Sales & Sales Management Expertise

Who is Your Superstar?

Tags: hire better sales people, increase sales, sales habits, upgrade your sales force

Kobe Bryant will be retired from NBA basketball when the final buzzer sounds in tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz.  If you are not a basketball fan or sports fan, this may mean nothing to you.  My intent is to frame a very important discussion about performance around a living legend of the LA Lakers and NBA.

As I listened to ESPN Radio Mike and Mike in The Morning, I heard commentary from former teammates, coaches and opposing players. There was a common theme in there discussion about Kobe Bryant and elite performers in athletics.  To be clear, I don’t believe the common theme is limited to athletic top performers.

 KOBE.jpg

As I started this article, I sent a question to my niece, Laura Wehrmeyer Fuentes.  Laura is an elite performer and vocalist who performs in the greater DC/Baltimore area.  I asked her if she ever bailed on a performance because she felt a little off or hadn’t prepared properly.  Her response:  “No way!  I’ve sung through bronchitis and pneumonia hopped up on steroids when I had to.  The show must go on!”

Elite performers prepare and perform at the highest capabilities regardless of the situation, the score, the environment or circumstances.

Some comments made about Kobe made me think about the content and theme of this article.  Here is just a sampling of what was said about Kobe and other top performers:

  • They demanded the best of others. When others were not performing at their best, giving it their all in practice or in a game, they call them out.
  • When it’s game time, nothing else matters. When Kobe’s family came to LA to watch him play, they stayed at a hotel instead of his spacious home.  He focused on the task at hand.
  • Regardless of the score of any game, if you watched Kobe play, you would swear that the Lakers must be down by 20. His intensity for playing the game rather than playing the score made him elite.
  • When comparing Kobe to Magic Johnson, the comment was made about Magic after they lost the championship to the Lakers. “You couldn’t find Magic in LA.  Here is a guy that likes to be out, is normally seen out and is everywhere where the lights are.  After the loss you could only find him in one place – the gym.”
  • Elite players make other players better. They recognize that they are a big piece of the puzzle, but still only one piece.  They elevate the game of others in order to win the team
  • Elite players have a tendency to rub others the wrong way. Not because they are arrogant individuals, but they have an arrogance about how they view the game and how it should be played and how one should be prepared to play.  They are haters – haters of losing and those un-willing to pay the price to win.

I could go on, but this makes the point and takes me to the question in the title of this article – Who are your elite players and are they doing the things that superstar/hall of fame players do? 

  • Are they elevating others?
  • Are they demanding of others?
  • Are they team-objective focused or focused on their own stats?
  • Do they do everything possible to win individually and get others to win as a team?
  • Are they your go-to people in a crisis?
  • Do they grind and grind to get it done?
  • Do they work relentlessly on their skills?
  • Do they focus on the details of the game so as to eliminate repeated errors or mistakes?
  • Do they call others out?

*Data on approximately 100,000 sales managers

  • Have, on average 43% of the Sales Coaching Competency 
  • Only 39% have at least 50% of the Sales Coaching Competency.  
  • Only 7% have more than 75% of the Sales Coaching Competency and
  • Only 3% spend at least 50% of their time coaching their salespeople
  • Only 7% of sales people assessed fall into the elite status based on performance, sales DNA and 21 core sales competencies.

As a CEO, president, national sales manager, vice president of sales or sales manager, the responsibility you have is to drive revenue.  When that seems difficult or impossible there needs to be more to the solution than work harder, see more people, increase the marketing budget, do more social networking, expand the sales force, etc.  Just like you would look into the numbers (expenses) to figure out how to improve profit, you need to look at the root problems impacting revenue.

It isn’t the latest sales enablement technology that improves sales results.  It is the human technology that drives sales today and will drive sales tomorrow.

Helpful Links/Resources:

Objective Management Group – White Paper on Talent Selection

Anthony Cole Training Group – Link to Sales Management Certification Program

Hirebettersalespeople.com – Self-explanatory link

Burning platform issue – You have a problem now, You want it fixed now – call me directly:  Office: 513.605.1301 or call/text  Mobile 513.226.3913.

 

Picture of Kobe – link to YouTube

Your Sales Management Pitch to Hire Better Sales People

Tags: hire better sales people, sales management, sales managed environment, upgrade your sales force

There isn’t a single sales manager, sales executive or company president that tells a prospective new hire that the compensation program is poor, there is a lack of support, the company does not occupy a strong position in the market or there is no chance for professional advancement!

Anyone talking to any candidate has a "sales pitch" to attract new hires. How good is yours?

I was watching City Slickers again and I happened to turn on the movie just as Curly is explaining that most problems would be solved if people just focused on "The One Thing”. This isn’t a new idea, but certainly it is an idea worth re-visiting. "The one thing" in business that is supposed to describe what a company does can be described by any one of the following:

  • The elevator pitch
  • The value proposition
  • The 30-second commercial
  • The unique sales approach
  • The brand promise

“It’ has many names, but in a nutshell, what sales and marketing attempts to do is to communicate to the consumer, in a brief but effective approach, what it is that they do and why the consumer should entertain doing business with them.

Apple – "We make great computers that are beautifully designed that are simple to use, user friendly."

The Late John Savage (Insurance professional) – "I deliver buckets of money when people need it the most."

Coors Light – "The world’s most refreshing beer"

Geico – "15 minute or less can save you 15% of more on your car insurance"

That's the external brand. I was interested in the internal brand and the impact on results. I did some googling and came across the "Better Brand" blog. The author talked about the internal brand promise and the external brand promise. Your external brand promise should elicit a response(s) such as:

  • Tell me more
  • How do you do that?
  • That’s me?

Your internal brand – the brand you promise to current and potential sales professionals - should do the same thing!

What is your internal brand promise? What is it that you bring to the table that inspires and motivates your sales people to follow you, "buy" you, your message, your coaching and your teaching? What is it that you say to prospective new hires that would cause them to say or think...

  • Tell me more!
  • How do you do that?
  • That’s me!

When you consider the role and responsibilities of the sales executive:

Tony Cole - Put the best team into the marketplace – Video

Dave Kurlan - Execute the 5 functions of sales management – Video

Bill Eckstom - The importance of coaching - Video

You might consider this – How well are you selling and delivering on your internal brand promise? To answer that, you must back up the video a bit and identify what it is you are promising prospects when you recruit them to your organization:

  • Strong market presence
  • Internal partners to generate leads
  • Support for your growing business
  • Systems and processes that drive efficiency
  • You can earn _______dollars with our incentive compensation plan
  • Run your own show
  • Access to unlimited resources/markets
  • Get the BIG deals
  • Great environment

I don’t know all that you promise them or imply when you recruit them, contract them and on-board them, but you do and so do they. You must have said something that caused them to either join your team or stay on your team. If you are delivering on the brand, then turnover and discontent should be minimal. If you are not delivering on the promise, then it is important for you as the sales leader to assess that internal brand promise:

  • Is it legitimate or is it propaganda?
  • Have you fulfilled the promise?
  • If not, why not?
  • What would your team say?
  • What impact is this having on results?
  • What is the one thing you need to do now?

For improved sales performance, contact us about the NEW Sales Managed Environment Certification® Program - Text me at 513.226.3913.  Subject line: SMEC and your name.

 

 

Why Companies Struggle with Hiring Quality Sales People

Tags: hire better sales people, sales management, sales success, upgrade your sales force

Putting the best people in the right seats is the biggest problem identified by most business owners, especially as it applies to critical sales roles. Here are the 5 most common reasons most companies struggle with hiring quality salespeople.

hire-better-salespeople

#1 Companies outsource their recruiting and the responsibility. Recruiting is something that a company has to own. They can no longer outsource the work and the responsibility. That makes it too easy for people internally to throw up their hands and transfer failures associated within the hiring process to the outsourced firm. If companies are going to improve the quality of their hires, they have to own the process.

#2 There is a lack of a consistent process for constantly searching. Most, if not all, companies make the mistake of looking for candidates only when they have an opening. This leads to many problems:

  • Being held hostage by salespeople with “large books”. Companies feel they cannot do anything about them for fear of losing the “books” since there aren’t any replacements.
  • Feeling desperate to fill a chair with a warm bottom when there is a vacancy. A body,
    any body, is better than no one sitting in the chair (branch).
  • Not replacing underperformers because there isn’t a pipeline of candidates to choose from. The underperformers stay around too long; others know it and realize that they don’t have to perform to keep their job, so overall team production continues to decline.

#3 Companies are not getting quality candidates entering the process. The traditional model of recruiting today is one where the placement firm tries to convince their client why a candidate should be hired. Companies should, on the other hand, work extremely hard to disqualify candidates because there are specific skills that apply for that sales job and many/most candidates do not have those skills. Bottom line, the company has to assess at least two things: 1) Do they have enough of the right strengths to be successful? 2) Will they sell versus can they sell?

#4 There is poor communication about the specific role and expectations of this new hire. Too often, everyone is so excited about putting the deal together (getting the seat filled) that no one takes the time to get into the details of the day-to-day requirements of the job. This leads to early misunderstandings about the role and eventually, failure on the part of the new hire to meet the expectations of the company. Failure to “negotiate on the 1st tee” leads to misunderstanding and failure to execute on the sales goals.

#5 The on-boarding process is inadequate. Most companies are ill-equipped to effectively on-board new sales people. They spend time introducing them to the “culture” of the operation, the mechanics of the job and how to get things done. They introduce them to HR, their support team, marketing and their partners. And, yes, there is discussion about goals, sales activities and how to enter data into CRM. And then… the new hires are on their own.

Companies think that they have hired their next sales superstar and then, 12 months later, they cannot figure out what went wrong. They look at the numbers and discover that the new hires are producing “just like everyone else in the middle of the pack.” The process most companies have in place currently to recruit and hire salespeople perpetuates this problem.

If you need help or more information on hiring better salespeople, we have many resources available for you. You can also text me directly at (513 226-3913) and type Hiring in the subject line. You will get my undivided attention!

 

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Why Companies Struggle With Hiring Quality Sales People

Tags: hire better sales people, sales management, upgrade your sales force

hiring-great-people_

Putting the best people in the right seats is the biggest problem identified by most business owners, especially as it applies to critical sales roles. Here are the 5 most common reasons most companies struggle with hiring quality salespeople.

#1 Companies outsource their recruiting and the responsibility. Recruiting is something that a company has to own. They can no longer outsource the work and the responsibility. That makes it too easy for people internally to throw up their hands and transfer failures associated within the hiring process to the outsourced firm. If companies are going to improve the quality of their hires, they have to own the process.

#2 There is a lack of a consistent process for constantly searching. Most, if not all, companies make the mistake of looking for candidates only when they have an opening. This leads to many problems:

  • Being held hostage by salespeople with “large books”. Companies feel they cannot do anything about them for fear of losing the “books” since there aren’t any replacements.
  • Feeling desperate to fill a chair with a warm bottom when there is a vacancy. A body,
    any body, is better than no one sitting in the chair (branch).
  • Not replacing underperformers because there isn’t a pipeline of candidates to choose from. The underperformers stay around too long; others know it and realize that they don’t have to perform to keep their job, so overall team production continues to decline.

#3 Companies are not getting quality candidates entering the process. The traditional model of recruiting today is one where the placement firm tries to convince their client why a candidate should be hired. Companies should, on the other hand, work extremely hard to disqualify candidates because there are specific skills that apply for that sales job and many/most candidates do not have those skills. Bottom line, the company has to assess at least two things: 1) Do they have enough of the right strengths to be successful? 2) Will they sell versus can they sell?

#4 There is poor communication about the specific role and expectations of this new hire. Too often, everyone is so excited about putting the deal together (getting the seat filled) that no one takes the time to get into the details of the day-to-day requirements of the job. This leads to early misunderstandings about the role and eventually, failure on the part of the new hire to meet the expectations of the company. Failure to “negotiate on the 1st tee” leads to misunderstanding and failure to execute on the sales goals.

#5 The on-boarding process is inadequate. Most companies are ill-equipped to effectively on-board new sales people. They spend time introducing them to the “culture” of the operation, the mechanics of the job and how to get things done. They introduce them to HR, their support team, marketing and their partners. And, yes, there is discussion about goals, sales activities and how to enter data into CRM. And then… the new hires are on their own.

Companies think that they have hired their next sales superstar and then, 12 months later, they cannot figure out what went wrong. They look at the numbers and discover that the new hires are producing “just like everyone else in the middle of the pack.” The process most companies have in place currently to recruit and hire salespeople perpetuates this problem.

If you need help or more information on hiring better salespeople, we have many resources available for you. You can also text me directly at (513 226-3913) and type “Hiring” in the subject line. You will get my undivided attention!

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