2021 is not going to be the same; it'll be better!

Had a very exciting, stimulating and actively engaging discussion end of the day yesterday with 30 of our CEOs, presidents and senior leaders of our customers on the 2021 workplace, and I thought that I'd share with you this morning a few of the takeaways.

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Tags: sales coach, how to close sales, best sales practices;, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans

Zen & the science of snowblowing

The interesting and good news about selling in 2021...

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Tags: Sales Optimization, closing sales, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, best sales practices;, sales success, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, writing sales plans

Still a student after all these years...

Mid-Point in the Semester...

As I approach the mid-term point in my classes at Tufts and MIT, once again, I realize how much of my personal time is as a professor teaching and working with my students, and how much I'm in a role of being a student myself in actually learning and applying new content. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in my courses in Sales and in Marketing, which, even pre-Covid, were undergoing extraordinary rapid change every semester.  It used to be that material I put together in the summer for the fall semester would be okay for the following spring semester, and I could use most of the same content for both Tufts and MIT. No longer!  Last year, I changed 30% of the content going into the spring 2020, and then changed 70% of that material in prep for this fall's semester. This coming spring, I'll probably just start over from scratch again.

Now, deep into 2020, there really is only one mandatory rule that has not changed in Sales and Marketing, and that is to focus more heavily than ever before on marketing and selling customer value and not on you, your products or your services.  2019 evidenced the massive push into the strategy of "value selling" and the tools that go along with it, which has never been more critical than now when buyers are hyper-focused to the metrics of the value brought to their companies.  Add to that the necessity of identifying and marketing directly to personas who today have zero time to waste with old-school salespeople and antiquated marketing tactics.  

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Tags: sales coach, sales management coach, sales management boot camp, how to close sales, writing sales plans, planningsalestodayinacovidworld

Who are your most valuable salespeople?

Darn cold at 29 last Saturday out by the Vermont barn. Jumped on the ATV to work through the woods and get up to the pond where I noticed that the swamp maples were already turning even though the big foliage week is still a couple of weeks from now.  Always good for the Vermont economy when leaf-peeping ties into a long weekend.

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Tags: sales and marketing best practices, sales coach, sales effectiveness, marketing effectiveness, sales management boot camp, how to write a sales plan, sales management productivity, writing sales plans, Selling Successfully in a Covid World

Summa's done, getting ready for the fall

A solid summa' in spite of Covid, social unrest, racial injustice, job losses, business closings and then of course, the back-biting and mud -slinging of the election, but other than that...a solid summa'!  

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Tags: Sales Optimization, sales coach, sales effectiveness, sales producitivity, how to close sales, best sales practices;, how to write a sales plan, sales management productivity, writing sales plans

The Plan is the Plan except when it isn't

After college at BC, I went into the Peace Corps returning to the world from Tanzania three years later to face the reality of finding a job.  A couple of twists and turns, and I found myself working as a purchasing expeditor for Honeywell as the company attempted to shift from manufacturing and selling heating systems into what was then called the first "mini-computers".  It was a brave attempt that failed when a little local company called Digital Equipmentdid it better.  Most of the time I've come to learn that the phrase "first mover advantage" is a startup myth more often eclipsed by the truer phrase that "most pioneers get shot in the back."

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Tags: the economy, Sales Optimization, improved sales management, sales boot camp, small business management, strategic planning, best sales practices;, sales management productivity, writing sales plans, Selling Successfully in a Covid World

today is just a finite fraction in the infinity of time

Think about it!

  • Monday morning, the 20th of July.  One day among 365.  202 down with 164 to go.
  • Just one day in a decade or in 100 years or in millennia since Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
  • Time is always non-stop and always represented by change.
  • The concept of time is self-evident, but we rarely think about the fundamental nature of time...

...until of course, we run out of time!.

What this pandemic is teaching us is the fragility of time.  We see it, we sense it, and now we always live it in both our personal and work lives. We live in an ever-expanding bubble of time listening to the daily chants of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, and, as a result, we're much more aware of time now than we were six months ago. We anticipate it and we watch it carefully in our Zoom calls.  More than ever, we constantly try to balance our own time with a myriad of new demands that we never ever considered before like "should we send our kids back to school?" and "what are the safest hours to go to Market Basket?"

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Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales coach, sales management coach, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, Sales Hiring & Onboarding, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans, sales readiness

ok, now what do I do to sell? 

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, May 13, 2020

With last weekend's nasty weatha' at the NH beach and even more snow stopping my planned Saturday mornin' trip to Winhall/Bondville VT, I took the time to post to my 6,700 LinkedIn friends my "Six Best Sales Practices for Selling Normally in Abnormal Times",

This comes from a webinar with I shared with Laurie White, President of the Providence Chamber of Commerce, and her superb members. 

I thought that the questions raised from these real-life business owners and salespeople were perfect examples of what it takes to work and survive on the front line in these chaotic times.  

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Tags: Making Tough Choices, sales management productivity, selling trust, sales motivation, 2020 sales plans, writing sales plans, sales readiness

Putting in place a very straight line sales plan

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, May 01, 2020

This morning I'm thinking very differently about the words "a long hard slog", and looking at this business environment not as a world of chaos and interruption, but as one of creating a much more simplified process that creates a much straighter line between "start" and "purchase".  

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Tags: improving sales productivity, best sales practices;, sales forecasting, sales effectivness, sales motivation, 2020 sales plans, writing sales plans, sales readiness

A morning of jumbled thoughts...

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Apr 24, 2020

By the end of a normal Friday morning, the front of my brain would have heard, dissected and categorized some hundreds of ideas, and I would have figured out one thread of hopefully a meaningful subject to twist around my travels to Vermont, my teaching at Tufts or my working at the NH beach.  This Friday is complicated by way too many jumbled "new normal" activities...not any different from any of you, I'm sure.  

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Tags: marketing projects, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, 2020 business plans, writing sales plans