahead!

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

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com                   Website:  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com