How Do You Build a High Performance Sales Culture?

“If you want to learn about the culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change the culture, change the stories.” – Michael Margolis

As part of my coaching and training work, I see sales culture problems everywhere. Yes, we train sales people. Yes, we coach leaders. And little of that has any impact on culture.

So what does? The quote says it all: Stories.

The Stories You Tell in Sales Meetings

When you sit in sales meetings – either as the leader or sales person – what do you hear? Do you hear lack and scarcity? Do you head a drumbeat of “we need to get this deal off the street and in the system”? Do you hear, “What do we need to do to close this?”

If those are the stories you hear, that speaks volumes about your culture.

I would prefer to hear things like this:

  • “How can we help our client get more value out of our product?”
  • “What can we do to help the client make a decision and become unstuck?”
  • “How can we better serve our prospect during the decision phase?”
  • “Does anyone have a story of a client who changed their results since buying our system?”

I know…I know…you’re saying, “Hey, Bill. Hell we have to sell our stuff, so we need to close.” Not disagreeing with that.

But you’re acquainting that mindset with more sales. And I think that’s misleading.

For The Sales Leader, Culture Is The Alpha and Omega

Sorry to ‘go greek’ on you there, but as a leader, you should be spending X hours/month on culture. I say “X” for you must decide that commitment. And there are two questions that should consume that time: What are we doing to improve it? And what are we doing to destroy it? Start your list and begin the work.

As you begin to ask yourself those questions, the answers will become apparent.

More Reading On Culture: Shawn Parr wrote an excellent article for Fast Company a while back. I recommend it. Here.

What will you do in the next 30 days to improve your culture? And, by the way, you don’t have to be in a leadership position to do this. Do it inside your own domain.

3 Things You Can Do To Challenge The Sales Status Quo

Status quo is a Latin phrase meaning the “existing state of affairs.”

Sales Training - Challenge The Status Quo

In my sales training practice, I watch sales teams continue to do the same things, over and over, and expect results to be different. I hear them say, “Well, if I could just do more…” But the correct way to challenge it is not to do more. It is to do different.

Here are three things you can begin doing immediately, that cost you NO MONEY, but that begins to challenge existing paradigms.

“5 Must-Do’s To Begin a First Call”
by Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

The Advanced Selling Podcast
October 20th, 2014

advancedsellinpodcastgraphicboot

In this week’s episode, Bill and Bryan discuss a first sales call experience Bill had with a vendor. It didn’t turn out well. The pair address what are 5 “must-dos” on every first sales call. When you hear these, they may sound obvious. Obvious, but seldom executed. You can also go to the LinkedIn group and comment on what you do on the first call.

Your Buyer Is Motivated By The Simplest of Things

My eyes glaze over when I read psychology texts about motivation. There is rational v. irrational. Intrinsic v. extrinsic. Natural v. organic. Throw in some “incentive theory” and you have a bowl of sh** soup. All very confusing (to my simple mind).

How To Make Selling Simple

Since most of us are in the business world where we are on a daily mission to share ideas, solutions and plans, it makes sense to go back to the simplest of elements that your audience is really motivated by: Pain & Pleasure.

As a sales trainer and leadership coach, my role in life is to bring clarity to people so they can excel at their careers. I have found this simple pair of words to be monumentally important.

“Another Dreaded Sales Forecast: The GOMA Method (Part 2)”
by Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

The Advanced Selling Podcast
October 13th, 2014

advancedsellinpodcastgraphicboot

Well, now it’s no surprise to you what GOMA stands for. In this episode, we talk about three more characteristics of what would be a more helpful sales forecasting approach. The sales pipeline meeting can be high-drama but it really shouldn’t be. If you’re a sales leader/manager, or a sales person, listen as Bill and Bryan share with you three new tools/attitudes to learn so that sales forecasting is what it should be - a true resource designed to help you grow your business.

The Utter Failure Of Trade Show Sales People

It’s been 14 days since I attended a technology trade show and I’m still waiting…. Let me explain.
tradeshow

I was invited to be a guest at a trade show for a local technology company. Being in the sales training and coaching business, I’m always interested in how trade show sales people treat visitors to their booth. So I decided to do a little experiment.

“The Dreaded Sales Forecast: The GOMA Method (Part 1)”
by Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

The Advanced Selling Podcast
October 6th, 2014

Podcast-Icon-2x2-hi-rez

Everyone’s gut starts churning when word comes out that we’re having a “pipeline meeting.” In this episode, Bill & Bryan role-play what that sales meeting sounds like when you have to review your forecast pipeline with your manager. And what the manager hears when you speak. Sometimes, it ain’t pretty :)
Seriously, forecasting/pipeline review is important. But are we doing it in the right way? Moreover, are we ‘thinking’ about it in the right way? The hosts say, “NO!”
This is the first of a two part series on this topic.

(more…)

“How To Sell Anything”
by Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

The Advanced Selling Podcast
September 29th, 2014

Podcast-Icon-2x2-hi-rez

A great sales training approach should be sound regardless of what one sells. Sales people and their leaders must get back to the basics of selling philosophy and selling strategy, irrespective of what one sells.

Bill & Bryan give you a few tips on how to look at what you sell through fresh eyes and give you some valuable tips on how to think bout the sales process. People tend to overcomplicate the sales process when they needn’t do that.
This is a good episode to play for your entire sales team so you can begin discussion.

(more…)

“How To Handle Buyer Resistance”
by Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

The Advanced Selling Podcast
September 22nd, 2014

Podcast-Icon-2x2-hi-rez Buyer resistance is a fact of life for sales people. Our goal is always to prevent such resistance by doing all the right things upfront. In many past episodes we’ve addressed techniques to do just that.

But, resistance will happen. In this episode, Bill & Bryan discuss a new way to look at resistance and give you a formula for solving. Hint. Resistance is not something to overcome or knock down. It is something to “understand.” And by understanding it, you have a chance to move around it.

(more…)

And precisely when everything seems to be going well and your dream is almost within your grasp, that is when you must be more alert than ever. Because when your dream is almost within your grasp, you will be assailed by terrible guilt.

Paul Coehlo "Manuscript Found in Africa"