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It Starts Today

It Starts Today

Too often, we think we will start tomorrow. We constantly are building and reinforcing habits. You want to change your outcome for 2018, change your habits today. Don’t fall in love with the results. Fall in love with the journey and challenge yourself everyday. #bestyear #starttoday. #2018

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Fear is a liar.  Love is the Truth

Fear is a liar. Love is the Truth

Fear is a poison that absolutely taints everything and everyone it touches. Fear mutes and overwhelms the joyful moments while it amplifies concerns into worry, worry into dread, and dread into paralysis.

Fear turns molehills challenges into mountains of impossibility. Love carries us over to the other side.

Love is the antidote to fear. Love makes us brave. It fills us with purpose that is worth fighting for. That purpose might be found in protecting or reaching others. Love says, we can conquer this together. Love creates Lions.

That kind of love assures us. That is the love John speaks of when he said that the perfect love of God casts out fear.

Think of fear as a darkness and love as a light. The two cannot inhabit the same place at the same time. Light always wins.

We just have to open the door to let love in. God will take it from there. If you let him.

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So You Want to Build a Sales Team

So You Want to Build a Sales Team

Every successful Start-up and business reaches the point where they need to make a decision to move from having one or two sales people to building a sales team. This might be because sales are taking off, you have a new product or because you took some funding and were told you had to scale your Demand Generation and Sales.

If only, it was as simple as hiring more sales people.

Here is some quick and simple advice to help you avoid some common mistakes in building a sales team based on the questions I get most often.

Understand your target customers. Who is buying your product today and is who is your target customer for the next 18 months? So much money is wasted because people either hire too senior or too junior of sales people to tackle the challenges of selling to the clients they can close.

Is your sale, transactional and focused on the SMB market or is your solution focused on Enterprise customers? These are completely different sales and need completely different people. The clearer you are, the less mistakes you will make. You will still make them but this will help.

Do you have a sales leader? You can have 3,4,5 sales people without a true sales leader but if you want to scale a team, you have to hire a professional sales manager. Alignment, again, is key but they also need to have a sales process they can use to develop the sales people into a team.

They will also help you sniff through a good story and get the right people who can actually do the job.

If you don’t have a sales leader, pay one you know at another company and have them come and help you hire sales people until you find one.

You will want a simple comp plan…. My Advice…. For One time purchases go with straight percentage and for SAAS, go with 1 to 2X monthly revenue. Your sales leader will build on accelerators. Remember, the plan should drive the outcome you want.

You are going to need an CRM. You can choose to start with Salesforce www.salesforce.com, Insightly, www.insightly.com or Zoho, www.zoho.com.

Most likely, you will end up on Salesforce eventually but by no means do you have to start there as it can be expensive and not necessary until you start integrating other areas of the business. You do need a sales funnel and visibility. Start running your sales team from dashboards as quickly as you can to build that culture from the beginning.

Don’t hire dramatically faster than you can scale Demand Gen.

You want to build in the culture of prospecting from the beginning but you do not want a team where at least 30% of the leads are not uncovered through Marketing. If you have more sales people than leads, you are hiring too fast and need to really focus on scaling Demand Gen to avoid wasting money.

If you have too much Demand Gen, your sales team will get fat and will never prospect. Sounds funny to have too much Demand Gen, but if your sales people can make their number based on incoming leads, you need to hire more sales people. Otherwise, this will have cultural ramifications for a long time. Trust me, if there is a limited number of leads, the sales team will work each one of them like gold

Here is a rule I use…

I want the Sales team to uncover at least 50% of their own opportunities. With all of the tools out there from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, to ClearBit Connect you do not have to rely on cold-calling but you do need to prospect.

Hope this helps. We will cover Direct or Channel Sales at a different Time.

Let me know the tools you find most valuable and how I can help. Let’s build great teams together.

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Control What You Can

Control What You Can

Every great leader I have ever worked with in business, politics or ministry have all had an incredible ability to focus when everyone else gets distracted.

It is this ability to rise above the noise that separates the wheat from the chaff that keeps the best moving forward when others get distracted or get knocked back by circumstances completely beyond their ability to affect.

So the key question is what can you actually control? How do you stay focused on what matters?

Whether it is my son’s 11 year-old’s flag football team, a global sales force, or an executive counterpart, every team and person I have had the privilege to lead has heard me mention and repeat the following (over and over.)

The Key to Success is controlling what you can and the only things you can control is your:

· Attitude – Your attitude will determine your experience.

· Effort – Your Effort reflects your willingness to fight.

· Preparation – Your preparation allows you to make the most of the opportunity when it comes.

Notice what is not on this list: You cannot control:

The Result – Sometimes you lose the game, don’t get the deal. Learn what you can and prepare better next time.

Other People (As Much as We would like to) – Some people will not like you, their choice. You control your attitude toward them.

Timing – Sometimes people get sick or in accidents. Will this distract you or will you put the effort in and get back to work.

Other People’s Mess – Do not let the Urgent minutia of Today rob your attention to the Vital actions that actually make an impact.

As a leader, people are looking to you. They key is you can help them more effectively fail-forward if you can look at a set-back and say, “Next Time, do we need to improve our attitude, Effort or Preparedness?”

A great cake is made with great ingredients. You don’t fix the cake, you fix the what goes into the cake. Same applies here.

Stuff Happen and most of it you can’t control… Get over it and don’t get so paralyzed by the outcome that you don’t learn from the process.

You will see a multiplication of results by putting your and your team’s focus and attention on what you can actually affect. Let’s go get better.

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