TopLine Leadership Blog

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

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Great Sales Manager?

In the six months since my newest book was published, I’ve received a lot of questions about why the title refers to “greatness” (as in The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness). The genesis of the title came from my own personal experience and my observations of thousands of sales managers. All of us were, at one time in our professional careers, outstanding salespeople. We got better results than the rest [...]

August 22nd, 2017|

How to Motivate a Derailed Sales Team To Get Back on Track

An interviewer recently asked me to imagine that I’d just been hired as the Director of Sales at a company whose sales have stalled out. The CEO, naturally, is anxious to hit the reset button, to get things back on track as quickly as possible. “Your first week on the job, Kevin,” said the interviewer, “what two things could you do that could have the biggest impact?” I think my [...]

August 15th, 2017|

90% of Sales Managers Miss This Crucial Step When Leading Their Teams

In an exercise I conduct in all of my sales management workshops, I have participants identify the coaching needs of one of their sales reps. Almost everyone has an easy time writing down specific ideas for what the rep could do to improve. Then I ask them “How many of you have already communicated these insights to that rep?” Only about 10% of the audience raises a hand. This pattern [...]

August 13th, 2017|

For Accurate Forecasts: Trust, but Verify

Several months after attending one of my sales coaching workshops, a VP of Sales told me that one important takeaway she’d gotten was that she tended to be overly trusting of others. I was a little taken aback since I talk a lot about the importance of sales managers having trust and being trustworthy (here, for example). So I asked her to explain. Her main aha, she said, came when [...]

August 1st, 2017|

Does Improved Productivity Start with You or Your Team?

Andy Paul, the host of the sales improvement podcast Accelerate!, reminded me on a recent interview about how sales managers are constantly being told to “improve the productivity of their sales team.” Then he asked me whether that improvement should start with the individual salespeople or with the sales manager. My answer is that it is impossible to separate the two. I know first-hand that sales managers have enormous influence [...]

July 25th, 2017|

Are You Wasting Time On a “Willy Sellmore”?

Not long after I became a sales manager, I inherited a second team from a manager who was “de-hired” as the saying now goes. On this inherited team, there was one rep who was a chronic underperformer, never reaching quota and seemingly not very interested in improving. Every month, I’d think to myself, “Will he sell more?” (which became the inspiration for the fictional name, Willy Sellmore, I’m using to [...]

July 18th, 2017|

3 Habits of a Great Sales Coach

One question I ask in all my seminars is “what is ineffective coaching?” Participants have no trouble coming up with lots of examples. They talk about managers who wait too long before addressing a problem, those who do all the talking and no listening, and those who do not attempt to gain buy-in for needed changes. And those answers are just the tip of the iceberg. I was fortunate early [...]

July 11th, 2017|

3 Essential Steps For Improving Attitudes On Your Sales Team

As I wrote about last week, the majority of sales managers recognize the importance of attitude or “wills” in determining sales rep success. But few have been taught how to identify, evaluate, and coach attitudes. Here are three steps that are essential for moving in that direction. Step 1: Identify the behavioral aspects of a “great attitude”  One problem with attitude is that many salespeople don’t know how to bring [...]

June 30th, 2017|
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