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

5 things you need to know about recruiting sales talent

The #1 or #2 issue we hear in all of our 2022 planning sessions this fall is the issue of the difficulty to find and retain talent. 

It is what it is, and we can debate for hours why it's occurring and the surrounding theories of the inflation impact on the economy. but the reality is that...

 

  • it's here, it's been here for 12 months, and we all see and read about it everywhere.
  • it's real, not a bubble, and it's not going away in 2022; maybe in '23 when the world flattens a bit.
  • this is a fundamental shift in the future of work, what represents "the office" and lifestyle
  • we need people now, onboarded and in place in Q1 if we're going to make out '22 numbers

From all of our 2022 planning sessions, what follows below are five non-prioritized tactics that you might want to think about.  Connect with me at any time, and I can walk you through any of the details, or just be a sounding board for best practices.

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Tags: sales enablement, sales tools, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, writing sales plans, hiring sales people

Bayer?  Beah?  Bare?  Bear?  Gotta use the same language!

It's been a superb summa' so far.  Rain or shine, I don't really care; all I know is that any day from May through September beats February in Vermont!

A typical week has me working from NH the first half of the week and then mid-Wednesday afternoons I take  the red summa' car to let the ponies run on the three hour drive to Vermont. I typically work from the VT house for the balance of the week returning to the NH beach at some point depending on the weatha'.

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Tags: sales coaching, Sales Management Best Practices, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales management boot camp, how to close sales, sales success, how to write a sales plan

Celebrate, Celebrate & Celebrate some more!

It all comes down to today:  e nd of the month, t he quarter, and the first half of the year.  Hopefully, your high on the charts...and you always have the next 10 hours or so.  An adage in the profession of sales has always been "never give up!".  Put it to good use today...I know that I will be!

Somewhere among the results of the first half of the year are lots of reasons to celebrate, and this weekend is the perfect time of year to do just that.  As we power through the last hours of this month making sure that every drop of quota juice gets squeezed through this quarter's wringer, once that's done, and you've cleaned up paperwork tonight or tomorrow morning, just stop!  Get out of town, go to the beach, hang out in the backyard, and just celebrate!

Yes, I know that this does not sound like the normal workaholic seven-days-a-week, Jack, and no, I did not get mellowed out by the heat, but I'm also a student of the science of when it's time to hang it up and step away for a few days. Plus, I love both the simplicity and the complex history of the 4th.  Later tonight I will be jumping in the fast red car to get to Vermont, where the 4th of July takes on a whole new meaning in this quirky state of my ancestors.  I'll get to watch the West Wardsboro parade twice since there's only one main road in town, and what goes one way, needs to come back.  Simple Vermont practicality.  Then another fast trip back to the NH beach to watch the outlandish fireworks and huge bonfires that are part of the tradition here ever since my parents brought me to this beach at the age of 5.  

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Tags: sales management coach, sales enablement, sales planning, sales tools, how to close sales, sales boot camps, strategic planning, how to write a sales plan

Gotta Love April!

Gotta love April !!!   

Hard to believe, but here we are, one year later in a very different spring of positive outlooks and what will become a roaring economy on the back half of this year.  Still a bit stressed, but much less so, and, as sales pros, we're always thinking through what the quarter ahead is going to look like. This is always the excitement and the challenge of being a Sales leader. Just like any  professional athlete, even with consistent training and exacting playbooks, we never exactly know what the end game or the final points on the scoreboard will be.    

Just ask either side on the women's final basketball championship last week between Arizona and Stanford.  

 

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Tags: sales coaching, sales management coach, sales enablement, closing sales, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, sales success, how to write a sales plan, planningsalestodayinacovidworld

Time to get your fingers deep in the crankcase oil!



January is the most critical time of the year for the entire management team to get their fingers deep into the crankcase oil of the entire engine of the business in order to achieve...

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Tags: sales management effectiveness, sales enablement, business coaching, how to close sales, business planning meetings, how to write a sales plan, writing business plans, forgetsalesstrategyfocusontactics

Accurate sales forecasting-all about the science!

This morning, with tonight's Nor'easter looming just a few hours from now, and the end of the entire sales year only eight days away, it's interesting to compare two timely forecasting scenarios:
-On one hand, we have local Boston weather forecasters guessing about snowfall.
-On the other, we have professional salespeople forecasting real revenue.

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Tags: sales coach, sales enablement, closing sales, how to close sales, sales boot camps, improving sales productivity, sales success, how to write a sales plan, sales readiness, forgetsalesstrategyfocusontactics

Today's number is 20!

a few Reasons to be thankful!

We just finished what I always consider to be "the best holiday of the year".
--no one really worked last Wednesday, and even if you did, your prospects may not have.
--definitely, no one worked Thursday, and we celebrated with whomever was safe.
--most people did not work Friday other than in retail or necessary services.
--two days of good weather on the weekend came next.
--and yesterday, we closed out November's quota...hopefully on plan!

now it's Tuesday & we have 20 selling days left 

20 days are actually a ton of time to do what we do as sales pros!

With the correctly qualified accounts, all of us, as the seasoned pros we are, have enough time to push down the field, mount play-after-play, bring together the right team and move almost any deal to a close.  That's this week, still early in the game with lots of time left on the scoreboard. 

Next week, not so much time left since we'd already be in the second half of the selling month in pre-holiday time.

The following week, we have no time at all unless we're just a few relative yards/minutes away from pulling everyone over the goal line.   

 

Here's a couple of tactics that always work...

1. Focus on the 80/20 Rule!

Today, as in today-Tuesday-separate out the 20%, (maybe it's only the 10%) of what's in your pipeline that will make the biggest impact on your quota.  In fact, one or two of these opportunities may also be the most difficult and will take maximum time and effort, which is why you're focusing today on the 20% since you have a full 20 days to get to a close.  Plenty of time in fact to make a difference in almost any deal.  

 

2. Get rid of the detractors & interrupters!

The good side of being zoom-distanced is that there are fewer office-talk interruptions although your WFH time may be equally challenged by kids and pets.  The very good news is that you have 20 days.  Multiply that by 10 hours, and you have a ton of time.  The reality of that news is that you have only 20 days. 

  • My buddy, Frank Y., who excels as a BDR, works time zones following the sun across the country.
  • My neighbor, Ray, moves his office to the garage, during the kids' home-schooling hours.
  • I'm up even earlier at 4:00 AM planning out three days ahead and getting rid of the mental clutter. 

3.  Clean up your calendar! 

- Today, plan out all of your selling days for the rest of the year and just jam into those same time blocks everything you think that you will need to do between now and then. 

- Then take an expanded view of what you have just done and make sure that it makes sense balancing what time blocks you now have in your 20-day calendar and what time you have available to actually sell.  Try to view your calendar as if you were 20 feet above the view and not able to see the details other than the available time to sell. 

In some sales markets such as recruiting and real estate, these are called "the money hours", which these highly trained salespeople know from experience are the two or four optimum times during a day to connect with a prospect.
The point here is to take a hard look at what you have available to sell and simply get rid of everything else and forklift it over to January.   Yes, January!

  • I'm a fanatic about time, and I just did this exercise yesterday morning and realized I had overlapping times in two critical presentations and was not allowing enough travel time Wednesday night to prep for a critical early Thursday call.
  • Make sure that you ask your December prospects what their vacation plans are for December and also extend that question to everyone else in the purchasing approval cycle.  Nothing's worse than trying to track down someone in the legal department for a cursory review of the final approval docs when that person is on the ski slopes between Christmas and New Year's.  
  • For sales management, there's the added reality during these same 20 days of having to spend some time fine-tuning the 2021 sales plans you submitted to your boss and the finance people in November. Another reality for sure, and there's no way around that other than weekend work.  Having dealt with this at all levels for 25 plus years, if you want a few ideas as to how to compress time and focus your planning on the sales and financial KPIs that really count, just connect for a no-cost call.  

4.  Clean Body, Focused Mind!  

No, this is not another statement on what you need to do to prevent infection.  You already know more than the basics by this time.  This relates to doing whatever you need to do to stay healthy, efficient, alert and sales-effective through the balance of this month which comes down to the simple truths of exercising, getting enough sleep and eating correctly...just like Mom told us. 

We all know the basics, and, yet most of us struggle with finding enough time or dealing with the realities of not being able go to our favorite gym which we left back in March. 

 

I certainly would rather be back at my workout place in Boston which I last saw on March 9th than walking down into the basement at 4:00 and getting on the Peloton for 30 minutes. But I also know the mental impact of what 30 minutes can make in clearing out the clutter and focusing me for the day ahead. 

................................

Nothing earth-shattering or even new in the four-point outline above...other than the reality of 20 days of superb opportunities in front of us today!   

Have a great day selling today...and for the next 19! 

CONFIDENTIAL SOUNDING BOARD

If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board in business planning or for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time.  Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call.  I'm a pretty good listener. 

Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.

 

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Tags: sales coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, closing sales, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, best sales practices;, sales success, sales readiness

The business of business...

With the end of the month, and my last day of selling activity for October, I'm reminded this morning of the business of every business...no matter what it is....even if it's coffee. 

As I started this morning with inches of snow on the ground and what will be many cups of Keurig Sumatra Dark Roast during the day today, I'm drawn to think about the value and therefore the marketing, the selling and the pricing of coffee.  I had the unique opportunity years ago to work with the Keurig team of entrepreneurs and the initial investors when they were just starting the company figuring out the market, the various sales channels and hiring their first experienced head of sales. Lots of hard work, very exciting on-the-ground and in-the-weeds entrepreneurship which led to an exceptional growth opportunity. 

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Tags: sales coach, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, sales success, value propositions, how to write a sales plan, sales readiness, planningsalestodayinacovidworld