But the reality is that human-based forecasting is subjective and error-prone. A miss in a sales forecast creates pessimism in your market and might impact how your company allocates resources. Business success depends on forecast accuracy, but what happens if the inputs are flawed?
These flaws can be attributed to many causes, and it’s hard to place blame on anyone factor when they happen. The good news is that there are improvements you can make and processes you can put into place to both identify and move past the two most common flaws that result in a failed sales forecast. Let’s take a look at a case study.
John was a competent VP of Sales, leading a focused global team of sellers who had been riding a wave of successful growth. Their company was getting a lot of buzz, and planning for the IPO was already in flight. In fact, the phrase “like shooting fish in a barrel” came to John’s mind as he looked at his increasing growth month over month and quarter over quarter. But last month was different. Every sales leader forecasted a drop in projections. It wasn’t significant, but it was a drop.
The sales managers were confident this was a glitch. Salespeople were not updating their CRM system because they were so busy with their increasing customer demand. At least that was the story that sounded good. It was a logical reason to explain away the miss, and other managers not wanting further inspection jumped onto this argument.
John was now poring overlooking at the forecast data, which showed double-digit decreases in every period forward. He hid his hands in his face and sighed.
In Las Vegas, there are only two ways to lose money: chasing your winnings and chasing your losses. While John and his company’s story is fictional, it’s based on real-life cases of companies. Clayton Christensen, former Harvard Business professor and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, saw this and the rise and fall of Digital Equipment Company (DEC). The ill-fated story of DEC led him to create his well-known theory of disruptive innovation.
Joe Paranteau is a practicing Sales Director for Microsoft, where he has held positions for over 17 years. A keynote speaker, coach, and sales thought leader, Joe has led nearly 30K sales meetings in his 30-year career with Fortune 500, SMBs, and startup businesses. Within five years, he sold more than $1B in revenue, which motivated him to share his insights in his first book, Billion Dollar Sales Secrets.
In his book, Joe shares fifteen sales tips to inspire people to meet today’s challenges. He wants to help people sell more effectively, ignite their dreams, and have future success.
Sales has changed. Information has changed. Buyers have a conceptualization of value before you meet and are already three steps ahead of you. You have to be a savvy interpersonal seller.
-Joe Paranteau, Author – Billion Dollar Sales Secrets
Growing up, Joe was embarrassed by his thrift store clothing and the rusted family car. His family was poor, and as a child, he painted rocks to sell as paperweights to neighbors—his first sales gig at eight years old. Joe learned to hustle hard to get ahead in life, and it’s the backbone of his success today.
Key Points of This Discussion
· Joe’s motivation behind his book Billion Dollar Sales Secrets
· The challenges Joe is seeing in sales today
· The #1 skill salespeople and leaders need to bring to the market
· Mindset and resilience: Think big, execute small
In this episode of Negotiations Ninja, we share the common areas where people blow their negotiations, the #1 thing that’s wrong with salespeople today, and some of Joe’s sales secrets to helping you reach success on either side of the table.
Living with purpose may not be the first thing you thought of when the ball dropped in 2022—a new year ushers in new business metrics, financial goals, and growth targets for many businesses. The results of life in 2021 became codified into reports.
Beyond the numbers is the heart and soul of your company– your people. And if you are leading a company or any part of it, people look to you as a standard. Will you model what's needed? Will others accuse you of living on purpose instead of by default?
There is a fundamental element of succeeding in business that may not be top of mind for you. You want to blitz past your competitors, but you need a clear vision of why you're investing yourself in your business. What makes you leap out of bed in the morning, raring to go? What fires you up, and what gets everyone else moving in your direction?
If it's unclear how you can impact your firm by living with purpose, consider these benefits identified by experts.
1. Living With Purpose Helps You Stay in the Game
Being an entrepreneur demands determination, grit, and persistence. No one will pretend that success is a walk in the park. You have rosy visions of success when you first start, but they seem slightly out of your grasp.
But as all company owners know, unforeseen circumstances, hold-ups, and setbacks are all part of the deal, and you have to learn to roll with the punches as you chase success.
Knowing you're in the Game helps you hang on. Purpose gives you clarity and motivation, no matter what happens.
As you examine your purpose, look at how they align with the organization you lead. What are the core values of the company? What stories do you tell that reinforce these values?
2. Leading with Purpose Promotes Excellence.
If you know your life's purpose, you'll want to give it your best shot every day. You'll want to surround yourself with the best people, get the best advice, and make the best decisions for your firm. When you live on purpose, your team knows you bring meaning to your work, and they sense a difference from someone who is simply clocking their time.
When you know you're in it for the long haul, clarity of purpose means you make decisions not for short-term gain but as an investment in the future. You promote excellence because it is at the core of your life.
What's more, purpose-driven employees are happier, healthier, and more engaged in their work. These involved employees refer others like them to your company, and they are more productive.
3. Your Purpose Can Inspire Others to do the right things
Knowing and living your purpose makes for robust and inspiring leadership. People are attracted to work for someone who has a vision and isn't afraid to go for it.
Living with purpose means you will act with integrity, in alignment with your values. It inspires trust, respect, and confidence. That's what people look for in a leader, in a mentor.
An example of purpose-driven leadership exists in the tragedy of the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11th, 2001. Sandler O'Neill was a small company with a tight-knit culture. On that day, one-third of their corporate family served their last day at work as the towers tumbled. The devastation was monumental. Sandler lost their workforce, customer records, infrastructure, and history. This small company takes the art of showing up to a whole new level.
The CEO decided to go to every employee's funeral. His partners followed. Sandler also paid for deceased employees' salaries through 2001. Right about this time twenty years ago, they approached the CFO with the plan to continue payment to these families for all of 2002. An entire year's salary would be paid to the families, even though employees would not contribute to the bottom line. The CFO thought this was not the right fiduciary move for the business and offered to buy any partner out of the firm. This move spelled rough times, hard work, and sacrifice ahead. Not one partner opted to take the easy road.
4. Helping your team find their purpose increases engagement
If you have not noticed, COVID made employees rethink their relationships with employers. According to a Department of Labor report, as the Great Resignation continues into 2022, 3% of workers voluntarily exited their jobs in November. Workers were not engaged, unhappy with the demands expected of them during the pandemic with little consideration for the sacrifices they made. Some industries like healthcare are experiencing nothing short of a labor crisis as droves change careers and leave for better conditions.
You can't mandate your employees to find purpose and meaning in work. However, you can reinforce strategic priorities and set a vision for WHY they are essential, and complement its values.
Talk is cheap, and action matters to help your team find their purpose. While many have upheld that people should bring their authenticity to work, they check to see if you mean it. If it's just lip service, expect to spend lots of time replacing key talent in 2022.
Engage your employees to bring their best by helping them identify and promote their strengths. Reinforce the observable behaviors that align with your company values. Give praise often, and check down on any biases you are a leader bring to the table. Elon Musk recently shared a tweet on the 50 ways we adopt preference in our daily thinking. If all leaders learned how to see others for their best potential, what would the impacts be in terms of employee engagement?
5. Clear Purpose Will attract clients
Employees are not the only people attracted by purposeful leadership. Your current and potential clients are looking for someone they can trust. Think about why you choose the business you select. What is it about them that makes you part with your hard-earned cash? Most likely, you trust them. And why do clients trust businesses? Because they live their values, their purpose. You know you can depend on them to deliver what you want when you want. And that's the first step in building a robust and loyal client/business relationship.
Bestselling author Simon Sinek shared how great leaders inspire action. He drew three concentric circles, dubbed the “Golden Circle,” and placed WHY at the center. At the outer edges where WHAT a company does (i.e., We make widgets) and HOW they do it (we make widgets with more quality).
Communicate WHY you do WHAT you do. Your purpose will be the best advertising to help lead your company into the future.
6. You help others live their purpose by empowering them
Living your purpose can help you as you help others. One excellent tip I have for my family and the teams I lead is whenever life and work seem harsh. Then you need to help in service to help others. In serving others, you will not only see needs that need solving, but you will also identify your weaknesses and become better at delivering services to your community. It's as simple as that.
Empowering people to solve their problems and telling you about the process they are in is a meaningful way to give them more purpose. Challenge them to adopt a “passion project” that is difficult. When you empower others, they begin a path of self-reflection that leads to personal and business benefits for life.
7. Gratitude becomes an essential part of your life
Living on purpose brings you more joy than gratitude. When gratitude arose before your desires, it made you feel comfortable living in the moment and enjoying the relationships you have with your family. When one has a purpose, the person acknowledges their needs and desires and makes it a daily habit to get away from the stuff that is lacking.
8. You develop more empathy for others
When you live your life deliberately with purpose, you can see how some live their life haphazardly, by default. How could you add real value to their life and career? The solution is to provide a positive direction toward their goals. Don't simply focus on their professional goals, but address their whole life.
Empathy is seeing people where they are in life, not just at work. Help your people focus on what will bring them joy, happiness, and meaning. Do they want to save money for a new house but lack the steps needed to get them to their goal. Now imagine how committed they will be if you help them get into the home of their dreams.
9. You are more aligned with your career
When you don't align yourself with purpose, you'll be unable to translate what you do best into a vibrant career. Success is achieved from inside before it shows up externally. Follow your passion, leading you to contribute more authentically at work.
10. You gain clarity about the future despite uncertainty
Uncertainties always have an important place in our lives. Often we realize unspoken potentials at these moments. Regardless of the life purposefully lived, uncertainty can be a stepping stone to achieving broader goals.
I've faced uncertainties that have surfaced clear direction for the future. You can only address it head-on when you are in the moment and face uncertainty. As you move, you discover new things about the situation and yourself. Sitting on the sidelines risks nothing in life and your growth. With knowledge is power.
From the foot soldiers of the Roman Empire and Genghis Khan’s cavalry to today’s military, the contributions, and leadership of people in uniform have stood the test of time.
I spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve and the leadership lessons I learned have lasted a lifetime. I often rely on my military leadership lessons to lead sales and business teams today.
Here are a few of the most enduring lessons I learned. Whether you have served or not, you can take some of these golden nuggets and apply them to your business:
It’s Not About “You.” It’s About “Us”
The moment enlisted or officers start their initial training – the core value is the same. No one person is greater than the team. If you are a lone wolf, you won’t go far. From the minute your service begins, you learn that the sum is more significant than its parts. The team is everything.
Top 10 Sales Tips: How to Improve Sales Performance and Drive Sales Results
You're about to learn what they don't teach you in school. Host John Bossong deconstructs the playbooks of the most successful B2B sales authors, leaders, and field practitioners in the Sales Vitamin podcast and discusses their practical strategies, perspectives, and insights.
On today's Sales Vitamin Podcast, John speaks with Joe Paranteau. Joe Paranteau understands how to perform at the highest levels in professional sales. He generated billions in sales in a few short years. He has led 30K+ sales meetings with many of the world's most valuable companies.
Billion Dollar Sales Secrets is his first book. In it, he shares tips to educate and inspire salespeople. It's the inside track to achieving success in your business and the secrets to making it happen.
Joe has extensive experience in selling. He has thrived in business-to-business (B2B), direct sales, and leadership. Joe is a sales coach, keynote speaker, veteran, entrepreneur, and investor. He enjoys travel, downhill skiing, krav maga, aviation, and celebrating life for fun.
He also gives us a few from his new book, Billion Dollar Sales Secrets. Here's what we discuss in this episode:
· How hard work, grit, and determination are essential elements for success
· Joe's Native American indigenous roots and how it offers a different way to approach sales. · How to leverage your background, skills, and talents to provide unique value to your customers.
Additionally, you will hear ideas on:
· What skills do today's sales pros need.
· Finding sales mentors.
· Secrets for sales managers.
· Building high-quality connections.
· How to build and align value.
“Sales has changed. Information has changed. Buyers have a conceptualization of value before you meet and are already three steps ahead of you. You have to be a savvy interpersonal seller.” –Joe Paranteau, Billion Dollar Sales Secrets
Selling Is Something We Do With Others, Not To Them.
– -Joe Paranteau, Author – Billion Dollar Sales Secrets
Every aspect of your life is affected by your ability to sell. Many people, however never learn basic sales skills. It's not taught or encouraged in school. Only a few colleges have degrees in selling, and few even treat it seriously. Yet millions of people have found that their ability to sell well, has translated to career success.
Joe Paranteau, the author of ” Billion Dollar Sales Secrets”, is a leading expert on sales, and he shares what is dysfunctional about sales efforts today, and gives timely advice to build trust and deliver value. He focuses on what people can do to boost their sales abilities, and win deals.
The world has changed dramatically in the last year, as has the nature of sales. Please tune in to this episode, and don't spend another minute wondering how you will be the master of your sales destiny.
Top 10 Sales Tips: How to Improve Selling Performance and Drive Sales Results
A leading expert on selling performance, Joe Paranteau, joins Ashleigh and Ryan to talk about his cultural identity and time in the military and how both have helped throughout his journey in sales.
His Selling Journey -Joe grew up without much, and one of his first memories is selling rocks as paperweights door-to-door. -Throughout high school and college, he found himself in various selling roles. And, after college, he decided to make it his career. Terminology -Although the use of the terms Native American or American Indian is frequent, Indigenous is a term that works well globally, so Joe recommends it most often. Cultural Identity and Sales -People don’t look at Joe and see his cultural roots. They look at him and instantly think he’s white and suburban. It wasn’t until the last ten years that he felt comfortable enough to share his heritage in the workplace. -But, there are many aspects of his culture that helped in his various sales roles.
One of the most prominent examples is the circular reference to time in most indigenous cultures. So, he never thought of the selling process as linear and was able to build stronger relationships. He never stopped selling.
Building Rapport -Although quotas can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing, it’s best not to focus on them. Shifting your focus instead to the customer and the problem you’re solving will help you build stronger relationships and hit your quota.
Tenacity -Tenacity is something Joe learned early on. Because he comes from a poor background, the opportunity wasn’t abundant, and he had to make it for himself. -If people doubt you, use it as motivation to propel you forward.
Being a Veteran -Many commercial companies don’t understand veterans and the skills that are gained through serving. -The military starts everyone from the same place, assuming nobody is confident or competent. Corporate America could take this note. It spends too much time assuming people know things or are capable of things because of points on a resume. -Not to mention, veterans are reliable in high-stress situations and culturally aware.
His Selling Journey
-Joe grew up without much, and one of his first memories is selling rocks as paperweights door-to-door.
-Throughout high school and college, he found himself in various sales roles. And, after college, he decided to make it his career.
-Although the use of the terms Native American or American Indian is frequent, Indigenous is a term that works well globally, so Joe recommends it most often.
Cultural Identity and Sales
-People don’t look at Joe and see his cultural roots. They look at him and instantly think he’s white and suburban. It wasn’t until the last ten years that he felt comfortable enough to share his heritage in the workplace.
-But, there are many aspects of his culture that helped in his various sales roles. One of the most prominent examples is the circular reference to time in most indigenous cultures. So, he never thought of the sales process as linear and was able to build stronger relationships. He never stopped selling.
-Although quotas can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing, it’s best not to focus on them. Shifting your focus instead to the customer and the problem you’re solving will help you build stronger relationships and hit your quota.
-Tenacity is something Joe learned early on. Because he comes from a poor background, opportunity wasn’t abundant, and he had to make it for himself.
-If people doubt you, use it as motivation to propel you forward.
Being a Veteran
-Many commercial companies don’t understand veterans and the skills that are gained through serving.
-The military starts everyone from the same place, assuming nobody is confident or competent. Corporate America could take this note. It spends too much time assuming people know things or are capable of things because of points on a resume.
-Not to mention, veterans are reliable in high-stress situations and culturally aware.
Joe Paranteau is a leading authority on selling, a sales coach and mentor, a keynote speaker, a small business owner and entrepreneur, and an investor. He has generated more than $1.8 Billion in revenue as a professional salesperson.
Joe wrote Billion Dollar Sales Secrets to help sellers and non-sellers alike. He delivers real-world strategies and insights from thousands of sales engagements he led with Fortune Global 500, SMBs, startups, and government organizations. He leverages these experiences to help others achieve their full sales potential.
In today’s episode, Joe discusses a few different chapters in his book with host Christopher Smith that break down his different philosophies as a sales leader. Starting out as a door-to-door salesman on an Indian Reservation in Montana to now serving as a Sales Director for Microsoft, has given him a unique perspective.
Tune in to hear from an incredibly insightful sales leader whose journey in sales has made him wildly successful and how he remains incredibly humble through it all.
The Native American perception of time, Joe Paranteau explains on a recent episode of the Predictable Revenue Podcast, is non-linear. It is circular and ever-moving, like a clock or a sundial. Joe has found it helpful to think of the sales process as a non-linear occurrence. At the end of the sales cycle is both new and continuous: a project launch and the forging of a deeper relationship. But that doesn’t mean you never look back. Quite the opposite. The concept of honour is very important in Native American culture, and in looking at time as a continuum the people honour the past as a historical guide to inform the present and future. In sales, Joe likens this to looking back at win rates, conversion rates, and other insights to continue improving the process.
Non-linear time also helps salespeople to “sell through the close,” rather than feel like their responsibilities end when the sale is made. The more effort a salesperson puts into growing the relationship, building a strong customer success plan, and making the buying process smooth, the more likely the deal at hand is to spawn more.
Native Americans serve in the military at a greater rate than any other ethnic minority. Joe explains that it’s part of their warrior culture – so in spite of the fact that he once said to himself he’d never join the military, he was drawn to serving and eventually did for a while during and through the end of the Cold War.