James Pember

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Results and Report: "The State of Motivating Salespeople in 2017"

Posted by James Pember on 3/2/17 6:10 PM

For the third year in a row, we surveyed over 200 sales managers, sales directors and VP Sales to gain insight into sales management heading into the mid-part of 2017.


We focused on coaching, competitions, compensation, training, motivating salespeople and where we, the sales management industry are heading, and most importantly - how we can improve our future!

It’s no surprise that the sales management landscape is changing. You’ve probably heard about these “millennials” taking over our workplace and placing higher demand on management to “engage them” . Think what you want, but it’s a real trend and it’s something that as a leader, you must deal with.

The new breed of salespeople are different, and this difference must be accepted in order to drive high performing sales organisations in 2017 and beyond.

Remember, what worked before won’t necessarily work now. If you’re sales culture isn’t built upon continuous feedback, recognition and praise and incremental progress - you risk being left behind. Too many organisations are still running old-school sales teams focused more on the stick than the carrot.

These new demands mean that sales is changing, and how we motivate, manage and build sales teams needs to change with it.

With this short report, we aim to highlight some of the ways in which sales management is changing, but also touch on some of the area’s where we are clearly lagging behind and where there is room for improvement.

The report is split into 4 sections:

  1. Motivating Salespeople - what works and what doesn’t?

  2. Sales Coaching

  3. The use of Sales Competitions as a Motivator

  4. The Future of Sales Management

Participate in our annual “The State of Motivating Salespeople” survey for 2017

Posted by James Pember on 12/12/16 3:31 PM

I truly hope 2016 was a successful year for you in terms of sales, and I trust you have big plans to go a step further in 2017. I'd like to invite you to participate in our annual sales motivation survey - we'll use the data collected to provide insights into how we are working as an industry when it comes to motivating our sales staff, and of course how we can improve in order to take our results to the next level in 2017 and beyond. 

How to incorporate behaviors and 'soft' metrics into sales contests

Posted by James Pember on 11/9/16 9:00 AM

Results, we all want better and improved business results. More sales, more profits, happier customers. However, do we ever sit back and reflect on how we will reach those results?

What can salespeople learn from Nike, Coca Cola and Apple?

Posted by James Pember on 11/1/16 8:00 AM

The Harvard Business Review (which by the way, is probably one of the only publications that consistently writes amazing content on sales - I do recommend subscribing) recently published an article entitled “The Best Salespeople Do What the Best Brands Do”, in which the author argued that the exact same traits that make the world’s most recognisable brands great - are also what makes the best salespeople stand out in the crowd. 

Should salespeople keep a daily journal? 

Posted by James Pember on 10/25/16 8:00 AM

I came across a fascinating blog post the other day, in which author Manny Alamwaladescribed how he increased his own personal focus by using a daily sales journal. Check out the post here: “How one SDR built a sales journal to take control of his day”.

Why angry customers may be your best source of new business

Posted by James Pember on 10/18/16 9:00 AM

Profit inflection points come disguised as little crises” - Jan Carlzon, former CEO of SAS/Scandinavian Airlines

I just finished reading Moments of Truth, a management book written by Jan Carlzon who was the CEO of the SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines) from 1981-1994. The book published in 1987 was one of the first books that really spoke about running a “customer-driven company”, something that is just picking up mainstream momentum now, almost 30 years later.

At the core of the book is this concept of the “moment of truth”, which describes each tiny interaction a company has with a customer, in which the customer decides whether they are satisfied with the company, or not. The book has become legendary inside support organisations who use it as a manual to ensure that every customer has a fantastic experience each time they interact with the customer.

However, one of the most fascinating parts of the book is where Carlzon talks about dealing with “angry” or dissatisfied customers, yet argues that those moments are actually the best times to drive increased sales or profits.

Too many companies and sales reps get instantly spooked by a customer who shows the slightest amount of anger, dissatisfaction or frustration. However, that customer is simply experiencing a problem that you now have a chance to solve for them.  

Ironically, it’s the quiet, “happy” customers who leave you, whilst the ones who are constantly giving you feedback, even negative, are truly engaged with your company and are more likely to stick with you, given you can solve their problems.

The next time you get a call from an angry customer, don’t fret - it’s simply a chance to solve a problem, and maybe even generate a sale.

Remember, as Jan says, “Profit inflection points come disguised as little crises”. Every time you interact with a customer, you have a chance to either gain or lose business. It's up to you :) 

PS. The book is great, you can find it on Amazon really cheap, and I recommend it to all leaders.  


How sales managers should be thinking about having more fun at work!

Posted by James Pember on 10/13/16 1:11 PM

How much time do you as a leader spend thinking about fun? Is your workplace fun? Do you have fun at work? What the hell does fun have to do with anything? 

📈🐘😨When are my sales targets too damn high?

Posted by James Pember on 8/29/16 8:49 AM

If you’re remotely into goal-setting, you’ve probably read about the concept of “Stretch Goals”. Stretch Goals are audacious goals that inspire innovation and creative thinking in order to achieve it. However, setting unrealistic goals can have disastrous impacts on team performance. Read on to find out why.

👶📈🏆Are great salespeople born or made?

Posted by James Pember on 8/22/16 11:17 AM

“Although you can teach a turkey to climb a tree, it’s much easier to hire a squirrel”

High performing sales teams are twice as likely to be using activity, coaching and sales performance management software

Posted by James Pember on 6/23/16 11:12 AM

I was digging through the 2015 State of Sales report last night, put together by and I came across some very interesting stats. This will be a short post today, but are my key 2 takeaways.

What is Sparta?

Sparta is an end-to-end sales performance solution that helps you coach, train and drive your team into higher performance.

Create sales competitions, set collabarative team targets and inspire your team to crush their goals! 

Click here to request a demo today.

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