Posts tagged with sales management

I admit it, I’m impressed with Jeffrey Gitomer

December 20, 2011 by   •  1 Comment

Greetings from Alexandria, Virginia.  This is probably the coolest place I’ve been in a while.  The fact that it’s relatively warm in December doesn’t hurt either.  I’m spending the week working out of the FusionTek East Coast offices and loving the surroundings.

I was visiting with David Spire from United Systems last week when he dropped this bomb on me.  The bomb is Jeffrey Gitomer.  Now, I have to admit that as a consultant I like to fool myself into believing that I know everything about everything.  Clearly this isn’t true but when someone asks me, “have you heard about this guy or that guy?” I am usually skeptical since out industry has an abundance of crap floating around passing itself off as good advice.

When David asked me if I’d heard of Jeffrey Gitomer I applied my usual amount of skepticism and paid little attention.   When I took the time to read his website and excerpts from his books I found myself getting very impressed (despite my best efforts).  This guy is a genius, well spoken, and his experiences are incredible.  Not since I was introduced to the Sandler Selling System have I been this optimistic about great sales training existing out in the world.

So without further introduction, I am presenting you with a snipit of Gitomer’s philosophies.  Do yourself and your sales folks a favor and start devouring what this guy is feeding.

12.5 Values of a Sales Professional

1. The value of creating a difference between you and the competition. The key is perceived value. The biggest difference is the difference they perceive in YOU!

2. The value of knowing the difference between satisfied and loyal. Satisfied customers buy anywhere. Loyal customers stay, fight for you and refer. Will they order again? Will they recommend you to others? That is the measure.

3. The value of your ability to speak and be compelling.  If your sales message is boring, they pass. If it’s compelling, they want to buy. Engage them with great questions and ideas.

4. The (value) of knowing everything or being too busy to learn. Stay a student – every day. All the information you need to succeed already exists. You may not be exposing yourself to it. Continue reading I admit it, I’m impressed with Jeffrey Gitomer

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AMC Advance Microcomputing Services Needs a Sales Manager

December 1, 2011 by   •  Leave a comment

Just a quick shout out that the San Dimas, CA company owned by Anthony Chiapetta is beginning the search for a Sales Manager.  AMC is a managed services provider whose performance in the last 12 months has been remarkable.  Under Anthony’s leadership they have grown tremendously in both revenue and profitability.  Anthony has taken the very bold step of creating a top down sales department.  One of the most prevalent hurdles to real growth of managed services providers is the lack of a dedicated sales force.  Typically the owner is the best and only sales person but unfortunately that model does not seem to scale beyond the $1,000,000-$2,000,000 mark.

This is an aggressive move on AMC’s part.  The Sales Manager will be tasked with building the sales infrastructure, recruiting four sales people, training them and getting them all up to quota and beyond.  This is not something that has been attempted by many MSP’s.

Soooooo…if you are a seasoned sales manager who wishes to work in a company with a phenomenally motivated and positive culture, consider contacting AMC.  No bullies, intimidation, or lameness will be considered.  This is the opportunity for high performing sales managers to finally build their dream team from the ground up.  Could not ask for a better scenario.

Visit http://www.amcsolutions.net/articles1-60/HiringSalesManager to find contact information.  You should be able to find the job posting on the Ladders, Craigslist, and Linkedin shortly.

Best of luck to Anthony and all you looking to take on this role!

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Adding sales people to your IT company (Part I)

June 19, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

If  you’ve spent even one hour with me you know how maniacal I get about the necessity for sales people in your organization.  Aside from my direct clients I usually only have limited time to talk to people about their business so I try to leave them with something to go home and think about.  Invariably that topic will be the importance of getting a sales person on your team.

Now, I’ll admit I’m not the most calm and relaxed guy about your business.  You don’t want me to be.  I am going to passionately deliver my message to you about how I think you can increase your top and bottom line.  You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to do it.  However, if you choose to add a sales person let’s keep a few things straight:

1. Save 3 months of base salary for your sales person before you even place your ad.  You will make better decisions if you are about to draw from your cash that you’ve saved for this purpose.

2. Don’t even think about hiring a sales person until you’ve committed at least 10 hours a week of YOUR time to manage, coach, and train this individual.  YOU must be the one to get them excited about your company and work closely with them on setting the proper activity levels and expected outcomes.  Don’t cop out and say “i shouldn’t have to micro manage.”  That’s BS and you’re talking non sense.  Sales people need boundaries and guidance.  Give it to them!

3.  For the love of all things holy, please don’t give me an aneurysm by making the following mistakes; hiring at the first interview, not having a compensation plan IN WRITING TO PRESENT AT THE TIME OF OFFER,  not verifying references, not having a 90 day plan.

Sales people are tough to find, train, and hire.  We know this.  Don’t keep hiring your first sales person over and over again making the same mistakes.  Have a plan, stick to the plan, the plan works.

In Part II I’m going to give you some real world and current examples of my friends and clients going through this process right now.  I’ll protect their identity  to spare their ego, though I should make them public to shame them into doing the right thing next time!

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Sales Constitution

March 9, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

Bill Stucklen is a founder of Marathon Consulting in Brooklyn, NY. He was a reluctant sales manager but has turned out to be quite amazing at it and is delivering some very strong results. Bill forwarded this Sales Constitution to me this morning and I really like it, all but the part about giving products away for free!

Sales Constitution

• I refuse to sell my services to people who don’t want them or need them.
• I find out how others failed because I won’t make the same mistake they did.
• I never stand in the way of the best solutions or the worst solutions.
• I don’t sell products; I sell service. All products are free with my service.
• I never expect buyers to pay more for the same solution at a higher price.
• I always present solutions that are different and better than competitors.
• I present my solutions only once – to the right people at the right time.
• I will not allow third parties to present my solutions. Only I will do this.
• I provide choices to my buyer, not ultimatums.
• I will never fax or email my proprietary solutions to a customer.
• I am committed to only four possible outcomes of my presentation.
o Yes
o No
o Disqualify Myself – If my solutions are the same as others.
o Set a future date to get my final answer with a return visit.
• I always find out what I did to get or lose the sale.
• I return in person to get the final answer, not make follow up phone calls.
• I always let customers know that I need their help getting more customers.

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Setting the right sales call expectation for your shiny fresh new sales person!

March 8, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

You’ve hired the right person, you’ve put them through their orientation, you’ve even found someone who will prospect and get their own appointments! Congratulations. Now what? Here are four things to get that newbie thinking about:
1. Ask questions about technology; how do they use it? what role does it play in their business? what is frustrating? what’s working or not working?

2. Once you’ve uncovered a “pain”, relax, slow down, don’t get over excited and start trying to throw solutions at the prospect. Instead, start asking probing questions. Find out what solutions they’ve attempted. Ask if any other companies have offered solutions.

3. If there is an opportunity, start talking about time frames and budgets. Here’s a hint, the prospect never has a budget or doesn’t want to tell you the budget. This is where selling comes in…help them understand why you need that number, how it speeds the delivery time to getting their pain solved, how it helps you craft the right solution that they can actually afford. If you’ve begun to build a trusting relationship, you can get this number.

4. Insist that your newbie never leave that prospect without the next meeting and an objective for that next meeting. This is crucial! Too many sales calls end with a “call me next week.” Everyone is excited and motivated until next week comes and you can’t reach your new buddy. The calls are unreturned, the emails ignored, and suddenly that hot new opportunity is reduced to nothing. Get the follow up appointment on the spot.

These are simple topics for your weekly sales meeting.  Be patient, even your seasoned vets can fall out of these habits.  Coach and counsel your newbies consistently to train the behavior.  They’ll get there.

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Hiring sales people – ABI – Always be Interviewing

March 5, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

The thing I notice most frequently with the VARS and MSP’s (managed services providers) that I meet is that they have a hard time (if not impossible time) breaking through that $2,000,000 annual revenue mark.  After noticing this for several years I have  determined that the difference between those who do break the $2M mark and those who don’t  is simple; the existence of a sales force.  Through brute force, many owners can get their companies up to that $2M mark.  Once they commit to being a sales driven organization that $2M mark is seen only through the rear view mirror.

Once we start talking about hiring sales folks the conversation quickly turns to the horror stories of sales people from the past.  Here’s a short list of the most common mistakes my clients say they made:

1. Hiring their unemployed sales expert friend, neighbor, or relative;
2. Paying a very high base salary;
3. Not tracking sales activity;
4. Commission program too rich;
5. Getting “sold” in the interview and hiring the wrong person;
6. Not meeting regularly with their sales person.

Most of these issues can be resolved and not repeated by creating the habit of Always be Interviewing. Sifting through sales resumes and meeting with potential sales people is the only way to gain the confidence you need to say no to mediocre sales candidates. It is easy to get “sold” in an interview if you’re only interviewing a couple of times a year in order to fill an immediate vacancy.

Keep a rolling ad out in the community through all the standards channels, let the world know you need sales candidates, every person who you encounter is a potential sales person for you.

I would challenge you to interview at least 2 individuals every week. Make at least one of them a sales candidate.

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Hiring Sales People

March 4, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

Spending day with a client. Set up a couple sales interviews. First was a no show. They have been using a nice mix of sources for candidates. This particular candidate was a craigslist.com candidate. Looked interesting on paper. Did some research on the candidate and came across his Facebook page. Appears that most of his day is spent playing Farmville on Facebook. Now I understand why he was a no show! In this economy it is amazing to me that someone would blow off an interview. Perhaps our 10% unemployment rate has as much to do with the labor pool as it does with the availability of jobs?

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