Gold-Silver-Bronze...How's Your Sales Team Doing for Medals?

Nothing is more exciting for me than watching the Olympics, and the U.S. Women's Hockey Team taking the gold last night in a decisive win over Canada was one of the huge highlights of this very exciting winter's games !  

  • Superb conditioning on the part of every player !
  • Mental toughness all around !
  • Highly skilled and practiced plays !
  • Just superb athletes in everyone on the team !

I'm a long time snowboarder and have been riding for almost 25 years with countless years attending the U.S. Open at Stratton watching Olympic champs Shaun White and Lindsey Jacobellis walk away with gold medals there and at the Olympics.  Last week's snowboarding medals by Chloe Kim, Jamie Anderson, Red Gerard, and the ageless Shaun White just proved once again that.....

To win in any sport, and in any sales activity, medal performance always, always comes down to the basics of...

1.  Consistent training...and more training

2.  Certification that the training was done correctly

3.  Mental conditioning and then...even more training

 

Sounds pretty basic, and it is. 

Actually, there should be no difference in how we assess our professional athletes on our own sales teams when comparing our players to the athletes at the Olympics or in any professional sport.  Once we start to think differently, that's the point at which we take ourselves out of the race to get to the Olympics and become medal winners.  "Pretty Good" or "Good Enough" B players are just that... "not good enough" if you're planning to consistently be on the podium at the end of any quarter.

Homework to do

This weekend, come up with a numeric rating system against your top three sales metrics.  You probably have already done weighting factors of revenue, gross margin, monthly or annual subscription values, and bookings.  Now rank all of your salespeople in the categories of Gold, Silver and Bronze.  There will definitely  be a couple of players who, given the fact that they are new to the company, are still on the development team, but they can also be ranked once they're past the three month curve. 
Do this ranking separately for every gradation of salespeople that you have whether they are hunters, account managers, farmers or BDRs.  
So far, easy homework to do, and don't overthink this...just Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Now the Question

The question now is for you to figure out where you should be spending your own time as a Player-Coach?  Since all time is finite, and, most probably you're already spending 60-75 hours a week both managing and selling, the question that needs to be asked and definitevely answered in numbers of hours/week is where should you be spending your coaching time with your athletes.

1.  Do you spend the majority of your time with your Gold players (the top 20%) and train and motivate them to increase their current performance another 15%?

2.  Do you limit your time with your Gold players and pump that time into increased training, more practices and one-on-one motivational time with your Silver medalists (the average and above average 60%)?

3. Just what are you planning to do with your bottom 20%...and when are you going to take specific action?  It's also time to make those decisions.  

I know what I always do, and I'll be happy to share that in next week's blog, or you can just email me in the meantime, and we can schedule a call. 

But, much more importantly, I would really like you to express in the comments section how you carve up your work time and where would you allocate your coaching time from now through June...clearly the most important sales period of the year?  It would be very important, given your experience, if you were to share where and how you allocate your time with the rest of our readers.    Just a simple note in "comments" would be important for all of us since peer learning in the world of Sales is always the most impactful.

  • Whatever training and planning against the tactical playbook that you write now and then actually occurs between March and June will determine the course and speed for the balance of your quota year. 
  • This period of four months is simply a lot of actual time-about 80 work days, and if that time is used wisely and is formally balanced between both playing the game and training to play the game, you will find that there is a very impactful ROI on that investment in time that will occur over the period of the summer when you will need it most. 

Have a great day selling today, and raise a glass tonight the Women's Hockey Team...and all of the other superb medal winners...all sports, all countries! 

   

Coach & Advisor to Derby Management
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies, Tufts University
Cummings Professor of Entrepreneurship

 

 


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Tags: Sales Leadership in the Revolution, sales leadership, entrepreneurship, Making Tough Choices, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management productivity, sales effectivness, sales plans for 2018

Management & Sales Lessons from the Commissioner

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Feb 08, 2018

Yikes ! The first full week of February already ?!?!

  • How are those New Year's Resolutions doing?
  • What about those personal changes you've been thinking about?
  • If you wrote down "be a better sales leader",  do you now have a plan?

When he was CEO of GE, Jack Welch wrote:

"The world will not belong to managers of those who can make the numbers dance. The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders-people who not only have enormous amounts of energy, but who can energize those whom they lead."

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Tags: improving sales productivity, sales leadership, sales management productivity, sales effectivness, sales plans for 2018, creating trust in sales

Marijo got it right...It's about "The Basics"... & Sales of course

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Jan 26, 2018

I've had the privilege of knowing Marijo McCarthy for 30+ years, so I was very pleased when I received an email from her following last week's blog. 

A gifted lawyer at the firm of Widett and McCarthy, she and I and another 20 plus small business entrepreneurs breathed new life into SBANE, "The Smaller Business Association of New England", (now, rebranded to The New England Business Association" ) back-in-the-day.  Led by Julie Scofield, the powerful Executive Director of the association, SBANE was placed squarely on the map in New England as "THE" place to be for small business. 

Not tech or specific market focused, but just "meat-and-potatoes" small businesses run by rock solid women and men who came together to share best practices and consistent networking...on steroids.  
Back-in-the-day, SBANE was all about the basics of business networking, education in what it takes to run a small business successfully, and superb connections from trusted referrals.

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Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales enablement, sales management training, sales management productivity, selling trust

As a salesguy, I'm making just one 2018 resolution...

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Jan 12, 2018
I have lots of room for improvements, so it's hard to limit my 2018 resolutions to just one, but in my work as a salesguy...

What would that be?

  • Would it be to make more calls?  Close more deals?
  • Travel more?  Or actually, travel less?
  • Hire managers and salespeople more quickly and with few mistakes?
  • Plan my time better for the week or for the month or quarter?

It looks like 2018 will be a year of significant change for me, so while all of the bullets above are actually pretty good ideas, and while I can always do better, my one resolution is both simpler and more complex.  Simple, because it actually is, but, more complex because I always want to express my opinion, when in fact, I should just shut up, not speak and listen much more completely.

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Tags: sales leadership, sales productiv, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, creating trust in sales

Roads Taken & Not Taken...and Sales Careers

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Dec 29, 2017
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Tags: sales productivity, improving sales productivity, sales careers

Simple is Always Better: Have a wonderful, warm & safe Christmas!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, Dec 23, 2017

If there is one lesson in Sales that I've learned this year, it is not to overthink things !

Success in life and in Sales is all about providing the real value that your partners need and want.

If we focus at this time in this magical Christmas season in practicing just one belief, one skill, and one love for the year ahead, we will all be better salespeople, and, most probably, just better people. 

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, improving sales productivity

The 5 Selling Days Before Christmas !

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Mon, Dec 18, 2017

It's come down to this...

  • Today through Friday...still pretty good selling days !
  • Next Monday, of course, is Christmas, so enjoy !
  • As far as next Tuesday's concerned, everyone's traveling either here or there !
  • And, then Wednesday-Friday, might be good for you, but most buyers have checked out !

The Blue Skies of Hope & The Valley of Reality

So, just to be conservative in our planning and quickly adjust our heads, and most importantly, our time this week, let's set out this Monday morning figuring that there are only five days to demonstrate our ability to bring in our forecasted deals and punch the ticket to go to President's Club in February. 

Which means, we need to plan every call and every activity this week and not get distracted by, or totally lost in "the blue skies of hope".

- Forget about the Bluebirds

- Don't waste a lot time on brand new leads

- Just focus on the bottom of your current funnel

 

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Tags: sales productivity, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, sales planning

Effective Selling!  Creating Trust with a Subaru !

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Mon, Dec 11, 2017

I drive a wicked amount of miles every year !

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Tags: sales productivity, Sales Best Practices, sales effectiveness, creating trust in sales, selling trust

In Sales, don't be just Vanilla !

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Nov 29, 2017

Be IMPERATIVE, and not just Vanilla !

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Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, sales enablement

Success in Sales & at Tufts: Just 1 Requirement-Believe in Yourself !

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Mon, Nov 20, 2017

I've been manufacturing, engineering and selling most of my life....tech products, medical devices, sports apparel, and now consulting services.  It's a wonderful and exciting profession, but make no mistake, Sales is tough work:

  • Measurements occur every month and every quarter that totally define your success and income
  • Frequent rejections happen all the time due to the necessary waterfall math of any sales funnel
  • Positive energy is required all the time, even when you're knocked down once in a while
  • There's a requirement to consistently learn new skills, technologies and processes

The Question of the Day: Can Sales be "taught", or is it "just natural"?

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Tags: sales productivity, Sales Best Practices, sales plan process, Sales Hiring Perfectly, how to write a sales plan, sales plans for 2018