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Lee Novak, one of the top sales executives in the country, launched his Ulitzer blog to share his experience, insights, and sales coaching tips. Lee Novak, a Sales Management Executive for 25 years, uses a proven people-first, client-first philosophy. Lee has a reputation for building teams that not only are high-performance groups but also that do business the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons. Novak publishes his Ulitzer blog posts on his two topic sites: Lee Novak on Ulitzer (http://leenovak.ulitzer.com) Team Building (http://teambuilding.ulitzer.com) Sales Coaching (http://salescoaching.ulitzer.com) He received numerous awards for his sales leadership, innovativeness and measured performance while working in various executive roles at ADP Dealer Services (a Fortune 500 company in the technology and service sector) for 21 years - where he was... (more)

Twenty Five Motivational Quotes and Thoughts for Today's Sales Leaders

The following represents twenty five of my favorite motivational, thought provoking and inspirational quotes which I have accumulated through the the years. I hope that you will find them useful, enjoyable and entertaining as you prepare to slay the competitive dragons! OVERCOMING OBSTACLES AND SETBACKS 1) Fall Down Seven Times Get up Eight. 2) If you are going through hell (lost a deal, behind plan, etc.) keep going. 3) Believe that you are going to turn this setback into a comeback! It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated... It is finished when it surrenders. PATIENCE 4) Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before he got financing for Disneyland. 5) A handful of Patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. 6) Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping... (more)

Plug Your Marketing Leaks

Marketing is making strides in lead generation, but how kinetic is their nurturing? Lead nurturing is often thought about as being found with a flag waving when your leads decide to take action about resolving a problem your products or services address. If this is your marketing strategy, you're leaving a lot to chance just hanging around waiting to be found. Maybe for some of your longer-horizon leads this is fine, but it's not going to help you speed up getting quality opportunities to opt into sales conversations. You've all seen those funnel diagrams that show spouts of leads leaking out of them at different points during the buying process. In order to stop the leaks and add momentum to your nurturing, you've got to get commitments to action. The higher a sense of commitment you can create, the farther and faster your leads will move toward becoming sales op... (more)

Boosting Your Confidence in Presentations

How is it that normally secure, confident, outgoing people can feel so nervous about giving a presentation? A recent survey of the top 10 things people most dreaded showed Public Speaking as top of the list closely followed by Death! Presumably if you were asked to give a eulogy at a funeral you would prefer to be in the ‘box'. It is likely, as a manager, that you will be asked to present in some form or other to an audience. It may be something informal such as a "Good Luck and Thank-you" speech to a departing employee or a full-on presentation to the board. So what is it that prevents people from being themselves when it comes to public speaking? The main factor is ‘stage-fright', when you move centre stage and all the attention is on you, and you freeze. You are like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle at night. You are powerless; your legs fe... (more)

So You Want to Be a Consultant

I’ve been consulting successfully for over 20 years now. That makes me an old-timer in many folks’ perceptions. Friends and associates often come to me for advice on how to start their own consulting business – mostly around how to position themselves as an expert in the market. Here’s the advice I give: Focus. The first inclination for any new consultant is to try to ‘do it all’. After all, you’ve dabbled in a number of different aspects of your field, right? Wrong. In my experience, the best way to be successful is to focus first on a narrow set of skills and areas where you can add the most value. You need to evidence your experience and success in a few key areas to get started. So focus on the areas where you’re strongest and most well-known by associates and peers – where you can have the most compelling references. You can always expand over time. Evidence yo... (more)

Put Your Competition in the RearView Mirror

One of my first CEO clients - a leader in the early days of the Search industry - gave me a great piece of advice about the competition.  I still follow it. "If you pay too much attention to the competition - you'll always end up following them." At the time I actually think I thought he was nuts. After all, as a young idealistic marketing consultant, competitive analysis was one of those B school standards near and dear to my heart. Now, some twenty something years later, I see how brilliant he was. Companies have to think for themselves, not like their competitors. I'm not saying that you have to ignore your competition. That'd be kinda silly, now wouldn't it. What I am saying is that companies have to stop focusing on what their competition is doing as the baseline for defining their future direction. Following the competition's lead won't help you be a leader. ... (more)

The Science of a Team

During a speaking engagement to a Fortune 500 company I told the story  of a Sales Manager who I knew, that gained invaluable insight regarding the importance of a establishing a strong team - during a health challenge, he’d experienced years earlier. The health issue came about very suddenly and consequently, the Sales Manager was faced with the daunting prospect of, finding the right team of specialists who could treat his condition and perform the life saving operation. Thankfully, the Sales Manager was able to find a reputable neurologist who in turn, recommended a highly skilled surgeon whose primary practice was located in the world-renowned medical center in Houston, Texas. The Neurosurgeon had an excellent staff, which included an anesthesiologist, a tenured nursing, and recovery team, as well as, numerous highly skilled professionals who’d assisted in ov... (more)

[2b2k] YouTube leadership

I had dinner last night with a couple of people writing a report on the future of leadership for a Very Large Company. I argued once again against the importance of leadership, at least in its traditional sense. I believe less and less that there is some masterable set of skills that constitute leadership, especially as the organization gets larger. Further, I think it’s almost always useful to replace the question “What skills does a leader need?” with “How should the group be organized to best achieve its goals?” Sometimes the answer to that latter question will be, “It needs as strong leader,” but more often the traditional tasks of leadership will be distributed among members of the group, or will become a property of the group itself. (For example, in a collaborative or emergent group, decision-making is a property of the group.) (Tony Burgess of Company Comman... (more)

Building Next-Generation Tech Leaders

I spoke to Mike Lim, VP for Engineering at Exist, who by the way is currently enrolled at the prestigious Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA program, about this and here's my non-verbatim summary of our short exchange: Give people the opportunity to lead, even with small projects. Assign him/her a role, instead of giving tasks. This will give the person room to be creative and innovative. This'll give him/her a chance to demonstrate what he/she can be capable of. It's not having the title of a "manager". One can be a mentor to another, give inputs and share his/her experience to a peer, and not have the role of a manager. That's why "we get people to work as a team, so that we can see the dynamics." Implement "shadowing". New hires and folks fresh out from college need to be ramped up to the way we do things, technologies and tooling that we use -- and shadowing gives the... (more)

My Quota is Gigantic!

Dear Lee, Last year I was a record setting sales rep at my company selling high tech solutions. Today I received my annual quota for the new year and was shocked to see that my account list shrunk by 10% and my quota is the highest in the company.  I am  very frustrated with this. I attempted to negotiate a reduced quota with my manager but he dismissed my request, saying that he has full confididence that I will figure it out. My quota is gigantic but my spirit is weak. Any suggestions? Down in the South -   Dear Down in the South, I am sure that you are familiar with the biblical story about the tiny frail warrior David slaying the Giant, Goliath. If Goliath had been  a man of average height - who would've noticed? Who would've cared.? Remember the bigger the challenge the greater the rewards when you overcome them. Last year when you received your annual quota... (more)

Top Ten Benefits of CRM

Dear Lee, I have worked in sales for the past fourteen years and have seen fads come and go. The latest is CRM that, my company has forced upon me. Isn’t CRM just another way for my company to act like BIG BROTHER to watch and monitor my every move? Stan, Tx Dear Stan, Would you board a commercial airline if you knew, 1) the plane was lacking a navigational system, 2) you would be flying to the busiest airport in the world without the aid of an air traffic controller or radar, and 3) the pilots would not have any radio contact to direct their take off or landing approach? Most likely not. CRM is not a fad nor is it a way for your company to act as BIG BROTHER! CRM is a navigational tool that, when used properly it will increase your profitability, productivity and enhance your customers buying experience. I believe that what you are really asking is, what is in it... (more)