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Management & Leadership

The new year is right around the corner and it’s filled with new opportunities and challenges. As we head into 2018, make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to lead your team to success. To be an effective manager, it’s important to fully understand your team dynamic. Below are five keys to doing just that.

Compensating the sales team is one of the toughest things to get right in your business. If you pay them too little, good salespeople will leave for better opportunities. Pay them too much, and they get complacent and stop growing revenue. To inspire and motivate top performing salespeople, you must use the Goldilocks Principle and get the compensation package “just right.” Let’s look at the pros and cons of some popular options.

There is no one-size-fits-all model for developing salespeople! Every member of the sales team has an individual “success code” imbedded in them, and the effective manager must dial into it in order to unlock their true potential. Once selling skills and sales process have been taught and behavior expectations are established, the manager’s focus must be on raising the performance bar with an effective sales coaching methodology.

You and your team worked hard to land a new account and the prospect went with someone else. What now? If you’re at a loss for what to do next, below are five actionable items that you can implement with your team.

As a leader, there’s a constant pressure to ensure your leadership approach stays up-to-date. Every year, the culture of the office deviates slightly from the year prior and the way that individuals want to learn and be led, shifts. Sometimes these changes are drastic, and other times they are slight. No matter the degree of change, it’s imperative that you are cognizant of the shift and are prepared to be a great resource to everyone who looks to you for guidance and mentorship.

Some people believe it’s the ability to talk to anyone. Some say a good salesperson is fearless. Others will say it’s an innate trait that can’t be taught; you are either born with it or you are not.

Here’s a mystery. We have a common language and a common process for every single department in the organization, except Sales.

Like a coach in pro sports, your primary function as a manager is to improve the performance of your team.

Unfortunately, traditional approaches to performance management may have initial success, but are difficult to sustain.

When distilled out of their packaging traditional performance management looks like:

According to a survey by Bain & Company, of 365 companies in Europe, Asia and North America, 81 percent believe that brands without a high-performing culture will never get beyond mediocrity. In other words, it is the culture of an organization that helps to drive it forward towards success.

Here are the 21 most important reasons why sales training programs fail to change a salesperson, from the point of view of all the ‘players’ involved: the sales manager, the trainer and the salesperson. The number one reason why sales training fails: No provision was made for follow-up BEFORE the training program was launched.

The business world is not immune to change. Companies grow, and they shrink in size. They expand their market reach, sometimes, and contract it at other times. They introduce new products and services and discontinue products and services. And, they change the ways in which they create, promote, price, and deliver their products and services.

Effective leadership is not something that you achieve, but rather something you develop and change throughout your life. There’s no substitute for experience, but thankfully you can borrow from others’ knowledge to improve your own. That’s where reading comes in handy. These best-selling books offer useful resources for maintaining your edge as not just a manager, but as a respected business leader.

Knowing how to inspire, motivate, coach and hold sales people accountable for their behaviours is the foundation for improving sales. Skill sets for success as a sales manager are not always the same as skill sets for successful sales people.

One of the main reasons firing sucks for both leader and employee is the reasons for the employee being let go are typically ambiguous, with obvious exceptions for physical violence, all forms of harassment, theft or insubordination.

Gather a hundred sales managers into a room. Ask all the members of the group whether they provide coaching to the members of their sales team. The odds are good that all one hundred of them will say “Yes.”

Maybe your employees aren't laying their heads on their desks, reading magazines during work hours, or calling in "cough cough" fake sick every Friday. Even without these obvious signs, they could still be disengaged with their jobs. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 50.8% of U.S. employees were "not engaged" and an additional 17.2% were "actively disengaged" in their current jobs.

As a manager of people, you know and understand the challenge of the "new" workplace. The reality of four generations working side by side is fraught with obstacles that threaten to derail productivity and hinder progress. Before you pop another antacid and check again to see if it's time to cut a trail home, take heart in knowing there are ways to be an effective manager in a workplace made up of the Silent generation, Boomers, X'ers, and Millennials. The first step is acknowledging each generation has its own preferences, expectations, and strengths.

Here we are exploring the kinds of pains your customer care people are experiencing. One of the first pains we typically uncover is your frontline staff’s inability to handle any kind of conflict. Think of the issues that can stem from this:

As the first quarter comes to an end, it’s appropriate to review your department goals and measure your progress. Will your sales team hit the quarterly benchmarks for your department’s strategic initiatives? Have they made significant headway? Or, have they fallen behind already?

A well-designed succession plan is essential, especially within the current market. Within every organisation, vacancies may occur for a variety of reasons, including the changing realities of the workplace, the destined retirement of baby boomers in high-level positions and the lack of employees poised to take over senior positions due to downsizing of middle management in the 90s.

The words "manager" and "leader" are often used interchangeably. But there's a difference in these two roles, as well as the workplace environments they create and the results they elicit. In today's blog post I will talk about the 10 defining leadership qualities that separate a leader from a manager.

Last year I stopped offering my most profitable service. As William Faulkner would have said, I killed one of my “darlings.” In working with businesses of all sizes a common challenge for leaders is failing to holistically analyze their product/service offerings to determine if one or more are impeding the growth of their organization.

In the past ten years, Millennials have been entering the workplace more than ever. While some may still view Generation Y as overeager interns, these developing leaders are becoming the future of successful business.

As the leader of a sales team the two best ways to develop your people are role play and debriefing prospect meetings. By creating a list of debrief questions and sharing them with your salespeople you're holding them accountable to getting that information from a prospect in their initial meeting or having a confirmed next step in the calendar to get the answers.

As sales managers, we’re all familiar with the conversation. One of your sales reps is making the case to pursue an opportunity and you question why. “It’s a big deal” is the response, “It’s right in our power swing”. Or perhaps, with candor entering the room, “I really need to win this”. And these are all reasons, of course. But what do they really mean? What’s the real business sense for your firm in pursuing the deal? And what’s the business risk?

As a leader, one of your most important roles within an organization is providing guidance to other members of the company. It is common for leaders to encounter situations in which they have to provide an employee with constructive criticism. One study even found that employees appreciate constructive criticism because it can help them improve their job performance. Providing this type of guidance can be a challenge, however, as it is important to find a way to communicate your intentions without causing people to feel defensive or sparking resentment. Fortunately, there are a few ideas that leaders can keep in mind to provide their group with better guidance, helping everyone to function well as a team.

Even though leadership styles vary as widely as hair color, we can all agree that strong leadership is vital to a thriving, progressing company. The obstacle is knowing whether or not your company has strong, motivating leaders. Are your leaders respected? Do they recognize talent? Can they see the big picture? The answers to these questions are key indicators to your venture's long-term viability.

There is no question that developing skills in time management and efficiency are critical to career advancement. The people who pull ahead and end up taking leadership roles, as well as the higher income opportunities are those who have repeatedly evidenced an ability to work at a higher level of productivity without more resources. In short, they work smarter, not harder.

A new survey from Sandler Training put the red pen in the hands of American employees, giving them chance to “grade” the performance of their manager. The results were passing, but not exactly good enough for the refrigerator.

We just celebrated Labor Day to pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of workers. For Labor Day weekend many of us attended parties, went to parades, played golf, and feasted on traditional Labor Day backyard barbecues.

Small business owners tend to stay small because they do not install systems and processes into their business. Most owners want to hire “experienced” sales people. The mentality is to hire someone, teach them about their products and services, then expect the person to “go sell”. What’s the problem? If we hire experienced sales people, once they learn the product or service, they should be good to go, right?

I am a terrible “bah humbug!” when it comes to “trick or treat” but I do take a keen interest in Ghosts.