Archive for the ‘Sales Leadership’ Category

12 Is a Costly Number to Every Sales Leader

Do you waste 12 minutes a day as you are conducting your daily sales activities?  Be honest.  If you are honest with yourself, the time wasted each day probably exceeds just 12 minutes.  Ongoing workplace time use and workforce productivity research suggests employees continue to waste a lot of time.

What is all that wasted time costing your ability to increase sales?  Maybe you are thinking, it’s just 12 minutes a day, not much.

By doing some simple math, 12 minutes a day equals 1 hour a week and this translates into 52 hours per year or over a solid week of productivity.  Now that the picture is much bigger, what is that costing you?

If you are a sales leader and value your time, then you should be worth at least $100 an hour or $5,200 annually given all that expertise.  Even if you believe you are only worth $50 an hour that still adds up to $2,600 each year. If you know how much time it takes to close a sale, then do that math.  How many more sales could you achieve in 52 hours?

What can you do as a sales leader for yourself to reinvest those lost minutes into productive ones? Here are some simple strategies from which you can take action:

  1. Eliminate unnecessary conversations and time wasters including social media. Be intentional in all your actions.
  2. Review your sales goals daily, weekly and monthly.
  3. Set a schedule and review your schedule daily. Use a CRM tool as you review your activities.
  4. Use agendas for meetings with your sales management or other colleagues. Without agendas, meeting time becomes a lot of lost minutes.  Do not allow any new items that come from the discussion. Table them for the next meeting.  Keep personal issues out of the meeting. This one strategy helped one of my clients consistently increase revenue by 20-25% annually.
  5. Model as a sales leader the desired behavior. Respect the time of your colleagues and your customers. For example, let your sales prospect know that you only want 30 minutes of his or her time.
  6. Align your time to your sales goals. If you goal is to secure one new sales lead from your regular chamber to civic meetings, then make sure you achieve that goal.  Do not waste time visiting with people that you know. You must first be accountable before you expect others to be accountable.
  7. Have a  sales action plan. As a sales leader, you should be an overall Strategic Business Growth Action Plan© reinforced with Marketing, Sales, Customer Loyalty, Management, Innovation and Financial sub plans. Stop the praying and spraying mentality and behaviors that are time wasters.
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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 12

Today’s question regarding how to increase sales leadership results is a very personal and simple one:

Do you truly love yourself?

I am not asking this in any narcissistic or egocentric way. What I know to be true after executive coaching and sales coaching hundreds of individuals, many do not love or even like themselves.

Years ago when Sally Fields accepted an Oscar she said in a very loud voice “You really like me.” My sense is she didn’t truly like or love herself.

One of the ways to know if you truly are comfortable in your own skin  as they say is to spend time alone. Turn off the all the distractions. Enjoy the peace and solitude. Possibly contemplate:

  • What went well?
  • What can go better tomorrow?
  • Are you internally happy with your own actions?

Maybe all those people so wrapped in their smart devices, social media exchanges are doing so because they can’t stand their own silent company. By being engage with others, they don’t have to face the solitude of their own existence?

To increase sales leadership results begins within each and every individual. This is why this question is last.

Possibly I could have started with this question first, but then the other questions would have not had the emphasis or importance.

Answering this simple question is not easy.  It requires contemplative time and being honest with yourself.

And that authentic, time consuming honesty is not something many people find comfortable.  It is far easier to quickly point out the dishonesty in others than recognizing the dishonesty within ourselves.

The New Year is now just seven (7) days away.  Imagine the possibilities as you review this question as well as those other 11 questions and how those answers could increase sales leadership results for you and for others.

To realize success, one must be comfortable in one’s own skin.  I believe it is the ability to love and accept yourself with all your pluses and minuses.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 11

The ability to increase sales leadership begins from within. Outside resources from sales training to sales books to attending motivational speaking events support all those internal desires and emotions.

If your one action action to increase sales leadership was realized, how would that make you feel?

So often we ignore our feelings, our emotions. We are encouraged to seek more knowledge and skills. Yet it is our emotions that more than often contribute to our successes or failures.

Henry Ford said:

“Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, you are right.”

My sense is a better quote would be:

“Whether you feel you can or you feel you cannot  you are right.”

How often do we allow our feelings of discouragement, fears and negativity to keep us from moving forward?

We appear to gravitate towards the negative potential outcomes instead of the positive ones.

Feelings must be balanced with logic. However for that balance to be present, feelings must be acknowledged. Possibly this is why emotional intelligence in sales leadership is becoming more and more prevalent.

Our feelings is what makes us unique.  We can share those feelings in a positive, professional and sincere manner without being viewed as unauthentic or if you prefer “brown nosing.”

As I have shared before President Theodore Roosevelt said:

“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

How can you increase sales leadership results if you are viewed as not caring?

When we apply emotional intelligence to our responses, we are not only recognizing and understanding the emotions of others, but we are simultaneously recognizing and understanding our own emotions.

In the play Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote “To thine own self be true.” However the verses before this quite famous quote as far more telling respective to individual feelings.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 10

Today’s questions follows the one result you desire to increase sales leadership. (Read yesterday’s posting for further clarification).

What planning action or actions must you take to make that desire a reality in 2018?

President and General Eisenhower said “Plans are worthless; planning is everything.” In this hurry up, must have, quick fix sales culture, planning is often “short cutted” or worse yet ignored. Both actions further contribute to the inability to increase sales leadership.

Planning is all about employing critical thinking skills to overcoming the known and unknown or what if scenarios that may prevent successful execution of the actual written plan.

Yes efficient (doing things right) and effective (doing the right things) planning takes time.  Yet how much time is wasted in redoing what didn’t work? What different increase sales leadership results could have been achieved with some better planning?

Business research continues to reveal many executions fail. My sense is a large majority of those failed sales executions are the result of poor planning, poor thinking.

Funny thing about human nature, people including salespeople look for something, a sales technology tool, a quick sales tip to increase sales leadership results. Yet, the simplistic and least expensive tip is just to sit down and THINK!

ASSESS – CLARIFY – EXECUTE

The planning and thinking process begins with assessing what is currently happening, what has happened in the past and what may happen in the future.  Then time is invested in clarifying or confirming the research.  Finally executing the outcome of assessing and clarifying takes place with the understanding some of the planning may have to be revised because the marketplace is constantly changing.

Planning is not rocket science.  Anyone with critical thinking sales can engage in this increase sales leadership behavior.

If you truly desire 2018 to be better than any previous year, then invest the time to plan and think your actions, be proactive instead of reactive. Amazing results are indeed possible.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 9

Consider for a moment today is 12/21/2018. Then ask yourself this increase sales leadership question:

What is the one result from ALL of your efforts to increase sales leadership that would confirm 2018 was the best year ever for you?

The answer to this question is where you begin planning 2018.  For you have just described the end result or as it has been said so many times before:

Begin with the end in mind!

Now you must invest the time in planning (thinking) on how to get to that desired end result.

Unfortunately because many are in a hurry up, quick fix sales culture, there is a strong tendency to believe the word plan, as a verb, is a four letter dirty word.

This week I had the opportunity to meet a man who retired in his mid fifties after working for a Fortune 500 firm. Neither he or his wife had college educations, but both had a strong work ethic which included the ability to plan as a verb. Both worked hard and worked themselves up the ladder into executive management positions.  They have planned for their retirement for years. All of this planning actions have their new cars paid off, money in the bank, a mortgage nearly paid off along with other investments.

What this gentleman said was “We have been planning for this day since we married.” He truly understood “begin with the end in mind.”

Possibly if you truly want 2018 to be better respective to your ability to increase sales leadership then now is the time to make that happen.  Don’t wait until January 2, 2018.  Start now, envision that one desired result which will confirm 2018 was the best year ever for your sales career or your business. Invest the time to emotionalize that desired result with all the positive, pluses or rewards. Align your daily thoughts to that desired end result while aligning your positive core value driven behaviors as well.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 8

How often when we look to increase sales leadership, we sometimes fail to focus on what we can control?

Today’s question is all about focusing on what you can control?

How much time do you invest working on your strengths or talents in comparison to the time spent improving your weaknesses or non-talents?

By the way did you notice I changed verbs in this question?  Invest suggests a positive result while spent indicates a negative or non-investment result.

Each year I plan for my own professional development with a far greater emphasis on my talents than my non-talents.  Some of this professional development is mandated through various state requirements and I have little control over those mandates. What I have control over is how I can connect and apply those mandates to my talents.

Of course, if you don’t know what you do well, you could be wasting a lot of time, energy, money and emotions focusing on the wrong solutions that inhibit your ability to increase sales leadership. Yesterday’s question discussed the need for absolute crystal clarity as to your own individual talents.

I am not saying to ignore weaknesses. What I am saying is by devoting more time to improving your talents, you will have better sales results and consequently more sales success.

Human behavior from years of earlier conditioning works against us. All those “red pen” marks to those less than satisfactory grades have us conditioned to look to our weaknesses.  We ignore the plethora of opportunities hidden within our own talents and strengths. What an incredible waste of human potential.

We read about turning potential into performance from a variety of sales training courses to sales experts to even sales leadership coaches. Yet, for this to actually happen starts with our own existing talents and strengths.

Remember:

Winning sales people and sales teams  win because of their talents not because of their weaknesses.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 7

Many believe to increase sales leadership begins with sales training, learning more stuff to improve existing known weaknesses, but in actuality the foundation for sales success lies within the strengths of each salesperson, not their weaknesses, This leads to question number 7:

If people succeed because of their strengths, then do you know with absolute crystal clarity what are your strengths?

During the last 10 years, what I have learned is the super majority of people do not know their strengths as well as they know their weaknesses.  Does this make sense? Think about it for a moment.

Would a legendary coach such as Vince Lombardi hire a quarterback with the weakest throwing arm?  Of course, not! He would seek the individual with the strongest and most accurate throwing arm.

Many psychometric assessments with the goal to increase sales leadership fail to identify the talents of the individual.  The variety of talents reaffirms the variety of salespeople and reveals how they are successful. Human beings are unique and salespeople being human beings are therefore also unique. One talent for one salesperson may not be equally shared by another.  However both can be very successful by leveraging their own strengths. This explains the diversity within any sales team.

Additionally, as Jay Niblick, President of Innermetrix said:

“People tend to turn non-talents into weaknesses.”

Again, the focus from years of negative conditioning is to look at weaknesses or talents ranked lower instead of focusing on those strengths or talents ranked higher.  To increase sales leadership must begin with knowing one’s talents not one’s weaknesses.

There are a plethora of assessments suggesting how to increase sales leadership. For years I did not include assessments within my executive leadership coaching and sales coaching practice because of the poor validity and reliability scores.  However, once I discovered the Attribute Index based upon the works of Dr. Hartman through Axiology, I quickly embraced this talent assessment.

To improve your sales results in 2018 and to achieve sales success, consider the earlier question and ask yourself do you know with absolute crystal clarity your strengths?

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 6

Now another simple increase sales leadership question:

What is keeping you from changing that one behavior which would improve your results?

Here is where as some say the rubber meets the road.  Identifying what is keeping us from realizing the change we want requires us to look down deep inside and face the truth. This truth may not be pretty. Sometimes the fear of facing the truth is what prevents us from identifying what is keeping us from those desired results.

Fear is often said to be False Evidence Appearing Real. We all have fears.  Lots of people make good money helping people work through those fears.

Again, this is where journaling can support facing those fears.  By writing down one’s thoughts as one works through answering this question helps to bring actual clarity to those fears.  One may learn what he or she feared may not be the real fear but a shadow lurking in front of the real fear or fears.

Another way to identify what is keeping someone from achieving his or her desired behavioral change and ultimately results is to think of this word limitations. Now some writers use the word obstacles and others employ the word challenges. Both of these words are acceptable.  I prefer the word limitations because it speaks more to internal barriers.

We all have limitations. Learning how to recognize those limitations and then leverage them is a combination of attitudes and skills.

Again, these 12 days of questions to increase sales leadership revolve around each individual. We all can make the choice to stay with the status quo, blame forces outside of our control and resign ourselves to nothing will make a difference.

Or we can as it is said, face our own internal music and change the tune. The choice is always up to each of us and our own personal desire to increase sales leadership.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 5

If the goal is to increase sales leadership results, then this suggests taking each question and asking another question.  Yesterday the question looked to identifying one aspect, one behavior that would be valuable to you.

Today’s question digs a little deeper with:

What would be the positive, negative, or neutral end result of that one changed behavior?

How often do we decide to make a quick change and the change is not sustainable?  In business, some people are just hired to analyze the results, outcomes, of changes in products, services as well as operational expenses.

Yet for our own personal and even professional lives, we sometimes fail to undertake a similar analysis.  We think we know what the increase sales leadership results should be, but in actuality we truly don’t have 100% crystal clarity as to those results.

By analyzing the potential desired results, we avoid the all to common quick fix mentality or solution.  Then it appears we begin changing decisions in rapid succession until something sticks.  I call this behavior “spraying and praying.”  We spray our actions, our decisions all over the place and then pray something will stick.  What a waste of time, energy, emotions and dollars.

Have you ever thought or heard the following?

“Well, I think it went well”

When this statement is made, a good presumption is the individual failed to analyze the actual results of the decision or initiative.  He or she then continues merrily down the road of life not realizing better increase sales leadership outcomes could have been achieved.

Thinking is a far cry from actually knowing.

This increase sales leadership question along with the other four and the ones to come work to counter the natural resistance to change.  Staying with the status quo is far easier, far safer and potentially far less expensive respective to time, energy, money and emotions.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 4

A small change can make a big difference especially  when looking to increase sales leadership. Today’s question is a simple, but not necessarily easy one:

If you could change just one (1) aspect of what you are currently doing,

what would that one aspect be?

This question requires both reflection and internal honesty.  Now is not the time to fudge the truth or ignore something you do not want to face.

Usually this aspect for many begins with one behavior, one action that is not delivering the desired increase sales leadership results. However, the behavior is usually a result of an attitude.  Upon further reflection, there is probably a hidden, subconscious, belief that gave birth to that attitude.

Additionally how much do you really want to change that one aspect of what you are currently doing? We can see annually all the failed New Year Eve’s resolution as to the lack of desire for really changing our behaviors.

This increase sales leadership question is very much like a ball of yarn.  You begin pulling out the thread (the one behavior you wish to change) and the color of the yarn changes as you pull out more of the thread. Suddenly you realize this question is far more introspective than it was at first glance.

Changing behavior is not easy as it requires continued internal reinforcement.  Unknown or unexpected obstacles suddenly appear making it more difficult to stay the course of change. This is why it is critical to have key performance indicators as well as mechanisms to measure the results of change. Sometimes we go off course and not even realize we are off course until it is too late.

If you have not read the first three increase sales leadership questions, here they are for your review:

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