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Sales Tips From Jonathan London

Sales Tips - Are You in Alignment or Do You Need an Adjustment

Posted on Tue, Jul 16, 2013

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Are You Aligned or Do you Need an Adjustment

To feel healthiest, all of the parts of your body need to be aligned.

The same is true in the body of a sales organization and the areas and departments that support it. Everyone has more than they can do and not enough time to do it. The sales body is being stressed and probably needs an adjustment and alignment.

How well aligned you are in achieving your numbers is a critical element of your sales health. Is there a lot of internal friction or is everything working more easily.

Is there an external customer focus or an internal meeting focus?

This is important both inter and intra departmentally, where it might be even more important and more difficult since these people don’t report to you and might have conflicting priorities or sometimes the wrong attitude or perception about sales.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself and others:

  • Who and what are the key departments and people that need to help me and support me when I ask?
  • Have we met with each other to discuss our mutual goals and priorities to see if they are in alignment?
  • Are you compensated in a way that compliments or conflicts with each other?
  • Do you know where the obvious conflicts are?
  • Do you know what you will not do as much as what you will do?
  • Are you being realistic or overly ambitious in trying to help each other?
  • Does either of your boss’ goals and priorities conflict with what you have agreed to?
  • Do you have rules of engagement in terms of how you will handle grey areas, like:
    1. 3 strikes and you are out
    2. in case of a tie, who wins
    3. you only lose your right to be the decision maker if your choice is incorrect
  • If there is a conflict:
    1. do you go back and forth on who has first rights?
    2. do you escalate?
    3. is one of you more equal than the other
    4. do you agree that the person only loses their right to choose if they are wrong the last time they chose?
  • Is there a time frame for this agreement?
  • How often will you review these priorities?

 Let me know what you think or reach out if I can be of assistance.

 

 

Tags: b2b Sales, Sales Effectiveness, S.M.A.R.T. goals and priorities, Sales Productivity

Salespeople, 22 Tips for 2014 -- Another New Year!

Posted on Wed, Jan 02, 2013

 Salespeople, 22 Tips for 2013 -- Another New Year!

If you haven’t started already, now or even this week is a good time to start planning for 2014. Here are some of the ways to do it and questions to ask yourself:

 

  1. Do I know where my success came from last year? What did I do to make things happen and be a successful salesperson?
  2. Do I know where I want to put my efforts into this year? Are they the same as last year or different?  Have I created smart goals for myself?
  3. Which of my offerings has real advantages that I should take advantage of?
  4. Are there particular vertical markets or segments that I want to focus on?
  5. What people, sales technology and resources will I surround myself with so I can get help when I need it?
  6. What will I:
    1. Continue doing or do more of that is working
    2. Stop doing that is in the way of my success
    3. Start doing that is needed because of market conditions or opportunities
  7. Who at work or home do I need to help me stay disciplined enough to the things that are most important?
  8. What have I been putting off that needs to be done?
  9. Have I targeted the accounts I want to sell?
  10. Do I know the one or two that would really put me over the top?
  11. Am I using social media, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. to keep me in touch with the people and events that are critical to my success?
  12. Am I using free services like Google Alerts to do the same?
  13. What support mechanisms do I have to keep balanced?
  14. What is my quick start program so I have a great quarter and make the rest of the year a “little” easier?
  15. Are my manager and I on the same page so he/she supports me vs. interferes?
  16. Can you tell yourself what you are or are not willing to do so you are happy and successful?
  17. Can you identify what motivates you, or like most about your job so you can spend as much time and do it as often as possible?
  18. If your compensation plan is here, do you know how you will make the most money from it?
  19. Do you know your offering inside and out so you can present it in more ways, with more effect than your competition or co-workers?
  20. Can you be more organized and/or effective by being more focused and wasting less time in a day?
  21. Can you identify the 3 or 4 most important priorities for your success?
  22. Can you create an image for yourself of what short and long term success looks and feels like to keep yourself motivated, positive?

     

    Please let me know if you would like to talk or I can help in any way. I wish you the best, healthiest, most fulfilling 2014.

    Tags: Sales Cycles, Sales Skills, Sales Advice, Sales Strategies, Sales Effectiveness, S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue, Prospecting, S.M.A.R.T. goals and priorities, Coaching, Sales Productivity, LinkedIn, Sales Process, technology enabled selling, b2bSales

    2nd Half Goals - What Do You Do When You Don't Know What to Do?

    Posted on Tue, Aug 28, 2012

    SMART Goals Fotolia 11872580 XS

    Before we answer that question we should ask why you don’t know what to do? It is probably because you haven’t established your own S.M.A3.R.T. goals which stands for:
    •   Specific
    •   Measurable
    •   Aligned, Agreed, Achievable
    •   Realistic
    •   Timed
    Some examples of S.M.A3.R.T. goals would be:
    •    I want to make X amount of money in the 2nd half of 2012
    •    I want to be x% of quota for Q3 and Q4 2012
    •    I want to be the #1 salesperson for all 2012
    To achieve your goal you need to establish and work your priorities. If you follow these selling techniques or selling skills you will always know what to do (whether you do it or not is up to you). Some examples of priorities to sell more in the 2nd half are:
    •     Learn my new product/s
    •     Learn how to win against my biggest competitors
    •     Get 3 more appointments per week
    •     Close my 3 largest deals
    •     Identify my top 10 accounts – new and existing
    •     Get better at proposals and presentations
    •     Use my executives more to win
    •     Work 2 more hours a day
    •     Sell more of XYZ which is my most competitive product
    •     Use Google alerts to get 3 more appointments per week

    You should only have 3-4 priorities per quarter and these should be re-evaluated each quarter to see if they need to be continued or new ones needed to be added to your sales strategy.

    So if you still don't know what to do if you don't know what to do, just do one of your priorities. If you don't know what they are, or you are stuck, ask somebody for help. Or download the form and use it. You can always email me for help if you like. 

     

    Click me

    Tags: Time Management, Sales Advice, Sales Strategies, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Effectiveness, S.M.A.R.T. goals and priorities, Sales Productivity, technology enabled selling, sales technology

    Time Management: Jonathan London, a Sales Pro Interviews Himself

    Posted on Tue, Apr 10, 2012

     

     

     

     Time Management Self Interview by Jonathan London Time Management:  Jonathan London Interviews Himself

    In interviewing myself on April 9th, Jonathan explored his current state of mind, work habits and time wasters(☞ = question ☝ = answer).

    Jon, what is the biggest time waster for you?

    ☝ The biggest way I waste time is not knowing what I want to get done when I don't have a formal appointment or training class. I have many things that are important and I am constantly aware of:
    • including finishing my book
    • refocusing my business on the NE region and over video
    • getting better at social media
    • working on working out 
    • my finances and more...
     
    But when I don't have it in my calendar then I wander and I don't feel good wandering. I just read an article in the Sunday Times Sports Section about the goalie for the NY Rangers who follows the same routine so he feels prepared. I need to get back to my routine.

    What prevents you from being more organized and having things in your calendar? What prevents you from having and staying with a routine?


    ☝ Good question to yourself Jon. I have never been good with structure unless I am super motivated. It stems from my childhood but that is for another blog. Perhaps it is having too much to do, or it is not wanting to do what is needed. Maybe I am bored and need a good kick in the pants.  Sometimes, I am better when I have somebody I am accountable to because I am often more responsible to others than I am to myself. Not sure but it doesn't really matter why. What matters is to become the goalie for the NY Rangers : )

    So what should you be doing now vs. what you are doing?

    ☝ I have to write a blog so I am hoping this will become the blog. I am trying to use my own experience as the best way to teach people. I understand that I might be revealing a bit too much about myself but I hope people like that. After this, I have appointments but I think the book is next. BTW, I sent out a LinkedIn request for people to share their best experiences with technology in selling and didn't get the response I wanted. Very disappointing!


    What is the one part about you that you most wish to fix?

    ☝ I am extremely hard on myself and self-critical. If I am wasting one second, it kicks in. So the things I am talking about in this blog probably aren’t as bad as they sound but to me they are.

    So what are you doing today after you write this blog?

    ☝ I have a 9AM appointment to discuss some 1:1 coaching and then I see my accountant, go to my dentist and then have a 4PM and 6PM with a prospect and potential partner. I think I will also try and buy a new iPad but I am not sure.

    Jonathan, thanks for your time and candor!  

    ☝ Any time 

    Click below to get a S.M.A.R.T. Goal Form that will help you stay focused!

    Click me

    Tags: Time Management, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Training, S.M.A.R.T. goals and priorities, Sales Productivity, Social Media, technology enabled selling

    The Problem with Today's Economy is Today's Salespeople

    Posted on Wed, Mar 28, 2012

    Bad Salepeople 

     

    According to the most recent U.S. Census, there are over 5,000,000 B2B salespeople in the US and over 10,000,000 in total. If each of these salespeople could only be 10% better, they could significantly improve the gross output of the companies they represent. That could be worth multiple billions of dollars to our economy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad salespeople selling good products. I have the opportunity to be in front of a lot of salespeople in different industries and there are far too many salespeople and managers that are not up to par. Some are OK, some are good, very few are exceptional and most are bad.

    Managers are not much better. By and large, because of the pressures on them, and the lack of training they receive, they add no value to the sales process, or in developing their people. They have been relegated to be problem solvers, panic control, e-mail responders, forecasters and administrators.

    Is it any worse than it has always been?  I think so, significantly. Let’s make some comparisons:

    Area VP: should be very involved in setting a S.M.A.R.T. sales structure so all people (sales, service, support, HQ, OPs, etc.) are aligned, have clarity in their responsibilities and are more efficient. A sales structure should prevent as little waste of time as possible, focus on the most important things to make sales and not waste time otherwise. This was an absolutely integral part of a sales culture.

    Sales Managers:  Sales managers were part of the above process, were responsible for fostering it and developing it so salespeople were as productive as possible.

    SE or Technical Managers: were also brought into alignment so they knew who the top prospects and accounts were. They were responsible for attending to and supporting salespeople and accounts based upon their size and value. They were heavily involved in forecasting because they kept the sales people straight. They were responsible for developing their people's technical and selling skills.

    Sales OPs: was very good, very efficient. In part because of the importance of them processing orders properly, and also because they understood their function, which was to keep the integrity of the process and support salespeople to be selling more.

    The sales team was very strong. There was always the 80/20 rule but it was closer to 70/30 There were more B players than A's, and C's churned quickly. It certainly vacillated between the three but those are fair numbers.

    Let’s compare that with today's environment:

    VP of Sales: The VP’s I work with are very bright sales and business people. For the same reasons as their managers and the pressures they are under to make their number, they do not spend as much time establishing the proper sales structure and processes as they should. Most sales cultures I work with are monthly, or sometimes weekly driven. It is impossible to do things more strategic because of such short term focus.

    Sales Management: is in general, weak. There is very little development or structure for them. They tend to be put into the position without understanding its import and value. Sales managers are way too focused on the day-day or month-month business. There is very little longer term strategy at all. From the outside, it seems even less time is spent on developing people, teams and processes.

    Technical Support, Account Management and Admin Teams: current teams tend to be strong, perhaps to offset the weakness in management and processes. The problem is turnover is too high because of the pressure put on people.

    The sales people: are not strong. I would say it is 15% A, 30-40% B and the rest are bad and that is being kind.

    It is a sad state of affairs that our salespeople are so poorly prepared. Perhaps that is why marketing has taken the lead role in generating revenue, or because of this, sales is being short changed in developing their people. In either case, they need to slow down, be better prepared, skilled and more strategic. If that can be done, our economy will recover more quickly.

    Tags: Sales Skills, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Training, Sales Effectiveness, S.M.A.R.T. goals and priorities, sales management, Management