Being a disciple of the high priests of David Meerman Scott, the guys at Hubspot and the gurus of Jamie Turner, Mike Troiano, Dan Tyre and Mike Volpe over the past decade, I'm an Inbound Marketing kind of guy!.
Tags: Tufts Entrepreneurship, sales motivation, creating trust in sales, sales management productivity, inbound, interns for marketing projects, Tufts internships, testimonial, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center
Vermont's Marketing in the Fall
25% of Vermont's tourist dollars come as a result of four weeks during the leaf-peeping season from caravans of busses out the Midwest and outright commercialism of marketing and selling everything that is the essence of Vermont.
To the left is a picture from last weekend taken from my dirt road 'bout half a mile from my house. Doesn't get Vermont-better than this in terms of the beauty that is the fall...and the tourist dollars that come rolling in as a result.
"A clean forest is a happy forest !"
In the tiny town of Bondville (Federal government's name) and/or Winhall (the State's name), population 647, I was out in my Vermont woodlot this past weekend. Always a work process of love for the land that is good for my head, the soul and especially for the woods!
My family has lived in this valley for over 250 years, and I have enough great grandfather and grandfather stories of real entrepreneurship to fill a book. I think that it's not by coincidence that I'm now director of the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, just two miles from my grandfather's first retail store opened in Davis Square in 1908. Bapa left the not-so-rural town of Poultney, just 20 miles up the road a piece from where I live in Vermont, to settle in Somerville next to the Tufts campus.
Last Friday, Mike, my trusted co-worker, and I were deep in the Vermont muck with chain saws and ATV's cutting, bushwhacking, and generally cleaning up the final damage of the winta'.
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!
- Limited time to work. On average a "very good" salesperson works 57.5 hours a week, only slightly less than the 63.2 hours for a "very good" CEO...most of whom are what? Salespeople!
- Limited time to sleep. I guess that there is still a rule of thumb that the average adult needs eight hours, but there are those of us who have gotten by just fine, thank you, for decades on four or five, and last night on three.
- Limited time to live. 'Nuff said about that depressing note, since today I chose to "Be Happy!"
A beautiful happy day here in Boston having finally shrugged off the ugliness of a cold wet spring to now bask in the excitement of the startup capital of the world. Just a great day to be alive..."and sell some stuff"
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
-120 applications in November
- Mentor workshops from January to March
- Selection of "The Final 16" in March
- Consistent individual hands-on coaching
- The final judging and awards on April 4th & 5th
- Excitement & disappointment at the same time
- Connections and advice everywhere
A continuous learning experience!
Maybe it's just the calendar as we race into March especially today sandwiched between the weekend nor'easter and tomorrow's nor'easter. Hard to believe that I was out raking in the NH yard in the sun on Sunday morning. Harder to believe that I was raking seaweed out of the grass after these waves went way over the seawall and closed the roads.
Maybe it was the bright 50 degree, sunny days just two weeks ago. "In-Like-a-Lion" March lives up to its reputation this week
All I know is that just three months from now, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer, and the summer means the beach, and the beach means mega-reading and mega-writing.
Nothing better for me, my psyche, my health and my curiosity than taking my overloaded beach bag out early on a Saturday morning and opening up a book about sales or marketing and taking out my writing tablet.
Each summer, I also use the time on the beach to rewrite our 115 page Writing the Winning Business Plan and our 50 page Writing the Winning Marketing Plan. If you want copies of either of these, just click on below. Actually, if you do read these now, and you have ideas or comments, just let me know, and we will make sure that we will add those comments if we can and give you attribution, as you will note in the front of the Writing the Winning Business Plan book
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