Cold Calling Tips Revealed From Super Bowl Data

Like football, sales prospecting is a contact sport. Identifying qualified leads, crafting the perfect pitch, and reaching out in the right way at the right time all take strategy, tenacity, guts… and the right data.

About three years ago our sales reps started telling us that when they called into Atlanta as it was raining, everybody answered the phone, and they made more sales. Industry research shows the single biggest obstacle that sales reps face is reaching busy decision makers.

Could the weather actually affect sales by affecting the ability to reach people? We put our data scientists on the question and they came back with a resounding “Yes!”

Then our reps noticed that before big sporting events like the World Cup or when Jimmer was sinking his wicked 40-foot 3’s, the whole game of sales seemed to be affected. Could sporting events also affect sales prospecting? The Moneyball model Oakland A’s have already been a model for predictive analytics in sales.

This week,’s data scientists looked at national and regional datasets collected over the past three years in our Neuralytics predictive analytics engine to see how the Super Bowl affects contact rates between sales reps and their leads.

Big Game Hangover

National contact rates drop just after playoff season, and descend even further after the Super Bowl. Hordes of fans around the country are mourning losses and need some time to recover. Over the past three years, the Patriots displayed the biggest decline (-46 percent) in contact rates of all participating teams. Let’s hope (for the sake of sales reps calling into the Boston region) that the Patriots take home a win this year.

Super Bowl fans in winning cities answer phones slightly more after a win, but losing city fans swing stronger the other direction... especially New England!

Chart 1: Super Bowl fans in winning cities answer phones slightly more after a win, but losing city fans swing stronger the other direction with a big drop in contact rates… especially in New England!

This is especially true for the losing team’s region: For the three weeks after the Super Bowl, losing regions decrease their likelihood to accept sales calls (25 percent) and experience an even greater decrease in their contact rates (about 29 percent) (see Chart 2).

The Joy of Winning

There is an exception to every rule, and the exception here is with the winning team. Winning regions experience a significant spike in their likelihood to accept sales calls (32 percent), with contact rates increasing by nearly 10 percent for a month following the game (see Chart 2.)

Notice how the contact rates for winning cities rise significantly after a superbowl victory and losing cities don't answer the phone as much for three weeks while they recover?

Chart 2: Notice how the contact rates for winning cities rise significantly after a Super Bowl victory and losing cities don’t answer the phone as much for three weeks while they recover?

The fans of teams that eventually become Super Bowl champions are unlikely to answer as their eyes are probably glued to ESPN. Contact rates for these fans maintain below-average rates during the playoffs and in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, but skyrocket following their eventual win (see Chart 2).

Here are a few “key plays” every sales team should consider:

Start Early to Tap Into Nationwide Euphoria

Four weeks before the Super Bowl, the NFL playoffs are in full swing and fans around the country are electrified and hungry for a chance at Super Bowl glory. This is an optimal time to contact Americans nationwide for a sales pitch (contact rates increase by 15 percent). However, you need to know when to back off as contact rates drop off significantly as teams are eliminated.

Don’t Bother Me, I’m on ESPN 

During the week prior to the big game and for two weeks following, people across the nation are less likely to accept sales calls.

East Coast vs. Central vs. West Coast: Understand the National Fandom Heat Map

All fans are not created equal as passions play out regionally in the week following the Super Bowl. The Upper Midwest wins the true “fanatic” title in the variance of swing of willing to engage in phone contacts, with Central not far behind. Eastern and West Coast fans have a more laid back reaction to the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat (refer to Chart 3). Use this little nugget to sharpen your sales prospecting strategies in real-time.

Superbowl regional fans vary widely on the swing of contact rates during the 5 weeks before and after the Superbowl.

Chart 3: Superbowl regional fans vary widely on the swing of contact rates during the 5 weeks before and 5 weeks after the Superbowl.

Just Happy to Be Here

From a historical perspective, regions that eventually return home without a victory have contact rates above average during the playoffs and in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, but drop off significantly following their big loss (see Chart 2).

Are these fans just happy to make it to the big game? Who knows, but sales teams can take advantage of their excitement before their team loses with some targeted prospecting.

The Super Bowl is only one of many factors that influence whether a sales rep will be able to reach a prospect (and, in turn, close a sale). The outcome of sporting events doesn’t have the same impact on contact rates as immediate response to leads, time of day or day of week, for example.

To win in sales or football, you have to take risks, and based purely on the historical data on contact rates of winning and losing teams in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, and admittedly correlative and probably not causative, and if contact rate profiles were the primary deciding factor; then New England fans are matching contact rate profiles of a winning Super Bowl team this year.

So, here goes… New England for the win.

How fanatic are you?

What’s your prediction?

NOTE: Here is a more in-depth analysis of the Super Bowl Sales Playbook.

2015 Trends Report Says Sales Process and CRM Use is Decaying!

Barry Trailer, Jim Dickie, and their company CSO Insights have been the leading sales research firm for 20 years; it’s all they do. CSO is the Chief Sales Officer, and that is who tunes in to anything they say. Every year they do four annual research studies that have so much rich data behind them that Barry and Jim have become the sages of the sales industry. Their four research studies, each with key trends analysis are:

  • 21st Annual Sales Performance Optimization Study (SPO)
  • Sales Management Optimization Study
  • Lead Management & Social Engagement Study
  • Sales Compensation and Performance Management Study

The Sales Performance Optimization Study is going on as we speak. If you hurry you can still take it and get your own copy of what was a 214-page study last year when they wrap it up in the middle of February. I got to spend an hour with Barry on a sneak peek webinar last week and picked his brain about some of the things the data is showing. Barry is speaking about highlights of last year and forecasting trends again this week in the 1st Annual Inside Sales Kickoff event that also includes some insightful research from the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP.)

Bob Perkins and Larry Reeves are the founders of AA-ISP and also contribute annually to the research foundation of the inside sales or remote selling industry. I reached out to them as well as they prepare for their Kickoff and their first full day event on February 12 in San Francisco. I will mention a few things their research has found.

There is also some great research being done in the Inside Sales space by Dr. James Oldroyd, Vorsight, The Bridge Group, and the Reality Works Group.

This year Barry warns that both alarming and exciting things are happening.


Looking back at last year’s study we see some very worrisome trends developing in:

  • Quota Attainment
  • Revenue Plan
  • CRM Usage
  • Process Decay
  • Forecasting Accuracy

I have a 3 minute video summary here:

[youtubevid id=”gumtncg5z_I”]

Quota Attainment: Percentage of Reps Making Quota in 2009 – 2013 is going down.

CSO Insights shows that sales reps increased their quota attainment for four straight years after the crash of 2008, but slowed down in 2013

CSO Insights shows that sales reps increased their quota attainment for four straight years after the crash of 2008, but slowed down in 2013

  • 2009 = 51.8%
  • 2010 = 59.4%
  • 2011 = 63.0%
  • 2012 = 63.0%
  • 2013 = 58.2%

The 2009 number was an all time low on the heels of the economic tailspin at the end of 2008. 2013 was the first decline in four years.

Company Sales Plan Attainment: Percentage of Revenue Plan Attainment 2009 – 2013 is also going down.

CSO Insights research shows the average percentage of companies achieving their revenue plans from 2009 until 2013, out of 1200+ companies surveyed

CSO Insights research shows the average percentage of companies achieving their revenue plans from 2009 until 2013 is decreasing, out of 1200+ companies surveyed

  • 2009 = 77.9%
  • 2010 = 85.9%
  • 2011 = 89.0%
  • 2012 = 89.2%
  • 2013 = 83.9%

The downturn in 2013 was also the first such shift in four years across the 1200+ firms surveyed.

CRM Usage: CRM usage is going down for the first time in 15 years. CRM engagement is a leading indicator of the assembly line upon which almost every other sales process and sales application run in the sales industry. Barry thinks we may be taking our eye of the ball. We are missing the blocking and tackling that makes up successful sales. His trend lines and key indicators show that the Great Recession of 2008 was a big wakeup call for companies everywhere and for four straight years sales leaders and teams improved their numbers every year in a row.

Until 2012… Then things leveled off and the last two years they are heading back down. He warns we are all becoming complacent, and like the herd mentality, it looks like we are all doing it together. That leaves great opportunity for those who buck the trend and tighten up their CRM usage and sales process.

Sales Forecasting Accuracy: Barry warns that sales forecasting is as bad, maybe worse, as it has ever been. I joked with him that in years past we could flip a coin and get as good of odds as the accuracy of the average VP Sales guessing what their team would bring in.

“This year it’s worse!” Barry laughed. “Try just over 45% accuracy. Flipping a coin provides better odds than our best sales guess.”

Sales Process: One of the most impactful aspects I look forward to in Barry’s research study is the CSO Insights Sales Relationship / Process MatrixTM. This is probably the meatiest and most proprietary aspect of the study that compares five levels of relationship a provider has with their customers:

  • Approved Vendor: Legitimate provider but no significant competitive edge.
  • Preferred Supplier: Your marketplace reputation makes you preferred among competitors.
  • Solutions Consultant: Your product, insights, or services place you as a consulting resource.
  • Strategic Contributor: Above and beyond consulting, you are a source of strategic planning resource for broader challenges.
  • Trusted Partner: Your long term contributions—products, insights, and processes are viewed as key to your client’s long-term success.

And the four levels of sales process they employ to leverage their performance:

  • Random process: Your Company may be perceived as anti-process.
  • Informal process: Process is neither monitored nor measured but exists loosely.
  • Formal process: You enforce use of defined sales process with periodic reviews.
  • Dynamic process: You dynamically monitor and receive continuous feedback on your formal process and improve it based on key changes in market conditions.

It highlights 3 levels of performance and looks like this:

CSO Insights 2014 Sales Relationship and Process Matrix that shows the direct relationship with companies who drive strong trust relationships with customers and employ strong formal and dynamic sales process on overall sales results

CSO Insights 2014 Sales Relationship and Process Matrix that shows the direct relationship with companies who drive strong trust relationships with customers and employ strong formal and dynamic sales process on overall sales results

Those familiar with the work of Barry and Jim will be familiar with their contention that how you sell can be a sustainable competitive edge. The finding originally arose from the trends they observed year-over-year and was based on research they initially published in Harvard Business Review (HBR) in 2006 and then expanded to a paper published in HBR in Europe in 2011. The outcome of those analyses was that the level of sales process rigor applied to the marketplace in sales, combined with the level of customer relationship developed with your client base, directly affect sales performance.

The gray section of the SRP MatrixTM illustrates that if companies are totally random with process, individual sales contributors may reach the status of trusted partner with their own clients, the company as a whole does not get to that level. Here is a backwards glance at the comparison of what happened last year in 2014 between the three levels:

CSO Insights compares the sales performance around Quota, Plan, Forecast Accuracy, and Turnover for companies at Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 trust relationships and sales process rigor

CSO Insights compares the sales performance around Quota, Plan, Forecast Accuracy, and Turnover for companies at Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 trust relationships and sales process rigor

They ask CEOs, which sales organization would you rather have? As investors, which company would you rather own stock in? And as for the Chief Sales Officer, which level of sales organization do you want to lead in 2015?

They point out that the distinctions that separate these organizations have been consistent over the last seven years and are becoming wider each year. In 2008 the SPO report showed the outcome of forecast deals at Level 2 were 5 points higher than Level 1; today that spread is 9 points. And the range between level 2 and Level 3 firms has increased to 7 full points. Barry warns that the only thing Level 1 companies see are the tail lights of Level 2 and Level 3 companies.

Process matters!

And sales process is wholly in your own hands.

Instead we are taking our eye off the ball and letting our sales processes decay. Again a backwards glance at the three levels show a peak in companies operating at Level 3 and Level 2 in 2012:

SRP Matrix Historical Shift shows that Level 3 companies in green and Level 2 companies in yellow peaked in 2012 and lessened in 2013 indicating their discipline in sales process rigor is decaying

SRP Matrix Historical Shift shows that Level 3 companies in green and Level 2 companies in yellow peaked in 2012 and lessened in 2013 indicating their discipline in sales process rigor is decaying

You will have to quickly take the study by the middle of February to see what happened last year.

So what areas of 2014 are exciting?

Inside Sales or Telesales This next generation of sales is widening the gap between the tradition model that hasn’t adjusted to the virtual sales model defined as professionals sales done remotely model that has been called inside sales. This approach is often now being referred to by enterprise companies like Cisco, whose own Luca Felli and many others coin the phrase Virtual Sales or the Next Generation Sales Model.

The AA-ISP report their most recent research shows that 52% of companies are increasing headcount this year in their Inside Sales department, while 85% are increasing their training programs.

The Top Challenges in the Inside Sales arena was looked by the AA-ISP from two perspectives, the individual sales reps, and sales leadership.

The Top 3 Challenges of frontline sales reps in 2014 were:

  1. Quality and Quantity of Leads
  2. Career Development
  3. Training

The Top 3 Challenges of sales leadership in 2014 were:

  1. Training
  2. Recruiting & Hiring
  3. Lead Quality & Quantity

Traditional field or face-to-face models have already embraced a hybrid design that combines outside and inside or remote sales together as outside reps are spending more and more of their day on the phone and web conferencing resources as buyers have less time and need to meet face-to-face. Barry moves from this SPO study to a special research project around the Telesales initiative in March.

Social Media Social Media is finally coming of age. Even last year Barry warned it wasn’t producing the actual Sales Performance results all the hype and buzz were indicating. No longer. Social selling with social media is finally getting the traction that the trend was indicating. Barry says that there will be more specific data in the third study this year called the Lead Management & Social Engagement Study.

There is a great article by my Forbes colleague Jayson DeMers called The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015

Sales Tools & Technology There are more sales tools for sales acceleration than ever before. This may be the most exciting trend for organizations who need leverage to improve the velocity of their next generation sales models (as long as they keep their sales process from delay and decay.) Be warned that there are specific sales acceleration technologies and specific sales acceleration principles and best practices that are needed to wring the most value out of the trends that arising.

The AA-ISP contribute some interesting tidbits around technology use: 65% of sales organizations still do not use video in their sales efforts, while only 6% use it regularly. 20% of sales reps now actively use text messaging to reach out to customers.

Top Sales Objectives for 2014

CSO Insights asked 1200+ companies what their top sales objectives were for 2014

CSO Insights asked 1200+ companies what their top sales objectives were for 2014

It will be a very interesting update to see what this years top objectives are. Which, with Barry’s permission we will update when the research comes out. A slide right out of the webinar Barry and I did shows the Top Sales Effectiveness Initiatives for 2015:

Top sales effectiveness initiatives for 2015

Top sales effectiveness initiatives for 2015

The research I have highlighted that Barry provides is only a small fraction of the overall Sales Force Demographics Analysis in the study. Barry and Jim do a deep dive into real critical answers to questions like:

  • Your Team’s ability to hire sales reps that will succeed.
  • How will your sales force change in size this year?
  • What is the annual turnover rate in your sales force?
  • How do your salespeople spend their time?
  • What is the average quota of your salespeople?
  • How long does a sales rep take to ramp to productivity?
  • What is the average size of a sales deal?
  • How long is the average sales cycle?
  • What rep behaviors does your comp plan actually motivate?
  • What percentage of your sales force is “actively engaged” in their selling?

The survey is just finishing up and you can still participate if you are in management of a sales team and you want access to this incredible data about sales performance trends in 2015. Barry summarizes his advice based on this entire study in one line:

Find More, Win More, Keep & Grow More.

You can watch Barry’s most recent sneak peak webinar or tune in to his overview with the AA-ISP and nearly 50 other thought leaders all summarizing in about 5 minutes what they learned in 2014 and the trends of 2015. I am hoping to do a follow up article that summarizes each of their predictions.

Level 6 Time Management: Week At A Glance PDF

This is a resources page for the article I wrote for Forbes called Level 6 Time Management: Managing Change And Trends.


This is an image of the PDF you can download of the Week At A Glance planner tool

This is an image of the PDF you can download of the Week At A Glance planner tool

Week At A Glance planning tool. This chart I have developed is one of the most powerful tools I’ve ever used. We have used it for years at to help people plan their week, which Covey recommends to be both effective and efficient.

Date Range: do a new chart for each week.

Weekly Tasks: This is a place to capture (list) the main things you want to do that week.

Week At A Glance Calendar: This is where you arrange the events of your week to accomplish the tasks.

Top 6 Weekly Tasks: This is where you grab the top 6 in order of priority from your Weekly Tasks list above. Then you arrange your Top 6 Weekly tasks by day in bold or all CAPS so they are obvious. Then flow in the rest of your Weekly Tasks above by day.

Priorities: This is where you remind yourself of what or who is most important that week.

Notes: This is a place for key notes related to your week.

Key Recurring Actions: Notice there are five columns, one for each day of your work week. The top row is just to mark that you planned and marked each day below.

Here is where you list your Top 7 Key Recurring Actions which MUST occur daily or 1-3 times a week.

6 Keys to Change Management: VitalSmarts Bestsellers ‘Influencer’ and ‘Change Anything’ Even Explain How to Lose Weight!

(This is an expanded version of the second article on managing change and business transformation… and weight loss! — Ken

Why is it so hard for companies and people to change?

My long time neighbor Ron McMillan recently co-wrote two amazing books on change: Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, and most recently, Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success.

Ron helped found Vitalsmarts and he and three other colleagues are probably most known for writing the New York Times landmark bestsellers as Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability. Ron was unavailable for an interview but his co-author David Maxfield joined me for half an hour on the topic of change management for companies and individuals.

I was sitting on my phone, taking notes in Evernote at a table at Roxberry, drinking a green smoothie to lose weight as I listened to David.

I had already heard he and his colleagues speak several times on these critical topics at BYU Education week every August.

The book Influencer is already on it’s second edition and is currently ranked in the Top 20 on Amazon in three categories.

Influencer stresses the importance of leadership in helping others change.

Change Anything is about changing yourself.

I asked David, “Why did Vitalsmarts choose the topics of change leadership and changing oneself?”

David responded, “Because change management isn’t working.”

“The Standish Group says 9 out of 10 large scale IT engagements don’t deliver on time, within budget, or to the specs that were promised.”

“At the more mundane personal level, we spend $2 billion a year on diets, but 19 of 20 people lost nothing but their money. Stanford studied the top 3 diets available and found that they all work… if you stick with them. But almost nobody does. We can’t live up to the change commitments we make.”

I said, “Wait, don’t call weight loss mundane! I represent that remark!” I at least lost 13 pounds on my last very expensive dietary adventure.

I go on, “So let’s attack both directions; how to change an organization and weight loss. Every day we have leaders in companies come to us to help them change their technology, but they don’t want to change their behavior or their culture. They’ve been working under the traditional sales model for decades. They have salespeople going face-to-face all over the country. They are faced with competitors who are generating web leads and inside sales people on the phone and they are getting hammered. They pull me aside privately and admit they don’t have the skills to actually change.”

I continue, “They buy, they hire sales trainers. They try to get marketing to stop worrying about un-trackable advertising and branding and start generating web leads, but nobody wants to change. They can’t get the reps to make the calls, to use the CRM, to follow the skills training. They can’t get marketing to focus on all that matters… leads!”

He laughs. “There are two forces at play here. Those things like technology, tools, and skills are above the water line. You can see them. But then there is everything below the water line: The cultural norms, what people do, the internal politics, the things you have to do to get things done. Change stops when it hits the iceberg below the waterline.”

“Here’s an example,” he continues, “Hospitals in the US are all trying to get 100% hand hygiene. There are 100,000 deaths a year in the US alone because people don’t wash their hands enough in hospitals. We stress what we call 200% accountability; for you, and for everyone else.”

“If you are a housekeeper cleaning the window, you wash your hands. And you better speak up to the surgeon who hasn’t washed her hands who walks in the room with the patient.  But that is hard, very stressful. That is countercultural. Housekeepers don’t speak to surgeons, nurses don’t even speak to surgeons.”

“Unless you change that norm you don’t get hand hygiene. Putting up posters doesn’t work. But if you can change this one thing, you change all other areas of patient safety and cost control because you address personal factors, social factors and the environmental factors of change.”

I joked about drinking my Roxberry and my own crazy cycle of weight loss in a high stress environment. I asked David next, “So tell me about these six sources of influence.”

He responded excitedly, “Before the six sources of influence you ask two questions: Can I change? And, will it be worth it?”

He goes on, “Then you dive into personal motivation and ability, whether others around you enable or disable you, whether there is a system of incentive and if your environment makes it easy to do the right stuff, or tempting to do the wrong stuff.”

From his book, “Influencers do three things better than others. They are clearer about the results they want to achieve and how they will measure them. They focus on a small number of vital behaviors that will help them achieve those results. They overdetermine change by amassing six sources of influence that both motivate and enable the vital behaviors.”

The Influencer teaches how to master six sources of influence from psychology, social psychology, and organizational theory:


1-    Personal Motivation: Help Them Love What they Hate. Work to connect vital behaviors to intrinsic motives.
2-    Personal Ability: Help Them Do What They Can’t. Build personal ability to do behaviors through deliberate practice.


3-    Social Motivation: Provide Encouragement.
4-    Social Ability: Provide Assistance


5-    Structural Motivation: Change Their Economy. Attach appropriate incentives or sanctions to motivate people to pick up or stop vital behaviors.
6-    Structural Ability: Change Their Space. Things such as systems, process, reporting structures, visual cues, work layouts, tools, supplies, and machinery support vital behaviors.

Combining all six of these sources of influence help an Influencer overdetermine change.

I ask, “So tell me about your newest book, Change Anything.”

He responds, “We challenge you to escape the willpower trap and evolve a plan that works perfectly for your subject: you.”

He goes on, “When people can’t change, it’s rarely because they lack the will. They are blind and outnumbered: They’re blind to all but 1 or 2 of the 6 sources of influence… and there are far more sources under the waterline working against them than there sources acting for them.”

“People who see and use all six sources of influence are 10 times more likely to change and create change.”

“We all think we have the power to change just through our force of will. We know we should change. We want to change. But we don’t change!”

“That calls into question the belief that we actually do have power to change on our own. We call it agency.”

“The numbers say we don’t have as much as we think we do!” I pipe up.

He continues, “In the book we quote research that shows: 85% of efforts to drive new behavior in organizations fail. 87% of employees have suffered economically because they didn’t change. Only 1 in 5 American adults are financially prepared. Only 1 of 10 couples in marriage counseling actually stay together. 90% of those getting coronary bypass surgery are back to the same behavior within 2 years.”

Then his tempo increased, “4 years ago we studied 5000 people who tried to change. 4400 failed. 600 succeeded. How much more successful were the 600? As I said, they were 10x more likely to change. Why? They did 6 things better.”

He lists them, so I number them:

  1. They learn to love what they hate.
  2. They learn skills to do that they couldn’t.
  3. They recruit accomplices to help them change.
  4. They remove the accomplices that stop them from change.
  5. They use or lose incentives to help them change.
  6. They control their space, their surroundings, to make it easier to change.”

“They focus on the 6 sources of influence, 6 levers they can pull, rather than endlessly tugging on willpower alone.”

So I stop him, “So where do you begin? How does a business leader start?”

He responds, “Ask first… is the problem worth solving?”

He laughs, “My dad always said, ‘If something’s not worth doing at all, it’s certainly not worth doing well!’ So build a business case. In the hospital example we call it a clinical case. Is it worth it? Or more important, what happens if you don’t change?”

“Ouch!” I say, “I better stick with my green smoothies! So teach me to lose weight, what would you tell me to do?”

He eagerly responds, “Start with what we know. Calories. Eat right and exercise. Track progress. If you are normal you will encounter setbacks. Instead of being frustrated, turn a bad day into good data. You are a scientist. What were the ingredients of the setback?”

“Let’s say you stop at Starbucks, you are late for  a plane, you order a beverage with 3000 calories. Then later you say, Dang! That was a horrible thing to do for my diet. What was I saying to myself? I skipped lunch. I’ve been standing all morning, I deserve it. I’m worn out, I’m tired.”

“Should I say something else to myself?

“Identify crucial moments when I fail. The 6 sources come in when I light up an exercise strategy. Are there obstacles that I can turn into advantages. My plan is to run an hour for 3 days a week. Personal motivation. What do I dislike most? The place I run. Indoors? Go outdoors.”

“Do I love music playing? Download your favorite songs to your iPhone 5s. Get a carrying case to strap on your upper arm. Maybe there are a new pair of shoes to make it more pleasant.”

“That us Personal motivation.”

“Personal Ability? Learn more about running groups. Learn a new exercise for when it’s raining or my knees are sore.”

“Social motivation. Partner to run with, email a partner when you run. Have them email you also.”

“Social ability side. Maybe I need to work with my spouse to free up time with me in the morning, she fills in, then I help her out in another time…”

“Structural. Incentives work. If I can find short term rewards for myself it makes a big deal. Also, put skin in the game. Put something at risk.”

“My neighbor is on the Olympic Nordic combined team. His coach asked him to lose 10 pounds. Strict diet. Weigh food. Exercise. He decided to put a pile of $20 bills on the mantle. Every Friday his wife and daughter would evaluate whether he did good. They would so something fun or burn the $20 bill in the fireplace. Yale expert Dean Carlin studied that and found it is very effective.”

“Structural Ability. How about a heart monitor. New shoes. Identify more trails. Moving to a location on a trail. That is changing your environment to help you succeed.”

I interject, “So I’m stacking the deck every possible way for my success! Where does building a predefined plan fit in?”

He responds, “It would fit into defining Vital Behaviors. We often map out a plan, it really starts getting meaty when you get setbacks. Here is a crucial moment when you combine 6 sources of behavior.

“Who is the german general said there is no war plan that withstood the first battle? You have to extemporize. It was often cited by Henry Kissinger.”

“No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.” – Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

I’ll try and find the quote. With the interview coming to a close, I ask, “Of the 6 variables, which is the one they don’t do? And what are the easy ones?”

He chuckles, “Couple of different answers. Easy answer, people are different. That is a copout. I was working with the leader of an addiction center. He said he  can put all sources in place for a Hollywood starlet, but they have to want to change.” Personal motivation is first. Agency, or what little they have.

He went on, “The ones they underplay the most is the social support. Adding a social element, getting a partner. Many times the people you think of as friends, are accomplices. They enable or discourage the wrong stuff. Your friends won’t tell you to lose weight, if you give them permission they will help you. If you don’t, they won’t.”

It finally dawns on me, “So I guess I get my friends involved, especially my wife Crystal. So what’s first, how to get started? Where do you begin?”

David concludes, “Is it worth it? What is your default future? If you don’t lose the weight, what will happen? Where do you want to be? Can you visit it and make it tangible?”

I start thinking that it’s hard to lose weight. But it’s also hard living life without losing weight. Which life do I want?

“Ok,” I respond, “I’m in.”

Long interview, breakfast is over. I order another green smoothie for lunch. 132 calories, light and lean. Fresh Pineapple, celery, other green stuff.  I wonder if I can do the same for dinner.

Time to change.

Author: Ken Krogue | Follow me on Google+
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

Why I Haven’t Written Much Lately

People are asking me where I’ve been.

I’ve usually written a new article or two every week for several years. I’ve been lucky to write my thoughts once in a month or two.


Mick Hollison is the new Chief Marketing Officer for He comes from Citrix where he headed up much of marketing.

Mick Hollison is the new Chief Marketing Officer for He comes from Citrix where he headed up much of marketing.

Haven’t felt like there was much that I hadn’t already said.

So I’ve been learning new things, gaining answers to hard questions. I’m taking everything in, not giving much back recently.

Again. Sorry.

But I’ve embarked on a new adventure to get back to my roots.

What are my roots?

62 Top Sales Experts Share Sales Tips and Sales Quotes

We just passed the 6 month anniversary of The Inside Sales Virtual Summit, an industry event that changed the world of sales and marketing. More than 15,800 sales leaders registered for a day of learning and enchantment on June 20, 2013.

62 sales experts gathered for the largest online event of its kind that the sales industry had ever seen.

We just asked them to unite their wisdom one more time with a tip or sales quote. had me publish a quote or tip from every single one of them on the Salesforce blog. Forbes published articles telling how it was done in only three weeks from start to finish using  collaborative marketing.

Enjoy this summary of the quotes and tips from our 62 authors: Business and thought leaders who participated in the virtual summit that is now part of history.

NOTE: The specific tip or sales quote from each expert is their first statement in italics.

Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist at Apple shares his thoughts on "Encantment" as the purest form of sales

1. Guy Kawasaki, Author, Venture Capitalist and Technologist and former Chief Evangelist at Apple Computer

“Enchantment is the purest form of sales. Enchantment is all about changing people’s hearts, minds and actions because you provide them a vision or a way to do things better. The difference between enchantment and simple sales is that with enchantment you have the other person’s best interests at heart, too.”

Sales Operations: Lessons Learned From Fraser Bullock, Mitt Romney, And The 2002 Winter Olympics

Fraser Bullock, COO of the 2002 Winter Olympics and Advisory Board Member of, talks about Sales Operations

Fraser Bullock, COO of the 2002 Winter Olympics and Advisory Board Member of, talks about Sales Operations

What would you ask a man who is Managing Director of Sorenson Capital, Chairman of the Board of the #1 tourist attraction in Hawaii, former COO of the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics, former Chairman of the Board of Omniture, and a current board member of 7 companies including a new Advisory Board member and shareholder at our own

And did I mention he helped found Bain Capital with Mitt Romney and would have been heavily involved in our federal government today if the last election had gone differently?

Yesterday I had an hour and a half with Fraser Bullock, the very man.

62 Sales Tips and Sales Quotes Top Trending Article on Blog

Hello everyone. A while ago I was asked by my friend Amanda Nelson, who runs the blog to write an article for their awesome blog. I decided that the best article I could write would actually be a collaboration between the 62 different different sales experts, authors and business leaders who spoke at our record breaking Inside Sales Virtual Summit that was held on June 20th.

We had 15,800 people register for the live and archived content with 62 speakers.

Here is a quote from every single one of these incredible sales experts. Sort of like a virtual reunion!

It got posted today, Halloween Day, October 31st, 2013.

Here is the link to the article,

And as you can see, it trended to the top on the whole blog immediately!

Inside Sales Tips: Dialer Software And Why Salespeople Should Make More Calls

I just came from a two-day consulting engagement with the sales team and CEO of one of the largest residential solar power companies in the country. I was impressed because they already had some of the best internal processes, disciplines, and best practices I had seen.

1- Their sales process and personnel are focused into specialties. Our research with Dr. James Oldroyd has shown significantly higher close ratios for companies who focus on a specialist model rather than a generalist model where sales reps prospect, close, and service accounts.

31 Twitter Tips: How To Use Twitter Tools And Twitter Best Practices For Business

For years I have wondered what the value of Twitter is for sales and business. Everyone knows the indisputable value of LinkedIn for B2B sales, marketing, B2B prospecting, and entrepreneurs in general. But Twitter is gaining traction in B2B.

31 Twitter Tips: Twitter Tools and Twitter Best Practices for Business

31 Twitter Tips: Twitter Tools and Twitter Best Practices for Business

This article shares some of the latest Twitter strategies, tactics, tools, and best practices.

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has a really cool ebook called 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. It it gives you 1 thing to do per day on your blog for an entire month. It is for those who never quite get around to it because they are so busy.

Think of this article as “31 Days to Be Using Twitter to Build Your Business.”