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Also, with the Marriott Credit Card, you can get one free night a year. When you join the Marriott Credit Card program, you also receive immediate Elite Silver Status which has an entire list of perks. If you send me an email, I can forward you a code where if you sign up, we both get more perks!
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Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking… “You’re too young to be burnt out”, “Wait until you’re 40, 50 or 60, kid”. You’re right, and that’s okay. I’ll be the first to admit that I shouldn’t have been feeling that way. There are so many of you out there going through so much more than me. I empathize with you. As you’re reading this, start internalizing your feelings and think back to a time when you were energized by your career. When you were excited to sit down at your computer, or when you looked forward to going into the office.
It took me a few weeks to realize I had these feelings after joining Sumtotal in September of this year. Obviously, I was over-the-moon excited about joining the organization, but it’s hard to reflect about a job change when you need to go through onboarding right away. “Drinking through a firehose” is the first experience you receive when you join any organization. Introductions, meetings, getting into the software… all keep you feeling overwhelmed. It wasn’t until my wife and I were reflecting on the big job and life changes we’ve had over the past year or so to realize that I was in a rut.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the companies and people I worked with over the past two years. I enjoyed them very much. This is something different… something better. The challenge! The tasks to achieve success in enterprise sales. The types of conversations I’m having internally and externally with customers and prospects. The magnitude of knowledge I have access to as an employee and by talking with my colleagues is outstanding. I’m continuously pinching myself, thanking the man upstairs, and counting my blessings.
Here’s the part where I share with you a little information about the leadership I report to. Yes… I’m well aware they could read this. No, this isn’t my attempt to suck up or be a brownnoser. This is where you put yourself in my shoes and think about your immediate leadership. Reflect on what they do, what they don’t do and decide if you’re in the best possible position to achieve your goals. Also, if they read this; good! Everybody needs praise and reminded that they’re doing something that not a lot of people like doing; leading teams and motivating people.
It takes grit to run a team of sales professionals! Not only are they response for individuals, they’re responsible for those individuals’ quotas. You thought ‘carrying a bag’ was difficult, try carrying seven of them… try carrying 60 of them. On top of their daily job, they’ve got to manage these people, make sure they’re doing their jobs, helping them when they can, and report their wins/losses to someone else. And guess what… if something falls through the cracks, who’s ultimately responsible?
These folks I’ve been working with, do it all with grace! Sales management, training, support, legal and services… There’s no issue that can’t be resolved together. It doesn’t matter the job title or seniority of these individuals; they’re all happy to help. I’ve truly been amazed at the conversations I’ve been included throughout my short tenure.
Great Jordan… What’s your point? What does this mean for me… Great question! I’ve been reminded of what it’s like to be on a team. A team that cares. A team that motivates. A team that’s willing to join the battle and fight with you, and a team that’s willing to give its’ all even if we fail. That, right there, is why I’ve been reenergized. I’m challenged everyday and I have the support of a team that will back me up. I don’t spend Sunday nights dreading the next morning.
So… If there is ONE thing you can take away from reading this piece, I would challenge you, to ask yourself, “Are you fulfilled in your career?” That’s a loaded question, obviously. But it’s a good start. That will get the ball rolling. That will challenge you to begin re-working your goals. That will help you take the first step towards finding happiness in your work.
As I re-begin this journey to produce content, you can stay up to speed on the topics I’ll be covering on LinkedIn and my personal website www.JordanBarta.com. Topics included are; sales, social selling, motivation, goal setting and overall positive attitude. If you took away something from this article, please share that with me in the comments below. And do your network a favor by sharing, liking and commenting on this! You never know what impact you’ll have on someone else’s life!
Wow – I recently got a bunch of folks online asking for a sample of my 30-60-90 day format. So, as promised, here it is. FIRST and FOREMOST, read through the entire thing, take what you like, remove what you don’t and MAKE IT YOUR OWN… specific for the job! I think this can be used for SDR’s, AM’s, sales folks and every customer success. Include #’s and metrics too.
Business Plan: 30/60/90 Day SAMPLE
Successfully complete onboarding
Learn internal landscape (CSD, CSM and hierarchy of support)
Learn ‘Company Name software’
Obtain access to Salesforce (CRM) and run reports so I have a clear understanding of what data is available
Determine which accounts are coming up for renewal and which accounts can be sold additional solutions/features
Dive into ‘software being offered by the team’ and begin updating contact information
Interview and survey current SDR/AM/AE/sales people to determine what makes a SDR/AM/AE/sales people successful
Determine ‘the perfect’ day and ‘the perfect’ week (Prospecting, scheduling meetings and emails)
Read and study customer testimonials to leverage for future use
Obtain/create talk tracks for new business and current clients
Identify the top influential decision makers within accounts to prospect into
Connect with all clients and establish a partnership
Identify high value external networking groups to join
Determine which clients have mutual contacts within my network and determine how to leverage them
Determine which clients can be references
Leverage personal network to create mutual partnerships
Continue approaching accounts which can be sold for additional revenue
Create auto-drip email campaigns; current clients and for prospecting
Update create/execute weekly tasks
Continue to learn more about the product offering
Be comfortable enough to give a demonstration
Beginning writing posts on human capital management which will be shared and sent to clients/prospects
Expand my network leveraging LinkedIn to create additional mutual connections
Continue approaching accounts which can be sold for additional solutions
Continue prospecting and scheduling meetings
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask or comment. Also, share if you find valuable!
Wow… it has been a while since I’ve written something on my site! I’ve got a good explanation for that.
October 28th, 2017; I got married to my best friend!
July 2017; I started my MBA and I’m almost done! I had to focus all of my energy on that because it is a huge task! Once I’m done with my MBA, I’ll get back to blogging and posting content.
January 2018; I left Paychex and joined an organization called Stonegate Advisors in Newport Beach. I am a customer success manager and I very much enjoy the CSM role.
All in all, I’d say that things have been very productive! I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Having switched industries, job responsibilities and overall career goals, I knew that my personal brand could take a little hiatus while I work on other avenues.
But, I’ll be back soon!
As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want to catch up.
Can we please stop saying that? It hasn’t. It has enabled us to connect with so many more people, but that’s about changing scale, not changing sales.
Q2: How Do Sales Professionals Begin to Grow Their Personal Brand?
You mean after you realize you need to? Have an opinion. Make it known. Have something to say. Write it down and press ‘publish’. Start by paying attention. Notice things. Then think. Then write. The writing part is crucial. The writing turns into videos, podcasts, ebooks, etc. Maybe that’s a #saleshackerchat for another time?
Q3: What ways are sales professionals selling incorrectly today?
Sales pros are thinking quantity over quality and efficiency over effectiveness. I have no shame https://www.jeffbajorek.com/2017/03/your-automation-is-missing-the-point/ . The most important sales tool you have is your brain, and you’re trying to remove it from the process. Everything is a template, a script, an algorithm. Nobody’s having any fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong #saleshackerchat
Q4: What steps can sales professionals take to change their poor selling habits?
Rethink the way you sell! Understand what you’re trying to accomplish and why. If you were the customer, would that technique/tactic make you act? If you were the customer, would those words influence you? It’s not about what you’re selling, why would anybody buy it?
Q5: What is The Top Sales Activity that will Ensure A Consistent Sales Pipleline?
prospecting, duh! Don’t forget about your current customers. They’re your best advocates. Create an attraction. It’s more than just inbound, be someone that people want to associate with. Be a resource, and constantly be thinking in the best interests of your customers. This will help you hone your messaging too, it’s not just about attracting new leads
Q6: How can sales professionals become more productive?
Understand what you’re trying to accomplish and why. Have very clear priorities and set boundaries
Q1: What Can Sales Management Do To Be More Effective?
Be a leader instead of a manager. Correct before you correct and focus on process over outcomes. We need to find ways to help each rep level up…don’t manage skill gaps, find the next level with each rep for the win. Skill gap focus is too negative. Nobody wants to hear what they suck at. Managers push the “more” button. Leaders push the “HOW” button. Most important leadership skill is to share how. Outcomes are driven by sales stages. Stages driven by activities. Activities driven by skills. Most leaders don’t know the skill to success structure or how to coach to it. Those that do…CRUSH.
Q2: What Are Some Of The Biggest Coaching Mistakes? And How Can We Prevent Them?
The How button comes from understanding the process. Can you “Model Awesomeness?” When a leader understands skill to success model, HOW process becomes simpler. Every rep wants to win…just show them how. #1 coaching mistake is taking over a deal and emasculating the rep. This is a crutch…not a coach. Doesn’t scale. #2 Mistake, no consistency. If you don’t have consistency or cadence, you don’t have coaching. Don’t start/stop! #3 mistake is confusing a pipeline review for a coaching conversation. Coaching needs to develop skills/activities. #4 Mistake: Dictating terms, not collaborating. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal. People on pedestals are easy targets. Mistake #5: Focusing on weaknesses of the past rather than the promise of the future. Be in the inspiration business.
Q3: What Type of Training Creates The Best Results?
Q3 is hard. Everyone learns in different ways. I like the SHOW/SHARE/SEE approach. Training should be about modeling what awesome looks like. Biggest training gap for sales is the difficulty in practicing. So I prefer action-oriented, hands on training vs theoretical stuff. Sales is an action, full contact sport.
Q4: What Quality Do Most Sales Professionals Lack That Prevents Success?
Biggest obstacle I’ve seen is the focus on outcomes. Too many managers focus on working harder instead of smarter. Process beats outcomes every time. Can’t force someone to buy. Process is predictive. Outcomes is looking backwards. If process is good, success is inevitable. If process is weak, success is unsustainable. Choose process and get #predictive!
Q5: What Performance-Based Metrics Generate The Best Results For Sales Teams?
Process tells you when to be patient and when to change things up. Most predictive metric are those related to sales velocity. Speed is the #1 predictor. Measure speed in times from start to close, as well as by stage. It will tell you almost immediately what skills to build. 2nd most important are competencies around opportunity starts. Start enough and handle efficiently and things are good. Track PUSHES. If a deal pushes once, just change the close date. One the 2nd push, circle the wagons. I’ve found pushes are the best indicator of how well a deal is behaving. Bring in resources early if a deal stalls. Best coaches focus on opportunity origination and sales velocity. Get those right and the job gets a lot easier.
Q6: How Has Data Changed The Future Of Sales and Sales Coaching?
Data allows us to be predictive. Don’t just gather mountains of data. Answer the “So What” questions. If data doesn’t help you predict, then it is INTERESTING BUT WORTHLESS. We need to use data to help our reps identify where their next level opportunities are in personal development. This is where the big opportunities are. Not using data to manage opportunities, but to manage personal growth. We use data to help determine the future value of a rep…Not just the close date of a deal. Use data to create “What If” scenarios around activity mgt and skill development.
Q7: What Advice Would You Give Sales People Just Starting Their Sales Career?
Advice to new reps…find strong mentors early in your career. Learn your industry well…we need to educate buyers. Don’t focus on the product…products have no value. They only derive value.
earn to speak the language of value. Final piece of advice: If process is strong, success is inevitable. If process is weak, success is unsustainable. Process is about experiences you create, not words that you say. Sales pitches are forgotten quickly but experiences make you legendary…choose to be legendary…
Q8: What Is The Greatest Issue Facing the Sales Profession Today?
Greatest Issue for sales profession is staying relevant as customer changes quickly. Focus on how they buy & stay relevant. Sales orgs need to understand the industry better than anyone else. We HAVE to be engineers of value. Embrace Change! And things are moving so fast that many reps/orgs don’t stay current or care about it until they get behind. Press Pause! Don’t be so focused on outcomes that you don’t stay current in the changing environment until you’re playing from behind.
Q9: How Should Sales Professionals Utilize Their Leaders Best?
If your leader doesn’t bring coaching to you, reach out and ask for it. Leaders should help reproduce skills in each rep. Take advantage of this. Own your personal development plan.