Last week I had the privilege of joining a company’s management team and key salespeople for their annual leadership retreat held in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Join my friend Mark Hunter, special guest Billy Martin, Director of Sales Readiness at Salesforce, and me, this Wednesday, Feb 17th at 11:00 EST, 10 Central where the cool kids live. What to expect from this webinar:  Sales teams are time challenged, balancing the demands of the customer with the expectations of their company, often resulting in too many time critical activities being compromised. Beaver Coach Sales & Service proudly serves Oregon & Washington for all of your RV and Motorhome needs!
Browse our selection of Used RVs, Motorhomes, and Trailers For Sale in Bend, OR, serving Portland and Salem, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Redding, California. I’m in the midst of a month of hard sales leadership conversation after hard sales leadership conversation. The sales team is no worse than six years ago when business was booming; we don’t suck any more than we did when sales were great!
During the session I facilitated an exercise where the sales managers reviewed lists of their top-performers and those on the team who needed to be either coached up or coached out. After allowing me to hold up a giant mirror to share the common reasons that sales teams underperform (from Part One of Sales Management. In a nanosecond they agreed to convert their sales team meetings from boring, painful, inappropriate accountability sessions to a highly productive monthly meeting designed to energize, align and equip the salespeople. Sales managers committed to regular, monthly 1:1 meetings with each of their sales reps specifically to review results, the pipeline of sales opportunities, and activity (in that order!). I think partly because this company was big on behavioral styles (DISC) and understanding the natural tendencies and talents we each bring to work, they were very quick to agree that people wired like sales zookeepers who love to feed, nurture, cuddle with, and clean up after customers, are not likely to have much success picking up a weapon to hunt for new business. Find out why salespeople struggle to develop new business and how they can take back control of their Account Planning process (and their calendars!) to significantly increase revenue in less time. Whether you're looking bring some luxury and style to your favorite lake or campsite, with a used Thor Motor Coach Windsport, or want a great value on a used Forest River Crosscountry, perfect for hitting the road without leaving home behind, Beaver Coach Sales & Service has the Used RV, Motorhome, or Trailer for you! We proudly serve the areas of Salem OR, Portland OR, Vancouver WA & Seattle Washington.
It seems like in company after company we are tackling big topics and doing the necessary heavy lifting.


But I didn’t feel he was going far enough or truly asking the hard question that needed to be asked. So let me leave you with this challenge today: Look at the image I selected at the top of this post then ask yourself if the majority of folks on your sales team are sales killers who are wired to hunt down new business, or are they (like the zookeeper) nurturers who are most comfortable caring for existing relationships? What a relief (and treat) to hear so plainly from a CEO and his team where they’ve not been successful when it comes to sales, sales leadership, sales culture and sales talent.
Simplified.), they quickly came to consensus around the four of five issues most negatively impacting their sales culture and performance. Similarly, they easily acknowledged the opportunity cost from burdening their few true hunters with so much account maintenance responsibility that kept them from maximizing time spent pursuing new business. As a salesperson (and now as a consultant), the mood I’m in when arriving at a destination matters. They barely make time for weekly huddles, let alone a retreat to step back, connect relationally, and look at the big issues. I am grateful for how Southwest allows me (and salespeople everywhere) to do what needs to be done, and they make it as fun, easy and efficient as possible. For most of my career, flying on Southwest meant I was on a sales trip en route to visit with a prospective client or to increase business with an existing customer. I am happy to do it, particularly because I know from experience that very often, sales coaching alone is not going to move the needle.
And unlike so many of the companies I see, this particular company hasn’t experienced the post-2009 recovery that so many others have. Before we even get near an airplane, we’re subjected to long lines and high-ego TSA agents shouting warnings about liquids, aerosols and gels.
There are bigger leadership, cultural, strategic or talent issues that must be addressed in order to effect transformative change. I did some pre-work for the session and interviewed a handful of key people on the sales team, including one with 40 years at the company. I began flying Southwest 18 years ago, and continue to view the airline as an important resource for my business. We see full-size tubes of toothpaste confiscated from unknowing grandfathers, and young moms with toddlers and strollers treated with so little respect you’d think they were an enemy of the state.


But there were areas with significant room to improve, and their leaders were hungry to get outside perspective and help in those areas. During my days as a top-producing sales hunter, I intentionally pursued prospects in markets that Southwest served. He was a great guy with tremendous insight who also provided me with some pithy one-liners. There was plenty of demand and the typical reactive, route-running, relational sales guy did fine, sometimes more than fine. I was not only able to make more sales calls, but I would often bring along key associates to help with the sales effort because Southwest made that affordable and easy. You can tell they care about their company and their customers —  and turning airplanes around fast to get you where you need to be. I’m a fan of pre-booking flights far in advance to save money and to force salespeople to dedicate time for prospecting. There is nothing like buying a ticket for a sales trip a month out to help focus a salesperson on getting appointments! Just last month, a client president and I were booked to travel to a city Southwest doesn’t serve. A few days before this big meeting, we discovered that it didn’t make sense to see this prospect.
When I called to cancel the trip, the telephone agent was more than happy to let me know that my ticket was not refundable and that there would be a $150 change fee when I go to use the credit. That airline is telling me in a not-so-subtle way, that if my plans ever change, I’m better off flying with Southwest.



Miracle in the andes chapter 1
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