Now, it's all about your closing tactics!

Including today, at the most, there's about 18 selling days left in the year...and that's assuming that your prospect is not leaving for the week after Christmas, which is, of course, classic family vacation time. 

With those precious 18 days on the calendar and with B2B sales cycles currently being what they are, whatever is going to happen between now and the end of the year, is going to occur after your "Discovery" step in whatever sales process funnel and CRM you're currently using.  Other than maximizing every hour you can in your calendar and consistently using your exacting value propositions, there's very little that you can do to collapse time given the need to now build your business cases with multiple stakeholders...except in the critical last step of closing the deal.  

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Tags: sales coach, sales management coach, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, sales boot camps, improving sales productivity, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans

The number is 40ish

Actually, the real number is 39, but I wanted to push, extend, and stretch it to 40, but in the real world of Sales, and more importantly in the world of our customers and prospects, it's impractical to think that we will actually have 40 selling days left in the year.  Definitely 39 but probably only 35 given travel and prep days before Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then no experienced salesperson would ever plan on any of those days between Christmas and New Year's as real selling days.  Even if all of the decision makers were working that week, experience has taught us that the forecasted probability of getting all the required signatures from the legal, finance and purchasing departments is lower than low!  

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Tags: sales coach, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, sales management boot camp, how to close sales, sales success, how to write a sales plan, planningsalestodayinacovidworld

So, just what is marketing anyhow?

It's already the third week of my classes at MIT where I teach business planning and marketing, and at Tufts where I teach classes in Marketing and in the "Science of Sales". We're now ready this coming week to jump from knee-deep-testing-the-waters-concepts to full immersion in the reality of my methodology of teaching "Process-Tools-Technology-People & Math" and wrapping those mechanics into the practice of Sales and Marketing.  

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, meeting networking, free marketing projects from universities, student intern marketing projects, how to write a sales plan, marketing planning, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

This year starts right now...

Summa's over, kids are back in school, vacation days are behind us until the end of the year, and we're back at it moving at 100mph, working hard, fingers in the crankcase oil, making sure the machine works perfectly between now and December.   Different from Red above, for me personally, September through December is always the most exciting part of any year, and especially this year:

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Tags: sales coaching, marketing effectiveness, sales management boot camps, improving sales productivity, Tufts ELS program, entrepreneurship, how to write a sales plan, marketing planning, writing business plans, freedom

For planning for '22, first enjoy this weekend!

Just before we jump into the deep end of the pool next Tuesday, it might be worthwhile to think about approaching this year's planning season by looking out over two horizons and dividing your business plan into both the first and second halves of 2022.

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Tags: sales planning, marketing effectiveness, business planning, how to close sales, marketing planning, writing sales plans, writing business plans, 2022 business planning

David Meerman Scott says it best about finding time

My relationship with David goes back a decade plus when I fell across his iconic The New Rules of Marketing and PR, which, for me and my students became our bible of change.  Now having written its 7th edition, David always continues to rapidly evolve and extend that misunderstood word "Marketing" from what we used to think about marketing and PR to now the the colliding worlds of Content Marketing, Podcasting, Social Media, AI, Live Video, and Newsjacking.  For me, I've always followed the most simple definition of Marketing, which I learned from my other folk hero, Regis McKenna, in his ageless HBR essay Marketing is Everything, which when one does not overthink this word, "marketing" is just an exceptional definition.

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, business planning, marketing plans, marketing planning

9 to 5 ???  Are you still using typewriters also?

I enjoy receiving the HBR's "Management Tips of the Day" around 7:00 AM every morning.  First, I've been an avid reader of everything HBR ever since my first job as a purchasing expeditor at Honeywell, and second, it's one of those instant pop-ups that takes 10 seconds to read and often stimulates an idea or two.  My initial reaction was the headline that I then wrote for this blog since most probably none of us have ever worked in a 9-to-5 environment... certainly not as salespeople,  certainly not as entrepreneurs, and most probably just never in any position at any company we've worked in.

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Tags: sales coach, sales effectiveness, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, sales boot camps, sales success, marketing planning, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

Are you Orvis or Carhartt?

Working in Boston, now back traveling to the offices of our clients, teaching at Tufts, hanging out in NH, and digging in the dirt and snow of Vermont, I go through lots of different clothes, boots, shoes and jackets.  Like you, I greatly appreciate quality, style and especially value in what I wear and the cars I drive, which is why I drive a Subaru Outback most of the time.  When it comes to clothes and shoes, being a Vermonter I love both the brands of Orvis (the headquarters is just down the road a piece) and Carhartt (the basic uniform of most Vermonters).  

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, marketing plans, how to write a marketing plan

Gettin' your fingers in the dirt

This time of year, in between Zoom and Team calls, I've been ankle-deep in the dirt and last weekend's mud in the gardens in both NH and Vermont planting, cutting and weeding.  It's good for the soul and my hyper-sense of organization to be able to dive into the deep end of the mud and "get er done" no matter what the weather...or the business...forecast is.  

  • Right here at the beginning of June, our Q2 business forecast is looking pretty good among all of our clients now working through the details to end with a robust close to the quarter.  Concerns about supply lines and labor unknowns are obviously top of mind, but business forecasts in general seem to be solid for the next four weeks.
  • When I got in the car last night to drive from Boston to Vermont for a day of morning meetings and garden work this afternoon, the weather forecast also looked pretty good, and I planned my calls and meetings for the day around that forecast.  Early this AM, it's a raw 55 degrees and pouring rain, but somehow the outside work still needs to be completed between lawyer calls at 10, a weekly Team meeting at 11 and a F2F 3:00  new client meeting this afternoon.  

Bottom line is that weather forecasts change all the time, and of course, we have zero control, but yet, the work still needs to be completed.  Business plans and sales forecasts go through just as many variations as the unknowns of the weather, but at the end of a week like today and the end of the quarter in less than four weeks, sales quotas still need to be met and operating plans and product commitments completed just as we forecasted. 

As anyone who has seen my Vermont woodlot, everything is "neat & tidy" especially in the spring and summa'.  That organization allows me ready access to a season's worth of kindling and two of the four cords of wood I burn every winter. 

Having everything organized and "in its place" is the way I work out in the woods and also in my management consulting work since that level of organization allows me to have "extra time" when the weather changes or in the case of work, unexpected client speed bumps occur.

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Tags: sales and marketing best practices, sales effectiveness, sales management training, marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, best sales practices;, how to write a sales plan

The problem is actually making the marketing choices!

Discussing marketing is fun, until we need to decide...

"Discussing" Marketing is exciting, challenging and lets our brains run free...at least that is until we need to make the choices of what we need to do in order to move ahead.  And today, given the hundreds of both strategic and tactical choices available to us in both Sales and in Marketing, the task often seems to be overwhelmingly difficult.  Actually, that's not the case compared to making choices about...for instance...milk.  

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing management, Tufts marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, Making Tough Choices, marketing planning, sales management productivity