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Latest "Personal Development" Posts
Last week I shared how sales management has changed. Today I am sharing the top three skills sales managers need to succeed in this new era of sales.
The “State of Sales Productivity 2015” study by Docurated found that only one-third of a sales rep’s day is actually spent selling, while 31% of their time is spent searching for or creating content, and 20% is spent on reporting, administrative and CRM-related tasks. Nowadays, 44% of B2B organizations do not verify if the business is valid before passing it to sales, and 50% of leads come from outside the standard process, according to a study by IKO System. This all adds up to a lot of wasted time and effort for both sellers and sales managers.
While companies may have been able to get away with wasting time in the past, companies that want to make it in this new fast-paced era of sales will have to have a laser focus on the activities that drive results. There is no room for dawdling. What’s the solution? Better sales management.
Below are three sales management skills necessary for thriving in the new era of sales.
1) Selecting targets.
There’s an adage that salespeople talk to whomever will talk to them. In the new world of selling, your responsibility is to make certain they are talking to the decision makers who can approve large opportunities that will come to fruition in the near future. Working with sales leadership, you must establish a filter that helps to define the most likely candidates for higher-opportunity sales efforts.
The Power of a Sales Bucket List
I just turned 50. I know it’s just a number, still…. The day itself passed without much fanfare and I truly did not feel much different than the day before. Over the course of the next few days, however, I did start to consider what were my past milestones and what I want my future ones to be. Of course, a bucket list is bigger than your career. We do spend a lot of our time working, so having a few items from a sales career on the list makes sense.
I challenge you to make a bucket list for your sales career.
To help you get started, here are some challenges to consider:
- What is the size of the biggest sale you would like to land?
- Is there a company with whom you have always wanted to work?
- How many people would you like to successfully mentor?
- If you are a local or regional sales person, would you like to set a goal of closing a national or international customer?
- Would you challenge yourself to publish a book on your knowledge, participate in a nationally recognized panel on the topic or record a nationally distributed video on your insights?
Here are a few of my own:
- Close an 11-figure contract.
- Write a New York Times bestseller on selling.
- Speak to an audience of greater than 10,000 at one event.
Bucket lists are big items that challenge you. These ones challenge me. What is on your list?
An entrepreneur shares the 5 most important lessons he learned while undergoing through the traumatic experience of closing down his business.
My friend Richard just closed his business. He’s a smart person, creative, ethical and hard-working. It was a big blow, but he’s a positive person and now he’s back at it. I asked him to share what he learned from the experience and I found his response so encouraging I wanted to share it:
“Having closed a thirty-year old commercial plumbing contracting business that I bought from its founders in 1999, I share these lessons learned for the benefit of my fellow serial entrepreneurs.
#1. Be Careful When Choosing Partners
After previously doing two large, successful projects in partnership with another specialty trade contractor, I learned the hard way that who you select as partners matters. Really matters, as in life and death matters.
When the senior executive with whom I had done the other projects left the firm, I had no reason to think that things wouldn’t continue in the same positive manner. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Not only did the new executives take $8 million of my scope of work after we secured a big hospital deal together, I ultimately had to file a lien and lawsuit for damages approximating $1 million.
#2. Don’t Wait to Deal With Problems
When my partner company started shorting my monthly draws by $30,000 to $40,000 towards the end of the project, I should have reduced payments to my vendors in kind.
Great athletes put the odds in their favor by having a routine that helps them start each day right. Why don’t you? Here are three tips to do just that.
Most top athletes go through a preparation routine before every game which starts long before they get on the field. The best ones usually start the moment they awake. They follow this pattern with a fierce devotion because it activates all sorts of subconscious and autonomic systems that put that athlete “in the zone.” “In the zone” describes a condition of readiness and awareness that helps prepare that person for success.
If you eliminate the quirky, (Tiger Woods makes his hotel bed for instance), the obsessive, (Michael Phelps’ ritualistic warm-ups), and the bizarre, (Rocky Balboa’s dozen raw eggs for breakfast), and you just look at patterns, putting yourself in the zone to have a great day is a solid idea.
As a business owner and leader, you set the pace for the rest of your organization. Your company, even if it has just a few employees, is a reflection of you. Sharpen your company by first sharpening yourself at the dawn of each day.
Start with awakening. Let’s take the first 30 minutes to get you in the zone.
1. Body–Coming out of bed, your body needs three things for certain–water, protein and movement. Without being indelicate, your systems were all working through the night and they need to complete their cycles. Starting with 16 ounces of water gets you started on the eight glasses you already know you need to get anyway and begins the benefits that moving fluids through your body starts.
How to tell if stress is getting the better of you–and why a clean sock drawer might be bad news for your business.
One of my mentors describes how she knows when she has become out of control:
“When my sock drawer is perfectly folded, sorted and lined up, I know that I am out of control in my life.”
Her logic is simple—the sock drawer is the lowest priority item on her life’s to-do list. When everything else is out of control, she sorts her sock drawer. At least then she can feel like she got something done and is back in control. However, a clean sock-drawer may be a bad sign for a business owner.
Recognizing that all of us have some version of a “sock drawer” in our life, have you figured out what yours is and what condition it’s in?
This can be a crazy time of year for lots of businesses. Budgets, seasonal sales concentration, holidays eating into production time…the list is long. What happens during these high-strain periods can dictate the culture of your company and its performance. As the leader, you have to make certain you set the right tone. Stress is contagious. If you are coping with stress in a negative way, your employees will feel equally out of control. When that sense of helplessness rolls down hill, bad outcomes are the result. Check yourself on these indicators:
Symptoms that you are handling stress the wrong way:
- Elevator button follow-up—We’ve all pushed an elevator button several times with the ridiculous belief that doing so will make the elevator move faster.
How to use humor to your advantage when it comes to sales.
While it’s tempting for sales pros to try to hit one out of the park, here’s why they should stay in their sweet spot
What to do when a prospect’s in-house guru threatens to stop your proposal in its tracks
How to manage your sales team’s eleventh-hour fear, panic, and frustration
What to do when someone on the other side of the negotiating table gets hostile