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M3 Thought of the Day

Opportunities aren't lost; they are simply passed on to someone else.

INSIDE THIS MONTH'S ISSUE OF M3 TOOLBOX
Skip Miller

4 Big Shifts

We are two months into 2011 and already big shifts are underway. Now is a good time to get on top of these 4 shifts. Do you want to lead the pack? Or, do you want leftovers? Read more »

The Art of Cultism

A friend of mine recently told me his company is really paying attention to I-Dates and Dragons. Remember, an I-Date is the date a company plans on using what you are selling them, not when they are going to make a decision. Buyer's care about I-Dates, sales people care about contracts and P.O.s. Oops. Read more »

M3 Poll: Voices from the Top

Here are the top 5 things Senior Level Executives say they want from their sales teams in 2011 Read more »

M3 Advanced Sales School:
Mark Your Calendar

The next Advanced Sales School is May 9-11. Make you're A players better. Reward Q1 performance by making your sales people smarter, rather than giving them a check for $1,000, which the government gets half! Send them to the School. Read more »

4 Big Shifts


We are two months into 2011 and already big shifts are underway. Now is a good time to get on top of these 4 shifts. Do you want to lead the pack? Or, do you want leftovers?

1. Sales is Hiring – The good talent is out there and will be for a few more months. If you have open headcount, fill it now. Spend more than 1-2 hours per week finding the right talent. 'A' players are on the move. They want a full year to make money and if they think that they are on a sinking ship they are going to jump; be there with a life vest when they do.

2. Going after New Logos – Yes, going broad and deep in current accounts was the mantra of 2010. Heck, who wanted to take risk and find new business when you could make your number, or at least come close with just calling on your friends. It was faster and easier.

3. Forecast Accuracy – This is a big ah-ha for sales people and sales managers. Stage management was the key trend in 2010 and now it is paying results. You should have an 85% forecast accuracy of deals in the funnel that go past stage 2. This is a huge issue. Our friends at CSO Insights report that last year, 46% of deals ended up as wins. That means 54% of deals were lost, and a whopping 24% of those were no decisions.

This means you are getting outsold about 30% of the time after stage 2 in a 5-stage sales process. It also means that you have 25% maybes in your funnel. You are losing 25% of the time to no one…. and you are OK with that? You get better odds in Vegas.

4. Fast and High – Shortening sales cycle length and calling higher in the organization are the battle cries in 2011. Selfishly, thank goodness, since we teach this (plug, sorry). Kidding aside, have your reps role play with senior management within your own company and get ready for pitching/hoping/deal making. You can do better than that.

First line sales managers, the focus has never been more intense for moving the sales team to align with 2011 opportunities. The game has changed dramatically in 2011 and some of you do not even have comp plans to the reps yet!

The shift has already been made. Ramp times for new reps are cut in half. Deals with no I-Dates (see below article) past stage 2 are dropped from the forecast. Prospecting where the needs and the cause of the decision are not known is not viable. You do not have the time to wait. Ready… SHIFT.

Good hunting,

Skip

The Art of Cultism


A friend of mine recently told me his company is really paying attention to I-Dates and Dragons. Remember, an I-Date is the date a company plans on using what you are selling them, not when they are going to make a decision. Buyer's care about I-Dates, sales people care about contracts and P.O.s. Oops.

Dragons are events and commitments made buy the client/customer that will ensure the deal is going to have a decision. If you need more explanation, go get a copy of ProActive Selling.

That said, my friend Tim made a statement I thought was funny.

"If a sales person has a deal past Discovery, and we have no I-Date, we don't have a deal, we have a cult. These cult people want to know everything about us and love to hang out with us; problem is they have no money or no need."

Look at the definition of cult:

  • a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing: a cult of personality surrounding the leaders (sales person).
  • a relatively small group of people having beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister (buyers who are not going to make a decision)

Get rid of the cult followers, even though they;

  • Make you feel welcome all the time
  • Look good on your forecast
  • Act sincere
  • Feed our egos
  • Beat the hell out of cold calling

Get your forecast accuracy up and get control of your accuracy. It's simple; demand I-Dates.

M3 Poll: Voices from the Top


Here are the top 5 things Senior Level Executives say they want from their sales teams in 2011:

  1. To call higher and sooner
  2. To ask great questions at the senior level (common complaint: we need Marketing to help us ask great questions—not give us good answers about our product/service)
  3. No more discounting! Discounting is poor sales practice, period. (Solution Box B is the answer)
  4. Speed is everything. No more weeks in between sales calls. Momentum is lost. NO more 3-6 months to ramp up sales people. Low expectations leads to low results.
  5. Get rid of non-performers. (This still amazes me that sales managers still want to bend my ear all the time on poor performers, but never want to talk about A-A+ ideas. Make a decision!)

 

 

 

 

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Tactical Lunch 'N' Learns


M3 Learning offers a variety of educational Lunch 'N' Learn sessions for you and your team. The presentations fit easily into a lunch hour or other convenient time slot and are delivered right to your workplace by M3 certified trainers. The presentations feature tool-based tactics—not theory. After the presentation, your sales reps will be able to immediately apply what they learned at the session to move a sale forward. We offer the first presentation for FREE. Each program is from 1 to 2 hours in duration and is customized to meet your goals and objectives:

  • Breakfast Sessions - from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • Lunch Sessions - from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Afternoon Sessions - from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Contact us for more details. Click here or call 866.462.5763.

"These are not tools… these are game-changing weapons."
- Mike Heylmun Vice President Sales

ProActive Sales Management


Few sales managers are true managers, often falling back on the skills that made them great at sales. This essential book is packed with specific, field-tested tactics for making the numbers in today's competitive sales environment. It's an important resource no sales manager should be without and details how to:

  • Shorten your sales cycle by weeks or months
  • Motivate a sales team
  • Get their sales team to prospect and qualify
  • Create a proactive sales culture
  • Effectively coach and counsel up and down the sales organization
  • Reduce reports to one sheet of paper and 10 minutes a week
  • Forecast with up to 90% accuracy
  • Take A players to A+ levels

Click here for customer reviews