A Step Ahead
with Skip Miller
January, 2010 Vol 4, Issue 1
The Health Culb 
 health club 2
   Anyone want to go to a health club, gym, or exercise spa this week?  Good luck.  Everyone has made a New Year's resolution that this is the year they are going to get into shape. 
   So what do these promises mean to me?  No parking spaces, long lines at the machines, no newspapers to read, a 20 minute wait to use the shower, and a less than a good start to the day.  Me...?  I'll wait until mid-February and by then, everyone will be back to their "normal" routine.
   Why does this happen?  Because everyone is willing to try something different.  It's the start of the new year, and everything is fresh.  Off to a new and different start.  Their outlook is changed.
   From a selling perspective, this is a great opportunity.  Your prospects and customers have a health club mentality right now.  They are willing to look at things in a different way, say to about mid-February.  This is a great opportunity to be ProActive and:
1. See the top executives at your current top accounts.  Stop in, thank them for their business and ask them for their their 2010 goals and objectives.  Ask them about their risks.  NO PITCHING!  You are asking.
2. You should see your top accounts, and about 2 per salesperson is a good rule of thumb.  You have 8 sales people, you need to see 16 accounts.  300 sales people, you and the sales management team need to see 600 accounts by mid-February.  
3. Why does everyone BMWC about the need to go broad and deep into accounts, and when the customer is open to the idea, we do not take advantage of it??  Set some M2O/t goals for the next 60 days that include seeing the most important people in your life...the ones who will make your quota...your customers.
   I have talked to 4 VPs of Sales over the holidays, and only one was going to see customers in January.  This is when they want to see you and share their plans.  What are you doing????  Waiting to find a parking spot at the health club?
Have a great start to the new year, and be ProActive.
Good Luck! 

Top 10 Book of 2010

selling power


ProActive Sales Management makes Top 10 List
PSM 2009 book
It's official.
ProActive Sales Management has made the Top 10 books to read for 2010.  Why not?  It's been Amazon's #1 pick for the last 3 years in a row.   See what you have been missing.  This book is in its Second edition, so more that 25% has been updated or added to since the original came out in 2000.  Get it today!
Key Insights!
CSO Insights
Complimntary 200+ page Sales Performance Optimization Report.  
M3 Learning has known about CSO Insights for a few years now.  What they provide sales management is highly useful.  It addresses the key questions sales managers are asking about 2010.  You can use this information, and it's free! 
CSO Insights is currently in the process of launching their 16th annual Sales Performance Optimization study, the past results from which have been regularly featured in Harvard Business Review, Business Week, Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power Magazine, Inc., CRM Magazine, etc. 
M3 Learning would like to invite you to take part in the new survey. In return for your time, they will ensure that you receive a copy of the full 200+ page analysis when it is published in January, 2010, so you can tap into the insights to optimize the performance of your organization.
In addition, you will be able to immediately download CSO Insight's new Sales Management 2.0 e-book upon completing the survey. 
To take part in this research project click on the following:
CSO Insights' 2010 Sales Performance Optimization Survey Link  
Questions on this survey can be directed to Kim Cameron, Executive Director of Research, CSO Insights:
Do this now and stop throwing darts at the dartboard blindfolded! 
It's All About Value/t
The Value Star
There are 5 ways of creating value:
         Return on Investment (ROI)

Companies are always trying to increase revenue and decrease costs.  Businesses need to grow profitably and therefore must get a return on their investments.  Most sales reps when asked what they sell answer solution, services, value, a total package, but what you really sell is money.  Prepare to know ROI, talk, ROI, work with ROI and play with the numbers.  If you want to speak the right language to a senior manager, you need to be comfortable in communicating the ROI.
Time can be measured or quantified in many ways such as uptime, overtime, time to market, down time, in time, timing of the market, just in time, just to name a few.. 
Customers pay for time - to be faster, quicker, and more rapid than they have been before.  Find out what is important to them.  It could be getting a new product to market before a deadline such as a tradeshow, getting new pricing out, a new reorganization.  Make it worth their time.

Risk is the key value factor that keeps senior executives up at night as their decisions are more complex and therefore fraught with risk.  Risk is what makes senior executives turn their heads and take notice. 
You will notice ValueStar is over time.  You must ask time based questions, and future ones are really pretty good.
You should ask questions such as:
 "As you look at 2010, what do you see as the most profitable opportunities for you and your company?"

"What are the risks you face, over the next few months?"

 "Where do you see issues that need to be resolved for you to obtain your 2010 goals?"
Trust me, they will tell you.  They need answers, and you might have them.  Just ask about them/time, not about your products and services.  The only person who wants to talk about those isses are...you!

Ask ValueStar questions...no more pitching!"
It's January.  There is a lot to do, but nothing more important than the Big 3:
1. See your big customer and ask ValueStar/t
2. Get comp and quotas done
3. Miller 17
Start the year off with the right focus and the right metrics, and you will make the first quarter a place where you can leverage, rather than come from behind.
Happy January!    
Skip and team