In the billions of years of time, we hopefully have 60 or 80 of those in which we can make a difference, so let's start, beginning today, with taking control over the next 150 real work hours remaining in this quarter!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and while most normal people are already thinking about the 3 F's of Family, Friends, and Football, guys like me are calculating just how many selling days there are left in the year. The Answer:
at Best, there are 22 selling days left in the year !
- First, you should thankful that there are 22 !
- Second, 22 is a maximum number !
-The obvious days of this Wednesday & the immediate days after any of the holidays are not included.
- Even if you and your Champion are around post-Christmas, the probability of everyone involved in the process is zero !
-And, btw, there are a huge amount of other end-of-year distractions much more important than you between now and then.
- So, now is the time to plan out every possible day that you can own of those 22 days.
One of our most highly respected, most resourceful and most energetic sales leaders, Colleen Honan, CRO at Brainshark, refers to this detailed selling process as "Your Plan to Make Plan", which gets right down to what I call "Selling on Streets not States":
- In a quarter, in a month, and certainly in these 22 days, planning is not about strategy !
- It's about planning out next week's daily activities and the following week's tight travel and calls !
- It's planning travel at a street-by-street, city-by-city level travel to maximize your efficiency !
- It's about re-doing your Discovery Checklist and asking questions about prospect's holiday plans.
- Nothing is worse than having a commit and then learning that the Purchasing Manager is skiing.
- It's about taking today/tomorrow and making tons of calls and emails to get December meetings,
- At the very least, you should be reaching out to wish your prospects "Happy Thanksgiving!"
Clearly, THE MOST ENERGETIC SALES LEADER I know anywhere, any company, at any time !
In addition to being a superb sales pro, a Hubspot evangelist and director, a highly experienced and acclaimed speaker, he has just published his most recent book on The Inbound Organization-How to Build Your Organization Using Inbound Principles, not just "another" inbound marketing book, but a fundamental guide for both selling and marketing in today's totally changed customer world !
Download now, skim over this weekend, see what nuggets you could use for these 22 days, then read it completely over the next couple of weeks !
So, that's it here on a Monday morning! Time to get moving, but before you do...
Tufts- "Content in Context" Marketing projects
Have a great day selling something today!
You cannot not like Michael Porter...
The guy is just brilliant! Been around for a long time. Lots of books. Got the Five Forces Thing down. Senior professor at HBS. Has a building on campus named after him. And, he's a true Renaissance Man, who continues to do research, write and still actively teach. The Real Deal !
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!
All about the team, a strong sales culture...and having fun
I was sitting in a board meeting at Brainshark yesterday and listening to Colleen Honan, the highly experienced and talented Chief Sales Officer, talk about activity planning. Colleen has all of the background, the years, and the depth of experience to truly be qualified as the head of sales of a leading tech company. She's disciplined in her approach, fluent in new processes and technology and unrelenting in her approach to sales coaching, sales planning, sales training while having fun at the same time.
So when I walked in to the headquarters in Waltham at 7:30 yesterday, I was not surprised to see the salespeople already at work planning out their activities for the day and getting in early morning calls. I was however, a bit taken back by the fact that one of the leading teams of 20 or so, was dressed in tuxes and gowns. And then I learned that Colleen had been talking to them about the Gatsby generation, which inspired this very hard working team of classic millennials to dress the part for the day. So very cool...and engaging...and being part cementing the team!
Tags: sales plans for 2018, sales effectivness, sales management productivity, how to write a sales plan, jack derby professor at Tufts, Sales Hiring Perfectly, sales leadership, interns for marketing projects, Tufts marketing projects
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
Tags: sales plans for 2018, sales effectivness, sales management productivity, jack derby professor at Tufts, Making Tough Choices, sales leadership, entrepreneurship, Sales Leadership in the Revolution
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."
What would that be?
- Would it be to make more calls? Close more deals?
- Travel more? Or actually, travel less?
- Hire managers and salespeople more quickly and with few mistakes?
- Plan my time better for the week or for the month or quarter?
It looks like 2018 will be a year of significant change for me, so while all of the bullets above are actually pretty good ideas, and while I can always do better, my one resolution is both simpler and more complex. Simple, because it actually is, but, more complex because I always want to express my opinion, when in fact, I should just shut up, not speak and listen much more completely.
Only if you're a Myrmecologist...
11,000 species is a bit of worthless trivia...unless, of course, you're a myrmecologist, a scientist specializing in ants...
...which, of course is a sub-specialist of being an entemologist, who is a scientist who studies the very broad category of all insects.