Tag Archives: business

Sales Managers! Sorry to be the one to tell you, but you’re not perfect.

21 Nov

Do you consider yourself to be an excellent sales manager?  I imagine you do, it’s difficult to imagine that any manager would continue to perform any task in a way that wasn’t working well.

But if you’re ever lucky enough to experience a formal upward feedback process fasten your seatbelt because you’re going to get some shocking results.

In my first sales manager roll I was ready to become that perfect manager.  I tried my hardest to be fair, treat everyone similarly, give clear direction and begin to build a high performance culture.  When I got my first feedback I got a lot of compliments, great scores compared to my peers…but I also read some shocking comments and saw that I had a lot of room for improvement! 

Let me share some of the shock.  “Greg plays favorites”, “he doesn’t make it clear what is expected of me” and “he doesn’t give me the freedom to do my job.”

How is this possible?  Me?  But my overall scores were some of the best in a very large company!  How could I still get these kinds of comments?  Since my upward feedback came from direct reports and from another level down I began to investigate.  But first a little secret.  If you want to know more about what you are doing that will drive people’s impression of your leadership you’re going to have to share some of the information about your feedback.  In other words, you’re going to have to admit that you’re not perfect, but you care enough to want to change.  Once I decided that I was willing to do whatever it took to become a better leader the rest became a little easier.

So I began to call a few of my direct reports.  I shared with them where I was doing well but also shared my lowest scores.  And even though those lowest scores were not a disaster they were still my lowest scores and they needed improvement.  I shared a few of the comments made and asked them what I was doing that was damaging my credibility as a leader.  Once you’ve opened that door get ready for some very interesting information.  I remember asking one of my direct reports, (still a close friend today) what I was doing that would cause people to believe I played favorites.  Bob told me that when he held meetings that people would comment “Greg called me about that subject last week and he said…”  Well after several weeks of hearing this one sales rep nearly broke down and blurted out “Greg never calls me about anything”.  That was really interesting!  I thought it was a very good trait to always be reaching out and getting information about what was going on in the field, but was totally unaware that the way I did it was making some people feel left out.  You can say they’re too sensitive, but what I learned was that my intentions are irrelevant!  People will form opinions about your actions, not your intentions.  Bob gave me another example; he told me that some people commented that I always sat by the same people at meetings or team meals and this may be leading people to believe I had favorites.  From my perspective I was flying around the country nearly every week, sometimes visiting four cities…that’s four meetings, four half days of joint calls and four team dinners.  I was sometimes exhausted and probably did look for a seat near people I knew.  But if you put yourself in a sales reps shoes and think that Greg has come to town four or five times and always sits by the same people you’re probably feeling very left out.  Both of these were pretty easy to fix.  I continued to make calls to reps to get their input, but I kept a roster by the phone and put checks by people I called so that I wasn’t calling the same people all the time.  And I continued to fly around the country attending meetings, making joint sales calls and going to team dinners.  I just made one little change, I looked for a seat next to someone I didn’t know very well.  You know what?  Very small changes, very big changes in my leadership credibility.

So what’s the learning?  For me it was that I do not own my leadership credibility.  My credibility as a leader is owned by the members of my team and they will give me credibility when I earn it, not just because I want it.

So I think that you probably are a good manager…at least in your mind anyway.  Are you brave enough to find out if you’re as good as you think you are?  If you have the courage to open yourself up, then you have the potential to move from a good manager to a great leader.

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What Is A Quality Sales Organization?

21 May

When networking with other sales reps early in my career I began to see correlations between the various sales organizations and the type of sales people they attracted & retained.  It was very interesting to hear people describe their sales cultures, compensation plans, management’s leadership style and the employer’s focus on client satisfaction.  Over time I was promoted several levels, each new role required a relocation to another part of the country.  Through networking I continued to accumulate a diverse collection of perspectives from sales managers from a variety of industries.

My career journey led me to NYC leading a National Account group.  This was more of a business development role leading a team of 8 people and managing the relationships with a dozen accounts that generated $1.3 Billion in annual sales.  This was the capper to my experience as business development forces you to consider client satisfaction, a strong interaction with operations, client profitability and new sales.  I won’t bore you with the details but we did create a very interesting client service agreement.  Each quarter we contracted four goals with our clients.   Two goals came from the client and usually included one customer service goal and one goal that would help our contact attain their major job objectives.  We also then had one goal that the Account Director was able to set that would help them achieve greater account profitability and one sales goal (like an introduction to a sister division) that would be validated only after the two client goals were met.  This was a great tool that minimize attrition and creating a very positive climate for cross selling & account expansion.  After two years this portfolio grew to $3 Billion annually and we did not lose any clients.

My final career destination was to build a new sales organization within an existing Fortune 500 company.  I poured everything I learned into the culture of that sales organization and it paid off royally.  In four short years we moved from non-existant to an organization acquiring over 5,000 new clients annually, producing an incremental $180MM in sales with each new annual batch of clients.  The NPV of these clients was nearly double that of any other client portfolio.

So here is what I learned about sales cultures and what makes a “Quality Sales Culture”. 

There are three parties (constituencies) that are affected by the culture you build.

  1. Clients – Your focus on making reasonable commitments and then driving over-delivery will payoff in a huge way.  The Net Present Value of your client base is driven by retention rates and gross profitability.  You can easily model the value of high customer satisfaction by raising your client retention rate by 5% and improving gross margins by 1%.  This is the value of ensuring that your culture demands a high customer satisfaction rate.  I dumbed down these numbers.  You can acheive much better benchmarks if drive customer satisfaction into your sales culture.  It will not only make them believers but their closing ratio’s will be dramatically better.
  2. Shareholders – This is the easiest constituency to satisfy or dissatisfy.  If your Business Development Efforts focus on customer service delivery within a cross selling framework, and your sales efforts are highly disciplined around skill, will, execution and leaderhip it is nearly impossible to disappoint investors in your company.  I do believe that investors have now learned that mid term results trump short term returns.
  3. Employees – Why bother?  Because clients and shareholders will never get the best possible outcomes if your employees are distracted.  Sales people and account managers should get all the direction & support they need to create healthy, profitable client relationships.  People who are distracted by poor leadership, non-existent training or poor customer service attitudes will never be able to deliver to their potential.

So what’s the conclusion?  Senior Leaders must balance their focus.  I know that in this economy the shareholder will get more attention than employees but in the end that’s a bad tasting medicine that we know is good for us.  But you still need to balance your focus reasonably.  Focus 80% on shareholders, 10% on clients and 10% on employees is a losing tactic.  When the economy begins to improve you will have a lot of issues to fix and you may miss out in that growth.

Assuming you have some employee goodwill on your asset sheet, in today’s economy I would recommend a focus of 45% on shareholders, 35% clients and 20% employees.  I think you can get through the next 18 months providing you keep the communication level high so employees know they’re valued but investments in them are on the back burner for the short term.

In the longer term my focus would be 40% shareholder, 30% clients and 30% employees.

If you are interested in more discussion on this topic please leave a comment with the specifics of your interest.

“How’s It Going?”

29 Apr

Okay, so the big-big boss is in town and asks how it’s going.  I know it’s tempting to tell her how well your son is doing on the little league team…but fight off that temptation.  I’m only saying that your boss may be a nice woman, but let’s put business first and then brag about the home run later.

A good top sales boss wants to know five things;

  1. Results – past quarter, last month?
  2. Status – how do the future results look?
  3. Focus – what are you concentrating on?
  4. Needs – how can I help you succeed?
  5. Other than 1-4, how’s it going?

So when you’re asked the question, have the answer ready.  Wait a minute.  When will I be asked the question?  How will I know when to have the answer prepared?

Well, let me go through the answer to the original question then you can decide.  Is this a question I should wait for the big boss to ask, or is this a question I should ask myself everyday?

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Think of yourself as a manufacturing plant.  Raw material goes in the front door, workers convert the raw materials into components, assemble the components and poof, finished products roll out the back door.  Every plant has a general manager whose job it is to continuously make sure that raw materials arrive on time, that the plant is operating at capacity, and that the quality and quantity of the products rolling out the back door meet expectation.  In our profession the raw materials are prospects, the components are presentations & proposals, and the end products are contracts or sales.  Guess who the general manager is?

So whether you’re answering the question for yourself or the big boss doesn’t really matter, the answer should be the same.

Results – How many sales did you close last quarter?  Were they the right size?  Are you happy with those results?  Was last month better?

Status – This is really a question of sales pipeline.  Is your “real” pipeline bursting at the seams or is it chock full of “pipe dreams”?  How many prospects do you really have and where in the sales cycle do they reside?  How many are closeable in the next 30 days?  I hope your pipeline is healthy because this is going to become your commission check over the next several months.  If you have to admit to yourself that your pipeline is really shaky, then what are you going to do about it?

Focus – This is the “what are you going to do about it”.  You are the general manager of your sales territory.  If there’s a pending problem then your job it to fix it before it gets worse.  If your pipeline of prospects looks good on paper but you know that most of those prospects are on life support then it’s up to you to flush out the real prospects, and put the others on hold.  If your real pipeline is anemic you’re going to have to rightsize your hot prospect list and develop an action plan to bring it back into a healthy state.  If you’re not sure what that action plan should be then you’ll have to muster up the courage to ask for help. 

Needs – Okay your results have been acceptable but not to your expectation, you’ve gone through your pipeline and admitted that of those 50 prospects only 15 are healthy.  You’ve decided that you’re going to commit yourself to adding another 10prospects this month, while moving the 15 forward at least one step in the sales cycle.  Fantastic!  But now is not the time to be a hero.  Ask for help.  What is the one tool that would help ensure the success of your action plan?  Is it an improved presentation?  Is it better sales collatera material?  Lead generation?  The bigger question is, when I ask for help will I be considered a complainer?  I will tell you in no uncertain terms (as an experienced big-big), that if you have given me short concise answers to results, status and focus…I’m am going to listen very closely to what you need.  And when I get back to my office I’m going to make sure you get it.

So as a former big-big here is what I always was hoping for.  I arrive in town, sit down with the regional sales director, go over results.  Tonight we’re having a team dinner.  Since I haven’t met you before I sit down next to you at the table.  After letting everyone settle in the RSD gives me the big intro, then I give everyone my business overview and reaffirm the top 3 iniatives.  I answer a few questions then it’s time to place our orders.  While we’re waiting for our salads I introduce myself to you and ask how’s it going?  What are you going to say?  Here’s the worlds most perfect answer (please edit according to your territory).

“Thanks for asking Greg.  Last quarter was okay, last month was even better (you may want to add in a FEW numbers).  But I scrubbed my pipeline and I need to add no less than 10 more good prospects if I’m going to reach my goals…I’m willing to do all the hard work to get these prospects into my pipeline but I need a little help from you…”  WOW!  Someone this organized and such a good manager of their territory is going to remain on my radar screen for a long time.  And if someone like this tells me our lead generation program isn’t working, I’m going back to HQ and make sure it get’s fixed.

Now that we know each other…tell me about your family.

Why Leaders Get Followed – Pointers From 297 People Who Chose To Follow

20 Feb

Does every manager lead, inspire and motivate their team to new heights?  Of course not, but some are remembered for years…even decades by members of their team.  People have told me they have fond, warm memories when I ask them to tell me about the best leader they ever worked for.  So instead of writing an article about the dynamics of leadership, I though it may be more useful to view leadership from the eyes of those that follow.

I wanted to know what people thought about the best leader they ever worked for.  I had asked the question numerous times in leadership training classes, but the people attending were speaking out amongst peers so I wasn’t sure they were speaking from the heart.  So I posed the question on LinkedIn, a business oriented social media site.  In LinkedIn there are groups where you can post a discussion/question and members of that group are free to comment.  I posted the question on two sales groups, a CFO group, two HR groups and a general executive group.  297 people responded, offering 495 words and 132 phrases.

The results were both confirming to some of what I have seen before, but at the same time I read words I had never hear in a classroom environment.  Words like “servant” were offered more than once.  I followed up with some people to ensure I understood their meaning as many comments came from around the world.

Visionary was the word most commonly mentioned 1st, and was the most common word offered overall.  Integrity and inspiration came in tied for 2nd.  I won’t bore you by listing all the words, but the longer I thought about them, the more clearly I saw what people thought differentiated this leader from all the others.  When I began to bundle these words under 5 traits it became clear what people value most from leaders vs. everyday managers.  The traits I identified were; technical competency, leadership competency, character, composure, and care for people. 

Competency/Functional – I was surprised that this trait was not more highly valued.  Comments from around the world with many submissions from the technology world still barely registered.  The two most commonly offered words, knowledgeable and competent, only appeared 9 times out of 495 words.

Competency/Leadership – This trait had double the offering of the next most valued trait (of course leadership was part of the question).  The most common submissions were visionary, inspirational, empowering and mentoring.  Of interest to me was that when I sent an email to thank people for commenting in the discussion they offered more information about these traits but rarely mentioned the leader.  I only note this because I found it very different from those who wrote back about character and care for people.

Character – This was the 2nd most commonly valued trait, and easily the most common word used was integrity.  Honesty, humility and trusting were all mentioned often but integrity was offered more often then the other 3 combined.  The tone of follow up discussions was interesting.  This trait was definately highly valued but again, they spoke more about the trait than the person.  My inference was that this trait was the entrance ticket, not the main attraction.

Care for people – This is the 3rd place trait but don’t dismiss this if you aspire to be someone’s best leader!  The words most commonly offered were; Trustworthy, caring, supporting and compassionate.  Now for the most interesting part…this is the trait that naturally evokes the most emotion.  I got unsolicited emails from several respondents thanking me for posing a question that reminded them of a particular person.  More than one told me how warm the memories were.  This was inspirational to me because it seemed that even though this was the third place trait in my survey it may be the trait that many good leaders do not have, or at least do not display.  Statistically this may be in third place, but those that experienced it absolutely loved it.

Composure – This is an interesting trait because people seem to appreciate behavior in a leader that is opposite to those that are following!  In a time of dramatic change, they speak of being calm under pressure.  When the environment is calm and sleepy, they appreciate passion over any overlooked principle.  The top two words were passionate and listens.

This was a very interesting excercise for me and I hope enlightening for you.  If you are inspired to become that one leader that someone will remember…maybe even decades after they worked for you then I would suggest you focus on the following.

Leadership competency – the most high valued trait.  Driven by perceptions of vision, inspiration and empowerment.

Character – the second most valued trait.  Warning!  If anyone spots ANY lack of integrity then move on.  Always do the right thing even when no one is watching.

Care for people – maybe 3rd place in people’s mind but 1st place in their heart.  Perception will be driven by your trustworthiness, compassion and support.

Composure – 4th place BUT a lack of composure will always ruin all the hard work you put in the other traits.  People appreciate calm under pressure and passion over principal.

Sales Will

10 Jan

Sales people armed with world class sales skills may still produce sub-optimal sales results.  To produce optimal results sales skills must be complimented with a strong sales “will”.  The will to succeed is far more than outward enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm is contageous and exciting to be around but by itself will not push the organization to the highest level of output.

Sales will, at an individual and organizational level is driven by four variables;

  • Desire – the belief held in expectation that something important will happen if the task is successfully accomplished.
  • Incentive – the individual or organization sees a benefit that is proportionately motivational to the the difficulty of the task.
  • Security – Frequently the security that sales people want is delivered by credible field leadership.  They want to know that when they open themselved up for a challenge that there is a fair exchange of risk and reward and that their manager is there to help and support their quest.
  • Confidence – First the sales person gains confidence in themselves as the learn, practice and execute critical sales tasks.  For instance, setting appointments with new prospects.  Only when one has learned a script correctly and made hundreds of outbound calls will they gain the confidence they need to do that task well.  However it is more than believing in yourself.  It is also a confidence that sales people are supported with the tools they need and that the sales resources are aligned with helping move the prospect forward in their buying process.

To have high will all four drivers must be high.  So even if you hire a sales person with high will, your organization can detract or compliment a sales person’s sales will.  Sales Will, can be driven by the sales person’s perception of the following sales resources and programs;

  1. Compensation Plans – The proportion of salary and variable compensation is important.  If you want peak performers to substantially out earn those who make smaller contributions you need to put more emphasis on variable compensation and less on salary.  Peak performers (the top 10%) should make double the total income of average performers and at least triple that of marginal contributors.  Compensation for struggling contributors should be minimal so that they are continuously motivated to improve.
  2. Incentive Plan Design – Incentive plans are the “Holy Grail” of what you want from the sales people.  No matter what you say in town hall meeting or field memos, the sales people will figure out how to maximize their income through the incentive plan.  Plans should reflect a clear line of sight from the lowest level of sales position through the highest level of field manager.  Also the KISS principal holds true here.  Sales people are goal setters and you should make it easy for them to translate their personal goals into tactical sales plans.  Finally the incentive plan should be aligned with the sales strategy.  Too many times I have seen sales strategies that rely on increasing acquisition of Fortune 500 clients while the incentive plan is tilted towards selling more smaller accounts.
  3. Peer Recognition – For the sales person being recognized this is a huge confidence builder.  For those that are not recognized this is managements chance to demonstrate an example of the the results & behaviors they are see at important.  Peer recognition takes place in a variety of ways; recognition at gatherings (especially national & regional meetings) but it can also take place through the generation of local, regional and national reports that are distributed company wide.
  4. Family & Friend Recognition – This may be one of the most powerful tools to grow sales will.  Trips and other events allow winners to proclaim to others that they have achieved a high level of recognition.  Many companies sponsor recognition events designed to thank peak performers, sometimes with spouse attendance, for the contributions they made.  Some companies will have two “clubs” that sales people can earn.  Usually there is a “President’s Club” for the peak performers and then there can be a “100%” club for everyone who succeeded in delivering to a challenging quota.
  5. Training – Until recently company sponsored training was held classroom style with all or most sales people required to attend.  The subject matter was broad and included lectures, discussions and role plays.  Today many very good training programs are available online.  It is very important that a combination of both are used.  When the field manager identifies a particular sales skill is needed they can require that sales person to take the appropriate sales training class.  However, the most important training activity is the interaction between the sales manager and the sales representative.
  6. Coaching – Everyone needs a coach.  Coaches help spot small changes, they help players train and most of all they help players try new approaches that may produce dramatically better results.  First level field managers should be a coach first and a manager second.  Coaches also hold us accountable to lean relearn and practice those skills & tasks that make us optimally effective.
  7. Sales Support – “We’re from HQ and we are here to help”…every heard that one before.  Sales support can help sales people succeed or they can make sales success harder than it should be.  This should be a primary concern for the top sales officer.  Every time a sales person perceives a sales support function as an attempt to catch them doing something wrong, the sales will dimishes.  Every time that same organization treats each sales person as “their customer” the will to do the sales job increases.
  8. Reporting – Sales reports can build sales will or begin to erode desire and incentives.  Many of the companies I consult with view sales reports singularly as a management tool.  I try hard to get them to see publication of sales results can be used as an exceptional peer recognition tool.  Publishing national sales rankings from a variety of sorts can be very motivational for your peak performers…and also very motivational for strugglers, especially if you publish standings all the way down to last place.  On the opposite side imagine being a hard working sales person hidden away in a secondary market.  You keep your self organized and push hard to show your worth!  However, no one in a management position or headquarters ever sees the reports that showcase your results.  How long will you continue to push yourself?

Sales Skills

22 Dec

There certain skills required for a sales person to help prospects successfully navigate through their purchasing process vary by industry and distribution channels.  For my purposes I will create a straw sales competency model for a company that sells products used commonly by other businesses and that the predominant distribution channel is direct.

The first four skills are critical skills that the sales person uses to gain access to decision makers & key influencers, to raise the prosects awareness of their needs, to probe for business fit and finally to help prospects make the purchasing decision.  The second four skills are those that are necessary for the sales person to become a knowledgeable resource, to effectively & efficiently manage their territory and prospect pipelines.

  1. Prospecting – The ability of the sales person to recognize potentially valuable customer relationships.  To find avenues of introduction to coaches, key influencers or decision makers.  The effective sales person will utilize a variety of tools to generate leads including networking, on-line sources, company originated leads and good old fashioned “dialing for dollars”.  It is essential that every sales person have a two minute sales pitch and a telephone script that is committed to memory  (my opinion).  All skills are squarely aimed at identifying opportunity and gaining access.  This is the one skill that fills a pipeline.  No matter how talented a sales person is in other skill areas, a gap here will always put a governor on their utimate contributions.
  2. Presenting – While prospecting is a sales person’s least favorite activity, most sales people feel they shine when it comes to presenting.  However presenting is so much more than standing in front of people and telling them everything you know.  Generally there are two types of presentations.  The first is an exploratory first discussion, usually with a coach or key influencer.  The intent of this meeting is to exchange information and to probe for a business fit.  I do suscribe to the ABC of selling (always be closing), it is most likely that the close on this call is to move to the next step of the sales cycle, usually a needs analysis.  The other type of meeting is a formal presentation (see #4).  This meeting is generally for a discussion of a proposal and to sell the business fit between the two companies.  This meeting may seem like a “love fest” when a talented sales person delivers a flawless presentation.  This presentation is complicated and many sales people are not as competent as they should be.  Topics, tones and delivery are critically important!  Senior level decision makers will buy more from people that sell business fit, and demonstrate a knowledge of the prospect’s company.  In other words they are more likely to buy because of the fit and what you know about them & their company than what you know about your own company and products.
  3. Probing – The most consistently high performing sales people are not surprisingly the best at probing.  They probe for decision making process, players & roles, current practices, potential obstacles, uncovering gatekeepers and they are always seeking out the components of a superior business fit.  This is an area that cannot be over trained, or over practiced!
  4. Proposing & Closing – There are several elements to the proposal presentation meeting.  Introduction, agenda, customer overview, your company overview, the business fit and next steps.  Depending upon your industry, company and products the amount of time invested in each element will vary.
  5. Industry Knowledge – Sales people must be infinitely knowedgeable about their industry and should have a good understanding of the prospect’s industry.  The more the sales person understands about the prospects industry the more referrals and recommendations they will receive.
  6. Product Knowledge – All sales people must know everything about their products.  The knowledge must go beyond the specifications of the product, the must know how the product is used!  Spending time with your customer service delivery group, your operations and within customer’s operations are all splendid investments that will yield great returns over time.  As important as product knowledge is, it is also important that this knowledge is shared sparingly.  Prospect are only interested in enough product knowledge to assure themselves that they are buying a product/service that will work for them.  Product knowledge should be crammed into a proposal, not a presentation.
  7. Sales Pipeline Management – With the installation of CRM the importance of the sales pipeline management has become increasingly important because many companies use CRM to forecast sales.  Errors in prospect assessment can make forecasting at least inaccurate if not misleading.  In addition to correctly assessing prospect pipeline each sales person should be able to correctly identify the obstacles and tactical plans to move the prospect to the next cycle step.
  8. Resource Management – Sales costs continuously move higher and it is the job of every sales person to judiciously apply the resources necessary to acquire new accounts.  Expense management is thought to be a task for sales managers but the sales representative can be the solely determine the necessity of utilizing some centralized resources such as the number of people attending prospect meetings, the utility of centralized prosposal development etc.  Great sales people will call in the cavalry to acquire new business.

This formula and a description of the drivers is copyrighted.  I am publishing this information with the understanding that readers are free to use the insights, provided they reference it correctly.

Attention Sales Leaders! – Sales Performance Management Made Easy

17 Dec

I was often troubled that Stephen Covey was right!  As the head of sales I was continuously investing my time on urgent activities and had almost no time left for important activities with no due dates!  I ran from cross functional meetings to budget meetings, then to HR meetings.  I even managed to approve expense reports and return a few phone calls.  But at the end of every day I had no time left to focus on moving my organization to the next level. 

Though my sales organization was expanding each year I knew that ultimately our effectiveness and performance would be driven by continuous improvement in all areas.  There would never be a magical training program and even though I looked for the consultant to help me navigate I never found anyone with the breadth and depth of experience I needed.

So, being a graphical person, I began to draw out a development map.  I wanted to create a guide consisting of all the variables that influenced sales results because I knew that once they were laid out we could honestly assess where the we resided and where the view the largest gaps.  I wanted to take a balanced view of sales skills, culture, expectations, management, execution, leadership, training, rewards & recognition, metrics, CRM and everything else.  At first the list was daunting until I realized that everything you could think of fit into one of four buckets:

  • Sales Skills
  • Sales Will
  • Execution
  • Leadership

All thirty two of the variables I came up with fit neatly into the four buckets!  (Well, I cheated a little to make it balance out correctly).  But the point is, I have used this formula in several companies and used it to create incredible sales growth in a very few short years.  In one year I was able to help a company grow sales by nearly 300%.  I used this system to build a new sales organization within American Express that within four years was generating $1.3 Billion in incremental sales.  I again used this system to improve sales at an established insurance company by 110% in less than 3 years.

Now as a consultant I use this system to help sales management executives pinpoint develop gaps in their organizations and to create field ready tools to begin the process of continuous improvement.  The best attributes of these tools is that sales representatives get the attention and coaching they appreciate, field managers can easily spot and attend to those skill gaps that are block sales performance improvement and most of all everyone involved feels better about the organizational culture.  Because my career started as a territory sales representative and ended as SVP of sales I have a unique understanding of how everything can work to everyone’s benefit.

Though I am new to the blogging world it is my intent to create a discussion around each of the 32 variables.  My goal is to share a system that will bring all the knowledge that an experienced sales executive has from the subconscious to the conscious level.

Why would a sales performance consultant share their most valuable asset for free?  A very good friend (DS) has convinced me that sharing things of value is the best possible way of building a sustainable business.  After much deliberation (and reading) I believe her.

If you are an executive level sales leader interested in continually improving your organizations sales performance I will share everything with you and I only ask in return that you participate with your comments so that others will benefit from your ideas. 

If you are currently in the process of reorganizing or right sizing your group I would be happy to forward a spreadsheet of the sales performance drivers and variables to you by email.  This spreadsheet will help keep the discussions organized.

I am happy that this sales performance blog has gotten your attention.  I am committed to providing you with the resource you need to help your sales teams face their challenges in 2009.  CHEERS