...just plain ol' Vermont grit

Vermont is a tiny state with a very diverse grouping of residents.  I'm not talking here about the 13 "gold towns" inappropriately named by an infamous prior governor who overtaxed the flatlanders who came to VT to ski.  I'm also not talking about Burlington where 50% of the population lives. To know the real Vermont, one needs to get down into the dirt and understand their own grit and exceptionally hard work. 

When one takes a look at the stats, it almost defies logic of why the state even exists...except for grit.

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Tags: sales coaching, sales plan process, sales management boot camp, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, student intern marketing projects, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Gotta Love April!

Gotta love April !!!   

Hard to believe, but here we are, one year later in a very different spring of positive outlooks and what will become a roaring economy on the back half of this year.  Still a bit stressed, but much less so, and, as sales pros, we're always thinking through what the quarter ahead is going to look like. This is always the excitement and the challenge of being a Sales leader. Just like any  professional athlete, even with consistent training and exacting playbooks, we never exactly know what the end game or the final points on the scoreboard will be.    

Just ask either side on the women's final basketball championship last week between Arizona and Stanford.  

 

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Tags: sales coaching, sales management coach, sales enablement, closing sales, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, sales success, how to write a sales plan, planningsalestodayinacovidworld

So, you want to blog?  Here's 3 winning tactics from my students

 

Last week, I mentioned that Brian Bresee, an alum from our marketing course, and now Hubspot's North America's Director of Partnership Sales, provides a lecture every semester starting with an outline of Inbound Marketing. 

Brian and I met 11 years ago at Tufts, became friends with a common love of being on the Vermont snow.  After graduating, he worked for one of my companies as a BDR, moving to Hubspot 10+ years ago and has become a highly valued Tufts Lecturer in my courses for the last 8 years.  Brian provides content and Hubspot platforms for our course and has become a coach for numbers of my students who want to move into a sales role.  Same way that I coached Brian a decade ago, which is all about giving back to our Tufts students through our alums.

          

Brian masterfully brings the strategy of Inbound right down to the reality of teaching the specifics of blogging to junior and seniors who have marketing plans to deliver to real companies in just 10 weeks from now.

For me, having been a writer of books, newsletters, magazine and newspaper articles and now blogs, I know that blogging is one of the most important tactical tools in any marketer's toolbox. In fact, prior to 2018, when video content began to rise and then just exploded in use in 2020, blogs led the list as the most heavily used media tool

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Tags: sales coaching, sales effectiveness, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, sales success, value propositions, effective blogging

just waiting for the spring this AM

With 30 years of skiing anchored firmly in my Vermont winta' roots, I've now spent the last 25 years only snowboarding gaining a new love for old trails and new woods and parks that I would have never explored on skis. I still remember the taunts and laughs from my skier buddies I left behind, but as with anything new, I've learned to find the best coaches and study harder and longer than others. 

This winta' morning, I find myself at the NH beach trading my Big Boy Ariens snowblower back in VT for shovels that fit NH winding paths and decks that overlook a very angry ocean.  It will actually be good to grab some fresh air and quick exercise today between six zooms and a board meeting. One of the benefits of WFH.

Love winta'...but cannot wait for March 20th, the official start of spring and leaving behind dark mornings and getting back out into the VT woods with my chainsaw or looking for seaglass on the NH beach.  I do love the rhythm and the variety of the NE seasons...most of the time

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Tags: sales coaching, sales effectiveness, closing sales, marketing effectiveness, sales management boot camp, business coaching, how to close sales, improving sales productivity, sales success, how to write a sales plan, planningsalestodayinacovidworld

2021 a year all about change...

This week...

I write this this afternoon at the end of an extraordinarily cataclysmic week. 

I could not even begin to provide any meaningful content today that has not been said better and more fluently by much more knowledgeable people than me. 

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Tags: sales coaching, Sales Optimization, sales effectiveness, best sales practices;, sales productiv, how to write a sales plan

Fall Begins... 3 Steps to Staying Sales Focused, Urgent & Relevant

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Sep 23, 2016

Fall has officially begun, and we're deep into it already
Summer's gone with a snap of the fingers and a turn of the page of the calendar with lingering self promises that "next year, I'm going to plan my schedule better."  

Good luck on that btw...

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Tags: sales coaching, Sales Optimization, sales coach, sales enablement, sales management boot camp

Time to talk about trash...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Aug 05, 2016

We just finished an assignment working with Paul and Craig, two solid, heavily experienced serial entrepreneurs who have developed breakthrough technology turning really big food waste (think food prep locations for major supermarket chains, universities and prisons, for examples) into small wafers that can be used as organic fertilizers. Great technology, superb ROI and heavily experienced entrepreneur owner managers attempting to change the world due to a major problem because...

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Tags: sales coaching, sales, Sales quota, sales plans

How to Create Party Lines...and Building Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach 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

Do You Believe that Luck Counts in Sales?

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Nov 20, 2015
Earlier, I wrote a blog about "Luck & Sales".  


No Such Thing as Luck in Sales

As we now face down the critical, last six weeks of the year, it's important for all of us as Sales Warriors to remember that... There is no such thing as luck in the profession of Sales.


The Patriots kick in the last six seconds last Sunday had nothing to do with luck.

That last precision march down the field ending in the perfectly-placed 54 yard kick was all about consistent and dedicated training, nerves of steel and a unrelenting drive of the team to win.

In the world of Sales, orders will be won and lost during these last 22 days of the year solely on the basis of our skills training, our prepping and working on the weekends, our consistent use of every account management and planning tactic that we currently have in our toolboxes, and finally on utilizing every possible connection we have in our individual networks.  Classic blocking and tackling in the game of Sales!  

Over the next 22 days, this is when everything must come together perfectly

  • All the training, the videos and the practice sessions
  • All the value propositions and the rest of your marketing tools 
  • All the embedded sales process tools and their related technologies

Luck would be nice, but it ain't gonna happen.

Nothing but experienced skills, detailed account plans, full force time-management practice and 12 hour days. Luck would be nice, but it ain't gonna happen.  My experience is that luck actually never happens when you need it, which is why we call orders that surprise you and fall out of nowwhere, "Bluebirds". They come and go and you're always amazed and thankful that they happen, but they never occur when you're up against a quota deadline. 

When I wrote the blog about luck a few months ago, my dedication to the formality of planning and, in fact, my addiction to "over-planning" was heightened by comments the blog received from a number of sales and business leaders that I have come to greatly admire over the years.

  • "One of my favorite sayings:   'you create your own luck' ”.
    Paul Frascoia, CEO
  • Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” a quote attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca, a Roman Stoic philosopher. 
    Bob Flaherty, CEO
     
  • Your article reminds me of a quote from Jack Nicklaus.  Someone asked him how much luck played into winning a tournament.  He replied, "You know, it's funny.  The more I practice, the luckier I get." Arnie Greenfield, CTO
  • I'm not a big believer in getting lucky with sales. I am a big believer in good timing and sales. I suppose they might be similar in that a combination of skills plus high levels of activity will eventually lead to events that result from good timing. So not sure luck is involved when a prospect lives through an event that finally makes them think about your solution. To me it's more about good timing resulting from skillful relationship building combined with high levels of activity, leading to "hey, thanks for the call, we were just thinking about you", type of good timing responses.   
    Ray Bixler, CEO
  • Two comments came to mind while reading this post: 
    1 - Hope is not a strategy
    2 - luck is where preparedness meets opportunity. 
    Art Brault, VP Sales.
  • Luck does come in to play in a major way in sales, as in a group of factors that you have no control over. How you sell lets you control how much of an effect luck has on the outcome.
    (1) Cold calling- all luck, just a numbers game
    (2) Consultative selling increases the odds dramatically of the Luck being good.   
    Rob Turbett, CEO
  • Years ago, a fairly close friend told me that my success and good fortune in life had come from my being “lucky.” I responded that no one is simply lucky and that you have to put yourself in the path of luck, in order to benefit from it if/when it comes and that you cannot sit around and wait for the phone to ring or for luck to happen.
    Jack Gaziano, SVP
  • For 17 years I passed a stained glass window in the old H.J. Heinz HQ building in the Northside of Pittsburgh. The words: Luck helps you over the ditch if you jump well. True in late 1800s. True today. Tom Powell, CEO
  • Jack, I recently gave a talk at the Plastics News Executive Forum in Las Vegas. The title was “The Accidental Strategist” (you were mentioned a few times!) and my opening slide was “Great Thoughts on Luck”
    -“The harder I work the luckier I get” – Samuel Goldwyn
    -“Luck is the residue of design” – John Milton
    -“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca
    Jeff Somple, President 

All very powerful reminders as we now move relentlessly down the field, play-by-play, with the clock ticking away the 22 days, setting ourselves and our team up to drive across the goal line.  

As the book, Hope is not a Strategy, (a very worthwhile read, btw), points out, take the words "hope" and "luck" totally out of your vocabulary, especially now.

At this time of year, success is now all about you during these last 22 days of the selling season 

 

Good Selling Today!  

 

 

Finally, as you move through your own 2016 Sales Planning process at this time of year, if you have specific planning questions that you want to bounce off me or the other Derby Management Coaches regarding sales plans, sales comp programs, sales tools, or any part of the sales and marketing funnels, just email me, and we can set up a time to talk with me or any of our other heavily experienced Coaches.  There's no cost, of course, for a call.

Selling today is complex enough without trying to go through this process of account, organizational and compensation planning by yourself. Just give us a call.  

 

 

 TUFTS University Marketing Projects

I'm in my third week of continuing to look for new solid marketing projects for my spring Tufts marketing class at Tufts, where I'm a professor.  A unique and highly successful opportunity for your company to wring out a new product idea or a fully developed marketing plan with Tufts' Best & Brightest from one of the leading universities in the country.  This semester-long program is designed to incorporate marketing projects from companies ranging in size from venture-funded startups to divisions of major corporations.  This current semester, we had 22 companies apply for the six positions.
 
The deadline for submissions for this spring's semester is December 15th.  Projects will be sent to the students for assessment and team creation at the end of December.   

If you're interested in finding out more, just email me at jack@derbymanagement.com.  Of course, I'm biased and, yes, more than a bit passionate about Tufts, but I must say somewhat objectively that our results, as attested to buy our customer companies, have been outstanding with many companies coming back year after year and hiring our seniors to be part of their companies.

 

   

Head Coach  

Derby Management...for 25 years
-Sales & Marketing Productivity Experts
-Business & Strategy Planning Specialists
-Senior Management Coaching for CEOs & VPs

Box 171322, Boston, MA 02117
Jack's Cell: 617-504-4222 

    

 

 

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Tags: sales coaching, sales, sales coach, sales tools, selling, closing sales, Sales quota, sales training, sales plans

5 More Rules for the Best 2016 Sales Planning Meetings

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Oct 28, 2015

Thanks very much for the comments and ideas from last week's blog post on "The (first) Five Rules".  As promised, here are the remaining five.  It may well be that you have your own, so let me and our readers know about your ideas by commenting below...

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Tags: sales coaching, sales coach, sales tools, sales plans, business planning, business plans, sales planning meetings