Seeking Success: Do You Ask For Help?

By Daniel Newman (MillennialCEO.com)  

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Have you ever had the chance to sit down with someone that you consider really successful and asked them to describe the pivotal moment or moments that changed the course of their lives?

Undoubtedly those moments will vary from one success story to the next, but there is something that I almost guarantee each of these people and their stories will have in common…They all had help.

Whether a great mentor, an inspiring teacher or perhaps some financial support, it is almost inevitable that the most successful people didn’t go at it alone.
That isn’t to suggest for even a moment that each great success story wasn’t achieved through a relentless commitment to success and to overcoming every hurdle that crossed their path.

However, what I am suggesting is that the great ones were willing to do something that so often alludes us. They asked for help. Which ultimately means they put their pride aside momentarily in order to keep their ambitions moving forward.

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What Your Coffee Says About Your Personality

By Meridith Dennes (Project Eve Blog)

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A study has found that people who drink certain types of coffee share common attributes.

If you drink a latte, or add milk to your coffee, then you are likely to go out of your way to help others whereas if you prefer to drink decaffeinated coffee you are more likely to be obsessive and controlling.

Clinical psychologist Dr Ramani Durvasula conducted a study of 1,000 coffee drinkers and assessed a number of common personality styles and psychological traits.

These include introversion and extroversion; patience; perfectionism; warmth; vigilance; sensitivity; and social boldness, among others.

Black coffee drinkers were found to be “purist’ and prefer to keep things simple. They were found to be patient and simple but also set in their ways and resistant to making changes.

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Competition: The Invisible Enemy of Compensation Planning

By John Kenney (Sales Benchmark Index: Sales & Marketing Effectiveness Blog)

Each year, HR professionals pay for benchmark compensation data. For many, the information is the nearly the same each time. Some fractional movement in the average rates is announced. There’s a nagging sense of dissatisfaction. Is it worth the cost to learnimages so little? HR leaders want to know what the competition is paying. The benchmark doesn’t really answer the question – it feels like a waste of money.

The benchmark is routinely funded in the HR budget. So the annual tradition continues. This is the year to shake things up. Competitive intelligence is the key.

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ASSESSMENT | Daniel H. Pink

Salespeople are comprised of a wide range of people, including introverts, extroverts and ambiverts who fall in between. It’s hard to change where you fall on this spectrum, but once you realize where you do, you can then learn how to play up your strengths and downplay your weaknesses as a salesperson.

This quiz from author Daniel Pink will help you assess where you lie on the spectrum and what kind of salesperson you are.

How does being an introvert or extrovert help you perform better at your job?

ASSESSMENT | Daniel H. Pink.

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How Great Sales Coaches Improve Team Morale

imagesAre you satisfied with the morale and esprit de corps of your sales team?

A positive attitude is contagious. Unfortunately, so is a negative attitude. A negative attitude by one team member is that one bad apple that can ruin an entire bunch. Kevin Davis, President of TopLine Leadership, Inc, provides sales coaching tips for improving the morale of your sales team. 

40 Qualities of Successful Sales People

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For Brad Shorr’s coaching and advising program, he compiled this list of qualities that sales people should develop to the best of their ability. Here they are – please let us know if you have any to add!

1. Prompt
2. Hard working
3. Ethical
4. Always listening
5. Asking the right questions
6. Sincere
7. Creative
8. Full of empathy
9. Positive
10. Organized
11. Attentive to detail
12. Thoroughly prepared
13. Good humored
14. Focused
15. Resourceful

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Looking over this list, …is it possible for a person to excel in all these things? Are some of them mutually exclusive? For instance, can one person be a great strategist and a great tactician?

Which are the most important qualities?

Why Sales Managers Hate Performance Management

By Steven Rosen  SJ Daily Blog Pix

Performance management can be a dirty job. Many managers shy away when having to deal with performance issues.  My approach says “bring it on.” I believe that non-performing players need to get their act together or there is no place for them on the team. Here are a few considerations when addressing sales performance issues.

Opportunity Cost:

What happens when one of your sales people is not performing? Companies have set up a process for addressing performance issues. Some of these processes can take 3 -6 months to determine whether the sales rep can address their performance gaps or if not are fired.

When addressing a reps performance, sales managers will use formal Performance Improvement Programs (PIP). These are formal procedural documents used to demonstrate that the manager is serious about a reps poor performance. The manager’s task is to document areas that require improvement if the rep is going to remain on the team.

Managing a PIP is time consuming and stressful. Much of the documentation is in the manager’s hands and of course there is added tension between the sales rep and manager. This results in strained communication and mutual lack of trust.

Focusing on a non-performing sales rep diverts a sales managers’ time from important activities, such as coaching reps with greater potential. Many sales managers do their best to be fair and give the rep a chance to prove themselves. They give the rep the benefit of the doubt and allow the PIP to drag on. We all know the opportunity cost in terms of lost sales as well as additional management time spent on the individual. As a rule, do not allow a PIP to linger for more than 3 months. Either the rep can perform or its time to part ways.

Stay Focused on the Desired Result

It is critical to assess the issues when dealing with poor performing sales reps. Depending if it is an attitude or effort issue, a decision needs to be made if the rep is to remain part of the team. I know HR must follow proper procedure, but if you have a bad apple you throw it out.  You need to focus on the outcome that you think is right for the organization. Being very clear with what you want as the end result is required up front so you don’t waver through the process. Managing a 3-month PIP means determining if the rep is a player you want on your team and then managing that PIP effectively to achieve the outcome. If you believe the sales rep can pull up their performance  then you give them the chance. It’s not about lying or deceit, it’s about making sure you have the right people on your team. Clarity will ensure that the process is seamless and effortless.

Enough with the Perpetual PIPers (PP)

We have all come across the PP. This is the sales rep that can do a high quality sales job but is not willing to put in the time or quantity of activity that would up their performance. I call them the “talented slacker”. They are content to meet annual sales objectives, but not exceed them.

The disparity arises when a new manager joins the team and their performance gaps become glaringly apparent in relation to their peers. The new sales manager gets tired of pushing the talented slacker to do more and eventually puts them on a PIP. Because the sales rep doesn’t lack the quality, they temporarily up their activity and thus satisfying the terms of the PIP.

Overtime the perpetual PIPers will fall back into their old habits until a new manager arrives and the process repeats itself.   Once a rep is on a third PIP, I say 3 PIPs and you are out! The third PIP is a termination letter.

Be Proactive:

All your reps should be on a SIP! A SIP is a Sales Improvement Program.  If you want to proactively manage performance, every sales rep in the organization should focus on at least one area of improvement to take their performance to the next level. Even your STARS have opportunities for improvement that can take them to a higher level of performance.  You can call it a SIP or a coaching journey. Regardless, proactive sales managers are always looking to elevate the performance of each of their sales reps to maximize results.

Conclusion:

Every rep should be on a program as a means of improving their performance. Companies who are truly performance based should be focused on continual improvement from all their sales reps. If a rep is not performing you need to be clear, concise and expeditious when addressing a performance improvement program.

Question:

What is the duration of a PIP in your organization?