IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Folks, IT is all about Execution

During the past 12+ days we explored parts of the Western U.S. and drove nearly 1,800 miles. We saw marvelous topography from the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park, several cities in Montana and Wyoming plus we visited Mount Rushmore and the Badlands in South Dakota—it was a great trip. That much time also gave me time to reflect, observe, and think about our world of sales leadership.

Many organizations fail because they simply don’t focus on executing the fundaments of a sales process or management process. It’s why our tag line was developed almost 20 years ago: Building Organizations Through the Execution of Strategic Sales Management. During our trip, I saw all sides of the “execution” issue.

Our second stop was Yellowstone, and we chose a hotel in the center of the park, Canyon Village. Don’t ever stay there, it is a bust. Our experience, which is what hotels deliver, was far from even satisfactory; for over $300 a night we received a Motel 6 environment or less. No TV, no air conditioning, no internet service, limited cell access, but we did have a coffee pot, a small refrigerator and a small electric fan.

When I inquired about the menu choice at the reservation only restaurant I was told “American comfort food.” Since there was no menu in the room I asked if I could see the menu. I was told they had ONE copy and I had to walk to the main lodge lobby to see it. Realize there are 590 rooms in this complex and when I got to the lobby, it took two people to find the menu! After deciding not to dine at that restaurant, our party of four decided to go to the non-reservation dining room. Chaos. People were dropped off to wander about and read menus on the wall and then, picking up a plastic tray, you were walked down a corporate cafeteria line choosing your “protein”, your meat, and salads, and eventually finding your way to a cashier. The dining room was made up of plastic chairs and tables. BTW you bused your own plates on to another stainless-steel counter.

Now remember this is in the middle of Yellowstone National Park—no Lodge atmosphere, no warmth, no friendly faces, no attention to the environment, just more junk to buy alongside your corporate cafeteria experience.

After three days we went to Bozeman, Montana. That evening we went out for dinner in the downtown area. We enjoyed the opposite experience at the Montana Ale Works restaurant, where we had great service. Our waiter even wrote down two recommended tourists spots to visit on Monday and we had an engaging conversation. Food was terrific, atmosphere was fun, and the place was packed on a Sunday evening!

I won’t make this a trip report, but my point is high performing organizations and sales leaders look and analyze their sales process, management processes, and their prospect/customer experiences. A few questions to consider:

Are the sales teams executing a sales process properly? Are you sure?

Are you as a sales manager organized? HINT: go to our website and take the free Sales Management Assessment.

Do you have systems in place to inspect what you expect?

Are your sales teams trained to professionally represent your firm and its products/services? Are you sure?

Do you communicate with your customer base on an ongoing basis, as to their experiences?

Is there a quarterly review process in place with your management team to ensure you are remaining competitive and making money?

These are just a few questions to consider. The ultimate question is this: are you focused on execution?

Our Sales Management Boot Camp is filling up, it starts this Friday, September 22nd.

About the Author

Ken Thoreson's picture

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 15 years, his company’s consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout the world.

Ken’s latest book is “Leading High Performance Sales Teams.” He provides keynotes, consulting services, and products designed to improve business performance. Reach him at

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