The Sales Leader

Cutting Edge Strategies for Sales Leaders by Colleen Francis

Making your Presenations Memorable

Speaking of making your prsentations fun…Nothing perks up an audience like humor and no cartoons are more recognizable and beloved than those from the New Yorker magazine

My friend Dan Poynter ( let me know about this neat service.

You can rent the cartoons for your multimedia presentations for less than twenty bucks! More than 85,000 to choose from. You will enjoy making keyword searches for the cartoons that will make your audiences love you.


Are your Sales Presentations "Snoozers"?

Presentations Magazine reports that Infommersion (the makers of data-visualization software) conducted an online poll of 382 business managers about staying awake during presentations. The results? Seventy-one percent of those surveyed have fallen asleep or nodded off a bit during a presentation, and 43% have seen others nod off.

The most difficult types of presentations to remain fully awake?

  • Individual speeches 35%;
  • Training sessions 23%,
  • General meetings 16%.

Here’s the lesson: Fifty-one percent said the most important ingredient to keeping participants awake was “an animated and enthusiastic” speaker, followed by 36% saying “interesting and interactive.” The findings aren’t surprising, but they remind us of our need for passion and energy in our presentations.

They easiest way to ensure your clients are not falling alseep during your presentations is to engage them in the presentation. Ask them questions, get them talking, have them ask you questions. If they are participating, they can’t be asleep!

For more ideas on engaging senior decision makers during a presentation visit

Quick Quiz: Compensation Plan Best Practices

How does your team’s sales compensation plan stack up? Take our quick True or False quiz to test your knowledge


1. Sales people perform exactly as they are paid to perform.

2. Its OK to have a complicated compensation plan.

3. Introduce the new compensation plan part way through the first month of the New Year.


True: Your sales team will behave exactly according to how the plan best rewards them, concentrating their efforts on what pays the most. If you have a specific objective (e.g. new customers, more repeat sales, higher levels of customer service), then you must reward the behaviors that pursue those goals. When revising your current incentive plan start by defining the desired objectives first, and then match the reward to having those objectives met.

False: The more complex the compensation plan, the easier it is to misunderstand or manipulate. For example, if your salespeople are assigned to geographic territories, be sure to develop and communicate clear guidelines on how they can sell to accounts that cut across territories, and how they’ll be rewarded for those sales. Make sure everybody knows and understands the rules. Sales professionals that don’t understand their compensation assume (sometimes unfairly) that it’s working against their best interests. This creates resentment.

False: Managers need to provide their teams a heads up on how they will be compensated the next year to allow for planning and pipeline development. Introduce the plan a couple of weeks before you are scheduled to implement it, giving your team a few days to digest its contents. Then hold a group meeting to discuss it. Meet with each salesperson privately to reinforce the plan and address questions and concerns that weren’t raised before the group. Ask your people about the plan to check for understanding.


Make sure you understand the plan and all its rules yourself. Review and edit the plan with your sales manager, and bring a non-sales manager into the discussion for a different point of view. Together, you should anticipate the questions your team will have and prepare solid answers. Remember: your salespeople will check whether their potential compensation might decline under the new plan. If that’s the case, be prepared to defend the changes.

Increase your Profits

Recently, the American Society for Training an Development (ASTD) studied 2600 companies to determine the average spend on training and development. ASTD then looked at the relative success, of those companies based on Total shareholder return (TSR). Here is what they found:

Companies that spent more than the average on training and development delivered 45% more TSR than those who spent the average.

Companies that spent more than average on training and development delivered 86% more TSR to those who spent less than the average.

ROI in training has often been called elusive…..I think these stats speak for themselves.

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