How Squeezing a Coin Transformed My Sales Team

My first year in sales, many years ago, I was awkward—and a slow learner. But my first sales manager, Guy Campbell, must have seen some potential because he invested a lot of time in coaching me. When Guy joined me on a customer meeting, I noticed he had a habit of pulling out a coin … Read full article

Keeping it Simple

In the new book Steve Jobs, author Walter Isaacson describes Jobs’ thought process in deciding on the name Apple for his new computer company. His choice was inspired by his association with his newest fruitarian diet and a visit to an apple farm. The concept of an apple farm sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating,” … Read full article

Maximize Your Sales Coaching Efforts

Here’s a suggestion for you to get more value out of every one of your sales coaching opportunities. When I’m observing a salesperson interacting with a customer, my focus is to listen, observe, keep my mouth shut, and take notes. What “notes”? I make a list of the specific questions that I would have liked … Read full article

Communicate Behavioral Expectations

The Wall Street Journal’s article on Monday by professor/author Robert Sutton, “How a Few Bad Apples Ruin Everything,” provides a good reminder for sales managers to clearly communicate their behavior expectations of their sales force. As Sutton writes, “Having just a few nasty, lazy or incompetent characters around can ruin the performance of a team … Read full article

12 Sales Management Tips for 2012

Don’t become a “rainbird coach.” I had a neighbor who would wait until his lawn had turned brown, and only then turn on his rainbird water sprinkler. I see a lot of sales managers who act the same way: they wait until there’s a meltdown before coaching their people. Far better for a lawn—and a … Read full article

Why You Need A Sales Playbook

Define Your Company’s Best Practices at Each Step of the Buying Process A featured article in Success Magazine and on The Training Industry website! A growth-oriented 10-year old telecommunications company with 350 salespeople worldwide had achieved a successful start-up by targeting a market niche with a quality product at a lower price-point. But competitors then … Read full article

Becoming a Flexible Sales Manager

Are you directive, or supportive? A bottom-line driver? Or a cheerleader type? A coach? Hopefully, you are a combination of all of the above. Being flexible is the key, and your flexibility needs to be rep-specific. Consider the skill and will of an individual salesperson. What does this rep lack: skill, will, or both? Once … Read full article

TopLine Leadership Releases The Biggest Sales Mistake

“The Single Biggest Sales Mistake” Identify the 4 Stages of Buying to Increase Sales September 19, 2011 – Reno, NV – More companies are increasing the quotas for sales people while win rates on new business are at an all-time low. Meanwhile, sales people are faced with an ever-changing landscape including increased product offerings from … Read full article

How to Manage a Prima Donna

Most sales managers I know have a love-hate relationship with the prima donnas on their sales teams. They love the star player’s passion and hard work. They hate the self-centered behaviors that demoralize or discourage the rest of the team. This puts the sales manager in a quandary. If they come down too hard, the … Read full article