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Leading cause of death for sales reps : fo·cus

by | Mar 23, 2016

Attn: CEOs/Founders/VPs -The only method to keep your sales team focused

I’ve built and scaled several SaaS sales teams having experimented with many methods to try and keep sales teams focused + motivated. Spiffs, trips, “chips, dips, chains, whips.” You name it, I’ve likely experimented with it.

Despite all those experiments, nothing, and I mean nothing, comes close to the level of focus I’ve been able to achieve with this one simple tactic. It’s more like a formula because it needs to be specifically followed like a baking recipe. WARNING: If you stray from this recipe even slightly, it will not be effective.

Step 1: Buy a whiteboard (windows also make for excellent improvised whiteboards)

Step 2: Place the whiteboard in the most visible location for both the sales team and the entire office to see. I like areas where you first walk into the office and it’s the first thing you notice.

Step 3: In huge (72+ font) type, write the following:


Step 4: Every morning decrement the number. “Biz Days” = business days left in the month, NOT calendar days. The point is that this is a smaller number than what your calendar shows. You have much less time than you think.

Step 5: Your CEO, VP Sales and every team leader should ask their team members several times a week, “How many biz days are left in the month?” If a Rep can’t answer, tell them they need to know that the next time you ask.

Bonus: Sales teams will always complain and that’s human nature. When a Rep complains that they “need better leads”, “need a new case study” or “need a standing desk to perform” just nod your head in agreement. Then, simply ask them,

“How many biz days are left in the month?”

The result is immediate focus on what they need to be doing in the trenches to be successful today. fo·cus

There are a few nuances that are worth highlighting. I have a defined method to this madness and everything I do has a very specific reason. Behind every detail is a specific battle scar that I’ve learned the hard way. You’re welcome to benefit from my mistakes or I encourage you to go earn some of your own.

Why is it in Blue and Red? There’s a specific reason

Why is it monthly? There’s a specific reason

Why does it need to be handwritten vs. projected on a monitor? There’s a specific reason

Why do I need to continually ask my Reps this? There’s a specific reason

Why is it business days vs. calendar days? There’s a specific reason

If you want to know the specific reasons why, ask in the comments and I’ll share further context.


If you implement this Formula exactly following the specifications and you don’t see a material difference in your sales team’s focus within the first 5 biz days we’ll send you a gift. Just email me a detailed account of your attempt and your mailing address to [email protected]


The Whiskey/Vino Challenge

We’ve taken this thinking to heart at Whalr. We’re so confident that we can identify > 50% of the anonymous Gmail/Yahoo/CompuServe emails in your CRM that we’ll give you the “Sonar Guarantee” = bottle of fine whiskey or white wine. Sonar Whiskey Challenge — Game On!

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