Contact plan for Sales Managers

The rawest rookie sales rep gets coached by his or her astute sales manager to set up and faithfully execute a one-on-one personal-interaction-with-all-contacts-in-the-territory plan. Typically there’s a matrix with rows labeled Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annually and columns labeled Face-To-Face, Telephone, E-Mail.  (Or better still, the contact plan is baked into the CRM system with appropriate reminders.)

networkMany sales managers inspect how closely their reps follow this plan. Makes perfect sense. While nurturing relationships is far from the only aspect of the sales professional’s role, it’s sure as heck one of the most important.

But how many sales managers have a similar customer communication plan?

With the press of day-to-day business issues, fire-fighting and the myriad other items on the ToDo list, it becomes oh so easy to be too busy to communicate with customers.  Ouch… Would you as a sales manager accept one of those “explanations” from a member of your team? Double ouch…

Sales Managers Of The World! Put that customer communication plan in place and hold yourself accountable to it!

You can’t leave your brain in your pickup truck

Having been around the manufacturing industry for most of my career, I’ve seen a lot of transformation.  The biggest change in my view, has been the nature of the work out on the factory floor.  As Ray Attiyah, Chief Innovation Officer of Definity Partners and a colleague and client of mine always says,

“You can’t leave your brain in your pickup truck.”

The days of the mindless, dumb, dirty and dangerous manufacturing jobs are gone forever.  HOORAY!!!  Sadly, the reputation lags the reality.  Too many of us still perceive the factory worker as the low-skilled robot doing mind-numbingly repetitive tasks.  BOO!!!  And it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

So this Labor Day, let’s celebrate not only the resurgence of American Manufacturing, but also the resurgence of lots and lots of challenging jobs and careers bursting out of the industry.

Get even more perspective on American Manufacturing from Manufacturing Revival Radio and my friends at Definity Partners.

Love what you do?


I offer as Exhibit A, the above photograph.  Five middle aged (OK, so maybe two of us are a tad past that…) guys during a break from an all day internal strategy session.  There was hot debate, disagreement, arm waving and table-pounding both before and after the photo-op.

But take another look at the picture.

Looks like a group having a good time, doesn’t it?  That’s because it was a group having a good time!  A group still having a good time!  Yes, of course we take our business seriously.  Like you, we have customers to satisfy, bills to pay and dreams to fulfill.  That is, however, no reason to sacrifice the basic human need to have a job that’s fun; something to look forward to most days; something that’s deeply fulfilling.

While I won’t necessarily advocate pursuing the lunacy of starting up a media company and a bunch of radio shows, I will most aggressively advocate pursuing a job and career that consistently bring joy, excitement and fulfillment into your life. It’s the only way to achieve success IMHO.

And as a closing thought…

If you have a story to tell; an experience to share; a business-related rant to rant, send us a Guest Profile.  We can probably slot you into one of our shows.


Preventing heart attacks with data (…and the implications for sales pros)

During a recent interview on The Healthcare Insider, our guest talked about how his company’s software could literally prevent heart attacks with data.  At first blush, this might seem like something you’d hear from some slick-talking huckster.  It’s anything but.

correl6Think about having a data base that included daily tracking of things like weight, blood pressure, exercise, diet and family history.  Nothing more elaborate than that.  (In fact think about just how un-elaborate it is!)  Now let’s picture having that data for a few thousand people.  Using the equally un-elaborate “=correl” function in Excel, one could very quickly correlate that data to the frequency of actual heart attacks.  Armed with that insight, heading off heart attacks becomes vastly easier.

So what does this mean to a sales pro?

Well, heart attacks are no fun, so there’s that…  There’s also an equally un-elaborate way to apply predictive analytics to your sales process.

Think about having a data base that tracks, for each sales pro, the number of opportunities, $ value of each, how many move from each stage of your sales process to the next and how long that takes.  The very simplest, free, CRM systems can do that much.  Then go back to “=correl” in Excel to see what sort of funnel yields the most sales.

So simple, simple, simple.

Oddly though, there is tremendous resistance in the medical community to relying on predictive analytics. It’s just not the way physicians have always operated their practices.  But it’s really, really dumb of them to resist, isn’t it?  Once the heart attack prevention system is up and running, all kinds of heart attacks get prevented with virtually no additional effort required on the part of the doctor.

Do I really need to finish off the analogy for sales pros and CRMs?

Just so you know… (Beware the hidden sell cycle)

dreamlandmediaThe YPS Group has just expanded its long-time partnership with Dreamland Media and the Dreamland Radio Network. As part of our closer collaboration, we’ll be providing more insight to you – a lot more insight – into the strategic and tactical of use media to advance sales efforts and shorten sell cycles.

Why expand the focus on media?

Pretty simple really.  It’s the “hidden sell cycle.”  Depends on whose data you believe, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% of what used to be the total sales effort is now completed without any involvement of a sales professional.  I surely hope this is not new news to anyone.  It’s the internet.  Buyers can easily, and at their own pace and convenience, learn darn near everything they need to know about product and service to make an intelligent decision.

But can they learn about your “secret sauce?”  Your differentiation?  What sets you apart from all the others?

Hardly.  That’s where the new sales pro comes in.  But let’s be honest.  Wouldn’t a buyer who can learn 70-80% of what’s needed to make an intelligent decision via digital media prefer to learn the other 20-30% via digital media?  Duh…

How many of today’s sales pros are savvy enough with digital media to communicate even that “easy” 70-80% to prospects?  Are you ready to apply your skills and deliver your secret sauce to close deals using digital audio, video and images?  Are ya’?

Frankly, pretty much zero of us are ready.  Thus the expanded partnership with Dreamland.  So, keep the above logo in mind.  You’ll be seeing more of it as part of your subscription to this newsletter.  It’ll help you take all of your Sales Processing Engineering investments to the next level.  Plus it’ll be a heck of a fun ride.