The Sales Blog http://thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:51:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Take the Path of Most Resistance http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/16/take-the-path-of-most-resistance/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/16/take-the-path-of-most-resistance/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:51:05 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45802 Take the Path of Most Resistance is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Take the Path of Most Resistance is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Electricity follows the path of least resistance. So does water. And so do too many salespeople. Your very best prospects already have a partner who provides them with whatever it is that you sell. The trust that partner, [...]]]>

Take the Path of Most Resistance is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Electricity follows the path of least resistance. So does water. And so do too many salespeople.

Your very best prospects already have a partner who provides them with whatever it is that you sell. The trust that partner, and as far as they know, they are completely satisfied. On top of that, they’re busy, and they receive tons of emails from salespeople asking to pitch them. They have no idea who is worth talking to and who isn’t, so they say no to almost everyone.

These dream clients are the path of most resistance.

Like electricity and water, you can seek a path of least resistance. When your dream client refuses your request for a meeting, you can put them on a calendar, call them quarterly, and seek and easier path. There are plenty of people who will be receptive, but you can’t create massive value for them, and that means they can’t massively value you or what you do. They might buy from you, but they will buy like you are a commodity.

The path of most resistance is a more difficult path to take.

First you have to fight your internal resistance and your desire to find an easier path.

You have to expend far more energy nurturing your dream clients and becoming known as a value creator than you would if you called on lesser prospects. The path of most resistance requires that you build a prospecting campaign and pursue different contacts at different levels within your dream client’s company until you find some opening, someone who is receptive to you.

The path of most resistance is more difficult. But you will likely be one of very few willing to pursue that path when most others will simply give up, give in, and go home.

Go where others fear to tread. Do what others dare not. Take the more difficult path.

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Right Now http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/15/right-now/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/15/right-now/#respond Wed, 16 Apr 2014 01:31:11 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45794 Right Now is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Right Now is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Right now you could be nurturing your dream client. You could be reaching out to communicate something of value that they could use to immediately think differently or produce better results in their business. Right now you could be prospecting. You could [...]]]>

Right Now is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Right now you could be nurturing your dream client. You could be reaching out to communicate something of value that they could use to immediately think differently or produce better results in their business.

Right now you could be prospecting. You could be on the telephone now calling your dream clients to follow up on all the nurturing you’ve done over the last six months. Right now you could be asking for an appointment.

Right now you could be face-to-face with one of your existing clients. You could be deepening your relationship, proving that you’re accountable for results, and exploring new opportunities. Right now you could be building something.

Right now you could be working on developing yourself personally and professionally. You could be listening to an audio program, reading a book, reading a journal, or writing down everything you’ve learned this year. Right now you could be sharpening your saw.

Right now you could be sending a thank you card. Right now you could be showing your gratitude for the dream client that give you your big opportunity to share. Or you could be sending a thank you note to the people on your team who have delivered on all the promises that you made, no matter how difficult they were to keep.

Right now you could be planning for your next sales call. You could be identifying all the things you already know, all the things you need to know, what your client expects from you in the way of value creation, and the commitment that you are going to need to gain once you’ve earned it. Right now you could be doing the work that insures your success tomorrow.

Right now you could be wasting time. You could be scanning the Internet for novelties and distractions. You could be doing the pretend work that makes you look busy without producing any real results. Right now you could be avoiding making the call that you most need to make. Right now you could be spending time that you will later wish you had invested wisely.

What are you doing right now?

Questions

Now that you’ve read this, what are you going to do right now?

What is the one action that you most need to take now?

What is the one activity you’re avoiding? How will you feel after you complete that task?

What is it that you fear?

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A Note to Entrepreneurs on Leading Sales http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/14/a-note-to-entrepreneurs-on-leading-sales/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/14/a-note-to-entrepreneurs-on-leading-sales/#respond Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:54:18 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45783 A Note to Entrepreneurs on Leading Sales is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

A Note to Entrepreneurs on Leading Sales is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino “How do I lead and manage a sales force having never had any sales experience?” I’ve heard the same question three times in as many days, although it was worded a little different each time. One entrepreneur [...]]]>

A Note to Entrepreneurs on Leading Sales is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

“How do I lead and manage a sales force having never had any sales experience?”

I’ve heard the same question three times in as many days, although it was worded a little different each time. One entrepreneur asked me for the one book he should read to try to get up to speed as fast as possible in order to lead and manage his team. His heart is in the right place, but there isn’t such a book.

Here is the real answer: Start selling.

Pick up the phone and start calling your dream clients and asking them for meetings. Start asking people to refer you and to make introductions. Get on LinkedIn, connect with people, and see if you can share how you create value (or intend to). Book yourself on no less than five face-to-face sales calls a week.

No, I didn’t forget that you were the entrepreneur. I am telling you this because you are the entrepreneur.

  • You will never know what it feels like to make cold calls if you don’t make them yourself. And if you can’t figure out how to make it work, you can’t teach someone else.
  • If you are doing any business at all, you need to start asking for referrals. Later, you are going to want your sales team to ask for referrals, and if you’ve never gotten one, they won’t either.
  • Social selling is easy, isn’t it? You just connect with people and share cool links and then they buy, right? There isn’t a single prospecting method that produces results without massive effort and some real chops, and social is no different.
  • You are going to need your sales force sitting face-to-face with your dream clients. The best way for them to learn is to accompany you on sales calls. No one knows more. No one has more passion. No one cares more deeply than you do.

 

You can’t teach someone to swim if you haven’t spent a lot of time in the water. You wouldn’t want open heart surgery from someone whose qualifications were limited to reading a book. Experience matters.

If you want to lead a sales force, get out in front and sell.

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The Case for Creating Value Before Claiming Value http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/13/the-case-for-creating-value-before-claiming-value/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/13/the-case-for-creating-value-before-claiming-value/#respond Mon, 14 Apr 2014 01:30:46 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45772 The Case for Creating Value Before Claiming Value is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Case for Creating Value Before Claiming Value is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino The devil is never a maker, The less that you give, you’re a taker. – Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell My friend Mike asked where he could find this post on my site. [...]]]>

The Case for Creating Value Before Claiming Value is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The devil is never a maker,
The less that you give, you’re a taker.
– Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell

My friend Mike asked where he could find this post on my site. I hadn’t yet written it, even though the idea exists in a bunch of posts here.

Your Intentions Matter

Your intentions matter. Continually banging away at your dream client asking for an appointment to pitch them is all about you. You want an appointment. You want to do a needs analysis to help them discover the gaps in their performance. You want a chance to compete for their business. That’s all well and good (and necessary), but what’s in it for your dream client?

By creating value for your client by providing them with ideas, insight, and value in front of an opportunity, you establish that your intention is to create value for them–not just claim value for yourself. You also do this by creating value through the sales process.

Your intentions betray you, for good or for ill.

You Become Known

When you create value in front of an opportunity, sharing value-creating ideas with your dream client, you become known. You have no idea when an opportunity it going to present itself or when your dream client is going to become dissatisfied enough to take action. At that point, you are either known, or you are not.

You are not a secret agent. You need to be visible, accessible, and well known long before there is ever an opportunity. Creating value in front of a deal makes you known.

You Build Your Credibility

It isn’t enough to be known. One salesperson has called me every quarter for over ten years. He is always “Just checking in to touch base.” In ten years he has never once shared a useful idea, provided me with a unique view on an industry trend, or warned me of something I might be getting wrong.

When you create value before claiming any, you are not only known, you are known as a value creator. Your credibility grows when you prove you have business acumen and the situational knowledge.

You Demonstrate Your Commitment

The hapless, helpless salesperson above isn’t really committed to working with me. If he was, he wouldn’t call every 90 days with no communication between quarters.

Continually creating value before claiming any demonstrates that you are in this thing for the long haul, that you aren’t going to give up, give in, and call it quits. It demonstrates commitment and persistence, two qualities your dream client hopes you have when it comes to helping them produce better results.

Deposits Before Withdraws

You can’t withdraw value from an account where you have made no deposits. If you try to, you quickly discover that you are overdrawn and that there is a penalty to be paid. That penalty is usually a loss of trust and the loss of the relationship.

By making deposits over time, you build up your account balance. When it is time to withdraw some of that value, it’s easy because you’ve got more than enough to cover it.

Questions

What do you do to create value before claiming any?

What happens when someone tries to claim value from you before they’ve created enough? How do you feel about that person?

When you need something, who do you call? How do you know to call them?

How long do you persist in creating value and making deposits before you can claim any part of the value you create?

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The Hustler’s Playbook: The Only Gatekeeper Is Your Willingness http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/12/the-hustlers-playbook-the-only-gatekeeper-is-your-willingness/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/12/the-hustlers-playbook-the-only-gatekeeper-is-your-willingness/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:44:58 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45763 The Hustler’s Playbook: The Only Gatekeeper Is Your Willingness is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Hustler’s Playbook: The Only Gatekeeper Is Your Willingness is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino As a young kid fronting a rock-n-roll band, I moved to Los Angeles in hopes of being discovered. In the days before the laptop and the Internet, you went to Los Angeles to play the [...]]]>

The Hustler’s Playbook: The Only Gatekeeper Is Your Willingness is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

As a young kid fronting a rock-n-roll band, I moved to Los Angeles in hopes of being discovered. In the days before the laptop and the Internet, you went to Los Angeles to play the Sunset Strip and wait for an A&R person from the record company to make you a star. You needed a gatekeeper to validate you, to give you permission to succeed.

For a host of reasons, it didn’t work out that for me. But a lot has changed. More accurately, everything has changed.

If you want to share you music, sell your music, and build a community of supporters, all you need is a little talent, a lot of ambition, a laptop, GarageBand, and a video camera. There are no gatekeepers between you and your people if you are willing to hustle.

If you want to write long form news, magazines, or editorial commentary, all you need is a way with words, a point of view, a good hosting provider, a killer WordPress theme, and the willingness to engage with the community that cares about what you want to write about. There are no longer any gatekeepers between you and the people who are passionate about what you write.

Maybe you want to write books. There isn’t any reason to send a manuscript to a big publisher. You live in a time where you will deprived of the honor of telling the story of how you were rejected by 78 publishers before someone finally believed you were good enough to be published. If you’ve got writing chops, go ahead and pound something out of your keyboard. You’ll be in Amazon in a minute.

Entrepreneur? All of the above is true for you, too. You don’t even have to go beg a bank to give you money if you have a solid idea that you can sell.

  • WordPress makes you a publisher. Chris publishes a magazine.
  • Amazon.com puts you on their book shelves, with or without a publisher (and their recommendation engine beats all).
  • YouTube gives you your own television station.
  • iTunes gives you your own radio station. And it puts you in the record store.
  • Google gives your people the opportunity to find you.

 

The only thing you need now is the willingness to hustle, your talent, and your ambition. Stop waiting to be discovered. Stop waiting for permission to share your gift. The world is waiting for you.

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The Price You Pay for Success http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/11/the-price-you-pay-for-success/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/11/the-price-you-pay-for-success/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 02:50:50 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45756 The Price You Pay for Success is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The Price You Pay for Success is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Want to know what stops you from succeeding: comfort. Not the lack of pain or suffering. Just a lack of a real discomfort. The remedy is discipline. Discipline is a willingness to be in a state of discomfort [...]]]>

The Price You Pay for Success is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Want to know what stops you from succeeding: comfort. Not the lack of pain or suffering. Just a lack of a real discomfort.

The remedy is discipline. Discipline is a willingness to be in a state of discomfort now so that you can have something of greater value later.

The price you pay for success is:

  1. Waking up earlier than you want to (and earlier than most people would find reasonable). Your bed is warm, safe, and comfortable. You want to stay, but success begins when your feet hit the floor.
  2. Going to bed later than you want to. The bed is calling your name. But the meaningful work only gets done when you don’t stay awake and do it.
  3. Not eating whatever you want or whenever you want. You can probably eat as much as you want with no ill effects. You can’t, however, eat whatever you want or whenever you want. A little hunger pain is a good reminder.
  4. Exercising your body when you would rather not. The bed is still warm. It’s pure comfort. But you have to make yourself physically uncomfortable if you want the energy and vitality you need.
  5. Reading instead of watching television, YouTube, Hulu, or Netflix. Television, even its new forms of delivery, is a form of escape. Watching a little is okay. Watching a lot is allowing success to escape your grasp. Reading is exercising the mind, even when the content allows you to escape.
  6. Saving money instead of spending it. Saying no to small comforts and trivial distractions now means having a much greater level of comfort later. You are going to live a lot longer than you suspect.
  7. Making your calls instead of engaging with more interesting distractions. You are every day confronted with endless distractions. Making your calls isn’t as interesting or fun as many of these distractions. The distractions are destructive, destroying your ability to produce the results of which you are capable. Making your calls (or whatever work it is you are avoiding in order to be comfortable) is where you will find success waiting for you.
  8. Listening instead of talking. We love the sound of our own voice. But you don’t learn anything and you don’t make deposits in relationships when you are talking. Speaking is serving your need to be heard. Listening is serving someone else’s need to be heard, to be acknowledged, to be thought of us important. Be uncomfortable and be silent.
  9. Putting relationships above transactions. The speed of everything is increasing. We are more and more compressing time and finding a way to make transactions faster. Relationships are destroyed when you treat people like transactions. Go slow even when it makes you uncomfortable.
  10. Giving more than you take. You are going to measure your success by the contribution you made to others. Taking, having, acquiring is about your comfort now. Giving is about your legacy. Your future regrets won’t have anything to with what you didn’t have. Your future regrets will be about what you didn’t give. Give it away.
  11. Being brave enough to admit that you are wrong and strong enough to change. It’s uncomfortable to admit when you are wrong. It can bruise your ego. It can also repair damaged relationships. It’s worth the discomfort of admitting you are wrong to regain a relationship. It’s worth it to exert the necessary emotional energy to change.

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What It Takes to Produce Higher Quality http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/10/what-it-takes-to-produce-higher-quality/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/10/what-it-takes-to-produce-higher-quality/#respond Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:47:32 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45749 What It Takes to Produce Higher Quality is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

What It Takes to Produce Higher Quality is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Quality = Investment + Time + Effort Quality requires a greater investment. Quality costs more to produce. If you start with cheap, poor quality inputs, you automatically end up with poor quality outputs. It costs a good [...]]]>

What It Takes to Produce Higher Quality is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Quality = Investment + Time + Effort

Quality requires a greater investment. Quality costs more to produce. If you start with cheap, poor quality inputs, you automatically end up with poor quality outputs. It costs a good bit more to begin with higher quality inputs, but the result is something worth more on the other end.

What investments do you make in inputs?

Quality takes more time. If you want to produce excellent work, a craftsman’s quality work, you have to put in the hours. In a world where we expect everything we want immediately delivered to our doorstep–even if it requires a drone–the focus on quality is in retreat. Taking your time, measuring twice, and making the necessary adjustments improves quality. If your goal is this quarter’s results, you might decide to go faster. If your goal is a lasting relationship, speed kills.

Are you putting in the time necessary to produce something of a higher quality?

Quality is more difficult to produce. It takes more effort and more energy to produce something of a higher quality. For most of us, after time, this where we have the greatest control when it comes to quality. It takes more energy to give yourself over to the task in front of you. It take more effort to produce bigger results. But the resulting improvement in quality is worth paying for (at least for your dream clients, those who perceive the value).

Are you pouring your effort and energy into producing something of a higher quality?

You might think this is about your product, your service, or your solution. It’s more than that.

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13 Ways to Resolve Concerns and Get to Yes http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/09/13-ways-to-resolve-concerns-and-get-to-yes/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/09/13-ways-to-resolve-concerns-and-get-to-yes/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 01:00:10 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45743 13 Ways to Resolve Concerns and Get to Yes is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

13 Ways to Resolve Concerns and Get to Yes is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Before your dream client makes a decision, they suffer through a period of indecision. They worry about making a mistake. They have concerns, and it is your job to help them resolve those concerns. References: [...]]]>

13 Ways to Resolve Concerns and Get to Yes is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Before your dream client makes a decision, they suffer through a period of indecision. They worry about making a mistake. They have concerns, and it is your job to help them resolve those concerns.

  1. References: Some of your dream clients will be confident moving forward with you only after they speak to a few of your existing clients. Providing them references will resolve their concern.
  2. Testimonials: Testimonial letters serve the same purpose, but without your dream client having to call and speak to anyone. Some sales organizations use these proactively, providing them early in the process.
  3. Site Visit: When your dream client is concerned about the size of your company or doesn’t know enough about you to move forward, a site visit can help them gain the confidence they need to say yes.
  4. Client Visit: If what you do requires you to be closely integrated in your client’s processes or workflows, a client visit can help you provide your dream client with a vision of what an engagement with you might feel like.
  5. Team Meeting: Sometimes the concern your dream client is struggling with is about your team. Having a meeting to introduce the actual team they will be working is often enough to boost their confidence. Much of the time they like the team better than they like the salesperson.
  6. ROI Analysis: Every client you meet doesn’t need a formal ROI analysis. But some do, especially when they are economic buyers. Crank the numbers into a spreadsheet and show them how fast they benefit.
  7. Implementation Plan: Transitioning can be difficult. It can be uncomfortable and disruptive. Marking off the tasks, dates, and all the ways you are going to mitigate the disruption will help prove you have a plan, that you’ve done this before, and that you can make it work.
  8. Milestones: How do we get from here to there? Some of your dream clients will need to see the milestones, the “what” and the “by when” in order to feel comfortable moving forward. Map out the milestones.
  9. Review Meetings: You might get it wrong. Your dream client wants to know you will make adjustments and learn quickly. Scheduling 30, 60, and 90 day review meetings provides your dream client a chance to help you change faster.
  10. Scorecard: If you keep client scorecards, sharing your scores across a common set of metrics can help your client to see that you are serious about results, and you know what outcomes you are responsible for producing.
  11. Guarantee: Guarantees reverse the risk. If you can eliminate the risk, you also eliminate a lot of concerns.
  12. Shared Risk: Sometimes resolving concerns about results requires that you put some of your fees at risk. This resolves concerns, but it is best to share the risks by requiring an equal upside to ensure your dream client is all in on doing whatever it takes on their end, too.
  13. A Handshake: There are some people who only need you to look them in the eye, shake their hand, and commit to doing what you say you are going to do. They need to hear the words come out of your mouth.

If you don’t know what concerns are preventing your dream client from saying yes, ask them. And then help them discover what evidence you can provide that will make them 100% confident moving forward with you.

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Nothing New Here http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/08/nothing-new-here/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/08/nothing-new-here/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 01:00:07 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45736 Nothing New Here is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Nothing New Here is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino The timeless principles are timeless for a reason: they’ve stood the ultimate test, the test of time. Time has a way of sorting the wheat from the chaff. But some don’t understand that the big principles, the enduring truths, are what [...]]]>

Nothing New Here is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

The timeless principles are timeless for a reason: they’ve stood the ultimate test, the test of time. Time has a way of sorting the wheat from the chaff.

But some don’t understand that the big principles, the enduring truths, are what really matter. They want something new. If something isn’t novel, they say, “Not interesting. Nothing new here.”

But there is only one story. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl’s heart. Or a variation on the theme: Man faces nature, man is challenged to survive, man overcomes challenge. In every case, the protagonist’s character is challenged.

It’s the challenge of embracing the big, timeless principles to become what we might become. That’s the story.

All great works are an interpretation of some enduring principle or idea. They’re the principle viewed through one person’s lens. This is what and how great teachers teach. Stephen Covey didn’t invent the Seven Habits. He wrote them down. Tom Peters didn’t invent excellence. He wrote down his observations (still is, in fact). Warren Bennis didn’t invent leadership. He interpreted it. Charlie Green didn’t invent trust. He wrote down some of the observable rules.

Those that seek shortcuts, get-rich-quick, lose-weight-fast solutions love novelty. They are always searching for the next “next” thing. But by doing so, they lose themselves in a search that can only lead them back to where they started. These novelty-seekers want to become what they might become without having to wrestle with the great, timeless principles. They want the results without having to develop the character.

In the end, there is no character development in tactics. There is no journey made up of shortcuts. There haven’t been any secrets of success for a very, very long time.

There’s nothing new here.

Questions

In what areas do you seek novelty?

What timeless principle are you avoiding?

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7 Sales Management Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/07/7-sales-management-mistakes-you-cant-afford-to-make/ http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2014/04/07/7-sales-management-mistakes-you-cant-afford-to-make/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 01:00:11 +0000 http://thesalesblog.com/?p=45722 7 Sales Management Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

7 Sales Management Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino Missed your number? Struggling? Here are seven sales management mistakes. It’s likely that a combination of a few of these are what ails you. Not building a hunter’s culture. If you are a sales leader, [...]]]>

7 Sales Management Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make is a post from: The Sales Blog | S. Anthony Iannarino

Missed your number? Struggling? Here are seven sales management mistakes. It’s likely that a combination of a few of these are what ails you.

  1. Not building a hunter’s culture. If you are a sales leader, you need to create a healthy culture. That healthy culture needs to celebrate prospecting and opportunity acquisition. It needs to reject order-taking behaviors. You aren’t going to make a difference for people if they don’t know who you are and how you create value. You need more opportunities.
  2. Not inspecting activity at all. You need to measure outcomes. But that doesn’t mean that there is no place for managing activity. Too many sales managers have decided that the long sales cycle, complex sale doesn’t require any measurement of activity. You need more activity.
  3. Not helping your salespeople improve the value they create. Your salespeople don’t come to you with everything they need to succeed. You can’t pretend they do. They need to learn to create greater value, meaning they need more business acumen and situational knowledge. Without it, they will not reach the level of success of which they are capable. You need to create more value.
  4. Not spending time in the field with your reps. I get it. We’re all spread out. We use GoToMeeting. You will never know how to help develop your salespeople if you don’t go and see for yourself how they do with prospects and clients. You need to see for yourself.
  5. Not selling the value of the sales process. Your sales process isn’t perfect. But it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye. Your salespeople skip whole stages of your sales process, and by doing so they don’t create value for your prospects or gain the commitments they need. You need to sell them on the process. Then you need to coach to the process. You need to follow the process.
  6. Spending too much time serving the organization. The organization you serve prevents you from doing the one thing that will serve them more than anything else: spending time with your sales force. If you have to make a trade off, trade time with your people for time in meetings and on conference calls. No one will miss you if you tell them you need to miss a call because you and your rep are in front of your dream client. You need to spend time with your team.
  7. Not providing enough air cover. Your company is going to make some serious blunders in the name of better sales results. If you don’t provide your sales force with air cover by arguing against bad ideas–killing as many as you can–then you are missing a crucial component of your job. You need to protect your team. But once a decision is made, you march with no complaining. You need to protect your team.

Maybe these questions will help you build an action plan.

Questions

What is keeping you from having more success with your team?

Which of the above list are you guilty of? On which are you completely clean?

Which two or three of these, if corrected, would likely get you back on track?

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