5 things you need to know about recruiting sales talent

The #1 or #2 issue we hear in all of our 2022 planning sessions this fall is the issue of the difficulty to find and retain talent. 

It is what it is, and we can debate for hours why it's occurring and the surrounding theories of the inflation impact on the economy. but the reality is that...

 

  • it's here, it's been here for 12 months, and we all see and read about it everywhere.
  • it's real, not a bubble, and it's not going away in 2022; maybe in '23 when the world flattens a bit.
  • this is a fundamental shift in the future of work, what represents "the office" and lifestyle
  • we need people now, onboarded and in place in Q1 if we're going to make out '22 numbers

From all of our 2022 planning sessions, what follows below are five non-prioritized tactics that you might want to think about.  Connect with me at any time, and I can walk you through any of the details, or just be a sounding board for best practices.

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Tags: sales enablement, sales tools, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, writing sales plans, hiring sales people

The Dog Days of Summa'

For me, it's been a superb summa' even given this weekend's hurricane, the heat of August, the rains of July and the unsettling anticipation of what lies ahead when we return/don't return to offices and classrooms in a couple of weeks.  After all...it's the summa, and no matter who we are, or pretend to be, every summa brings all of us back to memories of time off from school, the rigors of multiple jobs, loves started and hearts broken,  and always the anticipation of gearing up for the faster, more demanding time of September.  And this September accelerating into this Q4 will not be any different !

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Tags: sales tools, sales training, how to close sales, how to write a sales plan, sales management productivity, sales effectivness, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

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

What are you planning for tomorrow?

Every day, every week, I work through a series of mini-plans at least in my head and most often in writing.

-Days start early before the sun and begin with a fountain pen and new yellow-ruled sheet of paper.

-I bullet down in a word or two the tasks needed for the company and for Tufts in two columns

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Tags: Sales Optimization, sales effectiveness, sales planning, sales tools, closing sales, how to close sales, sales success, how to write a sales plan

Tips on the Final Presentation & Closing the Deal

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Nov 30, 2016

It all comes down to this..

  • The 13 week sales cycle ends a day like today
  • Final Tufts management presentations today and next Wednesday
  • Close the deals today and next week successfully, and everyone goes home with high marks

When I first started teaching Marketing at Tufts 10 years ago, I knew that I had to do something different because there was no way that I would hold the attention of 30 bright Millennials, who were not majoring in marketing, past one class, let alone 13.  So, I took best practices that I had learned from Professor Jung-Hoon Chun at MIT, and, at that time, my 10 years of teaching business planning and marketing in his mechanical engineering course, where I continue to lecture.  Those best practices provide...  

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Tags: sales coach, sales management coach, sales tools

Technology, Thanksgiving & Togetherness

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Nov 24, 2016

As a 7th generation Vermonter, other than my years living overseas in the Peace Corps, I've always found my way back to the Green Mountain State for the celebration of Thanksgiving. Probably not a DNA thing, since none of my relatives live here anymore, but mostly, it's a Thanksgiving tradition thing and a welcoming back of friends on the slopes of Stratton, where I've been coming every Thanksgiving ever since it opened. 

This morning's trip from the NH beach to the bustling town of Bondville, (pop. 647), known for being the oldest summer fair in Vermont, took just three hours (ayah...can't get theah from heah) which always makes me think about how technology advances have changed our Thanksgivings. 

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Tags: sales tools, entrepreneurship, thanksgiving

Is it Culture or Cult that leads to Sales Success?

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Aug 18, 2016

Recently, I've spent a lot of time thinking about two of my favorite and most interesting customers

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Tags: sales coach, sales tools, sales culture, sales success

How to Create Party Lines...and Building Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Jun 17, 2016

I'm now going to date myself, but it's an important perspective in understanding just why I, you and the entire profession of sales need to keep rapidly evolving while it focuses, not on the practice of sales itself, but on the value that we bring to our customers.

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Tags: sales productivity, sales coaching, Sales Optimization, sales coach, sales planning, sales tools

Heading to the beach..."Field Research" on Sales Leadership

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Jun 09, 2016

Interesting comments from a number of readers on a blog I did back in February on what it takes to become a sales leader.  I realized as a result of that blog and the comments and questions that I received, that I knew a whole lot more about what a sales leader is not, than what a true leader of salespeople really is.

For example, I know that a sales leader is not...

  • Captain Command & Control
    This guy is all about gruffness and full blunt force, marked by swearing and shouting in public coupled with a list of not-so-veiled threats about being fired.  

    The result in what he creates is always a small salesforce of dispirited workers who run for cubicle cover and start looking at their shoes every time "The Captain" marches into the office.  You would think that after all of these years, this dinosaur had finally been bogged down in the tar pits of the 1980's and been classified as extinct, but he's still out there shouting even louder since all of the good salespeople have already jumped off of his ship.    
  • Mary Micromanager
    Mary isn't quite sure what exactly her leadership role is as a new sales manager since she quickly rose through the ranks from BDR to sales rep to team leader and is now a district or regional manager.  

    As a result, she never really had the time or the support from her managers to be properly trained and, as a result, she was just thrown into the deep end of the pool to see if she would either sink or swim.   Mary has now become the ubersalesperson looking for more and more detail and constantly doing activity follow up with her team while she basically drives them nuts.   What Mary has not yet learned is that there are manager roles, like Player-Coach, where she can bring real value to the team and allow them the freedom to do their front line job... perhaps in many cases better than she could do it.
  • Tommy Technology 
    T2 is a manager who is all about technology and replacing F2F field salespeople with inside sales teams armed with highly integrated CRM platforms and a variety of apps.  

    I'm all for integrating tech stuff into sales processes and strongly believe that technology platforms like Insight Squared, Hubspot and Brainshark, wrapped around formal sales processes, can improve average sales productivity by 25%.  But, the problem with having Tommy as a manager is that he has forgotten about delivering customer value, and he's run way too fast right to the edge of the cliff never looking back to see if his salespeople are following him or are just going to watch him jump into the abyss shouting... "Good riddance, Tommy."

So, just what is Sales Leadership?

So, as I said, I'm pretty good at understanding what sales leadership is not, but I'm still pretty sure that if I had to teach even a general 101 course on leadership, let alone sales leadership, I would not have much to say after the first or second class.

As a result, I've been packing up the summer beach bag, that hangs quietly in the garage all winter amid various beach towels and chairs, with a variety of books and downloaded articles that I've come across this year as I try to figure out just what being a sales leader is all about.   

A good place for me to start was this article from McKinsey on...
"The BullS--- of Leadership."  I also thought that it's something that you might also find worthwhile.  Since so much of defining "leadership" is to provide examples, most of the books that are referenced in the article are about individuals.  My intent is to read through a number of them during the summer...in between my normal prep reading on the beach for next semester's marketing course at Tufts and MIT's business planning classes.

 

Master of the Senate, (about Lyndon Johnson) by Robert Caro

The Power Broker,, (about Robert Moses), by Robert Caro 

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

Team of Rivals (about Lincoln) by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Influence of Science & Practice by Robert Cialdini

 

 

 

Need Your Guidance & ideas...

Given all of this reading about sales leadership and sales management, I and the rest of the partners at the firm could use your help, guidance and opinions.


For approximately 15 years, we've run twice-a-year Sales Management Boot Camps.  Limited to 20, maybe 25, individuals who are managing other salespeople, these 2.5 day programs held in the unique setting of the MIT Endicott House, 20 miles outside of Boston, focus on a wide variety of sales leadership topics crossing an equally wide variety of industries and markets.  We've found that the industry variety is actually key to the success of these programs since managers can openly discuss their issues in a confidential environment where there are no competitors, but there's deep experience in size, in type and in the industries of the attendees.

Taught by my guys and a number of well recognized sales management experts in the Boston community, we're gearing up for another program in November.   The question that I would greatly appreciate your guidance on and direction for is simply...

"If you were to come to a sales management leadership program, what would you want to learn?"

Your help would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

 

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: sales, sales tools, sales management training, sales management boot camp, sales leadership

What's Your Personal Sales Brand?

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, May 28, 2016

Looks like it's going to be a great weekend!

Most importantly, we all need to take a few minutes and remember just what Memorial Day is all about.  

I, as all of you, have strong feelings about this day, and it's very important to remember why the day was created and the critical essence of what it's all about.  

Hopefully... "we will go to war no more".

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Tags: sales tools, sales plans, branding plans, marketing plans, branding, how to brand