Acceleration-3 Steps to Improve

Two thirds of the way through this superb summer and plenty of time left to take a bit of vaca, squish the sand between the toes, pack those gotta-read-this-summer books into the beach bag, and in general just prepare yourself physically and mentally for the wicked fast acceleration into the first week of September. 

The Dog Days of August occur  when everyone realizes that the beginning of the summa' has passed them by, and now there's just five weeks left to take some time off and do that forced relaxation thing.  Forget trying to find anyone in France or Italy, and the same applies to any venture or PE person in the U.S, who all seem to be hiding out on Nantucket. It is what it is, and September will be here soon enough.  To a degree, who cares, since this is all about you, so right now, this morning, click open your calendar and just mark off all the days you can with the words "beach", "golf", "kids" or "nothing".  You won't get another chance since when it's over, it's over 

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Tags: Tufts Entrepreneurship, sales plans for 2018, entrepreneurship, Tufts internships, Tufts ELS program, HubSpot Tips, jack derby professor at Tufts

Jack's 3 Rules for my grads, for Sales & for me

13 Weeks Later @ Tufts

  • I start looking for new sales & marketing projects on 10/01 and 5/1
  • The syllabus w/projects are sent out on 12/26 and 07/05
  • 6 marketing & 4 sales projects for 2 very oversold courses
  • 1 week later, the newbies need to tell me which project and why
  • Bios are circulated to me and teams of 5-6 are formed
  • Reading and research begins 30-45 days before class begins
  • 13 weeks later, complete plans are presented to management

On the last day of the course in the last 15 minutes, I talk about, 'Jack's 3 Rules'

Rule # 1:  Connections are Forever

Make all the connections that you possibly can.  Cherish them.  Treat each of them with extraordinary care.  Store them, use them and communicate to them all of the time in LinkedIn, Twitter, FB and Insta.  Never let those connections go stale and unused!

This week, I met with David K. in my office at Tufts.  Haven't seen David, a brilliant product/market genius, president-level guy in 15 years since we sold EarCheck, a wonderful startup, founded by Sandra Kimball, where I was CEO and Dave was a critical part of our success.  David's daughter is now at Tufts, and he found me when I made some recent noise at Tufts...which I often do, so he stopped by to chat.

Dave and I played the "whatever happened to..." game for 15 minutes, and he mentioned a critical person on our EarCheck team.  While Dave was sitting there, I looked up that person on LI, and we talked about how important our success was due to that person.

Two hours later, I was talking to one of my seniors about a potential job.  She mentioned the company, which seemed very familiar, and then I realized that the familiarity was because I had just pinged the company two hours before when David and I were reminiscing about "whatever happened to?".  My student now has an interview next week with that long lost person, who is the president of that company.

In life, in business, in love and in family, cherish your connections!

Rule # 2: Learning is Consistently Continuous


Each semester-now 20 years at MIT and 10 at Tufts-I realize just how much I don't know. 
At the end of every semester, I tell my students that everything which had been learned over the prior 13 weeks, is on that last day, obsolete.

Whether you're 21 or 33 (the age now of my oldest Tufts alums) or 43 or 53, to be in business at any level, I believe that you must consistently push yourself to learn more, to study more, and to test yourself all of the time. 

I read a book a week, and in the summer often two.  I'm fascinated by the intersection of technology in Healthcare and in Sales and Marketing, and I like nothing more than exploring new apps and platforms. 
My Summer Beach Bag is filling up quickly, and below you will find two new MUST READS if you want to push your own world of Sales & Marketing.

Summer reading

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Tags: Tufts Entrepreneurship, sales plans for 2018, jack derby professor at Tufts, how to write a marketing plan, marketing projects, student intern marketing projects, Tufts marketing projects, sales management effectiveness

Activities, Activities, Activities...and more Sales

 

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!

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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

Tufts' $100K Competition...and Sales

-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!

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Tags: Tufts Entrepreneurship, sales plans for 2018, sales management productivity, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales planning meetings, Tufts ELS, sales producitivity, Sales Best Practices

Time to Start Filling the Beach Bag

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Mar 06, 2018

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

 

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Tags: sales plans for 2018, sales management productivity, sales management plans, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales leadership, entrepreneurship

Gold-Silver-Bronze...How's Your Sales Team Doing for Medals?

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

 

 


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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

Management & Sales Lessons from the Commissioner

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Feb 08, 2018

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."

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Tags: creating trust in sales, sales effectivness, sales management productivity, sales leadership, improving sales productivity, sales plans for 2018

Success in Sales & at Tufts: Just 1 Requirement-Believe in Yourself !

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Mon, Nov 20, 2017

I've been manufacturing, engineering and selling most of my life....tech products, medical devices, sports apparel, and now consulting services.  It's a wonderful and exciting profession, but make no mistake, Sales is tough work:

  • Measurements occur every month and every quarter that totally define your success and income
  • Frequent rejections happen all the time due to the necessary waterfall math of any sales funnel
  • Positive energy is required all the time, even when you're knocked down once in a while
  • There's a requirement to consistently learn new skills, technologies and processes

The Question of the Day: Can Sales be "taught", or is it "just natural"?

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Hiring Perfectly, sales productivity, sales plan process, sales plans for 2018, how to write a sales plan