Three Timely Management Tips from the Deans

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Jun 14, 2019

Too often we business types roll our eyes to the ceiling when we think about academia. Our images of university life immediately flash back to our own college days, but that image has little to do with the reality of university life today. 

Today, college students are wicked bright, very hard working and highly focused on jobs, careers and the social impact of making a difference in the lives of others.  As a group, current students and alums for the past eight or ten year are a massive category with huge numbers, but they also have far less spending power due to the very high cost of housing in general and the massive student debt that they carry. 

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Tags: sales productivity, sales management, improved sales management, small business management, management, business coaching, leadership

"Big Hat, No Cattle"...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, Feb 25, 2017

I've found that there are two types of managers who work in our profession of Sales...

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Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales management, sales management effectiveness

Must Do Tactics for the Next 8 Days

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Dec 16, 2016

Here we are on the late afternoon of the 16th...

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Tags: sales management, sales management coach

Selling in December is not about you or your price!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Dec 07, 2016

There's no Black Friday in B2B Selling!

The fact that the holiday season kicks of with Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday, and then just plain old "Discount Day" all day, every day between now and the 24th, doesn't mean that the same should hold true for those of us in B2B sales.  Sure, everyone on both sides of the table knows that we have quotas to meet, and, in most cases, the pressure's on to hit plan in the next 17 days.  BTW, "17" is really expanding the days to the max, and not taking into consideration the reality of kids' vacations and that large numbers of decision makers are going to be skiing during many of those precious days between Christmas and New Year's.   

Pressure, Pressure, Pressure!

My partners and I live in the real world, and we're also under the gun to hit our sales targets, but, as execs running lots of companies and a wide variety of sales groups, we know that most discounts are not necessary!  In fact, the data shows that typically good salespeople do abnormal things at this time of year and give out discounts just because they think incorrectly that everyone is price buying, and that they need to do the same.  

The reality is that it's just not true, and, in fact, it only becomes true, when we don't focus on selling value, and instead we start our sales processes at the bottom rung of the ladder with non-decision makers who push us to talk about price rather than focusing on the larger business case of explaining financial value.

Price Selling" is at the very bottom rung of The Selling Ladder- "The Approved Vendor" Rung.  

  • Even in the heat of the next 16 days, our total focus and actual rally cry needs to be totally driven to the top two rungs of The Selling Ladder-"The Strategic Adviser" and the Trusted Partner" rungs.

    That's where the money is, so we must have absolute focus on the financial value to our prospects and customers and not on the price.  

A bit of help on pricing to value comes from our friends at Hubspot in one of their posts this week

1) Don’t Talk About Price Right Away
HubSpot Research found nearly six in 10 prospects want to discuss pricing on the very first call. But introducing cost into the conversation before establishing value can commoditize your product. This mindset hurts you and the buyer. He’s thinking about sticker price instead of ROI.

2) Highlight What Sets Your Product Apart
Once you’ve found your differentiators, figure out which resonate with each of your buyer personas. A startup employee who wears several hats will appreciate your product’s simplicity, while a corporate employee with a single function will like how customizable it is.

3) Position Your Product Strategically
Although badmouthing other companies will make you look insecure and unprofessional, you can -- and should -- ask your prospect which other vendors she’s considering. Her answer tells you how to position your product.

4 Sales Techniques to Avoid Race-to-Bottom Pricing

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-techniques-avoid-race-to-bottom-pricing#sm.0001c1niq1884crlz2t12so2nxfy5

17 DAYS

Oh, yea, did I mention "17"? Thought I did!  

The issue of a finite time now also needs to be driven by the fact that days are not 8 hour days. I mean, they could be, but in fact, we know from our buddies at Salesforce from tens of thousands of professional salespeople that sales reps aren't spending most of their time selling. In fact, reps spend an average of 64 percent of their time on non-selling tasks, including administrative and service related tasks, traveling and training.  

Okay, now do your math on just 17 days

 

 

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Tags: sales management, sales coach, sales process

At some point in Sales & in Life, you need to take a stand!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Jul 15, 2016

This morning BRINGS ME TO THE TOPIC OF RACE IN AMERICA.

As a professor of marketing, and a still struggling student of being a better sales professional, one thing I know is never to talk about race, religion or sex, but unfortunately, I need to to break that rule.  

Enough is enough!

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Tags: sales, sales management, sales effectiveness, management

Leadership...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, May 05, 2016

It doesn't matter whether you're a Democrat or a Republican;  we are now faced with an interesting management problem.

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Tags: Sales Optimization, sales management, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales management training, sales leadership

3 Rules You Need to Know About Finance & About Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Mar 17, 2016

My first real job out of BC, after returning from three years in the Peace Corps, was as a Purchasing Expediter working for Honeywell's new minicomputer group.  In a work-hard, work-harder, baptism-by-fire-environment in which you either performed or were fired, I quickly learned the realities of purchasing, inventory control and production.  A great education and a great company...even though they missed the whole mini-computer thing..which prepared me well for a long career at Becton Dickinson Medical Systems-another great company with solid management development programs allowing me to eventually rise through the ranks.

But, all through that development process with more and more training, and more and more education programs, the complexities of P&L's and balance sheets always eluded me, but since I had by then become president of various companies, I had the luxury of hiring the best CFOs at Datamedix (Bob Badavas, currently CEO of Plum Tree, is a superb example) who were much better in Finance than I would ever be.  

Those experiences led me to adopt a simple axiom that I use today with all of the managers in all of our customers:

"Your job is to hire people who are much better than you in their own skills"

Today, although I believe I'm now pretty fluent in everything Finance, my three simple Finance rules that always guide me to success are...

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Tags: sales management, sales coach, sales management coach, sales management training, Sales quota

Are You an Effective Leader?  How Do You Measure Up to These 3 Ideas?

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Feb 19, 2016

 So, what does it mean to be a leader?  

Countless books and blogs consume oceans of silicon in attempting to define sales leadership, giving point-by-point tactics and hundreds of how-to's, and yet the issue of leadership often comes down to, "I know it when I see it".  

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Tags: sales productivity, sales, sales management, sales management coach, Sales Leadership in the Revolution

Why You Need 5 Resolutions for 2016

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Dec 30, 2015

The most important thing about 2016 is that it will be a year of substantial change!

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Tags: sales productivity, sales, sales management, sales coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement

Your Sales Team is EVERYTHING!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Dec 10, 2015

My Marketing Course at Tufts is quickly winding down with the first of the exam days yesterday afternoon. For the last 13 weeks, six teams of five very talented students have labored, learned, questioned, and, most importantly, collaborated on very complex marketing projects given to them by six companies at the beginning of July.  

Presentations were made to the senior management of three of the companies yesterday, and the same will happen next Wednesday with the last three companies.  Basically, every piece of marketing content, strategy and tactic that was taught over the semester has been incorporated into these marketing plans complete with market and competitive research, primary inbound and outbound strategies and a host of carefully planned and budgeted tactical recommendations.  

Lots of very hard work, a number of speed bumps and surprises, like the unplanned acquisition of one of the companies mid-semester, but overall, very successful both for the companies in that they've received marketing deliverables that would have cost them thousands, and for the students, who have been paid both in real world experience and in grades.

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Tags: sales, sales management, sales management coach, selling, improved sales management, sales plans