Saturday morning found me at the Winhall General Store in downtown Bondville, Vermont (pop. 647) talking with Red, who was out reading the Brattleboro Reformer on the front porch bench, along with his yellow lab, Blue.
Another perfect day in paradise, and for me a perfect day to "get things done". "Getting things done", is what promoted me on Friday afternoon to load up the car with cats, equipment, bags of Home Depot garden rocks, and, most importantly cases of cheap red wine, and make the trek from the NH beach to the VT mountains.
The Rhythms of Life...and Sales
This time of year, that phrase of "What's up for the summa'?" jumps into our vocabulary whether we want it to or not. It's the natural rhythm of the seasons, and, right now, with the catalyst of hotter weather and the kids being out of school, that rhythm pushes us into figuring out exactly what we're going to be doing over the next 10 weeks.
This job of being a successful sales manager requires heart!
Nothing in the career of sales management is for the faint of heart! This is a profession that requires a constant ability to balance selling and management skills, both of our people and our customers, while keeping an ever watchful eye on the monthly, quarterly and annual clocks. Thinking more directly about the true meaning of why "heart" is at the lifeblood of this career, if one wants to be "successful" as a sales manager, one must be "consistent", and in order to be "consistently successful", one needs to have heart and truly love what one does.
- You've got to love this as a career, and not just like it as a job
- It's not good enough to just enjoy the work, or just be good at it
- This is a career that requires jump-out-of-bed and love going to work passion.
Whether the title is SVP or VP of Sales, or National, Regional, or District Sales Manager, or any of the ego-inflating titles of CRO or CSO, the real work of any successful manager of sales comes down to striking a work balance between being a Player and being the Coach.
Let's assume that I have some level of sales and sales management skills. The question that I then must ask and answer, and will ultimately guide my success and the success of my team, comes down my decision of how much time am I as a manager going to spend playing the game, and how much time am I going to spend coaching my team.
- The average "very good" salesperson spends 57.5 hours a week "working".
- The average "very good" sales manager guiding a team of 6-10, spends 65
The rest of that time from the original 3,000 to 3,800 hours is either simply not there (vacations, holidays, sick days) or is managed very ineffectively.
So, why do we want to become sales managers?
- For the competitive sales DNA in us that strives to win and be recognized for our wins
- It's another step from salesperson, to manager, to VP to CEO. (20%+ of the F500 CEOs)
- We simply love building and coaching a team...and, of course winning, which goes to #1.
What are the most important sales management Skills & Attributes?
- Attributes: Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Work Ethic
- Skills: Strategic & Tactical Planning, Hiring & Developing, Leadership & Communication
Want to learn more and be part of a very unique experience?
Attend our Sales management Boot Camp: October 1st-3rd
If you ever want to slow down or disrupt a board meeting or a strategy session, just ask this question...
This post is adapted from the excellent perspectives of JP Nicols 5 Lesson Leadership Lessons From the Godfather. JP provides a very interesting hangout. Check him out.
HubSpot surveyed over 6,000 of the world’s foremost marketers and salespeople. HubSpot asked them about their most pressing priorities, the challenges they face, and the strategies they plan to add in the year ahead.
I was on the Acela yesterday morning on the way to NYC, when I started to write this. Took the 5:05 out of the Back Bay and ended up at Penn Station perfectly on time, only to fight my way out on the street to get to my account. Thank God for Uber, which made the logistics of the day a perfect blend between "Old & New" !
The Acela run is always one of my favorite trips since I love trains, and I always look forward to working with this particular client on their very challenging long-term strategies.
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.