Lift (...by Seiko)

Tim Houlihan

Dispensing with sales manager myths

What’s your sales manager mythology?

In a recent conversation with a sales vice president, he noted that leadership is not about being engaged, it’s about the willingness to take risks. He was talking about his sales managers.


 



 

Houlihan

When it comes to practice, my mind reverberates with a few key quotes. Vince Lombardi, possibly the greatest coach in football history said, “Only perfect practice makes perfect.” But how can I practice perfectly in an imperfect world? His words, as profound as they are, have draped like an albatross around my neck for years. Perfection is difficult to see. Excellence is another story —  I can see my way to excellence. Perfection? Not so much.



 
Tim Houlihan

Sales leaders are always trying to figure out how to get the most out of their reps at the lowest cost, and incentives are excellent at revealing that sweet spot.  Finding the sweet spot for an incentive is like how Mama Bear’s porridge was juuust right.

ONLINE BONUS ARTICLE:  
Calculating the ‘Just Right’ Value for Incentives



 

Most incentives are paid out between 3 and 10 percent of the income earned during the incentive period. To figure out what the best amount of the award should be, consider starting with the midpoint of the average (7 percent) and make minor adjustments from there.



 
Tim Houlihan

Suffering from temporal construal? You and your reps probably are and you’re not aware of it.

Temporal construal is the way our brains think concretely about the present and vaguely about the future. The practical implications of temporal construal can impact the lives of your reps and the success of your business.

ONLINE BONUS ARTICLE:  
The impact of more immediate rewards



 
Tim Houlihan

Our brains love immediate gratification. Getting something today is better than getting it tomorrow, which is better than getting it next week. This is, in part, because of temporal construal. Having a concrete and immediate reward is better than a reward in the abstract sense.