TopLine Leadership Blog

TopLine Leadership Blog 2017-06-21T14:35:25+00:00

Five Presidential Attributes Every Sales Manager Needs

We are currently embroiled in a divisive election where each candidate harshly criticizes the weaknesses of the other. For a refreshing change, I decided to revisit the leadership attributes possessed by arguably our greatest president — Abraham Lincoln — and discuss why a few of Lincoln’s skills are so important for today’s sales managers to learn. Lincoln had no management experience, attended no more than one year of formal schooling, [...]

November 1st, 2016|

Upgrade the Attitude of Your Sales Team Now!

What is the sales performance problem? In a webinar I gave recently, 75% of the 150+ sales managers who attended indicated that a significant portion of the performance issues they face on their team are due to bad rep attitudes—or what I call a sales rep’s “willingness problems” (to contrast them with “skill deficiencies”). Why is the figure so high? I think poor attitudes are largely a problem of our [...]

September 6th, 2016|

Do Your Salespeople Know How to Get Better?

During a recent webinar I delivered for sales managers, nearly half (46%) of the 150+ participants said that they struggle with focusing too much on results. Sounds odd, doesn’t it, for sales managers to think they are over-focused on results? Not really. One person who knew a lot about winning was famed college basketball coach John Wooden. Coach Wooden and his historic UCLA dynasty won 10 NCAA championships in 12 [...]

July 29th, 2016|

Does Your Sales Team Need “More Cowbell”?

Recently I watched the famous Saturday Night Live skit “More Cowbell,” one of the Top 10 best skits of all time on SNL. It originally aired on April 8, 2000 and if you haven’t seen it lately or at all, watch it here. The skit was a spoof on what was offered up as the original recording session of the song (Don’t Fear) the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult. Christopher [...]

June 23rd, 2016|

What Sales Managers Can Learn from a Great Basketball Coach

Like many people, I couldn’t help but follow the exploits of the Villanova Wildcats in the most recent NCAA basketball tournament. And along with the rest of America, I was thrilled by the last-second 3-point shot that won Villanova the national championship. Their achievement impressed me so much that I decided to study up on Villanova’s coach, Jay Wright. Wright has said that when doing recruiting, he looks for players [...]

May 19th, 2016|

What to Say to Your Demotivated Sales Rep

One of the biggest challenges sales managers face is what to say to a rep who has become demotivated and is stuck in a rut. This is the salesperson who has, in the past, been a good producer and valuable team member, but who has recently developed a bad attitude, low will, and their production is declining. There are two big issues here: People with bad attitudes, in most cases, [...]

April 14th, 2016|

4 Crucial Coaching Questions for Pre Call Planning

In my most recent blog, I wrote about the perils of doing only (or primarily) performance reviews with reps, where you look at numbers after the fact. To see improved results, you have to get involved with their sales process much earlier on. That means being a better coach before they pick up the phone or travel to see a customer or prospect. To make sure they are prepared to [...]

March 18th, 2016|

4 Pitfalls of Sales Performance Management that Depress Team Results

Sales managers are some of the busiest people I know. And most I talk to claim that they are doing “sales coaching.” When I ask them to describe what that means, they say they try to talk with reps at least once a month to review the previous month’s activities and results. If they get too busy, they admit, sometimes these 1-on-1s are scheduled only when a rep has had [...]

February 25th, 2016|
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