Activities, Activities, Activities...and more Sales

 

All about the team, a strong sales culture...and having fun

 I was sitting in a board meeting at Brainshark yesterday and listening to Colleen Honan, the highly experienced and talented Chief Sales Officer, talk about activity planning.  Colleen has all of the background, the years, and the depth of experience to truly be qualified as the head of sales of a leading tech company.  She's disciplined in her approach, fluent in new processes and technology and unrelenting in her approach to sales coaching, sales planning, sales training while  having fun at the same time.  

So when I walked in to the headquarters in Waltham at 7:30 yesterday, I was not surprised to see the salespeople already at work planning out their activities for the day and getting in early morning calls.  I was however, a bit taken back by the fact that one of the leading teams of 20 or so, was dressed in tuxes and gowns.  And then I learned that Colleen had been talking to them about the Gatsby generation, which inspired this very hard working team of classic millennials to dress the part for the day. So very cool...and engaging...and being part cementing the team!

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Tags: Tufts marketing projects, interns for marketing projects, sales leadership, Sales Hiring Perfectly, jack derby professor at Tufts, how to write a sales plan, sales management productivity, sales effectivness, sales plans for 2018

Tufts' $100K Competition...and Sales

-120 applications in November
- Mentor workshops from January to March
- Selection of "The Final 16" in March
- Consistent individual hands-on coaching
- The final judging and awards on April 4th & 5th
- Excitement & disappointment at the same time
- Connections and advice everywhere

A continuous learning experience!

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, sales producitivity, Tufts ELS, sales planning meetings, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management productivity, sales plans for 2018, Tufts Entrepreneurship

Taint Season in Vermont & the World of Sales

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Tags: value propositions, Inboound, sales management plans, marketing planning, sales management productivity, creating trust in sales, sales careers

The Blizzard of 2018 That is Wrecking Your Revenue…Your Marketing Strategy

Posted by John Routhier on Wed, Mar 14, 2018

Most of us saw over two feet of snow in the past 2 weeks leaving kids with no school, power outages, numerous businesses closed and everyone hoping for the best.  Unfortunately, a lot of companies marketing strategy is based on the same tactic…hoping for the best.  Hoping your marketing efforts generate leads and produce a positive ROI is not a strategy.  A lot of companies say their marketing plan is to work on their SEO, pay for Google Ad words, post a blog but have no idea what the ROI is for those efforts. The equivalent would be buying a very expensive snow blower but having no gas to run it and no idea how to use it while hoping it cleans the snow off of your driveway. 

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Tags: marketing plans

Time to Start Filling the Beach Bag

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Mar 06, 2018

Maybe it's just the calendar as we race into March especially today sandwiched between the weekend nor'easter and tomorrow's nor'easter. Hard to believe that I was out raking in the NH yard in the sun on Sunday morning. Harder to believe that I was raking seaweed out of the grass after these waves went way over the seawall and closed the roads.

Maybe it was the bright 50 degree, sunny days just two weeks ago.  "In-Like-a-Lion" March lives up to its reputation this week



All I know is that just three months from now, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer, and the summer means the beach, and the beach means mega-reading and mega-writing. 

Nothing better for me, my psyche, my health and my curiosity than taking my overloaded beach bag out early on a Saturday morning and opening up a book about sales or marketing and taking out my writing tablet.

Each summer, I also use the time on the beach to rewrite our 115 page Writing the Winning Business Plan and our 50 page Writing the Winning Marketing Plan. If you want copies of either of these, just click on below.  Actually, if you do read these now, and you have ideas or comments, just let me know, and we will make sure that we will add those comments if we can and give you attribution, as you will note in the front of the Writing the Winning Business Plan book

 

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Tags: sales leadership, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management plans, sales management productivity, sales plans for 2018

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