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HOW TO SPOT & HIRE SELF-MOTIVATED SALES REPS

Cheerleader_X_353_shadowI didn’t try out to be a cheerleader in high school [besides, Cheerleader X would’ve looked awful in a skirt]. I also had no interest in becoming one during my sales career.

I didn’t believe it was necessary for a sales team to look to me, as their sales manager, for motivation if providing for themselves and their families, as well as creating the life of their choosing, wasn’t enough to keep them motivated.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don’t teach a man to fish, and you feed yourself. He’s a grown man. Fishing’s not that hard.”
~ Ron Swanson

I learned, through the past decades, more about how people are wired. One very important thing was the importance of knowing if someone was able to adequately motivate themself. Those sales reps were good, very good, but they were also difficult to find.

It was difficult because every potential hire not only told me they were self-motivated, but they believed it as well. It was the trial of starting a life in sales that would, over time, reveal the truth.

That’s not to say I refused to motivate others when I saw the opportunity. But, it was typically for those who were not constantly looking for it [read: desperately seeking it]. I had no interest in enabling my sales team in ways that drove them further from finding the motivation they needed to discover within themselves.

But, allow me to mention, I know there are other schools of thought on this and there’s certainly some validity to each of them. I’m speaking from my experience.

For now, let’s look at a resource I found for you which aligns with my view on this subject. It shouldn’t matter that it’s from a woman in sales but, in a way, it does.

Women still deal with a lot of bias against them in sales, both from colleagues and management, but also from many buyers. If a woman succeeds in our industry, it does take an extra amount of self-motivation, and I say that with nothing but respect.

The bias we have against women is wrong; it’s harmful to them, as well as being indirectly harmful to the men around them.

I believe we all can learn from the truly self-motivated ones around us, no matter their gender.

Ali Powell (@AliPowell21) runs The WomenPreneurs website, where Powell writes the Women In Sales Blog. She draws from her career experience as a woman in sales industry and a woman in the tech industry, including 5+ years at her current employer, HubSpot.

Powell recently penned a post titled: Motivational Sales Quotes Don’t Work, What Works is Hiring Naturally Motivated Sales Reps.” In it, she takes a very strong stand on the topic of motivating sales professionals. I wanted to tell you about it so I can hear from you, and hear your thoughts, over on Twitter (@SalesExecutiveX).

THE BIG IDEA
The big idea of Powell’s post is this:

“My personal stance on this is that it is not your company’s job to motivate you as a sales rep.”

YOU MAY OR MAY NOT AGREE
You may or may not agree with that statement, but we can all agree having strong self-motivation is a huge advantage in our business. Finding that kind of person to add to our teams is vital for the health of any business.

The meat of this post is in the tips Powell offers “for finding and recruiting sales reps who will be motivated to sell your product or service naturally, just by being who they are as a human being.”

These are the 5 tips, and questions to ask, she gives us, but be sure to read the post in full to get her details for each tip:

  1. Look for someone who understands your product vision or what your product solves for.
  2. Is that person a helper?
  3. Does this person know how to get pumped up on their own?
  4. Do they like to solve problems on their own? Does that get them excited and keep them going?
  5. Do they want to be the best in their job and in life? Do they care about more?

No, we shouldn’t need to motivate our people, but sometimes we need to do it for the purpose of understanding if they’ll turn a corner and will be a part of our long-term plan.

Again, I’m very interested in your honest thoughts about this topic. Thank you for sharing them with me…

[Reading Time For Powell’s Post: 3:00]


QUESTION ::: How much motivation, in any form, do you need [or want] to receive from your sales manager?

Let’s talk about it…

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CAN A GAME LOOSEN A SALES TEAM FROM A SELLING RUT?

Football_363_shadowWho has time for games when there’s money to be made in sales today?

[Perhaps you will after reading this post]

“That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers.
Fun is just another word for learning.”
Raph Koster

Jason Daley (for @entrepreneur) recently told a great sales success story in his article, “What This Business Owner Did to Get His Team Out of a Sales Rut.

Please allow me to set the scene without spoiling the article for you. I really like this story…

A man named Brian Brady owns 6 Wireless Zone franchises employing 30 employees in total. Brady had been running multiple sales contests for his salespeople, offering bigger and better prizes in an effort to significantly boost sales. But, it didn’t bring about the increases in sales he was seeking.

He found this all-too-familiar scenario playing out:

“You always have your overachievers, then your middle-of-the-road sales guys, then the bottom tier,” Brady says. “The contests always had the same results, with the top salespeople winning. I had to start handicapping people, and the people at the top felt they were being punished for being good. The people at the lower end never paid attention to the contests because they felt like they’d never win.”

Brady was stuck, momentarily, where your sales team may be stuck today.

If the gamification of a traditional sales contest wasn’t the answer, why would any other form of gamification work? What other forms are even out there?

Brady didn’t give up, and his efforts paid off in a big way when he found a website offering a solution that he didn’t fully buy into at first:

Things were drastically different right away. [site name withheld] is a fairly expensive platform, and it took some convincing for me to buy into it. They said I would see improvement from day one, which is what everyone says. But I honestly did.

How so?

The No. 1 thing is that we have this sales goal assigned to us by Verizon, and we were struggling with it. I didn’t think we’d make it by the end of the year. But we crushed that goal in a month. It completely turned our sales process upside down.

How does the contest work?

This is where you should go and read the full article for yourself, not only to find out the answer to that question, but also find out which solution site they’re discussing in the article.

I will tell you that the solution effectively leveled the playing field so every employee had a chance to win while still keeping everyone rooting for each other at the same time.

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Gamification is also an element of what the web and mobile app, SalesFitRx, offers its users. With this being the blog of SalesFitRx, it should definitely be mentioned.

You can learn more about the award-winning app by viewing this new, brief video.

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QUESTION ::: Are you also stuck at this place as a team, as Brady’s team was, or have you been stuck in this way during another time of your careerDo you believe gamification, when applied well, can cause a significant breakthrough for a sales team?

Let’s talk about it…

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: TOP REPS, POST CALL TIPS & SALES TEAM BOOSTS

Team_Work_308_shadowThis week’s links cover what top sales reps do outside the office, what you need to do after a sales call and two resources to help you boost the overall strength of your sales team.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

WHAT TO DO :::

The Peak Sales Blog
What Top Sales Reps Do Outside of the Office
Eliot Burdett (@eliotburdett with @peaksales) put together this clear understanding of 2 kinds of sales professionals. If you aren’t already in the group described as Top Performers, here’s a clear map on how to do what you need to do to get there.

KEY QUOTE: “…the top performing reps kept working while the majority of reps, come 5pm, would leave the office and not touch any work until 9am the following morning.

While unplugging at the end of the day isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I noticed the best reps were unique in the sense that they did at least one and usually all of these 5 things outside the office.”

Choose now. #whichoneisyou
[Reading/Listening Time: 1:30]

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Sales Performance Blog
5 Things to Do As Soon As You Hang Up a Sales Call
Justin Zappulla (with @janekpg) offers one way, which works for him, to begin a plan of making the most out of every call in order to improve your customer and prospect relationships as well as being more effective on the next call you make.

KEY QUOTE: Ultimately, it’s good business—and very satisfying—to have a post-call plan and be deliberate about carrying it out. It will not only help analyze the call you just hung up from, but will make your next call even more dialed in.

This is an intentional process requiring discipline, but it’s not a big commitment. You can do this. #getdialedin
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:00]

IMPROVE YOUR SALES TEAM :::

Sales Initiative Toolbox
12 Power Questions For Rapidly Improved Performance
René Vidal (@goalsexpert) offers some excellent diagnostic questions that get down to the heart of some sales performance issues you may already be facing.

KEY QUOTE: At the end of the day, personal and professional success belongs to those who start with a specific plan, then exert the daily self-discipline to finish. Game over.

Don’t skip this one. You’ll definitely find at least a few great questions you’ll know you need to answer right away. #performanceenhancing
[Reading/Listening Time: 1:30]

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NextGen Leads
Eight Experts Reveal How To Boost Morale On Your Sales Team
Logan Strain (@lm_strain) really did a great job pulling together many important insights from these 8 sales experts. It’s vital to keep your sales team motivated, but simply being a cheerleader is NOT what they need from you this week.

KEY QUOTE: Only YOU can motivate you. With that said, I can certainly de-motivate you.

Which of these recommendations will you put into practice first? #bemorethanacheerleader
[Reading/Listening Time: 6:00+]

 

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: RECOVERY TIPS, CASTING OFF, NETWORKING & RESPONDING WELL

Boss_308_shadowThis week’s links are about recovering well from a lost sale, casting off unhelpful things, how most networking efforts are useless and what to do if you have a bad manager.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

PROFESSIONAL GROWTH :::

MarrsCoaching.com Blog
What Happens When You Lose A Sale?
Pierce Marrs (@piercemarrs) offers a valuable blog post with the option to listen to Marrs read the text to you. I highly recommend it. The post offers direction on what to do, and understand, after losing a sale.

KEY QUOTE: “…I respectfully told him the truth. I could not meet the deadline and that he should buy from my competition. It was a difficult decision but the right one for him. I have no concern about having a chance when he does another project because I treated him the way I would want to be treated and he understood that. I did not lose my customer. I just lost that sale. There is a big difference.”

You won’t win them all, but you’ll win more sales if you recover from the losses the right way. #winthenexttime
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:30]

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TheSalesBlog.com
The 7 Things You Must Leave Behind to Get Ahead
Anthony Iannarino (@iannarino) is back again this week with a new resource. It’s a challenging one, even for me after all of my years in our industry.

If you approach this blog post with an open mind and willingness to be honest with yourself, the two minutes you spend reading this will give you an excellent  ROI:

KEY QUOTE: “… to say you believe something without acting in accordance with that belief is the same as not believing it.”

I wish I was handed this list back when I started my first job in sales. I really do. #takethechallenge
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:00]

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Harvard Business Review
99% of Networking Is a Waste of Time
Greg McKeown (@gregorymckeown for @HarvardBiz) boldly titles his latest article, but he has some great examples to back up his claim told to him by a man known as “Mr.Davos” because of his incredible ability to effectively network at the highest level at every event he attends.

KEY QUOTE: “Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They are attached to people.”

Now you can be incredibly effective during your next conference, even if half of your colleagues have no idea why you’re doing all that you’re doing [or not doing]. #networklikeyouowntheplace
[Reading/Listening Time: 3:00]

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EyesOnSales.com
Six New Ways to Handle: “I Need to Talk to My Boss/Partner/Corporate” Etc.
Mike Brooks (@top20percent) has a real knack for putting together detailed nuts and bolts posts about what to say and do in specific selling conversations. This post is no exception.

KEY QUOTE: “these techniques won’t always work at overcoming this stall (sometimes they will, though!), but they will let you know how much of a stall this put off is, whether or not it’s a smokescreen, and how much of a shot you have at overcoming it, side-stepping it, or setting yourself up for a successful next call (or if there should even be a next call with a prospect).”

>> Be sure to bookmark his extremely valuable archive of posts. #dontmissthisresource
[Reading/Listening Time: 4:00]

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO :::

Score More Sales Blog
When You Have a Bad Sales Manager
Lori Richardson (@scoremoresales) once again appears in my weekly list of links with this recent post. She gives excellent advice to determine your next steps and what they should be depending on your situation.

KEY QUOTE: The number one reason someone quits a company is because of his or her direct supervisor.”

Bookmark Lori’s blog so you don’t need to wait for me to highlight her next valuable post. #badmanagergoodadvice
[Reading/Listening Time: 2:00]

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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LEADERBOARD MOTIVATION: CONNECTING THE U.S. OPEN WITH SALES SUCCESS

us_open_leaderboard_306_shadowYour sales team needs more than pep talks and contests.

The leaderboard at the U.S. Open is the central hub of the most important information at the event. It’s constantly viewed by the professional golfers. both on and off the course, by attendees at the event and by a worldwide audience viewing it on TV, Internet and in print as well as those listening to or receiving scoring updates via radio.

The leaderboard is constantly being updated during event hours, then it’s discussed, stressed over and dissected every evening of the tournament to predict any number of possible outcomes after the final round. We can sometimes do that with our sales team leaderboards as well.

Yes, the leaderboard informs, but most of all it motivates.

In business, particularly in the sales industry, feeding off of the proper motivation is key to get the most out of a sales professional. Although there may be different ways each representative prefers to be motivated, I would posit that competition between colleagues is a universal motivator…whether we like it or not.

For many decades, inserting a leaderboard into the mix of sales players has been a fairly effective motivator within a sales team. The only problem with what has always been done is that the traditional leaderboard isn’t ever-present.

The motivation derived from the leaderboard’s competitive element may be felt more at the beginning and the end of each workday after each day’s updated rankings, but those sparks don’t always keep the flame burning hot throughout the moment by moment inner battles with doubt, confidence and belief within each sales professional throughout the entire day.

Enter SalesFitRx.

The SalesFitRx web and mobile app was first and foremost created to solve the problem of extracting hidden non-selling time in your day and giving you the opportunity to reinvest that time into more selling time.The real-time leaderboard is just one of the elements built into the sales tool to help keep your motivation flame running hot, leading to you getting the best out of yourself day after day.

ring_the_bell_311_-_shadowI guarantee you’ll feel a bit more fire when a colleague “rings the bell” in the app and you’re made aware they just jumped ahead of you on the leaderboard. You’ll have a bit more focus and effectiveness walking into that next sales meeting or when you make that next call with a prospect or client. It’s human nature, so use the motivation to your advantage.

SalesFitRx certainly isn’t the only sales tool out there with a real-time leaderboard for sales teams. This level of gamification is present in quite a few tools on the market today. But what other tools do not possess is the level of actionable data that SalesFitRx not only collects and organizes, but also gives you, the user and/or the sales manager, a variety of ways to easily and effectively determine where non-selling time lurks.

I’d tell you more about it, but we created a brief video to both show and tell you how it works.

Please view the video then determine if you have absolutely no doubt you’ll come out ahead of your sales goals if you keep doing what you’re currently doing as a sales team, or if SalesFitRx’s real-time actionable insights may be able to help you improve upon what your sales team is already doing.

And yes, this award-winning tool fully integrates with SalesForce.

Don’t let your competitors gain this edge over you.

Contact me today to get started: Karl.Gustafson@salesfitrx.com / 602-427-2399

 

Ask me about our FREE 30 Day FREE Trial

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: STORYTELLING, TALKING PRICES & MORE

Story_290_shadowThis week’s links offer a reminder about storytelling in sales, getting away from me, myself and I, a healthy dose of inspiration and some frank talk about price.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

INCREASING SALES :::

ExceedSales.com
Storytelling in Sales: Improve Your Sales Success
Exceed Sales (@elisaciarametar) has an excellent guest post by Christopher Kogler (@cakogler) focused on a single example of the power of storytelling for sales professionals. If you aren’t consistently using the power of storytelling…congratulations! I say that because this is low-hanging fruit within your grasp.

Promise me you’ll at least click to read the last paragraph, if you do, I promise you’ll want to go back and read the rest of the piece. #storytime
[Reading time: 1:30]

Sales Wars Blog
“You” Messaging for Better Sales Communications
This guest blog post on “You” Messaging, by Andrew Moravick (@amoravick) for @AberdeenGroup is both a reminder for all of us and a deeper dive into examples of what this kind of communication is and is not.

In my experience, this communication technique consistently works [much better than not using it] in all industries, in all markets, for all types of people and for all types of products and services. Thank you for posting this one @quotafactory. #itsaboutthem
[Reading time: 3:30]

OVERCOMING EXCUSES :::

The Sales Hunter Blog
Why Your Sales Team is So Afraid of Price (and What You Can Do About It!)
I really like Mark Hunter‘s (@thesaleshunter) boldness and accuracy on calling out an issue too many sales professionals use as an excuse for not having more sales. Are you willing to read it to see if you’re guilty…even a little bit? His four tips at the end of the post are excellent. #getoverit
[Reading time: 3:00]

INSPIRATION :::

CloserIQ
21 Inspiring Dale Carnegie Quotes to Rescue Any Bad Day
Vi-An Nguyen, for CloserIQ (@CloserIQ), accomplished two important things with this post. First, no doubt is left that Dale Carnegie is still relevant today. And second, this isn’t just a list of quotes from a single source. She created a resource for those days when you can use some encouragement from someone who knew a thing or two about sales since he knew more than a thing or two about people. #wisewords
[Reading time: 3:30]

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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SHOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR COMPANY’S SALES COMPENSATION PLAN?

Carrot_Dangled_290Does a sales professional need a carrot hanging in front of them in order for him or her to achieve their maximum amount of sales?

There’s a pair of articles from Harvard Business Review that add excellent food-for-thought on the topic of sales compensation plans.

 

Daniel Pink shares in “A Radical Prescription for S

ales“:

What if paying salespeople commissions is
 rooted more in tradition than logic? What if it’s a practice so cemented into orthodoxy that it’s no longer an actual decision? That’s what a handful of companies have begun discovering.
To the surprise of many, these firms are showing that commissions can sometimes do more harm than good—and that getting rid of them can open a path to higher profits.

 

Could it be true that the 60/40 base salary/commissions model is showing some weaknesses? Could a 90/10 split keep motivation up for sales team members, and even raise team sales?

I have to admit that with my decades in the industry, I’m fairly settled into the 60/40 mindset. You may be as well. This discussion, or variations of it, have risen and fallen over the past few decades. But…there may be something to this idea. It certainly wouldn’t be for every professional sales organization, but it could be the change needed for quite a few of them.

The article dives into some interesting research about the type of tasks we do as being either “algorithmic” or “heuristic.” I recommend reading that section before writing off the idea.

Pink ends with some thoughts I share with him:

Should every company forswear sales commissions? No. But simply challenging this orthodoxy helps us recognize that selling today is sophisticated, complex work—and that the people doing it therefore require incentives beyond a dangled carrot.

Additionally, you may find Mark Roberge‘s article, The Right Way to Use Compensation, to be an interesting read on the topic. Be sure to read the paragraphs under the “Before You Change the Comp Plan…” sub-header.

An important quote from this article is:

The ideal plan is tailored to the company’s stage of growth.

QUESTION ::: Whether you’re a sales professional, a sales manager or an executive, would you be willing to entertain making a change like this for your organization?

Let’s talk about it…

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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