The Coaching Effect Blog

Jaime Davis-Thomas

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5 Ideas that Add Energy to Sales Meetings

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

March 28, 2011

It pays off to spend some time planning for your sales meeting. Here are a few ideas that will spark some interest and may even lead to some increased sales through the discovery of best practices.
  1. The Daily Huddle is a 20-minute call first thing in the a.m., during which each team member or participant has two minutes to list their biggest accomplishment from the previous day, what they wanted to accomplish that day, and what they needed from the team leader or someone else on the call. The secret to getting the most out of the Daily Huddle: “Keep it short. Keep it focused. And try to have it at the same time every day – first thing in the AM.”
  2. Appreciative Inquiry - select one sales rep to share the story of a recent success ahead of time. They should come prepared to share an overview of the sales process from beginning to end. Listeners question the sales person from a "what's working" frame of reference, and from an unconditional postive stance. The idea is that discoveries and best practices will be made. For more on AI, visit The Appreciative Inquiry Commons (more)
  3. Rattle Some Cages - pick a brainstorming question that will shake things up a bit. For example, "What unwritten rules within our team make it difficult to get things done quickly, efficiently, or profitably?"  For more cage rattling questions visit the Human Capital League (more)
  4. Evaluate the meeting. Make sure that you take the time to step back occasionally to have meeting attendees provide feedback. Ask “what is working?” and “what needs improvement?” This will enable you to continuously improve your meetings.
  5. Invite a Guest. You don’t want to do all the talking, and besides, it’s impossible for you to know everything all the time. Invite professionals from related fields or within your company to talk about their area of expertise and how it relates to the sales team. Be sure to save time for questions. Says Robert Aigner, a team leader for Keller Williams Beverly Hills, who frequently invites guest speakers to his sales team meetings: "It’s not that I don’t think I would bring value on my own, but having a lender talking about condos seems to shed new light."

Have you implemented any of these? How did it go? Did it catch on? What other ideas have you tried?  We'd love to hear from you!

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Topics: sales producer, Best Practice, New Leaders, Engagement, Employee engagement, goals, Motivation, Teamwork, Creativity, Accountability Coaching, sales team, sales coaching, sales coaching, Sales Management, collaboration

Sales Tool & Sales Process Assessment for Sales Managers

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

January 3, 2011

EcSELL Institute recently announced its latest sales management assessment tool called COMPASS. COMPASS is a tools and process assessment for sales departments.  Based on your answers to a series of thought provoking questions, EcSELL Institute will provide insight into a department’s strengths and opportunity areas.  

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Topics: sales processes, sales tools, sales department assessement, COMPASS, 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity

Emotional Intelligence on the Sales Team

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

December 22, 2010

Emotional Intelligence on the Sales Team

Jaime Davis-Thomas, EcSELL Institute Director of Research & Publications

Emotional intelligence involves “the intelligent use of emotions: you intentionally make your emotions work for you by using them to help guide your behavior and thinking in ways that enhance your results” (Weisinger, 1998).

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Topics: sales producer, Career Development, sales management research, collaborative leadership, Emotional Intelligence, sales leadership, sales coaching, sales rep peformance, EcSELL Institute, Pillars, coaching, professional development, assessment tools

You are Tomorrow What You Plan for Today. Sales Plans.

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

December 20, 2010

You are Tomorrow What You Plan for Today.

Tips for Sales Plans based on the book "Non-Harvard Business School Business Plan"

EcSELL Institute would like to thank our contributing author, Anthony Cole. Please enjoy this guest blog post! 

Our business is teaching all aspects of selling; sales management, sales training, sales development, sales techniques, sales plans.  Our business is selling. We sell every day, all day.  In this article I’m going to talk about business plans and sales plans, the first step toward sales success.

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Topics: sales planning, Planning, Sales Plans, Leadership & Management

EcSELL Institute Congratulates Lisa Earle McLeod

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

December 14, 2010

EcSELL Partner Honored for her Book

EcSELL Institute Partner & Summit Instructor, Lisa Earle McLeod's book "The Triangle of Truth" has been nominated as the Best of 2010 Small Business Book Award.

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Stop Competing on Price

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

November 22, 2010

Stop Competing on Price

Written by EcSELL Institute's friend,  Howard Shore, Executive and Business Coach. We hope you enjoy it!

It is not unusual to find companies that have made a lot of changes to the business only to find that those changes had little impact on its ability to increase market share, or worse yet, caused market share to decline. It is also common to go into companies and find only a small percentage of their clients/consumers showing loyalty. The predominant discussions among their salespeople revolve around price. Many business owners mistakenly believe there is nothing that can be done to change client/consumer focus on price.

Declining market share, stable market share, and disloyal clients/consumers mean that a company does not have a suitable strategy or that its strategy is not being executed well. There are some companies whose strategy is to have the lowest prices in the marketplace (e.g. Walmart), and they have the scale, systems, and infrastructure to continually keep costs lower than their competition, allowing them to earn a sizeable profit because of the volume they generate. As long as a company has the capacity and/or can find enough vendors willing to put products on their shelves so that price/volume mix is worth the return on effort, it is a good business model. The challenge is that this is a tough place to play. Technology is constantly changing, and many businesses find that there is always someone willing to sell cheaper. So then what?

People often spend more time figuring out how to build their fantasy football teams, plan their vacations, and handle other unimportant matters than they spend on building their business strategy. While strategic planning is more difficult and is likely to result in some mistakes, not putting the proper time into strategy is inexcusable. Business strategy should be revisited at least quarterly in every business. Most companies do not make the time, and it costs them millions in future revenue and profits that they’ll never see.

A big part of building a strategy that helps avoid price competition is having the ability to segment the potential client/consumer base and target ownership of specific segments. The more segments you want to own, the higher your cost structure. The better you position and execute your segment ownership plan, the more you will grow. The key to segmentation is not looking at market segments by customer size, geography, industry group, or other traditional demographics. The key is to look them by the need or want that your company can best serve. Here are some examples:

  • Are they the type of customer that only looks for lowest price, no matter what?
  • Are you in the hospitality business, and are they looking to be pampered?
  • Are you in the fitness business? Are your target customers the ones whose doctors have told them that they will die before they are 40 if they do not trim 40 pounds?
  • Are you in the hearing aid business? Are your target customers those who have lost their hearing and are very sensitive about the issue and want to do business with people that understand their pain and can provide them with a proper experience to deal with this sensitive issue?
  • Are you in the transportation, freight forwarding, and logistics industry, and your clients are always squeezing you for lowest price? Could you charge them a lot more and still save them a lot of money if you helped them solve the inefficiencies in their logistics functions?

When developing your strategy, you must understand the potential marketplace at least 3 years out and project how you think your industry is changing in terms of products, customers, technology, delivering products and services, sophistication of employees, and other pertinent matters. Once you have considered these factors, you need to segment the different types of clients you have and which segments you want to own. Then you need to build your strategy to own them. If you are primarily competing on pricing and do not own any segment today, you have a tremendous opportunity to improve your growth and profits. Just take the time to build a winning strategy.

 

Great article, thanks Howard.  If you enjoyed this, you might also find the article "Creating Willing Buyers" interesting as well. This white paper comes from our Resource Library and is a small sample of the way we keep our members abreast of the latest research, technology, tools,and best practices in sales management. As the sales coach, it will be your job to make sure your reps are prepared to sell solutions, not compete on price.  Need some help with this? That's what we are here for!  Call us anytime 402-850-4239. Just ask for Will.

NOW IT'S TIME TO HEAR FROM YOU. WHAT BEST PRACTICES DO YOU USE TO STAY AWAY FROM THE PRICE WAR GAME?

_________________________________________________

Howard Shore is a business growth expert that works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To contact Howard Shore please call (305) 722-7216 or email him at shoreh@activategroupinc.com .

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Topics: sales producer, EcSELL Institute Partner, sales coaching, Pillars, sales methodology & sales skills development

Daniel Pink on "The Surprising Science of Motivation"

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

October 25, 2010

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward. Source: http://www.ted.com on YouTube
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Topics: sales planning, sales management research, compensation recognition rewards, Engagement, Planning, goals, sales coaching, sales management skills, coaching, Wisdom, Resources for sales managers, Strengths

Part 2: Sales Managers & Social Media

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

October 13, 2010

Posted by: Jaime Davis Thomas, Research Director, EcSELL Institute

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Topics: innovative technology for sales departments

Sales Managers & Social Media

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

October 11, 2010

Social Media is a huge buzzword these days. But what the heck is it? And how can you use it?

A Social Media Primer

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Topics: Social Media, Peer Network, Sales 2.0

5 Fundamental Attributes of Effective, Happy Sales Leaders

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

October 6, 2010

5 Fundamental Attributes of Effective, Happy Sales Leaders

By Jaime Davis-Thomas, Director of Research & Publications, EcSELL Institute

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Topics: EcSELL Institute Partner, Engagement, sales results, Emotional Intelligence, Research, Accountability Coaching, sales management webinar, ROI, Leadership & Management, collaboration, Wisdom, Strengths

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