The first half of 2014 is almost done. If your sales have not grown in the first half of the year, here is what you can do in the 2nd half. Use the framework of focusing on the 5 key elements of sales management or the 5 P’s – People, Planning, Process, Pipeline and Performance – to help identify ways to grow sales People To grow sales, you need enough quota-carrying reps. Do you have enough reps to work your sales pipeline and hit your quota for the next 6 months? Are these sales reps full-time equivalents (FTE), or are they new and need to be trained? Remember, it usually takes about 4 months for new hires to get fully Read More >
Sales is a metrics-driven contact sport. Here I’ll talk about 5 sales metrics that you should use to evaluate your sales team’s performance and results. When you track your 5 metrics historically, you’ll be able to analyze trending in your results categorized by these key areas with more clarity. Armed with these 5 metrics, you’ll be able to focus on the best sales opportunities in the pipeline and set up your sales team for success. 1. Open Opportunities in Total and per Rep (by # count, not by $ volume) This means: the number of open opportunities each rep is working at any given time. Figure out how many opportunities are created and thus are available for your sales reps Read More >
When you are hiring new sales reps, what traits are you looking for? I use the 5 below which have worked for me time and time again. And an in-person interview is your best way to test for these top 5 and below I will also share with you how to spot them. So here they are: 1) Conscientiousness This research on sales rep performance published by the American Psychological Association way back in 1993 found that the most predictive indicator of sales rep success is “conscientiousness.” Conscientiousness simply means achievement and dependability. We also can refer to it as “hard work until you get it done,” also known as “GSD” (i.e. Get S**t Done, implying that getting things done comes Read More >
I was recently a featured speaker on the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals webinar, and one of the attendees followed up with me and asked me how I would define selling in today’s day and age. To me, the answer has not changed from thousands of years ago. Yet I realized how many folks may not have the same answer as I do. When I wondered how other people would define sales, I asked them first and got variegated answers which ultimately led me to want to write this article. So here is the definition – and it’s really simple. Sales is simply this – it’s helping your prospects. Too simple? OK, let me be slightly more specific. It’s Read More >
As you browse the shelves at your local Barnes and Noble (or the digital shelves of your Kindle), it can be hard to decide which sales management books you should pick up for your summer beach vacation. Each of them, with their shiny jackets and similar-sounding names, looks just like its neighbor. Fortunately, we have done the hard work for you and selected our official list of the 12 Best Sales Management Books EVER Written! Whether you were a sales rep who was recently promoted to a managerial role last week, or a grizzled old veteran looking to sharpen the managerial tools in his arsenal, we have just the book for you in this list below (with links in each Read More >
If someone asks you whether you have a good sales team or not, what objective criteria or sales metrics could you use to say that you do? Most people look exclusively at results, rather than inputs, and answer based on whether their sales team hits their number. But here’s the rub: hitting your number does not necessarily mean you have a good sales team. Alternatively, if your sales team misses their number (even if they do this consistently), that does not automatically mean they are bad. This might surprise a lot of folks. While judging your team based on objective and measurable results (hitting the number) may be a legitimate approach (and correct in many cases), it is not always the right way to Read More >
If your company doesn’t have a clear and strategic Mission Statement, you have an identity crisis on your hands. Without these statements, your business doesn’t have a clear direction or core values to help guide it into the future. It may seem like some marketing exercise, but in reality organizations with clear Mission and Vision statements that align with a strategic plan outperform those without, according to a study by Bain and Company. These core statements can help define not only the future of your company, but also the future of your sales team – including who you hire, how fast you grow sales, and more. Without defining your mission (and vision too), you’re missing out on important opportunities to Read More >
There are no teachers to assign you summer reading, but that doesn’t mean you should ever stop learning and reviewing best practices in sales management. There are many insightful books on both sales management and selling methods and you must always stay on top in order to build a repeatable, scalable and predictable sales model. Here are my recommendations for a Sales Summer Reading List you can enjoy on the beach, including some favorites from sales thought-leaders like Aaron Ross and Jason Jordan. These are great books to read yourself, or to give to your team of sales reps – no book reports required. 1. The Challenger Sale – by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson Based on an in-depth study of Read More >
Sales management is a difficult endeavor to master, with many nuances amid a constantly-changing environment. Enter Jason Jordan, an author, recognized thought leader and a partner of Vantage Point Performance, a leading sales management training and development firm. Jason wrote “Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance,” a book that has been recognized as a groundbreaking piece of research and provides best practices approach to identify and implement the critical activities and sales metrics that truly drive business results. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jason on a variety of sales management subjects, including obstacles holding sales managers back, how managers can improve poor performances and help their teams ‘hit their numbers’ Read More >
A few weeks ago Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, gave an interview about the late Steve Jobs as someone quite different than the media represented him. Cook called Jobs “kind, patient, and human” in a Fast Company article titled “The Steve Jobs You Didn’t Know.” Reading this piece made me recall the time I spent a few years ago studying Steve Jobs’ marketing and sales insights. Jobs was one of the greatest business visionaries of all time, and I discovered some interesting lessons that every salesperson can learn from. Here are just a few lessons inspired by the late and great Apple founder which can help improve your sales skills. 1) Make your demo a remarkable experience. Many reps just Read More >
I just published “8 CEO Insights from ‘The Advantage’ by Patrick Lencioni” https://t.co/GSVk7k2M0n
RT @mvolpe:Everyone asks "What's the shortcut?" and "What's the silver bullet?" Well, I have the answer!!! It's YEARS of HARD fucking WORK.
RT @elonmusk:Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne. Worth seeing this beast in person. It's unreal.