Entries Tagged 'Book Reviews' ↓

Topgrading for Sales – Book Review

Topgrading for SalesI recently read “Topgrading for Sales” by Bradford Smart and Greg Alexander. It is a Bible of sorts for hiring and growing a top shelf sales staff.

Now I’m the first to admit that I’m not the best Sales Manager. I prefer working in and with smaller companies and typically have less than five people working for me and on the surface the book seems to be targeted toward large organizations. But as I dug into it and all the forms and formulas presented, I started realizing that the book was applicable to salespeople as well as sales managers. And for managers with a small team, it is even more important to hire the right people from the start, a single poor performer can cripple the organization.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the list called “A Player Sales Reps – Let’s Count the Joys”

The joys of having high performing sales reps are many, because A players:

  1. “get” the strategy the Chief Sales Officers create and make it a reality;
  2. assure that your monthly, quarterly, and annual forecasts are met;
  3. assure high R&D yield;
  4. innovate;
  5. provide you bench strength for promotability to Sales Manager;
  6. sell at higher prices than other reps can sell;
  7. are talent magnets;
  8. extend customer life;
  9. lessen the need for managerial overhead;
  10. enable organizational harmony.

Since the book points out many ways that salespeople should be judged – it makes sense that you should read it to see how you’re being judged. Take the tests and honestly grade yourself. Learn what you need to work on and get training to make yourself better. Let us know how you do!

To see a video and/or purchase the book, visit: http://www.salesbenchmarkindex.com

The Secret is out

Dare I say that I’ve received some hate mail over my review of the Rhonda Byrne and her book The Secret? I won’t be pressing any charges, but I certainly had some eye popping reading. And honestly, thanks for the feedback.

I want to talk a little bit here about how to best take the message from The Secret and apply it to your sales repertoire. I’m going to try to make some straightforward comparisons for us to argue, err I mean discuss.

So here are the four main messages from The Secret and how to apply them to your sales funnel success.

The Secret Message #1

Think of the income that you want to make in the next year, don’t worry about how you’ll make it.

Applied to the real sales world

I don’t have a problem with imaging your revenue number for next year and even printing it out and pasting it to your refrigerator as a friendly reminder – what I do have a problem with is not worrying about how you are going to get that number.

You need to talk to your current customers and prospect for new ones in order to increase your odds of hitting that number. I’m afraid that sitting by the fax and knowing that an order will come rolling in will leave you out on the street with a cup in your hand.

The Secret Message #2

Start acting and spending like you are already making that level of income that you wish to make.

Applied to the real sales world

Put your life on a year delay in your spending habits. In other words, spend like you still had last year’s salary not this year’s and certainly not what you ‘know’ you’ll make next year.

If your spending out paces your earnings, you can become desperate and go after sales you have no business going after and possibly lose sight that you need to have your customer’s best interest at heart at all times. This is hard to do when you can’t pay this month’s mortgage because you bought more house than you can afford based on an income level you are imagining.

The Secret Message #3

“Fall in love with money”

Applied to the real sales world

“Fall in love with having discovery discussions with your customers to see if your capabilities can make their lives better.”

When you are only after money, it will show and although you might be able to swindle your way in for an initial sale, you won’t be welcomed back.

The Secret Message #4

Repeat over and over every day “I am a money magnet and money comes to me effortlessly and easily.”

Applied to the real sales world

I’m sorry to state that great sales numbers don’t come without work. While I don’t subscribe to the mantra that he who puts in the most hours wins, you certainly have to put concentrated effort into attaining your sales goals.

I better stop here. I really do appreciate all your comments and emails about this subject. Just the fact that it has people talking about ways to improve their sales game is a major benefit.

The Secret – Book Review

The SecretWell, this one is sure to result in a few emails flying my way. Let me start off by saying that I realize that this book was an extremely successful endeavor for Ms. Rhonda Byrne and a lot of people literally swear and live by it. My review here is based on it’s application to us salespeople and that’s all the farther I’ll go with it.

I’ve read reviews and blogs and listened to Podcasts heralding The Secret as the best book for a salesperson to read. Just read and believe and the sales will come marching in. I resisted reading it, but finally caved in to see what all the fuss was about.

I’m here to say that The Secret is a dangerous book for salespeople to believe in. Hold on; let me explain. The central core message of the book is that you posses seismic magnetism that has the ability to attract anything that you desire to you (The Law of Attraction). All you have to do is focus on what you want and you’ll get it. No need to even consider how you’ll get there – concentrate on the what not the how.

So as salespeople, we are to believe for example “this year I’ll earn $1,000,000” and poof it will happen. You are instructed not to even think about how you’ll get to that $1M, just simply believe that you’ll get it and you will. You can even download a blank check from her Website to fill in for yourself.

What??? If any of my guys ever came to me with that plan, they’d be out on their ears. I can just imaging this conversation:

“So, Sam what are your sales revenue goals for next year?”
“Well boss, I’m going to make a cool $2.5M.”
“That’s very aggressive, what is your plan?”

“Oh, I don’t need a plan. I just really believe that I’ll hit that number.”

Yeah, right.

Now, I’m all for visualizing a successful sales call before you make it. I’ve read, and frankly believe, the studies where Olympic archers practice without a bow and arrow to help them visualize success – but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there shooting for real ten hours a day too.

So my bottom message is that it’s ok and healthy to visualize having successful calls, but please don’t rely on that visualization to make up for product and customer knowledge. In the real world, you need a plan and you need to practice.

Oh, and I’m happy to accept your comments and emails saying that I’m crazy – that’s what makes this country so great!