Sales Management Blog

Sales management tips and advice on how to improve your sales team.

For CEOs: What You Need to Know About Sales AND Marketing

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 @06:30 AM

We work with a lot of mid-sized companies with sales teams of roughly 10 to 30 salespeople.  We focus most specifically on helping those sales teams execute at the highest possible level.  It is typical that these companies also invest in marketing efforts.  However, it seems more common than not that marketing is off doing their thing, and sales is off doing their thing.  And there is not as much synchronization of the two efforts as one would like.

I also find that it is not unusual to expect salespeople to be both marketers and salespeople.  The two roles do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.  And, if salespeople are paid base salaries, they tend to be very expensive marketers.  

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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For CEOs, By Gretchen Gordon

18 Critical Questions CEOs Need to Ask Their Sales Managers

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Dec 08, 2015 @06:30 AM

Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French with minor adaptation.

As a CEO or business leader, you need to have regular conversations with your sales managers. This is true regardless of your managers’ skill level.

These conversations allow you to get an accurate understanding of the current state of your sales force while mentoring and coaching your sales managers. To get the answers you need, you have to ask the right questions at the right time. Here is our time-saving list of questions that every leader should ask of their sales managers at the specified intervals; by week, month, and quarter.

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Tags: Sales Management, For CEOs

How to Know if A Manager is Sabotaging Your Sales Transformation

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Nov 03, 2015 @06:30 AM

Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French with minor adaptation.

When business leaders implement a sales force transformation program, they inevitably meet resistance within their organization.

A certain resistance to change on the part of company executives is common. On the other hand, if it is followed by closed business and increased accountability, this resistance should disappear within a few weeks.

What is problematic is when resistance to change comes from managers and sales directors of the company. Some of them might even want to derail the transformation program or discredit the consultant in charge of the project.

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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For CEOs

Sales, Business and Life Lessons from the Head Ball Coach

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 @06:30 AM

Those of you that know me well know that I am a Florida Gator. You also may know that my husband had the pleasure of coaching for Steve Spurrier, and that my son is a quarterback at the University of South Carolina, where he has had the privilege of being directly coached by Coach Spurrier. So I am selfishly saddened by Coach Spurrier’s decision to resign. But I also feel blessed to know him and to have felt his impact on so many parts of my life. I even have a special picture of him holding my daughter when she was just a baby, which makes me smile when I look at it.

As I have watched the coverage of his playing and coaching career over the last 48 hours, I am again in awe of his authenticity. And I believe that this is what has made him so special. He has always been true to himself and has been laser focused on the goal, even when the goal seemed scary or unrealistic to outsiders. I believe that we, as business leaders and as sales leaders, could take a page from his playbook and ascend to higher levels of success by learning from his example.
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Tags: Sales Performance, For Sales Managers, For CEOs, By Gretchen Gordon

Is Legacy Exposing You to a Devastating Black Swan Event?

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 @06:30 AM

Written by Gary Delbridge. This was originally posted on The Sales Professor Blog by our OMG Partner affiliate in Australia, Objective Assessment and is reposted here with minor modifications.

I spend much of my time talking to CEOs about the importance of their organization having a powerful sales process and building sales capabilities within their teams. The problem is, the more time I spend looking into sales issues within organizations, the more apparent it is that the bigger problem is . . .

Legacy — the way we’ve always done things!

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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For CEOs

How to Turn a Good Salesperson Bad: A Cautionary Tale

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Oct 06, 2015 @06:30 AM

Written by Gary Delbridge. This was originally posted on The Sales Professor Blog by our OMG Partner affiliate in Australia, Objective Assessment and is reposted here with minor modifications.

More than 20 years ago, while working in the area of corporate transformation, I came across a fascinating explanation of the nature of culture within companies. I, like many people, saw the culture of a company as something “inherent” in any organization. But until that time, I failed to understand how it came into being and underestimated the enormous impact it had on the performance of those within a company.

While studying “Total Quality Management” in 1992, I came to understand that a company’s culture is like a virus; good or bad it invariably infects all of those within the company, including all new people that join the company. It fascinates me that companies often seek to “bring in new blood” when they recognize that they have a problem with their culture — only to find that the anticipated changes and improvements are ineffective. Often, in fact, the resistance to change is so great that either the “new blood” leaves the company or succumbs to the path of least resistance  the existing company culture. In short, they are assimilated.



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Tags: Sales Force Effectiveness, For CEOs

Why Beefing Up Commission May Not Change Behavior (& How to Fix)

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Oct 01, 2015 @08:47 AM

I had a great conversation with a CEO today where we were discussing the merits of refining their compensation plan. It seems the CEO was disgruntled over the fact that his salespeople were comfortable making six-figure incomes, but they weren’t pushing to really knock it out of the park. Maybe you have witnessed the same thing.

These salespeople tend to sell roughly the same amount each month to maintain a certain standard of living, but don’t put that extra effort in to make more. In some cases when this happens, you may know that they could make significantly more if they just focused a bit more. Unfortunately, they take their foot off the gas when they get in their comfort zone. Does this sound familiar?

The CEO is correct that we might be able to influence behaviors with a reconstructed compensation plan. But, then again, we might not. We just can’t know without knowing the salespeople's underlying motivations. I know it seems obvious that people who work in heavily commissioned jobs would be extremely money motivated. Well, I am here to tell you that it is just not necessarily the case.

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Tags: Sales Growth, For CEOs, By Gretchen Gordon

How Do CEOs Sell Effectively When They Lack Sales Skills?

Posted by Guest Blog on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 @06:00 AM

Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French with minor adaptation.

Who is your company’s top seller? Is it by chance the CEO or business owner? Have you ever wondered why a CEO might sell more than a salesperson, despite having less finely-honed sales skills? (That generalization reflects the fact that salespeople are devoted full-time to sales while CEOs must wear many hats).

Who is the Top Seller at Many Companies? The CEO or Owner.

Business owners are often the best sellers of their company — NOT because they have developed special skills or because they have a talent that others do not. So how do CEOs sell effectively? Business owners are able to sell because they must sell! When they have good sales skills, it is easier for them, but when this is not the case, they may still succeed through so-called intangibles.

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Tags: Sales Performance, For CEOs

CEOs: What Should You Do About Your Sales Managers?

Posted by Gretchen Gordon on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 @06:30 AM

What does your sales manager do? What is he or she supposed to do?

If you are like many other CEOs and business owners, you have two different answers for those questions. My colleague, Karen Brown, recently blogged about the widespread misperceptions over sales managers’ value. We often witness a baseline misunderstanding about what role the sales manager should be playing in the organization.

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Tags: Sales Management, For CEOs, By Gretchen Gordon

4 Myths (Busted) About the Value of Sales Managers

Posted by Karen Brown on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 @06:30 AM

What’s so important about having a Sales Manager?  After all, isn’t their job really about herding cats?  To save the day? You know what I mean . . . micromanaging so that sales representatives never fail?

You may have heard questions to this effect — questions which reflect a devaluation of the role of Sales Manager, and the idea that a Sales Manager is a "Nice to Have," not a "Need to Have." (Read on to see that myth busted).

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Tags: Sales Management, For CEOs, By Karen Brown

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