At some point in Sales & in Life, you need to take a stand!

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Jul 15, 2016

This morning BRINGS ME TO THE TOPIC OF RACE IN AMERICA.

As a professor of marketing, and a still struggling student of being a better sales professional, one thing I know is never to talk about race, religion or sex, but unfortunately, I need to to break that rule.  

Enough is enough!

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Tags: sales, sales management, sales effectiveness, management

5 Ideas on Having "The Big Boy, Big Girl Talk"

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Jul 08, 2016

I love reading Harvard Business Review's daily blogs, hints, teasers and management ideas.  The magazine articles, sometimes yes, sometimes no, but I do believe that their comments on most management issues on marketing, and, most recently, on the science of sales are both stimulating and very thought provoking.

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Checkups & Tune-ups...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Jun 24, 2016

Lots happening this week...

  • For the firm, it's end of the month and end of the quarter-just like our customers, we're scrambling
  • Sales are strong, but we're always looking for more
  • Added John Routhier as a senior partner...wicked strong background in sales and marketing
  • Personally feeling superb and just started jogging...well, kind of jogging 
  • ...and this week, I just completed my annual MGH checkups from my PCP, cardiologist and other specialists.  Back to back days, multiple tests...over and done with.  All good!

It's such a privilege to live in cities like Boston, New York, Dallas, and many others where one has such an incredible concentration of excellent, world-class healthcare.   After a couple of "situations" during the last couple of years, it's very reassuring to know from my buddies at MGH that everything on the health front is A-OK! 

We all live in very time-consuming  and high-pressure environments working very hard to balance our careers and personal lives, so having the quiet knowledge that everything is A-OK medically is more than a little comforting.


As a result of all of this personal process of questioning, probing, listening and testing, I thought that I would do the same with the business, which led to us sitting down this week to analytically take a snapshot of the business

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Tags: sales productivity, sales plans, business planning

How to Create Party Lines...and Building Sales

Posted by Jack Derby 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 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

How to Gain Connections, Happiness, Enlightenment...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby on Fri, Jun 03, 2016
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What's Your Personal Sales Brand?

Posted by Jack Derby 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

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

Posted by Jack Derby 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 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

Leadership...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby on Thu, May 05, 2016

It doesn't matter whether you're a Democrat or a Republican;  we are now faced with an interesting management problem.

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Tags: Sales Optimization, sales management, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales management training, sales leadership