Keys to Winning Sales Teams

By Charles J. Curto, Managing Principal of Tech Coast Equity Group.

At a meeting of the Technology Council’s Entrepreneur Society, Brad Leggett, CEO of the sales performance consulting firm The Leggett Group, presented Keys to Winning Sales Teams. Below are some of the key take-aways from his presentation.

  • Brad advocates viewing the challenge of building and sustaining winning sales teams in terms of people, performance and processes.
  • Select your team members carefully with special emphasis on
    • Defining the 3 to 5 key results that must be delivered,
    • Specifying the activities needed to achieve those deliverables
    • Determining the skills and background needed to achieve the desired results, and
    • Being sure the person has the right attitude.
  • Keys to selecting new talent include
    • Recruiting is a process, not an event.
    • The recruiting rule of 3:
      • 3+ interviews
      • With 3+ team members
      • At 3 venues, a mix of work and non-work.
    • Focus on past results.
  • Implement a 90-day quick-start program to launch the new team member on the path to success including
    • Phased acquisition of key knowledge and skills with someone designated to impart each.
    • 90-day goals with weekly achievements spelled out.
    • Weekly review progress versus goals.
    • Cut if not making it.
  • The key to performance management is establishing responsibility by
    • Setting clear goals that are achievable, demanding, permit measuring and controlling results, and are collaborative while making clear who has responsibility for which deliverables.
    • Providing for support activities with their goals.
    • Providing weekly one-to-one feedback on progress versus goals.
  • Processes and systems that provide the infrastructure for achieving sales goals include
    • Sales tools, such as collateral, web site and turning tribal knowledge to answer the question “Why your company?”.
    • Rewards and recognition, including compensation, public praise and contests.
    • Team meetings which provide collaborative training as well as solutions to challenges.
    • A collaborative CRM that facilitates the sales person’s goal achievement and delivers progress metrics to the sales person and management.

This summary is not meant to be a transcript of the session nor a comprehensive primmer on developing a high performance sales team. Instead, its intent is briefly to share a few of the valuable take-aways from the session, take-aways which are based on the experience of successful entrepreneurs and professionals who work with entrepreneurs. Hopefully, these will encourage you to attend future Council programs where you can meet and learn from the experience and wisdom of other thought-leaders.

Brad Leggett can be reached at (949) 388-6910 and Brad@LeggettSales.com.

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Bottom Line Confidential – How to for Sales Growth: “A New Way to Increase Revenues”

By Bill Swanson, CEO Decisions

Revenue is down and so is profit. You listened to your customers, assessed the competitors, enlisted the brightest of your team, and sifted through the brains of the best external experts. You’re feeling good about your decision to signed-off on that five hundred thousand dollar Sales Improvement Program; you locked the door and made your way to the parking lot. It’s 6:30pm and you’re excited about a long holiday weekend with the family; a time to relax and renew. As you flip the steaks, cook the potatoes, and plan the weekend, the flames under the steaks bring to mind your hot new Sales plan. You begin to ponder… ponder if your market will alter their behavior and increase sales as promised by your team. Can we drive down the expense line using a new position in market strength? Will our up and down channels be convinced and ensure our new products will be supported by them? Will improving Field Sales capabilities and efficiencies do their share to increase revenues? Can marketing successfully define the improvement, and will the company become more profitable; or did I miss something…? The answer to these questions becomes personal. It’s my credibility with the Board, the Bank, and the sales force. Within the smoke of cooking beef lays two questions; questions that should have been asked at the beginning of the decision process: Was the decision making process fully correlated to the sales objective, and will the projects and programs produce recognizable value to the customer?

Read the rest of this entry »

Southern California Tech Central

The Technology Council of Southern California and TechEmpower are happy to announce the launch of:
This is a community of people in Southern California who have come together to help find and organize the best content from blogs, news sources and other web sites all around technology in So Cal.  The goal is to create a place where it’s easy to find current and highly relevant content.  And perhaps to stimulate new connections.

You can get a sense of the power of the site by visiting the site and clicking a keyword on the left.  For example, if you click on Startup, you find:

=> The most recent posts, announcements and web pages on the top of the page that relate to Startups.
=> The best (according to social signals across the network) content below that such as:
=> The keywords on the left are ordered according to their relationship to the current term.  So you can see that

are all considered highly relevant to the term “startup”.

As the site runs, it will get better at finding great content.

You can find Featured participants listed on the right hand side of each page.  When you choose one of them such as Cliff Allen on Marketing, you will see the keywords are now based on what Cliff discusses more than other bloggers.  You can see that he talks about: Marketing, Metrics, Customer and Social Media more than most.  Lower on the page, you can find the best posts from Cliff based on social signals with the top spot belonging to his 9 Marketing Trends for 2009.
There is an impressive network of people who are bringing this content together.

All of this technology comes from Tony Karrer.  If you have ideas on how to improve the site or want to do something similar, I know that Tony would like to hear about it.

Panel: How Blogging, Widgets and Streaming Video Can Make Your Marketing Efforts Take Off

Phil Becker writes:
On Wednesday, September 24, I had the opportunity to moderate a truly interesting and educational dinner meeting of that Tech Council’s Marketing SIG. An audience of about fifty people heard three panelists speak on “The New Business Boosters; How Blogging, Widgets and Streaming Video Can Make Your Marketing Efforts Take Off“.

Attendees enjoyed a nice dinner before the Panel.

Attendees enjoyed a nice dinner before the Panel.

Thanks to the kitchen of the DoubleTree Hotel for some tasty chicken.

Thanks to the kitchen of the DoubleTree Hotel for some tasty chicken.

As that title suggests, the talks focused on three new marketing tactics that companies can incorporate in their marketing mix to seriously increase the firm’s marketing effectiveness.

Gary Gabriel, Peter Kim, Scott Fox, Phil Becker

Gary Gabriel, Peter Kim, Scott Fox, Phil Becker

The first speaker, Scott Fox, who is an author, entrepreneur, Director of the E-Commerce Success Institute and a Board Director of the Tech Council gave a great overview of how to build and utilize a blog to increase personal, two-way communication with clients and prospects. Scott used some real-world examples to emphasize the “do’s and don’ts” of blogging, including how blogging can help address misleading or negative images that a competitor might paint of your company or products.

Then Gary Gabriel, Founder and President of Vmatrix, showed us how streaming video has recently become a very effective and surprisingly cost-effective way to educate your prospects about your products and your firm. He pointed out that a well-made video can keep a prospect at your web site for five or more minutes instead of the sub-minute times a static web display might accomplish. Your are essentially using a video as a product advertisement and the click-thru to your web site is far better than other forms of advertising.

The audience for the Blogs, Widgets and Streaming Video Marketing Panel

The audience for the Blogs, Widgets and Streaming Video Marketing Panel

Finally, Peter Kim, Founder and President of Interpolls, introduce the audience to the recently emerging capabilities of web-based widgets. It turns out that these widgets can be any sort of bi-directional application that you can conceive of to involve the user in the subject – normally the product or service you are marketing. This includes games, questionnaires, and even the ability to purchase your product directly via the widget. The real strength is that a user can copy a widget to his or her own page on a social networking site where other views can find and use it. This becomes a very low cost yet effective form of viral marketing.

Steve Stallman, Chairman of the IMPACT Committee enjoys the Panel with Catrina Luedtke, Executive Director of TCOSC

Steve Stallman, Chairman of the IMPACT Committee enjoys the Panel with Catrina Luedtke, Executive Director of TCOSC

We finished up the evening with about 45 minutes of Q&A, where the audience had a chance to drill-down on each of the subjects. It’s too bad we had to call a halt at 9:00 PM as the attendees had a range of excellent questions and really seemed to be intrigued by all three marketing tools.

– Phil Becker, TCOSC IMPACT Sales & Marketing Committee Volunteer and Panel Organizer/Moderator

Thanks to our attendees and sponsors.  Have you joined the Technology Council yet?

Hot Off The Press – August SCribe Newsletter

Check out the newly released August edition of the SCribe Newsletter.  Catch up on the latest news, see our upcoming event schedule, or visit the Website of the sponsors that make this all possible.

Top articles include:

You can also see past SCribe articles in our archive at http://www.tcosc.org/news.archives.html.

Tell us what you think.  Were these articles valuable?  Do you agree or disagree?  Or want to pitch an article idea? Just give us your .02 or .03 cents.  We’d love to hear from you.

Solution Selling

Orange County Event Announcement:  Orange County
July 24th

“Solution Selling-Are You Having Trouble Implementing Your Solution Selling System?”

Many executives value the importance of having a formalized sales process in place in their organizations. Almost an equal number of executives have had unsuccessful experiences trying to install a consistent process in their organizations.

Worse yet, many have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on solution selling systems without appreciable return. Why is this occurrence so common? After all, the solution selling systems work. So, what is the problem?

The answer is the systems were implemented improperly!

More info on this event…

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