Lessons in Leadership: Choosing Priorities

time clock choosing priorities sales management trainingTime is a limited resource for everyone in sales. Learning how to manage time, eliminate time wasting habits, and prioritize successfully is a valuable skill for both sales managers and their team.

This Lesson in Leadership will help sales managers direct their team in uncovering time wasters and then in finding ways to minimize or eliminate them.

Everyone occasionally struggles with managing time these days. There seems to be so much to do and so little time to do it in.

Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Although, lately it doesn’t seem to be working!

Using time effectively can be a life-long pursuit. But, who really has the time to pursue it? As if you don’t have enough to do already, other people continue to bring you things they would like to see done as well. In the “hurry and get everything done” world you work in today, how can all of the priorities getting pressed upon you ever be satisfied?

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Client Spotlight: IDC Latin America Strengthens Its Management Team

“Our business is improving yours” and we’re pleased to see that another one of our clients, IDC Latin America, is improving.

International Data Corporation (IDC), a top market research and advisory firm for information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology companies, recently announced a round of promotions for IDC Latin America. Ricardo Villate has been promoted to Group Vice President; Jay Gumbiner is now Vice President of Research; Alejandro Florean is now Vice President of Consulting; and Filomena de Freitas is now Sales Vice President.

sales training and management training helps rapid changeThese veteran executives are being promoted because IDC is adapting and succeeding within a rapidly changing industry. IDC itself predicts that “2014 will be a year of escalation, consolidation, and innovation” for the computer industry.

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Lessons in Leadership: Developing Resources

As a sales manager, you may feel that you must have all the answers. Both managers and employees will benefit from developing resources. Resources help us answer questions and find solutions. Traditional information sources are one type of helpful resource. But we also find helpful sources of insight and feedback among co-workers and team members.

This Lesson in Leadership demonstrates how having a variety of resources at your fingertips can help you work more efficiently, find answers quickly, and develop promotable employees. It also demonstrates how to encourage this same habit in your team.

At work, where change continues to be our greatest asset and most unyielding foe, this statement means more today than ever:

A smart man isn’t one who knows all of the answers. A smart man is one who knows where to look for answers.

We all have a responsibility to become experts in our work and/or field. And yet, with everything changing so dramatically and quickly it is sometimes impossible to know everything about everything on the job. In some work groups the manager has become the primary employee resource for answering questions and solving problems. Unfortunately, when this occurs, a manager who provides all of the answers may unintentionally limit the versatility, growth, and satisfaction of his or her employees.

You can actually become happier, more productive, and less stressed when you develop a wide variety of resources that offer answers to questions, support when needed, and assistance during challenge.

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Lessons in Leadership: Mutual Commitments

Coaching is the ability to consistently demonstrate leadership competencies that accelerate individual and team development. Mutual commitments are a powerful developmental tool. As a sales coach or manager, you can use mutual commitments to develop employee focus and commitment.

This Lesson in Leadership demonstrates how to use mutual commitments to help your team members focus their attention and efforts on continuous self-improvement.

It has been said, “As much as some things change, other things stay the same.” Here is a concept that has remained true over time:

The most important stride toward success is a commitment to personal excellence.

Any person who wishes to achieve more than they already have must consider devoting a certain amount of time to introspection and self-improvement. Introspection is the most powerful, positive and personal development tool we possess as human beings and yet, we sometimes don’t use it when we could or should. Why? It could be we’re concerned about what we might see if we look too closely at the man or woman in the mirror. It could also be we’re so very busy running to and from the next activity or task in our attempt to tread water in the waves of ever-increasing expectations.

The fact remains: if we are ever going to achieve the potential of our talent and capability then we must also yearn for improvement.

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Lessons in Leadership: Successful Leveraging

This Lesson in Leadership addresses leveraging people for career success.

Sales managers experience success when members of their sales team experience both team and career success. Managers and sales professionals can collaborate to leverage each others’ strengths and create success together.

This Lesson in Leadership discusses how teamwork can lead to departmental and/or individual career success. 

In a world where expectations for performance continue to increase, this statement contains genuine value:

The easiest way to be successful in the future is together.

Almost everything of value any person may accomplish in life involves, at some level, other people. Depending on the area of life you’ve chosen to improve, achieving success may indeed include family, friends, co-workers or even us … your managers. Whenever two or more people work together to achieve a common goal, we call that leveraging.

The joy of success can actually be diminished when we don’t allow others to participate and help us. Why? Because we have no one with whom to truly share the joy. As human beings, our sense of accomplishment actually grows stronger when we know other people who care about us have witnessed the hard earned improvement or success. Plus, they in turn experience pleasure because in some small way they helped us to achieve our goals. Because they care about us they actually derive a certain amount of satisfaction from our successes.

lessons leadership successful leveragingA load is more easily moved when everyone pulls in the same direction.

As managers we ask all employees to accept personal responsibility for the work that they produce. We believe without the personal commitment from each employee to his or her job, higher levels of productivity may never be reached. What you may be unaware of is, we don’t expect you to travel this road to greater productivity and achievement alone. We’d like to help.

We win or lose … together.

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The Need for Sales Management Training: How Sales Managers Develop

The Typical Sales Manager’s Career Path Usually Lacks Sales Management Training.

One of the most common contributors to poor sales management leadership is the way that many sales managers end up in positions of leadership. Most sales managers have been called up out of the ranks of selling or promoted from some other business discipline because they were competent and respected as a highly successful individual contributor. Most are promoted without receiving any sales management training.

In a look at the typical sales manager career path, the Wall Street Journal explained that most sales managers start their careers as salespeople. After consistently meeting sales targets, “it’s possible you would be promoted to management, with a title like sales manager or territory development manager. The stakes get higher; you’ll now be responsible for a team and their numbers, not just your own.”

Unfortunately for the new sales manager who wants to do a good job as well as for the veteran manager who expects to leverage their experience to solve problems and increase revenue, there are a significant number of skills, tools, and processes specific to the sales management leadership role necessary for success. Continue reading…

Lessons in Leadership: The Greatest Gift

As a sales management leader, you know that effective communication accelerates job satisfaction, career growth, employee loyalty, and commitment to excellence by creating a culture that fosters greatness. One way to develop an elite high-performing sales team is to encourage self-improvement.

This next Lesson in Leadership focuses on encouraging self-improvement by providing four self-improvement steps.

This is one of the basic truths of life: The only real improvement is self-improvement.

No matter how badly someone else may want you to improve, if you don’t choose improvement for yourself, it won’t happen. Wouldn’t you agree it would be nice if we could make other people change? As an example, when a co-worker neglects to do something you feel he should have done and it causes more work for you. You might wish you could make him change. You might even bring the situation to your manager hoping he can make the co-worker change. Alas, your manager can’t make your co-worker change either. Even when he attempts to hold your co-worker or you accountable, changing is a personal choice.

Don’t misunderstand. Managers always hope every new employee will become successful in the company. They often use the latest technologies to hire new employees who have the highest probability of success. More times than not, though, an employee’s success on the job comes down to the attitude, desire, and tenacity the employee is willing to commit to work, as well as the team and his personal commitment to change and improve.

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Lessons in Leadership: Winning Behavior

Top sales management leaders set clear goals, standards, and measurements for the members of their sales team. One goal of performance coaching is to build MVP, or most valuable player, employees. Using MVP behaviors along with position descriptions, sales managers are able to produce results and improve team cooperation.

This next Lesson in Leadership shows you how to introduce MVP behaviors to your sales team.

We live and work in a world where we are all, at least to some extent, co-dependent.

Everything of value we will ever accomplish will in some way involve other people.

In many ways, a company is very much like a community. Regardless of our department we are dependent on others to perform their functions and responsibilities so our work may have true substance and value. The relationships we have with our co-workers, managers, and other departments can either enhance our opportunity for achievement and happiness on the job or hinder it. Many of us may actually spend more time with the people with whom we work with than we do with our own families. And yet in some cases, these work relationships are strained. This commonly occurs because of someone’s inappropriate or un-adult like behavior.

Indifference kills relationships.

Whenever an employee disregards the feelings or needs of his or her co-workers, the almost inevitable outcome will be relationship tension. If that tension is allowed to exist too long without being addressed or repaired the result can be a strained or broken relationship. There are many reasons for this difference in the workplace. We believe the most common catalyst for this irritable tension between co-workers is caused when someone doesn’t possess a broad enough understanding or concern of how personal actions and behaviors impact other people. If this condition exists in any employee, that person may feel it’s less important to consider the possible impact on others before taking action.

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Lessons in Leadership: The Value of Position Descriptions

Effective sales management leaders use behavior plus activities to get results. To use standards that produce results, the standards must be written, well-communicated, completely understood, and equally applied. Every sales manager has the perfect tool for these standards at their finger-tips. These tools are position descriptions.

This Lesson in Leadership communicates the importance of position descriptions for the individuals on your sales team.

Managers and employees have more in common than you might think. One of those commonalities is that we all depend on our work to provide an important source of income to support our families and ourselves in a lifestyle we feel is reasonable. Our current job also serves as the vehicle we expect to carry us into an even more rewarding business and financial future.

Good work today … fuels tomorrow.

Most of us work to earn the money needed to take care of our current financial obligations and hopefully pay for any future needs we may uncover. You may also hope that your current position will help to propel you towards some future opportunity within your company. Perhaps you plan to be a sales manager someday. The challenge is that unless you can perform your current role and responsibilities to everyone’s reasonable satisfaction, none of your income needs or future opportunities is likely to be realized. In other words, if you can’t successfully perform the duties of the job you have now, your future dreams and goals begin to run out of fuel.

Conflict is the mother of disaster.

Whenever there is conflict on the job, everyone’s work and life becomes more difficult. Even the simplest task can become arduous when things aren’t running smoothly and responsibilities are not being filled. Have you ever felt like no one at work was on the “same page?” Have you ever wondered why someone doesn’t create some guidelines to help you secure the outcomes you’d like to accomplish on the job? Do you ever ponder why someone doesn’t synchronize the team’s functions, align you more closely with the team vision and provide you the opportunity to clarify the expected results with your manager? Well, in most companies there are such written guidelines. It’s called a “Position description.” This document has also been referred to as a Job Description.

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Sales Leadership: Keys to Unlocking Consistent Improvement

In a world where change, organizational transition, and sales force transformation seem to be the status quo, some things remain the same.

One constant is the resolute expectation that sales managers continually improve performance. No matter how successful a sales team or selling organization is at the moment, there remains a need for continuous improvements in productivity and profitability. For a number of sales managers today, this call to achieve even more has become a stain on an otherwise spotless management career. And, according to numerous sales managers, the question is simple: “How do we get even more sales than we are currently producing?”

As a training and education company that offers both advanced selling skills and management leadership education and coaching; and having educated and coached more than 40,000 professional sales leaders; we have come to what we believe are some very credible conclusions. Consistent improvement requires 5 key components for success.

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