Onboarding sales talent has never been more important, given the tightness of the current labor market. Yet the most effective, proven best practices for shortening the runway to success for new hires remain largely unknown and unimplemented.
Long before the pandemic transformed most of our workplaces, I was happy to work full-time as a remote employee. I’ve been one of those lucky people who didn’t really have to change all that much to adapt to the monumental changes that began to unfold in early 2020.
Whether you are a sales leader responsible for an entire team’s performance or a single salesperson looking to hit your income target, Sandler’s KARE tool is a simple, powerful resource well worth spending some time with in Q4.
You probably don’t need me to tell you that 2020 has been a year like no other. Let’s be honest: there were (and are) no playbooks for magically reversing what’s happened in the marketplace during this historically tumultuous period.
In today’s current market conditions, leaders need to accept that the success of their teams and their companies will rely heavily on striking a collaborative, coordinated balance between creative strategic thinking and effective implementation.
Attracting and keeping good salespeople is at the top of every sales manager’s list of priorities. The better we are at inspiring and holding on to great salespeople, the happier, the more engaged, and the more successful they will be.
2020 was the year. Your company was going to experience exponential growth. The plans had been meticulously prepared and presented, blessed by the board, applauded by all business unit leaders around the table.
Many of the sales leaders I talk to these days tell me that they are struggling with the issue of keeping the team(s) focused. Of course, this problem, which extends across all industries, comes at a time when many of us are directly or indirectly confronting issues related to the global pandemic, to financial pressures on both the personal and organizational scales, and to questions of social unrest. It's not all that surprising that sales teams are distracted. Everyone is distracted. The question is, what do leaders do about it when that distraction reaches the point where it affects revenue generation?
Every one-on-one meeting with someone who reports to you is unique. Each will have its own priorities and its own dynamic, based on the personalities, experiences, and professional roles of the participants. That said, there are some important topics for sales leaders to cover during each weekly one-on-one meeting with any salesperson.
When we experience a crisis, we may be strongly tempted to focus our attention on what was happening during the period that came right before the crisis, the ‘Old Normal.’ We may even be preoccupied with the current impact of the crisis itself. It goes against all tenets of self-preservation to look beyond that immediate time of crisis and instead focus on a plan of action in the future recovery phase.
One of the main goals of an L&D strategy is to improve employees’ performance. Your training sessions must result in a motivated and resourceful staff, one able to close more sales. But how do you create a strategy that actually improves employee’s performance?
Many of you reading this article right now have a team (or teams) of people that report to you in some form or another. As you think about those people, your time spent leading them, managing them, coaching them, developing them, working with them, and yes… all of the other things you have to do as part of your roles or responsibilities, it doesn’t leave much time to add on a thorough accountability process to that list… or does it?
As a sales leader, you're measured by your team’s performance. Ultimately, you're judged based on their ability to generate revenues sufficient to meet or exceed your corporate goals. So no matter how good you may have once been as a seller, it’s important to understand that selling is not your job now … and you can't expect to generate enough revenue to meet your team’s quotas simply by acting as a player-coach.
It’s the start of a new year, with new goals, new challenges, and new opportunities. Each sales team is unique … but every team leader in every industry is, we believe, likely to be interested in the answer to a critical question about the year 2020: What can we do to improve closing ratios and margins this year? Here are three proven strategies to consider from the Sandler leadership playbook.
Holding salespeople accountable: This is one of the major challenges of managing a sales team – regardless of whether it’s a traditional team where people show up for work at a central physical location, or a team working remotely, or a team at a call center. What, exactly, is the best way to do this? And how do you do it without falling into the trap of micromanaging people?
I remember taking a parenting class when my boys were young. The big takeaways from the class were the requirement to tell your child what the consequences of their behavior would be and to be clear on what you expected from them. I recall my boys’ mother and me saying to each other on numerous occasions, “We can’t get mad at them if we weren’t clear with our expectations.” Sometimes, the principle sounded like this: “Don’t punish them if you didn’t tell them they would be punished.”
What kind of salesperson should you always be on the lookout for? What specific traits does the ideal sales hire always possess, no matter what industry you’re in, and no matter what your market looks like?
The internal revolution that delivers a predictable, rapid growth curve requires a scalable sales team. This revolution always starts with the sales leader; it is always launched, modeled, promoted and defended by that leader, in close collaboration with the senior leadership of the company; and it always expands outward.
At many of the organizations we work with, the size of the average sales team has increased over the past decade. Given that there are a limited number of working hours, and given that sales leaders now find themselves responsible for supervising, training, mentoring, and coaching larger teams, what best practices should they embrace when it comes to time management? Here are three to consider.
Let’s start by talking about the elephant in the room: Cold calling is almost every salesperson’s least favorite topic. In fact, the only two groups who like the idea of cold calling are those who have never done it and sales managers.
Glenn Mattson, Sandler trainer and course instructor, shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful in financial services. Get the best practices collected from around the world for selling insurance, investments, and financial planning.
Clint Babcock, Sandler trainer from Tampa, joins us to talk about the attitude, behaviors, and techniques of negotiations. Learn how to find, understand and use sources of leverage in your sales negotiations. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of salespeople in final negotiations.
Mike Montague shares his thoughts on business development in this special bonus episode. Learn the problems and challenges of traditional marketing, advertising, and sales approaches, and what to do about it. You will discover how to add people and opportunities to your sales and marketing funnels without peddling, pushing or price-cutting. Why resort to gimmicks, when you can be a professional business developer?
Jon Denn, Vistage Chair from Boston and author of Drumbeat Business Productivity, joins us to talk about the attitude, behaviors, and techniques of being more productive. Learn how to avoid distractions, be disciplined, and get more done. Learn how to great a steady drumbeat of productivity.
Learn how to create a sales culture with Matthew Pletzer, Sandler trainer, and Mike Montague, VP of Online Learning at Sandler to talk about creating a sales culture and how that differs from company culture.
Lorraine Ferguson, Sandler trainer from Albany, NY and author of the new Sandler book, The Unapologetic Saleswoman, shares her thoughts about being a strong, confident woman in the sales profession. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of top female sales performers, and uncover the challenge and benefits of saleswomen.
David Mattson, Sandler's President and CEO, shares his thoughts about gauging the prospect's motivation and interest. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of top performers, who can uncover and qualify the prospect's reasons for doing business.
David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler, shares his thoughts about delegating and how to pass the baton in a way that gets results. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of top leaders and how the delegate tasks.
Danny Wood, Sandler trainer, shares his thoughts about the best questioning strategies and how to get to the next level in your sales skills. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of top performers, who are masters of this technique.
Tim Pattson is the TradeshowGuy. He is the author of Tradeshow Success, host of the TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee podcast, and founder of TradeshowGuy Exhibits. He joins us to talk about the best practices for succeeding at trade shows.
Jim Marshall, a long-time Sandler trainer from Florida, joins the podcast to talk about how first-time managers can be successful at coaching their direct reports. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of great leaders, and learn how to incorporate them into your new management position.
Dave Mattson shares his thoughts on sales leadership and how to build a culture of continuous improvement through role play. This Selling the Sandler Way take is a great listen before your next sales meeting.
Learn how to improve your team's attitude, behavior and technique to improve their chances of success. Eric Dunn talks about how to breathe life and results into your sales team. Learn the best practices for improving effectiveness and efficiency.
Some managers start looking for fires to start with their team, so that they can swoop in to the rescue. They have no time to set up a meaningful accountability program, they’ll say, because they have too many (self-started) fires to fight. Most of the leaders I work with are dubious at first that they could ever play the role of the Primary Arsonist. Yet it’s easier to fall into this pattern without realizing it than you might imagine.
One of the most challenging aspects of a successful career in sales management is knowing when to let your foot off the gas, assess you and your team’s status, and regroup before hopping back into the fast lane. While difficult, this is an imperative skill for a sales leader to possess.
Learn how to empower your employees to take ownership and learn how to solve problems on their own. Mike Jones talks about how to know which things to take off your plate and put them onto someone else's. You can't be great at everything, but you can build a team that is.
The digital revolution is innovative, inspiring, and even pervasive. We’ve come a long way in a short period of time, and many of the things we take for granted now weren’t even in the realm of possibility a few decades ago. As impressive as they are, the reach and impact of electronics when it comes to communication can have detrimental effects. Below, I identify three important elements that should always be involved in business relationships, no matter how advanced technology becomes.
Improving your efficiency or effectiveness is only as good as your method of determining and evaluating success. It’s easy to earn a win here or there, but repeated success over a long period of time can only be done through hard work, analysis, and reinforcement. Below, I have outlined five ways to gauge the success of your team, how you got there, and what to do to keep it up.
Dianna Booher is the author of 47 books, including Communicate Like A Leader, and founder of Booher Research. The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.
The new year is right around the corner and it’s filled with new opportunities and challenges. As we head into 2018, make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to lead your team to success. To be an effective manager, it’s important to fully understand your team dynamic. Below are five keys to doing just that.
With the start of basketball season this month, it’s the perfect time to focus on building a great team. The phrase “dream team” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s most commonly referenced when discussing the incredible collection of talent that was assembled by USA Basketball for the 1992 Olympics.
The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.
Change management is the systematic approach to transitioning from one environment to another through the reassignment of resources, business processes, budget allocations, or other aspects that significantly alter a company or organization.
Rule number 20. Mentor to a success profile. Create a success profile that people can grow into. Mentoring is where you're going to spend five to 10% of your time. It's a key aspect of leadership, but we don't do it often enough, so you need a process for it.
Bill Bartlett, a Sandler trainer and author of the best-selling Sandler book, The Sales Coach's Playbook, talks about his best practices for coaching your team through an organizational change. Bill shares his attitudes, behaviors, and techniques for coaching in this special episode.
Rule #19: Train Your Team. Make sure they get the skills necessary to do the job. Listen leaders, training is one of the four hats of leadership. You're going to spend anywhere from 20 to 30% of your time in your training function. Now, do I train less or more if I have experienced people? Of course, that's why you have a 20 to 30% swing. The more experienced people that you have, maybe the less that you have to train in some of the basic stuff.
Did you know that the average tenure of a Sales VP is only between 24-32 months? They barely have time to unpack their bags and get settled before they are looking for another position. In the meantime, the company has not only lost its Sales VP but probably its best sales person as well. Why is this? And is there something that can be done to change this dynamic?
In our constant pursuit to arm you with tools to become a sales master, we recently released a new book titled, Winning From Failing, by Sandler Trainer, Josh Seibert. While there are entirely too many teachings in the book to list here, below we have highlighted a few that encompass the essence of the book and are important takeaways for managers.
Rule #13. Be a comfort zone buster. There's no room at Complacency Inn. What does that mean? Well, have you ever run into a situation where somebody on your team was killing it? I mean doing everything that they had to do, above and beyond, things that they felt uncomfortable doing and things that they felt comfortable doing.
Holding your people accountable is simple. In working with sales leaders around the world, accountability isn’t easy because those leaders possess one of three self-limiting beliefs that cripple their accountability program.
If you were to Google ‘servant leadership,’ you would come across a list of traits that included some or all of the following; listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, building community, and nurturing. While each of these components are valuable, the sheer number of them convolutes a fairly straight forward ideology.
Being a manager that is both well respected and effective in the workplace is a difficult balancing act. While it is important to keep your employees happy, you also need to ensure that their work is still producing results. The first step in managing effectively is to recognize the problems you may be inadvertently causing. Here are five common mistakes and possible solutions to keep your employees thriving in the workplace.
It's a fact: most organizations need a killer sales force. Business development, marketing, must-have products or services – these are all essential to meaningful revenue growth. But your sales team is the heart of production. Your salespeople are the ones championing your offer and driving precious profit. Your team should be the best it can. Period.
But how do you build a successful sales team? Buckle up, because it's no easy task. As long as you follow these seven essential steps, however, you'll have a team of sales all-stars under your belt.
Managing a team of sales reps with various motivations and egos is no easy feat. And if you're a sales manger, you know that it can be a complicated and sometimes challenging role that requires a number of management skills to be successful. At Sandler Training, we've discovered that highly effective sales managers possess a set of skills and characteristics that make them stand out from the rest.
So how do some sales managers continually lead successful and goal-oriented sales teams while others repeatedly hit roadblocks and obstacles
Sales slumps happen. They are guaranteed to hit and, when they do, they put intense pressure on your team to perform. You, as a sales manager, should be prepared to lead your team out of the doldrums effectively and efficiently.
We've identified 6 things exemplary sales managers do to drag teams from the muck. There's no perfect solution to sales slumps, but these techniques will help mitigate damage and keep your staff afloat through the toughest times.
Identify and address problem
A new survey from Sandler Training put the red pen in the hands of American employees, giving them chance to "grade" the performance of their manager. The results were passing, but not exactly good enough for the refrigerator.
All good things must come to an end, especially in the world of sales and staffing. Whether all-star performers are leaving for retirement reasons or new opportunities on the horizon, the thought of finding someone who will deliver the same results and fit in the culture can seem daunting. Rest assured though, it's not impossible. With some planning and putting a few processes in place, you'll be well positioned to celebrate the departing team members and welcome the new ones.
Imagine a business is like a rock band. And every business has a drum rhythm at which it operates. The drumbeat is consistent, dependable, and stable.The most beautiful music is made when all the instruments play in harmony to the drum's rhythm. It's not always easy.
As a manager, executive or owner, the only valuable you possess is your time. To successfully manage your time and grow your business, ask yourself the following question daily: "Does 'it' advance my business?" ("It," being whatever activity you are doing or about to start.)
Let's take a look at several examples, which might resonate with you.
Activity – Understanding your direct reports' personal goals
Does it advance my business? Absolutely
We consistently have organizations coming to us for help with hiring the right talent. Over the years we've learned some pretty important lessons around interviewing sales people. Here are three common interview pitfalls you should try to avoid. Mistake 1: Interviewing the resume
Here's a quick acid test of your hiring-to-turnover ratio. How often are one of these phrases heard in your company?
- I'm not a micro-manager.
- I hired them to...
- They know what they're supposed to do...
If our business world was homogenous then those phrases would be correct because every sales job would be exactly like every other sales job. Every expense filing procedure would be exactly the same at every company and every role would have exactly the same weekly behavior expectations
I love small businesses and their owners. I spend much of my day marveling at the great accomplishments of this hearty bunch of entrepreneurs who pursue their dream and formulate the backbone of our business society. They are the lifeblood of this country. there is a soft spot in my heart for the struggles they endure as well as the challenges they must overcome to succeed.
With the great economic storm over the last year, many businesses wisely pulled back into safe harbors for a period of time. In fact, those that failed to make adjustments and continued their course were likely wiped out or at least seriously damaged. Unwise use of credit and perhaps a bit of bad luck has taken its toll on many. However, perhaps you are one of those businesses that made the proper course corrections by making the difficult and sometime painful choices.
Small business owners tend to stay small because they do not install systems and processes into their business. Most owners want to hire "experienced" sales people. The mentality is to hire someone, teach them about their products and services, then expect the person to "go sell". What's the problem? If we hire experienced sales people, once they learn the product or service, they should be good to go, right?