Leadership, Motivation, Sales Techniques

Looking back at over 500 sales..

Sorry there has been no post for two weeks I have have been busy wrapping up my role at Reward Gateway.  After 8 amazing  years, it is time to move on. I worked with some great people and we had fantastic results I am very proud of.

In my time I closed over 300 new clients and was involved in over 500 sales. On my last day, I had a chance to sit down with my friend and CEO, Glenn Elliott and talk about the last 8 years. We discuss my favorite memories, sales tips, how the industry has changed, and my plans for the future. We really enjoyed recording this so I wanted to share with you all.

Leadership, Motivation, Sales Management

6 secrets to building a winning sales team

Managing a team of sales professionals is one of the hardest jobs in any business. You have a group of guys and girls that will, no doubt, be a mix of talent, skill and ability. That is just your starting point. Then you have to lead, manage, motivate, engage and coach this lot. Throw into the mix what they have to deal with the day to day… huge highs and lows of being in sales. It is not like finance or product teams where they can just put their heads down and finish their task or project with fewer interruptions or curve balls. It is a whole different ball game. So when you put all this together with the pressure of sales and delivering a number it’s a big job, and a very hard one to get consistently right.

At Reward Gateway (which was Asperity), we went from doing less than 250k per year in 2007 to £2.9M a year in 2011, just in new business. Recently a VP Sales asked me what the secret was behind this. He was looking to make 5 new hires while scaling and growing his SaaS business. The truth is all the things you naturally think of as being really important like Lead generation, CRM management, Marketing automation, Your Sales playbook and Pipeline Management are not the defining factors in high performance. Most VP’s of Sales can come into a business, work with the team and vendors, and implement these processes. What truly makes a high performing Sales Team is the other magic you put on top of this. Here are the 6 things that I feel are most important when building a successful sales team.

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Motivation, Sales Techniques

5 ways to stay consistently motivated in Sales

As a professional Sales Rep or Manager, you face many challenges and roadblocks on a daily basis and sales is always a rollercoaster. It’s easy to be motivated when things are going smoothly. You’re reaching contacts, setting appointments and closing deals. How do you stay motivated the rest of the time…when you are getting more no’s than yes’, can’t seem to fill your calendar and pipeline or when your quota seems unattainable? This happens to all of us.  Here are a few tips that will help.

Be positive

In sales, we all know you have as many ups as you do downs. Don’t focus on failures. It is better to focus on each success no matter how small or large. Always try to find the positive side of things. If you experience something that seems negative it is often a valuable learning experience that will make the next similar situation easier to work through. When you look for the positive and start with an optimistic attitude, you will find it makes everything run more smoothly. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” So believe that you can!

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Motivation, Sales Techniques

Sales Shake TV – Episode #1 is now live

I am excited to launch the very first episode of Sales Shake TV on YouTube. The format for the show is 4 questions each answered in just 1 minute so easy to watch on the go. It has been great to get so much feedback from you guys since I started the blog in February. A big shout out to David Sim, Tim Young, Tom Glason and Andre Butler for your questions.  I hope you enjoy the show as much I did filming it.

Sales Shake TV needs your questions on all things sales to work, so if you would like to feature on the show please email your questions here or tweet them to @TomLavery7 with the #salesshake. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel here.


Motivation, Sales Techniques, Sales Training

How to #GETUNSTUCK when your hot sales prospect is about to go with a competitor

There are times in sales when we get stuck every almost every day. The more we share and spread sales knowledge the more we can help each other develop and grow as sales professionals. I am delighted to part of the #getunstuck movement.  Please see my 60-second story below for more of these tips and to share your own story check out www.getunstuck.club

You put in a lot of effort contacting your hot sales leads and getting their attention. What do you do when you finally get ahold of them and they tell you that they are about to sign up with one of your competitors? How do you work through this so it doesn’t stop you in your tracks? Here’s my tip to get unstuck and win the business.

Have complete empathy with your sales prospect

They’ve gone out to market. They’ve gone through a whole sales process and you’ve landed on their doorstep at the last possible minute. So you just need to show that you really care and that you understand that to get your foot in the door.

Completely forget about your sales process

They’re at the end of the buying cycle. You need to quickly understand what they love about those competitors and why they’re thinking of buying so you can really show them what makes your solution the best.

Focus on your competitive advantage

So how do you push home that competitive advantage? First of all, demo the product and demo the parts that they’re going to care about very, very quickly. Get them on a free trial and get them using your product as soon as possible. And make sure that you provide them with some sort of competitive analysis so they can clearly see how you can help and how you’re better.  

I hope this helps next time you need to get unstuck!

Feel Good Friday, Motivation

What made you proud this week?

For this weeks ‘Feel Good Friday’ head into the office this morning, write up on your whiteboard ‘Feel Good Friday’ and encourage your team to write a sentence or two about something that made them feel good. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something they did, it could be something awesome they saw another member of the team achieve and they wanted to recognise it.

And don’t think you need to have ‘manager’ in your title to lead this activity. The job title is never a necessity to lead.  If you have the desire to inspire others instinctively then just do it and see how such a simple activity lights up the room before everyone heads into the weekend.

Happy Friday everyone.


Motivation, Sales Management, Sales Training

Is your new sales rep doomed to failure because of these 3 things?

Whatever defines your sales training program, there’s no question that training a new sales rep takes a huge amount of time. The question is, are there things going on outside of your training program that is going to be holding you and your new sales reps back from success and undoing all your hard work? Find out here:

Don’t allow your new reps to train with sh*t leads

A new rep comes in, they’re learning, so they get given the lowest value leads to start training with. I understand we’ve got to protect this month’s quota. But be mindful of  your definition of ‘low-value leads’.  I’ve seen ‘low value’ in terms of ACV get confused with the leads your sales team find hardest to convert, maybe due to size, sector, buyer etc.  I understand that makes them low value, but is that really where you want your new reps training?  We want our new reps building in confidence every day, it’s so important to their longer term success. I’d argue we want them selling to the best leads, the ones we are guaranteed to win, the ones that will make our news reps feel like they’re sales heroes. Whatever you do,  make sure you are balancing your short term sales goals with the speedy development of your new sales reps who will be helping you achieve the longer term sales goals.

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Motivation, Sales Techniques, Sales Training

The 3 things every sales professional can learn from Steve Jobs

It’s pretty even out there on the sales battlefield. Everyone has access to the same talent, great sales technology and even the product & feature lists aren’t miles apart from one competitor to another. So what truly makes you stand out?

I believe this quote from  Maya Angelou explains it perfectly.

“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel”.

Your textbook demo tour of all the product features won’t make your prospect feel anything on its own. The emotion that’s felt is in your delivery. The master of this and the guy who always inspires me is Steve Jobs. Whatever you think of  him you have to admire the way he sold his products in the late 2000’s.

He did 3 simple, but hugely effectively things.

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Feel Good Friday, Motivation

Are you in it for love or money?

I wrote a blog article earlier in the week on improving sales training with zero budget.  I talked about how important it was to love your own product to win business.  I mean really LOVE it, know it inside out, be a customer of your own product.

In the past, I’ve shown this clip to my sales team from Jerry Macquire. Rod Tidwell  can’t get the contract he wants because he’s showing too many signs he’s in it for the money and not in it for the love of the game.  Are you in it for the love of the game? Do you love selling? Do you love what you sell? Love can’t be faked, if you’re not, maybe its time to rethink the game you’re playing. And if that’s just a bit too deep for a Friday, then just watch the clip and enjoy it, it never fails to make me smile.




How to deal with lost sales opportunities

Whether your average sales cycle is one month or a year, it’s hard to deal with that ‘No’ when you’ve invested so much trying to win the deal, especially when your sales quota seems like an impossible task. We lose far more than we win, that is inevitable. What’s important is how you deal with the lost opportunities. Here’s my advice.

The business said no, not your prospect

It’s the company that rejected your product or service, not your contact who has been your champion through to the end, I remember this first and foremost. Build a great relationship with your prospect and when they become a real advocate of your offering, there is a good chance they will introduce your product or service at another company in their next role, this has happened to me many times. Leave a lasting impression on your sales prospect no matter the outcome.

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