ok, now what do I do to sell? 

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, May 13, 2020

With last weekend's nasty weatha' at the NH beach and even more snow stopping my planned Saturday mornin' trip to Winhall/Bondville VT, I took the time to post to my 6,700 LinkedIn friends my "Six Best Sales Practices for Selling Normally in Abnormal Times",

This comes from a webinar with I shared with Laurie White, President of the Providence Chamber of Commerce, and her superb members. 

I thought that the questions raised from these real-life business owners and salespeople were perfect examples of what it takes to work and survive on the front line in these chaotic times.  

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Tags: Making Tough Choices, sales management productivity, selling trust, 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

Throw out the plan and survive!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, Mar 21, 2020

Typically, at this point in the selling season, I'd be writing this morning about the end of Q1, telling everyone to crunch it for this final week ahead, and begin prepping for the upcoming most important quarter in any selling year,   But, not today!

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Tags: business planning, writing a business plan, Making Tough Choices, 2020 business plans, 2020 sales plans, writing business plans

Transitions & Next Chapters...Great time of year to make changes!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Dec 06, 2019

 

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Tags: sales management effectiveness, Making Tough Choices, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management productivity, Tufts Entrepreneurship, 2020 business plans

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