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Sales EQ-a book review

June 13th, 2017

Sales EQ-a book review 

Twenty six page corners turned over!  Without checking that might be an all-time high, for my frequent readers you know that is how I judge the quality of the book I am reading—(how many page corners I turn over while reading any new book). Keeping it simple: if you want to “up your sales game”, buy this book today.

Jeb Blount’s latest book Sales EQ is a MUST READ book if you are in sales, especially if you have a desire to succeed at higher levels.  The author explores how the UHP or Ultra High Performers live, execute the sales process and what makes them tick differently than the average salesperson.  In reading this book I found Jeb’s maturity as a writer shows off as he brilliantly blending in stories, research and insights to make his points.

Right way in Chapter One: The Mysterious Brown Bag he captures the reader by telling a story that every salesperson can relate to and how the UHP can use the concept of “disruption” to improve the sales process and more importantly increase the buyer’s emotional connection to the sellers offering. This focus on EQ is the basis for altering a salesperson from being an average performer to one of high achievement.  The author moves quickly from chapter to chapter adding to his case but taking the reader on a fascinating journey towards both understanding his concepts and providing a pathway to practicing his recommendations.

In Chapter Five he begins to set the basis to ensure the reader understands the power of EQ by explaining the Four Levels of Sales Intelligence:

  • Innate Intelligence
  • Acquired Intelligence
  • Technological Intelligence
  • Emotional Intelligence

Understanding each of these topics and how they relate to the UHP salesperson’s activity will absolutely help the average salesperson that is focused on becoming the best they can be improve their capacity to win.

With 29 chapters it is impossible to cover all the golden nuggets Jeb has put into this powerful book, just a few winners:  Shaping Win Probability, Empathy, Self-Awareness, and Sales Drive.

The balance of the book covers specific concepts used by Ultra High Performers:

  • A nine-frame qualification matrix
  • How to measure prospects against the ideal qualified prospect profile
  • Testing an engagement by tuning into emotions and micro-commitments
  • 3-actions to move a stalled deal
  • Knowing the 5-stakeholders in every deal and how to deal with them

Ultra-High Performers also understand the power of knowing these three questions that Jeb explores in Sales EQ:

  • Do you like me?
  • Do you listen to me?
  • Do you make me feel important

I could go on and on but his Chapter on Discovery, (one of my most favorite sales topics) is outstanding and should be a topic of a major sales training program for any firm.  In the book Jeb explores the questions to ask, not to ask and the power of beginning with easy, broad-open-ended, moving to probing, clarifying and moving the sales to the next step.  As Jeb states:” UHP’s seem to know exactly what to ask at exactly the right moment while remaining engaged with the stakeholder. They never appear to be working very hard to come up with the next question or to keep the conversation moving and the stakeholder engaged.

In his final Chapter 29, AMACHE, Jeb closes this book with a powerful story that any salesperson that is or wants to be more successful can take away to improve their performance by learning to “listen”.  And then he lays it on you, the real secret sauce of UHP’s; I will let you in on it: Gratitude!  “Gratitude is the cornerstone of a winning mind-set and the spark that ignites self-motivation.

This absolutely must be a book that every salesperson should read, if you are a Sales Manager buy this book for everyone on your team and discuss two-three chapters a week in your weekly sales meeting, creating your own book club. You will see the acceleration and motivation build in your organization.

For more training check out Jeb Blount’s Online Sales Gravy University https://www.salesgravy.com/online-sales-training/

 

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

A Sales Managers Recipe: What Cooking in 2017

June 6th, 2017

A Sales Manager’s Recipe: What’s Cooking in 2017?

Last week after presenting a keynote program called Gourmet Living, an attendee came up to me afterwards and discussed her challenges as a sales manager.  The last three years have been tough and she was looking for new ideas for 2017 to excite her team and also to simply change up the routine.  At the half way point of the year, there is time to continue to exceed your goals.

Since my keynote program had been about creating a Menu for Your Life with many metaphors around cooking I started thinking about what her sales management recipe should be, for about 30 minutes we discussed a variety of ideas. So if 2016 left a bad taste in your mouth, use the following ingredients to create a new recipe to make 2017 your best year ever.

Become a Detective: In sales management workshops we always talk about inspect what you expect.  Once a week; review your sales teams CRM system to ensure they are using it properly and casually ask each team member about their certain activities within their key accounts. Once they know you are actually reviewing their accounts they will be more precise and begin to be more accurate. Next, make two extra sales calls per month with each sales rep. Validate they can sell your firm and they are using the proper sales tools. These actions are not micro-management, they are designed to provide you greater opportunities to coach and grow your team.

Reduce Fatigue:  Recognize your sales team might be tired or somewhat challenged based upon the last three years of tight budgets and stress.  Fire them up with new products or packaging/pricing, change the game with new times for sales and sales training meetings-even re-arrange the sales offices. Once a month, take your sales team on a field trip to visit a customer, let the customer sell your team on your products/services.

Find Creative Dust:  Read a book on creativity and share it with your team. The truly great salespeople are the most creative and it is true that creativity can be learned!  As a sales manager, creative sales strategies will push you over your quota-get your entire team into a creativity fix.

Become an SOB:  That is a Student of the Business. Invest in sales management training, books, DVD’s. Create your own network of other sales managers where you can discuss ideas, learn what is working for others and explore new sales management concepts. Push yourself to become a professional in 2017, consider visiting other offices and view how their sales managers run their sales teams. At our website you will find free videos on hiring and training salespeople and other articles I have written on sales management, you might also go back and skim through our blog to look for other ideas.

While these are just a few ideas, I would enjoy reading your reactions or other recipes for success below.  As a team of readers, let’s  build up a complete for each as we work to make 2017 a feast we will always remember.

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.

He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers .

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.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

What Separates Ave Firms from High Performing Firms?

May 24th, 2017

What Separates Average Organizations from High Performing Organizations? 

Yesterday I was interviewed by Keith Lubner from ChannelEQ (www.Channeleq.co) on his Pod Cast Channel, while the theme of our conversation was focused on the IT Channel and Partner community as well as the Vendor environment, one of Keith’s insightful questions was: What separates the average or failing organizations from the high performing firms?.

While pondering my answer two words came to mind:  Brilliant Execution.

I want on to explain the following issue, leadership of the organization must be focused on creating a vision and philosophy of brilliant execution-at all levels.  If you are in an administration role, a product/service delivery role and certainly a sales role, every aspect of your daily responsibilities needs to be focused on this message.  High performing organizations simply seem to run better, with higher revenues/employee and lower costs of sales.

From a Sales Management perspective it means you focus on discipline, accountability and control (see past blogs for insights), but specifically Brilliant Execution means that you have a:

  • Quarterly sales training plan and you follow through with it
  • Quality interviewing and recruiting plan and you follow it
  • Detailed pipeline management and dashboard metrics analysis that you update
  • Focused quarterly Salesperson Development Plans designed to improve professionalism
  • Accurate and detailed sales process mapped out and you make sure your sales team follows it (Inspect what you expect!)

Those are just a few samples, for a list of the top 40 Actions Sales Managers must do to achieve predictable revenue download this white paper.

In my blog on Building the Emotional Formula for Sales Success I wrote about the need to pay attention to the details as one aspect of keeping everything working properly.  High performance leaders understand that salespeople need to feel leadership’s high energy level, their belief in the company/products/services and the need to share a positive vision.  Share it often and make sure you are on top of the details.

HINT: every sales team and organization need a yearly theme, if your organization does not have one, you might consider Brilliant Execution as a theme you can focus on during the coming months.  If you have another theme, I would enjoy hearing about it, please share with everyone on this blog.

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

 

 

Building Belief for Sales Success

May 15th, 2017

Building Belief for Sales Success

NOTE: This past Friday, we started another Sales Management Boot Camp,( they run 8 weeks in a live interactive Peer Group setting along with a series of self-paced video learning and templates), the first session is on Building Sales Culture, Leadership  and Management Styles.  This topic of Building Belief becomes a cornerstone element. That is why I am writing this blog, for more on this general topic, read my blog on “Emotional Leadership”.

 Are your sales inconsistent? Are you losing more opportunities than ever before? Does your sales team seem weak compared to those of your competitors?

Any number of reasons-from rapid growth to hiring mistakes-could be responsible for a “yes” answer to any of those questions. But in working with our clients, we often find that the underlying problem is actually an emotional one: lack of passion. Individual team members or the entire sales organization-or both-simply don’t have the combination of enthusiasm and belief that’s essential for success.

Salespeople have to be emotionally invested in their work with a burning desire to achieve. They must also believe that the company they represent is the best and the solutions or services they sell are of the highest quality that impact the clients business. That belief must be genuine, it can’t be just a marketing message and it’s not something that they can fake.

With all the new products most vendors have launched in recent months (and will continue to release this year), that type of authentic belief is more important than ever for partners. Most sales organizations don’t do any belief-building activities. Or if they do, they only do so occasionally. Our experience shows that the most successful sales teams constantly undertake belief-building initiatives. Examples include:

Storytelling: People from different cultures and generations pass along stories about their ancestries, traditions and lore. Partner companies need to take a similar approach to capturing and preserving their histories. To do so, write down customer success stories when they occur. Put together detailed descriptions of your company’s role in helping customers implement new technologies, launch or salvage important projects or earn recognition from a vendor. Then share these stories at sales meetings and other employee events. You can also use the best stories to recruit top performers and help orient new employees.

Monthly Meetings: When a company launches, its first employees typically feel that they share a mission. Everyone knows everything that’s happening and what’s needed to succeed. But when the staff grows beyond about 15 people, that sense of mission-along with clearly defined expectations and common beliefs-can be difficult to maintain.

We believe that monthly employee meetings are crucial for keeping everyone engaged and informed. (Larger organizations and those with remote offices may want to opt for quarterly day-long events instead.) Such gatherings give you a chance to remind your staff about your business philosophies, plans and expectations. You can also use them to recognize outstanding employees, perhaps honoring a Most Valuable Player chosen by the team at each session. Remember to make the meetings fun as well. Consider sponsoring games or offering door prizes. One company meeting I attended featured a surprise visit from an Elvis impersonator, who sang several songs.

Customer Visits: Each quarter, have your entire sales team visit a customer company that’s successfully implemented your solutions. Ask the customer’s executives to describe the impact your company has had on their competitive position or to review the savings they’ve gained from your products and services. You might also invite customers to share their experiences at some of your monthly meetings.

Reference Letters: Ask your best customers for testimonials. While such letters are, of course, highly useful as tools for future sales presentations, they’re also valuable for building belief in-house. Frame the letters and display them in your lobby or sales presentation area. Have new employees read them as part of the orientation process. HINT: it is extremely easy to physically record a client’s testimonial and even place it on your website and make your sales team are using during the sales process.

In our business, it’s all too easy to get bogged down with lost sales, missed project dates and other problems. Regularly reinforcing the positives goes a long way toward keeping everyone’s belief and passion strong and moving 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

 

No Challenge, No Change

May 1st, 2017

No Challenge, No Change

After spending a day working with a client and their sales team, we normally set up three follow up web based sessions to ensure our recommendations are acted upon and their sales team actually changes.    After the second web based training it is my opinion that the organization most likely will not change. Not because our program and recommendation were inappropriate but Sales Management is failing to coach and challenge their team.

In one of our recent 8 online interactive SLAMMED! Sales Management course discussions, a common topic was How do I get the salespeople to ….update CRM, improve the sales process, prospect….or in reality, how do I effect change.

Working with an experienced sales team or a mix of experience along with younger less experienced salespeople certainly is a challenge for any sales leader but this is where real leadership enters the picture. I see this in many organizations where the sales manager fails to understand how to use various leadership styles to influence their teams or individual members.  They fail to challenge.  I am not suggesting the sales manager becomes a bully i.e. Alec Baldwin in Glengarry, Glen Ross, (if you are unsure of what I am suggesting-it’s worth the time to watch the YouTube.com version.)

What I am suggesting is leadership must be focused on setting the vision, planning the course of action and management must implement and work to achieve the objectives.  Too effectively to cause change individuals must understand the why. Why there is a need to change based upon an organization or industry impact and then why is it important to the individual salesperson.  Sales Managers must seek understand what motivates each individual and where they are on whatever level of experience, ego, maturity, etc.   Leadership theory discusses 5 styles of leadership, knowing which style to use and when is important to understand but becoming the leader is one of the biggest challenges sales managers face.

There are many arguments whether leaders are born or made, I am not addressing that issue in this blog, but knowing what leadership is and what it is responsible for will help the person in a management position to improve their level of professionalism.

If one does not challenge their team to move forward, to improve their skill levels, to work more effectively, 90% of salespeople won’t. The top 10% either don’t need the change or the challenge, they will continue to automatically enhance their professionalism.

To consistency drive higher levels of performance the sales leader must work emotionally to challenge their teams.  This is why in SLAMMED! we start the training on the soft skills of sales leadership, sales management and culture building before moving to the more tactical aspects of sales management. Learning how to emotionally lead will drive your levels of personal success to the next level.

My challenge to you is to identify 3-5 issues that need to be changed, fixed or improved in your organization, determine how you will challenge your team to cause change and then do it!

 

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

Sales Management Thought Leadership:  efficient effectiveness

April 20th, 2017

Sales Management Thought Leadership:  efficient effectiveness

As an Eagle Scout I can discuss the topic of “Be Prepared” easily and based upon my upcoming vacation next week it could lend more credibility. Last year I had to catch two planes and a ferry to end up on an island in the Caribbean, while that sounds somewhat easy, it took planning and preparation.  Taking a vacation for me becomes a big project for a variety of reasons-but mainly it’s time to unplug and “breathe fresh air”.

We researched a wide variety of destinations, resorts and optional packages, we narrowed the search and checked out online evaluations and then compared costs.  I posted potential locations and asked for opinions on Facebook, I asked my travel agent for her thoughts and friends for their experiences. All of this helped us pick a great spot, it was rated the “best beach resort in the world”.

Next I had to organize my professional life.  Client projects needed to be finalized, meetings re-scheduled, mobile phones had to find International plans, and new proposals completed.

Now just a few day to go, we had to pack, purchase last minute items and think through options like umbrellas, sun tan lotion, books, mosquito spray and other health related item.

What does this have to do with sales management?  As a manager you must be prepared-at all times for almost any event.  The best plan is to have a plan and to consider what might go wrong or what could impact your ability to exceed your objectives.  I have simply listed below a series of topics for your consideration and for you to double check against your plan or lack of plan.

Do you have a plan?

       If you lose a salesperson

       If your sales team needs sales training

       To increase the sales culture of your team

       To increase your networking/partnering function

       That generates excitement for your products/services

       To say thank you to your support team

       That increases your level of professionalism/education

       To create a sales contest that drives revenue

       That adds net new customers to your base

       That drives the necessary sales leads for each month

       To say thank you to your existing customer base

       To increase your public relations exposure within your community or market

       That will increase/improve your vendor relations

       To improve your CRM effectiveness

       If your computer systems fail or are destroyed

That’s enough for now, but if I missed anything, comment below, let’s build a complete list for the future.

HINT:  this is a great idea for your next management meeting, simply begin by asking each of the departmental managers about their problems or contingency issues that arise on a day to day basis or what might occur if a disaster of any kind happens-then ask them for their plan.

Why is this critically important today?  In any kind of business environment,  the organization that operates the most efficiently generally out performs their competition, in more challenging times a focus on efficient effectiveness must become the mantra for the day.

Check out our  Sales Management Boot Camp, starts May 12th, 8 weeks of online, interactive training:

https://www.salesgravy.com/online-sales-training/course/Slammed!-The-New-Sales-Manager-Boot-Camp-(Starts-5-12-17)-233

 

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 18 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout the world

Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.           Ken@AcumenMgmt.com   www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

 

Be an Optimized Sales Leader

April 3rd, 2017

Be an Optimized Sales Leader

In every business cycle new ideas are built and strategies-tactics attempted to create a positive impact on the organization. For example, the role of quality control, Lean and Kaizen Management have been implemented in many areas of business to improve performance. In most cases each of these “re-engineering” type programs have had positive impacts; from just in time inventory, to ISO policies.  Most of these programs have been directed at inventory, process management, cost reduction, financial statements and even Human Resource management.  What has seemingly been overlooked in most companies and now is rapidly gaining a focus is the productivity, cost and methodology of the sales organization.

The impact of Sales Management Optimization Policy ™ must be applied to the sales organization. Essentially OP is defined as: “you must build your organization to excel in the tough times and to propel in good times”.  In a sales organization this responsibility is the Vice President or Sales Manager. Yet these individuals who have a major impact on the success of the organization generally have a job-life span of 14-18 months, limited training-at best and must operate in a pressure filled role with multiple soft and hard management skills in operation at all times.

In most cases sales management lacks methodology and a focus on running their organizations that manufacturing, inventory and financial managers have successfully implemented. Sales Management Optimization Policy takes into consideration the aspects of effective process management, standards and cost control into the sales organization.

Challenges:

In the current economic market, the successful Sales Leader faces many challenges:

  • Managing Lower Costs of Sales
  • Driving Revenue
  • Attaining Budget Goals
  • Managing Sales Teams
  • Working with Limited Span of Control
  • Achieving Goals with Stretched Resources
  • Working with Market Dynamics

The answers lie in two fundamental points. First;if it’s working, don’t mess with it” and for those companies where sales (revenues) are working there is little interest in disturbing that department. Second, when sales are not working two actions seem to take place; radical personnel change or high levels of micro-management on the actions to fix revenues.  We would argue that all organizations must look at a bigger picture and build logical and emotional judgements/systems in place not only to achieve the goals of the organization but to assure management systems/processes are designed to create the environment for successful sales cultures. Selling is emotional  and sales leaders must balance the need for building an environment of success and need for business management systems.

The interesting element in building an Optimal Policy within a high performance sales management approach is aligning the goals of the individual with the goals of the corporation. The smart sales leader will understand the basics of pure management, i.e. understanding the personal needs and wants of their individual team members or what most people today call EQ or Emotional Quotient.  In my Life Enrichment keynotes I discuss how management must focus on this point for themselves and their teams.

First, let’s address the business side of sales management. This element covers  key components of the tactical implementations of  sales management. The list below represents a Sales Management Business Plan.  Each of the  components would include goals, impact on the attainment of the  corporate goals, critical success factors, potential challenges, measurements and defined tactical actions required to achieve the goals. We recommend these plans are updated every six months with a 60-day assessment of trends or changing factors.

Statement of focus

Time line of planned events

Activity standards

Account plans

Sales organization design (18-24 month view)

Sales process design map

Customer relationship strategy

Sales technology implementation

Recruitment/hiring/training programs

Marketing/ materials

Public Relations awareness

Business Eco-System Partners and Alliances

Product and revenue projections-24 months

Competition Analysis

The second aspect of Sales Management must be the cultural human interaction or EQ.  It must be recognized that only managing by the numbers and focusing on activity based sales indicators will not create the environment for high performance. The goal of sales management is to achieve results and manage the business, it is critical that salespeople understand key ratios are to assist them in their personal job success not as micro-management. Yet we find often a line has been drawn between the salesperson and their manager in “talking only about the numbers”. The key issue for the individual  is to understand their formula for success and how the specific  salesperson’s performance matches against that company’s formula.

We must move beyond this mentality to truly understand the personal objectives of our people and communicate your interest to help the person. Sales Management today must assist members of their team in setting personal objectives  and assist their team members on achieving those goals.  We call this align the soul of the individual with the goals of the corporation. This is where coaching and real managing takes place and a managers trust level grows.

 Focus on understanding and improving the sales management process along with building your EQ sensitively to the needs of your sales team and you will experience the best that life can bring you: Sales Management Optimization!

 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 has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers,

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

 

The 4 Levels of Sales Intelligence

March 20th, 2017

The Four Levels of Sales Intelligence

By Jeb Blount, Author of Sales EQ:  How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal

The speed and complexity of the modern marketplace is the domain of intellectual agility. Ultra-high sales performers possess four types of intelligence that are tightly intertwined, each connecting, affecting, and amplifying the others.

  • IQ—how smart you are. Fixed and baked into your DNA.
  • AQ—how much you know. Makes IQ relevant.
  • TQ—how fast you assimilate and leverage technology. Makes more time for human relationships.
  • EQ—your acuity for dealing with emotions. Your own and those of others.

Ultra-high performers combine high IQ, AQ, and TQ with high EQ to dominate their competitors.

Innate Intelligence

Your intelligence quotient (IQ) is an indicator of how smart you are. Innate intelligence is baked into your DNA. It is a talent no different than athleticism. You are either born with a certain IQ or you are not. IQ is immovable. In other words, you are as smart as you will ever be.

Ultra-high sales performers are smart people. They are keen observers and have insatiable curiosity. They have the innate ability to connect disparate ideas, data, facts and patterns to develop unique and original solutions to problems—a critical competency in sales for discovery, challenging the status quo, and developing unique solutions and recommendations.

In sales, however, where emotions rather than rational decision making carry the day, IQ is but part of the performance equation. Innate intelligence becomes relevant, useful, and powerful when combined with acquired, technological, and emotional intelligence.

Acquired Intelligence

I was delivering a two-day Sales EQ seminar for a client. On the first day, I noticed that a couple of the participants were disengaged. The rest of the group of roughly 20 people were participating and energetic. But these two were almost hostile.

At lunch, I asked the sales leader if there was something going on. He confided that everyone had been excited about the training except for these two, who had complained about having to go back to training. “They think they know it all. But trust me—these guys need this badly because they are struggling to hit their numbers.”

Average salespeople who think they know it all—I see it every day.

Innate intellect is useless on its own. It must be honed and developed. Unlike innate intelligence, acquired intelligence (AQ) is not static.

Regardless of your IQ, you can grow your AQ with schooling, training, reading, along with practice, adversity, and experience. Acquired intelligence makes IQ relevant and useful.

Technological Intelligence

Technological intelligence (TQ) is the ability to interact with technology and weave it seamlessly into one’s daily life. Those who fail to develop this ability or who resist developing it will be left behind.

As technology—especially artificial intelligence—becomes a ubiquitous part of daily life, humans with high TQ will thrive in ways that humans with low TQ will not.

It is essential that salespeople adapt quickly to working with machines. Salespeople can no longer afford to claim that they are “not computer savvy.” If you don’t get tech savvy and quickly, you will be left behind and out of a job.

In the future, there will be two types of salespeople. The first group will tell machines what to do. The second group will be told what to do by machines. Trust me, you want to be in the first group.

Emotional Intelligence

The ability to perceive, correctly interpret, respond to, and effectively manage one’s own emotions and influence the emotions of others is called emotional intelligence (EQ).

Today, the impact of sales-specific emotional intelligence (Sales EQ) on sales performance can no longer be ignored. Buyers are starving for authentic human interaction.

In our tech-dominated society, interpersonal skills (responding to and managing the emotions of others) and intrapersonal skills (managing your own disruptive emotions) are more essential to success in sales than at any point in history.

Emotional intelligence is the key that unlocks ultra-high sales performance.

Mastery of sales-specific emotional intelligence (Sales EQ) explains why one person becomes an ultra-high sales performer while another is just average, even though the intellectual ability and knowledge of the two people are equal. Sales professionals who invest in developing and improving EQ gain a decisive competitive advantage in the hypercompetitive global marketplace.

Jeb Blount is the author of eight books including Sales EQ Fanatical Prospecting, and People Follow You. He is a Sales Acceleration specialist who helps sales organizations reach peak performance fast by optimizing talent, leveraging training to cultivate a high-performance sales culture, developing leadership and coaching skills, and applying a more effective organizational design. Contact: 1-888-360-2249 or  https://www.SalesGravy.com

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Close

March 13th, 2017

The Perfect Close

-a book review-

21 page corners turned over! For those past readers of this blog and my book reviews you know that is an excellent rating.  For those of you that are new, whenever I read a new book, I read it with a pen in hand and I fold over the corners of those pages with high value. Believe me James Muir’s book, The Perfect Close is a great add to any sales library.

Early on James added a section titled “Why I Wrote This Book”, he writes of his history of sales and sales management-almost talking himself out of sale and coaching others in learning how to sell.  His stories are easy to relate to and James writing style is smooth and his content is spot on.  His 13 chapters flow logically, even though on page one he clearly states if you want to know his Perfect Close, skip everything and go to Chapter 12-more about that later.  This book is ideal for those salespeople that are new to selling or uncomfortable in a sales role. For those highly experienced salespeople, his ideas will rock you. They are new, scientific, tested and will add fresh concepts to your sales style.

What caught my attention in reading this book was how the author set up the reader by starting at the beginning of the sales process and how it allows The Perfect Close to work.  He starts by breaking down the closing mindset, but then locks you into the books focus by Chapter 3: Adopting the Right Mindset. This chapter was amazing, in it James moves into the buyers mind and the sellers mind with scientific descriptions as to how your mind can cause your mental, physical and even vocal interactions with a buyer to change. He goes in to great detail quoting various scholars and studies as to what key sales attributes are required for success, I will give them away-but you must buy this book to fully understand their importance.  They are warmth and competence. What signals are you giving out during that first stage of a sales interaction?  What questions are your buyers thinking and what are you thinking and how are your thoughts reinforcing these attributes?   This chapter is a MUST sales training program for any sales team.

As James continues to bring the reader to Chapter 12, he takes you into not only the logic but the science of what advancing the sale means and why a professional salesperson must understand what commitment/consistency and endowed progress means and how they lead to setting up the Perfect Close. Throughout the book his examples, tips and illustrations provide any salesperson with new thoughts on improving their skill.

Adding to his theme of a mental approach to selling, James covered in great detail the mentality of stimulating the buyers mind. Again, another chapter worth a sales training meeting. Just imagine how your sales will soar as you better understand how to had unique value and that your questioning techniques include a knowledge basis and cognitive style. The illustrations on this topic must be studied and reinforced to fully utilize this approach-they are certainly a sales differentiation technique that will change your approach and add thousands of dollars to your commission account.

Chapter 10 includes pre call planning and includes a long list of suggestions and a variety of sample forms. Chapter 11 then discusses setting up a sales call agenda, a tactic most salespeople don’t understand or more importantly don’t use.  The author’s examples make it easy to implement this ideas.

Finally in Chapter 12 James hits you with his Perfect Close. Just two easy statements or questions, brilliantly covered.   What really made this book is how he explains this idea and how he moves on with a variety and large number of examples on how to use his technique. He even created a sample sales scenario between a salesperson and a prospect to show how it works.  This chapter is golden.

If you are a professional salesperson, want to be one or a Sales Manager get this book. At the end of the book, James lists 5 pages of other top rated sales books that you should have in a sales library. PLUS James offers a robust list of resources associated with his book at www.PureMuir.com/resources

It makes the Acumen Sales Book Club, buy this book for each of your salespeople, cover one chapter a week during your sales meeting and during your Sales Training Meetings role play the concepts throughout the book.  At the end of the year you will be happy!

 

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

It’s Time to Recruit-not necessarily to hire,, Lesson from the Super Bowl

February 6th, 2017

It’s time to Recruit-not necessarily to hire.

A Super Bowl Lesson

After 8 days and 6 different cities I hope to make sure this message is clear-it’s been a busy week! I missed last week’s blog because of some of that travel but I also wanted to make sure everyone had time to consider the blog on sales compensation planning for 2017-it’s a critical component for building a high performance and self managed sales team.

The most critical component in creating a high performance 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. They certainly refilled their talent pool and 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