Of course the announcement of the beginning of Spring brings out all of that amorphous stuff about rebirth, awakening and new growth. For me, after all of these springs, I'm sure that those touchy feelings also exist somewhere neatly filed in some dusty corner of my brain right alongside my desire to look for the first robin. Not really !
"A clean forest is a happy forest !"
In the tiny town of Bondville (Federal government's name) and/or Winhall (the State's name), population 647, I was out in my Vermont woodlot this past weekend. Always a work process of love for the land that is good for my head, the soul and especially for the woods!
My family has lived in this valley for over 250 years, and I have enough great grandfather and grandfather stories of real entrepreneurship to fill a book. I think that it's not by coincidence that I'm now director of the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, just two miles from my grandfather's first retail store opened in Davis Square in 1908. Bapa left the not-so-rural town of Poultney, just 20 miles up the road a piece from where I live in Vermont, to settle in Somerville next to the Tufts campus.
Last Friday, Mike, my trusted co-worker, and I were deep in the Vermont muck with chain saws and ATV's cutting, bushwhacking, and generally cleaning up the final damage of the winta'.
Today's critical number is seven!
- Seven days in the week
- Seven is a very spiritual number; just like three
- Seven continents and seven seas
- Shakespeare's "seven stages of life"
- Seven colors in a rainbow
- Seven letter in "SUCCESS"
- ...and, of course, just seven days left in Q2 to make quota !
For years, I've always been a countdown guy ticking the numbers down from here to there, or more typically, I start at the "there" and back into where "here" is so that everything...quota, work, travel, and my work at Tufts with my extraordinary students and professors, gets handled efficiently...and most of the time, effectively.
Time is obviously finite and allows for zero expansion in life, in projects and certainly in Sales. The month closes, the calendar page turns and BAANNG, it's a new month, a new quarter, and we're on the other side of that measuring bar. Same as in sports when the buzzer sounds! Zero difference since Sales is just like any professional sport. Always remember that we're all professional athletes just like any professional sports figure...we just chose different careers. Same requirements for training, motivation and the clarity of our drive!
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."
If there is one lesson in Sales that I've learned this year, it is not to overthink things !
Success in life and in Sales is all about providing the real value that your partners need and want.
If we focus at this time in this magical Christmas season in practicing just one belief, one skill, and one love for the year ahead, we will all be better salespeople, and, most probably, just better people.
Just to light up your memory banks, way back in August, August 21st to be specific, it seemed that everyone in the U.S. was caught up in The Summer of 2017 Eclipse Fever, when for the first time in 99 years, we underwent a coast-to-coast phenomena. Pretty basic stuff, but having said that, just as one example, one million people traveled to Oregon for three day just to grab the first view of the first light. Small towns in the Midwest with populations below 1,000 welcomed tens of thousands of visitors. Tens of thousands of people overpaid for the special glasses and overnight deliveries.
And then...just as suddenly...it all ended. We packed up our telescopes and stowed our sleeping bags...and the special glasses...into our campers, and we just as quickly changed back into our workaday lives marking off April 8, 2024 on our digital calendars.
All of that craziness and hype just follows the predictability of the rhythm of eclipses. It will be the same in 2024.
Forget "ABC" - "Always be Closing".
It's old school, offensive and counter to what we should be doing as salespeople, which is to sell value and create trust with our prospects and customers, and not force them to close.
According to Karen Penticost, VP of Strategic Development at Envision Technology Advisors, who was part of the management team working with us at our Sales Management Boot Camp at the MIT Endicott House last week, we should...
"always be interviewing"
When asked why, Karen's responses were...
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