At Derby Management we are big believers in constant education and focused networking to refine your skills, learn new strategies and grow professionally. We strive to provide our clients superior service through our own knowledge and experience since all of our team has sat in the chairs-just like you-as CEOs, heads of Sales and heads of Marketing of both startups and middle market companies in a wide variety of industries.
It all comes down to 50 minutes
In life, in Sales, and in teaching, there are always deadlines.
Wednesday, one of those deadlines was evidenced in 50 minute final exam presentations days at Tufts. After 12 weeks of content in the brand new Sales course and in the nine-year-old Marketing course, Wednesday was the day when the first two teams of Sales students and the three teams of Marketing students presented their findings, reams of research and their detailed sales and marketing recommendations to the management of their project companies.
We'll do the same thing to the same rhythm next Wednesday, and then another semester will be over. During the summer, I'll spend a big chunk of time on the beach refining and re-calibrating for the fall semesters at Tufts and at MIT, where I've had the privilege of working with Professor Chun for almost 20 years. For me, all of this is a lot of fun, a fair amount of hard work and always some level of anxiety, which keeps me on the competitive edge, which is exactly why I teach...since I continue to believe that I'm just a student of the very exciting worlds of sales and marketing.
"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?"
Just finished shoveling snow here in the "Live Free or Die" State
Although I have a perfectly good, one year old snowblower sitting unused in the garage, it was important to me to spend 30 minutes shoveling this morning for a couple of reasons.
No Such Thing as Luck in 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 email@example.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.
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
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.
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.
A friend of mine just became the head of a large bank, which is one of our larger customers. A solid and very comfortable guy that your first reaction to is... "I'd just like to sit around talking to to him". Ex-football player from Dartmouth who now maxes out on a couple of Tough Mudders every year. Great family man, just a nice guy, who is very focused on what he and his managers need to do in terms of performance and accountability.
Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, Sales Management Best Practices, sales management effectiveness, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales management training, sales training, sales plans, sales management boot camp, strategic planning
As we move through March and the end of the first quarter, I always regard this time of year as a critical experiment of the new ideas, new strategies, new tactics, new activities and new people that you and the team planned for way back in October and November. I like to think that both company-wide business plans and departmental-specific sales plans always work because, whether or not they result in the actual forecasted numbers, the planning framework that has been created is actually more important than the results since it provides a consistent process and structure that you can refine and refine again during the balance of the year. By keeping to this process consistently, I guarantee that you will ultimately get to your goals and objectives.
Tags: sales productivity, sales coaching, Sales Management Best Practices, sales management effectiveness, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, selling, Sales quota, sales training, sales management boot camp, strategic planning