Sales As A Contact Sport (SaaCS)

"Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." -Henry Sanders & Vince Lombardi

Hiring the Best Sales Athlete

The philosophy of this post is so sound and right on point that I had to re-post it in homage to John Tallitsch who is the writer. Kudos to John and please read on…

The principal driver of sales productivity is the quality of an organizations salespeople. The best sales strategies slide into oblivion without strong salespeople. No sales management theory, practice or system can make up for having less than the best talent. But, having marvelous sales talent can moderate, for example, the problems caused by a flawed selling system.

Hiring the right salespeople is the most important task of a sales leader.

The best sales organizations invest significantly in, and are aggressive about, hiring sales personnel who are demonstratively goal-oriented, self-motivated and successful. They employ systematic and rigorous assessment and interview processes to ensure the right people are hired often reviewing hundreds of resumes per hire and putting potential candidates through tens of interviews.

Successful sales leaders also seize every opportunity to hire competitors superstars who can change the profitable revenue growth results in a territory, of an assigned group of customers, for a sales team, etc. They aren’t discouraged by the amount of pay required to hire such an impact player because the combination of two dynamics creates a staff realignment opportunity:

> Results delivered by one high performer will be more than those generated by two or three mediocre performers; and

> The compensation cost of the high performer will be less than the total pay of the lesser performers.

High performance sales cultures employ results-oriented metrics that separate winners from losers. The metrics identify, within the context of the time required for a typical salesperson to reach full productivity, whether correct hiring decisions have been made. Results versus sales goals are regularly and clearly communicated to individuals. In this setting, sales leaders are intolerant of below goal performance and aren’t shy about replacing hiring mistakes. The metrics are also invaluable in revealing opportunities to accelerate the productivity of mid-level performers and leverage the productivity of high performers.

Employing superb sales athletes enhances an organizations ability to grow revenue profitably. It also creates a competitive advantage that is more sustainable than investments in facilities, machines or R&D. Why? Because the advantage gained from people who perform is more difficult to replicate.
Author: John Tallitsch

Author Bio:
John Tallitsch is a reputable writer. John likes to scribble articles about this industry.

In Best Practices on 2009/02/28 at 18:54



Filed under: Hiring Sales Talent, Hiring Talent, SaaCS, Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity, , , ,

Did you “Rudy” that?

I read a great article on building employee morale in the March 2010 issue of Inc. Magazine…

The company is called Gentle Giant of Somerville , Massachusetts and they practice a morale building ritual of running 1,000 steps at Harvard Stadium for all new employees and the President of GG joins them every time. They cheer each other on and encourage each other to complete the challenging climb and they bond.  How simple and great is that idea? I love it!

Do you remember who Rudy Ruedicker is?

If not, he’s the main subject and character of a movie called Rudy about a young man who came from a blue collar family where none of his siblings or parents had gone to college and he had a dream and a lot of heart in his tireless pursuit of a college education and the ultimate goal of playing football for the fighting irish of Notre Dame. (All employees view this movie within the first few months of employment at GG).

Against all odds and out of sheer determination and perseverence, Rudy graduated from Notre Dame and played football there, too.  However, he had to figure things out along the way for himself.

When an employee at GG runs into trouble solving a problem, the manager routinely responds, “Did you Rudy that?

When’s the last time you went to your boss and asked for help with solving a situation with a client or with a team member? Did he or she tell you what to do or did they take it upon themselves to try and correct the situation for you? If they did either of these two things, they did not really help you. True, is seems like they made things easy for you right now. However, what about next week or next month or anytime in the future.  Do they believe you are capable of figuring it out for yourself?  Do you believe that you are capable of doing it? Do they respect you?,  and more importantly, do you respect yourself?

My point is simple. We all need to allow ourselves to make mistakes and figure things out even if it’s sometimes difficult to do.  Bosses are also guilty of forgetting to encourage their people to grow and evolve. How else can an organization become better? Their people must grow and evolve so the organization can also evolve.

“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”

Ask yourself and ask your people , “Did you Rudy that?” before you hand off  a challenging situation to anyone.

At GG, they have done a phenomenal job of building their people, their morale and their organization with a sports minded, team approach.

What will you do the next time you run into a challenging situation at work? Will you rise to the challenge or not? Why not ask yourself, “Did I Rudy that?

Make it happen!

Filed under: Morale Building, Onboarding, Team Building

Do you have “Game”?

Do you have “Game”?

I read a great article this weekend about an exceptional high school athlete who’s work ethic and accomplishments are nothing less than inspirational. He’s a wrestler based on Long Island who is 44-0 this season and has 223 wins over his career so far.  These are very impressive statistics and his achievements are exceptional. Clearly, he did not wake one morning and become successful. He has consistently worked hard and smart to achieve his success and has persevered against many obstacles to achieve his goals. Napoleon Hill has called this a “Definiteness of Purpose”.

Here’s what the wrestler was quoted as saying in response to questions about his upcoming competition for the state championship as the top seed.

There are no guarantees, that’s why I wrestle every match like it’s my last“.

He also was quoted as saying, “No one is a lock to win. You have to go out hard and give it everything you have“.

This is what I am writing about. If you are going to be successful in work and in life, find a way to do whatever you do with a sense of purpose and passion and you have a chance to achieve your goals. The extent of your success has a lot to do with your preparation, work ethic, focus, tenacity and a written plan of action.

In the world of Sales, our Game Plan is also a written plan of action, which is very much like a Play Book,  with specific and deliberate action steps designed to act as a guideline or template for success. A ‘definiteness of purpose’ and a ‘written plan of action’ are the most basic requirements needed to achieve your goals.  Read that Action Plan every day, take action and stay on course, regardless of any obstacles you encounter.

Athletes often talk about how they never alter their game plan. EVER. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is or where the game is being played. One of the keys to success is remaining consistent, yet knowing how to adapt to different circumstances.

So, find out what you are passionate about and do everything you can to become the very best you can.

And, approach each battle as if it’s your last and begin living your life to the fullest.

Mike North

Filed under: Goals, Sales Development, , , , , , , , , ,

Customer Service: To The Point…Harvey Mackay and The Cab Driver

Customer Service: To The Point…Harvey Mackay and The Cab Driver.

Filed under: Customer Service

Powerful Reminders for Smart People during Challenging Times

1.) We can all become better tomorrow than we are today.

2.) Every success that we experience, no matter how small, can and should serve to remind us that we are all forces to be reckoned with.

3.) Laugh often and find joy in everything that you do.

4.) Times may be tough. However, now’s the right time to take action.

5.) Build better and stronger relationships.

6.) Make lots of new connections. Network, Network, Network.

7.) The little things mean a lot. Take no one and nothing for granted.

8.) Maintain your integrity, become more committed and stay focused.

9.) Know that things will get better, so work hard and smarter while trying to not sweat the small stuff.

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

“Everything is hard before it’s easy”…

There’s a rhythm to this statement which I find to be very profound and simple to digest. The statement or concept, “Everything is hard before it’s easy”,  is applicable to most everything in life that’s new to us whether we are learning to walk, communicate, find our way or even prospecting to find a new client. If we choose to accept this concept as a necessary part of our personal development, we can learn to embrace failure with positive expectations and excitement, knowing that it will ultimately lead us to experience successful outcomes.

Everything is hard before it’s easy.” – Thomas Fuller.

You may agree that most infants learn to walk with just a little encouragement and positive reinforcement, (i.e., great job, you can do it and so on). And, we can surely agree that there’s usually little or no stress experienced by infants while they’re crawling simply because it is much easier and safer for them. And, infants usually press on, trying to walk, despite awkward trials, off balance attempts and the pain experienced with these challenging events. Their instinct generally takes over and, since they haven’t received much negative enforcement during these early stages of life, they usually can bounce back quickly after falling down and adapt well to changes in their environment.

He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery.” – Smiles

As children enter into a formal learning environment, (i.e, nursery school and grade school), new challenges appear more rapidly and feedback from school teachers and peers add a whole new dimension to their personal development and self image. Positive and negative feedback become a daily reality throughout these formative years. When we experience any level of failure, pain or disappointment, such as failing a test, losing a game or being given any type of negative feedback, we tend to get down on ourselves, too. However, this is the opposite reaction about how to respond to any negative experience. Instead, we must embrace the negative experiences as opportunities to learn and to grow. And, clearly, we will learn from our mistakes and failures despite our fears, obstacles or lack of ability.

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens to you, that makes the difference.” – Albert Ellis

Why are infants and children naturally able to respond to failure by brushing off the dirt and jumping back in without much fanfare? Some experts claim that encouragement from family, environmental conditions, natural instincts, self will and feedback from outside influences that all have a part in the development of our own ‘screen plays of life’.

The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur. – Vince Lombardi

Why do some adults learn to excel or develop skills more quickly than others?

How does this question relate to the art of developing techniques and skills to be successful a sales or business development career?

I believe that the common denominator is determination and will.

The glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time you fail.” – Chinese Proverb

This is simple and very true. When you break it down and recognize that failure is a necessary means to achieving your goals, you can begin planning your work and focusing your attention to work your plan with a new found confidence to forge ahead and build momentum. Momentum becomes a critical key to building more confidence to persevere and the ‘will to succeed’ is the main ingredient required to push ahead and achieve results.

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination. – Tommy Lasorda

Since life is full of obstacles and hurtles to overcome, it makes sense to embrace failure as a partner to enable our success. Once we accept this as our “global belief”, we are halfway there. The rest can certainly be learned…

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will. – Vincent T. Lombardi

Filed under: Sales Development, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Planning your Work and Working your Plan

Setting a goal and writing it down is the first step towards achieving your goal(s).  However,  setting a goal without establishing a game plan,  is nothing more than words on paper.

“Without a road map, how can anyone expect to reach their destination?” – mn

You must take deliberate and planned action steps every day towards achieving your goal(s) in order to reach them.

“The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal and launch, get started, take action, move.” – John Wooden

Sometimes there will be road blocks along your current route, which are only temporary, and may require you to shift gears and take a different route.

Your ability to adjust to those obstacles along the way and your ability to remain focused on working your plan, will determine whether or not you will achieve your goal(s).

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”  -Tom Landry

Filed under: Sales Development, , , , ,

Are you a Lion or a Gazelle?

Lion vs. Gazelle …

Every morning in Africa, A gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows it must out run the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It does not matter whether you are a lion or gazelle, when the sun comes up you had better start running.  – Jim Rea

Food For Thought…

The question I posed, “Are you a Lion or a Gazelle?”, opens the door for self analysis and should be on your mind when planning your day.

In other words; “Do you move towards achieving your goal(s) with a written, well thought out plan in mind” or “are you moving away from your fears of failure by allowing your day to just happen”?

The moral is simple…
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle because when the sun comes up, you had better be running…

…which means that if you don’t start your day early and get a jump on things,  someone else may gobble up your opportunities because you were either too slow to begin and/or unprepared to compete at the highest level.

Filed under: Sales Development, , , , , ,

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Filed under: Uncategorized

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