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Management & Leadership

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You cannot motivate anyone to do anything ever. Why? Because motivation is an internal force. It stems from personal responsibility and the individual believe they can control their own destiny. Your motivation cannot be transferred to them.

Even though leadership styles vary as widely as hair color, we can all agree that strong leadership is vital to a thriving, progressing company. The obstacle is knowing whether or not your company has strong, motivating leaders. Are your leaders respected? Do they recognize talent? Can they see the big picture? The answers to these questions are key indicators to your venture's long-term viability.

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.

The right administrative assistant can help any organization flourish. When people think about a successful business, they tend to focus their attention on the importance of good leadership, but the value of the people working behind the scenes cannot be underestimated. Administrative assistants can help keep everyone on task and prepared to progress.

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.

Your corporate culture will dictate everything from what your employees expect when they arrive in the morning to how you decide which new hire to select. It will influence employee morale, retention rates and job satisfaction. It is important for brands to build a culture that will positively impact their organizational success. 

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.

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.

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?

Maybe your employees aren't laying their heads on their desks, reading magazines during work hours, or calling in "cough cough" fake sick every Friday. Even without these obvious signs, they could still be disengaged with their jobs. If it seems your team members are sluggish and not electrified by their jobs, here are six can't fail ways to make employees feel appreciated, and re-engage them in their position.

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.

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?

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".

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

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.

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.

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?