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You probably don’t need me to tell you that 2020 has been a year like no other. Let’s be honest: there were (and are) no playbooks for magically reversing what’s happened in the marketplace during this historically tumultuous period.
Given the upheavals and uncertainty of 2020, many leaders and salespeople have been asking us what we see on the horizon as the next year approaches. What skills and adaptations will be necessary not just to survive, but to thrive in 2021?
This is a question we often hear from sales leaders, and it’s a topic that we could spend hours, days, or weeks examining in depth. In this brief article, we’ll look at two powerful resources that can keep sales teams (and sales leaders) on track: the KARE profiling system and the Pursuit Navigator tool – both of which were created by Sandler.
In today’s current market conditions, leaders need to accept that the success of their teams and their companies will rely heavily on striking a collaborative, coordinated balance between creative strategic thinking and effective implementation.
Attracting and keeping good salespeople is at the top of every sales manager’s list of priorities. The better we are at inspiring and holding on to great salespeople, the happier, the more engaged, and the more successful they will be.
2020 was the year. Your company was going to experience exponential growth. The plans had been meticulously prepared and presented, blessed by the board, applauded by all business unit leaders around the table.
Many of the sales leaders I talk to these days tell me that they are struggling with the issue of keeping the team(s) focused. Of course, this problem, which extends across all industries, comes at a time when many of us are directly or indirectly confronting issues related to the global pandemic, to financial pressures on both the personal and organizational scales, and to questions of social unrest. It's not all that surprising that sales teams are distracted. Everyone is distracted. The question is, what do leaders do about it when that distraction reaches the point where it affects revenue generation?
Every one-on-one meeting with someone who reports to you is unique. Each will have its own priorities and its own dynamic, based on the personalities, experiences, and professional roles of the participants. That said, there are some important topics for sales leaders to cover during each weekly one-on-one meeting with any salesperson.
The companies that emerge stronger from a crisis all share one common strength –their sales and leadership teams are willing and able to move beyond their existing comfort zones, look to where new opportunities lie, set new priorities, and create new action plans.
During any crisis our instinct is to focus on the recent past, the ‘Old Normal’ and the immediate impact of the crisis itself. This fails to take into account the fact that the future is highly unlikely to be a return to business as usual but rather, a “New Normal.”
When we experience a crisis, we may be strongly tempted to focus our attention on what was happening during the period that came right before the crisis, the ‘Old Normal.’ We may even be preoccupied with the current impact of the crisis itself. It goes against all tenets of self-preservation to look beyond that immediate time of crisis and instead focus on a plan of action in the future recovery phase.
Here, then, are three tips that can help you become more successful as a sales leader in creating a predictable operational rhythm – a cadence – if you find yourself responsible for the performance of a remote sales team.
Setting clear expectations is an important part of any sales leader’s working day. Unfortunately, it’s something that doesn’t always happen as effectively or as consistently as we might like. Here are five simple steps you can take to get better at this critical part of the job.
If you’re a sales leader, you are tasked with striking a delicate balance. Your job is not to sell for the members of your team – selling is what you hire, train, and retain good salespeople to do, after all. Yet your job is to help shape the business development strategies that make the most sense for your business, for the salespeople who report to you, and of course for your customers.
Leadership is more than learning the characteristics and habits of effective leaders. Truly effective leaders ensure the organization has clear direction and an infrastructure which will enhance the probability of the organization successfully achieving their vision.
One of the main goals of an L&D strategy is to improve employees’ performance. Your training sessions must result in a motivated and resourceful staff, one able to close more sales. But how do you create a strategy that actually improves employee’s performance?
Many of you reading this article right now have a team (or teams) of people that report to you in some form or another. As you think about those people, your time spent leading them, managing them, coaching them, developing them, working with them, and yes… all of the other things you have to do as part of your roles or responsibilities, it doesn’t leave much time to add on a thorough accountability process to that list… or does it?
As a sales leader, you're measured by your team’s performance. Ultimately, you're judged based on their ability to generate revenues sufficient to meet or exceed your corporate goals. So no matter how good you may have once been as a seller, it’s important to understand that selling is not your job now … and you can't expect to generate enough revenue to meet your team’s quotas simply by acting as a player-coach.
It’s the start of a new year, with new goals, new challenges, and new opportunities. Each sales team is unique … but every team leader in every industry is, we believe, likely to be interested in the answer to a critical question about the year 2020: What can we do to improve closing ratios and margins this year? Here are three proven strategies to consider from the Sandler leadership playbook.
Have you ever wondered why a once-promising new hire is performing far below your initial expectations? From one perspective, what’s happening here is pretty simple: the person you hired is not the person you interviewed. The dynamic at work in an interview situation is similar to the dynamic at work on a first date./blog/how-succeed-onboarding-new-hires-podcast
Holding salespeople accountable: This is one of the major challenges of managing a sales team – regardless of whether it’s a traditional team where people show up for work at a central physical location, or a team working remotely, or a team at a call center. What, exactly, is the best way to do this? And how do you do it without falling into the trap of micromanaging people?
I remember taking a parenting class when my boys were young. The big takeaways from the class were the requirement to tell your child what the consequences of their behavior would be and to be clear on what you expected from them. I recall my boys’ mother and me saying to each other on numerous occasions, “We can’t get mad at them if we weren’t clear with our expectations.” Sometimes, the principle sounded like this: “Don’t punish them if you didn’t tell them they would be punished.”
What kind of salesperson should you always be on the lookout for? What specific traits does the ideal sales hire always possess, no matter what industry you’re in, and no matter what your market looks like?
Of all the sales leaders we work with, we consistently hear the same adage: “I need to hold my salespeople accountable.” That's fine in theory, but the question that sales leaders must ask themselves first is, “What exactly am I holding them accountable to?”
The aggressive, sustainable growth so many company leaders seek, but few can actually point to, lies in moving yourself and your organization into a growth-driven sales culture. The following three steps are essential preliminaries to that shift.
In addition to the people in your company who deliver services and keep operations running, how much do you value the folks who bring in the most revenue, i.e. the top sales performers? Answering this question directly should be part of your overall business plan.
If your answer is “no” then you can stop reading now because nothing in here will be useful to you. If you answered “yes,” then you are definitely not alone. Here are five tools to increase innovative thinking.
One of the things I talk about often with sales leaders who are eager to maximize their team’s performance is the principle of reinforcement. All too often, we think of training for salespeople as a one-and-done initiative, as something we can check off a list once the "training" event is over and consider finished. Actually, the training we have invested in is next to worthless if it is not reinforced over time, incorporated as a personal priority, and made an ongoing topic for discussion within a personalized sales coaching plan. Reinforcement is thus one of the neglected secrets of effective sales leadership.
In the business world it’s often been said, “Our strongest asset is our people.” But how often is it stated that they are also your greatest weakness? Every business can benefit from a reality check. If you use a systematic strategy for developing the people in your key roles, that reality will likely reveal the valuable human assets on your team.
The internal revolution that delivers a predictable, rapid growth curve requires a scalable sales team. This revolution always starts with the sales leader; it is always launched, modeled, promoted and defended by that leader, in close collaboration with the senior leadership of the company; and it always expands outward.
Very often, managers who lead sales teams find themselves saying something like the following: “I have told them how to do X a hundred times, and it never seems to stick. I just don’t know what their problem is.” Or these managers may find themselves thinking, “Maybe I just hired the wrong person.” At such a moment, it makes sense to ask: Is the problem really with “them?” Or could at least part of the problem be with us?
Many organizations underestimate the power of content when it comes to boosting sales conversions. With the right content metrics in place, your sales team will be better prepared to tackle – and close – a lead successfully.
If you are a leader in your organization, it’s a pretty good bet that you count on the members of, say, your accounting team to use the same terms and the same methodologies when they are collaborating to complete their work. For instance: You assume that when one person on the accounting team refers to the “cost of goods sold,” they mean the same thing as everyone else on the accounting team.
Trials and demos can be an important part of your sales cycle, especially in the enterprise space. Another term for a trial or demo, is the “Monkey’s Paw,” which is a small version of your larger service or a consulting project. A successful Monkey’s Paw has three components, which are similar to a successful trial.
Wendy Gates Corbet, President of Refresher Training, speaker, and former global board member of ATD (Association for Talent Development), shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful at creating and delivering training programs in your organization. Get the best practices for training collected from around the world.
As sales leaders, we need to accept that we will ultimately be judged on our ability to hire and retain people who are both willing and able to do the job of selling. If either of those elements is missing in a sales hire that happens on our watch, we’re not doing our job.
Just like we need food and nourishment for our physical self, so does our business. However, while our body tells us we are hungry and it is time to eat, our business doesn’t necessarily do the same. Therefore, it is critical that we put plans in to place to make time to ‘feed’ our business.
Many managers are surprised to hear us suggest that it’s important to meet one-on-one with every salesperson on staff at least every other week. Some even say it’s impossible! But it’s not. If you keep the meetings brief ... if you think of these interactions as check-ins rather than as opportunities to “fix” people …
On this episode, Bill Morrison from Sandler Training in EMEA speaks with Daniel Zamudio, founder and CEO of PlayBoox. Bill and Daniel discuss an important idea in sales and sales leadership in corporate organizations; how to take great strategies and turn them into action with a playbook. What should be included in your playbook? Effective ways to create and share a playbook in order to get on track and stay on track.
I’m often asked to identify a single “blind spot” that keeps leaders from growing their businesses aggressively. There are actually a number of these … but one that’s particularly common is the failure to collect best practices and assemble them in a regularly updated “playbook.”
There’s a tendency on the part of some managers to expect their new sales hires to “hit the ground running.” Often, managers justify this expectation by telling themselves that they only hire “self-starters.” Both of these assumptions are part of an ineffective hire-and-forget approach, one that can and should be remedied by a solid onboarding plan that’s based on a series of monthly one-on-one coaching conversations.
In enterprise selling, there is a heavy focus on business value. Watch to see how Brian Sullivan, VP of Sandler Enterprise Selling, addresses this challenge through the Sandler Enterprise Selling Program.
At many of the organizations we work with, the size of the average sales team has increased over the past decade. Given that there are a limited number of working hours, and given that sales leaders now find themselves responsible for supervising, training, mentoring, and coaching larger teams, what best practices should they embrace when it comes to time management? Here are three to consider.
In addition to following the basic principles of not presenting too early and ensuring that the presentation is delivered as one component of an effective professional sales process, there are four steps sales professionals can follow to ensure more effective presentations.
Joe Ippolito, Sandler trainer from Boston, shows you how to succeed at building a winning sales team with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful in management. Get the best practices collected from around the world for recruiting, hiring and onboarding top sales talent.
The hot labor market is stressing hiring managers and their organizations like no other job cycle in the last 20 years. Despite the mounting pressure of filling an open role, organizations that remain true to their hiring standards will win in the long term.
Erin Pheil, Founder of the Mindfix Group out of Denver, talks about how to succeed at overcoming common head trash issues in sales with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful. Get the best practices collected from around the world for overcoming these mental roadblocks.
Steve Herzog, Sandler trainer, shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful at recruiting top talent. Get the best practices collected from around the world.
The SalesAccountability platform offers a wide variety of functions to help your team improve their sales process. Learn how to add users and setup teams within the platform to hold your team more accountable!
Justin Stephens, Sandler trainer, shows you how to succeed at following up with prospects with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful in sales. Get the best practices collected from around the world for following up.
Dave Trapani, Sandler trainer, shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful at managing your pipeline. Get the best practices collected from around the world.
David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training and 6-Time Best-Selling Author, talks about his fifth book, Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders. The book is on sale here, as well as, the companion video course.
Most of us who lead teams and organizations readily acknowledge that we should be doing more to invest in the personal and professional development of the people who report to us. We have a lot of responsibilities, we get busy, and, all too often, we don’t take action on this essential priority.
The first month of the year is a classic time for sales professionals to focus with intensity on identifying and fulfilling their most important personal and organizational goals. We’ve noticed, though, that the goal setting behavior of an organization’s leaders during the month of January tends to have the biggest bottom-line impact on the year as a whole.
David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training and 6-Time Best-Selling Author, talks about his fifth book, Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders. The book is on sale here, as well as, the companion video course.
David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training and 6-Time Best-Selling Author, talks about his fifth book, Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders. The book is on sale, as well as, the companion video course.
Consider these three, often overlooked, reasons to remember how critical Q1 is to your business’s growth. Each reason represents a specific opportunity for your organization to start strong and make the very most of 2019.
Lisette Howlett, Sandler trainer and author of the new book, The Right Hire, shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful at hiring salespeople. Get the best practices collected from around the world.
There is much research proving that proper sales coaching can lift your sales 20% or more. Not only does coaching increase revenues, it also builds a culture of self-sufficiency, growth, and retention.
All too often, what holds salespeople back in terms of reaching their potential is not a missing sales skill or an improperly applied technique. More often than managers like to imagine, the problem is a failure of leadership.
Not only is it important to set goals for the New Year, but it also makes sense to take some time to reflect on the successes and setbacks from 2018. Below are four suggestions on how leaders can use insights and learnings from the year just past to shape their organizational growth plan for 2019.
If I asked a group of sales leaders, what motivates their salespeople, money is going to come up more often than not. And yes, money is important as it does pay the bills. And for some, money can be used as a scorecard. But are true high performers only motivated by money?
Leaders: January will be here before you know it! With that inescapable reality in mind, consider the following five strategies you can use right now to ensure that your business is positioned for maximum growth in 2019.
David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training, talks about how to introduce a manager or another team member to your prospect. Learn the best practices collected from over a thousand Sandler employees around the world.
Early in John Wooden’s coaching career, his team had a hotshot player. He was arrogant, self-absorbed and put his needs before the needs of the team. This ego-centric player took far too many shots and did not involve other players in the offense, contrary to the style of basketball that Wooden was noted for. In basketball vernacular, he was a “gunner.” Yet, he was by far the teams’ most talented player, but Coach Wooden knew that one guy will never beat a team of five competitors.
What can leaders do to ensure that sales and marketing teams are on the same page and pursuing the same business goals? Here are five strategies the most successful company leaders implement on a consistent basis.
The approach of a new calendar year can be one of those times leaders begin asking themselves author Jim Collins’s famous question, “Have we got the right people in the right seats on the bus?” It’s a good question for any time of year, of course … but since the turn of the calendar can often deliver a sense of new purpose and focus for both teams and leaders, the period leading up to January 1 can indeed be a great time to reassess your organization’s personnel strategies.
Chris Lewis is the CEO and Founder of LEWIS, one of the world's largest private communication companies. He joins us to talk about his new book and the attitude, behaviors, and techniques of top performing leaders in the new century. Learn how to succeed at leadership in the 21st century.
January is coming. As a leader, this may mean the implementation of strategically necessary change initiatives that affect the sales team in 2019, such as the restructuring of territories or the revision of the team comp plan.
David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler, shares his thoughts about how to improve your interviewing and hiring capabilities. He shares 5 tips to take your interviewing to the next level. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of top leaders and how they interview.
With January rapidly approaching, many sales leaders have started thinking about the team goals they will be setting for 2019. Team goals are important, of course … but it’s essential to bear in mind that they are, by definition, the sum total of individual goals, and the individuals on your sales team are motivated by different things. Here are three critical steps sales leaders can take to support their team members’ personal goal-setting process in the coming year.
Get valuable insights on forward-thinking marketing concepts from Pam Didner, author of Global Content Marketing. Take a dive deep into effective engagement with your customers and connecting your marketing strategy with your sales team.
As the end of the year is approaching, sales professionals in every industry are eager to lay a solid foundation for success in 2019. One of the most common business-related New Year’s resolutions among managers is this one: “I will hold more one-on-one coaching sessions with the members of my team this year.” It’s fine as far as it goes … but is it enough?
With Q4 upon us, it makes sense to start thinking carefully about what has worked – and what could be improved – in your prospecting plan this year. Here are three ideas to consider that have helped salespeople we’ve worked with to create better “cookbooks” (daily and weekly action plans) for effective prospecting. You may want to consider adopting all three of them as this year closes … and as the next year approaches.
David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler, shares his thoughts about delegating and how to pass the baton in a way that gets results. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of top leaders and how the delegate tasks.
Many managers ask us for help in identifying the best way for them to support their new hires, so these employees can more rapidly reach the point where they become productive team members. The four strategies listed below will help you to do a better job of training and coaching new employees with little or no experience in the role – so they can make bigger contributions more quickly.
One of the most powerful strategies leaders can use to support their own effective decision-making is also one of the simplest: Build trusted members of your team, people who think differently than you do, into your decision-making process.
People will work much, much harder for their own reasons than they will ever work for your reasons. You, as a manager, have an obligation to find out exactly what those reasons are. And the very best way to do that is by leading with kindness.
Jim Marshall, a long-time Sandler trainer from Florida, joins the podcast to talk about how first-time managers can be successful at coaching their direct reports. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of great leaders, and learn how to incorporate them into your new management position.
Most managers we talk to would quickly agree with Drucker’s observation, and with the related proposition that their team’s capacity to learn, grow, and adapt is one of the organization’s most important assets. Yet very few of these managers have taken the time to discuss and develop a personalized learning and development plan for the team members who report to them.
Dave Mattson shares his thoughts on sales leadership and how to build a culture of continuous improvement through role play. This Selling the Sandler Way take is a great listen before your next sales meeting.
Sharlene Douthit joins the podcast for the first time to talk about employee retention. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of great leaders, and learn how to incorporate them into your culture to stop turnover and keep valuable employees.
Recently, I’ve done a lot of talks on conflict resolution the Sandler way, which I consider the cornerstone of personal and organizational success. I’ve received many requests from audience members asking me to summarize the talks in written form. With those requests in mind, here are nine points to consider when you find yourself facing drama and conflict — and you wish you weren’t.
When leaders hear the word “diversity,” they often think about gender, or race, or geography. Those are all important issues to consider, of course. But there’s an under-examined aspect of diversity that too many leaders overlook: behavioral styles. This aspect of diversity is the great unexplored topic the contemporary workplace. We find that managers who address this issue of behavioral diversity, and train and reinforce accordingly, benefit from a team with varying perspectives. That means better problem-solving, better communication, and better outcomes.
Chris joins us to talk about how to hold your team accountable and how to demand excellence from yourself and others. What does it mean to set a high bar, and how to do you pull it off without upsetting your team
When we use the word “Excellent” to describe a business or a team, we’re talking about a certain specific way of doing business. In our experience, there are three clear criteria that consistently define organizational excellence
Learn how to improve your team's chances of success in the supply chain industry. Ralph Henderson, Sandler Trainer, talks to Dave Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler, about how the ideal attitudes, behaviors and techniques in the supply chain world.
To produce and grow at the rate which you need to be successful, you must have a dynamic sales team. The team must be formed through careful planning, hard work, and collaborative efforts. From a 10,000-foot view, this may seem easily accomplished, but let’s go more in-depth and tackle some of the inherent challenges with hiring and onboarding the right team.
Learn how to improve your team's attitude, behavior and technique to improve their chances of success. Eric Dunn talks about how to breathe life and results into your sales team. Learn the best practices for improving effectiveness and efficiency.
Learn how to empower your employees to take ownership and learn how to solve problems on their own. Clint Babcock talks about how to know which things to take off your plate and put them onto someone else's. You can't be great at everything, but you can build a team that is.
Some managers start looking for fires to start with their team, so that they can swoop in to the rescue. They have no time to set up a meaningful accountability program, they’ll say, because they have too many (self-started) fires to fight. Most of the leaders I work with are dubious at first that they could ever play the role of the Primary Arsonist. Yet it’s easier to fall into this pattern without realizing it than you might imagine.
Learn how to apply the DISC personality framework to uncovering prospect's buying motivations or PAIN, in Sandler terms. Hamish Knox, Sandler trainer and author, returns to the podcast to talk with Dave Mattson about combining these two classic Sandler frameworks and selling strategies.
Learn how to be an effective manager, by learning how to coach and train. Tom Niesen and Dave Mattson, two very experienced coaches and trainers talk about what it takes to improve your team's performance through coaching and training.
If you want a better team, become a better manager. Dave Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training interview John Rosso, Sandler author and David H. Sandler award-winner, about effective sales leadership. What are the roles of a good leader?
The digital revolution is innovative, inspiring, and even pervasive. We’ve come a long way in a short period of time, and many of the things we take for granted now weren’t even in the realm of possibility a few decades ago. As impressive as they are, the reach and impact of electronics when it comes to communication can have detrimental effects. Below, I identify three important elements that should always be involved in business relationships, no matter how advanced technology becomes.
Communication is important to a growing business and sales team, but that’s only part of the equation. Employee development is another key aspect for continued growth and success. While this topic is often incorporated into business plans, it’s commonly overlooked and bypassed in pursuit of other priorities. Below are four reasons why employee development should be at the top of the list.
Most managers go into massive “critical parent” mode when they realize, too late, that a salesperson has a lot of ground to make up the remainder of the year. They say things like, “You need to sort yourself out and get back on track...” and they think it’s going to work! The truth is it never works… although a salesperson sometimes produces good results in spite of what the manager says.
Eric Warner, Sandler trainer from Boston, talks about the attitude, behavior, and technique needed to properly execute a job interview. Whether your next hire is this week or later this year, learn how to prepare for and execute a job interview that results in a successful new hire.
Dave Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training, talks to Tom Niesen about selling the Sandler way and the four different hats that sales leaders have to wear. Learn why each is crucial to your team's success.
Dave Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training and 6-time author, returns to the show to talk about his new book, The Road to Excellence, 6 Strategies for Building a Bulletproof Business! You will learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of the top performing organizations, and how you can apply these principles to continuously improve your company.
Improving your efficiency or effectiveness is only as good as your method of determining and evaluating success. It’s easy to earn a win here or there, but repeated success over a long period of time can only be done through hard work, analysis, and reinforcement. Below, I have outlined five ways to gauge the success of your team, how you got there, and what to do to keep it up.
In today’s world, many managers don’t get to develop people the way they would like. It’s harder and harder to spend quality time with all the team members so managers must make sure each interaction delivers value for everyone. This means creating structure and clarity around all interactions with the team–or, as David Sandler put it, eliminating mutual mystification.
To be a successful salesperson, one needs to be aggressive and goal-oriented. While important, these competitive traits can lead to a one-track mind and give sellers tunnel vision. If this goes unchecked, salespeople will ignore the pursuits of their team members and their organization. The sooner salespeople realize that fostering an environment of mutual success is the most advantageous approach, the better.
Communication is key in any relationship. Whether that relationship is with your spouse, your peers, your children, or your employees, it always comes back to a transfer of information, honesty, and respect.
Dianna Booher is the author of 47 books, including Communicate Like A Leader, and founder of Booher Research. The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.
The new year is right around the corner and it’s filled with new opportunities and challenges. As we head into 2018, make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to lead your team to success. To be an effective manager, it’s important to fully understand your team dynamic. Below are five keys to doing just that.
Rule number 29, don't chase purple squirrels. Stay focused and stick to the agenda during sales meetings. People are pretty predictable and purple squirrels are defined as things that they throw onto a meeting that has nothing to do with the topic.
The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.
With the start of basketball season this month, it’s the perfect time to focus on building a great team. The phrase “dream team” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s most commonly referenced when discussing the incredible collection of talent that was assembled by USA Basketball for the 1992 Olympics.
Rule #25: Don't let sales people leave training in the classroom. Use a collaborative, equal partnership inside and outside the training room. Here's the bottom line for sales leaders. You may have other people doing training for your organization and training your people. But, ultimately, you are still responsible for your team.
Make sure your people understand roles and responsibilities. Miscommunication and keeping people in the dark is probably one of the ongoing challenges for any leader. When you have projects, let's assume that project is going to do something very important for your organization and you've got the right people on the project.
Rule number 23, create a culture of accountability. Help your people own their success. Listen, every time I do executive coaching, one of the top topics is how do I create a culture of accountability. Okay, I agree. We want it. We all strive for it. We want our people to accept challenges.
Rule number 22. Hey, people don't argue with their own data. Use self-discovery to break through performance barriers. I learned this a long time ago. People remember 20% of what they see, 30% of what they hear, but 90% of what they say and do.
The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.
Let’s face it motivation, or motivating others is hard, especially if they are employees of yours. One of the most common things I hear from business leaders is “our people just need to be motivated.” Now, in all honesty, this may be a true statement.
Rule number 21. Empower your people to succeed without you. Coaching creates wisdom. Now think about that for a second. Coaching is one of the four hats of leadership and you're going to spend anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of your time as a coach.
Change management is the systematic approach to transitioning from one environment to another through the reassignment of resources, business processes, budget allocations, or other aspects that significantly alter a company or organization.
Rule number 20. Mentor to a success profile. Create a success profile that people can grow into. Mentoring is where you're going to spend five to 10% of your time. It's a key aspect of leadership, but we don't do it often enough, so you need a process for it.
Bill Bartlett, a Sandler trainer and author of the best-selling Sandler book, The Sales Coach's Playbook, talks about his best practices for coaching your team through an organizational change. Bill shares his attitudes, behaviors, and techniques for coaching in this special episode.
Rule #19: Train Your Team. Make sure they get the skills necessary to do the job. Listen leaders, training is one of the four hats of leadership. You're going to spend anywhere from 20 to 30% of your time in your training function. Now, do I train less or more if I have experienced people? Of course, that's why you have a 20 to 30% swing. The more experienced people that you have, maybe the less that you have to train in some of the basic stuff.
Use The Navy SEAL's 40% Rule To Achieve The Impossible. A common obstacle of success in sales leadership is getting stuck in a rut. Worry, fear and doubt are manufactured emotions that can limit a sales team’s ability to achieve their goals and potential. The rut is a comfort zone for you and your organization. Success can still happen in the rut, but according to the Navy SEAL’s 40% Rule, the big wins will never be achieved here.
Rule #18: Create the Curbs on the Roadway. You know, too much supervision creates learned helplessness. Think about that as an example. Do you want to create learned helplessness on your team? Probably part of you does. The ego part of you wants everyone to ask you what to do next.
Culture is a term regularly associated with offices and sales organizations. Employees working in a positive work environment feel that the culture better reflects their beliefs and values and, in turn, they are more effective, efficient, and fulfilled in the work they do.
As you progress through your career, there comes a time when you need to stop moving horizontally, and begin to climb the ladder. When you realize where you are most valuable, and you decide to take the next step, that typically comes with the added responsibility of leadership.
You know as a leader, you're going to have many different roles throughout the day when you interact with your team and your coworkers. We call them the four hats of leadership. Those four hats are supervision, training, mentoring, and coaching. All four of them are equally as important. Supervision, goal setting, setting expectations, having daily conversations, sales funnel management.
Rule #16: Follow the four Goldie Locks steps. Use middle ground management as your strategy. We have two different types of managers if we go to extremes. We've got those who are detail oriented, and they're looking over your shoulders, and they're micro-managers. Micro-managers create an environment where people are afraid to act on their own, where they're afraid to take that next step. That's not a good place to live.
Joel Burstein, a Sandler trainer from Pittsburg, talks about his best practices for leading by example. Whether you are a first time manager or an experienced executive you are leading by example, whether you are intending to or not. Joel shares his attitudes, behaviors, and techniques for leading a team by setting a good example.
As a professional speaker one of the most common requests I get is to come in and speak to “get our people motivated” – although this sounds easy, it is not. Most organizations that make this request, we find out, have hired other “motivational speakers” before and it either did not work; or, if it did work, it was short term, and it wore off very quickly.
Rule #15: People work harder for their reasons than they do yours. Motivate the individual to hit the corporate goal. Here's what this means. We all have kids, and when you want a kid to play an instrument because you love the instrument and you want them to be successful, you push, push, push. If they don't have the passion, confidence, and conviction that that's what they want to do, they end up not doing it. You spend a lot of time and energy having them live through your eyes, and the same thing holds true with corporate goals.
Did you know that the average tenure of a Sales VP is only between 24-32 months? They barely have time to unpack their bags and get settled before they are looking for another position. In the meantime, the company has not only lost its Sales VP but probably its best sales person as well. Why is this? And is there something that can be done to change this dynamic?
Compensating the sales team is one of the toughest things to get right in your business. If you pay them too little, good salespeople will leave for better opportunities. Pay them too much, and they get complacent and stop growing revenue. To inspire and motivate top performing salespeople, you must use the Goldilocks Principle and get the compensation package “just right.” Let’s look at the pros and cons of some popular options.
Rule #13. Be a comfort zone buster. There's no room at Complacency Inn. What does that mean? Well, have you ever run into a situation where somebody on your team was killing it? I mean doing everything that they had to do, above and beyond, things that they felt uncomfortable doing and things that they felt comfortable doing.
Rule 12: Manage individuals; lead a team. There's no substitute for personal attention. Listen, every human wants to be paid attention to. Everyone wants this one-on-one connection. They want eye contact, they want one-on-one time, they want you to pay attention. This is true at home. Kids want your attention. They want you to ask questions. They want you to understand the deal.
In this episode of Selling the Sandler Way, Dave Mattson, the President and CEO of Sandler Training explores the Sandler Selling Philosophies behind the Sandler Selling System with Rich Isaac, a Sandler Trainer.
Rule #11: Mange behavior, not results. Create a cookbook or a recipe for success. You know, many sales leaders and sales managers, they manage numbers, not behavior. Think about that for a second. How many of us are knee deep into spreadsheets every single day?
As a manager or leader, you are tasked with many responsibilities. You must strive for success for each member of your team, for your company, and of course, for your clients. This balancing act can become overwhelming if you don’t properly prioritize your objectives and navigate the obstacles that combat effectiveness. Here are four key points to keep in mind in your quest for optimal efficiency.
As a leader, there’s a constant pressure to ensure your leadership approach stays up-to-date. Every year, the culture of the office deviates slightly from the year prior and the way that individuals want to learn and be led, shifts. Sometimes these changes are drastic, and other times they are slight. No matter the degree of change, it’s imperative that you are cognizant of the shift and are prepared to be a great resource to everyone who looks to you for guidance and mentorship.
Rule #8: See People through Their Lens. Use DISC to understand how you and your people see the world so that you can lead more effectively. You know the DISC behavioral model will help you understand how to communicate more effectively with your team and anywhere else. You've got to understand and acknowledge how they interpret the world: how they communicate, how they want to be motivated, how they see the world, and where you then can adapt your style to match theirs.
Rule #6: Create self-sufficiency. Don't fix but explore. You know as sales leaders, how many times in a given week do people come in and say, "I've got a big call tomorrow. What would you do, Dave?" Intuitively, I know what to do, and every ounce of my being wants to say, "Do this, this, this and this." But the problem with that is that they didn't connect the dots.
You and your team worked hard to land a new account and the prospect went with someone else. What now? If you’re at a loss for what to do next, below are five actionable items that you can implement with your team.
Rule #5: Eliminate miscommunication. What was said? What was heard? Check before you respond. You know, every person has three recorders that were taping since they were born. We have a Parent, an Adult and a Child. Three roles that we still have today if you think about it. But these tape recorders were starting and stopping at different times. And it affects how you interact with your team and how your team interacts with their sales force, even today.
Rule #4: Become a servant leader. Put the needs of your team first. In today's world, often times we've got to make sure that with all the things going on we're ultimately judged based on is our team producing? You're the leader. Senior Execs aren't looking around saying; "Hey, person number one, person number three." No. They look at you and say; "Is your team producing?"
I'm often asked by managers, "How do I motivate my people?" While I always appreciate the question, it's the wrong question to ask. The reason being is that if we must motivate our people as managers, we're working too hard. The reality is that the best people don't need motivation. Inspiration yes, but not motivation.
Holding your people accountable is simple. In working with sales leaders around the world, accountability isn’t easy because those leaders possess one of three self-limiting beliefs that cripple their accountability program.
If you were to Google ‘servant leadership,’ you would come across a list of traits that included some or all of the following; listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, building community, and nurturing. While each of these components are valuable, the sheer number of them convolutes a fairly straight forward ideology.
Developing a championship caliber sales team should be the goal of any sales leader. All champions, whether it is the Cubs, Patriots or newly crowned, Tarheels, are focused on doing their individual roles as well as possible, committed to the on-going improvement of themselves and the team, the culture sets high expectations, and the teams win. As difficult as this may be to accomplish for your sales team, it is not as hard as you think if you can implement these four championship elements.
2017 was going to be different. My sales team and I had lofty expectations and challenging goals, but we knew we would attain them. The year started off well and we saw positive results right out of the gate. Then, we lost a client, we had an issue with our network, and when the warm weather came through, we were completely knocked out of our groove. Sound familiar?
Do you have a written Leadership Philosophy that is well known by all the people in your company? It’s good for everybody when the top person knows exactly what to expect of him/herself. Creating your own personal Leader’s Compass is an easy task that will reap enormous benefits.
What does it take to be an effective leader? Do the skills that make you an effective manager—planning, organization, and communication—make you an effective leader? Or, does it take something else—something more?
It happens every single year. You begin with lofty sales goals and quotas in January – but by December, you wonder what happened and end up trying to figure out where your team went wrong. Lack of motivation may not be the problem – you may just be taking the wrong approach to goal setting.
The purpose of marketing is to support sales. In the broadest sense, marketing activities are the foundation for sales generation, whether it be through translating market needs into prioritized product or service requirements, clearly communicating unique value outward, or attracting and nurturing qualified prospects. In a narrower sense, marketing needs to support the sales team – steer them in the right direction and equip them with the tools they need to diagnose pains that the organization can solve uniquely well.
Our experience with sales teams is that less than 20% of all salespeople set written goals of any kind. We estimate that the income of this elite minority of salespeople is predictably and consistently greater than the 80-plus percent who don’t set written goals — combined! You can help each of the members of your team join the ranks of the top performers… by helping them to craft strong written goals.
Leaders need to be involved in both strategic planning and team goal setting, but there’s a built-in problem here. Teams often tend to focus on immediate tasks, on “putting out fires,” and on familiar routines rather than the strategically vital organizational targets we set for the coming year.
The last quarter of the calendar is both relieving because the end is in sight, but also foreboding for many sales teams if sales targets have not yet been met. An incredible amount of revenue exchanges hands in the last quarter, and many companies know that it can make the difference between a good fiscal year or a bad one, especially in product sales. Managers are regularly tested to find ways to push teams over that last mile.
The best and fastest way to get a better team and better results is to become a better manager. Investing time, money, and energy into building your leadership skills can show a return-on-investment for the rest of your life.
As the Holidays approach and the year ends, businesses are preparing for the final push to ensure that their organizations reach their annual sales goals. It can be a time of considerable stress on sales teams and managers trying to reach the highest possible numbers and reap the benefits for themselves and their business.
Most managers wait until the end of the year to reflect on their sales team’s accomplishments (as well as the roadblocks, speed bumps, and detours encountered), analyze their findings, and identify areas for improvement in the coming year. That’s a good strategy. But, why wait until the end of the year.
Strategic leaders don’t settle for minimum achievement today. They are regularly looking forward, anticipating needs, and preparing for new goals tomorrow. That outlook always places these leaders one step ahead of others, and it supports why they are seen as leaders and the go-to people for an organization.
The very best people skills that candidates will ever employ are on display in the interview situation as they try to win a position with your company. If they don’t capture you there, do you really want them in front of your valuable customers?
Most people who spend a little time searching on the Internet or in a bookstore can quickly find a guide on how to write a business plan. However, just following these templates doesn’t guarantee that the business plan produce will be successful or even good. A successful business plan needs quite a bit more to actually be useful and even more to be functional and successful. As the elements come together, if done correctly, the most important component of success will come from the business owner and leadership versus the company itself.
There are a number of tools managers can use to keep office politics contained and relatively harmless. These tools focus on human behavior and team-building expectations, reminding everyone involved to keep functioning as a team instead of only worrying about their individual interests. They are most effective when used repeatedly and are supported by top-down messaging. It also helps that people become invested in the team's work, versus just “working” because they have to.
Bringing a rough prototype to a group is hard for some leaders. Many leaders like to refine their ideas so when they emerge, they’re almost in concrete. Great leaders have learned to present their ideas, their concepts or their visions before they’re fully cooked. That enables everyone to get involved, and the weight of implementation or persuasion doesn’t fall only on the shoulders of the leader.
A successful sales year relies on good planning and smart strategy. Any plan for success requires that you create goals for yourself and your sales team. But no amount of planning or strategy sessions are effective if the goals are unrealistic and can't be met. Setting and achieving realistic goals are critical to meeting sales quotas or any other benchmarks of success.
The business world is not immune to change. Companies grow, and they shrink in size. They expand their market reach, sometimes, and contract it at other times. They introduce new products and services and discontinue products and services. And, they change the ways in which they create, promote, price, and deliver their products and services.
Like any new generation, there are differences in how Millennials interact with those around them, and what their expectations are in the workplace. What intuitive business leaders are noticing, however, is that there are tremendous benefits that members of this generation bring to the workforce. Their unique generational experiences and the skills they have gained can help them, and the organizations that hire them, excel.
As a leader, you are limited. Limited physically, financially, emotionally, and mentally. You are limited by the amount of time in a day. I have seen countless leaders who tried to ignore this simple fact from time to time with devastating effects on their physical health, family, and mental health. There’s a limit to how much one person can do.
Within sales organizations, companies often perceive salespeople as a necessary evil, as opposed to an asset. If dollars and cents were attached to that asset, a company’s hiring practices may be taken more seriously and the loss of a salesperson may be seen as an expense.
Giving sales-related tasks their due diligence is part of growing your business. As business growth occurs, you have to divide your time amongst more tasks, more clients, more sales team members...you can see where this is going. The busier you get, the easier it is to fall into the trap of ‘busy work,’ or tasks that make you feel like you're accomplishing things but actually detract from business success.
As a sales coach, you need to benchmark the performance of each behavior to determine whether they are performed at acceptable levels or not. It is important to utilize a scale rating behavior with a 1 to 10 performance rating. This scale will allow you develop standards not only for each individual but across your team.
As a leader, it’s important to continue your knowledge and training, developing new techniques to bring back to your sales team. Summer presents a great opportunity to spend some time expanding your knowledge by reading inspiring books by business leaders and entrepreneurs.
The DISC model is based on your behavior. It clarifies how you prefer to do things based on two factors. Are you more extroverted or introverted? And, are you more people or task oriented? Based on those preferences, you end up with four possible behavioral styles.
As business leader, you want to build your organization, which requires that you make judgment calls about the best possible candidates for various positions. While fantastic hires are wonderful assets that help to grow your organization, bad hires can drag it down, costing the company unnecessary money and potentially eroding the brand.
As a leader, one of your most important roles within an organization is providing guidance to other members of the company. It is common for leaders to encounter situations in which they have to provide an employee with constructive criticism. Providing this type of guidance can be a challenge, however, as it is important to find a way to communicate your intentions without causing people to feel defensive or sparking resentment.
If you’re not getting enough of the right candidates, then you must put the right behavior in place to source “passive” candidates. It’s not enough to just place a job ad and sit back. The fact that they are not explicitly seeking your opportunity presents a bit of a challenge; you have to approach them differently than you would an active candidate.
Customer service is an interesting aspect of any business. Whether you call it inside sales or customer care, your frontline employee may have the most difficult job in the company. Have you ever cringed when listening to one of your frontline people on the phone? Do you find your staff to be too strict with the policies or too loose?
A study conducted by Captivate Network found that, during the summer months, employees were 45% more distracted than other times of the year. Additionally, the study revealed that productivity in the workplace drops 20% in the summer months. When the entire group is affected by the summertime blues, it can be challenging to keep them motivated and focused on workplace goals.
There is no one-size-fits-all sales coaching model. There are only approaches that have been shown to be successful in particular situations. Acting as a coach, the manager must identify each salesperson’s personal “success code” – and use that code to unlock the salesperson’s potential for success.
Does your company need sales training? Maybe, maybe not. But how will you determine if you need it and who are you going to hire? If you meet with a sales trainer he’s going to steer you towards what he can deliver. If he is a great sales trainer, he ought to be a great salesman. Instead, take it from a company that delivered sales training for over a million salespeople worldwide. Here is what you should consider.
This tool can help you and your employees learn more about personality styles, paving the way toward improved communication. Read on to learn more about the different DISC assessment styles and communication practices that work with each.
Let's face it; communication is one of the most important issues in the workplace. Good communication helps everyone on your team (and you) to feel heard and understood, and as a result, everyone benefits from a positive, encouraging and successful environment. Conversely, ineffective communication brings about the opposite results. Ideas fall flat due to lack of follow-through. You and your team feel frustrated, unacknowledged and misunderstood, and morale declines.
There are two ways to find great sales people—either they come to you (“active” candidates) or you approach them (“passive” candidates). In this article, we will first look at the process of responding to a candidate who comes to you. They are actively seeking your opportunity.
As the weather heats up, many companies begin to look with dread upon the impending summer slowdown. For brands unprepared for the upcoming lull, it can be a challenge to keep the company moving forward and productive during the summer months. With people in and out of the door due to vacations and time off, it can feel impossible to get anything done.
Do you ever wish you could be a fly on the wall of your local competitor just to see what they do behind the scenes to grow their business? What are they doing that you aren't? You might be surprised to learn that it’s not just how they get new customers or their product or service innovation offerings that make them successful.
You cannot motivate anyone to do anything ever. Why? Because motivation is an internal force. It stems from personal responsibility and the individual believe they can control their own destiny. Your motivation cannot be transferred to them.
Even though leadership styles vary as widely as hair color, we can all agree that strong leadership is vital to a thriving, progressing company. The obstacle is knowing whether or not your company has strong, motivating leaders. Are your leaders respected? Do they recognize talent? Can they see the big picture? The answers to these questions are key indicators to your venture's long-term viability.
There is no question that developing skills in time management and efficiency are critical to career advancement. The people who pull ahead and end up taking leadership roles, as well as the higher income opportunities are those who have repeatedly evidenced an ability to work at a higher level of productivity without more resources. In short, they work smarter, not harder.
Is your salesforce not performing? Too much turnover? Are your best sales people leaving for greener pastures? Our labor marketing and workplace culture for salespeople is changing, and organizations that are able to tap into this newly engaged, passionate workforce stand to gain market share and success for years to come.
The right administrative assistant can help any organization flourish. When people think about a successful business, they tend to focus their attention on the importance of good leadership, but the value of the people working behind the scenes cannot be underestimated. Administrative assistants can help keep everyone on task and prepared to progress.
There is no one-size-fits-all model for developing salespeople! Every member of the sales team has an individual “success code” imbedded in them, and the effective manager must dial into it in order to unlock their true potential. Once selling skills and sales process have been taught and behavior expectations are established, the manager’s focus must be on raising the performance bar with an effective sales coaching methodology.
Your corporate culture will dictate everything from what your employees expect when they arrive in the morning to how you decide which new hire to select. It will influence employee morale, retention rates and job satisfaction. It is important for brands to build a culture that will positively impact their organizational success.
Some managers attempt to “manage” all aspects of their salespeople’s activities. There is a middle ground, however—a strategy that keeps your sales team focused on the required day-to-day activities without having to scrutinize their every move. The foundation on which a middle-ground strategy is built is a set of distinct goals.
Anyone can become a salesperson. There’s no real barrier to entry and no barrier to continuing a career in sales. As with most professions, anyone can become a “subject matter expert,” but that does not automatically make that person a good salesperson.
Management success lies in being able to pull your employees together so that they work as members of a seamless, successful, powerful team that is more than the sum of its parts. How can you guide your employees into forming this kind of team? Let’s examine some of the ways in which we can take lessons from the most successful college basketball teams in the country, and tuck their skills into your own management toolbox.
Successful sales managers know that an environment of fear and pessimism never allows for their team’s best performance. Your attitude as a leader, mentor, coach, trainer and sales manager will greatly influence the results of your team. Salespeople who are empowered, motivated and encouraged to pursue opportunity and abundance will find ways to succeed where others never will.
Recruiters and managers know how difficult it can be to fill an open position with a good hire. A variety of obstacles conspire to make finding the right person seem like searching for a diamond in a big pile of rocks. Once you find that perfect hire, get them off on the right foot by spending some time strategically plotting your onboarding process.
The words "manager" and "leader" are often used interchangeably. But there's a difference in these two roles, as well as the workplace environments they create and the results they elicit. Put these 10 best practices to use to increase the effectiveness of your management style and see positive results in your workplace and employees.
You might reason that with the appropriate education, training, direction, and encouragement, any one of your sales team members can become a top performer—a “superstar.” Is that true? It’s likely that everyone has the ability to improve. But not everyone will become a superstar, regardless of the resources and opportunities made available to them.
The Monday morning blues do not have to be a part of your work environment, and cultivating a positive atmosphere around your organization can be a fantastic way to drive the business forward. In the spirit of March and 'expect success' month, here is what all professionals should know about the power of positive thinking in the workplace.
As the first quarter comes to an end, it’s appropriate to review your department goals and measure your progress. Will your sales team hit the quarterly benchmarks for your department’s strategic initiatives? Have they made significant headway? Or, have they fallen behind already?
Maybe your employees aren't laying their heads on their desks, reading magazines during work hours, or calling in "cough cough" fake sick every Friday. Even without these obvious signs, they could still be disengaged with their jobs. If it seems your team members are sluggish and not electrified by their jobs, here are six can't fail ways to make employees feel appreciated, and re-engage them in their position.
If you want to measure productivity in your customer-care providers, measure their bias toward action before you hire. Taking action is a quality that says, “I must do something, so I’ll quickly assess the situation, decide on a path, and do something myself.” Rather than wait for the customer to call back, a bias toward action says to reach out to the customer first. A bias toward action is the proactive ingredient in customer care.
Many sales managers attempt to manage their salespeople by “managing” their numbers. You can track numbers, but you can’t actually “manage” them any more than you can manage the weather. But, it is from the observation and analysis of the numbers that you can identify pathways for improved performance.
The road to a successful sales career is filled with disappointments, rejection and uncertainty. If all you have is the willingness to put up with those things then you’re 99.99% of the way there. So, what attributes does a person need to have to be successful? Here are the top 3 that I recommend you look for when interviewing someone for your business.
As a manager of people, you know and understand the challenge of the "new" workplace. The reality of four generations working side by side is fraught with obstacles that threaten to derail productivity and hinder progress. Before you pop another antacid and check again to see if it's time to cut a trail home, take heart in knowing there are ways to be an effective manager in a workplace made up of the Silent generation, Boomers, X'ers, and Millennials. The first step is acknowledging each generation has its own preferences, expectations, and strengths.
A leader's only valuable is their time, which is too often wasted on activities that don't generate a good return. A leader's number one asset is their people, which are too often left to waste with no clarity around expected behavior or a path to advancement in their organization. To make the best use of their only valuable and achieve the greatest return on their number one asset, Sandler recommends a leader invest at least 50% of their time each week with their direct reports, splitting their time amongst the following four activities.
If you manage a sales group, own a company, or are in sales, you know this to be true: Behind every great salesperson (and sales team), is a great manager. Without strong leadership and a clear vision, even the best sales teams will not accomplish what they are capable of. If you're the manager tasked with hiring sales people and growing a team, ask yourself this, "Do I have the right practices in place to create our next superstar?"
Finding a super talented sales person will probably require you to not only shift your hiring criteria, but also to shift your thinking about the process. A good place to start? Stop depending on resumes. A resume is best used for understanding some of the facts: where they've worked; how long they worked there; and how they view their accomplishments. A resume will never tell you the real truth about how successful a candidate has been.
The holidays are a time for festive songs, exchanging presents, feasts with friends and family— and the end-of-the-year crunch at work. Given the number of distractions facing employees this time of year, combined with the stress to finish the year well at work, it is no wonder that productivity can take a plunge. Rather than cracking down on employees and alienating them, or just giving the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year up as lost, there are a few tricks that employers can use to keep everyone focused and successful.
As you begin to look at the right criteria, you'll want to consider which is more important…industry experience or relevant sales experience. This is a tough one but I would encourage you to suspend your disbelief for the moment. Of course, in an ideal world, every qualified candidate would hit the bull's-eye. Their resume would run the gamut: proven sales background; a strong, well-developed sales skill set; and to top it all off, experience in your industry selling to the same customers as you. While it's not impossible to find this person, it can be time consuming and not always the answer to your prayers.
Like most business owners, you can probably tell at least one horror story about a sales hire. After a great interview, fabulous references, and excellent experience, you thought your new rep was the answer to your prayers. But six months down the road, you're still not seeing results. Before long, it's clear that the superstar you thought you hired is falling short of your expectations. What went wrong?
Sales managers recognize that a primary part of their jobs is to keep their sales teams productive. But, keep them happy! Is that really part of the job? Yes. Salespeople may be thankful for having a good job, but happiness is another dimension of the work experience—an important and often overlooked dimension. When jobs are scarce, people will put up with a lot to keep their jobs. But, as opportunities emerge, those who are not happy will be ready to move on to meet new challenges and find opportunities where they can make better use of their abilities…and be happy.
Are your salespeople on track for hitting their sales goals? If they are: Congratulations…to you and to them. If they are not: What are you going to do about it? The clock is ticking. How are you going to motivate your salespeople (or at least those whose numbers aren't up to par) to pick up the pace…to knuckle down and do what needs to be done before time runs out?
When someone hands you a business card and says, "you should call this person", it's not really a referral. Without more information, it is more like they're sending you on a cold call. Cold calling is way down the list of favorite prospecting activities for most salespeople, and sometimes that frustration can spill over to referrals.
You stand in front of your sales team and announce a shift in workplace policies, or privately mention that a client wants to go in another direction with their account. Immediately, your salespeople cringe.
A good manager understands that disciplining employees is part of the job, but a great manager recognizes that discipline is not synonymous with punishment. To prevent future problems in the workplace and improve your management skills, implement these respectful employee disciplinary steps.
While motivation and discipline are on opposite ends of the management spectrum, managers need to provide both to lead a team successfully.
Try implementing this balance using the following methods to build a stronger, more effective sales team.
With more than 500 million people on Facebook and 100 million on LinkedIn, social recruiting has quickly surpassed traditional methods for finding the best candidates. Because of this shift, it is important to have a guide to navigate the ever-changing landscape. Use this tool to start your social recruiting search and connect with hundreds, even thousands, of the most qualified candidates
When workplace productivity flounders, it is easy to give in and let the sluggish behavior drag out, leading to flat or declining results from the staff. If you notice a lazy attitude taking hold in your office, a quick response can save your office and refresh the staff's energy.
Stop sluggish behavior from occurring with these tips for increasing workplace productivity
They say that time heals all wounds, but in the sales industry, time kills all deals. To keep leads warm, especially during notoriously cool selling months, sales managers need to create a smooth handoff between the marketing and sales teams. Use these tips to keep leads warm and close the sale more easily.
What does a company need to be successful? Many people would say investors and a solid business plan, but in addition to these important factors, a company needs effective managers.
If your company suffers from lackluster sales, take a look at the management behind the team. You may discover that effective management makes all the difference for a successful sales force. Here are a few reasons why solid management is absolutely crucial to sustaining a great sales team
Think you have got the perfect sales team? No matter how successful your group, every team has room for improvement. Whether your team falls flat in a specific area or they lack motivation, putting the time into improving faults helps create a more cohesive, successful sales force. Work together and follow these 5 simple rules to build a strong, effective, and eventually more profitable sales team.
Many leaders, especially if they were promoted from within, struggle with performance management. Not because they are bad leaders, but because they easily slide back into "doing" instead of "leading".
Although teamwork is frequently the most efficient way to complete a big project, many managers struggle to lead a cohesive team. Managing individual employees along with the broader group dynamic brings confusion to team projects, causing the work and your team management capabilities to suffer. Tackle teamwork problems before they come up with these 25 tips for becoming a more effective team manager.
No one likes being told that his or her work is lacking but, as a manager, relaying this information is a fundamental part of your job. The manner in which you deliver constructive criticism, however, determines whether you are simply a manager, or a great team leader. Yelling and belittling your employees will prevent them from appreciating or trusting your leadership abilities.
Being a manager that is both well respected and effective in the workplace is a difficult balancing act. While it is important to keep your employees happy, you also need to ensure that their work is still producing results. The first step in managing effectively is to recognize the problems you may be inadvertently causing. Here are five common mistakes and possible solutions to keep your employees thriving in the workplace.
Managers often get caught up in their day-to-day activities, and forget to focus on their employees. Getting caught in these leadership traps can be a drain on resources and cause your leadership to be questioned or dismissed. Focus on the positive changes you can make as a manager and you will see a positive response from your team.
Salespeople are often viewed as individuals who hold themselves accountable. Accountable to getting up and out every day and pushing themselves to get to the next level. They are most often seen as doing things that others don't want to do. They hold themselves accountable.
What's the reality? It's not always that easy. Many salespeople would say (my educated guess) that holding themselves accountable is one of the toughest things they face
No matter what your definition of leadership is, being an effective leader is something every manager struggles with. Managerial skills are often picked up over time and with trial and error methods. You may learn that techniques that worked perfectly in one office failed miserably at your next managerial position. While leadership is in no way a perfect science, a good way to judge what works is to listen to the experts and top business managers.
Effective leadership is not something that you achieve, but rather something you develop and change throughout your life. There's no substitute for experience, but thankfully you can borrow from others' knowledge to improve your own. That's where reading comes in handy. These best-selling books offer useful resources for maintaining your edge as not just a manager, but as a respected business leader.
A leader's most important task is to create clarity for themselves and their organization.
Without personal clarity life satisfaction decreases and complacency sets in. Without organizational clarity productivity suffers and turnover increases
The traditional corporate structure in the workplace is ready for a change. With Millennials entering the workforce, there is a resounding call for a structural shakeup. These young professionals have a lot to say and they want to have their voices heard. Successful companies are noticing this. Instead of paying attention to only GPA's, they are looking for critical thinking and problem-solving skills in new hires.
In the past ten years, Millennials have been entering the workplace more than ever. While some may still view Generation Y as overeager interns, these developing leaders are becoming the future of successful business. And while it is easy to view a younger generation as lacking in knowledge and experience, the truth is Millennials have a lot to offer. Here are five ways this technologically advanced generation has the ability to bring new life and energy to a workplace:
1. Gen Y Believes In Transparency & Equalit
Many seasoned sales managers today are facing a common challenge: how to lead, motivate, and inspire young Millennials on their sales teams. This generation, which will make up roughly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce in 2020 and 75 percent of the workforce in 2030, has already garnered a reputation for being difficult to manage by traditional standards.
Understanding when to take a coaching approach over a managing mentality can make a huge difference in your effectiveness as a leader. To be an effective leader you need to master both leadership styles; the key is to know when to wear which hat.
When you're managing, you're often organizing a project, providing instructions, outlining the end goal for your business, and you may find yourself being more directive and task-oriented
Take a look at your workforce. Chances are high that it's generationally diverse, with Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials working at every level. That last cohort – Millennials, Gen Y, Generation Next, etc. – has been the subject of boundless research and discussion in the past 15 years.
Often when older generations discuss younger ones, the context is negative and may include words like entitled, unmotivated, and tough to manage. As a leader, when your young Gen Y employees aren't meeting your expectations, it's easy to tag the issue as a "generational defect."
It's a fact: most organizations need a killer sales force. Business development, marketing, must-have products or services – these are all essential to meaningful revenue growth. But your sales team is the heart of production. Your salespeople are the ones championing your offer and driving precious profit. Your team should be the best it can. Period.
But how do you build a successful sales team? Buckle up, because it's no easy task. As long as you follow these seven essential steps, however, you'll have a team of sales all-stars under your belt.
Managing a team of sales reps with various motivations and egos is no easy feat. And if you're a sales manger, you know that it can be a complicated and sometimes challenging role that requires a number of management skills to be successful. At Sandler Training, we've discovered that highly effective sales managers possess a set of skills and characteristics that make them stand out from the rest.
So how do some sales managers continually lead successful and goal-oriented sales teams while others repeatedly hit roadblocks and obstacles
Want to hear a troubling statistic?
The US Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire costs your business 30% of that employee's potential year-one earnings. This is a conservative estimate, too. It's difficult to calculate the loss incurred when you hire the wrong person for your business.
Every manager and business owner has dealt with bad hires. Maybe they started out seemingly stellar, fitting your company culture seamlessly and producing exceptional results. Or, maybe you were in a rush to fill seats and let bad seeds slip through without proper vetting
When you hire new managers, you are giving these individuals the opportunity to lead, supervise, mentor, and motivate others and their ability to do so makes a huge impact on your company's overall success.
Sales slumps happen. They are guaranteed to hit and, when they do, they put intense pressure on your team to perform. You, as a sales manager, should be prepared to lead your team out of the doldrums effectively and efficiently.
We've identified 6 things exemplary sales managers do to drag teams from the muck. There's no perfect solution to sales slumps, but these techniques will help mitigate damage and keep your staff afloat through the toughest times.
Identify and address problem
A new survey from Sandler Training put the red pen in the hands of American employees, giving them chance to "grade" the performance of their manager. The results were passing, but not exactly good enough for the refrigerator.
All good things must come to an end, especially in the world of sales and staffing. Whether all-star performers are leaving for retirement reasons or new opportunities on the horizon, the thought of finding someone who will deliver the same results and fit in the culture can seem daunting. Rest assured though, it's not impossible. With some planning and putting a few processes in place, you'll be well positioned to celebrate the departing team members and welcome the new ones.
It's a common notion to believe that leaders at different levels should have a different set of skills. However, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of the leadership development consultancy Zenger Folkman write in Harvard Business Review that leaders should be practicing the same core skills that have driven them from their first day in the workforce, no matter how high they rank.
Imagine a business is like a rock band. And every business has a drum rhythm at which it operates. The drumbeat is consistent, dependable, and stable.The most beautiful music is made when all the instruments play in harmony to the drum's rhythm. It's not always easy.
Companies look to thrive and grow. In preparation, leaders work with their teams to identify the bottlenecks, roadblocks, and/or weaknesses that will keep the company from exploding with success.
We start by asking "Why" five times to arrive at the root of the bottleneck. From there, it's time to dedicate resources to put things back into motion and proper flow.
Option One: Exploit the weakness.
Playing the role of the interviewer is no simple task. While you might not be the one in the hot seat, the words that come out of your mouth can be equally as important. There are interview techniques that some of the best recruiters and HR professionals utilize when looking to fill positions with the most qualified candidates.
Encourage the candidate to think differently and creatively when they're interviewing. For many candidates going through the job search process, interviews become monotonous. Interviewers need to go against the grain to truly get to know a candidate.
Being promoted to your first role as a manager can be exciting and empowering, but the skills needed to be a successful manager don't always come naturally to everyone. It can be extremely difficult to navigate the ins and outs of a new role, especially one that puts you in a position of authority and requires you to start managing your some of your friends and peers.
As a manager, executive or owner, the only valuable you possess is your time. To successfully manage your time and grow your business, ask yourself the following question daily: "Does 'it' advance my business?" ("It," being whatever activity you are doing or about to start.)
Let's take a look at several examples, which might resonate with you.
Activity – Understanding your direct reports' personal goals
Does it advance my business? Absolutely
We consistently have organizations coming to us for help with hiring the right talent. Over the years we've learned some pretty important lessons around interviewing sales people. Here are three common interview pitfalls you should try to avoid. Mistake 1: Interviewing the resume
Here's a quick acid test of your hiring-to-turnover ratio. How often are one of these phrases heard in your company?
- I'm not a micro-manager.
- I hired them to...
- They know what they're supposed to do...
If our business world was homogenous then those phrases would be correct because every sales job would be exactly like every other sales job. Every expense filing procedure would be exactly the same at every company and every role would have exactly the same weekly behavior expectations
It's estimated that the cost of recruiting, interviewing, hiring and onboarding a new salesperson costs a company between $75,000 and $300,000 per rep. Unfortunately for most companies, their onboarding program contributes directly to those new reps leaving.
Let's pretend we're watching a newly hired rep; we'll call him Greg. Greg was highly successful with his last company where he sold to the same type of prospect as his new employer but to different contacts. Greg's manager believes that his contacts from his previous company will generate warm leads to his new prospects
As a manager, your most valuable asset is your time.
In Part 1 of "An Alternative to Traditional Performance Management" you learned how to get time back in your week by implementing a 3-part performance management system: funnel management, a weekly behavior plan (a.k.a., "cookbook") and a personalized development plan.
In Part 2, you'll learn a system for reducing your time spent on, and your team's anxiety about, their performance review
Like a coach in pro sports, your primary function as a manager is to improve the performance of your team.
Unfortunately, traditional approaches to performance management may have initial success, but are difficult to sustain.
When distilled out of their packaging traditional performance management looks like
Even if you're not hiring for the CEO role at a high profile tech company, bad recruiting can negatively affect morale, productivity and customer relationships.
Typically, bad recruiting comes down to no real recruiting process, which can be as easy as answering these four questions
I love small businesses and their owners. I spend much of my day marveling at the great accomplishments of this hearty bunch of entrepreneurs who pursue their dream and formulate the backbone of our business society. They are the lifeblood of this country. there is a soft spot in my heart for the struggles they endure as well as the challenges they must overcome to succeed.
With the great economic storm over the last year, many businesses wisely pulled back into safe harbors for a period of time. In fact, those that failed to make adjustments and continued their course were likely wiped out or at least seriously damaged. Unwise use of credit and perhaps a bit of bad luck has taken its toll on many. However, perhaps you are one of those businesses that made the proper course corrections by making the difficult and sometime painful choices.
Small business owners tend to stay small because they do not install systems and processes into their business. Most owners want to hire "experienced" sales people. The mentality is to hire someone, teach them about their products and services, then expect the person to "go sell". What's the problem? If we hire experienced sales people, once they learn the product or service, they should be good to go, right?