Posts Tagged ‘sales productivity’

Quick Fixes in Sales Often Ignore This Reality

In sales many seek the quick fixes that range from sales training, incentives, hiring new sales managers, new salespeople or some motivational speaker.  Yet in a few days to a few weeks, the sudden burst of sales productivity gradually returns to its pre-quick fix levels.

quick-fixesThe reality is 99.9% of all quick fixes ignore this reality. The reality is clarity or rather lack of clarity.

In the story Alice in Wonderland, Alice approaches the Cheshire Cat sitting in a tree.  At the foot of the tree are various paths. Alice asks the Cat “What path should I take?”  The Cat responds with “Where are you going?” Alice states “I don’t know” and the Cat then replies “Well any path will take you there.”

Clarity is essential in sales, in business and in life.  If you don’t know where you are going with crystal clear clarity, you will end up taking the wrong path.

Many SMB owners and C Suite executives in their efforts to increase sales confuse symptoms with problems.  They believe lack luster sales are the problem when in reality the poor sales are usually a symptom of one or more problems.  All of these problems return to a lack of clarity. Without clarity there is incredible miss direction and misguided decisions.

For the last almost 20 years I have been working with SMB owners and sales professionals.  Given that most have never invested the time to determine where they are going; how they are going to behave and what they are going to do in the immediate future to get to where they are going, I am not surprised by the inability to increase sales or sustainable business growth.

The lack of clarity is the reason for executive coaching.  These professional coaches look to support their clients in gaining crystal clear clarity.

Years ago I wrote an eBook entitled Triage Business Planning with this message on the front cover:

Know Exactly What to Do and When to Do It.

Track the Right Things to Produce the Right Results Avoid Misdirected Actions and Misguided Decisions.

If you have any hesitancy when reading the previous words, then you probably lack crystal clear clarity and may be subject to the temptation of quick fixes.

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Before You Buy That Sales CRM

There is no question technology can increase sales productivity.  However for any sales CRM including other productivity tools to work requires:



  • An open attitude by the sales team
  • A sales culture that supports sustainable business growth
  • A realization that technology is only a tool because:

People buy from people!

Buying a sales CRM will not magically increase:

  • Revenue
  • Leads
  • Repeat business
  • Smoothness of operations

And will NOT reduce STRESS!

Yet there is a persistent belief probably fostered by some excellent marketing that technology is the magic pill to cure your sales ills.

With worker productivity falling sharply in the last quarter of 2015 at the fastest pace in over a year (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) supported by Gallup’s Engagement Poll of only one in three workers being actively engaged, SMBs are losing thousands of dollars every day.  Then add in the ineffective recruiting, hiring, onboarding and sales training, SMBs are bleeding additional profit dollars.

How do you feel about all those loss profit dollars?

The better question to consider is will a sales CRM consistently solve these problems?

  • Lack of personal accountability
  • Personality conflicts and/or power struggles
  • Time management problems
  • Unacceptable results
  • Difficult keeping motivated
  • Limited focus and directions
  • Cover your behind mentality
  • Communication problems
  • Can’t do attitudes
  • Misalignment/lack of coordinated efforts (Do as I say, not as I do)
  • Reactive rather than proactive thinking
  • Unproductive sales teams or teamwork
  • Duplication of effort (chasing one’s tail)
  • Inconsistency of quality work (erratic sales statistics)
  • Excessive and unproductive meetings
  • Disconnect between sales training or other solutions and results

Even though today’s sales CRM software is much improved from yesterday, it still was never designed to align, develop and nurture a forward thinking sales culture.  No that solution is not found in any sales CRM.

Want to increase sales,  CLICK HERE to reserve your 30 minute conversation and with one question to learn how truly aligned your sales culture really is before investing in any new technology.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver for leaders who desire a Forward Thinking Sales Culture. She supports executive leadership in bridging the sales culture gap of people and processes that restricts SMB sales results. If you want to increase sales, then call Leanne at central time USA to solve your disengaged employees and ultimately your disengaged sales culture. Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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The Biggest Small Business Dilemma


small-business-dilemmaRight now possibly the biggest small business dilemma involves technology specific to the apps that will deliver the best results specific to sales productivity and management. In the last 24hours, I had 10 different app companies follow me on Twitter. These apps ranged from sales compensation to hiring to individual sales productivity (CRM).  A small business owner could literally spend hundreds of hours determining the best app or apps for his or her small business.

There are what I call two shadow problems to this small business dilemma.


Time and Learning Curve

Loading up even the basic information, “playing” with the app and then determining if the app is the right fit for the company must be considered with every app. Many software producers offer a free trial period.  Free involves the cost of the app only and does not include the time and learning curve costs that the small business owner must bear.  If the app doesn’t work, those dollars now become lost profits.

Quick Fix Mentality

small-business-dilemmaBy reading much of the marketing copy, one might be led to believe these apps will fix everything that ails a small business.  Additionally, there are small business owners and entrepreneurs who are desperate to fix critical issues and believe this or that app will be the magic cure.

Years ago there was a proverb that is still true today “A fool and his money are soon parted.”  Today this proverb might be re-framed for this small business dilemma:

In sales, only fools believe tools (apps) are the magic pill for what ails them.


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How to Increase Sales Tip – Remove the Destructive Distractions

Technology upgrades have forced me to rethink my home office and my sales productivity. This reflection has me relocating to my first floor office that had become more of a library than a sales productivity center.

What I have learned from this relocation and consolidation (as I am a pack rat) is that I made a conscious decision to remove as many distractions as possible with the first one being the television set.  Even though having the news on provided me a contact with the real world, I now realize it was interfering with my thought processes,  my focus not too mention overall sales productivity.

Distractions can easily detour your daily to do’s as well as your thinking process. This is why I tell clients who are taking one of the several online assessments I offer to remove ALL distractions. For when the phone rings, someone knocks on your door, the computer tells you that you have mail, then the path you are currently walking down suddenly takes a detour and you may not end up where you want to be. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Sometimes it makes sense to follow your own advice.

The detour costs time and time for crazy busy sales people as well as small business owners once spent, used or enjoyed can never be tangibly recovered. Once we realize in our “how to increase sales efforts” that distractions are destructive to our sales productivity, we can them put a plan in place to overcome those destructive non productive activities.

P.S. In the days to come, I shall share some over “how to increase sales tips.

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Indecision In Selling Is a Sales Decision

To be or not to be could be easily restated to decide or not to decide.  Indecision is a sales decision and will not achieve the goal to increase sales.


With so much employee productivity (engagement) and sales productivity research not to mention all those small businesses to mid size businesses operating without strategic plans, the market place is teeming with indecision and costing both individuals and organizations millions of dollars in lost sales and profits.

When someone is in a decision making quandary, actions are not taken or are taken with unsure steps with potentially a lot of back stepping.   This is not helpful to the individual especially if she or he is a salesperson who wishes to increase sales.

What would happen if you as that crazy busy salesperson made a commitment to invest 15 minutes each day:

  • Planning your next day?
  • Planning your next week?
  • Planning your next important fact finding meeting?
  • Reviewing your daily, weekly and monthly accomplishments?

Would you then be less inclined to be indecisive?  Would you potentially work as they say “smarter not harder?” And would you increase sales?

From my own personal experience and working with my clients, the answer is a hands down Yes.  Of course, some may hide behind being “crazy busy” and just not having time. What is interesting to note that most of these time and usually cash strapped individuals will admit to wasting at least 12 minutes a day.  Those 12 wasted minutes translate into one hour per work week.

Yes indecision in selling is a sales decision.  The good news is that you can stop all that indecision right now by:

  • Returning to your strategic plan (and you do have one don’t you?)
  • Revisiting your core foundational statements especially your values
  • Investing some time daily to reflect upon today’s and tomorrow’s selling and sales actions and events

If indecision is still a problem, then maybe it is time to speak with a colleague, a mentor or even consider hiring a business or sales coach.  To increase sales as well as profitability does require an aligned decision making process that works with your talents, emotional intelligence and your existing strategic  plans.

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