10 Best Practices for Your Next Planning Session

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Mar 27, 2019

It's that time of year again...

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Tags: sales planning meeting, business planning meetings, Making Tough Choices, sales management plans, sales management productivity, sales effectivness

Welcome to the Spring-Don't Get Stuck in the Mud!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Mar 22, 2019

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 !

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Tags: entreprenurial, Sales Management Best Practices, sales optomization, sales management boot camp, improving sales productivity, sales leadership, Making Tough Choices

Jump Off ! Don't Look Down!  Plan! Push & Measure!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, Mar 09, 2019

It's the beginning of March, and we all know what March is good for !

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Tags: sales management boot camp, how to write a business plan, writing a business plan, business planning meetings, Making Tough Choices, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales effectivness, sales motivation, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Kilimanjaro & Entrepreneurship

My Hubspot blog template asks me this morning "What are we writing about today?". This Thursday morning, I'm pretty consumed with the excitement and the logistics of tomorrow's day-long Founder's Workshop and its incredible line up of real-life entrepreneurs, early stage investors and expert coaches, all focused on making sure that our early stage entrepreneurs do not fall off the cliff.

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Tags: entreprenurial, business coaching, Tufts Gordon Institute, entrepreneurship, Making Tough Choices, sales success, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Lessons in Life and Entrepreneurship from Vermont

Been a wicked busy and wicked cold January, so not much in the way of blogging, but now with this leap into February, I’m back at it.  It was my great grandfather Horace, who lived up the road a piece in the beautiful town of Poultney, Vermont, who talked about 8 months of snow, 2 months of mosquitoes and 2 months of “just damn poor sleddin’”.  My family has lived in this valley for just about 250 years, and what I know is that it takes real work to live here. Vermont’s beautiful on one hand, and just hardscrabble tough on the other.

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Tags: entreprenurial, how to write a business plan, writing a business plan, Tufts university, entrepreneurship, Making Tough Choices, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

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

Strategic thinking is easy; it's making the choices that's tough!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, Jul 30, 2016

At our company, we have the privilege of being the strategy guys for a large number of customers ranging in size and shape from venture-backed tech startups to colleges to resorts to large police departments to industrial manufacturers and a wide variety of service organizations.  Add to that frothy mix of markets, a variety of business structures that range from closely held families, to municipalities, public corporations and businesses that are owned by venture and PE firms, and it all becomes a wonderfully engaging puzzle of assembling future directions and the tactical building blocks to move from here to there.

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Tags: Making Tough Choices