Business Growth Ideas #304 This week: Questioning, Know true, Overcoming

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Asking questions will help hone skills, but before you ask, take your best shot at the skill. It’s not only part of tell-show-do-review, it makes for better questions.
  • When working with your vendors, know your metrics, define your outcomes, and share them in detail. If the vendor comes up short, pre-discussed metrics will unlock new effort.
  • Removing obstacles from your people’s path is just as effective as trying to motivate them. Maybe more.
  • If you can flow chart a process, you can outsource it to technology. If you don’t do it, your competitors might.

Being Human – How do we know this to be true?

“Study the past, if you would divine the future.” – Confucius.

When sales operations is targeting a new area for growth they go looking for evidence. The sales team will have a CRM to learn from, and the marketing team will have any number of metrics to look at. The question is which metric are interesting and which ones are important for evidence on how the team is doing? One area inside marketing’s metrics to consider for a leading indicator of sales effectiveness is website analytics. Specifically, the number of people hitting the bio pages of your sales reps.

In new markets I have seen a nice correlation between the number of visits from a geography to the territory’s rep page. Similar to tracking brand name mentions in search engines, watching the background research being done on the people you have calling into accounts is eye-opening. You might be able to see the same indicators in LinkedIn, but your website’s analytics is already set up and giving you a baseline.

We’ve seen this used as a successful leading indicator in a law firm where no increase was observed which led to questions about client development activity reports. Conversely it showed a direct increase with another associate’s lunch activity and corroborated her rosy outlook on new client activity which had yet to happen.

With up to 95% of Americans actively online and 87% of buyer decision-making influence happening before they engage a live person, the activity on your website is giving new insights into sales forecasting. Be on the lookout!

Random stuff


“Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do.” – John Wooden

“Listen, there are times in your life when the environment is less than optimal. The timing is a challenge or things are just off. It’s times like this when you have to dig deep. You ignore the situation and focus on the task at hand.

“It’s not exactly the same as your situation, but I have a similar story I’ve probably never told you. Years ago I was training for a long bicycle ride in the Colorado mountains. My aunt lives in a little town called Leadville. It’s at 10,000 feet of altitude which not only makes it hard to breathe, but as you can imagine, means the weather is a bit unpredictable. For this training ride I set out from Leadville to Minturn then to Vail, a ski resort. It was late June and when I set out the weather forecast was clear. Descending Tennessee pass, it started to rain, and I got soaked. From Minturn I was heading to Vail, over Vail pass, then to Copper Mountain, back to Leadville. I know it doesn’t mean much to you, but it’s about 80 miles and 6,500 feet of climbing. A long day but not unusual for my training at the time. The environment changed on me, though. I wasn’t prepared.

“By the time I hit Vail pass it started snowing. A little at first, then a full storm. Blizzard conditions. I was wet and tired from the morning ride and totally unprepared for a storm like that. As I crept up the hill, I’ll be honest, I thought about just giving up. I thought it might be my end. The feeling in my toes went first, then my fingers, then everything. It was miserable. But I kept my head down and pushed away thoughts of ending it all by throwing myself into the river. At the peak of the storm I couldn’t see more than a foot in front of me when, bam! I ran smack into a minivan parked on the side of the road. I fell from exhaustion and out of the van popped a couple of fishermen from Oklahoma.

“What in God’s name are you doing out here?” they asked, but I couldn’t talk. They wrapped me in a blanked, broke my bike down and took me down to Copper mountain. The sun came out, I ate a burrito and all was better. My point is, I kept pressing.

“You see, this is what I need you to do right now. Just focus on the task at hand. I know it’s been raining for 36+ hours and you’re going to get wet and cold, but just like my bike ride, you will make it through.”

Wilson the Amazing Border Collie continues to look at me, head cocked to one side.

“So, Wilson. Get out there. Do your thing. Get it over with. You’re obviously uncomfortable. You’re making me uncomfortable. Come on boy, you can do it,” I say, holding the door open, wet cold rushing in, over, and through my slippers.

“Ok, fine. I didn’t want to do this to you,” I say, “but you leave me no choice.



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