ACTG Sales Management Blog

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Identifying Sales Coaching Needs: An Analysis EVERY Company Should Execute

Posted by Tony Cole on Wed, Jun 14, 2023

Regardless of the current state of affairs, GREAT organizations go through a constant assessment of where they are. They look at lagging metrics, leading metrics, and success metrics.  They consider that data to help them identify the answer to these three questions...

  1. What should we keep doing?
  2. What should we start doing?
  3. What should we stop doing?

Note: Often the 3rd question is the most important of the three.

Here are examples. 

  1. There is a scene in the movie Dumb and Dumber, where is Lloyd talking to Mary and he asks her about his chances of them being an “item”. She says “not very good”. He asks something about the odds. Mary responds with 1 out of a million. Lloyd responds with; “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”
  2. The second example is personal. I kid with my family that all babies and dogs love me. They know that to be NOT exactly true. Dogs have a tendency to hunker away, and babies often run the other way. Alex’s daughter, Harper, is a great example of the latter.  Jeni’s dog Stella is the dog that hunkers or sneaks away whenever I am in the kitchen cooking.  Juliet, Alex’s youngest, on the other hand gets this radiant glow on her face, smiles, waves, signs “more” and starts the motion of playing patty cake. She loves me. This morning I am having that discussion with Alex and she says the following: “Well, there was bound to be one [that liked you].”

My point is stop doing this one thing: Stop believing that isolated instances are a trend.  Just because one of your salespeople:

  • Had 1 good month of activity
  • One nice size sale
  • Got an introduction from a client
  • Showed up at your sales meeting without complaining

To identify sales coaching needs, trends, potential of current team members, and candidates for sales you need data. To get this data, START DOING the following:

  • Do a complete assessment of your current sales team so that you can identify their Will to Sell, Sales DNA, and Sales Competencies. With 92% predictability, this will help you identify what coaching areas need to be addressed so that your people can get better. Click here to learn this information about your sales team.
  • Build a Sales Success Formula based on Milestone-Centric Sales Process. This Milestone-Centric Sales Process should have workflows and checklist.
  • Implement huddles. Read information from Verne Harnish on the value of Huddles and or click here to learn more.


Free eBook Download: Find Out if Your  Bankers Can and Will SELL

Topics: Sales Process, sales skills assessment

Just Keep Running: What Bankers Can Learn from the Navy Seals

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Thu, Jun 08, 2023

I am an admirer of all the brave men and women who serve in the armed forces. Their service and their sacrifice make them the best our nation has to offer. Lately, I have had the extreme honor to meet a few Navy Seals. Those meetings have propelled me to learn as much as I can about how they think and how they build the discipline that is necessary to do what they do.

While physical strength and endurance are obviously key requirements to become a Seal, it turns out what really makes them unique is their mental strength, specifically their ability to process information quickly and under extremely adverse circumstances. They build an incredibly strong and resilient mindset – and that term is defined as how they see and process the world around them. 

One of things I have discovered really resonated with me.  I have always known that “Hell Week” is one of the times that cause many in the training program to quit. The attrition rate for Navy Seal training is about 80%. The training is designed to make you quit…to sort those people out and to sort them out early. What I find fascinating is that many of the trainees quit on day 1 over a fairly simply running exercise. 

Think about it for just a minute. If you go to Seal training, you are certainly in excellent physical condition, so running should not be much of a challenge. But here is the catch – the instructors don’t tell the trainees how far they are running, nor do they tell them how long they will be running. Not knowing those answers causes many to quit. They can’t deal with that uncertainty. And one more thing – the run is not timed. You don’t have to run fast…you just can’t quit running.

This makes me think of the incredible challenges that bankers have had to deal with in recent months. It has been far from easy. And your mindset has been tested like perhaps no other time in recent years. This applies to selling as well. Selling is a tough lonely road to travel.  Selling is a process and if you fall in love with the process, (making calls, asking for referrals, attending networking events) the process will always love you back. But the challenge is you don’t know when it will love you back. And that uncertainty, just like the uncertainty of an indefinite run, can cause great discouragement. Some even quit.

My encouragement to you today is simple – just keep running. Maybe even keep walking. Skip if you want or crawl if you must.  Just keep moving because the process (if loved) will eventually love you back.

It will not be easy.  But as the Seals say…the only easy day was yesterday.


Free eBook Download: Find Out if Your  Bankers Can and Will SELL

Topics: Sales Process, sales skills assessment

Four Activities of Top-Performing Banks

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Wed, Jun 07, 2023

There are four critical things that separate high-performing banks from others in the industry in terms of their sales and revenue growth.


We know that there are four things that separate high-performing banks from their peers in terms of their sales and revenue growth.  Banks who embrace these four things will almost always outperform their peers. These activities are validated by the Objective Management Group's 30-year stats history of sales assessments across the country. 

First, top-performing banks assess the skills sets of the existing lenders and relationship managers. They do this because it is really hard to change that which you cannot see. There are a set of specific 21 core sales competencies that drive success in selling, and CEOs across the country are accessing this information to understand and improve the skills of their current teams as well as hire new high-performing lenders and relationship managers.

Free eBook Download: Find Out if Your  Bankers Can and Will SELL

Secondly, top-performing banks don’t make the mistake of hiring new lenders without assessing them using a sales skills assessment that is both sales-specific and also predictively valid. Sure, there are plenty of assessments out there but the vast majority are personality-based and do not uncover if a salesperson can and will sell for your bank. When looking at sales skills assessments, make sure that it comes with a proven history of working as well as a recommendation to hire or not hire.

Third, top-performing banks adopt a sales process that is both stage-based and milestone-centric. Then they hold their lenders and relationship managers accountable to following that process.  On average, this step alone generates a 15% increase in loan production. This focus on stage-based allows a leader and sales coach to see where in the sales process a lender may need help and targeted coaching. It is a fact that “elite salespeople”, those in the top 7% of all salespeople, follow a consistent sales process.

Fourth and finally, top-performing banks make an investment in sales leader and sales management training before they even think about training their salesperson.  They equip their leaders with skills in setting standards and accountability, coaching, recruiting, and motivation. These are the top four skills that sales managers should be spending 85% of their time doing. Since most sales managers typically are promoted up through their specialty area in banking, the sales management skills assessment consistently shows that sales leaders do not have the skills or a process needed to drive consistent sales growth with their teams.

Learn More About Our  Bank Sales Training Approach

Topics: Sales Process, sales skills assessment


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    About our Blog

    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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