Plan for Success in Sales:  Teach, Coach & Certify

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Apr 21, 2017


It all comes down to 50 minutes

In life, in Sales, and in teaching, there are always deadlines. 

Wednesday, one of those deadlines was evidenced in 50 minute final exam presentations days at Tufts.  After 12 weeks of content in the brand new Sales course and in the nine-year-old Marketing course, Wednesday was the day when the first two teams of Sales students and the three teams of Marketing students presented their findings, reams of research and their detailed sales and marketing recommendations to the management of their project companies. 

We'll do the same thing to the same rhythm next Wednesday, and then another semester will be over.  During the summer, I'll spend a big chunk of time on the beach refining and re-calibrating for the fall semesters at Tufts and at MIT, where I've had the privilege of working with Professor Chun for almost 20 years.  For me, all of this is a lot of fun, a fair amount of hard work and always some level of anxiety, which keeps me on the competitive edge, which is exactly why I teach...since I continue to believe that I'm just a student of the very exciting worlds of sales and marketing.

Read More

Tags: sales productivity, Sales Best Practices, sales and marketing best practices, sales training

NOW is the most important Sales Planning time in 2017 !

Posted by Jack Derby on Mon, Apr 10, 2017

You finished Q1 either on (or not) plan.  Congratulations in either case !

Let's spend detailed time this week or next figuring out why and then rebalance Q2

Probably the last time you looked at your 2017 Sales Plan was January, and maybe even last December at the time the board approved the company's business plan.

Then you jumped into the deep end of the pool with your January sales meeting after which everyone hit the road and their desks totally focused on execution.  

It's been a blazing hot and exhausting Q1, and Q2 promises to be more of the same. Certainly, nothing is going to slow down.

Read More

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

Free (!) Marketing & Sales Plan Consulting

Posted by Jack Derby on Thu, Apr 06, 2017

As a marketing & sales guy, I really dislike the word "FREE". 

Read More

Tags: Tufts marketing projects, Tufts Gordon Institute, Tufts Marketing, Tufts internships

U Gotta Love U for the Next 20 Hours

Posted by Jack Derby on Thu, Mar 30, 2017

Here we are in the final 20 hours of the quarter. Maybe 10 today, certainly 10 tomorrow, and then it's over with the turn of the digital page as we rush into April on Monday morning

Read More

Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales and marketing best practices, improving sales productivity

Productivity...and Happiness in Sales

Posted by Jack Derby on Tue, Mar 21, 2017


Read More

Tags: sales effectiveness, improving sales productivity, best sales practices;

What's It All About? What Makes Me Happy? ...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Mar 10, 2017

I used to have a cat named "Bean", and when I was spending a lot more time at the house in Vermont, she and I would go walking in my woodlot, Bean following dutifully behind me as the afternoon light filtered into the perfectly manicured woods.  For 40 years of living in this valley where I come from six generations of Vermonters living there before me, my motto always has been... "A clean forest is a happy forest".

Read More

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

Jelly, Jam, or Preserves?  Common Language & Sales

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Mar 03, 2017

A breakfast with customers or referral partners is always my favorite meal of the day, and one of life's little pleasures is my careful selection of raspberry or strawberry "jelly", or sometimes, just to feed my wild side, a spoonful of marmalade.  Simple pleasures for a complex life.

Read More

Tags: Sales Optimization, sales enablement, sales management training, sales management boot camps, improving sales productivity

"Big Hat, No Cattle"...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby on Sat, Feb 25, 2017

I've found that there are two types of managers who work in our profession of Sales...

Read More

Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales management, sales management effectiveness

2017 Productivity Success in Sales & in Manufacturing

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Feb 17, 2017

Back-in-the-day... MRP, ERP, Quality Circles, ISO900, DFMKANBAN, and a myriad of other manufacturing productivity improvement tools and technologies were the structural keys to the success of the resurgence of quality and manufacturing superiority in the U.S.  

In the '70's and '80's, as a direct result of the new-age religions of processes, standardized tools, technologies and metrics preached by the High Priest, W. Edwards Deming, and national activities such as the Malcolm Baldridge Award, U.S. manufacturing steadily pulled itself back to worldwide superiority in such diverse markets as cars, appliances, in semiconductors and general electronics.  This refocus to massive productivity and quality gains, resulting in much higher levels of customer satisfaction, took a national call-to-action spread over a couple of decades, and it worked, and it continues to work today with US manufacturing productivity output doubling over the last 15 years.

And Yet, Sales Productivity in too many companies Sucks...

  • In the last 10 years, selling costs rose faster than revenues.
  • In the last 5 years, SG&A costs have increased 12.5% (Alix Partners 2013)
  • According to Sales Benchmark Index, in the last 3 years, sales productivity declined for the world’s largest sales forces.  Only 41 of the SBI 100 companies increased sales productivity per employee.
  • There's been an average productivity decline of 2.5 % over the last three years.

Joe Gusfaston, Chairman of Brainshark, the industry leader in Sales Readiness, who consolidated many of these stats, noted in an article published by Forbes that "Sales enablement is about how to improve productivity of sales by squeezing out inefficiencies and maximizing effectiveness,”    

Leaders like W. Edwards Deming, back-in-the-day, for manufacturing, and guys like Joe Gustafson today for Sales Readiness & Enablement, understand the sales productivity crisis and are actually doing something about it.

which is Why We've Teamed Up with Hubspot on March 20th For...

"Constructing a Winning Blueprint for 2017"

Most of us in our firm grew up on the manufacturing floors and in the engineering labs of our prior companies until we came to understand the reality of the simple business credo that..."Success in business is about just two things: Sales ! and other stuff" (Professor Howard Anderson, Harvard Business School).

We've also been devotees about everything Hubspot since the company was founded.  We use their tools, they are customers of ours, and we of them. 40+ of my Tufts alums (very happily) work there.  The Hubspot technologies are the backbones of my course in Marketing, and most recently my new course "The Art & Science of Sales".  Many of my class lecturers are my alums now working (very happily) at Hubspot.  All of this is very symbiotic, the process works perfectly and everyone benefits.

As a result of that partnership, we decided to co-host with Hubspot this "Constructing a Winning Blueprint for 2017" event on March 20th at the Hubspot headquarters in Cambridge, which is focused directly at the senior leaders (CEOs, and Heads of Marketing and Sales) of manufacturing companies. Kicking off with an introduction by Hubspot co-founder, CTO, and tech visionary, Dharmesh Shah, this unique event will outline the intersections of systems, processes and metrics between the rapidly evolving worlds of Sales & Marketing productivity and the productivity improvements being made on the factory floor.

The Agenda:

  • 11-12 PM -Lunch & Networking
  • 12-1 PM-Welcome and presentation from Dharmesh Shah, CTO and Co-Founder of HubSpot
  • 1-2 PM Manufacturing CEO Panel, facilitated by Jack Derby
  • 2-3 Q&A, Discussions and Networking
For more information on the event, and to register just go to this  LINK.  

Also, you should download and read our manufacturing eBook, " Constructing a Winning Blueprint for 2017”, at this  LINK.


Just connect with me at or with my partner, John Routhier, who, with Hubspot, is in charge of this event at, and we'll fill in the details.

Have a great day selling today! 



Head Coach  

 Derby Management...for 25 years
 -Sales & Marketing Productivity Experts
 -Business & Strategy Planning Specialists
 -Senior Management Coaches for CEOs & VPs

Boston, MA 02117
Jack's Cell: 617-504-4222





Read More

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

"No School, All Schools, All Day...and Sales"

Posted by Jack Derby on Thu, Feb 09, 2017

When I grew up in Greater Boston, we had one "device" in the house, and that was one AM radio in my parent's bedroom.  No Internet?  We would never have even been able to comprehend the concept.  No, no Internet.  In fact, no TV.

Read More

Tags: sales productivity, sales effectiveness, sales plans, sales process