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M3 Thought of the Day

Actions precede feelings. Start acting like a winner and you will be a winner.




Skip Miller

The Pipeline Myth

End of 2Q coming up. Pipeline looks OK, and what does not close this month will slide right into July and start the second half of the year off with a good head start.

You're kidding, right?

Most sales organizations live with 40-60% forecast accuracy. That is to say, given 50 deals and a 90-day window, about half will close. Other deals will come in, some others drop out, bluebirds will peek in, etc. It gets to where you ask 'why bother with forecasting anyway'; just close what you can.

Sales people can be really ProActive if they want to make sure they are forecasting real deals, and have a better than 50/50 shot.

  1. Get an I-Date
    What date does the prospect say they are going to use your stuff, not when they are going to buy it.  I-Dates are dates the customer is going to start using what you are going to sell them to make money, save time, or lower their risk, and their has to be a reason for the I-Date; not just because the prospect told you so.
  2. Get a Cause
    What is causing the prospect to change, to do something different, to spend time talking to you?  Not what do they want (feature/benefit), but what is the reason they are changing the way they are doing things, and why are they talking to someone like you?
  3. Get a Homework Assignment
    It is amazing that sales people believe if they do everything the prospect asks of them, they will “reward” them with an order.  Such a push.  It’s OK to ask the prospect early in the sale to do a homework assignment.  Give them a task to do.  Have them give you a referral, red line an agenda, kick off a demonstration.  The more “sweat equity” they invest early in the process, the better chance you have of determining if this is a real deal.  If they are unwilling to do some homework, what does that really tell you about the commitment they have to working with you?  Hmmm.

You have 30 days to close and clean out that pipeline. Yes, you will end up with a short pipeline list and have to go find (prospect for) more business. Myths and delusions are hard to close. Better you hunt early than go after table scraps.

Good luck and use the tools.


Tool Review – GAP Charts – How to Quantify Value

GAP Charts is a topic that stumps some sales people. It's an easy enough topic, but its execution seems to take some getting used to.

Why would you use them:

  • To Quantify Value to a Russian in their words
  • Have the Russian quantify Solution Box B
  • Understand if there is a deficit or an upside

When would you use them:

  • In Stage 2, or as early as you can to quantify the motivation
  • When the Russian has a project that you can be a piece of

How would you start one:

  1. Start - Have the prospect discuss goals or metrics for the year or the rest of the timeframe in question.
  2. Quantify - Have the prospect identify a quantified goal over some timeframe, like revenue of a new product for the initial 6 months of launch.
  3. Chose – Ask about the probability of meeting the goal with current resources. There will be a deficit, they will be 80% confident for example, or there will be upside, they have a chance to overshoot by 15%. Select either the deficit to the goal or the upside. Quantify this GAP between the goal and the other line. This is the quantified GAP.
  4. Identify Value - Then ask the prospect for the two or three items they are working on to help close the GAP. Then ask if these items were realized, how much of the GAP would be closed? You now have your Solution Box B that you can be a part of.




We really appreciate the time and effort people go through to send us their stories about using the tools in ProActive Selling and ProActive Sales Management.

We get sample 30-second speeches, SBPs, ValueStar stories, and sales people asking us to review their agendas or slideshows. We try to get back to them quickly, since we consider it an honor to serve.

Thanks again for using the tools and sharing what you do. Keep 'em coming. We are here to help make you better in your field of endeavor.






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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.
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  • 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



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Join us for the 2011 Advanced Sales School

The next Advanced Sales School is September 12-14th, 2011 in Northern California. Make you’re A players better. Get them ready for the Q4 push so they can work on the deals that will close in Q4, not the ones that are going to slip. You can help them close the closable business in Q4... send them to the school.

For 15 years now, The Advanced Sales School has been making sales people go back to the basics and realize all the skills they have forgotten to use, as well as learn some new ones. Look at the reviews form the last school we just had:

  • “I’m my company’s best rep, and I learned a ton. Thanks.”
  • “I’m changing my presentation I was going to have next week to one of my major prospects. I can not believe I was going in there with what I had put together.”
  • “In a word, thanks. You helped me see what I was doing was good, but not great.”

We hear this all the time, and are ready to help your sales people get better at calling high, qualifying real deals, and creating value for the sale to stand on its own.

Sign on to our website, www.m3learning.com, and check out the video of the latest school. Attendees get energized, review and learn new tools, and conquer fears. Stop settling for the skills you have now. Add to your sales toolbox. Now. Try us. Contact Jane LeGear at jane@m3learning.com.

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