Prepare, Be positive & Stand up!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Mar 26, 2020

No one needs to tell us how difficult this is!

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Tags: sales forecasting, sales leadership, sales management productivity, sales effectivness, 2020 business plans, 2020 sales plans

Sugarin' season in Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, Feb 27, 2020

The rhythm of the seasons...Taint spring yet

I was reminded yesterday of the inevitable rhythm of the seasons both in VT and in the world of Sales.  It seems that for some yet unknown reason, a decision has been made to redo the kitchen in Vermont.  Not that I was consulted or even asked in this decision process, but I was told that a decision had been made all the same. Given this, I reached out to my friend Steve at Homestead, the company up at the end of the road a piece that does the plowing in the winta', the lawn in the summa' and basically everything else from landscaping to construction at the VT house.  

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Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, sales enablement, sales boot camp, improving sales productivity, sales leadership, sales effectivness, sales motivation, sales readiness

Workin' hard into February

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, Feb 08, 2020

As I write this on a 14-degree sunny Saturday morning, I'm just in from snowblowing deep in the woods of Winhall (or Bondville) Vermont (pop.647).  Known by the State of Vermont, the town of Winhall is-according to the Feds-also the village of Winhall in the town Bondville.  Or maybe it's the other way around. Hard to figure.   

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Tags: sales leadership, sales success, Sales Hiring Perfectly, sales management plans, sales management productivity, selling trust, sales motivation, writing sales plans, sales readiness

Want more customers?  Maybe a great job?  All about your connections!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Jan 21, 2020

Already deep into January....

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Tags: sales planning meetings, sales leadership, sales management plans, sales effectivness, sales motivation, 2020 business plans, 2020 sales plans, writing sales plans

2020-a year to be very curious

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Jan 15, 2020

Right now I'm about four hours away from my first Marketing course of this new semester at Tufts, and I never know who's more nervous or excited about the upcoming 13 weeks- me or the students? 

Experience says that it's always me!.

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Tags: sales leadership, sales management productivity, Tufts Entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, 2020 business plans, 2020 sales plans

When you're going through hell, what do you do?

In mid-July, I wrote about doing a first half year review, taking score of where you are and re-planning for the second half of the year.  That tactic of the first half review is used in business, in life, in football, and I'm now just suggesting to do it later this week for everyone working in Sales and now facing the critical 4th Quarter.  Very simply, when the 4th Quarter is finished on the 31st of December, it's game over, and the 2019 numbers are posted for all to see on the scoreboard.  No more time, no more timeouts, no more substitutions, no more injured players, no more excuses.  Done!!!

  • True salespeople, women and men, sales execs or BDRs, district managers or CEOs always know exactly where they are in their revenue metrics.  I'm currently in the critical process of signing up partners to the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, and I don't need to have my head of finance remind me where I am...but she does all the time...because she's a strong manager and a critical partner, and at the end of the day, money is money!   Bottom line is that I'm behind, and I now need to double down in effort, add more time to the sales clock and execute on a couple of new short term tactics. 
  • This week, theoretically there's 13 weeks left in the year, but in the cold hard reality of vacations and holidays, there's really nine. Given that, today, as in Monday, the last day of Q3, you should be totally focused on today, and then on Tuesday, as in tomorrow, immediately shift that focus to Q4 and the remaining 50 selling days left in the year.

Congratulations! to those of you who wake up tomorrow morning knowing that you're ahead of the game for the year, that the team is fully balanced, everyone is trained and amped up for the long drive through the rest of the quarter. 

Like the Pats, it's great to be ahead of the pack!

For those of us behind the curve, me included, it's time to change something since whatever it is that we've been doing for the past 270 days or so has not been working that well, and given current course and speed, the simple math says that nothing will change.  As professionals in the science of Sales, we gave up on the "Strategy of Hope" a very long time ago. It doesn't take that many slaps upside the head from past failures to figure out that the "same old, same old" even with a fresh coat of paint, rarely works.  

TIME to Create a New Game Plan

  •  It's the 4th Quarter which brings with it all of the normal issues of competition, focus, pricing discounts
     and the lack of time on the part of everyone on both sides of the buying and selling table.
  • In this particular 4th quarter, add to the lack of time, the confusion about tariffs, the stupidity of both political parties and the brain-dead media rapidly talking the country into a recession.  But, given the buoyancy of the economy, low unemployment, low interest rates and wheelbarrows of cash still parked on the sidelines, there's plenty of buying power left in corporate America... at least for the short term. 
  •  Today announce that you're gathering the team around the table this Friday morning at 7:30 to spend the entire morning walking through every strategy, every tactic, every contingency scenario and every personnel resource you're going to need during the next 53 days of the quarter.  Give assignments out today so that everyone is prepared and everyone has something to present.

And, btw, wherever you are on whichever side of the competitive edge you are on today, it could be a lot worse!  Imagine if you're a senior manager or are on the sales teams of WeWork, Peloton, Boeing or Juul having to rebuild your entire business model and your product plans.

  • I also think back to the readings of my sales coach, SunTzu, who time and again has pulled me out of the sales doldrums and has givin me immediate short and mid-term focus to the tactical job at hand. 
  • Similarly, Eisenhower's response when after learning on that morning of the highly planned invasion of the beaches at Normandy that everything was disastrously falling apart by the hour, he executed a totally revised tactical plan which quickly got the soldiers off the beaches.  Weeks after, he was quoted with "It's not the plan that's important; it's the planning process.".  
  • And it was from those dark early days of the war when Britain stood alone following the invasion of France and the disaster at Dunkirk that Winston Churchill responded with "When you're going through hell, keep going", followed again and again with "Never, never, never give up".  

Things to do this week:

1. Get that Friday morning planning session together with assignments and concise and impactful tactical presentations focused on the remaining 50ish days.  Don't allow anyone to complain about their lack of time, or those big bad competitors, or the problems with tariffs when in fact, it's most probably the lack of small, focused tactical selling plans that's the real problem.

 

2. Focus on geographies at the Friday planning meeting.  With a small number of days left in the year, we need to focus on streets, not states.  There are 31 NFL cities in the U.S.   The cities themselves  account for 10% of the U.S. population.  The "greater" population directly around those cities equals another 25%.  Go where the customers are and the prospects are going to be. Don't waste time exploring new geographies!  

3. Pick your critical metrics and communicate them every week  Next week institute 30 minute team calls every Monday morning at 7:30, and at the end a day midweek-either Wednesday or Thursday-to discover on a peer-to-peer basis-what tactics worked and the results that came from them.   

Have a great day selling today !

Please stay connected!

Advisor, Derby Management, experts in-
-Sales & Marketing Productivity
-Business and Strategic Planning
WHAT WE DO AT DERBY MANAGEMENT    

Director, TEC-Tufts Entrepreneurship Center
Cummings Family Chair Professor of Entrepreneurship
Spark-Incubate-Accelerate@Tufts
Come to our Events

2019 $100K New Ventures
Cell:  617-504-4222 jack.derby@tufts.edu



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Tags: sales planning meeting, sales leadership, sales management productivity, sales motivation

Nothing ! gets better by itself...

 

"They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself"


...Andy Warhol

 


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Tags: price waterhouse coopers, student intern marketing projects, sales planning meetings, sales leadership, value propositions, selling trust, sales motivation

Welcome to the Spring-Don't Get Stuck in the Mud!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Mar 22, 2019

Of course the announcement of the beginning of Spring brings out all of that amorphous stuff about rebirth, awakening and new growth.  For me, after all of these springs, I'm sure that those touchy feelings also exist somewhere neatly filed in some dusty corner of my brain right alongside my desire to look for the first robin.  Not really !

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Tags: entreprenurial, Sales Management Best Practices, sales optomization, sales management boot camp, improving sales productivity, sales leadership, Making Tough Choices

10 Lessons for Success from a Serial Entrepreneur!

At the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, in addition to shepherding 450 enthusiastic and curious students a semester among 16 wicked smart professors, I've been focusing on building an event structure throughout the year that leads up to our $100K New Venture Competition in the spring.  Right now, you should Mark April 5th in your calendar and come and participate in what Forbes ranks as one of "The top 15 business plan contests in the country." 

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Tags: sales leadership, value propositions, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management plans, creating trust in sales, Tufts Entrepreneurship

Activities, Activities, Activities...and more Sales

 

All about the team, a strong sales culture...and having fun

 I was sitting in a board meeting at Brainshark yesterday and listening to Colleen Honan, the highly experienced and talented Chief Sales Officer, talk about activity planning.  Colleen has all of the background, the years, and the depth of experience to truly be qualified as the head of sales of a leading tech company.  She's disciplined in her approach, fluent in new processes and technology and unrelenting in her approach to sales coaching, sales planning, sales training while  having fun at the same time.  

So when I walked in to the headquarters in Waltham at 7:30 yesterday, I was not surprised to see the salespeople already at work planning out their activities for the day and getting in early morning calls.  I was however, a bit taken back by the fact that one of the leading teams of 20 or so, was dressed in tuxes and gowns.  And then I learned that Colleen had been talking to them about the Gatsby generation, which inspired this very hard working team of classic millennials to dress the part for the day. So very cool...and engaging...and being part cementing the team!

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Tags: Tufts marketing projects, interns for marketing projects, sales leadership, Sales Hiring Perfectly, jack derby professor at Tufts, how to write a sales plan, sales management productivity, sales effectivness, sales plans for 2018