Inspiring Great Sales Leadership

Effective Sales Management and Coaching

Improving and encouraging requires some specific sales and communications skills. A great sales manager is able to demonstrate effective performance rather than speak in generalities.

In this podcast, Tim and Steven talk about ways that a sales manager can encourage and develop subordinates – making more money for the sales person and for the sales manager.


Planning for the New Year MTSN-049

Making the Best of Your Year End

If you have had a good year and hit your targets, it’s time to connect with your marketing counterpart.

Revenue Marketing: Tell your marketing team what’s going to align with their program for the coming year. Marketing Qualified Leads from your marketing group is an opportunity to begin to plan the email marketing program for the next year. If you want to be an innovator, sit with your marketing director and see how you can align with their program, measure sales qualified leads. People who bring in more resources are going to be more effective.



Closing Executives MTSN-048

Closing Along Above the Line

Realignment to business and personal value is an essential component of closing executives.

Tim provides an example of an authoritative close – that did not turn out well. From that experience, Tim learned how to sell above the line, getting to the real reason that they did not buy from you this time.

Tim explains the close “If you were going to rank us today, where would we rank ? ” and shows that (if you can’t be the number one choice) why choice number three is the best ranking.


Hard Closing Questions MTSN-047

Putting Your Customer into Mild State of Discomfort

Your choice of Hard and Soft closes depend upon where the prospect is above or below the power line. Using the wrong form of close will not give you results either above or below the line.

Your negotiation plan is a key element, especially when dealing with purchasing agents and those below the power line in the account. Relationships with junior people are more likely to be damaged if you attempt a hard close because the decision to issue a purchase order today is beyond their approval scope. Giving up margin too early and clearly not getting something in return – deviating from your negotiation plan – will end up leaving too much on the table.



How to Close Business This Year MTSN-046

Are You Closing Power ?

Your close will vary, depending upon the relationship with the power line. At least two buying signals must be present before your close. First, they are expanding the buying audience, and begin to use your vernacular. If you hear your jargon and not that of competitors, that’s a warning flag.

You are always closing – for a meeting or some concrete advancement of the deal

If they begin to use the phrase ” when we do this”, that’s  a second good indicator that your are on the right track.

How do you determine the personal value to the customer ? This is where a true professional sales person will shine. If you can set expectations of a personal win, you will be able to insure the support of the person.



Emotional Drivers in the Sales Process MTSN-045

Why Do People Buy ?

The sale includes both personal and business value. Critical Business Issues (CBI) are why you are playing the game. But, do you really know what the business value is that your solution addresses ? It is necessary to align with pain, but that alone is not sufficient to swing things your way. Every vendor in competition with you can also solve the problem.

How do you determine the personal value to the customer ? This is where a true professional sales person will shine. If you can set expectations of a personal win, you will be able to insure the support of the person.



Planning to Close Business MTSN-044

A Strong Plan for Engaging Effectively with Purchasing

After there is an understanding of the current situation and future state – plus agreement from the prospect to buy – there is a process . Don’t take it for granted. There is a sequence of events that needs to be documented, because you cannot afford a slip in schedule.

The difference between closure on one day versus another can be incredible at the end of the month or year, depending upon your compensation plan. All stakeholders and influencers have to be on board with a common sense of urgency. Planning for that sequence is your responsibility if you want to get paid.


Closing: Are you Aligned With Power ? MTSN-043

Testing Power at All Stages

Those who have power are hard to connect with. They are very busy and unless they are highly organized are difficult to get to meetings. They make decisions quickly and firmly – but if they don’t engage with you willingly your access to power is slipping away.

Continuously verify their power. Asking  ” When you have bought things like this before, what’s the process ? ”  If it turns out they have not done it before, you’ve added months to the cycle. The biggest red flag ? If the person tells you there’s no need to talk with anyone else.



Positioning Solutions to Prospects During Discovery MTSN-042

Solutions are Not Products

How do you present options to clients ? Before your get to that step, you have to get the basic product sold. You need to be able to tell your prospect how clients have been able to solve problems using your product and service, not how your product solves problems.

The basic reference story includes how your clients were successful using your product.  But the key was that the client is the hero of the story, and your product was an enabler to realization of that goal.

Match your solutions with their future desired states, not the present.


Sales Discovery Prompter Part 2 MTSN-041

DIscovery – the Key to Making More Money

You have been trained to go for pain – but if you think that you can find bigger opportunities because people are in pain you may want to think about reasons why people will buy anything.

Pain is only one motivator – a more productive one is big open questions around goals because it is exciting and safe.  If you sell for goals you are appealing to vision and uncovering the issue as the client sees it. Appealing to their vision and building rapport is a good start. Getting too personal too quickly can throw a prospect into a negative loop – keep them thinking longer term, moving their thoughts into a desirable future state.

Stay in the place that allows you more flexibility and allows you the most flexibility. If you jump to the problem/solution phase you will lose the opportunity to deal with greater issues and opportunities.

Match your solutions with their future desired states, not the present.