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3 Key Business Success Lessons From Super Bowl 51

In this video I highlight 3 key business success lessons that you can learn from the New England Patriot's come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51. 

I would love to work with you and your team to help design and implement a sales manager training and/or sales representative training program you can be sure will get real results. ​You can book a FREE 30-minute discovery call with me to find out more. Let's talk!

Click Here >>>FREE 30-minute Discovery Call with Mike Allison<<<

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Sales Manager Training Success Is A Journey

Sales manager training is vital if your organisation is going to succeed in today's ultra-competitive market place. 

Companies spend billions of dollars every year on sales manager training with the hope that doing so will result in higher performance and better sales results from their sales teams. 

For example, Training Mag reported: "Total 2015 U.S. training expenditures—including payroll and spending on external products and services—took an upward trajectory, soaring 14.2 percent to $70.6 billion. Spending on outside products and services skyrocketed 29 percent from $6.1 billion to $8 billion, while other training expenditures (i.e., travel, facilities, equipment) more than doubled to $28.7 billion."

These numbers are huge!

Clearly, the corporate training industry is massive and the amounts invested to train employees are mind blowing.

But, in your own experience, how much of the training you and your team members have personally attended has actually translated into real changes in performance and driven real business?

The fact is, that a lot of sales manager training programs never result in the return on investment promised by the training vendor.

My own background and experience

First, just so you know that I know what I'm talking about, I've been involved in the corporate training industry for the past 9 years. My wife and I ran our own corporate consulting company in China. We have designed and run training for the following companies:

HSBC, Timberland, Mattel, Hasbro, Deutsche Bank, PwC, Under Armour, Essilor, Johnson and Johnson, Bayer, Merck, Li & Fung, Alimera, MeadJohnson, Veolia, Avon, Puratos, Capgemini, Halo, Osram, Duracell, and many more.

This list isn't to boast, but simply to let you know a little bit about where I've been and where I am now, as currently I am involved in designing and running sales manager training programmes for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Merck Fertility Technologies and Essilor.

What I've learned

There are two vital factors that will determine the success or failure of any sales manager training program. 

  1. Letting sales managers see for themselves the positive difference that a good training program can make in their own coaching skills. 
  2. Providing sales managers with timely and appropriate post-training follow up and coaching to help imbed the skills they've learned so they become habitual.

Ignoring these two vital factors will result in a complete waste of the resources invested in training. And I know that's not what you want to see happen when you invest real time and real money in training.

Sales manager training is a journey

Following is what many of the companies we work with do to ensure the success of their coaching and sales manager training programs. 

  1. Once the training has been confirmed​, we conduct a coaching skills benchmarking call with each of the sales managers to ascertain their natural coaching style. This is generally a 20-minute call where we role play a realistic scenario with the sales manager based on the company's business, and we provide them with a score based on each step of the coaching model we will be training them on.
  2. The next step is to conduct the sales manager training/coaching skills workshop. This is usually a 3-day programme. Besides the actual coaching skills the managers learn, a big part of our training focuses on mentally and emotionally priming managers for change. After all, you must be willing to change your own thinking and behaviours first before you can expect others to change their thinking and behaviours. And coaching, after all, is all about making necessary changes in order to improve performance.
  3. 30 days after the workshop we conduct another realistic role play to see what improvement the sales managers have made in their coaching styles by applying what they learned during the workshop. At that time we also provide some feedback on what was done well and how they can improve. This is where sales managers get to see for themselves the positive difference the coaching skills workshop made in their coaching style. 
  4. This second role play is often followed up by a 4-week one-on-one coaching program with each of the sales managers. Working with them individually over a 4 week period is extremely effective in helping to make the new coaching skills a habit that they continue to follow long after the initial sales manager training workshop. 
  5. Usually, within about 12 months of the initial coaching workshop, our clients will run a one or two-day coaching refresher programme for their sales managers. This results in our clients being able to develop a coaching culture, which is vital in order to have top performing sales teams. 

Conclusion

Successful sales manager training involves a lot more than simply running a 2 or 3-day workshop, and the best companies know this.

Developing their sales managers into skilled coaches who can have a significant and lasting impact on the performance of their sales teams and sales results requires an investment of time and money.

But in the end, the organisations that make this kind of long-term investment are also the ones that lead in their markets, have happier sales teams and significantly reduce their turnover. 

I would love to work with you and your team to help design and implement a sales manager training and/or sales representative training program you can be sure will get real results. ​You can book a FREE 30-minute discovery call with me to find out more. Let's talk! 

Click Here >>>FREE 30-minute Discovery Call with Mike Allison<<<

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Digital Distraction May Be Killing Your Productivity.

Digital distraction has, and seems to continue to shorten our attention spans.

According to some, our attention spans have now been reduced to about 8 seconds while that of a goldfish is 9 seconds. At least that's what was claimed in an article in Time magazine.  

Still with me? Please, take your nose out of your smartphone for just a moment more…

According to one source, the statistics cited in the Time magazine article are dubious, and that may be true. But what is also true is that our smart phones, tablets, SMS, and email has reduced out attention spans to that of fleas. 

That may seem humorous, yet it's no laughing matter if you consider how digital distraction is killing productivity in the workplace.

We are increasingly logging in to our social media accounts, and then forgetting what it was we were going to do there and instead find ourselves watching a video of Russian driver's who've had too much vodka smashing their cars into all manner of objects. 

"I'm crazy busy!"

I don't know where this expression came from, but when I was living and working in China I found that the Chinese loved to use it, especially millennials.

Why is this happening? Ask anyone you meet today how they are, and they're likely to respond with, "I'm busy." In fact, they may only be able to get out one word: "Busy," because they don't have the time to use a short, 3-syllable sentence like "I'm busy." 

And people wear "Busy" like a badge of honour. After all, it means you're being productive, and to many individuals it also means they're important, at least in their own eyes.

I recall being in Acapulco on vacation some years back and conversing with a fellow vacationer in the resort pool. When I told him that we were there for a two-week vacation, he very proudly and almost with his chest puffed up and sticking out said, "I'd love to take two weeks too, but I just can't leave work for more than one week."

​Oh yeah! He had a full schedule, business was good, even too good, and he was likely really getting ahead in the world of business. 

Or not!​

His busyness could also have meant that his precious time was being squeezed to death by meaningless distractions.

Digital Distraction Is Killing Productivity

Digital distraction, i.e., technology and information overload, is stifling, if not outright killing productivity. You know how your own smartphone can distract you, and in a very powerful way, too.

24-hour access to breaking news and mind-numbing, dumbed down entertainment, as well as our smartphones alerting us to the latest messages guarantees that we're constantly suffering from digital distraction

Although instant access to information can be beneficial in certain situations, when you and your team members lose control, it opens the door to distractions that weigh you down and keep you from focusing on the essential activities for driving high performance and working "on" your business. 

The Negative Side of Digital Distraction

Aside from noticing that you have the attention span of a flea, there are real risks associated with digital distraction.

Some evidence suggests that heavy Internet use, video games, and social media negatively impact the brain, interfering with its natural functions, even altering the brain, impacting reading, logic and reasoning ability, as well as hampering our social interaction skills so that we have more difficulty relating to other people.  

Information overload and digital distraction has already had a negative impact on the workplace, so much so that some organisations have banned laptops, mobile phones and other devices during work hours and meetings.

Tech devices lull us into a state of "partial attention" where we mix virtual with real social interactions. For example, you might be texting while talking to friends or checking social media during a meeting.

Taking Control

So, it's not completely your fault that you can't listen to more than ten seconds of a YouTube video before checking out the suggested videos on the sidebar. The reason behind the Incredibly Shrinking Attention Span is that we're simply bombarded with distractions. We used to turn things off, but now we live in a world of 24-hour mindless entertainment and breaking news.

If you're drowning in a sea of digital distraction, the important thing is to identify and control your distractors. 

Take Action

What most easily distracts you, e.g., email, social media, surfing the web, games etc.? Brainstorm and write down a few of the key distractors that spring to mind.

While you're working, take a one-hour time block and write down the number of times you are distracted and what distracted you. Use a notebook to record the details. (Don't write "Writing down my distractions distracted me!")

Once you identify your most common digital distractions, determine which of them causes the most problems for you and then decide how to eliminate those distractions. Doing so will help you to significantly increase your level of productivity at work. ​

I will work with you and your team to help identify the non-essential activities you're wasting time on so you can focus on the activities that are essential for driving sales and high performance. My "Seize The Day And SOAR" Coaching Program is specifically designed to accomplish this goal.

Contact me: mike@mikeallisoncoaching.com or through LinkedIn or call me direct: +1 (204) 806  2977. I will never waste your time.

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8-Hour Workday – The Myth

The 8-hour workday is an arbitrary idea that has no foundation, i.e., there's no research showing the 8-hour workday is better for the productivity, creativity or profitability of your team and company.  

 The 8-hour workday was born during the industrial revolution when employers and employees were attempting to make working in factories more humane. But what about for you and I working 200 years later? Does the 8-hour workday make any sense?

The 8-hour workday is a myth

Insisting that employees be present in the work place for 8 hours each day is non-sensical. Consider why.

Out of an 8-hour workday, how many hours do you think your people are actually doing focused work that is adding to the bottom line of your business? 

If you're a sales executive, I'm pretty confident that you know from your own experience that you rarely, if ever, do focused work for 8 hours. And if that's true, then why are you and the rest of your colleagues spending 8 hours or more at the office each day?

For no other reason than your company, like most other companies in the world, ​have blindly accepted the idea of the 8-hour workday. 

Remember...

"The 8-hour workday is an idea with no foundation. 8-hour workdays do not make people more productive."

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An 8-hour workday is not best for your brain

Do you do your best work near the end of an 8-hour shift? I highly doubt it. Nearing the end of an 8-hour workday you're likely finding yourself less focused and more easily distracted​ by things other than work. Why?

Well, think about this from the angle of exercising your body. If you do a one-hour intense workout, how do you feel when you're done? Probably great, right? 

What if after your one-hour workout you rested for 15 minutes or so, and then did another one-hour intense workout? Do you think you'd complete it? If you're in decent shape, it likely wouldn't be a problem and you'd likely still feel quite good after the second workout, right?

What about another 15-minute break and then a third workout?  Could you do it? Probably. But after the third one-hour workout I'm pretty sure you'd be starting to feel more exhausted than just great. 

A fourth workout? Maybe....but how do you think you'd be feeling after that one? 

Now imagine if you were required to workout for 8 hours. How do you think you'd feel by the end of that? Even with 15-minute breaks between each one-hour workout, it's likely you wouldn't be feeling that great. And I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to be doing that 5 days each week. 

​Now take that example and simply apply it to your brain and the mind that is associated with your brain. 

When you and your team members insist on an 8-hour workday, 5 days each week, you're very likely over exercising your brain, and just as your body needs a rest to recover and perform at its peak each day, your brain also needs down time to rest so it can perform at its peak each day.

8-hour-workday

Frequent breaks during an 8-hour workday are good for your brain.

17-minute breaks are the key to productivity​

Since an 8-hour workday isn't the best for your brain or the quality of your concentration and focus, what works better?

It turns out that a company by the name of Draugiem Group tested their own employees using a productivity app called DeskTime. And they discovered that their most productive employees didn't work close to an 8-hour day.

Instead, Draugiem's research found that "the most productive people work for 52 minutes at a time, then break for 17 minutes before getting back to it."

During these 52-minute work "sprints" the most productive of Draugiem's employees are 100 percent focused on the task at hand. They don't allow anything to distract them, such as email, text messages, or social media. 

And what do those ultra-productive employees do during their 17-minute breaks? 

Most of them get away from their computer. Ideas for that 17-minute break include: 

  • do some little exercises in your office.
  • get outside, walk around and clear your head and move your body.
  • have a chat with your co-workers about something other than work.
  • watch funny animal videos (if you have to stay on the computer for some reason). Apparently, watching funny videos of dogs and cats has been shown to increase productivity.

Conclusion

Working for 8 hours straight is not what the most productive people do, at least not in the study done by the Draugiem Group of their own employees.  

Working in "sprints" and then taking a fairly significant break from work altogether gives the most productive people time to rest their brains and move their bodies, which is always a good thing.

Try the 52-minute work "sprints" and 17-minute breaks for yourself and see how it affects your productivity. ​And then let me know what you discovered for yourself. 

I would love to work with you and your team to help identify the non-essential activities you're wasting time on so you can focus on the activities that are essential for driving sales and high performance. ​You can book a FREE 30-minute discovery call with me using this link: 30-minute Discovery Call with Mike Allison.   

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Boost Your Energy Levels Right Now and SOAR!

Want to boost your energy levels really fast, like right now? Then the following plan is just what you need because you want to live your life and accomplish your work at your peak level of performance.

And I'm confident that's what you also want for yourself and your family so you can all enjoy your lives to the full. 

You're going to change your lifestyle for the better starting right now! I guarantee that if you implement the plan that follows here over the next two weeks, you're going to experience a dramatic positive change in the quality of your life, a rapid boost to your energy levels, and your satisfaction and happiness will increase. 

The SOAR "Boost Your Energy Levels" Plan

This plan should be followed for 14 days. I'm confident that this will completely change your life for the better and you'll never look back.

1) Rise at 05:30 each morning and do 15 minutes of exercise on an empty stomach. You may want to use Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home 1 Mile Happy Walk if you haven't been exercising regularly. See the video below. 

I'd also encourage you to read the article Can You Lose Weight By Walking?by Helen Sanders, the Chief Editor at www.healthambition.com

Even if you don't need to lose weight, Helen's article is a must read on the benefits of walking as well as suggestions on how to add walking to your daily routine. 

2) Eat a light but healthy breakfast of hot oatmeal with a sliced banana and some blueberries. 

3) 5 minutes of positive affirmations prior to leaving for work or starting your work at home if that's where you work from. (See the video below). This is going to put you in a positive frame of mind to start your day's activities.  

4) No technology turned on prior to arriving at your office, and then only your computer. No checking emails allowed until 11:45 a.m., and no mobile phone and no social media allowed until your lunch break. 

5) Spend 10 minutes reviewing your 3 goals for the day and think about, "what would a great day look, sound and feel like?"

6) Complete three, 50-minute work blocks with a 10-minute break in between each block. With this method you'll likely be able to accomplish 2 of your 3 goals by noon because you're able to focus completely on your work without being distracted by phone calls, messages, emails and social media. 

7) Take a 45-minute lunch break and eat a healthy lunch. No McD's, Burger King, KFC or other similar places. I'd suggest taking your own lunch to work. Spend some fun time preparing your lunch or the following day each evening instead of wasting time sitting on the couch mindlessly watching television.

8) Afternoons can be spent completing you third goal for the day, making and receiving essential telephone calls, checking and answering essential emails and attending essential meetings.  

9) Leave the office at 17:00 as often as possible. Using public transportation will also reduce a lot stress and you can use that time for reading or listening to something upbuilding and positive. 

10) Prepare a simple, nutritious dinner each evening and eat it together with your family members without any distractions. Turn all technology off during dinner. The rest of the evening can be spent doing something positive and relaxing, e.g. reading something upbuilding and helpful, working on a hobby that you've neglected, going outside (weather permitting) for a leisurely stroll.

11) Bedtime to be no later than 10:30 pm. This will provide you with seven solid hours of sleep. No electronic screens (computer, television, tablet, mobile phone) for one hour prior to going to bed. 

What'll happen to your energy levels?​

In five words, "they'll go through the roof!"

Almost instantly!

No kidding!

After just the first day of following this plan, you're going to be amazed at how quickly it will boost your energy levels, reduce your stress levels and increase your overall enjoyment of the day.

This isn't to say that you won't face some challenges. Some individuals find the following three things to be their biggest ones:

  • 15 minutes of exercise each morning.
  • Other than your computer at work, no technology allowed until after lunch. 
  • Avoiding TV in the evenings. 

However, once you see and feel the results that following this simple plan brings, you're going to be inspired to keep it up as part of your daily routine.

To sum up, the SOAR "Boost Your Energy Plan" will: 

  • Boost your energy levels fast.
  • Increase your focus so you can accomplish your 3 essential goals each day.
  • Help you feel happier and more satisfied on a daily basis.
  • Keep you in a positive frame of mind, even when facing challenges.
  • Provide you with MORE time to spend with the people or on the activities that are of highest value to you. 

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If you'd like to find out more about how the SOAR Programme for Achieving High Performance will benefit you personally or your team, please contact me through LinkedIn or email me at: mike@mikeallisoncoaching.com.

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