Real Sales Issues I’m Tackling with Clients and a Handful of Valuable Learning Opportunities

It’s the fall Selling Season and we all running hard. My encouragement is to keep sprinting and finish Selling Season strong! We’re only a few weeks from Thanksgiving in the US and you can rest then.

Recently I’ve had conversations with various sales leaders who asked what I’m working on with my eclectic group of clients. I love talking sales and sales leadership and am always happy to share. As I’ve been rattling off the list of issues we’re tackling, it seemed appropriate to post them here on the blog with the belief you’d get value, too. I keep my client’s identities confidential, but in no particular order, here’s a short list of what (along with promoting the new book) is keeping me very busy:

  • As part of a larger sales management consulting engagement, helping a sales manager with 15 direct reports radically restructure her calendar and regular 1:1 meetings with each salesperson to increase accountability, target account focus, and to better identify specific areas where her people need coaching.
  • Forcing an executive team to put a strategic stake in the ground for the purpose of providing the sales team crystal clear direction which specific markets to attack – and then forcing sales management to help each salesperson nail down a finite, focused, written list of strategic target accounts to pursue. This target list is divided into two sections:  growable existing customers and ideal profile prospects.
  • Coaching a rockstar individual client on probing more effectively and becoming more selfishly productive. We’re also working on how ask his company for more support so he can  spend more time selling to deliver even more new business. (With top-producers, the theme is always “more”)
  • Customizing individual business plan templates for 2016 with several companies; helping sales leaders tweak aspects of the template/plan  (specific revenue categories and new business development goals, strategies, actions and key activity metrics) to better fit their unique businesses. (For more on the power of business plans and why written annual business plans are a gift to both the salespeople who write them and their managers, see Ch. 14 of New Sales. Simplified., Ch. 26 of Sales Management. Simplified., or this blog post)
  • Helping a relatively new sales manager extricate himself from serving as the “Shell Answer Man” for his entire sales team, and coaching him on retaking control of his calendar so he can spend more time in proactive mode working on his highest-value sales leadership activities – not just responding to everyone’s requests and needs.
  • Preparing the next round of sales management coaching content for a large client project. The next phase involves train the trainer sessions where we’ll equip these managers to help their own teams become more consultative (sharpening their “sales story” and improving sales call structure). We are also tackling everything surrounding sales team meetings including frequency, agenda topics and how to make sales meetings more productive and energizing for both the manager and the sales team.

I hope one of the topics above spark a thought or cause you to relook at something important with your sales team.

Let me also make you aware of a few fun, valuable learning opportunities – all in different formats:

Live webinar (tomorrow/Thursday) with one of my true sales heroes, Art Sobczak. I’ve been a fan of Art’s for over 15 years and am probably responsible for buying and giving away more copies of his phenomenal book, Smart Calling, than anyone on the planet. Art is hosting this webinar so we can discuss the big sales leadership issues affecting sales team performance and also talk about one of my favorite sales weapons – the telephone! Art doesn’t know this, but I intend on wrestling control of the webinar to make him answer questions about everything from telephone prospecting to voicemail best practices. Join us on Thursday at 3:00 EST, Noon Pacific, 2:00pm here in the midwest where the true sales pros live!  Click here to register.

Live, full-day event, open to the public, in Washington, DC (McLean, Virginia) on November 13th. Five of my favorite sales gurus (Hunter, Austin, Iannarino, Spence and Blount) and I are delivering six short keynote talks, six one-hour  breakout sessions, and an open panel discussion – all with one goal: helping you acquire more new customers! This is the one public event we are doing this year and there are a just a handful of tickets still available. We are all promoting it, so don’t delay. For more details, FAQ, or to register for the Customer Acquisition Symposium, click here.

Video (recorded live online via Blab) of my appearance on BizLockerRadio talking Sales Management. Simplified. with the incomparable Kelly Riggs. Enjoy this video capture of our blunt discussion covering the leadership reasons sales teams underperform and what to do about it. Click here to watch/listen at your convenience. Kelly asks great questions and offers fantastic insights. This may be my favorite interview about the new book thus far.

Forbes article from Jim Keenan that truly captures the tone, essence, mission (and even my exasperation) of  Sales Management. Simplified.. Take two minutes to read Keenan’s in your face take on the state of sales leadership and why the book struck a chord with him.

And finally, let me just offer one giant THANK YOU to everyone for all the support, promotion and reviews for Sales Management. Simplified. The book hit #1 in Sales & Selling Management again last week and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the response. Thank you for your part in getting this important message out and for making the book a success!

Here’s to great sales leadership, many new sales, and a strong finish to Selling Season.

  • Mike
  • November 4, 2015
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