We all need a Plan B

"Plan A" this morning in Vermont-right at the start of school vacation week-would have been to have blue skies, six feet of snow already on the ground and morning freshies providing the perfect first runs.  Instead, we have...

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, small business management, business coaching, how to close sales, best sales practices;, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess

Need to get on the other side of the table...

With a heat wave blanketing southern Vermont, it's 34 degrees out by the barn this morning at 7:00. 

Like you, I'm prepping for a busy day with two critical sales events on today's calendar to actually close deals I've been working on for two months.  Just need to get to that high five twice before 5 tonight.  Totally confident...almost

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Tags: sales coaching, Sales Optimization, sales coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, how to close sales, best sales practices;, sales success, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans

Be bold & be right, or...

When Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, took on the job, he was told by Steve Ballmer, the retiring CEO to... "Be bold and be right. If you’re not bold, you’re not going to do much of anything. If you’re not right, you’re not going to be here.”

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, sales planning, how to close sales, strategic planning, how to write a sales plan, writing business plans, 2022 business planning, 2022 sales planning

It's January, it's wicked cold, and we gotta sell some stuff...

Minus 5 right now out by the barn this AM. 

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Tags: sales enablement, sales tools, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, sales success, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, planningsalestodayinacovidworld, 2022businessplansuccess

Putting points on the board-Grades & Quota

Good Morning & Merry Christmas! 

First, and most importantly, I along with my Christmas friends here just want to wish everyone who tolerates me in my weekly outreaches from my work in Boston, my NH beach, my roots in VT and, of course, my beloved Tufts, a very, warm and wonderful Christmas and holiday break! 

Enjoy, relax and take a walk in the woods or on the beach while you hug your family and thank them and yourself for whatever has occurred in your life and your business this past year!  

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Tags: sales coach, sales management coach, sales enablement, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

Now, it's all about your closing tactics!

Including today, at the most, there's about 18 selling days left in the year...and that's assuming that your prospect is not leaving for the week after Christmas, which is, of course, classic family vacation time. 

With those precious 18 days on the calendar and with B2B sales cycles currently being what they are, whatever is going to happen between now and the end of the year, is going to occur after your "Discovery" step in whatever sales process funnel and CRM you're currently using.  Other than maximizing every hour you can in your calendar and consistently using your exacting value propositions, there's very little that you can do to collapse time given the need to now build your business cases with multiple stakeholders...except in the critical last step of closing the deal.  

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Tags: sales coach, sales management coach, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, sales boot camps, improving sales productivity, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans

Taint nothin'

After teaching yesterday and then attending a customer dinner, I drove here to Vermont late last night to run a 2022 sales planning meeting today.  Just stepping out of the car a bit before midnight with the headlights stretching to light up the barn between the dense fog, the rain and the pitch dark of November, I immediately sensed that in just the two weeks since I had been here last, it had become the Taint Season in Vermont. That very weird time between leaf peeping and skiing when it Taint Winta', Taint Summa', Taint Leaves. Taint Nothin'.

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Tags: sales effectiveness, how to close sales, value propositions, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

What we're hearing about 2022

It's been a very exciting time during the last four months as our 2022 planning ramps with our customers.  What I thought might be helpful is to share with you some of the primary themes we are experiencing in our role as business planning consultants as management gears up for 2022.   The following bullets are not prioritized, plus they come from a wide cross-section of markets covering healthcare, tech, food, industrial commodities, financial services and not-for-profits.  

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Tags: sales producitivity, how to close sales, sales planning meetings, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans, writing business plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

The number is 40ish

Actually, the real number is 39, but I wanted to push, extend, and stretch it to 40, but in the real world of Sales, and more importantly in the world of our customers and prospects, it's impractical to think that we will actually have 40 selling days left in the year.  Definitely 39 but probably only 35 given travel and prep days before Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then no experienced salesperson would ever plan on any of those days between Christmas and New Year's as real selling days.  Even if all of the decision makers were working that week, experience has taught us that the forecasted probability of getting all the required signatures from the legal, finance and purchasing departments is lower than low!  

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Tags: sales coach, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, sales management boot camp, how to close sales, sales success, how to write a sales plan, planningsalestodayinacovidworld

5 things you need to know about recruiting sales talent

The #1 or #2 issue we hear in all of our 2022 planning sessions this fall is the issue of the difficulty to find and retain talent. 

It is what it is, and we can debate for hours why it's occurring and the surrounding theories of the inflation impact on the economy. but the reality is that...

 

  • it's here, it's been here for 12 months, and we all see and read about it everywhere.
  • it's real, not a bubble, and it's not going away in 2022; maybe in '23 when the world flattens a bit.
  • this is a fundamental shift in the future of work, what represents "the office" and lifestyle
  • we need people now, onboarded and in place in Q1 if we're going to make out '22 numbers

From all of our 2022 planning sessions, what follows below are five non-prioritized tactics that you might want to think about.  Connect with me at any time, and I can walk you through any of the details, or just be a sounding board for best practices.

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Tags: sales enablement, sales tools, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, writing sales plans, hiring sales people

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