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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Tirzah Thornburg

Recent Posts by Tirzah Thornburg:

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Talent?

can you have too much sales talentDuring 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?

Topics: sales management Talent

How to Help Your Perfectionist Thrive

helping a perfectionist thrive in salesMy 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.

Most sales managers also have one or two people on their team that fall into this "perfectionist" category

Topics: sales management coaching

The Ghosts of Managers Past

ghosts of managers pastYour 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.

Topics: sales management Talent coaching

Pay Attention to Your Superstars, but Don’t Forget Your Rock Stars

superstar and rock star sellersAs a department project, our group read the book Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Everyone had a different primary takeaway, but the one that stuck with me was the difference between Superstars and Rock Stars.

What's the Difference between a Superstar and a Rock Star?

Most managers know the definition of a Superstar. They are usually your one or two top performers, who are hardworking, ambitious, great at what they do, expect to be paid that way, and love the accolades.

But what about your Rock Stars? Rock Stars were defined as your steady performers. Not flashy, not necessarily your top performers, but the ones you can count on. Steady as a rock. Both groups are vital to a sales team. In fact, most companies would fall apart without Rock Stars, but usually, only the Superstars get the attention. Why? And why should you care?

Topics: sales management sales culture

Know Your Talent "Must-Haves"

talent bankSCENARIO:

Your top-performing, seasoned seller just turned in their notice. You are prepared because you were diligent and have a full talent bank with well-qualified candidates. But even with all of this prep, you realize how overwhelming the task of examining the candidates in your talent bank can be.

Where do you start? The job title is the same, but the challenge is different each time.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent

The Best New Hire Gift: Clear Expectations + Realistic Goals

new hire expectations and goals for onboardingWhen onboarding new hires, managers have a lot of things to think about. What is the onboarding plan? Will there be pre-boardingWho will train them? Who do they need to meet and who will show them around and introduce them to the office, co-workers, etc.?

But just as important, what is your new hire’s onboarding plan? If they walk in and have no plan and no goals, chances are they will struggle to find success in their new role. Some new hires will start day one with a clear plan or will have a plan and goals set within a few weeks, but some will need help and guidance in this area.

The Best New Hire Gift: Clear Expectations + Realistic Goals

Topics: sales management Talent training sales training onboarding

Don’t Micromanage Me!

don't micromanage sales teamWhen we ask salespeople about how their manager can get the most out of them, we often hear something like, "I work best if they tell me what I need to accomplish, and then they give me the freedom to get it done. I don't like to be micromanaged!" 

Topics: Management sales management sales culture coaching

Building Strong Relationships: Can You Teach That?

salespeople building relationshipsYou have hired your next great seller. You have a strong on-boarding plan, a great training schedule, and amazing people in place to help with training. They are prepared to hit the street, right?

Topics: training salespeople sales training coaching

Giving Sales People a Confidence Boost

sales management coaching salespeopleYou have a salesperson with loads of talent, and they have always been successful. Suddenly, they are underperforming, missing goals, and really off their game. Or, perhaps you have a new hire with a lot of talents. You are expecting a sales rock star, but they just aren’t doing well. What’s going on?! The answer may be hiding in past setbacks, and it takes sales management skill to help them start performing to their potential.

Topics: sales management Talent coaching

The Power of Great Feedback

sales managementAs a person, you probably have an inborn knowledge of what your strengths are personally, as well as professionally. You might be a great cook, a strong tennis player, or great at board games. You know that you create strong relationships with clients, are great at the close, or really creative in helping your clients.

Topics: Management sales management leadership