Putting points on the board-Grades & Quota

Good Morning & Merry Christmas! 

First, and most importantly, I along with my Christmas friends here just want to wish everyone who tolerates me in my weekly outreaches from my work in Boston, my NH beach, my roots in VT and, of course, my beloved Tufts, a very, warm and wonderful Christmas and holiday break! 

Enjoy, relax and take a walk in the woods or on the beach while you hug your family and thank them and yourself for whatever has occurred in your life and your business this past year!  

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Tags: sales coach, sales management coach, sales enablement, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

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

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

Still a student after all these years...

Mid-Point in the Semester...

As I approach the mid-term point in my classes at Tufts and MIT, once again, I realize how much of my personal time is as a professor teaching and working with my students, and how much I'm in a role of being a student myself in actually learning and applying new content. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in my courses in Sales and in Marketing, which, even pre-Covid, were undergoing extraordinary rapid change every semester.  It used to be that material I put together in the summer for the fall semester would be okay for the following spring semester, and I could use most of the same content for both Tufts and MIT. No longer!  Last year, I changed 30% of the content going into the spring 2020, and then changed 70% of that material in prep for this fall's semester. This coming spring, I'll probably just start over from scratch again.

Now, deep into 2020, there really is only one mandatory rule that has not changed in Sales and Marketing, and that is to focus more heavily than ever before on marketing and selling customer value and not on you, your products or your services.  2019 evidenced the massive push into the strategy of "value selling" and the tools that go along with it, which has never been more critical than now when buyers are hyper-focused to the metrics of the value brought to their companies.  Add to that the necessity of identifying and marketing directly to personas who today have zero time to waste with old-school salespeople and antiquated marketing tactics.  

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Tags: sales coach, sales management coach, sales management boot camp, how to close sales, writing sales plans, planningsalestodayinacovidworld

today is just a finite fraction in the infinity of time

Think about it!

  • Monday morning, the 20th of July.  One day among 365.  202 down with 164 to go.
  • Just one day in a decade or in 100 years or in millennia since Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
  • Time is always non-stop and always represented by change.
  • The concept of time is self-evident, but we rarely think about the fundamental nature of time...

...until of course, we run out of time!.

What this pandemic is teaching us is the fragility of time.  We see it, we sense it, and now we always live it in both our personal and work lives. We live in an ever-expanding bubble of time listening to the daily chants of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, and, as a result, we're much more aware of time now than we were six months ago. We anticipate it and we watch it carefully in our Zoom calls.  More than ever, we constantly try to balance our own time with a myriad of new demands that we never ever considered before like "should we send our kids back to school?" and "what are the safest hours to go to Market Basket?"

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Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales coach, sales management coach, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, Sales Hiring & Onboarding, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans, sales readiness

No more Joey BagaDonuts

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, May 27, 2020

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 jack@derbymanagement.com, 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!

 

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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

Execute Sales like the Patriots, Coach like Belichick

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Feb 02, 2017

Being successful in any business is tough work.  Always has been, always will be...and that's what makes it both an exciting career and very rewarding. Once in a while, we get lucky, but rarely, and then only for short periods of calm in a turbulent ocean of constant change.

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

Day 1: Grab Hyper 2017 Sales Success-Practice the 2 C's

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Jan 20, 2017

The 2 C's:  Curiosity & Comfort

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Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, sales management coach, sales 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