Sales blog

Addressing Tough Sales Performance Issues with Performance Counseling

By David Jacoby

One of the most challenging situations for many sales managers is dealing with reps who have sales performance issues caused by something other than obvious skill or knowledge gaps. For skills or knowledge based performance problems sales coaching is an appropriate intervention.

These problems are straightforward and relatively easy to diagnose. But sometimes a performance problem is due to factors other than lack of skill or knowledge. That's where performance counseling comes in.

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Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Open Target Accounts

By Ray Makela

Across our client base and in our sales training workshops, we are seeing sales professionals becoming more familiar with leveraging LinkedIn to prospect, conduct research and gain access to decision makers during a sales pursuit.

With new features and capabilities of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, these skills can be extended to even more challenging pursuits such as Prospecting into target (named) accounts and navigating complex organizations. Specifically, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has new features that help us research and gain visibility into accounts in ways that have never been possible, short of having an employee badge or a strong inside advocate. Three ways that LinkedIn supports prospecting into complex accounts include:

#1 Mapping the Account

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How to Effectively Set Expectations With Your Sales Team

By Norman Behar

Managing Sales Performance is arguably the most important skill for sales managers and consists of the following four steps:

  1. Communicate expectations
  2. Monitor and manage specific behaviors
  3. Monitor results
  4. Provide regular feedback

Unfortunately, managers tend to hyper-focus on the third area, “results”, without realizing that results are backward looking (lagging performance indicator) and are really contingent on steps one (communicating expectations), two (monitoring and managing specific behaviors), and four (providing regular feedback).

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How to Hire Top Sales People With Behavioral Interviewing

By Marlaina Capes

Amazon is notorious for having a challenging hiring process. In fact, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, once said “I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.” 

Should sales managers be so picky when building their teams? Absolutely. Bad hiring decisions are easy to make, but have long-term effects. We have all been in situations where we need to fill a position quickly and the candidate we hired seemed great during the interview process only to be a failure once on the job. As many sales managers have discovered, many sales people do their best selling during the job interview process. Unfortunately, the consequences of a bad hire are severe: hiring expense, training costs, lost productivity, risk of losing customers and so on.

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11 Reasons NOT to Use LinkedIn for Sales

By Ray Makela

Updating and using LinkedIn has become a bit like flossing your teeth. We are encouraged to do it every day, it seems like a good idea, but the benefits may not be readily apparent.

It takes some discipline, habit and a little bit of time. I often hear from our sales training clients that they know they should be doing more with LinkedIn, but they don’t have the time, knowledge or motivation to leverage the tool.

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Four Step Process to Develop and Achieve Your Sales Vision

By David Jacoby

For many sales managers focusing on short-term day-to-day results, it's often challenging to think like a leader and focus on achieving a long-term vision. But that is exactly what a sales manager must do in order to maximize the performance of his or her team.

A sales vision is a statement that indicates where you want your sales team to be at some future time. Without a sales vision, a sales team may have lack of focus, difficulty prioritizing activities, or a feeling of drifting. A clear sales vision provides focus and direction for you and your team, energizes your team, and improves results and performance.

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Sales 2.0 Conference Insights on High Impact Sales Coaching

By David Jacoby

Research shows that effective sales coaching can dramatically improve the performance of sales teams—in some cases driving up revenues by 20% or more. But not every sales organization is able to produce these type of results.

While the role best positioned to do sales coaching is the frontline sales managers, not every sales manager is an effective sales coach and not every sales organization has a coaching-friendly culture.

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Managing Sales Behaviors to Improve Sales Performance

By Norman Behar

While there is a lot of emphasis on Sales Coaching and Sales Leadership, the most fundamental skill that a Sales Manager needs to develop, Managing Sales Performance, is often overlooked. 

Perhaps that is because many organizations take it for granted that their managers know how to effectively manage performance.

Unfortunately, that is a huge mistake. While many sales managers may have been able to produce very good results themselves in their prior roles as sales reps, this doesn’t necessarily translate into the ability to get their sales teams to consistently generate great results.

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Leveraging LinkedIn for Account Management

By Ray Makela

I often discuss the value of LinkedIn as a way of mapping and researching new areas of the account, and I continue to hear a common theme from many of our participants: 

“I connect with people when I think of it, but I really should do more,” or

yeah, I connect but then I’m not sure how to use this resource in my account management program.

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5-Step Process to Make Important Decisions As a Sales Leader

By David Jacoby

Decision-making is critical to all management positions. However, decision making is even more important to you in your role as a sales leader. 

Sales leadership can be defined as the ability to positively influence the actions and attitudes of the sales team to achieve or surpass their goals. Part of this influence involves how effectively you handle the myriad decisions you face every day.

As a leader you routinely have to make numerous important decisions on a daily basis, including decisions regarding people problems, customer problems and/or opportunities, upper management issues, setting performance goals and so forth.

Your ability to influence your team is directly related to how you make decisions and ultimately on the quality of your decisions. Decision-making, especially in regard to leadership, isn’t always easy, but well-calculated decisions can result in achieving your sales goals and in enhancing your overall image as a leader.

So can you become a better decision maker? 

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