Parsley or Meat & Potatoes?...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Jun 13, 2013

sales planning I was sitting with the senior team at one of our most successful customers last Friday, and we were prepping for an upcoming sales and marketing planning meeting later this week. 

Status:      Solid first half performance
Status:      Great processes & people
Question:  How does everything fit for the 2nd half?



The discussion topics included the standard mid-year tweaking agenda items like ...  

  • sales and marketing optimization tactics
  • sales process improvements
  • marketing campaign adjustments
  • possible compensation enhancements

As we were going through topics, the newly promoted president, seeing the company now through a different lens as head of the company, commented that this business really wasn't that complicated, and that we just needed to do two things:

  1. Sell more new accounts, and...

  2. Retain and expand our existing customers

...and, as I thought about, I realized that he's unnervingly correct. 

The work of Sales really isn't that complicated, since it finally does come down to the basic meat and potatoes of...

  • hunting for new territory and
  • farming the land that we already own
  • defining a dynamic sales culture of winning

Value Proposition SalesThese tenants of sales success are basics, of course, as seen from the seller's side of the table.  The opportunity for us as salespeople is to effectively turn these basic practices of hunting and farming into buying decisions by focusing on selling the financial value that we create through our products and services.  At the end of the day, everything comes down to selling value, not products, not services, and certainly not us, but financial value to the customer.

What makes the highly intertwined worlds of Sales and Marketing much more exciting and more of an opportunity today than ever before is the fact that we can get to the value proposition discussion more easily than ever before by adding formalized sales processes that are very scalable and technology tools that employ social media and highly targeted marketing.  As a result, we can create true sales optimization environments that actually optimize the selling process and enable our salespeople to become much more effective.  

This is clearly the most exciting time I've experienced in Sales in over 40 years of managing salespeople.  And, the even more exciting fact is that this current world of Sales 2.0 is just about ready to morph again over the next three plus years into something much more robust-the world of Sales Enablement.

Sales optimizationOur Friday meeting then shifted to the subject of taking the company's sales culture up a couple of notches.  This is a company that already has a very positive company culture, but the subject of creating an even higher focus on culture among the salespeople was placed squarely on the table by the CFO, who is as much part of the sales team as is anyone in the business, which is exactly what financial types should be. 

His comments were...

  • We can do a lot better
  • Let's make sure that everyone is totally & absolutely engaged
  • ...that there is a heightened culture of urgency and speed everywhere
  • ...that there is an increased commitment to support the entire team
  • ...that there is an expanded confidence in their skills, which may require more training
  • ...and that no one in Sales should be just parsley...and sitting pretty on the sidelines

Simple meat and potatoes comments and basic tenants of sales success for every company.  Sounds so simple, right?

Your culture question for the day...

The question for you this morning is if you had to list the top two-and just two-culture improvements that you would like to make in your sales organization for the second half of the year, what would they be? 

What would it take to make sure that everyone in the organization was totally focused on the company's objectives and that no one was just parsley and not an active part of the team's engagement for sales optimization?  Here's an idea...

"Do you want to be parsley or meat and potatoes?"

  • Bring the sales culture question up at your sales meeting next week
  • Come to agreement on the need for taking your culture to the next level
  • Take a half day in July, once the quarter has ended
  • Agree on the specific tactics and toolsl that you're going to employ
  • Agree on the specific tools you're going to enable your salespeople with
  • Start executing, and executing, and executing 

It's no more difficult than that to get everyone totally engaged and living the culture that you want.  Do that for six months, and then do a culture check at your 2014 kickoff sales meeting.

Remember, it's your personal leadership that will define what you want your sales culture to be! 


Hope you're having a good week. Now let's get out there and sell some stuff! Jack Derby 


Head Coach
Linked In and Sales

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During our upcoming 2013 Sales Management Boot Camp, we will drive down into the details of Sales Enablement along with other strategies, tools such as Value Propositions and a wide variety of other tactics.  Plus this is a unique opportunity to meet others just like you from a wide variety of industries in an exciting, engaging, and exhausting work environment. 

 Late Sunday afternoon, October 6th through Tuesday afternoon, October 8th at the MIT Endicott House.

-Six years, 350+ highly satisfied graduates!

-Everyone attends is focused on answering two simple questions:

1.  How can I improve my own effectiveness as a manager?
2.  How can I enable my salespeople to produce more effectively?

We have the answers in strategies, tactics, tools and technology

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Tags: Sales Optimization, sales, sales management, sales management effectiveness, sales management coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales planning, selling, sales management training, sales training, sales listening, sales culture, sales boot camps