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

The marketing of me...and you

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Sep 15, 2020

I've been a student of marketing now for decades.  I teach it, I practice it, I study it, and I always seem to be running fast just to keep up...which is exactly why marketing is so exciting today.  So that I never overthink the subject, the profession or its complexities, I always come back to the simplicity of Regis McKenna's iconic February, 1991 HBR article, "Marketing is Everything", which still rings true today...maybe even more so today...as I re-read this morning just one paragraph from the article.

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Tags: sales management effectiveness, sales effectiveness, marketing productivity, how to write a business plan, how to write a sales plan, marketing planning

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

Change comes to "The Boys on the Bench"

In my tiny town (pop. 735) in Vermont...called Winhall by the state and Bondville by the feds...there are only three bastions of commerce: 

  • the 7/11 gas station which doubles as a state liquor store
  • the brand new Ace Hardware store branded "Lincoln Maples Hardware" to countrify it
  • and the decades-old Winhall General Store

I've lived in this valley for a very long time with five generations before me, and over the years I've seen many owners of the general store come and go.  There were a few serious Vermonters back in the day, lots of city folk who were looking to own "a little slice of Vermont" , but lasted only a couple of wicked cold winta's, and then there's Lorraine. 

Like many, Lorraine came for the skiing and the beauty of Vermont and stayed to successfully build the business and support the town.  She's done a remarkably consistent job of paying attention to the local Vermonters looking for coffee and a solid sandwich while knowing how to cater to the weekend flatlanders form New York and Jersey.  

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Tags: improved sales management, sales management training, sales management boot camp, improving sales productivity, sales management productivity, inordertoselltodayyoumustchange, planningsalestodayinacovidworld, whiteboardingmarketingsolutions, forgetsalesstrategyfocusontactics, whiteboardingsalessolutions

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

Do not confuse bounce with recovery

Over the long weekend of the 4th, I listened to two threads of stories...

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Tags: sales effectiveness, sales management boot camp, business coaching, improving sales productivity, best sales practices;, sales management productivity, sales effectivness

Freedom!

In an abnormal time of unknowns, in a time of personal fears and anxieties, in a time of flag waving, of violent protests and accusing screams that drown out rational thinking, let us not forget that this sacred day of remembrance is about freedom.  

The 4th along with all of the days not remembered and lives lost in the battles between the states, in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and inches of dirt in countless other wars bring us to today to once again celebrate and pray for freedom in these new battles.   

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Tags: independance day, freedom, 4th of July

Creating your own single source of truth

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Jun 30, 2020

Rarely, as in never, do I get into a discussion in this blog about politics, and to a large degree this post is not about politics, it's just about the science, the data and the sources of the truth behind the pandemic and its impact.

What each of us should be doing at this time is to identify our own "single sources of truth" regarding the disease, the impact that it's making on our physical and mental health, and the devastating effect on our businesses and our jobs.

The only way we can fight back is with discipline in what we do, how we act, and how we sell and market our products

Six months into this, we clearly know the facts...

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Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales enablement, sales management boot camp, sales boot camps, how to write a sales plan, 2020 sales plans, Selling Successfully in a Covid World

Slow down, reduce the lanes & focus!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Jun 26, 2020

I happened to be talking to a friend of mine, Paul Kelly, President of Berkshire Bank, yesterday about...what else...Sales, of course, and he provided a very interesting perspective to approaching his sales process during these times of unknowns.  Notice I just used the phrase "times of unknowns" since "chaotic" is too depressing and "new normal/abnormal" has become too much of a trite label, All we do know right now is that we will be in this "time of unknowns" for at least the next six and probably twelve months.  Nothing we can do in our day-day-day is going to change the overall environment, but determined and innovative managers like Paul, who focus on positivity, motivation and specific marketing and sales tactics, impact sales at their companies every week. 

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Tags: sales productivity, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, sales and marketing best practices, sales enablement, sales management training, how to close sales, 2020 sales plans