Gotta Love April!

Gotta love April !!!   

Hard to believe, but here we are, one year later in a very different spring of positive outlooks and what will become a roaring economy on the back half of this year.  Still a bit stressed, but much less so, and, as sales pros, we're always thinking through what the quarter ahead is going to look like. This is always the excitement and the challenge of being a Sales leader. Just like any  professional athlete, even with consistent training and exacting playbooks, we never exactly know what the end game or the final points on the scoreboard will be.    

Just ask either side on the women's final basketball championship last week between Arizona and Stanford.  

 

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Tags: sales coaching, sales management coach, sales enablement, closing sales, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, sales success, how to write a sales plan, planningsalestodayinacovidworld

just waiting for the spring this AM

With 30 years of skiing anchored firmly in my Vermont winta' roots, I've now spent the last 25 years only snowboarding gaining a new love for old trails and new woods and parks that I would have never explored on skis. I still remember the taunts and laughs from my skier buddies I left behind, but as with anything new, I've learned to find the best coaches and study harder and longer than others. 

This winta' morning, I find myself at the NH beach trading my Big Boy Ariens snowblower back in VT for shovels that fit NH winding paths and decks that overlook a very angry ocean.  It will actually be good to grab some fresh air and quick exercise today between six zooms and a board meeting. One of the benefits of WFH.

Love winta'...but cannot wait for March 20th, the official start of spring and leaving behind dark mornings and getting back out into the VT woods with my chainsaw or looking for seaglass on the NH beach.  I do love the rhythm and the variety of the NE seasons...most of the time

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Tags: sales coaching, sales effectiveness, closing sales, marketing effectiveness, sales management boot camp, business coaching, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, sales success, how to write a sales plan, planningsalestodayinacovidworld

Zen & the science of snowblowing

The interesting and good news about selling in 2021...

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Tags: Sales Optimization, closing sales, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, best sales practices;, sales success, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, writing sales plans

Accurate sales forecasting-all about the science!

This morning, with tonight's Nor'easter looming just a few hours from now, and the end of the entire sales year only eight days away, it's interesting to compare two timely forecasting scenarios:
-On one hand, we have local Boston weather forecasters guessing about snowfall.
-On the other, we have professional salespeople forecasting real revenue.

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Tags: sales coach, sales enablement, closing sales, how to close sales, sales boot camps, improving sales productivity, sales success, how to write a sales plan, sales readiness, forgetsalesstrategyfocusontactics

Today's number is 20!

a few Reasons to be thankful!

We just finished what I always consider to be "the best holiday of the year".
--no one really worked last Wednesday, and even if you did, your prospects may not have.
--definitely, no one worked Thursday, and we celebrated with whomever was safe.
--most people did not work Friday other than in retail or necessary services.
--two days of good weather on the weekend came next.
--and yesterday, we closed out November's quota...hopefully on plan!

now it's Tuesday & we have 20 selling days left 

20 days are actually a ton of time to do what we do as sales pros!

With the correctly qualified accounts, all of us, as the seasoned pros we are, have enough time to push down the field, mount play-after-play, bring together the right team and move almost any deal to a close.  That's this week, still early in the game with lots of time left on the scoreboard. 

Next week, not so much time left since we'd already be in the second half of the selling month in pre-holiday time.

The following week, we have no time at all unless we're just a few relative yards/minutes away from pulling everyone over the goal line.   

 

Here's a couple of tactics that always work...

1. Focus on the 80/20 Rule!

Today, as in today-Tuesday-separate out the 20%, (maybe it's only the 10%) of what's in your pipeline that will make the biggest impact on your quota.  In fact, one or two of these opportunities may also be the most difficult and will take maximum time and effort, which is why you're focusing today on the 20% since you have a full 20 days to get to a close.  Plenty of time in fact to make a difference in almost any deal.  

 

2. Get rid of the detractors & interrupters!

The good side of being zoom-distanced is that there are fewer office-talk interruptions although your WFH time may be equally challenged by kids and pets.  The very good news is that you have 20 days.  Multiply that by 10 hours, and you have a ton of time.  The reality of that news is that you have only 20 days. 

  • My buddy, Frank Y., who excels as a BDR, works time zones following the sun across the country.
  • My neighbor, Ray, moves his office to the garage, during the kids' home-schooling hours.
  • I'm up even earlier at 4:00 AM planning out three days ahead and getting rid of the mental clutter. 

3.  Clean up your calendar! 

- Today, plan out all of your selling days for the rest of the year and just jam into those same time blocks everything you think that you will need to do between now and then. 

- Then take an expanded view of what you have just done and make sure that it makes sense balancing what time blocks you now have in your 20-day calendar and what time you have available to actually sell.  Try to view your calendar as if you were 20 feet above the view and not able to see the details other than the available time to sell. 

In some sales markets such as recruiting and real estate, these are called "the money hours", which these highly trained salespeople know from experience are the two or four optimum times during a day to connect with a prospect.
The point here is to take a hard look at what you have available to sell and simply get rid of everything else and forklift it over to January.   Yes, January!

  • I'm a fanatic about time, and I just did this exercise yesterday morning and realized I had overlapping times in two critical presentations and was not allowing enough travel time Wednesday night to prep for a critical early Thursday call.
  • Make sure that you ask your December prospects what their vacation plans are for December and also extend that question to everyone else in the purchasing approval cycle.  Nothing's worse than trying to track down someone in the legal department for a cursory review of the final approval docs when that person is on the ski slopes between Christmas and New Year's.  
  • For sales management, there's the added reality during these same 20 days of having to spend some time fine-tuning the 2021 sales plans you submitted to your boss and the finance people in November. Another reality for sure, and there's no way around that other than weekend work.  Having dealt with this at all levels for 25 plus years, if you want a few ideas as to how to compress time and focus your planning on the sales and financial KPIs that really count, just connect for a no-cost call.  

4.  Clean Body, Focused Mind!  

No, this is not another statement on what you need to do to prevent infection.  You already know more than the basics by this time.  This relates to doing whatever you need to do to stay healthy, efficient, alert and sales-effective through the balance of this month which comes down to the simple truths of exercising, getting enough sleep and eating correctly...just like Mom told us. 

We all know the basics, and, yet most of us struggle with finding enough time or dealing with the realities of not being able go to our favorite gym which we left back in March. 

 

I certainly would rather be back at my workout place in Boston which I last saw on March 9th than walking down into the basement at 4:00 and getting on the Peloton for 30 minutes. But I also know the mental impact of what 30 minutes can make in clearing out the clutter and focusing me for the day ahead. 

................................

Nothing earth-shattering or even new in the four-point outline above...other than the reality of 20 days of superb opportunities in front of us today!   

Have a great day selling today...and for the next 19! 

CONFIDENTIAL SOUNDING BOARD

If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board in business planning or for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time.  Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call.  I'm a pretty good listener. 

Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.

 

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Tags: sales coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, closing sales, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, best sales practices;, sales success, sales readiness

Change comes to "The Boys on the Bench"

In my tiny town (pop. 735) in Vermont...called Winhall by the state and Bondville by the feds...there are only three bastions of commerce: 

  • the 7/11 gas station which doubles as a state liquor store
  • the brand new Ace Hardware store branded "Lincoln Maples Hardware" to countrify it
  • and the decades-old Winhall General Store

I've lived in this valley for a very long time with five generations before me, and over the years I've seen many owners of the general store come and go.  There were a few serious Vermonters back in the day, lots of city folk who were looking to own "a little slice of Vermont" , but lasted only a couple of wicked cold winta's, and then there's Lorraine. 

Like many, Lorraine came for the skiing and the beauty of Vermont and stayed to successfully build the business and support the town.  She's done a remarkably consistent job of paying attention to the local Vermonters looking for coffee and a solid sandwich while knowing how to cater to the weekend flatlanders form New York and Jersey.  

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Tags: improved sales management, sales management training, sales management boot camp, improving sales productivity, sales management productivity, inordertoselltodayyoumustchange, planningsalestodayinacovidworld, whiteboardingmarketingsolutions, forgetsalesstrategyfocusontactics, whiteboardingsalessolutions

Do not confuse bounce with recovery

Over the long weekend of the 4th, I listened to two threads of stories...

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Tags: sales effectiveness, sales management boot camp, business coaching, improving sales productivity, best sales practices;, sales management productivity, sales effectivness

Putting in place a very straight line sales plan

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, May 01, 2020

This morning I'm thinking very differently about the words "a long hard slog", and looking at this business environment not as a world of chaos and interruption, but as one of creating a much more simplified process that creates a much straighter line between "start" and "purchase".  

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Tags: improving sales productivity, best sales practices;, sales forecasting, sales effectivness, sales motivation, 2020 sales plans, writing sales plans, sales readiness

In the belly of the beast

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Apr 03, 2020

This is exactly where we hoped we would not be, and yet, here we are today in the belly of the beast.  

Not many of us any longer are hoping that this situation will get better, since what we have experienced most recently in the harsh reality of the last seven days, clearly defines that the personal and business impact will become a lot worse before it improves.  I am neither capable nor technically equipped to make any projections, and my personal business expectations are just as good or as bad as yours, but having said that, I, like you, run businesses and, like you, I'm a pragmatist, and I know that we are in this chaotic situation for a long time until vaccines hit the market.  

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Tags: improving sales productivity, Making Tough Choices, sales management productivity, creating trust in sales, 2020 sales plans, writing sales plans, sales readiness

Sugarin' season in Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Feb 27, 2020

The rhythm of the seasons...Taint spring yet

I was reminded yesterday of the inevitable rhythm of the seasons both in VT and in the world of Sales.  It seems that for some yet unknown reason, a decision has been made to redo the kitchen in Vermont.  Not that I was consulted or even asked in this decision process, but I was told that a decision had been made all the same. Given this, I reached out to my friend Steve at Homestead, the company up at the end of the road a piece that does the plowing in the winta', the lawn in the summa' and basically everything else from landscaping to construction at the VT house.  

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Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales enablement, sales boot camp, improving sales productivity, sales leadership, sales effectivness, sales motivation, sales readiness