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The Ruby Group | Akron and Columbus, OH

Management

Communication is key in any relationship. Whether that relationship is with your spouse, your peers, your children, or your employees, it always comes back to a transfer of information, honesty, and respect.

Dianna Booher is the author of 47 books, including Communicate Like A Leader, and founder of Booher Research. The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.

The new year is right around the corner and it’s filled with new opportunities and challenges. As we head into 2018, make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to lead your team to success. To be an effective manager, it’s important to fully understand your team dynamic. Below are five keys to doing just that.

With the start of basketball season this month, it’s the perfect time to focus on building a great team. The phrase “dream team” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s most commonly referenced when discussing the incredible collection of talent that was assembled by USA Basketball for the 1992 Olympics. 

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.

Make sure your people understand roles and responsibilities. Miscommunication and keeping people in the dark is probably one of the ongoing challenges for any leader. When you have projects, let's assume that project is going to do something very important for your organization and you've got the right people on the project. 

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. 

Welcome to Selling the Sandler Way, with your host Dave Mattson, the president and CEO of Sandler Training. He is a five-time bestselling author, speaker, trainer, and consultant to hundreds of international organizations. In this show, he talks to other Sandler trainers about the Sandler Selling System.

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.

The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler Training, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.

Let’s face it motivation, or motivating others is hard, especially if they are employees of yours. One of the most common things I hear from business leaders is “our people just need to be motivated.” Now, in all honesty, this may be a true statement. 

Change management is the systematic approach to transitioning from one environment to another through the reassignment of resources, business processes, budget allocations, or other aspects that significantly alter a company or organization.

Rule number 20. Mentor to a success profile. Create a success profile that people can grow into. Mentoring is where you're going to spend five to 10% of your time. It's a key aspect of leadership, but we don't do it often enough, so you need a process for it. 

Bill Bartlett, a Sandler trainer and author of the best-selling Sandler book, The Sales Coach's Playbook, talks about his best practices for coaching your team through an organizational change. Bill shares his attitudes, behaviors, and techniques for coaching in this special episode.

Rule #19: Train Your Team. Make sure they get the skills necessary to do the job. Listen leaders, training is one of the four hats of leadership. You're going to spend anywhere from 20 to 30% of your time in your training function. Now, do I train less or more if I have experienced people? Of course, that's why you have a 20 to 30% swing. The more experienced people that you have, maybe the less that you have to train in some of the basic stuff.

Rule #18: Create the Curbs on the Roadway. You know, too much supervision creates learned helplessness. Think about that as an example. Do you want to create learned helplessness on your team? Probably part of you does. The ego part of you wants everyone to ask you what to do next. 

Culture is a term regularly associated with offices and sales organizations. Employees working in a positive work environment feel that the culture better reflects their beliefs and values and, in turn, they are more effective, efficient, and fulfilled in the work they do.

You know as a leader, you're going to have many different roles throughout the day when you interact with your team and your coworkers. We call them the four hats of leadership. Those four hats are supervision, training, mentoring, and coaching. All four of them are equally as important. Supervision, goal setting, setting expectations, having daily conversations, sales funnel management. 

Rule #16: Follow the four Goldie Locks steps. Use middle ground management as your strategy. We have two different types of managers if we go to extremes. We've got those who are detail oriented, and they're looking over your shoulders, and they're micro-managers. Micro-managers create an environment where people are afraid to act on their own, where they're afraid to take that next step. That's not a good place to live. 

Joel Burstein, a Sandler trainer from Pittsburg, talks about his best practices for leading by example. Whether you are a first time manager or an experienced executive you are leading by example, whether you are intending to or not. Joel shares his attitudes, behaviors, and techniques for leading a team by setting a good example.

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?

In our constant pursuit to arm you with tools to become a sales master, we recently released a new book titled, Winning From Failing, by Sandler Trainer, Josh Seibert. While there are entirely too many teachings in the book to list here, below we have highlighted a few that encompass the essence of the book and are important takeaways for managers.

Rule #13. Be a comfort zone buster. There's no room at Complacency Inn. What does that mean? Well, have you ever run into a situation where somebody on your team was killing it? I mean doing everything that they had to do, above and beyond, things that they felt uncomfortable doing and things that they felt comfortable doing.  

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. 

Summer can be a challenging time for businesses. Reduced productivity from individuals going on vacations or taking time off can lead to slow sales. This common phenomenon is a subject we’ve covered before on the Sandler Blog, with tips on how to combat the slow season.

In this episode of Selling the Sandler Way, Dave Mattson, the President and CEO of Sandler Training explores the Sandler Selling Philosophies behind the Sandler Selling System with Rich Isaac, a Sandler Trainer.

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?   

“Just put me in coach, I’ll create miracles.”  That enthusiasm is great and can indeed have a strong impact on a sales team, but there are some common mistakes the new sales manager make:

Rule #5: Eliminate miscommunication. What was said? What was heard? Check before you respond. You know, every person has three recorders that were taping since they were born. We have a Parent, an Adult and a Child. Three roles that we still have today if you think about it. But these tape recorders were starting and stopping at different times. And it affects how you interact with your team and how your team interacts with their sales force, even today.

Holding your people accountable is simple. In working with sales leaders around the world, accountability isn’t easy because those leaders possess one of three self-limiting beliefs that cripple their accountability program.

If you were to Google ‘servant leadership,’ you would come across a list of traits that included some or all of the following; listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, building community, and nurturing. While each of these components are valuable, the sheer number of them convolutes a fairly straight forward ideology. 

Milt had missed his sales quota for three straight quarters. Maria, his new sales manager, had tried to get Milt’s previous manager, Bob, to share his thoughts on why Milt was consistently failing to hit his targets.

There are only 24 hours (or 1,440 minutes) in a day. What you do with those hours has a direct impact on your overall productivity and your career. From the cold calls you have to make to the internal meetings and client visits, how can you squeeze it all into each day without missing out? The way you schedule your time, the format of your meetings and even your approach to delegation are important. Your overall approach to time management can help you make the most of each day to ensure you have a positive impact on your career.

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.

2016 has been a year of many successes. Whether you are a sales representative, a sales manager, or simply interested in learning more about trending topics in the sales industry, we hope you have gathered some key insights from our blog this year. Before moving into 2017, we would like to take a look back and highlight some important topics from 2016.

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.

Leaders need to be involved in both strategic planning and team goal setting, but there’s a built-in problem here. Teams often tend to focus on immediate tasks, on “putting out fires,” and on familiar routines rather than the strategically vital organizational targets we set for the coming year.

The transition from employee to manager is tricky in any position, but it can be especially challenging in the sales department. The skill sets are different, and the boundaries can get blurred in sales. Whether you are currently a sales rep looking to advance your career into sales management or a newly minted manager trying to make the transition to leader, there are some important things to keep in mind as you evolve from one role into another. 

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.

Most managers wait until the end of the year to reflect on their sales team’s accomplishments (as well as the roadblocks, speed bumps, and detours encountered), analyze their findings, and identify areas for improvement in the coming year. That’s a good strategy. But, why wait until the end of the year. 

The very best people skills that candidates will ever employ are on display in the interview situation as they try to win a position with your company. If they don’t capture you there, do you really want them in front of your valuable customers?

There are a number of tools managers can use to keep office politics contained and relatively harmless. These tools focus on human behavior and team-building expectations, reminding everyone involved to keep functioning as a team instead of only worrying about their individual interests. They are most effective when used repeatedly and are supported by top-down messaging. It also helps that people become invested in the team's work, versus just “working” because they have to. 

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.

As a leader, you are limited. Limited physically, financially, emotionally, and mentally. You are limited by the amount of time in a day. I have seen countless leaders who tried to ignore this simple fact from time to time with devastating effects on their physical health, family, and mental health. There’s a limit to how much one person can do.

It can be tempting for companies and salespeople to coast through the slower-paced summer months. The seasonal slowdown will cause many organizations to just give up on the season, and save their goals for the months ahead when the pace picks up. Taking the time to lay the groundwork and planning now, however, can help you set up to have a fantastic fall, and lead to strong year-end results.

Either the sales manager defines and proceeds to implement a common approach to selling for her sales staff, or the sales staff is left to their own devices.

Within sales organizations, companies often perceive salespeople as a necessary evil, as opposed to an asset. If dollars and cents were attached to that asset, a company’s hiring practices may be taken more seriously and the loss of a salesperson may be seen as an expense.

Giving sales-related tasks their due diligence is part of growing your business. As business growth occurs, you have to divide your time amongst more tasks, more clients, more sales team members...you can see where this is going. The busier you get, the easier it is to fall into the trap of ‘busy work,’ or tasks that make you feel like you're accomplishing things but actually detract from business success.

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.

Many sales organizations get caught up in the details of educating or convincing their prospect to buy. Some sellers might even ask “What do we need to do to earn your business?” and worry about what they can do to facilitate the buying process. “What do you see as next steps?” is another common question that salespeople ask. These sellers lose sight of the fact that it’s the prospect that needs to do something for a sale to happen.

As business leader, you want to build your organization, which requires that you make judgment calls about the best possible candidates for various positions. While fantastic hires are wonderful assets that help to grow your organization, bad hires can drag it down, costing the company unnecessary money and potentially eroding the brand. 

If you’re not getting enough of the right candidates, then you must put the right behavior in place to source “passive” candidates. It’s not enough to just place a job ad and sit back. The fact that they are not explicitly seeking your opportunity presents a bit of a challenge; you have to approach them differently than you would an active candidate.

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?

A study conducted by Captivate Network found that, during the summer months, employees were 45% more distracted than other times of the year. Additionally, the study revealed that productivity in the workplace drops 20% in the summer months. When the entire group is affected by the summertime blues, it can be challenging to keep them motivated and focused on workplace goals.

There is no one-size-fits-all sales coaching model. There are only approaches that have been shown to be successful in particular situations. Acting as a coach, the manager must identify each salesperson’s personal “success code” – and use that code to unlock the salesperson’s potential for success.

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.

Let's face it; communication is one of the most important issues in the workplace. Good communication helps everyone on your team (and you) to feel heard and understood, and as a result, everyone benefits from a positive, encouraging and successful environment. Conversely, ineffective communication brings about the opposite results. Ideas fall flat due to lack of follow-through. You and your team feel frustrated, unacknowledged and misunderstood, and morale declines.

As the weather heats up, many companies begin to look with dread upon the impending summer slowdown. For brands unprepared for the upcoming lull, it can be a challenge to keep the company moving forward and productive during the summer months. With people in and out of the door due to vacations and time off, it can feel impossible to get anything done.

Do you ever wish you could be a fly on the wall of your local competitor just to see what they do behind the scenes to grow their business? What are they doing that you aren't? You might be surprised to learn that it’s not just how they get new customers or their product or service innovation offerings that make them successful.

There is no question that developing skills in time management and efficiency are critical to career advancement. The people who pull ahead and end up taking leadership roles, as well as the higher income opportunities are those who have repeatedly evidenced an ability to work at a higher level of productivity without more resources. In short, they work smarter, not harder.

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.

There is no one-size-fits-all model for developing salespeople! Every member of the sales team has an individual “success code” imbedded in them, and the effective manager must dial into it in order to unlock their true potential. Once selling skills and sales process have been taught and behavior expectations are established, the manager’s focus must be on raising the performance bar with an effective sales coaching methodology.

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.

Stress is a natural response of the body to challenge, fear, attack, excitement and other external stimuli that gets our heart racing and the blood vessels pumping. However, too much stress, which happens regularly in a stressful workplace, and the body starts to break down. It’s not a good formula for a successful career, no matter how hard a person works. 

Sandler Training released a new public and free podcast last week called, “How to Succeed.” It is an inside look at the attitudes, behavior, and techniques necessary to succeed at anything. Host, Mike Montague interviews Sandler trainers, authors, and experts about how to succeed at absolutely anything. You will learn how to get to the top and stay there!

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.

Recruiters and managers know how difficult it can be to fill an open position with a good hire. A variety of obstacles conspire to make finding the right person seem like searching for a diamond in a big pile of rocks. Once you find that perfect hire, get them off on the right foot by spending some time strategically plotting your onboarding process.

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.

Sales managers don’t manage salespeople. They manage winners, losers, and “at leasters.”

Some prospects hear their world, and if you don’t make music to their ears, not only will they turn the volume down, they’ll even shut you off.

A good sales manager will see when a salesperson is heading toward the rocks, and the natural instinct is to quickly paddle over, shout a warning, and perhaps even toss a line to pull the sale to safety. After all, the sales manager’s job is to see to it that sales are made, correct? Or is that the salesperson’s job? Whose job is it?

To understand the message you are daily delivering to your salespeople, you need to step outside yourself and look back. What you find staring at you might not be pleasant. It is, however, an important step to take should you wish to become more effective at communicating.

Part of dealing with failure is truly seeing it as an opportunity to grow. If you see failure as some sort of blemish on your abilities, you will then seek to avoid failure situations. Thus, if you never fail, how can you possibly grow stronger? You cannot. By establishing goals that make failure a learning experience, you can become a stronger salesperson.

Just as a salesperson ought to create a buying environment for a prospect, the same should occur with a sales manager and a salesperson. How you assist a salesperson in changing their behavior is by allowing them to see, hear, or feel what their behavior is like. If the goal is to “sell” them a behavioral change, what steps do you have to take to “close” them? It’s just like selling.

Consider for the moment where you meet your prospects or existing clients. If you meet them anywhere outside of your business base, you are meeting them on their turf. You must communicate to them that you respect their place of business.

By asking facilitating questions, you can help the salesperson discover her own problem and potential solution. While you may think you know exactly what the need is, you can never know for sure until you dig down and see what’s going on. And you dig by asking facilitating questions.

Many salespeople get into a mental rut with a prospect. “I’ve done everything I can do, yet the prospect won’t close.” It’s not unusual for this type of prospect to make up a majority of the prospect list for some salespeople. Once a salesperson gets into this “I’ve done everything” rut with a prospect, the prospect will shortly be scratched off the list as dead. No one enjoys “beating a dead horse.”

It’s very easy for a sales manager to commiserate with salespeople. Everyone loves to swap war stories or retell that special story that happened back when. One problem with commiserating is that it does not accomplish anything. So you swap stories. Other than maybe having a new story to tell someone else, what did you gain for the time spent?

Your involvement in solving a problem may be nothing more than finding the right person to solve it. Once you find the right person, you may need to assist him in seeing it as his problem. Make sure that the problem you need to solve is your problem and not a problem someone else needs to solve.

How rare is a salesperson who can comfortably approach an initial meeting with a prospect, knowing that there may be no business? Doesn’t this go against what every salesperson is supposed to believe, that every prospect can be a close if you are good enough to beat down the objections?

Nobody likes starting over again, which is precisely how many salespeople feel when their contact moves on to somewhere else. The first thought that flashes in their mind is that “just when I get her on-track, just when I can depend on steady purchases, zap. Gone. Why did she have to disappear?”

When do most salespeople ask for a referral? Well, if they even remember to ask for a referral, it usually is right after the prospect has bought. And what is the usual new-customer response? After a moment or two of a vacant stare, nothing. And what is the usual salesperson response? “Well, if you think of anyone, I’d appreciate your mentioning my name.”

Would it not make more sense for a sales manager to ask a salesperson where do you want to be in three years? Use this as a starting point from which the salesperson works backwards to today. Instead of asking did you meet your sales goals this month, ask what did you do this month to reach your three-year goal? By taking this approach, you are bringing the future into focus relative to her actions today.

All conversations, including sales presentations, have naturally occurring lulls. During these lulls, many different things occur. Some lulls are used to figure out how to phrase what comes next; others are used to review what has been said; still others are used to make decisions and carry them out. A lull in the conversation is not a sign to a salesperson that something must be said. It is a sign to wait until it is appropriate to start talking again.

Unless the salesperson is totally oblivious to their behavior, they know how they're acting. What is gained by a sales manager recounting the incidents? Nothing. In fact, a recounting only encourages the salesperson to provide their side of the incidents as a defense. Are you interested in their defense or rather in changing their behavior?

Salespeople, if their performance as a group is not meeting a predefined level, will band together to find a common rationale to explain away their lack of performance. While the rationale may or may not make sense, the banding together happens almost 100 percent of the time.

When you hear “verbal shorthand,” always ask for clarification. If the salesperson cannot explain what the shorthand means, without resorting to more shorthand, then you most likely have a salesperson who is also not communicating to prospects and customers.

What’s an absolute? Words and phrases like: always, never, everyone, at no time, and so on. Why do prospects and even salespeople use them? Simple. To avoid the messy problems associated with being specific.

The answers to “what” questions are steps that can be taken. The answers to “why” questions are rationalizations. Which one moves you toward managing salespeople?

Answer this question—from the customer’s “time to buy again” cycle, are you selling the same product today as the company sold 10 years ago? Twenty years ago? You may be tempted to answer “Definitely.” Reconsider. Car dealers are still selling cars, but twenty years ago, if a car lasted 50,000 miles with proper service, it was a miracle. Now cars routinely go more than 100,000 miles. Does this affect the “time to buy again” cycle?

Prospects, unless they have been hiding under a rock for the past 15 years, have so much more information available to read, see, and hear than ever before. This information has been showing up in their offices long before the salesperson ever shows up. Then, when the salesperson does show up, what is the prospect’s point-of-view?

Learn what the “pain” is that is preventing the salesperson from doing what is expected. Just as with a salesperson and a prospect, you can only learn what the pain is by asking questions.

Something was done in the past that did not work. As a result, ever doing that same thing again is seen as a waste of time. The list of things that “do not work” is added to over the years and handed down from sales manager to sales manager. The handing down to the newest sales manager usually happens pretty early in the new manager’s tenure.

Goals must be set individually. While one salesperson might be able to get 10 referrals from 10 current customers, another in the office might only get 5 referrals from 10 customers. If the first salesperson’s goal was 10 referrals and the second’s was 5 referrals, they both achieved a 100 percent.

The old saying that “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” might apply here. I could pick up the phone and call all my customers and get referrals, but I need to read this product literature. I could teach my salespeople how to make referral calls anytime I want, but at the moment they already have a lot to do.

How you stay in touch with your customers depends largely on how many you have and where they are in relation to you. However you stay in touch, do so in a personal fashion.

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?

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.

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. 

Understanding the importance of various accounts helps sellers sort customers and prepare for the next appropriate step in a relationship with the client.

At 7am on Monday, Paul strode into the conference room and found, as he expected to find, all of his salespeople seated around the table. For the past six months, there had been a steady downslide in monthly sales figures. Worse, the margins were slipping even more. Most disturbing was the performance of his three top salespeople; while their monthly totals had remained the same, the margins were even worse than his poorest performing salesperson. As he reached the head of the table, his only thought was that “It’s time to kick some butt.”

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.

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

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.

 "Two heads are better than one." We've all heard the old adage encouraging teamwork, but what does working together really do for you? Salesmen thrive off healthy competition, but sometimes the use of teamwork in the workplace is a better answer for winning sales. Here are six ways that teamwork benefits you in the workplace.

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.

Unavoidable conflicts often arise when you work on team projects. Coworker's differences can contrast sharply to your own, creating tension within the group. These differences are not necessarily a bad thing, though. Healthy constructive criticism helps create diverse methods of thinking and solutions to difficult problems.

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.

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 fast-paced world and today's salesperson needs to be one step ahead of the prospect and working as efficiently as possible. In addition, we're more connected than ever and clients and prospects expect quick turnaround times and faster response rates. While it may seem like there aren't enough hours in the day, there are more than enough apps available to us to help us manage our time, stay on task and find even greater success. Here are a few free apps that Sandler Training's associates and clients use often in their everyday life

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.

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.

Nothing lasts forever, right? While it may seem pessimistic, having a plan for dealing with a client's departure is sound advice when it comes to maintaining business and clients. We spend so much time building solid, trusting relationships with clients that it can come as quite a blow when news hits that your client contact announces they're leaving their current position.

The question is a bit of a puzzle. Ideally, there would be a reference book that lists, by industry, how much time you should invest in prospecting activities. Unfortunately, there's no reference book. Why? How much time you invest will depend on the number of prospecting activities you plan, the nature of the activities, and the intended results of the activities

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

A mistake too many salespeople make is not keeping in touch with former clients. It's not uncommon for past clients to come to a point where they need your product or service again but don't remember how to get in touch with you. They are more likely to have your competitors' information handy. (Your competitors are still calling on your client even though you are not).

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

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

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.

Spend some time in the psychology or self-help section in any bookstore and you'll find hundreds of books written on transforming troubled relationships. Whether husband/wife, parent/child, friend/friend or employer/employee, they dominate the shelves promising THE magical solution to resolving any issue imaginable. If you're in sales, what about the buyer/seller relationship? The same elements that make any relationship thrive also apply to developing and strengthening bonds with our prospects and customers

Recently I was working with a company's executive team in reviewing the progress we had made together in solving a longstanding, difficult problem that had stunted their growth for years and slowed their momentum. It was rewarding to see their excitement as we reviewed the results of our efforts together. It was a good team meeting and an encouraging feeling to share our successes. I should have left well enough alone, yet I recognized that the true learning and best growth had not gone far enough. I posed three follow-up questions:

I don't like emails! Thought I'd get that out on the front end so there's no mystery as to where I am heading. Now you're wondering what in the world has happened. What did he do wrong? What caused such a negative reaction to something as simple, routine and harmless as email

Today's business is focusing on something that champion athletes have always known: the right combination of training and coaching will help achieve greatness. It's not enough to have a superior product or service. You must have the skills to get that message across to your prospects. Training imparts the knowledge critical for success in today's competitive economy.

As a sales trainer with Sandler Training, I spend a lot of time talking to my clients and I get paid to work with them in four areas of their business: Strategy, Structure, Staff and Skills. Because I spend hours talking to them, I learn quite a bit. And despite that fact, they still manage to surprise me with the questions they ask me.

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?

It's March Madness time, which I enjoy, but not always for the same reasons my friends do. Because I'm in sales, it's fun just to watch the teams execute their strategies and then try to figure out how these strategies apply to my own profession. And what stands out, season after season, is how predictable the plays have become and how easily they can be countered