Who are your most valuable salespeople?

Darn cold at 29 last Saturday out by the Vermont barn. Jumped on the ATV to work through the woods and get up to the pond where I noticed that the swamp maples were already turning even though the big foliage week is still a couple of weeks from now.  Always good for the Vermont economy when leaf-peeping ties into a long weekend.

Read More

Tags: sales and marketing best practices, sales coach, sales effectiveness, marketing effectiveness, sales management boot camp, how to write a sales plan, sales management productivity, writing sales plans, Selling Successfully in a Covid World

The marketing of me...and you

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Sep 15, 2020

I've been a student of marketing now for decades.  I teach it, I practice it, I study it, and I always seem to be running fast just to keep up...which is exactly why marketing is so exciting today.  So that I never overthink the subject, the profession or its complexities, I always come back to the simplicity of Regis McKenna's iconic February, 1991 HBR article, "Marketing is Everything", which still rings true today...maybe even more so today...as I re-read this morning just one paragraph from the article.

Read More

Tags: sales management effectiveness, sales effectiveness, marketing productivity, how to write a business plan, how to write a sales plan, marketing planning

Summa's done, getting ready for the fall

A solid summa' in spite of Covid, social unrest, racial injustice, job losses, business closings and then of course, the back-biting and mud -slinging of the election, but other than that...a solid summa'!  

Read More

Tags: Sales Optimization, sales coach, sales effectiveness, sales producitivity, how to close sales, best sales practices;, how to write a sales plan, sales management productivity, writing sales plans

today is just a finite fraction in the infinity of time

Think about it!

  • Monday morning, the 20th of July.  One day among 365.  202 down with 164 to go.
  • Just one day in a decade or in 100 years or in millennia since Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
  • Time is always non-stop and always represented by change.
  • The concept of time is self-evident, but we rarely think about the fundamental nature of time...

...until of course, we run out of time!.

What this pandemic is teaching us is the fragility of time.  We see it, we sense it, and now we always live it in both our personal and work lives. We live in an ever-expanding bubble of time listening to the daily chants of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, and, as a result, we're much more aware of time now than we were six months ago. We anticipate it and we watch it carefully in our Zoom calls.  More than ever, we constantly try to balance our own time with a myriad of new demands that we never ever considered before like "should we send our kids back to school?" and "what are the safest hours to go to Market Basket?"

Read More

Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales coach, sales management coach, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, Sales Hiring & Onboarding, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans, sales readiness

Creating your own single source of truth

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Jun 30, 2020

Rarely, as in never, do I get into a discussion in this blog about politics, and to a large degree this post is not about politics, it's just about the science, the data and the sources of the truth behind the pandemic and its impact.

What each of us should be doing at this time is to identify our own "single sources of truth" regarding the disease, the impact that it's making on our physical and mental health, and the devastating effect on our businesses and our jobs.

The only way we can fight back is with discipline in what we do, how we act, and how we sell and market our products

Six months into this, we clearly know the facts...

Read More

Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales enablement, sales management boot camp, sales boot camps, how to write a sales plan, 2020 sales plans, Selling Successfully in a Covid World

Welcome to the Summa'  What's your shelf life going to be?

The official summa' kicks off this Saturday, -which by the way, looks like a perfect weatha' day- and we welcome in this season of beaches, barbecues and barefootin'. 

Most importantly, it's time to kick back a bit, take a breath, and simplify from what we've been through over the past 100 days.  We need to take a break, or at least a partial break, from the pressures of the reality of the virus and from the stress of the unrest. 

Given what's been going on around us and the financial realities of where we are, I expect that the word "vacation" may have a very different meaning during the Summa' of 2020.  Having said that, we still need to take a break and shut things off for a day or five or a couple of weekends since it's going to be a long road ahead to get to "recovery" whatever the word meansWe also need some time to get out of the day-to-day survival mode where we've been hunkered down for the last 100 days and think a bit more strategically about where we're going to be at the end of the next 100 days.

Read More

Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales boot camps, sales management boot camps, Making Tough Choices, how to write a sales plan, 2020 sales plans

Fear & Hope?  What can I do?

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Mar 06, 2020

In a time of fear and concern regarding the personal and business impact of the COVID-19 virus, where do I turn? 

My recommendation is listen only to the experts! 

If I listen to most radio channels or watch David Muir on the evening news, in all respect, I don't know whether I should immediately drive to my Vermont bunker up on the ridge and hunker down with my six months of rations, or merely drive to Home Depot and pick up more antiseptic wipes. 

Read More

Tags: sales planning meetings, sales success, value propositions, Sales Hiring & Onboarding, how to write a sales plan, creating trust in sales, 2020 sales plans, writing sales plans, sales readiness

Today...We Gotta Get Moving!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Jan 09, 2020

The Scores are on the Board!

2019 in review

The scores have been on the scoreboard now for a few days since the official year ended on the 30th, and the final game tapes have been reviewed.  There'll be a couple of minor adjustments made during this week, but the big numbers are already posted on the board!

Read More

Tags: writing a business plan, sales planning meetings, sales success, how to write a sales plan, Tufts Entrepreneurship, writing sales plans

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!

Read More

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

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.

Read More

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