Time to talk about trash...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Aug 05, 2016

We just finished an assignment working with Paul and Craig, two solid, heavily experienced serial entrepreneurs who have developed breakthrough technology turning really big food waste (think food prep locations for major supermarket chains, universities and prisons, for examples) into small wafers that can be used as organic fertilizers. Great technology, superb ROI and heavily experienced entrepreneur owner managers attempting to change the world due to a major problem because...

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Tags: sales coaching, sales, Sales quota, sales plans

Selling is rarely frustrating.  Frustration?  How about folding laundry!?

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, May 20, 2016

Interesting article in The WSJ yesterday.  If you have a subscription, you'll find it HERE.

Here's the premise...

Folding laundry frustrates most everyone. Makers of consumer products, feel the same way.

“We’re constantly thinking about it,” says Jennifer Schoenegge, general manager of General Electric Co.’s appliance brands. Engineers at the maker of washing machines and other kitchen appliances have joked with her that the solution is a butler, Ms. Schoenegge says. “We haven’t cracked that nut yet.”

Folding laundry stubbornly remains a job done by hand, item by item. It is a Holy Grail for inventors who have seen billion-dollar industries created from products that solve chores such as washing and drying clothes, scrubbing dishes and cleaning floors.

There are some new products, even machines that will fold overnight for anyone willing to part with money and floor space. Meanwhile, marketers are studying the habits consumers don’t often admit to.

So, a couple of comments and related questions..

  • I often get a comment from new (or old and tired) salespeople that selling, and the world of Sales is frustrating.  My belief is, if that's truly the case, then maybe the job is not the right job, or that person is not keeping up with training on today's selling skills, today's technologies and today's "new & improved" selling  processes. 

    When's the last time you took an advanced sales training course either in a personal selling skill or two, or in your CRM platform and its apps?
  • Sure, Sales can indeed sometimes be "frustrating" when we lose that single opportunity that we were forecasting at a very high probability and could almost count the numbers on the commission check, but for every one "frustration", my equation is there are at least ten more "exciting adventures". 

    What's your Frustration Equation in Sales?

I get very frustrated at stupid telemarketers and spam emails, both because they interrupt me and waste my time even if it's just to delete their messages, but also because they're using antiquated Outbound techniques that have been proven time and time again to be both ineffective and very inefficient.  Don't get me started on trade shows!

What's your percentage of operating use between Inbound & Outbound?  Mine's 40/60 in terms of dollars, when I include client dinners and our two annual CEO events.  Other than that, it's all Inbound. 


Final Question...

What's your most frustrating chore? 

Mine is definitely not laundry!  It is food shopping, and in spite of my being a techy kind of guy and although there are lots of interesting online apps for food delivery, I still find myself pushing carts down the aisles in Market Basket every weekend.  Ugh!  Really frustrating.  There's got to be a better way.  When I lived in the city years ago, Peapod was superb!  Try to get any delivery at the NH beach of anything is very, very frustrating.

Let us know... "What's yours?"

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

IT's time to TUNE UP YOUR OWN BUSINESS & MARKETING PLANS

Also, since you're now deep into Q2, you just may want to put aside a day during the next two weeks to refine and update your 2016 Business Plan, or at least your 2016 Sales and Marketing Plans.  To get you started, click here and receive a downloaded copy of our Writing the Winning Business Plan, 2016 edition.

Another opportunity for preparing now for Q4 is to do the same type of "relook" at the basics of your 2016 Marketing Plan after reviewing our ebook on "How to Write a Marketing Plan". This consists of mostly solid basics and tactical structure stuff...which just might be the perfect thing to do right now before you dive too deeply into Q3. 

...and, of course, if you just want to talk through some of where you are right now and use us as a confidential sounding board...or do a short Whiteboarding Session with any of us, just email me, and we will work out a convenient schedule.

Good Selling!  

   

 

 Head Coach  

 Derby Management...for 25 years
 -Sales & Marketing Productivity Experts
 -Business & Strategy Planning Specialists
 -Senior Management Coaches for CEOs & VPs

 Box 171322, Boston, MA 02117
 Jack's Cell: 617-504-4222 

     



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Tags: selling, Sales quota, sales jobs, sales culture

10 Golf Hints on Learning more Sales Skills

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, May 14, 2016

"I'm not old enough yet to play golf"

At the tender young age of whatever I am, I keep saying that "I'm not old enough yet to play golf".  That somewhat "too cute" comment, especially at the age of whatever I am, is also just a bit too sarcastic even for me, so I've dropped that phrase in response to the frequent question, "Do you want to join us for golf this weekend?"

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

The Basics of Washing Your Hands...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Apr 21, 2016

Over the years, maybe as a result of age, maybe due to my Peace Corps years living in Tanzania, or just maybe as a result of all of the stories about antibiotic superbugs in hospitals, I've been pretty careful about washing my hands. I mean, not compulsive-careful, but certainly I've become "highly aware" of the problem, and I never pass up a good buy at Home Depot for antibacterial soap or disinfecting Clorox wipes. Just good healthcare basics, plus I see, up close and personal every day, the debilitating affects of contracting hospital superbugs in my wife's Rheumatoid Arthritis, MRSA and auto-immune diseases which occurred as the result of a hospital-borne infection following a surgery 20 years ago.

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Tags: sales effectiveness, sales enablement, Sales quota, improving sales productivity, sales forecasting

3 Lessons on Underwear & Better Sales & Marketing

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Mar 31, 2016

Back in the day, you probably remember your mother warning you about making sure that you were wearing clean underwear "because if you're in an accident, and they bring you to the hospital, then, you want to make sure that you don't have dirty underwear".  I must admit I didn't think about this a lot during my various ER experiences of broken bones after falling off my bike or crashing into trees while learning to snowboard. Actually, there never seemed to be any checklist at the ER asking about the health or even the cleanliness of my underwear.

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Tags: sales coach, sales planning, sales tools, Sales quota, sales culture

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

Events & Activities-3 Ideas to Maximize Your Impact

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Mar 10, 2016

What's an Event?  What's an Activity?

Today's my birthday.  

I was born at 10 minutes past midnight in Chicago's Cook County Hospital in a blue collar, South Side neighborhood of meat cutters and steelworkers and the home of my first generation Polish grandparents.  Wonderful people and wonderful memories that I still remember today since they were most often wrapped around events surrounding birthdays, Catholic holy days, marriages and funerals. All of these events are for me indelibly marked through emotions, the rituals of the church, and, of course, being Polish, the smells and kitchen sounds of unbelievable food piled high on huge oaken dining room tables.

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Tags: sales tools, Sales quota, sales plans, sales meeting

Do You Believe that Luck Counts in Sales?

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Nov 20, 2015
Earlier, I wrote a blog about "Luck & Sales".  


No Such Thing as Luck in Sales

As we now face down the critical, last six weeks of the year, it's important for all of us as Sales Warriors to remember that... There is no such thing as luck in the profession of Sales.


The Patriots kick in the last six seconds last Sunday had nothing to do with luck.

That last precision march down the field ending in the perfectly-placed 54 yard kick was all about consistent and dedicated training, nerves of steel and a unrelenting drive of the team to win.

In the world of Sales, orders will be won and lost during these last 22 days of the year solely on the basis of our skills training, our prepping and working on the weekends, our consistent use of every account management and planning tactic that we currently have in our toolboxes, and finally on utilizing every possible connection we have in our individual networks.  Classic blocking and tackling in the game of Sales!  

Over the next 22 days, this is when everything must come together perfectly

  • All the training, the videos and the practice sessions
  • All the value propositions and the rest of your marketing tools 
  • All the embedded sales process tools and their related technologies

Luck would be nice, but it ain't gonna happen.

Nothing but experienced skills, detailed account plans, full force time-management practice and 12 hour days. Luck would be nice, but it ain't gonna happen.  My experience is that luck actually never happens when you need it, which is why we call orders that surprise you and fall out of nowwhere, "Bluebirds". They come and go and you're always amazed and thankful that they happen, but they never occur when you're up against a quota deadline. 

When I wrote the blog about luck a few months ago, my dedication to the formality of planning and, in fact, my addiction to "over-planning" was heightened by comments the blog received from a number of sales and business leaders that I have come to greatly admire over the years.

  • "One of my favorite sayings:   'you create your own luck' ”.
    Paul Frascoia, CEO
  • Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” a quote attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca, a Roman Stoic philosopher. 
    Bob Flaherty, CEO
     
  • Your article reminds me of a quote from Jack Nicklaus.  Someone asked him how much luck played into winning a tournament.  He replied, "You know, it's funny.  The more I practice, the luckier I get." Arnie Greenfield, CTO
  • I'm not a big believer in getting lucky with sales. I am a big believer in good timing and sales. I suppose they might be similar in that a combination of skills plus high levels of activity will eventually lead to events that result from good timing. So not sure luck is involved when a prospect lives through an event that finally makes them think about your solution. To me it's more about good timing resulting from skillful relationship building combined with high levels of activity, leading to "hey, thanks for the call, we were just thinking about you", type of good timing responses.   
    Ray Bixler, CEO
  • Two comments came to mind while reading this post: 
    1 - Hope is not a strategy
    2 - luck is where preparedness meets opportunity. 
    Art Brault, VP Sales.
  • Luck does come in to play in a major way in sales, as in a group of factors that you have no control over. How you sell lets you control how much of an effect luck has on the outcome.
    (1) Cold calling- all luck, just a numbers game
    (2) Consultative selling increases the odds dramatically of the Luck being good.   
    Rob Turbett, CEO
  • Years ago, a fairly close friend told me that my success and good fortune in life had come from my being “lucky.” I responded that no one is simply lucky and that you have to put yourself in the path of luck, in order to benefit from it if/when it comes and that you cannot sit around and wait for the phone to ring or for luck to happen.
    Jack Gaziano, SVP
  • For 17 years I passed a stained glass window in the old H.J. Heinz HQ building in the Northside of Pittsburgh. The words: Luck helps you over the ditch if you jump well. True in late 1800s. True today. Tom Powell, CEO
  • Jack, I recently gave a talk at the Plastics News Executive Forum in Las Vegas. The title was “The Accidental Strategist” (you were mentioned a few times!) and my opening slide was “Great Thoughts on Luck”
    -“The harder I work the luckier I get” – Samuel Goldwyn
    -“Luck is the residue of design” – John Milton
    -“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca
    Jeff Somple, President 

All very powerful reminders as we now move relentlessly down the field, play-by-play, with the clock ticking away the 22 days, setting ourselves and our team up to drive across the goal line.  

As the book, Hope is not a Strategy, (a very worthwhile read, btw), points out, take the words "hope" and "luck" totally out of your vocabulary, especially now.

At this time of year, success is now all about you during these last 22 days of the selling season 

 

Good Selling Today!  

 

 

Finally, as you move through your own 2016 Sales Planning process at this time of year, if you have specific planning questions that you want to bounce off me or the other Derby Management Coaches regarding sales plans, sales comp programs, sales tools, or any part of the sales and marketing funnels, just email me, and we can set up a time to talk with me or any of our other heavily experienced Coaches.  There's no cost, of course, for a call.

Selling today is complex enough without trying to go through this process of account, organizational and compensation planning by yourself. Just give us a call.  

 

 

 TUFTS University Marketing Projects

I'm in my third week of continuing to look for new solid marketing projects for my spring Tufts marketing class at Tufts, where I'm a professor.  A unique and highly successful opportunity for your company to wring out a new product idea or a fully developed marketing plan with Tufts' Best & Brightest from one of the leading universities in the country.  This semester-long program is designed to incorporate marketing projects from companies ranging in size from venture-funded startups to divisions of major corporations.  This current semester, we had 22 companies apply for the six positions.
 
The deadline for submissions for this spring's semester is December 15th.  Projects will be sent to the students for assessment and team creation at the end of December.   

If you're interested in finding out more, just email me at jack@derbymanagement.com.  Of course, I'm biased and, yes, more than a bit passionate about Tufts, but I must say somewhat objectively that our results, as attested to buy our customer companies, have been outstanding with many companies coming back year after year and hiring our seniors to be part of their companies.

 

   

Head Coach  

Derby Management...for 25 years
-Sales & Marketing Productivity Experts
-Business & Strategy Planning Specialists
-Senior Management Coaching for CEOs & VPs

Box 171322, Boston, MA 02117
Jack's Cell: 617-504-4222 

    

 

 

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Tags: sales coaching, sales, sales coach, sales tools, selling, closing sales, Sales quota, sales training, sales plans

Board Meetings...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Apr 30, 2015

I was at a board meeting a few weeks ago as a new director for a well established public company. As I sat there at my first meeting thinking about boards, board roles, board interactions and a myriad of other director related stuff, I reflected on what I've learned over the years about being a director.

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Tags: Sales Optimization, Sales Management Best Practices, sales management, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, selling skills, Sales quota, sales training, sales listening

Getting Back to Basics...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Apr 07, 2015

One of my best friends, Carolyn, decided to make a mid-life career change recently and enter the world of selling commercial and residential real estate in Vermont.  A tough job with lots of competition plus the vagaries of working in a seasonal resort. 

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Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, sales management effectiveness, selling, sales management training, selling skills, Sales quota, sales training, sales plans, sales management boot camps