Millennials and Building for the Future

What modern book would be complete without touching on the generational divide between millennials and their managers? As the parent of millennials and part of generation X with strong memories of hearing, “the problem with your generation,” I can offer a few insights based in work with clients.

First, if you notice the differences, you can find the similarities. The idea that this giant, digitally native, socially connected, debt burdened, group has completely different priorities than you is not true. When solving problems, one of our exercises is Kepner-Tregoe’s “is/is not” box where we define what something is by giving equal thought to what it is not. We used a version of it with our fast decision playing field for planning. It looks like this Figure.

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The Future of Sales

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The constant news cycle centered around AI and machine learning forces leaders to consider where to apply this new knowledge and capability. Do we work strictly with existing data? What about security? Can it make my forecasts more accurate? And, if the robots are coming, when will they replace those pesky salespeople? What is the future of sales and selling? Read more

How to Become A Successful Sales Manager

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Two sales managers are promoted. Both are given teams of the same size, producing similar results, and are instructed to increase results. Both managers are given the same annual budgets, the same support systems, and report to the same VP. A year in, the VP notices a small gap in performance, but both teams are doing better, the VP is happy. Two years in, that small gap has grown and one team is clearly performing better, from the lowest sales rep to the top. The VP wants to know why? What is the difference? How does one become a successful sales manager?

Without interviewing or knowing the managers in question, I will give you one difference between the two. The best way to explain it is to think of a single sales representative and their new objective. Read more

The Downward Pressure of Information on Seller Commissions

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If you’re a fan of sales and selling, this New York Times article on airplane seller Steve Varsano, owner of The Jet Business, is a page turner.

Selling Airborne Opulence to the Upper Upper Upper Class

Selling airplanes has been one of my go-to analogies when describing product complexity and budget prioritization, “on one end of the decision making spectrum you have something like a tube of toothpaste, on the other end you have something like a private jet.” This article gives a glimpse into the a world where buyers have big budgets and the ability to prioritize how those dollars are spent intersecting with a product that is complex and completely customizable. A $70MM private jet. Read more

Who holds the algorithms accountable?

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We are evaluating a new technological wonder, a soon to be indispensable part of this client’s martech stack. A proprietary algorithm that will power the growth of the company.

It reminds me of a story about how the machines are building their own algorithms and that gets me wondering. Who will hold the algorithm accountable? Read more

One Million Software Companies by 2027

I’ve been thinking about this quote from Jay McBain at Forrester, “I estimate there are more than 100,000 software companies (ISVs) today around the world — up from 10,000 only 10 years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised. . . to see that number grow to 1 million by 2027.”

Today, in the sales and marketing space there are an estimated 5,000 software companies. In 10 years that number could be 50,000? 50,000 companies that understand sales and marketing, selling and marketing.

Think about it. 50,000 companies emailing you about their solution. 50,000 companies calling you with ideas about how to improve your outcomes. 50,000 companies competing for your sales and marketing dollar. Assuming each of those companies have five sales people on staff, that’s the population of Akron, Ohio fighting to get your attention and sell you a solution, every day in 2027.  Read more

Do You See What I See?

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Add some emotion to your vision of the future. While a logical explanation of where you see your business going may make perfect sense to you, it’s the emotional description of your vision that will shake the trees and move mountains. Let me give you an example.

I finish describing the F (Focus) in the acronym FIT from my book The Human Being’s Guide to Business Growth to a group of business owners and I note a pained look from one of the participants. “James, you have a look on your face that tells me we have a disconnect. Would you like to go a little deeper into this? We can use your business as an example.” Read more

Greg’s 5th Annual Consulting Update

Sales And Marketing Consulting Services

It’s that time again!

Greg’s annual business update.

If you’ve been on the list, this is number five in a series. Yep, I’ve just completed the fifth year of solo consulting. Each year I’ve take a day or two and sketched out my biggest learnings from the year and I share them with you. Read more

Is that a Marketing Qualified Lead or Sales Qualified Lead?

During a recent discussion with a director of marketing and a director of sales, we were throwing out the term lead generation, and as you know, one of my communication advices is to take a moment to define terms, especially common terms inside a company. The more a company knows about a subject, the more important it is to define the terms they use around that subject. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true. The number of assumptions made behind a common terms are easy to see from an outside perspective, and this was no exception.
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Which Sales Training, Management Training, Leadership Training is Best?

which sales training is best

If I categorized the questions I get asked, “What do you think of. . .[insert program/methodology/tool here],” would be it’s own list. Last week it was, “What have you heard about Traction?” and just yesterday it was, “What do you think of Sandler sales training?”

The reason I’m asked is because I’ve been employed by a lot of organizations in my short work life. As part of my employment, I have been trained in a dozen of these programs. As a manager, I have been pitched by dozens more. As a general manager I have had my managers pitch countless other programs. I even ran a training company and besides delivering our own training, I listened to multiple vendors extol the virtues of their content for licensing. When clients or prospects get exposed to any of that background, what comes next is a question about sales training, management training and leadership training programs.

They all want to know, which one is best? Read more