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Why Some Organizations Continue to Prosper

December 14th, 2017

Why Some Organizations Continue to Prosper

The most critical component in creating a high performance sales team is attracting and selecting the right level of talent, however, hiring correctly is still the number ONE problem in most organizations.  While the jury is still out on the on college national signing day and their recruitment of high school seniors, and if you follow college football you saw Alabama again win the talent contest for football players. As a Sales Manager, wouldn’t you like to be in the positon of Nick Saban, coach at Alabama,  as they  refilled their talent pool,  Alabama actually turned down players that were highly rated.

What we saw at the Super Bowl on Sunday was something similar. What we saw at the Super Bowl for those of you who are not aware of the Sunday’s event; with very little time Tom Brady lead his team back from a 21 point deficit to win his 5th Super Bowl ring.  The record shows that he has accomplished similar come from behind victories every year. On ESPN he was quoted:  I kept telling myself and my teammates that we can still win this game.   While sport’s analogies are cliché, the odds of winning were with the Patriots, however the amazing story was Howie Long, FOX Analyst, comments that with Tom Brady, the Patriots have won 5 Super Bowls with a large number of new receivers, something like 50 different offensive linemen, 20+ new running backs and many new positon coaches-yet excellence has continued. How have they continued to create a successful organization?

While being interviewed, Bob Kraft, the Patriots owner, kept talking about not only culture, but organization process, attention to details and a focus on quality. They know that each year players/coaches will retire, move to new organizations, (they are losing their Offensive Coordinator today) and others will be let go. They have to be ready and continue to keep their talent levels and training programs at a constant peak.

I titled this blog: Now is the time to recruit—not necessarily to hire-is also important.  Recruiting must be a constant focus of sales management.  At this time of year many top performers are assessing their current employer and are asking themselves if they are positioned with a winner or if the frustrations of the past year or two have been worthwhile and if they have progressed professionally.  If you are not constantly seeking new and better talent, you will find that the top sales talent, may not be looking when you are.   We always tell our clients that they need to develop a marketing campaign to recruit talent as well as to find prospects-both pipelines are critical.

Recruiting is not hiring. In my book I mention recruiting is 20% of the Sales Managers job, it is that important to add quality to your sales organization. Honestly evaluating your current talent is important. In our SLAMMED! Sales Management Boot Camp we start the entire program with this exercise, with an honest evaluation you will be in position to recruit and hire more effectively.  Build an interviewing process, stick to it, have at least 3 people interview each candidate, be skeptical and you will see the results of your efforts-just like Bob Kraft or Tom Brady.

Also in our book, “Recruiting and Hiring a High Performance Sales Team”, I suggest that for every one salesperson you hire, you need to interview five and that a minimum of three people interview each person. While I can’t get into a complete recruiting, interviewing and hiring process in this blog, building a recruiting machine with a defined interviewing process will help you take the emotion out of hiring and help you select the winners required to make your organization a “super team”.

Our website has a free video on Hiring Smart and our On Line Sales Manager’s Tool Kit includes a complete interviewing kit as well as a 3 week New-Hire On boarding training schedule. www.Acumenmanagement.com

Check out those resources then focus on execution.   I hope your new year is off and running-in the right direction!

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

 

Preparing for 2018

December 6th, 2017

Preparing for 2018

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in another conference (14th of the year), they are always great times when you can hear other speakers, learn new ideas and meet new people. During the session I lead a panel discussion on “Killer Strategies for Prospecting” and I spoke separately on “Leveraging Your Business by Partnering”.  I thought I might simply highlight a few points from both sessions since there are pertinent for everyone as we move into 2018.

Panel Discussion

There were four panelists -all with real world experience in selling and marketing. We discussed a variety of topics, but specifically on the topic of what was marketing’s contribution/responsibility to growing the sales funnel vs what is expected from the sales team.   As you would expect there was a lot of give and take and great audience interaction on this topic.

  1. Some thought that marketing was simply to build awareness of the products/company-to soften the entry for a salesperson
  2. Others believed it was to increase the relationship position as prospects today more knowledgeable because of web site and internet access
  3. Still others believed sales must prospect and any leads from marketing were simply “gifts”.

 

The key element I believe is there is a relationship between the marketing funnel and the sales funnel and both organizations are responsible for keeping the sales funnel full and adding X number of prospects into the funnel each month. Some thought that it was a 4:1 ratio.

Other tips:

  • Your website must be a sales tool- make sure your salespeople use it in your sales process and that it includes customer testimonials
  • Instead of lunch workshops, making them “business breakfast sessions”, especially for net new prospects
  • Target shoot, develop a selected profile of who you want to market too
  • Direct mail is back vs email blasts

Leveraging Your Business: Learn to Partner and Collaborate for Success

In this session I encouraged my audience to recognize that prospects are looking for longer term relationships from fewer vendors and they want their purchasing decision made easier. It must also be recognized that as business people we cannot possibility offer every solution to every client, however by learning to partner, with other organizations, we can increase the value to our prospects. You can achieve this by bringing these other resources to your prospects attention.

I proposed based upon my experience that working a partnering-model will bring your organization one salesperson’s quota per year WITHOUT absorbing the cost of sales in hiring another person.

The key element is that from an Executive level, every organization should develop 3-5 “business-eco Systems partners”, these are defined as organizations that:

  • Sell non-competitive but related products/services to the same markets you address.

The model for a successful partnering program should include the following topics:

  • It must be based upon trust and true win/win approach
  • A written plan must be agreed upon by all partnering members that includes metrics for 6, 12, 18 months
  • Cross training of sales teams and cross marketing programs must be developed
  • Executives must meet quarterly to review the program’s success
  • Selecting that right partners that fit your culture and market profile is critical
  • Salespeople should also continue to develop their network of referral sales

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services, boot camps and products designed to improve business performance.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

2018 Sales Compensation Planning

November 28th, 2017

Align Sales Compensation with Your Goals A compensation plan that works

Note: This week’s blog is an excerpt from my new book: “Creating High Performance Sales Compensation Plans”

 

When it comes to how businesses pay their salespeople, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. That’s especially true for any company that is diverse. Each has its own business, margins and mix of products and services. Some pay commission based on sales, while others only pay on margin; still others blend both with incentives and special bonus plans.

No matter which approach you use, success depends on awareness. Your sales management team must understand your company’s overall goals and structure compensation to align with them. In short, sales compensation should be not just a tactical focus for your organization, but a strategic one as well.

Sizing It Up Compensation plans shouldn’t be developed in a vacuum. You and your sales leaders need a solid grasp of your overall industry and your organization’s place in it. You’ll need to factor in variables such as new product launches and major promotions, as well as consider your personnel structure.

You should also address these questions: Is your company a start-up or an established business? Are your sales goals orders- or bookings-based? How long are your delivery cycles? What are your objectives: to secure new clients, increase average order size, reduce selling expenses? Do you want to open new vertical markets, focus on the profitable aspects of your business or increase certain activities, such as cold calling? Each answer will help them design a compensation plan tailored to your company’s specific needs.

Finally, take a hard look at your sales organization. Take the time to set goals and analyze gaps. For instance, do you need to attract new representatives to make C-level sales calls? Do you want to retain employees to build a long-term, client-based sales team, or is rapid turnover acceptable because it provides new blood? Such considerations also play into compensation planning.

Understanding Cost of Sales Of course, you can reduce selling costs and enhance profits by capping sales compensation, but in the long run you get what you pay for. If you hire good salespeople and compensate them poorly, expect high turnover, which comes with costs of its own. A sales plan that compensates strong performance will allow you to attract the best salespeople — and retain them as well.

You can reduce selling costs and enhance profits by capping sales compensation, but in the long run you get what you pay for.

Calculating the cost of sales (CoS) is an important part of planning a compensation package. For a quick CoS ratio, simply take an individual’s salary plus commissions earned at 100 percent of quota and potential bonus opportunities, then divide by that person’s revenues to obtain the percentage. For example, if a salesperson earns $150,000 in total compensation and sells $1.5 million of products and services, his CoS is 10 percent. A more sophisticated approach adds in marketing expenses, corporate overhead, direct expenses paid to the salesperson and expenses related to sales support costs.

Once you have determined an acceptable CoS range, you can fine-tune the commission plan. If you sell Microsoft offerings, services and other more product-focused solutions, it’s critical to find a blended CoS, which takes into consideration the margins of service and lower margins of product sales. That can allow you to achieve the desired CoS within your compensation framework.

Examining the Options Compensation plans vary widely, but all should include “accelerators,” that is, increased commission rates for employees who achieve target sales levels. Following are a few common examples of different plan structures:

  • Profit-Based: Commission rates change as margin levels increase. These plans are generally based on invoice, product or monthly averages of margin generation.
  • Revenue/Quota: Compensation is based on sheer volume achieved over the previous sales period or on a percentage of a quota achievement.
  • Balanced: Compensation is based on margin, revenue and a third component, such as quota attainment.
  • Team: Bonuses go to all team members when quarter-to-date (QTD) sales goals are achieved.

Let’s examine which types of plans work best in which scenarios. If your company has high revenue-growth objectives in a boom market with little competition, use a plan with aggressive accelerators. Another option involves offering higher base salaries and lower commissions. An advantage to this approach: You may not need reps with top-notch sales skills because, in this case, they’re primarily order-takers.

The situation changes in a slower-growing market with many competitors. Here, you might adopt a “protect-and-grow” revenue objective to play defense against rivals, while using a margin-based plan to upgrade accounts. The idea is to gear compensation to account for growth while providing bonuses for new accounts.

If your company’s goal is to grow revenue and focus on new account conversion programs, choose a plan focused on the percentage of sales growth quarter over quarter or annually over named accounts. Certainly, using a quota-based compensation plan can achieve this objective, too. This scenario requires strong sales compensation with quarterly bonus emphasis on revenue gains from new business.

Tailoring Tips Here are a few final considerations to keep in mind as you customize your compensation plan:

  • In new organizations focused on expanding within existing markets, the compensation plan will differ dramatically from that of an established company in the same industry. A mature, market-dominant company that receives a large percentage of its revenues from a small, loyal customer base can offer lower commissions and, perhaps, lower overall salaries. But a newcomer to an existing market probably needs to offer higher compensation to attract top-performing salespeople who can build a strong customer base.
  • New organizations in new markets need compensation plans reflecting the volatile environment, usually with higher-than- average base pay.
  • Companies in transition or undergoing a turnaround typically experience a higher CoS ratio; they may be best served by flexible plans incorporating morale- and team-building components.
  • Organizations positioned for high growth should develop plans covering brief, six-month periods. This will let management test theories and change direction while allowing the sales team to adjust accordingly.

No question about it: Creating an effective sales compensation plan is hard work, but the effort typically pays off in both improved sales performance and achievement of your corporate goals.

Ken Thoreson is managing director of the Acumen Management Group Ltd., a North American consulting organization focused on improving sales management functions within growing and transitional organizations. You can reach him at ken@acumenmgmt.com, Find his books at:

www.Acumenmanagement.com  Blog: www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com 3f4qb8v9ge

Think Better

November 13th, 2017

 

Think Better

An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking

-a book review-

Published by McGraw Hill, this is must read for any salesperson, sales leader, President or any manager.  Author Tim Hurson does a masterful job in leading the reader through the entire mental process of challenging the reader to think better.

The sub-title uses the word “Guide” and indeed it is, I folded over23 pages with many underlined passages and marked up tools while I read this book, it is that engaging.

Tim begins the learning process by bringing the reader along with an understanding of the fundamentals of thinking by introducing The Productive Thinking Model and its potential impact on driving increased levels of performance along with increasing creativity.  What I also liked is the author’s ability to keep me active with an understanding of the Monkey Brain, Gator Brain and the Elephant’s Tether and how each example teaches the reader how they think and why the model/system must be used to be that innovator or creative solution solver.

Without giving away the book-as you will want to introduce this book to your entire organization- this sentence is one of the gems: Productive thinking requires us not to rush to answers but hang back, to keep asking new questions even when the answers to the old ones seem so clear, so obvious, so right.

With an understanding of the concepts, in Chapter 6, Tim begins to then develop the process;

  1. What’s going on?
  2. What’s success?
  3. What’s the question?
  4. Generate answers
  5. Forge the solution
  6. Align resources

The balance of the book explores these 6 points in detail along with various tools Tim has included to show you how implement this process to improve your organizations ability to address issues with better solutions. With an understanding of how we think and then by providing a process to follow with the examples/tools, this is the book that will change your level of professional success. HINT: He also addresses “personal” thinking as well.

In a challenging environment having better answers to tough questions separates high performance organizations from the average organizations-learn to think better-buy this book!

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services, boot camps and products designed to improve business performance.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

Brain Waves: Transform your sales team

October 2nd, 2017

Brain Waves; Transform your sales team to higher levels of performance

Ok, let me confess right off.  Brain Waves is not my word, search on it and you will find many references to technical concepts that I have read about for the past 15 years. Recently I happened to have heard a sports talk radio host discuss Brain Waves in terms of what winning football players must exhibit, he specifically discussed using powerful Brain Waves to get into the head of their opponent allowing the one player to dominant.

Since I had studied the concept beginning years ago the  term stuck with me and during one of our recent Slammed! Sales Management Boot Camp online discussions the concept of hiring high level salespeople came up vs developing high level salespeople, in the group conversation I described the concept of Brain Waves as a separating factor in all high performing salespeople.

While we can always discuss the concepts if average salespeople can move up to “A” level salespeople, it is my firm belief a Sales Manager can move all salespeople up to the next level by following the next few steps and generating higher levels of production.  They all relate to having the correct Brain Waves.

  1. In hiring the right person, you need to assess their mental capacity in smarts, capacity to learn and mental toughness. Your interviewing process must have the questions, the evaluations and use of online assessments to validate these issues.  Smart salespeople can easily understand the “Why’s” of the sales process, evaluate the sales situation they are in and if they have a capacity to learn, product/services concepts will connect and they be open to coaching. Mental toughness relates to persistence and wiliness to do what is necessary to win.

 

  1. During one of my keynote programs I cover the process of building a high-performance culture throughout an organization. One of the key points I mention is the responsibility of Sales Leadership to build belief in the organizations people, services/products, customer experience and commitment.  This Brain Wave must be reinforced with specific and tactical actions and if done correctly the salesperson’s proper Brain Waves will be transmitted to the prospect during every sales call creating the positive emotion necessary to gain the prospects confidence.

 

  1. Confidence is a level of sales Brain Waves that is another Sales Leadership responsibility. Effective individual coaching along with a regular cadence of sales skills and product/service training programs will increase the level of salesperson confidence when handling any sales situation. Salespeople break down when they are unclear in executing the sales process, answering tough questions, unable to sell or understand the business benefits their products/service can provide to a prospect. If Sales Managers know how to coach and train and do it, the confidence level of the entire team will increase and therefore production will increase.

 

  1. The last point I will make is the Brain Waves of the Sales Manager, without the proper alignment at the leadership position points 1, 2, 3 will fail. I have found after many years of working with sales leaders that the alignment of their personal life and their professional life be in balance. While our training does focus on the tactical and strategic issues facing Sales Managers we discovered that if their personal life was not correct-for whatever reason- their level of performance on the professional failed. There are many aspects in both of these (personal/professional) topics but it can be as simple as having personal goals, a vision for their life, a personal action plan and linking it to their professional business plans and objectives.  I call this aligning the soul of individual to goals of the organization.

 

Check out your Brain Waves and what you are doing to increase the effectiveness of everyone around you.  Let me know if you other thoughts/ideas on this topic.

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services, boot camps and products designed to improve business performance.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

Folks: IT is all about Execution!

September 19th, 2017

Folks:  IT is all about Execution

During the past 12+ days we explored parts of the Western U.S. and drove nearly 1800 miles, we saw marvelous topography from the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, several cities in Montana and Wyoming plus we visited Mount Rushmore and the Badlands in South Dakota-it was a great trip.  That much time also gave me time to reflect, observe and think about our world of sales leadership.

Many organizations fail because they simply don’t focus on executing the fundaments of a sales process or management process. Its why our tag line was developed almost 20 years ago….Building Organizations Through the Execution of Strategic Sales Management. During our trip, I saw all sides of the “execution” issue.

Our second stop was Yellowstone, we chose a hotel in the center of the park, Canyon Village-don’t ever stay there, it is a bust.   Our experience, which is what hotels deliver, was far from even satisfactory; for over $300 a night we received a Motel 6 environment or less.  No TV, no Air/Conditioning, no internet service, limited cell access, but we did have a coffee pot, a small refrigerator and a small electric fan. When I inquired about the menu choice at the reservation only restaurant I was told “American comfort food”, since there was no menu in the room I asked if I could see the menu. I was told they had ONE copy and I had to walk to the main lodge lobby to see it, realize there are 590 rooms in this complex and when I got to the lobby, it took two people to find the menu! After deciding not to dine at that restaurant our party of four decided to go to the non-reservation dining room. Chaos.  People were dropped off to wander about and read menus on the wall and then picking up a plastic tray you were walked down a corporate cafeteria line choosing your “protein”, your meat, and salads, and eventually finding your way to a cashier.  The dining room was made up of plastic chairs and tables ooooo BTW you bused your own plates on to another stainless-steel counter. Now remember this is in the middle of Yellowstone National Park-no Lodge atmosphere, no warmth, no friendly faces, no attention to the environment- just more junk to buy alongside your corporate cafeteria experience.

After three days we went to Bozeman, Montana, that evening we went out for dinner in the downtown area.  We enjoyed the opposite experience, at the Montana Ale Works restaurant we had great service, our waiter even wrote down two recommended tourists spots to visit on Monday and we had an engaging conversation.  Food was terrific, atmosphere was fun and the place was packed on a Sunday evening!

I won’t make this a trip report, but my point is high performing organizations and sales leaders look and analyze their sales process, management processes and their prospect/customer experiences. A few questions to consider:

Are the sales teams executing a sales process properly?  Are you sure?

Are you as a Sales Manager organized? HINT: go to our website and take the free Sales Management Assessment. www.AcumenManagement.com

Do you have systems in place to Inspect what you Expect?

Are your sales teams trained to professionally represent your firm and its products/services? Are you sure?

Do you communicate with your customer base on an ongoing basis, as to their experiences?

Is there a quarterly review process in place with your management team to ensure you are remaining competitive and making money?

These are just a few questions to consider, the ultimate question is; are your focused-on execution?

Our Sales Management Boot Camp is filling up, it starts this Friday, September 22nd. https://www.salesgravy.com/online-sales-training/course/Slammed-Sales-Manager-Boot-Camp-9-22-17-259

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services, boot camps and products designed to improve business performance.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

 

Be a better Sales Manager, check out this Boot Camp Sept 22nd

September 12th, 2017

Be a better sales manager with Sales Management Boot Camp.

As a frequent reader and contributor to LinkedIn   I thought I should share with you an answer  to many challenges Sales Managers face. It is a Sales Management Boot Camp offering an online video library along with 8   interactive discussions with a limited number of participants-almost your own Peer Group. The sessions are by me, by Ken Thoreson from Acumen Management Group, a 20 year Sales Management consulting organization, www.AcumenMgmt.com  What will you get?

  • More than thirty self-directed video learning modules
  • Sales Management Tools, Best Practice Guides
  • Discussion forums to learn best practices
  • Plus you’ll get all four books in Ken’s Sales Management Guru series including Slammed! For the New Sales Manager

Anyone have problems with recruiting/hiring, creating compensation plans or building sales management systems that can predict revenue should check out the site in detail. I think the sessions on coaching/training look interesting.

For questions please give Sales Gravy, call 1-844-447-3737 and ask for April. Take a deeper dive here

http://ow.ly/vVQV30eAyqU

Thanks

Ken Thoreson

Acumen Management Group

www.AcumenManagement.com

SLAMMED! Sales Mgmt Boot Camp

August 9th, 2017

  Slammed! Sales Management Boot Camp- 8 weeks, online

We hear these comments all the time:

  • Our revenues are flat
  • We have too much to do, we don’t have time to build a sales organization
  • I am frustrated with my sales team, do I have the right team?
  • I have a problem growing sales profitably
  • My pipeline is full, but nothing is closing I don’t think my compensation plan is working
  • I am unsure what metrics to use to measure sales effectiveness
  • We seem to react to every opportunity
  • I work harder than everyone

If you relate to any of these comments then SLAMMED! Sales Management Boot Camp maybe for you. We start September 22, 2017 Sales management is one of the most rewarding jobs in business when you know what to do and how to do it. This is what Sales Manager Boot Camp is all

about. Taught by sales management guru Ken Thoreson (one of the world’s foremost sales leadership coaches), you will get everything you need to crush it in your new role.

You will attend eight live, virtual sessions with Ken in a small group setting (all sessions are recorded), in addition, you’ll have access to

  • More than thirty self-directed video learning modules
  • Sales Management Tools, Best Practice Guides
  • Discussion forums where you can share best practices with Ken and other participants
  • Live chat room where you can interact with Ken
  • Ken will also be available for limited one to one coaching
  • Plus you’ll get all four books in Ken’s Sales Management Guru series including Slammed! For the New Sales Manager
  • To Learn More:

In the course you’ll learn:

  • Important time management strategies for sales leaders
  • How to recruit, interview, and hire top talent
  • How to motivate your sales team
  • How to build and lead a high-performance sales culture
  • Compensation and incentive strategies
  • Coaching and training strategies for improving performance
  • How to effectively onboard new sales reps
  • How to evaluate your team and plan for the future
  • Pipeline management strategies
  • Creating Sales Management business planning strategies
  • How to build and create accountability
  • How to monitor leading indicators
  • How to manage and leverage sales dashboards
  • How to use Salesperson Business Plans to lead a self-managed team
  • And continued access to all training material in the program for twelve full months
If you are new to sales leadership or never attended a sales management course this is a opportunity you must not miss. It is a rare opportunity to learn from one to the greatest sales management minds of all time. To ensure that participants get full attention class size is limited to 15 participants. Enroll now to get instant access to pre-work and initial training videos. For questions please give us a call at 1-844-447-3737.  To Enroll, click here.

What others say about their experience at Jammed!  Sales Management Boot Camp:
“Ken Thoreson’s Sales Management Training course is perfect for either the first time or the experienced sales manager. He covers a tremendous amount of valuable content in an easy-to-use, online format. I can’t wait to begin implementing some of his ideas.” Kris Director of Sales Cloud-based Saas Solutions Provider As a Sales Manager who is also new to sales, I’ve found the Slammed course invaluable. The experience, knowledge and documentation that is shared has been incredibly helpful. In a short period of time I’ve managed to successfully conclude annual remuneration conversations and  set our Sales plan for the coming financial year. Sam IT Tech Organization, New Zealand “Wow! In 8 short weeks, Ken Thoreson provided a strong foundation in sales management. The lessons learned in Slammed! Sales Management Boot Camp are essential to any new sales manager. I strongly recommend this course for anyone who is looking to transform into the best sales manager and coach possible to lead a sales team! Georganne Healthcare Software Company, US

The Lost Art of Closing

July 26th, 2017

The Lost Art of Closing

-a book review-

Frequent readers of this blog certainly are aware of the Acumen Book Club concept, for those new readers the Book Club is sales training program we discuss in our Sales Management Boot Camps;  essentially the idea is that twice a year every salesperson in your organization reads the same sales book and the team discusses one or two chapters each week during the weekly sales meeting. The goal is to improve the professionalism of the sales team.  Now that I have explained that, buy this book-immediately. The Lost Art of Closing fits the book club model perfectly.

Anthony Iannarino hit it on the head with his book The Lost Art of Closing published by Portfolio/Penguin.  Now let me tell why this book will be a bestselling sales book and perfect for any Sales Manager or salesperson that wants to add additional income to their W-2.

Not only does the author explore how to improve the sales process in a unique style but he provides a step by step approach how a salesperson can improve their working relationship with every prospect but also he provides the tools, examples and  working scripts that are ideal for any sales training environment.  Each week as you use this book, salespeople will see how they can accelerate their sales pipeline and improve their skills. As I read through the various chapters my head kept nodding, YES< YES< YES as he built his case that closing occurs at every step of the sale and without effective closing=commitment most pipelines are built on dreams.

Anthony’s 16 chapters cover the various aspects of moving through the stages of a typical sales process and the various actions a salesperson must do to increase their effectiveness. While many sales books attempt to accomplish this idea, this book will actually change the way you look at selling and interacting during the sales process. Where he will increase your Win/Lost ratios are in the nuances of what you as a salesperson will say, do and ask the prospect.  His scripts are excellent but his logic will drive your success.  His chapters on:

  • Commitment to Explore
  • Commitment to Change
  • Commitment to Collaborate

are worth the investment of the book alone.  However when you move to Chapter 10 and learn his secret to Commitment to Review and move to Commitment to Resolve Concerns strategy your sales will be guaranteed to soar!  If you sell B2B and especially items in a complex sale with the need to add value, this book is ideal for your next sales Acumen Book Club training.  This book does take a turn in Chapter 13, Commitment to Execute, Anthony describes in a special way what I always understood, but never had seen before in a sales focused book-that the salesperson is a key component in the successful implementation or execution that drives the end results of your product/services.  He covers both the need for “internal”- your existing company and “external”- your prospect/client needs to allocate resources to make it happen. Every new salesperson must read that chapter.

To find out more and to check out Anthony’s approach watch his video and his resource page here: www.thelostartofclosing.com

Let me know your thoughts on this book and what impacts it made on your sales levels.

 

BTW: our next Slammed!  Sales Management Boot Camp begins September 22nd, 8 weeks with online, interactive Peer Group sessions, this is just one quote from a recent attendee: “Wow!  In 8 short weeks, Ken Thoreson provided a strong foundation in sales management.  The lessons learned in Slammed!  Sales Management Boot Camp are essential to any new sales manager.  I strongly recommend this course for anyone who is looking to transform into the best sales manager and coach possible to lead a sales team!”

Georganne Healthcare Software Company, US

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services, boot camps and products designed to improve business performance.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

Add Advisory Boards to Your Sales Team

July 18th, 2017

Boost Accountability, Insight — and Sales Step back to get a better view of your partner relationships. More effective: Appoint an advisory board to help you gain better sales insight.

Our research shows that accountability — or, more accurately, the lack of accountability — is among the top challenges that partner-company executives face. We’ve also found that many partners are too close to their own organizations to have genuine insight into their own businesses, their marketplaces or their industries. Client Advisory Boards and Business Advisory Boards can help provide better visibility for both those blind spots.

Client Advisory Boards A Client Advisory Board — which typically includes five to seven current clients — can provide insights into customer needs from the customer perspective. For instance, the group might evaluate your sales and service functions or serve as a sounding board for new product ideas. Board members should be willing to meet formally with you at least three times a year and commit to at least two years of service. We recommend that you select not only your “pet” clients, but a cross-section of your customers.

At first, someone from your company should set agendas, oversee advisory-board meetings and take detailed notes. It’s critical for you and your own team members to avoid becoming defensive about issues that board members raise during their meetings. However, it’s equally important to remind all attendees that these sessions shouldn’t be viewed as complaint forums, but instead as opportunities to work together toward improved performance. If a meeting drifts toward becoming a gripe session, the partner-company representative should immediately redirect the discussion.

What’s the sales angle? The simple fact that you have an advisory board can be an important asset during the sales process. Chances are that prospects in your region will recognize some of your board members, and they’re also likely to be impressed with your commitment to the customer experience.

Within a vertical market, you might also create an Industry Advisory Board with members such as past trade-association presidents, respected industry consultants and current clients. This committee can provide market insights and ideas for future offerings, and, like a Client Advisory Board, it can serve as a differentiator.

Generally, members of such boards aren’t compensated, but you could acknowledge their contributions with small gifts or special product or service offers.

Business Advisory Boards A Business Advisory Board’s role is to recommend strategy, suggest solutions to business problems and advise on relevant regulations. Like a Client Advisory Board, it should include five to seven members, but all should be from outside your company. The best such panel will have a diverse mix of local businesspeople and specialists from key functional areas such as human resources, finance, marketing and sales.

This type of committee typically meets quarterly, but can convene more frequently if needed. Meetings should follow formal agendas sent to attendees in advance along with any supporting information that’s needed for discussion. Such preparation is essential because, otherwise, it may appear that the partner company doesn’t take the advisory group seriously or is unwilling to share important information with its members — and those members may stop participating as a result.

The two main benefits that you can expect from a Business Advisory Board are, of course, insight and accountability. For many partner-company executives, their current businesses are the only ones that they’ve managed and led, so outside expertise can be particularly valuable. Some Acumen clients work with their Business Advisory Boards to conduct regular operational reviews. This process not only helps the partner-company executive hold the management team accountable for results, but forces a situation in which the entire company team is accountable to the Business Advisory Board.

Keep in mind that members of these boards are normally reimbursed for their time; occasional gifts of appreciation are also appropriate.

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Ken was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services, boot camps and products designed to improve business performance.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com