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Onboarding Salespeople

This is a hectic period. Next week, I am offsite all week for a 2014 client strategy and planning meeting. This week, I am assisting another client with onboarding two salespeople that are remote from the main business office. Everything needs to be lined up and organized for a successful experience.

The onboarding step is normally a very weak link with many organizations, but it is a critical success factor, as well. I wanted to share my thoughts with our community.  More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on October 22, 2013 at 2:48 PM0 comments

Quick Ideas To Hit Fourth-Quarter Goals

Let's make this interactive -- I will start the list, and then it is your job to add to it. Let's all work together to increase each other's success during the last few months of 2013.

These ideas can be designed for sales leaders or individual sales performers:  More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on October 01, 2013 at 10:27 AM0 comments

Getting Ready for Q1 2014: 10 Steps to Preparedness

"Ken, are you crazy? I have not even finished the fourth quarter yet!"

As budget planning begins and business strategies begin to be set, it is your responsibility to be ready for 2014. What do you need to have on your to-do list for the next 60 days? I have listed the top 10 -- e-mail or comment below to let me know what I have missed or what is on your own list.  More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on September 23, 2013 at 3:20 PM0 comments

A Tactical Sales 20/20 Marketing Plan: Build Your Q4 Pipeline

This marketing plan incorporates messaging from your vendors with marketing materials, e-mail campaigns, telephone scripts and partner involvement. Action steps include:

1) Refine their prospect database to reflect the A-B-C "ideal client profile" concept. More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on August 28, 2013 at 10:05 AM0 comments

Building a Culture of High Performance: Sales Games

At this time of the year, sales management must look at pipeline levels and goals for the fourth quarter and determine if there is the necessary level of activity to ensure targets will be exceeded.

Organizations certainly need to focus on the short-term, 30-day sales cycle and the end of the year. But they also need to have a longer-term perspective. As an executive, you must also focus on creating an atmosphere of fun, high performance and teamwork. More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on August 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM0 comments

Sales Leadership and Preparedness

I have always considered the Boy Scout motto of "Be prepared" in all aspects of my life.

It's a difficult time for many people in the South, which was recently hit with massive tornadoes and rain. During the storms, I was in Kansas working with a client, while my wife was at our home in Eastern Tennessee facing the storm alone. The good news for us was we did not suffer any real damage. During many phone calls between my wife and I, we discussed the situation and developed action plans -- moving to our lower level and taking cell phones, batteries, radios, water and blankets. More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on August 01, 2013 at 11:59 AM0 comments

Investing in Yourself: Insights from the National Speakers Association Confab

I recently attended the annual National Speakers Association conference, an association meeting that I really work to attend. In my four years as a member, I have learned so much and have found everyone to be open and willing to discuss any aspect of improving your life, your business and your professional stage skills.

As someone who has presented often in many venues and formats, the experience was invaluable. I met people from all over the world who provided levels of expertise in many, many areas. Everyone was positive, energetic and helpful.  More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on July 31, 2013 at 10:39 AM0 comments

Inspire Sales Confidence

During my many years of sales management -- with the past 14 of being spent as a consultant to hundreds of firms -- the hardest element I see executives and sales managers struggle with is inspiring sales confidence.

What do I mean by this? Obviously, "A" players have the knowledge, ego and mental toughness to make sales happen. Unfortunately, most organizations never have enough of this kind of salespeople. Therefore, sales leadership must coach salespeople and build systems to assist "B" and "C" salespeople to achieve results. More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on June 24, 2013 at 11:59 AM0 comments

Your July Sales Training Tip: YouTube

At this time of the year, I normally remind my clients that it's time to begin building their third-quarter sales training plans. 

Regular readers know that Acumen Sales Mangers plan their entire quarter sales training plans at the beginning of each quarter. Each sales meeting schedule is defined by date/time, topics and who is training on what topics. Topics should include sales skills, product and services knowledge, and competition and sales operations (CRM, contracts, etc.). More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on June 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM0 comments

Sales On-Boarding: New Hire Success or Failure

One of the most important  tools I have created is a three-week "New Salesperson On-Boarding Plan," which contains what I believe are the necessary skills and knowledge that any new salesperson needs prior to selling a product or services. 

The plan ensures they know how to use the telephone, CRM, contracts and marketing tools, as well as gives training so they can clearly sell your organization and understand your products and services. Each item must be signed off and dated by the appropriate person. It is one of the most popular tools in my Sales Management Tool Kit. More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on June 03, 2013 at 11:59 AM0 comments

Book Review: The Renaissance Society

I had the opportunity to read Rolf Jensen and Mika Aaltonen's The Renaissance Society: How the Shift from Dream Society to the Age of Individual Control will Change the Way You Do Business during a long flight to the West Coast. I was expecting a futuristic perspective on how our society will evolve. But this book delivered much more.

The authors build their business case for predicting the future by reviewing the past and our existing economic conditions and comparing them to emerging markets. They do this convincingly, creating three clear, distinct and interconnected scenarios: More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on May 27, 2013 at 11:59 AM0 comments

Earn Your Success, Pay the Price

A good friend of mine always said that success was earned, and that it's important to accept the fact that success normally carries a price.

When I work with my clients' sales teams I always inquire about their goals, actions and commitments that are aimed at achieving their objectives. What doesn't surprises me anymore is their inability to fully understand that there is a "price to pay." I am not suggesting that our lives should be so consumed with achieving success that all other facets of life are out of balance. Those of you who have taken my "Personal and Professional Pizza" assessment understand my focus on life balance; if you haven't take the assessment yet, view my "Gourmet Life" video here. More

Posted by Ken Thoreson on April 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM0 comments