Sales Performance Blog

How to Fund Your Sales Transformation: Fire the Underperformers

As sales leaders, we spend a lot of time trying to develop the bottom 20% and turn them into capable salespeople. We send them off to two-day sales training seminars, have them take expensive sales assessment tests to confirm our suspicions, offer them self-help books, schedule countless one-on-ones, join them on sales calls and devote hours to documenting their performance.

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Categories: Sales Leader, Sales Training, Sales Transformation

Tales from the Other Side...

As marketing director for FranklinCovey’s Sales Performance Practice, I am inundated with emails from every imaginable provider of marketing services from search optimization firms to the latest account-based and content marketing software. I see it all and I see it every single day. I must be on more than 1,000 nurture tracks – no lie.

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Categories: Sales Training, sales performers, Sales Tips

What Good Looks Like...From a Buyer's Perspective

It’s our job as solution providers to help our customers make informed decisions throughout the sales cycle. To do this, we need to understand their thinking and requirements by asking meaningful questions and providing relevant insight throughout the buying experience.

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Categories: Sales Tips, Sales Coaching

Has Sales Leadership Become too Complex?

I would love your thoughts on something... What if sales leadership has become so complicated that no one person can accomplish all aspects of the role with excellence? Hiring, firing, interviewing, budgeting, selling, coaching, scheduling, expense reporting, dealing with client issues, training, counseling, and the list goes on and on. 

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Categories: Sales Leader, Sales Coaching

Compelled to Coach

Have you ever known a manager who, after every joint call or conversation, feels the need to offer you ‘coaching,’ always under the banner of YOUR self-improvement? It often begins with something like, “May I offer you some coaching?” or “Can I give you some feedback?” just minutes after a high-stakes presentation, emotionally-charged sales call or internal meeting gone awry. 

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Categories: Sales Coaching

The Player/Coach: An Urban Legend?

Why is sales management one of the few professions that often requires a manager to be both a player and a coach? Over the past twenty years in the profession, I’ve seen many managers carry individual quotas in addition to their primary personnel duties — essentially competing with those they manage.

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Categories: Sales Leader, Sales Training, sales performers

SO WHAT?  Making The Shift When it’s Your Turn to Talk

In most cases, much of the transformation from transactional to consultative selling is about making the leap from “telling” to “asking.” It’s also about shifting away from an emotional and technique-based appeal to an approach that is more logical, honest and direct.  And for some, making the leap from advocacy (telling) to inquiry (asking) is a difficult one. 

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Categories: Sales Leader, Sales/Business Development, Sales Enablement

Sales Leaders... If You Took a Month Off, How Well Would Your Sales Team Perform?

I can't imagine this would ever happen in the real world of a sales leader, but if you took a month off, how well would your sales team perform in your absence? What about two weeks? Whether you are a brand-new sales leader or have deep experience, I invite you to think about this question. It’s fun to consider and can also be very thought-provoking.

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Categories: Sales Leader, Sales Training, Sales/Business Development

Get More Sales with the Same Headcount... Sound Familiar?

Your task is to increase sales year-over-year without adding headcount. Does that sound familiar? If you have been a sales leader long enough, I am sure this is one of the challenges you face as you enter a new fiscal year. It sounds so simple and yet can be such a difficult thing to do. As I think about my experiences, as well as experiences working with many of my clients, there are many places one could start to handle this challenge. For the purposes of this discussion, let's think about how to get better performance out of existing team members.

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Categories: Sales Leader, Sales Training, Sales Tips

Your Goal or Your Job...

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s 2017. Remember Y2K and the prediction that computers around the world would crash when the date changed to 1/1/2000?  We thought the world was going to come to a screeching halt then and I’m glad to say we’re still here.

It’s only appropriate that I address the topic of setting goals for my first blog of the year. When I ask sales people what their goals are, I find it fascinating that most rattle off their annual sales goal. They may say something like, “$4.2 million in TCV” or, if they are paid on gross profit, something like, “$1.8 million in GP.”

May I offer a different point of view? I don’t think an annual sales target is a goal; I think it’s a sales person’s job to hit it. It’s what we get paid to do. It might help to think about this perspective with regard to other professions. Putting out fires is not a firefighter’s goal; it’s her job. Her goal might be to decrease the amount of time it takes to reach a fire. An NFL quarterback’s job is to win games. His goal might be to decrease his interception rates.

So…what’s your goal for 2017? Have you taken the time to think about what you want to do? The fact is, you have 52 weeks ahead of you to do something amazing. If you don’t know what your development goal is for this year, it’s time to ponder what you want to be different about this year.

If you’re like me, time seems to be moving faster and faster. Last year is gone forever. The future is ahead of you, so how will you make it a happy new year?  Please share your goals for 2017 with the rest of us.  

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Categories: Learning and Development, Sales Training, Sales Tips