What you’ll be talking about.

Leading a sales team is a complex pursuit with a single objective: to meet and exceed the sales objectives for the area you’re managing. The variables that can impact your success as a leader are tremendous.

Motivational speakers don’t deserve rotten tomatoes

Hard-nosed sales managers and reps cringe at the thought of bringing a motivational speaker in to rouse the troops, but the bad rap they fight off is more the byproduct of unreal expectations than unmet objectives.

The downside of industry expertise

How well should a training provider know your industry? Corporate Visions Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Tim Riesterer says if a training provider works a lot within your industry, you may want to run in the other direction.

Your meetings suck

There’s something magical about productive, inspirational meetings. Jon Petz, a former corporate sales executive who left the world of power lunches and private jets to work as a comedian and magician, would like to

Are your reps empowered enough?

Few things are more frustrating to a customer than a salesperson with no decision-making capability. The last thing a customer with a problem wants to hear is that they’re going to have to wait for someone else (who can actually make a decision) to get back to them, says Warren Greshes, author of “The Best Damn Sales Management Book Ever” (John Wiley & Sons, 2012).

Suckification reduction devices

Jon Petz has christened his tips for breaking bad habits and building better meetings Suckification Reduction Devices (SRDs, for short). Here are three SRDs for creating better off-site events:

Can you pass the Jimmy Buffett test?

Many businesses have begun to realize a rebound from the worst of the economic downturn, but employees are still at least a little on edge about the stability of the economy and the security  of their jobs. Robert Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University, and the author of “Good Boss, Bad Boss,” says the best managers instill predictability during scary times and make things “Sesame Street simple.”

A Timeless Gesture

I’ve got books of letters written by Georgia O’Keefe, Jack Kerouac, Richard Nixon and a book of letters exchanged between Jean Paul Sartre and his companion Simone de Beauvoir. Many of Hunter S. Thompson’s most entertaining rants came in his letters.

In today’s workplace R-E-S-P-E-C-T spells long-term success

Do organizations that do a better job of providing what employees want also create more satisfied customers?

Creating better managers through coaching

There’s a 90 percent chance you’re ineffective

There’s been a lot of talk about “1 Percenters” in political circles.

In business, the focus is on the “10 Percenters” after a study by European academics Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal revealed that only about 10 percent of managers take “decisive purposeful action” when necessary.

Telling Isn't Selling

CSI: Sales and Marketing

Landing big, new contracts is cause for celebration at most companies.

The ‘One Thing’ Management Approach

The advent of steam-powered machines, most notably locomotives, ushered in the Industrial Age nearly 200 years ago. The early leadership of railroads and other business enterprises was drawn largely from the ranks of the military. Not surprisingly, these top brass brought with them the hierarchical, authoritative leadership model that had served them well in their former military careers.

Putting the swagger back in sales

Matthew Dixon is Managing Director of the Corporate Executive Board’s Sales and Service Practice. Brent Adamson is Senior Director of the Sales Executive Council, a division of the Sales and Service Practice. Their book “The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” was published in November 2011 by Portfolio/Penguin.