2017 Resolutions (Part 2) – Don’t Go It Alone

2017 Resolutions (Part 2) – Don’t Go It Alone

In the first part of this blog, I talked about every salesperson’s 2017 resolutions to “get in shape” when it comes to sales skills. This time, let’s dwell on the subject of creating better habits and building better discipline. As I mentioned before, these resolutions are best kept when working with others. When it comes to your sales fitness regimen, it’s never wise to go it alone. Repetition is critical to improvement Remember, it’s not practice that makes perfect. Practice makes permanent. It’s perfect practice that makes perfect. As such, most of us need a lot of repetition—of good habits—with…read more >
2017 Resolutions (Part 1) – Time to Hit the Gym

2017 Resolutions (Part 1) – Time to Hit the Gym

As we enter a new year, we tend to think more about getting “into shape.” It’s a time for new beginnings, a fresh start, and optimism that NOW is the time to act. For many of us in sales, the new year is a great time to make changes and adjustments to create the best possible results, namely an increase in our sales and income. For most of us, our results will improve if we focus on two key areas: Build Better Sales Skills Build Better Habits & More Discipline Let’s start with building better sales skills. I’ve worked with…read more >
Fire Up Your Sales Enablement Strategy

Fire Up Your Sales Enablement Strategy

There are three common causes of poor selling performance. Too often, we don’t spend enough time speaking with high-capacity buyers/customers. Also, we’re unable to verbalize the most important sales communication in a convincing and credible way. We can also demonstrate poor skills when executing the fundamental consultative sales process. Since the goal of sales enablement programs is to remedy this, why do they so often fail? Most sales training programs do not have nearly enough practice and repetition—with increasingly rigorous coaching—to break bad habits and reinforce new ones. In a study cited in Scott Edinger’s Forbes piece, How Great Sales…read more >
Reinventing the Wheel for Sales Training (Part 2)

Reinventing the Wheel for Sales Training (Part 2)

Last week, I went on a bit of a rant on the odd width between U.S. rail tracks—as a metaphor for the “that’s-how-it’s-always-been-done” approach to sales training. This week, I’ll offer a modest proposal. Instead of repeating a dry litany of sales goals and metrics, what if we “flooded the zone” with truly great sales performances? There’s an old saying: “practice makes perfect.” It’s absolute nonsense. Practice makes permanent. It’s the practice of perfection that makes us more perfect. And that requires a demonstration of what perfect is. This seemingly obvious element is nearly always missing in the practice and…read more >
Reinventing the Wheel for Sales Training (Part 1)

Reinventing the Wheel for Sales Training (Part 1)

In the U.S., the width between train tracks is always four feet, eight & one-half inches. This odd standard was chosen by an early 19th Century British engineer and is used in 55% of all rail systems today. Sales training today is loaded with this kind of “that’s the way it’s always been done” inertia. It’s time to re-think that particular wheel. In 1825, civil engineer George Stephenson designed the Stockton & Darlington Railway in northern England. He chose four feet, eight inches as the gauge or width between rails (adding a half inch later on) because he was familiar…read more >
Real Coaches Train Us To Do!

Real Coaches Train Us To Do!

In sports and other types of performance coaching, team members are shown—repeatedly—how to DO things, and eventually how to do them well. Too often, that’s what’s missing in sales coaching. Imagine for a moment you wanted to learn a new sport like tennis or golf. Or perhaps you wanted to learn to play guitar or piano. So you look for a teacher or coach to help you. If that person is a good teacher-coach, then he’s going to spend a lot of time demonstrating what to do. He’ll demonstrate how to swing the tennis racquet or golf club—or hold the…read more >
Understanding Sales Coaching

Understanding Sales Coaching

Virtually every sales organization of any size has some kind of sales coaching program or initiative in place. There’s not a sales executive on the planet that doesn’t agree: sales coaching is essential. They approach it different ways—with online sales training, remote coaching and various technology-based coaching tools. And yet... I recently completed 150 interviews of sales executives, mostly from larger sales organizations. I asked what was the number one weakness in their sales organization. Amazingly, 147 of them had the same answer: “poor sales coaching.” This was disturbing. With all the focus, resources, and attention this topic has received…read more >
Sales Enablement Tools: Competency Thresholds

Sales Enablement Tools: Competency Thresholds

The key to a great coaching culture is a measurable set of competency thresholds. With it, sales coaches have the performance metrics needed to create a high level of accountability. Combined with online video training, competency thresholds help your sales team members learn, grow, improve, and master selling process fundamentals. There’s an old saying: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” For sales managers, it’s more true now than ever. They focus on sales numbers, CRM reports, and other data to measure activity and performance. Company success depends on it. However, when it comes to sales training or…read more >