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Management & Leadership

In addition to following the basic principles of not presenting too early and ensuring that the presentation is delivered as one component of an effective professional sales process, there are four steps sales professionals can follow to ensure more effective presentations.

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Joe Ippolito, Sandler trainer from Boston, shows you how to succeed at building a winning sales team with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful in management. Get the best practices collected from around the world for recruiting, hiring and onboarding top sales talent.

Listen Time: 25 Minutes

The hot labor market is stressing hiring managers and their organizations like no other job cycle in the last 20 years. Despite the mounting pressure of filling an open role, organizations that remain true to their hiring standards will win in the long term.

Read Time: 5 Minutes

This year, on Fridays, Dave talks about the attitude, behavior, and techniques of successful sales managers as he shares his thoughts on the 49 Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders.

Listen Time: 9 Minutes

Dear Mary, I have a team of sales people that report to me. I’m frustrated that they don’t seem to be capable of being independent. How do I help them be less reliant on me?

--Overloaded Sales Manager

Dear Overloaded Sales Manager

Interesting question. First off, you’re not alone. I’ve had several conversations with sales leaders this past week voicing the same baseline concern. How are they supposed to balance their workload and their team dependency on moving the pipeline forward and closing new business?

Let’s say you’re the manager of a team and, for whatever reason, you realize that someone who reports to you is missing an essential skill. What do you do?

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Coaching Individual Salespeople with Suzie Andrews: Suzie Andrews, Sandler Trainer, and Mike Montague, VP of Online Learning, take your questions about coaching salespeople live on Facebook.

Watch Time: 56 Minutes

Justin Stephens, Sandler trainer, shows you how to succeed at following up with prospects with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful in sales. Get the best practices collected from around the world for following up.

Listen Time: 20 Minutes

Dave Trapani, Sandler trainer, shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful at managing your pipeline. Get the best practices collected from around the world.

Listen Time: 22 Minutes

 

David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training and 6-Time Best-Selling Author, talks about his fifth book, Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders. The book is on sale here, as well as, the companion video course

Listen Time: 11 Minutes 

The first month of the year is a classic time for sales professionals to focus with intensity on identifying and fulfilling their most important personal and organizational goals. We’ve noticed, though, that the goal setting behavior of an organization’s leaders during the month of January tends to have the biggest bottom-line impact on the year as a whole.

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Welcome to the How to Succeed podcast, the show that helps you get to the top and stay there... This is How to Succeed at avoiding the dangers of success.

Listen Time: 16 Minutes

David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training and 6-Time Best-Selling Author, talks about his fifth book, Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders. The book is on sale here, as well as, the companion video course.

Listen Time: 10 Minutes

Keep, Attain, Recapture, Expand. Learn more about the concept of KARE in the heart of SalesAccountability!

Watch Time: 4 Minutes

David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training and 6-Time Best-Selling Author, talks about his fifth book, Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders. The book is on sale, as well as, the companion video course

Listen Time: 12 Minutes

Consider these three, often overlooked, reasons to remember how critical Q1 is to your business’s growth. Each reason represents a specific opportunity for your organization to start strong and make the very most of 2019.

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Lisette Howlett, Sandler trainer and author of the new book, The Right Hire, shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful at hiring salespeople. Get the best practices collected from around the world.

Listen Time: 23 Minutes

There is much research proving that proper sales coaching can lift your sales 20% or more. Not only does coaching increase revenues, it also builds a culture of self-sufficiency, growth, and retention.

All too often, what holds salespeople back in terms of reaching their potential is not a missing sales skill or an improperly applied technique. More often than managers like to imagine, the problem is a failure of leadership.

Happy New Year!

Not only is it important to set goals for the New Year, but it also makes sense to take some time to reflect on the successes and setbacks from 2018. Below are four suggestions on how leaders can use insights and learnings from the year just past to shape their organizational growth plan for 2019.

If I asked a group of sales leaders, what motivates their salespeople, money is going to come up more often than not. And yes, money is important as it does pay the bills. And for some, money can be used as a scorecard. But are true high performers only motivated by money?

Read Time: 3 Minutes

Leaders: January will be here before you know it! With that inescapable reality in mind, consider the following five strategies you can use right now to ensure that your business is positioned for maximum growth in 2019.

What can leaders do to ensure that sales and marketing teams are on the same page and pursuing the same business goals? Here are five strategies the most successful company leaders implement on a consistent basis.

The approach of a new calendar year can be one of those times leaders begin asking themselves author Jim Collins’s famous question, “Have we got the right people in the right seats on the bus?” It’s a good question for any time of year, of course … but since the turn of the calendar can often deliver a sense of new purpose and focus for both teams and leaders, the period leading up to January 1 can indeed be a great time to reassess your organization’s personnel strategies.

Learn the best practices for effective management and leadership from Caroline Robinson and Mike Montague.

January is coming. As a leader, this may mean the implementation of strategically necessary change initiatives that affect the sales team in 2019, such as the restructuring of territories or the revision of the team comp plan.

With January rapidly approaching, many sales leaders have started thinking about the team goals they will be setting for 2019. Team goals are important, of course …  but it’s essential to bear in mind that they are, by definition, the sum total of individual goals, and the individuals on your sales team are motivated by different things. Here are three critical steps sales leaders can take to support their team members’ personal goal-setting process in the coming year.

Get valuable insights on forward-thinking marketing concepts from Pam Didner, author of Global Content Marketing. Take a dive deep into effective engagement with your customers and connecting your marketing strategy with your sales team.

As the end of the year is approaching, sales professionals in every industry are eager to lay a solid foundation for success in 2019. One of the most common business-related New Year’s resolutions among managers is this one: “I will hold more one-on-one coaching sessions with the members of my team this year.” It’s fine as far as it goes … but is it enough?

With Q4 upon us, it makes sense to start thinking carefully about what has worked – and what could be improved – in your prospecting plan this year. Here are three ideas to consider that have helped salespeople we’ve worked with to create better “cookbooks” (daily and weekly action plans) for effective prospecting. You may want to consider adopting all three of them as this year closes … and as the next year approaches.

David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler, shares his thoughts about delegating and how to pass the baton in a way that gets results. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of top leaders and how the delegate tasks. 

Learn how to effectively deal with difficult people and situations in this live session with Amy Woodall.

Many managers ask us for help in identifying the best way for them to support their new hires, so these employees can more rapidly reach the point where they become productive team members. The four strategies listed below will help you to do a better job of training and coaching new employees with little or no experience in the role – so they can make bigger contributions more quickly.

Examining you and your team's sales performance starts with a diagnosis. Oour '4S' sales assessment tool can help you get started.

One of the most powerful strategies leaders can use to support their own effective decision-making is also one of the simplest: Build trusted members of your team, people who think differently than you do, into your decision-making process.

Check out our Facebook Live Session with L'areal Lipkins on how to best manage millennials on your team.

People will work much, much harder for their own reasons than they will ever work for your reasons. You, as a manager, have an obligation to find out exactly what those reasons are. And the very best way to do that is by leading with kindness.

Jim Marshall, a long-time Sandler trainer from Florida, joins the podcast to talk about how first-time managers can be successful at coaching their direct reports. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of great leaders, and learn how to incorporate them into your new management position. 

Most managers we talk to would quickly agree with Drucker’s observation, and with the related proposition that their team’s capacity to learn, grow, and adapt is one of the organization’s most important assets. Yet very few of these managers have taken the time to discuss and develop a personalized learning and development plan for the team members who report to them.

Dave Mattson shares his thoughts on sales leadership and how to build a culture of continuous improvement through role play. This Selling the Sandler Way take is a great listen before your next sales meeting.

Sharlene Douthit joins the podcast for the first time to talk about employee retention. Learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of great leaders, and learn how to incorporate them into your culture to stop turnover and keep valuable employees. 

Recently, I’ve done a lot of talks on conflict resolution the Sandler way, which I consider the cornerstone of personal and organizational success. I’ve received many requests from audience members asking me to summarize the talks in written form. With those requests in mind, here are nine points to consider when you find yourself facing drama and conflict — and you wish you weren’t.

When leaders hear the word “diversity,” they often think about gender, or race, or geography. Those are all important issues to consider, of course. But there’s an under-examined aspect of diversity that too many leaders overlook: behavioral styles. This aspect of diversity is the great unexplored topic the contemporary workplace. We find that managers who address this issue of behavioral diversity, and train and reinforce accordingly, benefit from a team with varying perspectives. That means better problem-solving, better communication, and better outcomes.

Your relationships with the team matter a whole lot more than your job title … and those relationships depend on you serving the team. So be sure you put the needs of your team first!

#1 “Most of my team’s most important prospects for new business are on vacation during the summer months.”

Chris joins us to talk about how to hold your team accountable and how to demand excellence from yourself and others. What does it mean to set a high bar, and how to do you pull it off without upsetting your team

When we use the word “Excellent” to describe a business or a team, we’re talking about a certain specific way of doing business. In our experience, there are three clear criteria that consistently define organizational excellence

Learn how to improve your attitude, behavior, and technique in active listening. Frank Moore talks about paying attention, paraphrasing, and other best practices for engaging conversations. 

Learn how to improve your team's chances of success in the supply chain industry. Ralph Henderson, Sandler Trainer, talks to Dave Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler, about how the ideal attitudes, behaviors and techniques in the supply chain world. 

To produce and grow at the rate which you need to be successful, you must have a dynamic sales team. The team must be formed through careful planning, hard work, and collaborative efforts. From a 10,000-foot view, this may seem easily accomplished, but let’s go more in-depth and tackle some of the inherent challenges with hiring and onboarding the right team.

Learn how to improve your team's attitude, behavior and technique to improve their chances of success. Eric Dunn talks about how to breathe life and results into your sales team. Learn the best practices for improving effectiveness and efficiency. 

Learn how to empower your employees to take ownership and learn how to solve problems on their own. Clint Babcock talks about how to know which things to take off your plate and put them onto someone else's. You can't be great at everything, but you can build a team that is.

Some managers start looking for fires to start with their team, so that they can swoop in to the rescue. They have no time to set up a meaningful accountability program, they’ll say, because they have too many (self-started) fires to fight. Most of the leaders I work with are dubious at first that they could ever play the role of the Primary Arsonist. Yet it’s easier to fall into this pattern without realizing it than you might imagine.

Learn how to apply the DISC personality framework to uncovering prospect's buying motivations or PAIN, in Sandler terms. Hamish Knox, Sandler trainer and author, returns to the podcast to talk with Dave Mattson about combining these two classic Sandler frameworks and selling strategies.

Learn how to be an effective manager, by learning how to coach and train. Tom Niesen and Dave Mattson, two very experienced coaches and trainers talk about what it takes to improve your team's performance through coaching and training.

If you want a better team, become a better manager. Dave Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training interview John Rosso, Sandler author and David H. Sandler award-winner, about effective sales leadership. What are the roles of a good leader?

To answer the common question, “Why should I invest more time in coaching my sales team?” we must first define what we mean by “coaching.”

 

The digital revolution is innovative, inspiring, and even pervasive. We’ve come a long way in a short period of time, and many of the things we take for granted now weren’t even in the realm of possibility a few decades ago. As impressive as they are, the reach and impact of electronics when it comes to communication can have detrimental effects. Below, I identify three important elements that should always be involved in business relationships, no matter how advanced technology becomes.

Communication is important to a growing business and sales team, but that’s only part of the equation. Employee development is another key aspect for continued growth and success. While this topic is often incorporated into business plans, it’s commonly overlooked and bypassed in pursuit of other priorities. Below are four reasons why employee development should be at the top of the list.

Most managers go into massive “critical parent” mode when they realize, too late, that a salesperson has a lot of ground to make up the remainder of the year. They say things like, “You need to sort yourself out and get back on track...” and they think it’s going to work! The truth is it never works… although a salesperson sometimes produces good results in spite of what the manager says.

Eric Warner, Sandler trainer from Boston, talks about the attitude, behavior, and technique needed to properly execute a job interview. Whether your next hire is this week or later this year, learn how to prepare for and execute a job interview that results in a successful new hire.

Dave Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training, talks to Tom Niesen about selling the Sandler way and the four different hats that sales leaders have to wear. Learn why each is crucial to your team's success.

Dave Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training and 6-time author, returns to the show to talk about his new book, The Road to Excellence, 6 Strategies for Building a Bulletproof Business! You will learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of the top performing organizations, and how you can apply these principles to continuously improve your company.

Improving your efficiency or effectiveness is only as good as your method of determining and evaluating success. It’s easy to earn a win here or there, but repeated success over a long period of time can only be done through hard work, analysis, and reinforcement. Below, I have outlined five ways to gauge the success of your team, how you got there, and what to do to keep it up.

In today’s world, many managers don’t get to develop people the way they would like. It’s harder and harder to spend quality time with all the team members so managers must make sure each interaction delivers value for everyone. This means creating structure and clarity around all interactions with the team–or, as David Sandler put it, eliminating mutual mystification.

To be a successful salesperson, one needs to be aggressive and goal-oriented. While important, these competitive traits can lead to a one-track mind and give sellers tunnel vision. If this goes unchecked, salespeople will ignore the pursuits of their team members and their organization. The sooner salespeople realize that fostering an environment of mutual success is the most advantageous approach, the better.

Rule number 29, don't chase purple squirrels. Stay focused and stick to the agenda during sales meetings. People are pretty predictable and purple squirrels are defined as things that they throw onto a meeting that has nothing to do with the topic. 

Rule #25: Don't let sales people leave training in the classroom. Use a collaborative, equal partnership inside and outside the training room. Here's the bottom line for sales leaders. You may have other people doing training for your organization and training your people. But, ultimately, you are still responsible for your team.

Rule number 23, create a culture of accountability. Help your people own their success. Listen, every time I do executive coaching, one of the top topics is how do I create a culture of accountability. Okay, I agree. We want it. We all strive for it. We want our people to accept challenges. 

Rule number 22. Hey, people don't argue with their own data. Use self-discovery to break through performance barriers. I learned this a long time ago. People remember 20% of what they see, 30% of what they hear, but 90% of what they say and do.

Rule #15: People work harder for their reasons than they do yours. Motivate the individual to hit the corporate goal. Here's what this means. We all have kids, and when you want a kid to play an instrument because you love the instrument and you want them to be successful, you push, push, push. If they don't have the passion, confidence, and conviction that that's what they want to do, they end up not doing it. You spend a lot of time and energy having them live through your eyes, and the same thing holds true with corporate goals.

Did you know that the average tenure of a Sales VP is only between 24-32 months? They barely have time to unpack their bags and get settled before they are looking for another position. In the meantime, the company has not only lost its Sales VP but probably its best sales person as well. Why is this? And is there something that can be done to change this dynamic?

Compensating the sales team is one of the toughest things to get right in your business. If you pay them too little, good salespeople will leave for better opportunities. Pay them too much, and they get complacent and stop growing revenue. To inspire and motivate top performing salespeople, you must use the Goldilocks Principle and get the compensation package “just right.” Let’s look at the pros and cons of some popular options.

Rule 12: Manage individuals; lead a team. There's no substitute for personal attention. Listen, every human wants to be paid attention to. Everyone wants this one-on-one connection. They want eye contact, they want one-on-one time, they want you to pay attention. This is true at home. Kids want your attention. They want you to ask questions. They want you to understand the deal. 

Rule #11: Mange behavior, not results. Create a cookbook or a recipe for success. You know, many sales leaders and sales managers, they manage numbers, not behavior. Think about that for a second. How many of us are knee deep into spreadsheets every single day?   

As a manager or leader, you are tasked with many responsibilities. You must strive for success for each member of your team, for your company, and of course, for your clients. This balancing act can become overwhelming if you don’t properly prioritize your objectives and navigate the obstacles that combat effectiveness. Here are four key points to keep in mind in your quest for optimal efficiency.

Rule #8: See People through Their Lens. Use DISC to understand how you and your people see the world so that you can lead more effectively. You know the DISC behavioral model will help you understand how to communicate more effectively with your team and anywhere else. You've got to understand and acknowledge how they interpret the world: how they communicate, how they want to be motivated, how they see the world, and where you then can adapt your style to match theirs.  

When your business is blowing up (in a good way) recognize it as an opportunity to work on your business—instead of getting overwhelmed by your business.  This practice of continuous improvement even in the good times can generate even more amazing growth and help insulate you from the tough times to come.

Developing a championship caliber sales team should be the goal of any sales leader. All champions, whether it is the Cubs, Patriots or newly crowned, Tarheels, are focused on doing their individual roles as well as possible, committed to the on-going improvement of themselves and the team, the culture sets high expectations, and the teams win. As difficult as this may be to accomplish for your sales team, it is not as hard as you think if you can implement these four championship elements.

Sam was surprised when his boss, Juanita, called him into her office, closed the door, sat him down, and asked him:

“So what is it you guys do?”

It happens every single year. You begin with lofty sales goals and quotas in January – but by December, you wonder what happened and end up trying to figure out where your team went wrong. Lack of motivation may not be the problem – you may just be taking the wrong approach to goal setting.

The purpose of marketing is to support sales.  In the broadest sense, marketing activities are the foundation for sales generation, whether it be through translating market needs into prioritized product or service requirements, clearly communicating unique value outward, or attracting and nurturing qualified prospects.  In a narrower sense, marketing needs to support the sales team – steer them in the right direction and equip them with the tools they need to diagnose pains that the organization can solve uniquely well.

Our experience with sales teams is that less than 20% of all salespeople set written goals of any kind. We estimate that the income of this elite minority of salespeople is predictably and consistently greater than the 80-plus percent who don’t set written goals — combined! You can help each of the members of your team join the ranks of the top performers… by helping them to craft strong written goals.

The last quarter of the calendar is both relieving because the end is in sight, but also foreboding for many sales teams if sales targets have not yet been met. An incredible amount of revenue exchanges hands in the last quarter, and many companies know that it can make the difference between a good fiscal year or a bad one, especially in product sales. Managers are regularly tested to find ways to push teams over that last mile. 

As the Holidays approach and the year ends, businesses are preparing for the final push to ensure that their organizations reach their annual sales goals. It can be a time of considerable stress on sales teams and managers trying to reach the highest possible numbers and reap the benefits for themselves and their business.

A successful sales year relies on good planning and smart strategy. Any plan for success requires that you create goals for yourself and your sales team. But no amount of planning or strategy sessions are effective if the goals are unrealistic and can't be met. Setting and achieving realistic goals are critical to meeting sales quotas or any other benchmarks of success.

Like any new generation, there are differences in how Millennials interact with those around them, and what their expectations are in the workplace. What intuitive business leaders are noticing, however, is that there are tremendous benefits that members of this generation bring to the workforce. Their unique generational experiences and the skills they have gained can help them, and the organizations that hire them, excel.

As a sales coach, you need to benchmark the performance of each behavior to determine whether they are performed at acceptable levels or not. It is important to utilize a scale rating behavior with a 1 to 10 performance rating. This scale will allow you develop standards not only for each individual but across your team.

The DISC model is based on your behavior. It clarifies how you prefer to do things based on two factors. Are you more extroverted or introverted? And, are you more people or task oriented? Based on those preferences, you end up with four possible behavioral styles.

If your new hire isn't the best fit for your company, don't panic. Take these steps to manage your situation and establish a better process moving ahead.

As a leader, one of your most important roles within an organization is providing guidance to other members of the company. It is common for leaders to encounter situations in which they have to provide an employee with constructive criticism. Providing this type of guidance can be a challenge, however, as it is important to find a way to communicate your intentions without causing people to feel defensive or sparking resentment.

Customer service is an interesting aspect of any business. Whether you call it inside sales or customer care, your frontline employee may have the most difficult job in the company. Do you find that your most difficult customers and situations are handled by your least trained and lowest paid employees first? Have you ever cringed when listening to one of your frontline people on the phone? Do you find your staff to be too strict with the policies or too loose?

By  Mike Montague

Customer service is an interesting aspect of any business. Whether you call it inside sales or customer care, your frontline employee may have the most difficult job in the company. Have you ever cringed when listening to one of your frontline people on the phone? Do you find your staff to be too strict with the policies or too loose?

Does your company need sales training? Maybe, maybe not. But how will you determine if you need it and who are you going to hire? If you meet with a sales trainer he’s going to steer you towards what he can deliver. If he is a great sales trainer, he ought to be a great salesman. Instead, take it from a company that delivered sales training for over a million salespeople worldwide. Here is what you should consider.

This tool can help you and your employees learn more about personality styles, paving the way toward improved communication. Read on to learn more about the different DISC assessment styles and communication practices that work with each.

There are two ways to find great sales people—either they come to you (“active” candidates) or you approach them (“passive” candidates). In this article, we will first look at the process of responding to a candidate who comes to you. They are actively seeking your opportunity.

Many parts of the sales management process are outside of our control and even outside our sales team's control. When managing your sales team, focusing your efforts on managing behaviors rather than outcomes.

The four primary components of sales management:

  • Supervisor
  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Mentor

Even the best performers improve with practice and coaching. The world's best athletes don't rely only on their raw talent or even the skills they develop on the playing field.

Is your salesforce not performing? Too much turnover? Are your best sales people leaving for greener pastures? Our labor marketing and workplace culture for salespeople is changing, and organizations that are able to tap into this newly engaged, passionate workforce stand to gain market share and success for years to come.

Some managers attempt to “manage” all aspects of their salespeople’s activities. There is a middle ground, however—a strategy that keeps your sales team focused on the required day-to-day activities without having to scrutinize their every move. The foundation on which a middle-ground strategy is built is a set of distinct goals.

Anyone can become a salesperson. There’s no real barrier to entry and no barrier to continuing a career in sales. As with most professions, anyone can become a “subject matter expert,” but that does not automatically make that person a good salesperson.

Management success lies in being able to pull your employees together so that they work as members of a seamless, successful, powerful team that is more than the sum of its parts. How can you guide your employees into forming this kind of team? Let’s examine some of the ways in which we can take lessons from the most successful college basketball teams in the country, and tuck their skills into your own management toolbox.

Successful sales managers know that an environment of fear and pessimism never allows for their team’s best performance. Your attitude as a leader, mentor, coach, trainer and sales manager will greatly influence the results of your team. Salespeople who are empowered, motivated and encouraged to pursue opportunity and abundance will find ways to succeed where others never will.

The words "manager" and "leader" are often used interchangeably. But there's a difference in these two roles, as well as the workplace environments they create and the results they elicit. Put these 10 best practices to use to increase the effectiveness of your management style and see positive results in your workplace and employees.

You might reason that with the appropriate education, training, direction, and encouragement, any one of your sales team members can become a top performer—a “superstar.” Is that true? It’s likely that everyone has the ability to improve. But not everyone will become a superstar, regardless of the resources and opportunities made available to them.

The Monday morning blues do not have to be a part of your work environment, and cultivating a positive atmosphere around your organization can be a fantastic way to drive the business forward. In the spirit of March and 'expect success' month, here is what all professionals should know about the power of positive thinking in the workplace.

As the first quarter comes to an end, it’s appropriate to review your department goals and measure your progress. Will your sales team hit the quarterly benchmarks for your department’s strategic initiatives? Have they made significant headway? Or, have they fallen behind already?

If you want to measure productivity in your customer-care providers, measure their bias toward action before you hire. Taking action is a quality that says, “I must do something, so I’ll quickly assess the situation, decide on a path, and do something myself.” Rather than wait for the customer to call back, a bias toward action says to reach out to the customer first. A bias toward action is the proactive ingredient in customer care.

Many sales managers attempt to manage their salespeople by “managing” their numbers. You can track numbers, but you can’t actually “manage” them any more than you can manage the weather. But, it is from the observation and analysis of the numbers that you can identify pathways for improved performance.

The road to a successful sales career is filled with disappointments, rejection and uncertainty. If all you have is the willingness to put up with those things then you’re 99.99% of the way there. So, what attributes does a person need to have to be successful? Here are the top 3 that I recommend you look for when interviewing someone for your business.

As a manager of people, you know and understand the challenge of the "new" workplace. The reality of four generations working side by side is fraught with obstacles that threaten to derail productivity and hinder progress. Before you pop another antacid and check again to see if it's time to cut a trail home, take heart in knowing there are ways to be an effective manager in a workplace made up of the Silent generation, Boomers, X'ers, and Millennials. The first step is acknowledging each generation has its own preferences, expectations, and strengths.

A leader's only valuable is their time, which is too often wasted on activities that don't generate a good return. A leader's number one asset is their people, which are too often left to waste with no clarity around expected behavior or a path to advancement in their organization. To make the best use of their only valuable and achieve the greatest return on their number one asset, Sandler recommends a leader invest at least 50% of their time each week with their direct reports, splitting their time amongst the following four activities.

If you manage a sales group, own a company, or are in sales, you know this to be true: Behind every great salesperson (and sales team), is a great manager. Without strong leadership and a clear vision, even the best sales teams will not accomplish what they are capable of. If you're the manager tasked with hiring sales people and growing a team, ask yourself this, "Do I have the right practices in place to create our next superstar?"

Finding a super talented sales person will probably require you to not only shift your hiring criteria, but also to shift your thinking about the process. A good place to start? Stop depending on resumes. A resume is best used for understanding some of the facts: where they've worked; how long they worked there; and how they view their accomplishments. A resume will never tell you the real truth about how successful a candidate has been.

The holidays are a time for festive songs, exchanging presents, feasts with friends and family— and the end-of-the-year crunch at work. Given the number of distractions facing employees this time of year, combined with the stress to finish the year well at work, it is no wonder that productivity can take a plunge. Rather than cracking down on employees and alienating them, or just giving the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year up as lost, there are a few tricks that employers can use to keep everyone focused and successful.

As you begin to look at the right criteria, you'll want to consider which is more important…industry experience or relevant sales experience. This is a tough one but I would encourage you to suspend your disbelief for the moment. Of course, in an ideal world, every qualified candidate would hit the bull's-eye. Their resume would run the gamut: proven sales background; a strong, well-developed sales skill set; and to top it all off, experience in your industry selling to the same customers as you. While it's not impossible to find this person, it can be time consuming and not always the answer to your prayers.

Like most business owners, you can probably tell at least one horror story about a sales hire. After a great interview, fabulous references, and excellent experience, you thought your new rep was the answer to your prayers. But six months down the road, you're still not seeing results. Before long, it's clear that the superstar you thought you hired is falling short of your expectations. What went wrong?

Sales managers recognize that a primary part of their jobs is to keep their sales teams productive. But, keep them happy! Is that really part of the job? Yes. Salespeople may be thankful for having a good job, but happiness is another dimension of the work experience—an important and often overlooked dimension. When jobs are scarce, people will put up with a lot to keep their jobs. But, as opportunities emerge, those who are not happy will be ready to move on to meet new challenges and find opportunities where they can make better use of their abilities…and be happy.

Supervision emphasizes the use of authority. Coaching places more emphasis on persuasion, planning, encouragements, and repetition as a means of improving performance.

Are your salespeople on track for hitting their sales goals? If they are: Congratulations…to you and to them. If they are not: What are you going to do about it? The clock is ticking. How are you going to motivate your salespeople (or at least those whose numbers aren't up to par) to pick up the pace…to knuckle down and do what needs to be done before time runs out?

When someone hands you a business card and says, "you should call this person", it's not really a referral. Without more information, it is more like they're sending you on a cold call. Cold calling is way down the list of favorite prospecting activities for most salespeople, and sometimes that frustration can spill over to referrals.

You stand in front of your sales team and announce a shift in workplace policies, or privately mention that a client wants to go in another direction with their account. Immediately, your salespeople cringe.

Managers who fail to control gossip can lose their best performers. 

Sales meetings can help you win more business, but if not handled well they can cost you time in front of prospects. 

A good manager understands that disciplining employees is part of the job, but a great manager recognizes that discipline is not synonymous with punishment. To prevent future problems in the workplace and improve your management skills, implement these respectful employee disciplinary steps.

While motivation and discipline are on opposite ends of the management spectrum, managers need to provide both to lead a team successfully. Try implementing this balance using the following methods to build a stronger, more effective sales team.

With more than 500 million people on Facebook and 100 million on LinkedIn, social recruiting has quickly surpassed traditional methods for finding the best candidates. Because of this shift, it is important to have a guide to navigate the ever-changing landscape. Use this tool to start your social recruiting search and connect with hundreds, even thousands, of the most qualified candidates

When workplace productivity flounders, it is easy to give in and let the sluggish behavior drag out, leading to flat or declining results from the staff. If you notice a lazy attitude taking hold in your office, a quick response can save your office and refresh the staff's energy. Stop sluggish behavior from occurring with these tips for increasing workplace productivity

They say that time heals all wounds, but in the sales industry, time kills all deals. To keep leads warm, especially during notoriously cool selling months, sales managers need to create a smooth handoff between the marketing and sales teams. Use these tips to keep leads warm and close the sale more easily.

What does a company need to be successful? Many people would say investors and a solid business plan, but in addition to these important factors, a company needs effective managers.  If your company suffers from lackluster sales, take a look at the management behind the team. You may discover that effective management makes all the difference for a successful sales force. Here are a few reasons why solid management is absolutely crucial to sustaining a great sales team

Think you have got the perfect sales team? No matter how successful your group, every team has room for improvement. Whether your team falls flat in a specific area or they lack motivation, putting the time into improving faults helps create a more cohesive, successful sales force. Work together and follow these 5 simple rules to build a strong, effective, and eventually more profitable sales team.

Many leaders, especially if they were promoted from within, struggle with performance management. Not because they are bad leaders, but because they easily slide back into "doing" instead of "leading".

How often do you debrief each of your salesperson’s calls together? And how do you conduct your debriefings? A debriefing needs to be more than just asking how the call went and what are the next steps. Regular debriefing helps your sales team learn a system for debriefing, so they are able to do it themselves, and learn from their mistakes.

Although teamwork is frequently the most efficient way to complete a big project, many managers struggle to lead a cohesive team. Managing individual employees along with the broader group dynamic brings confusion to team projects, causing the work and your team management capabilities to suffer. Tackle teamwork problems before they come up with these 25 tips for becoming a more effective team manager.

No one likes being told that his or her work is lacking but, as a manager, relaying this information is a fundamental part of your job. The manner in which you deliver constructive criticism, however, determines whether you are simply a manager, or a great team leader. Yelling and belittling your employees will prevent them from appreciating or trusting your leadership abilities.

Being a manager that is both well respected and effective in the workplace is a difficult balancing act. While it is important to keep your employees happy, you also need to ensure that their work is still producing results. The first step in managing effectively is to recognize the problems you may be inadvertently causing. Here are five common mistakes and possible solutions to keep your employees thriving in the workplace.

Managers often get caught up in their day-to-day activities, and forget to focus on their employees. Getting caught in these leadership traps can be a drain on resources and cause your leadership to be questioned or dismissed. Focus on the positive changes you can make as a manager and you will see a positive response from your team.

Salespeople are often viewed as individuals who hold themselves accountable. Accountable to getting up and out every day and pushing themselves to get to the next level.  They are most often seen as doing things that others don't want to do. They hold themselves accountable. What's the reality? It's not always that easy. Many salespeople would say (my educated guess) that holding themselves accountable is one of the toughest things they face

No matter what your definition of leadership is, being an effective leader is something every manager struggles with. Managerial skills are often picked up over time and with trial and error methods. You may learn that techniques that worked perfectly in one office failed miserably at your next managerial position. While leadership is in no way a perfect science, a good way to judge what works is to listen to the experts and top business managers.

Effective leadership is not something that you achieve, but rather something you develop and change throughout your life. There's no substitute for experience, but thankfully you can borrow from others' knowledge to improve your own. That's where reading comes in handy. These best-selling books offer useful resources for maintaining your edge as not just a manager, but as a respected business leader.

A leader's most important task is to create clarity for themselves and their organization. Without personal clarity life satisfaction decreases and complacency sets in. Without organizational clarity productivity suffers and turnover increases

The traditional corporate structure in the workplace is ready for a change. With Millennials entering the workforce, there is a resounding call for a structural shakeup. These young professionals have a lot to say and they want to have their voices heard. Successful companies are noticing this. Instead of paying attention to only GPA's, they are looking for critical thinking and problem-solving skills in new hires.

In the past ten years, Millennials have been entering the workplace more than ever. While some may still view Generation Y as overeager interns, these developing leaders are becoming the future of successful business. And while it is easy to view a younger generation as lacking in knowledge and experience, the truth is Millennials have a lot to offer. Here are five ways this technologically advanced generation has the ability to bring new life and energy to a workplace:  1. Gen Y Believes In Transparency & Equalit

Many seasoned sales managers today are facing a common challenge: how to lead, motivate, and inspire young Millennials on their sales teams. This generation, which will make up roughly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce in 2020 and 75 percent of the workforce in 2030, has already garnered a reputation for being difficult to manage by traditional standards.

Understanding when to take a coaching approach over a managing mentality can make a huge difference in your effectiveness as a leader. To be an effective leader you need to master both leadership styles; the key is to know when to wear which hat. When you're managing, you're often organizing a project, providing instructions, outlining the end goal for your business, and you may find yourself being more directive and task-oriented

Take a look at your workforce. Chances are high that it's generationally diverse, with Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials working at every level. That last cohort – Millennials, Gen Y, Generation Next, etc. – has been the subject of boundless research and discussion in the past 15 years. Often when older generations discuss younger ones, the context is negative and may include words like entitled, unmotivated, and tough to manage. As a leader, when your young Gen Y employees aren't meeting your expectations, it's easy to tag the issue as a "generational defect."

It's a fact: most organizations need a killer sales force. Business development, marketing, must-have products or services – these are all essential to meaningful revenue growth. But your sales team is the heart of production. Your salespeople are the ones championing your offer and driving precious profit. Your team should be the best it can. Period. But how do you build a successful sales team? Buckle up, because it's no easy task. As long as you follow these seven essential steps, however, you'll have a team of sales all-stars under your belt.

Managing a team of sales reps with various motivations and egos is no easy feat. And if you're a sales manger, you know that it can be a complicated and sometimes challenging role that requires a number of management skills to be successful. At Sandler Training, we've discovered that highly effective sales managers possess a set of skills and characteristics that make them stand out from the rest. So how do some sales managers continually lead successful and goal-oriented sales teams while others repeatedly hit roadblocks and obstacles

Want to hear a troubling statistic? The US Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire costs your business 30% of that employee's potential year-one earnings. This is a conservative estimate, too. It's difficult to calculate the loss incurred when you hire the wrong person for your business. Every manager and business owner has dealt with bad hires. Maybe they started out seemingly stellar, fitting your company culture seamlessly and producing exceptional results. Or, maybe you were in a rush to fill seats and let bad seeds slip through without proper vetting

When you hire new managers, you are giving these individuals the opportunity to lead, supervise, mentor, and motivate others and their ability to do so makes a huge impact on your company's overall success.

Sales slumps happen. They are guaranteed to hit and, when they do, they put intense pressure on your team to perform. You, as a sales manager, should be prepared to lead your team out of the doldrums effectively and efficiently. We've identified 6 things exemplary sales managers do to drag teams from the muck. There's no perfect solution to sales slumps, but these techniques will help mitigate damage and keep your staff afloat through the toughest times.   Identify and address problem

A new survey from Sandler Training put the red pen in the hands of American employees, giving them chance to "grade" the performance of their manager. The results were passing, but not exactly good enough for the refrigerator.

All good things must come to an end, especially in the world of sales and staffing. Whether all-star performers are leaving for retirement reasons or new opportunities on the horizon, the thought of finding someone who will deliver the same results and fit in the culture can seem daunting. Rest assured though, it's not impossible. With some planning and putting a few processes in place, you'll be well positioned to celebrate the departing team members and welcome the new ones.

It's a common notion to believe that leaders at different levels should have a different set of skills. However, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of the leadership development consultancy Zenger Folkman write in Harvard Business Review that leaders should be practicing the same core skills that have driven them from their first day in the workforce, no matter how high they rank.

Imagine a business is like a rock band. And every business has a drum rhythm at which it operates. The drumbeat is consistent, dependable, and stable.The most beautiful music is made when all the instruments play in harmony to the drum's rhythm. It's not always easy.

Companies look to thrive and grow. In preparation, leaders work with their teams to identify the bottlenecks, roadblocks, and/or weaknesses that will keep the company from exploding with success. We start by asking "Why" five times to arrive at the root of the bottleneck. From there, it's time to dedicate resources to put things back into motion and proper flow. Option One: Exploit the weakness.

Playing the role of the interviewer is no simple task. While you might not be the one in the hot seat, the words that come out of your mouth can be equally as important. There are interview techniques that some of the best recruiters and HR professionals utilize when looking to fill positions with the most qualified candidates. Encourage the candidate to think differently and creatively when they're interviewing. For many candidates going through the job search process, interviews become monotonous. Interviewers need to go against the grain to truly get to know a candidate.

Being promoted to your first role as a manager can be exciting and empowering, but the skills needed to be a successful manager don't always come naturally to everyone. It can be extremely difficult to navigate the ins and outs of a new role, especially one that puts you in a position of authority and requires you to start managing your some of your friends and peers.

As a manager, executive or owner, the only valuable you possess is your time. To successfully manage your time and grow your business, ask yourself the following question daily: "Does 'it' advance my business?" ("It," being whatever activity you are doing or about to start.) Let's take a look at several examples, which might resonate with you. Activity – Understanding your direct reports' personal goals Does it advance my business? Absolutely

We consistently have organizations coming to us for help with hiring the right talent. Over the years we've learned some pretty important lessons around interviewing sales people. Here are three common interview pitfalls you should try to avoid. Mistake 1: Interviewing the resume

Here's a quick acid test of your hiring-to-turnover ratio. How often are one of these phrases heard in your company? - I'm not a micro-manager. - I hired them to... - They know what they're supposed to do... If our business world was homogenous then those phrases would be correct because every sales job would be exactly like every other sales job. Every expense filing procedure would be exactly the same at every company and every role would have exactly the same weekly behavior expectations

It's estimated that the cost of recruiting, interviewing, hiring and onboarding a new salesperson costs a company between $75,000 and $300,000 per rep. Unfortunately for most companies, their onboarding program contributes directly to those new reps leaving. Let's pretend we're watching a newly hired rep; we'll call him Greg. Greg was highly successful with his last company where he sold to the same type of prospect as his new employer but to different contacts. Greg's manager believes that his contacts from his previous company will generate warm leads to his new prospects

As a manager, your most valuable asset is your time. In Part 1 of "An Alternative to Traditional Performance Management" you learned how to get time back in your week by implementing a 3-part performance management system: funnel management, a weekly behavior plan (a.k.a., "cookbook") and a personalized development plan. In Part 2, you'll learn a system for reducing your time spent on, and your team's anxiety about, their performance review

Like a coach in pro sports, your primary function as a manager is to improve the performance of your team. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to performance management may have initial success, but are difficult to sustain. When distilled out of their packaging traditional performance management looks like

Even if you're not hiring for the CEO role at a high profile tech company, bad recruiting can negatively affect morale, productivity and customer relationships. Typically, bad recruiting comes down to no real recruiting process, which can be as easy as answering these four questions

I love small businesses and their owners. I spend much of my day marveling at the great accomplishments of this hearty bunch of entrepreneurs who pursue their dream and formulate the backbone of our business society. They are the lifeblood of this country. there is a soft spot in my heart for the struggles they endure as well as the challenges they must overcome to succeed.

With the great economic storm over the last year, many businesses wisely pulled back into safe harbors for a period of time. In fact, those that failed to make adjustments and continued their course were likely wiped out or at least seriously damaged. Unwise use of credit and perhaps a bit of bad luck has taken its toll on many. However, perhaps you are one of those businesses that made the proper course corrections by making the difficult and sometime painful choices.

Small business owners tend to stay small because they do not install systems and processes into their business. Most owners want to hire "experienced" sales people. The mentality is to hire someone, teach them about their products and services, then expect the person to "go sell". What's the problem? If we hire experienced sales people, once they learn the product or service, they should be good to go, right?