Zig Ziglar was a World War II veteran who became a top salesperson and a visionary sales leader at several organizations before becoming a motivational speaker and sales coach. He passed away in November 2012, but his sales lessons and inspirational quotes continue to live on. We here at InsightSquared are big believers in his sales and motivational techniques. We thought it would be fitting to pay tribute to the legend himself by sharing some of his most famous inspirational and motivational quotes – with a sales analytics spin.
“Don’t count the things you do, do the things that count.”
It’s not just about the volume of daily activities in raw numbers that your team of sales reps accomplishes each day, but really how meaningful these activities are. Many managers track how many dials or emails each rep makes on a daily basis. The best managers focus on the conversion ratios of these activities to determine how many calls actually lead to productive connections that then lead to deals. Having this information allows sales managers to drive more productive coaching efforts that are well-supported by data analysis and points out specific flaws among individual reps.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
A big component of a sales manager’s job is to ensure that sales reps are properly motivated and charged with tasks that are aggressive and ambitious, but also attainable. When sales managers set clear-cut data-driven goals – both long- and short-term ones – sales reps are better able to maintain focus, set priorities, hold each other accountable and maximize productivity. Measure the success of reps in attaining these goals and use this information to guide their improvements. The key is to follow the SMART acronym when setting goals to make sure that all goals are:
S – specific M – measurable A – attainable R – rewarding T – timely
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”
Sales managers depend on accurate sales forecasts to guide their business decisions in terms of delegating resources, assigning sales reps and maximizing sales. An accurate sales forecast lets a sales manager know what types of goals they should be setting for themselves and their reps, how to grow the team if necessary and how to properly manage risk. Having a data-supported forecast to accurately aim at can drive more effective and efficient business decisions among sales managers.
“People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
The best sales coaches and sales managers know the importance of regular reinforcement – not just of skills and goals, but also of motivation, mentoring and nurturing. According to sales coaching expert Gary Milwit, it is essential to schedule sales coaching sessions regularly. Set aside time dedicated specifically to coaching and make sure that each rep receives sufficient time and attention. Customize coaching sessions so that each rep gets as much as possible out of it and stays properly motivated on a regular basis and use sales performance metrics to pinpoint specific areas that need improvement. Bringing actionable insight supported by data to reps will make them more receptive to sales coaching.
“Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker.”
The best sales managers know that there is just as much – if not more – to learn from failure as there is to learn from success. Studying lost opportunities can provide a wealth of teaching points on learning from mistakes and therefore avoiding them or improving on them in the future. For instance, looking at the sales cycle for lost opportunities and comparing that to the sales cycle of winning opportunities lets managers know if there are flaws at certain stages of the selling process, or if certain reps are struggling at specific sales funnel stages.
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
This last quote isn’t necessarily based in sales analytics, but it might be the most important one nevertheless. Sales managers and sales reps alike need to dream big and set the bar high to drive more effective performances. Simply dreaming about it will not lead to any accomplishments. However, motivational coaches often speak to the power of visualization and self-fulfilling prophecies, so encourage your reps – and yourself – to never be afraid to dream and reach for the highest levels of achievements.