Sales leaders who can solve the most common sales problems will increase their productivity and improve their performance.
Today, Charles Bernard explains how a disciplined system for selling and managing can remove barriers to performance for sales leaders.
Bernard founded ‘Criteria for Success,’ an organization that develops online sales playbooks and provides leadership and sales management training. Charles was a top performer in his division with General Electric and has run several businesses as well.
Charles believes that the number one issue facing sales managers today is the feeling of being caught in the middle between the CEO/Management and the sales team. Sales managers must bring in the numbers, on one hand, while acting as a micromanager on the other. He compares it to having a target on his front side with another on his back.
Charles finds that pressure from above is unfiltered and passed directly down onto the sales teams, whether it’s justified or not. And, he says, the sales teams hate that.
If management feels that something is wrong or that people are not doing their jobs, for example, it is the responsibility of the sales manager to balance the push/pull of the situation. She must absorb the pressure in order to adapt the message – without losing the importance behind it – to empower the team.
Passing the pressure from management to the team does nothing to motivate or incentivize sales.
Many times, leaders fall into the trap of thinking they must have all the answers for how things should be done. An enlightened manager should be able to pull the boss and the team together. He should encourage conversations that promote transparency and foster teamwork.
Charles prefers for his sales teams to hear directly from the bosses and he often facilitates meetings to allow for such interaction. It allows each side to learn the concerns of the other and to work as a team.
Charles cites the challenge of staying focused as another common issue facing sales managers. Don’t engage in too many meetings or with multiple different initiatives. Lack of focus prevents the managers from spending time in the field and with their sales teams.
It was a struggle but Charles eventually learned how to say ‘No’ to those who people who weren’t impacting sales.
Charles recalls numerous instances where he was asked, for example, to intervene with an upset client. He had to put his foot down and direct those calls to others in the organization better equipped to handle such situations.
It is understandable that sales managers want to prove their worth to the company. But it is a mistake to do so by getting involved in matters that do not pertain to their job or to assist with sales if the team is underperforming. It only serves to further scatter the focus a sales manager needs to succeed.
The purpose of the sales manager is to be available to the team. It must be the priority.
Sales managers often don’t have the time to spend on the proper vetting of the forecasts. As a result, they are often unable to create realistic forecasts and to set goals.
The need for realistic forecasting is obvious. The problem arises when the decisions made on that forecast – where the growth is coming from, how much we will grow, what the profits will be, and how the funds will be reinvested – are very linear and rigid. There isn’t a lot of thought behind it.
Charles believes that people should not think about what they are going to sell in a year. People tend to miss things like backlog, which is probably going to give you the most wind behind your sails.
If forecasting in 2018 for 2019, for example, you must see all the deals that didn’t close, at the individual and team sales levels. You want to know what stage they are in because that backlog will give you a jump on each quarter.
What is your backlog going in? What is your backlog coming out?
If you begin with a strong backlog of unclosed business and put that into your forecast, you can then see where you are short and what you need to do each quarter. It is very important to have a notion of forecasting that includes backlog. Without it, you are already behind at the start.
This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.
The next semester begins in April.
If you’re not familiar with the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, it’s a program designed to help brand new sales reps, as well as those who have been selling forever. The 12-week module offers videos you can watch at your own pace, as well as the option to join a group discussion. It’s broken into three sections: finding, building value, and closing. It’s amazing and it’s fun!
This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.
The episode is also brought to you by prospect.io, a sales automation platform that allows you to send cold emails in a personalized manner. To find out more about how it can help you automate your sales process, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never be the same.
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Today on The Sales Evangelist we’ll talk about planning and setting effective goals.
It’s that time of year again where we find ourselves contemplating our achievements over the past 12 months. Some of us reached our sales goals and some of us did not, but we can all benefit from reflecting on what worked well, and what did not work at all.
There’s a difference between setting goals by ‘throwing a dart at the goal wall’ versus setting goals based on the experiences that we are guided towards by the people we meet.
It is the difference between having hope and having a plan. [03:27]
A ‘throw a dart’ goal is as simple as choosing a random number – say $80,000 for example – and then setting that as your commission goal.
But why that number? Are you simply hoping to make $80K, or do you have an actual plan in place to achieve it?
I hope I lose 10lbs next year, I hope I win the lottery, I hope we get out of work early… Those are all just hopes because there is no plan in place to accomplish any of it. You have no control over the outcome.
Goals, however, are fact-based. Let’s consider again the idea of earning $80K in commissions. If you made $40K last year and you know you want to push yourself more next year, does doubling your income seem realistic? Or is a goal of $60-65K more reasonable? [04:16]
The problem with repeatedly setting goals that are not based on fact is the likelihood of failing to meet them. It becomes a vicious cycle. We fall short of our goal, we feel deflated as a result, and we stop trying.
This contradicts Grant Cardone’s 10x Concept but hear me out. Let’s say I went to my manager and told him that I am going to try to get a million dollars in revenue for the year. We put that idea in motion and plan around it despite that, in reality, my highest revenue ever was $50K. It’s just not going to happen because it is an unrealistic goal from the start. [05:10]
So what steps can you take to ensure that your goal is both realistic but also pushes you to achieve more? I have five that I want you to consider. [06:50]
Learn from the experience of others. Talk with your teammates that have done well or talk with your manager. Find out what goals they set when they were new to the business. What steps did they take? What is a reasonable goal in their opinion?
Put your goal in writing. Once you have decided on a reasonable goal, write it down and put it where you can see it. Studies have proven that goals that are written down are more likely to be achieved because there is a confidence that comes from taking that first step.
Focus on fewer goals. This may sound counterproductive but do you really have the time and energy to reach your sales goals, be the top seller, get 10 new clients every week, go to the gym every day, travel the world and achieve those lofty 10x goals? Wouldn’t it make more sense to break it down into fewer achievable goals instead?
Your goal needs to be measurable and specific. Suppose, after talking with your teammates, you’ve set a realistic goal of $50K. The next step in achieving that goal is to decide how, specifically, you will achieve it. Break it down. How many new clients, for example, would you need to achieve the $50K? If gaining eight new clients is possible based on previous experience, then a goal of 10 new clients is not so far-fetched. [09:06] [12:21]
Divide the goal into manageable pieces. The beauty of the book The Twelve Week Year is that it breaks the entire year down into 12-week increments so that you can take your goal and divide it into quarterly goals. How many appointments, how many new clients, how many presentations etc. do you need, on a quarterly basis, to stay on track? Put those calculations into your calendar and work toward them on a regular basis.
It really helped me to achieve my goals because it is so manageable. I can focus on what I need to do each day or each week to achieve my end goal instead of just hoping that it magically comes together at that end.
A quarterly focus on a realistic goal enables you to turn the process into a habit. Once you have the system down, you can replicate it over and over again. You are going to see measurable and amazing results. [09:57]
We’ve had our best year yet at The Sales Evangelist and I want to make sure you can do the same. I’ve been in your shoes and I really enjoy helping new sellers however I can.
We are already planning for next year by taking a look at what we’ve accomplished this year and what we hope to accomplish moving forward. I hope that today’s podcast will help you do the same.
Check out our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers. It is for sellers all over the world to share insights, ideas, ask questions, and so forth.
If you are not pleased with your CRM or think it could be functioning better, check out Maximizer CRM. Maximizer is a personalized CRM that will give you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Go to TheSalesEvangelist.com/maximizer for a free demonstration. [00:43] [14:45]
We are also brought to you by prospect.io/tse. Do yourself a favor and check them out. Prospect.io is a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. It has changed the way we prospect. [00:43] [13:57]
And be sure to subscribe to the podcast and share with your friends!
Still struggling with hitting your goals? Sure, you may have devised a great plan but you may be lacking in effective and efficient execution. Hmmm…I smell commitment issues.
Our guest today, Thor Conklin, is going to share with us powerful insights into how you can concretely start accomplishing your goals… for real.
Thor has been an entrepreneur for the last 18 years and he also has a successful podcast called the Peak Performers. His latest venture is the Peak Performance Group, a profitability consulting firm where they help take individual C-level executives and entrepreneurs from where they are to where they want to go.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Thor:
Strategies for successfully hitting your goals:
These are the things get in the way that derails us. If you feel you’re sabotaging your results, that’s because of the belief systems you have set up.
Have someone around you that identifies some limiting beliefs you have that might be derailing you.
Thor has identified 85 things that get in the way of execution. For example:
You have to find someone who’s going to hold you accountable.
Things take time. They don’t automatically happen. So don’t just give up.
Get real with yourself and you have to tell the truth. If you’re not putting in those four hours of prospecting calls you said you’re going to do, don’t fool yourself. You may not be getting the results because you’re not putting in the effort in really tracking and measuring it.
The Power of Asking Follow Up Questions
Understand why buyers don’t want to buy. Communication is key.
Learn something from buyers who don’t want to buy. Take a moment and communicate. Spend time to ask questions.
Ask the prospect what they want or need. If you’re not asking the buyer what’s really important, you’re walking away from a potential sale. The answer lies many more questions in.
If you have a client that has an issue, let them know what it is. If it’s not a fit, tell the truth. Tell the truth of where you are.
Thor’s Major Takeaway:
The whole reason we fail to do things is that we don’t keep our commitments. Every day when you wake up, set a set of commitments you’re going to do. Set out what you’re going to do. Decide every day. Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. Wake up every day, in every area of your life, make a commitment to your business, to your sales, to your family, and say, “Just for today, I’m going to act, behave, and do the following…” Today, make a decision and commit to it. See it through and have someone hold you accountable.
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This past weekend, we did the Do Big Things Conference which was a tremendous success. And I know we all want to do big things in life, be it in your personal life, career, or in terms of creating a massive in impact on the world. Now, I’m going to tell how all this came about and how this ties back to sales… how you need to FOCUS and how being relentless towards your goals can yield amazing results!
Travis Thomas and I got introduced to each other and connected from there. While I had the goal to put on an event, he had the same desire. So went out in search of the perfect venue. We found this place, Emko, a unique, creatively designed resto which was not your typical conference venue. It was more expensive, sure. But we wanted to create an ambiance that gave more excitement and oomph!
The Challenge of Raising the Funds
Raising money for the conference was pretty challenging. We wanted the community to get involved and a lot of people have donated (shout out to all you guys who have made this rockstar event, not just possible but a sweet success!)
We didn’t just want it to be full of lectures so we had breakout sessions and masterminds so members can gather in small groups and discuss things they’ve learned and how they’re going to apply it into their business.
The Benefits of Joining a Conference
More challenges we met along the way:
Again, we had this whole thing conceived back in April so we basically only had 6 months to put this together. Not a lot of ramp up time. The sponsors we had expected to help but for some reason weren’t able to and lost them.
We weren’t getting the sign ups we wanted at the right time. That was absolutely scary!
So Travis and I just thought about backing out and canceling the event. But I thought of putting down this event on November 4 and make it happen. We’re just going to hustle and do everything we can to make sure we get people to attend the event and take part in it.
Strategies (we’ve done for this event) which you can apply to sales:
Write down a particular date and what is your pipeline going to look like at that point? How much income are you going to have? How much revenue are you going to generate. From here, work backwards.
Write down names of individuals, people in your community, and folks you can get connected with and personally reach out to them. That was a huge factor because people started coming in and signing up.
There might be people in your industry with complementary businesses that you haven’t cross-pollinated with who could help. So we found local meetup groups that had people who were interested in joining the event and they started inviting their people to our event. Now we started more traction.
We printed out flyers and distributed them out to people around the area. We did Facebook marketing and a little bit of everything. At the very end, we didn’t hit the 100 people which we had targeted but 70 people registered. All of them did not make it to the event but the key was to scale back the event from a 2-day event, we came back down to a 1-day event but we made sure it was jampacked with helpful content.
Was it a success?
We didn’t necessarily hit our 100% goal but instead of giving up and canceling the event mid-way, we didn’t let that happen. We decided to stick it out and WE MADE IT HAPPEN!
These are the things that we succeeded on:
Today’s Major Takeaway:
When you plan and take action on a specific outlined desire, you will see significant results. Consistency is key. Most importantly, make sure you have the guts, you’re determined, and push through. Make sure you follow through and be consistent. Put the right habits in place.
Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
Too many people set great goals, but then nothing happens in the end. So as you’re preparing your new year’s resolutions, I want to share with you some things that you can implement to help you in making sure you accomplish your goals.
On a piece of paper, write down all the activities that you do for a week. Then you’ll discover the things you’re doing and have an inventory of your activities.
Look at what you want to accomplish. What are your goals? Whatever your goals are, compare and contrast them to what you’re doing now. You might see you’re forming bad habits in the activities that you’re doing therefore wasting your time on and which you need to eliminate or eradicate. The more you understand what you’re doing, you get to identify what you need to stop doing or start doing.
What are the tasks, responsibilities, or key indicators that you need to do in your day to accomplish your goal? What are you doing now to accomplish your goals? Write these down. Take these things now and implement them into your schedule.
Look at things you don’t need to do and give those to someone else who can do it for you. Focus on the things that you need to do and put them on your calendar.
Find your plan. Set your plan. Work your plan. Do those things that are most effective to accomplish those goals. You may not accomplish them right away so be consistent in working your plan and be diligent at it.
Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Androidn, Kindle, or mp3 player.
Peter Voogd’s book, 6 Months to 6 Figures
Mike and I went to college together and he is also a great leader, seller, and entrepreneur. I’m bringing him on the show today so he can share with us his thoughts, insights, and challenges that he faced at some point in his career.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Mike:
Mike explains the The Paradox of Intent:
You have goals but you’re happy without having those goals. You have to be happy without achieving your goals. In other words, make sure that you’re happy.
How to be happy:
Mike’s major takeaway:
Find happiness within yourself. Don’t give it to anyone else. Don’t give it to a sales goal. Don’t give it to an amount of money. You hold that key to make yourself happy.
Get in touch with Mike through email at email@example.com
1.Set an over-arching, measurable goal for your sales success
2.Break that goal down to quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily figures
3.Develop “key indicators” or activities that are going to help you accomplish your weekly, monthly, quarterly, and ultimately your annual goals
Once you have these set key indicators, you can start to track your performance for improvements. You can then focus on areas you need to tweak and so forth.
Below is an example of what I used as an inside sales representative. If you desire an electronic copy of your own, send me an email at Donald@thesalesevangelist.com
This is the last of the three-part series of Sales Healthy in getting started with this upcoming new year, 2015, as we talk about things we can do to get started and to see some success, goals and visions we can implement.
Just a quick recap, in our first episode, we talked about just getting started. The second episode talked about FOCUS and setting incremental goals.
Now the third part is all about:
Results will come over time after doing the proper thing over and over and over again.
But before anything else, I want you to know that this marks our 100th episode. We’ve been around for one full year. Woohoo! We’ve had awesome guests on the show and we’ve gained a lot of great connection with you so THANK YOU!
Now going back to the third part of the Sales Healthy series…
Full disclosure here >> Once when I started running, I was looking for results the minute I got done. Sounds stupid, I know. But a lot of us actually do that, don’t we?
We try to find instant results or instant gratification immediately. We want to see immediate results. We want to see changes at that very instant. Duh! Of course not. You won’t see any difference right away.
Generally, you won’t see big results after running just one day. Results come over time after doing the activity over and over and over again.
My wife and I went through a beach body workout which is a 21-day fix. Super grueling! We made a plan to get started. (We procrastinated for some time there but we finally got it started.) We focused. (I tried to bite off way more than I could chew and wanted to go overboard on these exercises.) But the most important thing I realized is that results come over time of doing the proper things over and over and over again.
After 21 days, we really saw a difference. I started seeing results. I was getting leaner. I was following the workout plan and the eating plan. And things were just awesome. But it came over time.
The same goes with SALES.
Implement the sales principles you learned over and over and over again.
With sales, you set goals. And you have all these resources in line which you think are going to help you out achieve your goals. And so you think you’re carrying a silver bullet with you. But it’s not the silver bullet that’s going to solve your problem right away, but it’s the practice of those right principles and all the things you learned from this podcast or the books that you read or people you interact with or with other colleagues.
Over time, keep on doing the right thing and you’re going to see the right and amazing results!
The top performers do it over and over and over again.
People I’ve worked with who are top performers, they do something so well and they do it over and over and over again. They are not just winging it. They are practicing things off scene and backstage. They’re prepping up and doing their activities and making their calls, whatever is necessary.
The more you do the right things, the more you see the right results. And the same applies to your business and your pipeline. You must apply things you learn.
My biggest question is: WHAT are you doing to follow through?
Sure you love a certain episode of my podcast, but if I were to follow up that with a question, what are you going to do to apply it?
So, apply it.
Be consistent at doing that.
Go forward and set up those plans.
My biggest key takeaways from this three-part Sales Healthy series:
Get started on whatever you have planned. Whatever goals you have for 2015, just set the plan. Get it written out. Get started. Then, focus.
Focus on that goal, vision, plan or map. Set your incremental goals. Set strategic, realistic ways that you can accomplish those goals.
It takes time. Don’t get down if you don’t see results right away. Keep working at it. It takes that proper activity over and over and over again.
Start this year with a bang! Start going forward. Don’t stop. You got 365 days that you need to push forward through. Work every single day and keep going. Great things can happen for you. Great things will happen for you!
It’s the fundamental and basic principles that generally drive results. People overlook them because they’re too basic. But follow and go through doing the basics and you will see amazing results.
This is part two of what I have learned from my crazy running experience, which actually ties into the concept of sales. And I think this would be an opportune time to discuss this matter considering how we all love to make New Year’s resolutions and goals for the coming year. And so you set some resolutions and goals year after year, but the real question is – are you making them happen? Are you accomplishing your goals? Or do you end up pushing yourself too much?
So the second principle that I’ve learned from my little run last week is this:
Focus and setting incremental goals.
When you haven’t run for some time and then you pick up running again, you have to work your way into it. My house is about 2.5 miles away from the ocean. After some time that I’ve put off my running shoes, I decided to get back into running and so I ran. I hit a mile or so just to get started and then pushed myself to go a mile and a half. Then pushed myself further to go all the way to the ocean. And so I did! I did end up at the ocean. But I didn’t see the exhaustion coming. I was too tired to run back home so I ended up walking.
And so looking back from that experience, here are some things I’ve learned that also ties into setting sales goals.
1. Do small amounts.
Sometimes we bite off much more than we can chew. You’ve got all these goals, but sometimes that’s not the best thing to do. You need to push yourself of course, but don’t go out and try to do more than you can handle. Do it in incremental amounts.
In my running experience, when I “failed”, where I got to the beach and I couldn’t make my way back, I learned I needed to pace myself and set those incremental goals.
If you want to have 5 opportunities that week, what are you going to do to get those? Set those goals and once you can accomplish them, then you can increase in small increments and aim for getting 2 opportunities a day.
2. Set realistic goals.
Set goals that you can accomplish. Push yourself but don’t make them unrealistic.
Don’t put yourself up for a failure with unrealistic goals. Set goals that are going to make sense, meaningful, can be measured, and that can drive results to you and your organization.
3.Make a clear path for your goals.
What are you going to do to accomplish that goal?
Whatever it is, set those incremental goals and work towards it.
The last thing you want to do is push yourself further than you can go, get burnt out and then you feel like you failed.
Put plans behind your goals, be it, numbers, names, etc. or whatever path you can draw behind all of that. With running, I know exactly what path I’m going to take and where I’m going to go, so I know I can have the best results.
Set up your path. Lay out your plan so you know where you’re going and how you can accomplish what you’re going after.
4. Focus and apply the 80/20 principle.
Don’t try to go after every industry. Focus on the industries that are best for your business, ones that will give you greater results. Focus on the things you can do 20% of the time to gain 80% of the return. Don’t do time consuming activities that don’t yield the results you are planning to accomplish. You want to gain greater results not greater failures.
Focus. Focus. FOCUS!
Well, tell me more about your goals. Do you have plans to accomplish BIG THINGS in 2015? Share with me you’re winning strategies. I am excited to hear about them! Remember as always, I want you to go out and DO BIG THINGS!
“I want to be a millionaire so freaking bad”….. Have you dreamt of being a millionaire? Or thought, what does it takes to get to that level? Well, JV Crum is a successful entrepreneur who has a passion to make the world a better place, by changing people’s lives. To do this, JV wrote the book Conscious Millionaire: Grow Your Business By Making a Difference. In his book he outlines key principles that anyone can apply to focus on finding success. Now not everyone has a yearning to be a millionaire, but you may have a desire to live comfortable, chase a dream or accomplish a challenging task. JV’s book is designed in a way that applying these principles can help you on your journey, no matter what it is.
During our interview I ask some key questions based on chapters that I found very interesting and applicable to sales, business and personal life fulfillment. JV and I had a great discussion as he elaborated his ideas for success. As a gift, JV is offering the opportunity for my listeners to get a free downloadable copy of his book. All you have to do is go to this link below that is designed for our listeners. Here is a link below to access the eBook! I also posted it on our Facebook page.
Here are some take aways from JV:
Stay connect with JV and the things he’s working on:
During this episode I interview two young men who, from a young age, started setting goals and has been doing BIG THINGS. Jacob (age 16) and Jared (age 14) Hatch are brothers who started their band called WatermelonRindWMR. The power behind the message taught by these young men is the fact that anyone can set goals and accomplish BIG THINGS. Too many times we make excuses, blame someone or something as to why we can’t or will not do something special.
It is way too easy to never start, but far more rewarding when you put in the hard work and get great results. Jacob and Jared could have justified many reasons why they should not go for their dream of creating a band, but they did not. The result now is the fact that they have released one albums on iTunes, created several great singles and are earning great money with DJing opportunities on the weekends.
What are some dreams you can start accomplishing today?
Here are some take aways I learned from Jacob and Jared that you can apply as you start to do BIG THINGS: