- MOTIVATION -
"IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERY DIFFICULTY LIES OPPORTUNITY."
- AROUND THE WEB -
<< If you only read one thing >>
Shaye Smith, on March 29, 2019
Kim Alexandre, on March 28, 2019
It’s a pretty strong statement to say there is one thing that will influence whether you succeed or fail at selling digital marketing solutions. But that’s what I’m saying.
Pete Pitcher and Connie Consultant both work for Mel Manager at Digital Solutions Inc. Pete Pitcher learns about one new digital product each month that he can sell. He approaches new prospects and current clients with a one-sheet on why his new digital product is a perfect solution.
Before Pete can finish pitching the new product to his list of 75 targets, his manager holds a meeting to “roll out” another great digital product. Pete is so excited because he feels that all the businesses that buy this new product will have great results. Pete’s plan is to approach all the targets on the list that didn’t call or email him back last month with this new, latest, and greatest digital offering.
During a recent feedback session, I had a new hire ask what was potentially the most insightful question I have ever heard on one of these calls. She asked me if her intense talents, of which she had several, could get in her way. I was highly impressed with her insight because, yes, very strong talents can sometimes trip up a salesperson. When I mentioned a few possible obstacles, she agreed with each and said that she had in fact faced all of those. We then brainstormed how she could work with those talents but limit how they slowed her down. This conversation got me thinking... Is there such a thing as too much talent?
As a sales manager, how can you do more teaching and less telling? Often, salespeople get frustrated when the only thing they hear from their sales manager is that they need to have more activity, increase the number of asks they have, and they need to increase the dollar amount of the asks they have. They get that. They want to be taught how to do that. They want training and teaching, and not just telling.
There's a certain amount of telling that goes on when managing a sales team, but there's also a certain amount of teaching that goes on. Today, I'll share three things you can teach your sales team.
Kurt Sima, on March 25, 2019
Culture first… all the other stuff after that!
“Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success – along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like… I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.” - Louis V. Gerstner, JR – former CEO of IBM
Most organizations dealing with performance issues miss this point. Traditional logic dictates performance improvement is tied to any or all of these factors:
Don’t get me wrong, these things are important, but they are not as important as culture.
Shaye Smith, on March 22, 2019
Matt Sunshine, on March 21, 2019
There’s no doubt—lead generation that is clear-cut, clean, and specific is ideal. When we picture lead generation working at peak performance, most of us envision the salesperson being handed a lead that is already pre-qualified and only a small step from closing. Smooth and easy! But don’t fool yourself into thinking that every lead generated by inbound marketing will be so straightforward. That’s not reality, and if you allow tunnel vision to influence your ability to measure your inbound marketing ROI, you will miss out on a lot of critical information.
Trey Morris, on March 20, 2019
I've always found it fascinating that the greatest athletes of all time -- whether it be Michael Jordan or Tom Brady -- always practiced. Every single day, they would go to the gym or go to the field, and they would practice the basics.
I find that interesting, because in sales, rarely do we ever practice. Pretty much every needs analysis or presentation is game day. We walk in, ready to play, and hope it works out. We don't spend much time rehearsing, practicing, or game planning, and I think that's a mistake.
As a sales manager, it's your job to help your salespeople get better at what they do. So, how do you do that?
My daughter is learning how to drive, and it's been an interesting lesson on what the world looks like to a perfectionist. She has pretty much been a perfectionist since birth, missing recess in kindergarten to make sure her coloring was perfectly inside the lines, and drawing eyelashes and fingernails on her pictures when the other kids drew stick figures. Now, she is driving, and it takes 10 minutes to get the seat, mirrors, steering column, etc., in just the right spots. She has never driven over the speed limit, and most of the time is well-under because going over isn’t the right way to do it. She has to make sure the radio is turned off, everyone’s devices are turned off or silenced, and all distractions in the car are eliminated. And of course, as my driving is far from perfect, I hear lots of advice on how I should be doing things. It's been an interesting adventure, but has also given me a lot of insight into the mind of a perfectionist.
Alysa Hinshaw, on March 18, 2019
There is a sales organization I work with that has a consistent track record of finding highly talented candidates to join their sales team. Time and time again, they hire and develop top talent and in turn, quickly see results from these sellers.
Shaye Smith, on March 15, 2019
Dean Moothart, on March 14, 2019
Most small growing businesses know they need to continue to make strategic investments to sustain their growth. The challenge is knowing where to invest. If the obstacles to growth that you’ve identified are branding and visibility, hiring additional recruiters will not solve these problems.
As I look into my "crystal ball," I foresee a future where the transactional salesperson is an elusive and rare creature. Have they all been completely wiped out by Artificial Intelligent (AI) computer networks where all advertising buying and selling occurs? Probably not, but I do know they will be an endangered species. In the future, AI networks and computers will be placing a larger and larger percentage of ad schedules. And even for the business that is placed the "old fashioned" way, we'll have a need for fewer transactional sellers. And those sellers will probably be covering not just clusters, but states and regions for your media group.
I know that no one wants to admit it, but advertising sales are changing at an unprecedented rate. The way that companies have done business over the last five years will not exist in the next five years.
But, it's not all bad news. Media companies that want to grow revenue in a marketplace where 50-90% of their revenue is handled by computers or an endangered species transactional sales rep, will have to find people who can call on small and midsize businesses and develop new business. So, while we wait on our computer overlords to takeover transactional business, we should probably prepare for the days of direct, new business development.
Here are three tips to get you ready for our new media world order:
Kurt Sima, on March 12, 2019
Netflix claims over 45 million people have watched the movie Bird Box! Wow, 45 million people!
This post-apocalyptic thriller follows the story of a woman who must find a way to guide herself and her children to safety despite the potential threat from an unseen adversary. The story is partially told via flashbacks and takes place during three time periods.
Much has been written and said about the true meaning of Bird Box. Here are some theories—it’s all about:
All these theories are pretty deep, but they miss the real meaning behind the movie. You see, Bird Box is all about sales!
Your new hire has had great success in the past, but they don’t seem able to hit the ground running. You look at their talent assessment, and they should have tons of confidence and enthusiasm, but the reality is, they are a little unsure, hesitant, and they keep to themselves. What happened?! You may be dealing with the ghosts of managers past.
Shaye Smith, on March 8, 2019
Matt Sunshine, on March 7, 2019
One of the leading indicators for sales success is to look at the number of appointments that a salesperson has each week. (This is not the only leading indicator that you should be tracking, but it is one of them.) The idea is that if a salesperson has a significant amount of appointments each week which involve finding needs, getting assignments, presenting solutions, or delivering a proposal, that this quality sales activity will lead to good solid revenue performance.
I think it’s fair to say that everyone in sales or in sales management would agree with this, so I’m not really going out on a limb having made that statement. But here is where I think there might be a flaw. I think many salespeople are confusing "I'll follow up with you next week" with "I have an appointment." To be clear, "I’ll follow up with you next week," does not mean you have an appointment.
Kim Alexandre, on March 6, 2019
In this video, Kim Alexandre, VP/Senior Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy, shares tips to get more engagement and attract great candidates from your job postings on social media.
Early on in my sales career, there was a prospect that I was determined to close. Everyone on my sales team had tried to gain access to this decision maker, and some had gotten as far a conversation, but it never evolved from there. When my manager suggested I try to approach this target prospect, I eagerly accepted the challenge. In my head, I confidently thought, “I can make this happen.” Ha!
I spent months calling, dropping by, leaving voicemails, and sending emails. I never managed to get through to anyone, but I remained persistent and didn’t give up until one day I was told not so politely to go away.
Often during my career, I have reflected on that cringe-worthy experience. I had been persistent (outright annoying), and at the time, I had truly thought that persistence alone should get me in the door. As I began to develop and grow as a salesperson, I began to see the power of not just being persistent, but being persistent with a purpose. I learned the importance of earning trust and offering value to the prospect. Unfortunately, I had to experience some tough lessons before I got to this point.
There is nothing more impactful than adding the right seller to your team. Conversely, there is nothing more impactful when adding the wrong seller to your team!
Here’s a list of six scenarios managers find themselves in when hiring sellers that lead to hiring the wrong person, plus things managers can do to avoid them.
Shaye Smith, on March 1, 2019