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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
July 2014

Improve Your Sales Team to Boost Profits


Sales management, coaching and training can improve your company's sales and profits substantially.

What do you do with struggling salespeople? It's a broad-based issue that has burdened enterprise corporations and start-ups, small and mid-size businesses from all industries. Many CEOs and managers would rather give their struggling sales people too many chances to improve and bring their results up to company standards than make the needed steps to remedy the situation.


It's simply hard to know when to pull the trigger on firing underperforming sales team members when better sales management, encouragement, accountability, goals or training could be the difference in failure or success. Focus on these critical strategies to improve your sales team and meet your sales goals.


Hire a Great Sales Manager


If sales management and accountability is not your highest priority on a daily basis, you need a focused, aggressive sales manager. A professional sales manager is not only willing to engage the team but to hold them accountable daily, keep them focused on sales goals, make sure they are closing early and often, identify weaknesses and work directly with the sales team to overcome their challenges. Many companies make the mistake of promoting their top salespeople to manager position, but often the most skilled salespeople don't have the management skills needed to effectively guide a team short and long term.


Implement One-on-One Coaching


The first step to improving sales is talking directly to the team to assess the situation and find out what struggles they are facing. What makes their jobs difficult? What could they do better? What could they be provided with to do better? Hire a business advisor that specializes in sales, sales strategy, sales management and business growth and put in place a sales strategy and goals to ensure success.
Address your issues and problems head-on instead of ignoring them or delaying.

The cost of a) unproductive salespeople and b) lost sales opportunities are extremely costly - every month. Every company has the same opportunity to improve sales and profits, but it takes action and expertise to accomplish these improvements.


Sales Focus


Like with many aspects of business, focus is critical in sales. Ensure that you have a sales strategy with a focused set of offerings, defined target markets, manageable geographic territory, a solid sales process, sales CRM software, prospects assigned and sales goals by month for each sales team member.

Then, drill down into each sales team members' issues and daily work to truly understand what they are doing properly and not doing properly - this alone is a critical step.


Setting individual benchmarks can help put people on the right track to success. In some cases, changes will need to be made to the sales team as some are more willing to improve than others. A business advisor can be key to assessing and helping you with the changes and rehires.


Hire Smart


Your company's specific expectations should be communicated during job interviews so candidates know what is required. Test their skills during the interview process to force them to think on their feet and ensure you understand their level of closing skills.

Create monthly sales goals, and provide the job description and monthly sales goals during the interview process, as well as, attach them to your offer letter. Interview each sales candidate three times, check references and do a background check. Once you hire a salesperson, have a plan and training schedule ready to implement. Train and manage your new sales hires diligently and hold them accountable just as you do with the rest of your sales team. This will generate a return on your investment and increase sales to meet your goals.


At CEO Advisor, Inc., we have the expertise to evaluate your current sales team and make recommendations to improve their performance. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today to discuss your growth needs at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

CEO Advisor, Inc. Advises Label House on Sales Strategy, Marketing and Growth
Critical Skills for the CEO/Owner
The Wharton Business School newsletter, published by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania did a recent poll of executives and business owners. The results below show the four most important skills that would strengthen a CEO's performance.
Strengthening what skill would most improve your performance?
Leadership - 33%
Time Management - 28%
Negotiating - 22%
Understanding Your Financials - 17% 
1. Leadership
Leadership and execution is the key to success and achieving your goals. Leadership requires planning, organization, being proactive, having a crystal clear understanding of the business both financially (quantitatively) and operationally (qualitatively), hiring and managing people of multiple generations and cultures, and creating a culture of accountability to grow your business to the next level.
2. Time Management
Time management is the Achilles heel of most CEOs and small business owners. Not just managing time on a calendar and working 60 hours a week to keep up, but real strategy and planning to focus and structure your time to impact your business in a disciplined manner. CEO Advisor, Inc. works with its CEOs and small business owner clients to set goals and priorities, and truly excel in both leadership and time management.
3. Negotiating to Success
Negotiating is the Holy Grail in business - with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc. We focus deeply on negotiations using some of the top techniques used by military leaders and business people. Your sales team can benefit tremendously from sales training and negotiating skills training from securing the initial meeting to negotiating price effectively to closing large deals. Strengthening your negotiating skills can yield a 100X return on your investment. If you are not a master negotiator and salesperson, invest in your negotiating skills and prosper in 2014 and beyond.
4. Understanding Your Financials
If there is one New Year's resolution that every CEO and small business owner should commit to is gaining a thorough understanding of the financials of your business. If you don't, you are flying blind! This includes your Profit & Loss Statement (Accrual and Cash basis), Balance Sheet, Financial Ratios, creating a 2014 Financial Forecast, and learning to analyze and understand how to positively impact your Gross Margins and Net Profit, as well as, pinpointing early signs of problems. CEO Advisor Inc. spends the time to ensure every client not only understands but uses their company's financials in growing their business to the next level.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2520 for a no cost initial consultation, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
Critical Skills for the CEO/Owner
The Wharton Business School newsletter, published by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania did a recent poll of executives and business owners. The results below show the four most important skills that would strengthen a CEO's performance.
Strengthening what skill would most improve your performance?
Leadership - 33%
Time Management - 28%
Negotiating - 22%
Understanding Your Financials - 17% 
1. Leadership
Leadership and execution is the key to success and achieving your goals. Leadership requires planning, organization, being proactive, having a crystal clear understanding of the business both financially (quantitatively) and operationally (qualitatively), hiring and managing people of multiple generations and cultures, and creating a culture of accountability to grow your business to the next level.
2. Time Management
Time management is the Achilles heel of most CEOs and small business owners. Not just managing time on a calendar and working 60 hours a week to keep up, but real strategy and planning to focus and structure your time to impact your business in a disciplined manner. CEO Advisor, Inc. works with its CEOs and small business owner clients to set goals and priorities, and truly excel in both leadership and time management.
3. Negotiating to Success
Negotiating is the Holy Grail in business - with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc. We focus deeply on negotiations using some of the top techniques used by military leaders and business people. Your sales team can benefit tremendously from sales training and negotiating skills training from securing the initial meeting to negotiating price effectively to closing large deals. Strengthening your negotiating skills can yield a 100X return on your investment. If you are not a master negotiator and salesperson, invest in your negotiating skills and prosper in 2014 and beyond.
4. Understanding Your Financials
If there is one New Year's resolution that every CEO and small business owner should commit to is gaining a thorough understanding of the financials of your business. If you don't, you are flying blind! This includes your Profit & Loss Statement (Accrual and Cash basis), Balance Sheet, Financial Ratios, creating a 2014 Financial Forecast, and learning to analyze and understand how to positively impact your Gross Margins and Net Profit, as well as, pinpointing early signs of problems. CEO Advisor Inc. spends the time to ensure every client not only understands but uses their company's financials in growing their business to the next level.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2520 for a no cost initial consultation, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

CEO Advisor, Inc. (www.CEOAdvisor.com), a leading business advisory firm in Newport Beach, CA is providing sales strategy, marketing and growth advisory services to the CEO of L. A. Supply Company, Inc. dba Label House (www.LabelHouse.net).


Label House is a regional distributor of product identification solutions for the food and beverage, healthcare, beauty and cosmetic, industrial manufacturing and other industries serving California, Arizona and Nevada.  Label House products include Hitachi small character inkjet printers, Videojet and Universal label applicators, and variety of variable data label printing equipment.
 
CEO Advisor provides business advisory services affordably and effectively with hands-on work performed to assist CEOs, presidents, business owners and principal executives of small and mid-size companies on growth, business strategy, business planning, business processes, sales strategy, sales team building, sales training, marketing, operations, finance, funding, mergers and acquisitions advisory services to grow their businesses to the next level.


As a trusted CEO Advisor® to business owners since 2004, the firm specializes in providing business consulting services in a one-to-one advisory role on a weekly basis to address specific issues and maximize sales, profits and business value to generate a substantial return on our client's investment.


Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. states, "Label House has a fifty year history of providing expertise, a full range of products and services to its food and beverage, industrial, healthcare and other clients.  Their leadership position in product identification solutions is top in the industry for small, mid-size and large customers in need of a vested partner.  Label House is now ready to accelerate its growth, achieve their goals, and grow their business to the next level."


Randy Austin, CEO of Label House states, "Our primary goal included making the needed changes and implementing the strategy, processes and tools to expand and grow.  CEO Advisor has provided the expertise and hands-on advice to set our direction and achieve our goals."


About Label House
L.A. Supply Company, Inc. dba Label House is a regional distributor of marking, coding and labeling systems, inks and fluids, service and maintenance for the food and beverage, healthcare, industrial, beauty and cosmetics and other industries in California, Arizona and Nevada.  For more information, contact Ron Middlekauff, Director of Sales of Label House at (800) 499-5858, by email at sales@LabelHouse.net, or visit www.LabelHouse.net for more information.
 
About CEO Advisor, Inc.
CEO Advisor provides business consulting services affordably and effectively to meet the specific needs of small to mid-size companies in a wide range of industries, including technology, media, professional service firms, light manufacturing and many more.  CEO Advisor's mission is to advise CEOs, presidents, business owners and executives with the needed expertise and focus, coupled with hands-on advice and work performed to grow your business to the next level. Contact Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520 in Orange County, CA, by email at mhartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.


Client Testimonial  
 

"CEO Advisor® has generated tremendously positive results at our company. As more of an operations person, I lacked several key skills to successfully manage our company at the CEO level. In short, CEO Advisor put me through CEO boot camp and helped me learn how to properly perform my duties. He taught me how to create, monitor, and measure small tweaks to our workflow and operations in order to squeeze out more profit. This year, we re-contracted with CEO Advisor to further accelerate the performance of our company. So far, the results have been outstanding."


CEO, Document Management Software and Services
 

Words of Wisdom

 

"Focus on constant iteration of your product or service. Never hold too closely to your idea but be open to change and innovation."
 
Candice Carpenter


 

 

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every dif

 

Winston Churchill

Prime Minister of the U.K.