I happened to be talking to a friend of mine, Paul Kelly, President of Berkshire Bank, yesterday about...what else...Sales, of course, and he provided a very interesting perspective to approaching his sales process during these times of unknowns. Notice I just used the phrase "times of unknowns" since "chaotic" is too depressing and "new normal/abnormal" has become too much of a trite label, All we do know right now is that we will be in this "time of unknowns" for at least the next six and probably twelve months. Nothing we can do in our day-day-day is going to change the overall environment, but determined and innovative managers like Paul, who focus on positivity, motivation and specific marketing and sales tactics, impact sales at their companies every week.
El Cap is a 3,000ft sheer rock face in Yosemite, California, and he climbed it without a rope.
Although Alex is known in the public eye as a free solo-ist, most climbing he does takes place on a rope. He typically won’t free solo a difficult route until it’s been thoroughly rehearsed while attached to one.
So that’s what makes this photo here fun...and of course, here he’s roped in.
Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales and marketing best practices, sales management training, selling skills, sales training, Making Tough Choices, sales management productivity, sales readiness
When I first began as a rookie salesperson, I had just been promoted to be president of the medtech company where I had moved up through the ranks from manufacturing and engineering and then to the corner office. I had never sold anything and had zero understanding of what marketing did other than knowing they spent a ton of money on trade shows, conferences and producing whitepapers. The second week into the job, our number two sales guy, Alan, showed up in my office and suggested that we take a sales trip together to his largest hospital in NYC. A great guy...strong numbers, very affable, bright-but in a folksy kind of way- and a very hard worker. I still remember that first call:
#1 lesson from Alan was to dress down from the plaid suit. 😎
#2 was to go in the hospital on the 2nd shift since it was less hectic and quieter.
#3 was to bring a box of donuts to the nurses since they knew what was really going on.
#4 was to understand that knowledge was power, and the currency was just being human.
Today, we would term that process a "Discovery Call", and we would put it into the second step in our sales process funnel and allocate specific tools and checklists to the Discovery call wrapping all of that up in Hubspot CRM technology that would automatically remind us in three days after the call with follow up tasks and templates to complete. Yes, it's mechanical, efficient, and highly disciplined, and, yes, it's not very human by itself, but it works. The secret to successful sales is to add personality and trust to any sales process that's full of steps and metrics.
Which is better-sales process or the human touch?
Alan was just a superb salesguy! Always #1 or #2 in a team of 50 plus salespeople. He had a superb memory and a built-in innate ability to drive sales "The Alan Way", and as a result he had his own process down to a science. That's the good news.
The unsettling news was that no one else could sell "The Alan Way" since his process came down to style on the attributes side of things and his own selling skills on the process side of the equation. Plus, although he had a huge geographic territory, he only focused his time in the density of two very concentrated cities and then further pinpointed those to the specific hospitals where he knew exactly what was going to happen in in terms of replacement products given his closeness to the nurses using donuts as his currency The bottom line in his "Streets-not-States" strategy was that by focusing on only 5% of the available hospitals in his entire geography, he always got to whatever the bonus number was above 100% of his quota.
The majority of us are not Alan, nor do we have his discipline, so people like me need to "resort" to our "Process & Tools & Technology & People" solution to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks...and because I just don't the whole Joey BagaDonuts approach.
The Joeys who are still in the sales game also do not have the skills or the style that Alan had...all they have are the donuts. As a result, they rely on stupid and affrontive emails like this one below that I just received yesterday:
Hello Mr. Derby, I hope you're having a great Tuesday.
My name is xxx xxx, and I'm the CEO at xxx. We are a new member of xxx. While browsing the member directory I came across your profile highlighting your company and wanted to make a brief introduction about our solutions. We are a cost reduction and profit improvement company. We have had significant success working with venture capital, investment banking firms, private equity groups, and consulting firms seeking to create equity value within their portfolios or for their clients. Attached are a few case studies of those successes. After doing some research, I'm interested in finding out more about your company. I look forward to hearing from you.
That's definitely a Joey BagaDonuts email, but unfortunately it came without the donuts!
Just another example of a worthless marketing and a sales approach so bad, that I just had to blog about it this morning. Messaging like this is especially affrontive now in this time of chaos when it's even more critical for all of us to focus on what it takes to provide true customer value while never using the words, "trust me on this!"
Right now, all of us are trying to figure out what the new rules for both Sales and for Marketing will be for whatever the new normal will be in 2021.
- Today, there is no new normal, just 60-day sales tactics focused on survival.
- First, we need to hit this month's number on Friday.
- Second, we need to get to July 4th and then take a long weekend-breather.
- Third, only then can we spend time figuring out what it takes to get to Labor Day.
- Around that time, we should then know enough to begin to write the new rules for 2021.
Have a great day selling today, tomorrow and Friday!
TUFTS FALL SEMESTER MARKETING PROJECTS
At Tufts where I'm a professor teaching Marketing in the Entrepreneurship Center, I am now actively looking for marketing projects for the fall semester. Yes, we will be teaching in the fall with a blended mix of video and visual content, distance learning and F2F-socially-distanced mechanics. All safe-all the time!
The manner in which I teach is based on my practice of "Content in Context", where I and my guest lecturers provide the clinical teaching content and the real-life experience which is then taught within the structure of six teams of juniors and seniors delivering fully developed marketing plans to their host companies at the end of the semester. The companies range from established startups with revenue to mid-size corporations. The projects are often full marketing plans for the company or a marketing plan for the launch of a new product or service.
The results over the years have been just excellent both for the students and for their companies, and, for a couple of reasons, this semester's results were the best ever...just over the top. Right now, I'm taking applications for next fall's course, so if you're interested, just connect with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will set up a quick call to review the logistics with you and send you an outline of the program. All of the applications need to be in no later than June 19th. The syllabus and the projects go out to the students on July 5th.
If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board management coaching or for Sales or Marketing stuff, just connect with me at any time. Text or email me, and I will quickly set up a call. I'm a pretty good listener. Obviously, no cost, just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.
Be safe, be positive and enjoy today and have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, sales and marketing best practices, sales management coach, sales effectiveness, Sales quota, best sales practices;, Sales Leadership in the Revolution, 2020 sales plans
Back-in-the-day, working in corporate healthcare at Becton Dickinson, I didn’t know how to spell the word, “entrepreneurship”. Even though three prior generations of my family had built businesses, that word would have been confusing at best since all that was talked about around the kitchen table was “the stores”. It was the stores, open six days a week and Friday nights where my grandfather, father, mother, and me and my brothers worked. It was never thought to be anything special.
Tags: entreprenurial, sales and marketing best practices, The Competitive Edge, Tufts Gordon Institute, Tufts internships, Tufts ELS, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship
I live & work at the intersections of...
- The Company:
At the firm, we work diligently to bring 25% jumps in Sales and Marketing productivity to our clients.
- Tufts University:
Teaching the science, tools, technology and metrics of Marketing and Sales.
Most importantly, the teaching content of these courses is wound around 16 projects from real companies each year: 6 Marketing Plan projects in the spring, and 6 in the fall, plus 4 Sales Plan projects in the spring. As a result, I am always looking for new companies, which is the purpose of this blog...more in a couple of paragraphs
- Jobs Creation:
Connecting Tufts students to great jobs and opportunities!
This service began when a few students (Emerging Jumbos) would get hired by their marketing and sales project companies during the semester. Then, this process of creating connections easily expanded and quickly multiplied because I was able to open doors at companies like Hubspot, Brainshark, Fidelity, Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, Silicon Valley Bank, Facebook, Oracle, NetSuite, Microsoft, and tens and tens of other "Great Places to Work".
Of course, that initial seeding of my alums into those companies has over the years led to lots of semi-annual calls from me that start with "Hi, I need a favor and could you give some guidance to one of my current students."
- Everyone of my alums knows the deal when they get that first job...it's time to pay back, and at some time, they will get "I need a favor call".
The whole process works, and it has two wonderful consequences.
1. It opens doors that would otherwise be closed or, at best, would be very difficult to open.
2. It keeps me in constant contact with my alums in their career journeys
So, I was very pleased to receive last week, from Emani Holyfield, who now works in HR at Google (and is one of "My Personal Best Tufts Team" !) this video on The 8 Laws of Branding by Brian Tracy.
Brian Tracy (just a bit slow in his speech, but the guy is a genius and is well worth listening to for the full 8 minutes) focuses not on the generalities of "branding", but brings the meaning of this complex marketing word down to the street level of just what it takes for each of us to create great "Personal Brands".
This is just an excellent framework for anyone: student, intern, upcoming 2018 graduate, and also for the more experienced salesperson or manager looking to open that next chapter in their journey.
Ok, so now "The Pitch"
Remember those 10 companies I need for the upcoming spring semester?
6 Marketing Plan projects and 4 Sales Plan projects!
This is a picture of our 2017 "Art & Science of Sales" Team, held only in the spring. (I teach at MIT in the fall and can't juggle three courses). They totally knocked the cover off the ball this year!
What's the Value for You?
We're looking for complex marketing and sales projects from real companies in a variety of markets. What you receive is a trained consulting team of five or six juniors and seniors working for 13 weeks to provide everything from full marketing or sales plans with detailed research and implementable recommendations to whatever sub segments of a full plan that you might need for 2018. Some smaller companies come to us for full marketing or sales plans, while others want to focus on a specific product or a new market.
What's the Value for the Students?
- They learn "on the job", and at the street level, the realities of Marketing and Sales
- They take classroom academics and apply that content to the reality of increasing sales
- They interface frequently with management which builds their skills and confidence
So, if you are at all interested, just email me at email@example.com, and I will send you the detailed instructions on how to apply.
It is a superb opportunity with hundreds of satisfied companies and graduate!
I was on the Acela yesterday morning on the way to NYC, when I started to write this. Took the 5:05 out of the Back Bay and ended up at Penn Station perfectly on time, only to fight my way out on the street to get to my account. Thank God for Uber, which made the logistics of the day a perfect blend between "Old & New" !
The Acela run is always one of my favorite trips since I love trains, and I always look forward to working with this particular client on their very challenging long-term strategies.
It all comes down to 50 minutes
In life, in Sales, and in teaching, there are always deadlines.
Wednesday, one of those deadlines was evidenced in 50 minute final exam presentations days at Tufts. After 12 weeks of content in the brand new Sales course and in the nine-year-old Marketing course, Wednesday was the day when the first two teams of Sales students and the three teams of Marketing students presented their findings, reams of research and their detailed sales and marketing recommendations to the management of their project companies.
We'll do the same thing to the same rhythm next Wednesday, and then another semester will be over. During the summer, I'll spend a big chunk of time on the beach refining and re-calibrating for the fall semesters at Tufts and at MIT, where I've had the privilege of working with Professor Chun for almost 20 years. For me, all of this is a lot of fun, a fair amount of hard work and always some level of anxiety, which keeps me on the competitive edge, which is exactly why I teach...since I continue to believe that I'm just a student of the very exciting worlds of sales and marketing.
Here we are in the final 20 hours of the quarter. Maybe 10 today, certainly 10 tomorrow, and then it's over with the turn of the digital page as we rush into April on Monday morning
Monday's Boston Globe: Just after 7 Sunday evening, with 2.9 more inches of fresh snow blanketing Boston, the National Weather Service announced that the city had notched its snowiest winter since records started being kept in 1872.
Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, sales and marketing best practices, sales planning, sales management training, sales management boot camp, sales producitivity
Here we are at the beginning of the last month of the quarter, and as managers and sales professionals, we're consistently reviewing ....
Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, sales and marketing best practices, sales, sales management, sales plan process, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales planning, sales management training, sales management boot camp