Pre-Call Straightening – coaching prior to selected calls to make sure that the salesperson has a good reason for having the upcoming call, a desired outcome, a game plan or strategy, and the appropriate questions/dialog to achieve the desired outcome. It. Post-Call Debriefing – coaching after selected calls to discover the true outcome of the all, why the salesperson got that outcome, and what they could have done differently or more effectively b. Timeline: Coaching should be performed on the following time line: daily 10-15 minutes with each salesperson pro actively not passively c.
Hierarchy: Coaching has the following hierarchy: facts strategy role-play lesson-learned action plan 2) Accountability In its simplest form, sales accountability consists of the following: Holding salespeople accountable to something measurable – metrics – on a daily basis Being more demanding – being firmer and tougher Eliminating Excuse Making – people take responsibility for their results No more ender achieving – everyone achieves and over achieves or else… ) Timeline: Accountability is an ongoing function and takes place on the following time line: in a daily huddle no more than 5-10 minutes with your entire team (in person or by teleconference) using the power of peer pressure everyone reports on the metrics on which they are being held accountable (it isn’t necessary for everyone to be reporting on the same metrics) 3) Motivation Motivating your salespeople comes down to getting them to: 1. Do what they won’t do on their own 2. Change their behavior 3. Do more of what they are already doing 4. Have more of a sense of urgency 5.
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Over Achieve 4) Recruiting Having a process – not Just any process, but a world class, effective process that consistently yields great hires. You must use an assessment – not Just any assessment, but a world class, sales specific, predictive, customized assessment that will consistently identify people that will be top performers for you, in your business, calling into your market, with your pricing model and competition. You must be able to attract a large enough pool of quality candidates. The best assessment in the world is only as good as the candidates being assessed.
Knowing how to screen and interview salespeople – it’s not the same as interviewing for non-sales positions. You must have an effective orientation – a 90 day program to on board and ramp up your new salespeople Sales Management must be effective at coaching, motivating and accountability. Always Recruit – not Just when you need someone. Each hire must be stronger than your best salespeople. Make no exceptions to this process. Have realistic expectations about how long it should take before you receive consistent results from a new salesperson. ) DEVELOPMENT Development is the ongoing development of your salespeople. It includes – and goes beyond: the strategies and tactics learned in sales training; the accountability for the application of what was learned in training; the coaching on how to use those strategies and tactics on real sales calls; Four important components of development that aren’t mentioned above are: raising and managing expectations; helping your salespeople overcome their weaknesses; the ongoing process of assuring they are stronger and more effective than last month; Preparing them for more responsibility and higher level role. ) Leadership: Sales Leadership includes but is not limited to: Strong relationships with the sales team – more about this in the 7th (next in the series) article Mutual Respect – you believe they respect you, but do they really? And do you respect them? Credibility – how credible are you? Have you done what you’re asking them to do? Have you done it the same way with the same obstacles and challenges to the same market? How credible is your coaching? How consistent are you? Mutual Trust – if you don’t trust them, how can you expect them to trust you?
What should you expect them to trust you with? Your coaching? Expectations? Goals? Personal Issues? Weaknesses? Challenges? Fears? Presence -When you walk n the room, does everyone stop and listen? Track Record of Success Reputation of Achievement – Same as above. Tough but Fair – It needs to be both but do you even have one of them? Too many sales leaders are push over and manage with their heart, emotions, and relationships. Strategic Thinking – The frequent finding here is that sales leaders are too tactical and not strategic enough.
Leads by Example – Do you? Or are you guilty of limiting the leadership to preaching and motivating? Provides Direction and Guidance – hands on, in the field, with concrete advice versus in the office, inaccessible with vague comments about what to do. Sets Expectations Top grades the Sales Force with A Players Liaison to the Executive Team Takes Responsibility for the Team’s Failures -vs.. Placing blame. Gives Credit for the Team’s Success – vs.. Taking all the credit.
Able to Look Under the Hood 7) Relationships There isn’t a person in the company who must work more on developing relationships than an individual in a sales management role, whether it be a line level sales manager or the World Wide UP of Sales. But developing a relationship does not mean that one should become friends. Wisped says that an interpersonal relationship is an association between two individuals. While it is inevitable that a friendship will evolve here and there, that is not and should not be the goal. Friendship compromises rather than enhances your ability to be effective in the other sales management functions.
In most sales management roles, relationships must be developed throughout the organization with: Sales managers; Salespeople; Sales Leadership; Finance and Accounting; Manufacturing; Executive Team; Customer Service; Technical Support; It’s important to build and maintain relationships with every department in the company so that they all support the effort to acquire, maintain and grow the customer base in order to avoid anyone getting in the way of that effort and one must have them willing to do what it takes to help accomplish one’s goals.
In addition to internal relationships, it is equally important to develop relationships with all of the key customers. Not Just the big customers, but the accounts that could become big, the centers of influence, and the ones you simply couldn’t bear to lose. Relationships with these customers are crucial in the event that the customer’s salesperson leaves the company. Relationship with that account may be the only power you have to retain that business. Tactics Sales managers tend to be very challenged in the area of tactics. There are two varieties of sales managers: 1. Those who were great salespeople – they have the ability to recognize scenarios where they have been there and done that, but their success in those scenarios often had more to do with them than their tactics. There is a huge difference between saying, “This is what I would do”, as opposed to saying, “Here are the (time-tested, transferable) tactics to use in this situation.
Let’s role play. ” 2. Those who were not great salespeople – They have difficulty: recognizing the scenarios where tactics will make a difference; identifying the right tactics to use; role-playing to effectively demonstrate their use; teaching as they go; identifying lessons; Creating plans of action. Tactics are the primary knowledge and experience components of sales coaching and without a wealth of simple, effective, current and transferable sales tactics; a sales manager’s ability to coach is neutralized.
Although this sales manager can mentor and strategies, those roles are more appropriate for a UP of Sales 9) Strategy Strategy comes in several forms and is required in different dosages depending on he position. For example, a line level sales manager may be more concerned with call strategy while a Worldwide UP Sales may be more concerned with market strategy. At the UP level, strategy is far more important than tactics while at the sales manager level, tactics are more important than strategy.
Let’s look at the various strategies that we should be discussing: Market Strategy Growth Strategy Pricing Strategy Competitive Strategy Recruiting Strategy Account Strategies Call Strategies Compensation Strategy Development Strategy Major Account Strategy Lead Generation Strategy Training Strategy Territory Strategy In your company there may be more and there are probably less but you get the picture. Strategies are different than plans because strategies are the essence of what will make the plans work.
They incorporate: goals decisions, rules, and/or guidelines method of accomplishment benefits of this approach likely obstacles and how formidable they may be how we will overcome the likely obstacles measurable milestones and anticipated dates contingencies steps communication of the strategy buy-in from those responsible for executing the strategy accountability of those responsible for executing the strategy periodic reviews Straightening and coaching can overlap in much the same way the accountability and straightening will overlap.
So it should be obvious that recruiting and straightening will overlap too. Discussing Development Strategy some people is simply more strategic than others. For example, if you aren’t naturally as strategic as you should be, you can either develop this discipline, or better align your role with your strengths. We all know that many great salespeople become ineffective sales managers when they aren’t able to excel at coaching and accountability, and when they want to be hero closers rather Han developers who generate revenue through others.
This is a classic example of someone who should return to sales. Titles should define what we do, not who we are. 10) Systems and Processes Systems and processes are your sales infrastructure – everything that is not your people. A lot of us use the two words interchangeably. So the difference between systems and processes is: I. System is a “set of interdependent entities forming an integrated whole”. It. Process is “activities or tasks that produce a specific outcome”. So, the following processes would make up our primary system: Sales Recruiting Sales Management Metrics or Measurable
Pipeline Compensation Territory Management On Boarding Development We would also have additional systems: Sales Force Automation Lead Generation or Inbound Marketing The important thing to understand about systems and processes is that you must have them in place, supporting your sales organization, prior to the start of any development program. You can’t start training and coaching salespeople before a sales process is in place. You can’t hold salespeople accountable before the metrics and pipeline are in place.
You can’t hire salespeople and expect them to perform before you have recruiting, compensation, on boarding and sales management recesses in place. You don’t have to get them perfect on your first attempt, getting it close perfect makes a huge difference! The table below includes the four bases in Baseline Selling, the sales criteria for reaching each base, challenges the salespeople must overcome to reach the base. The last column includes the sales management functions required to help the salespeople execute the process.
Base Criteria Comments Sales Management Function Salesperson got first appointment The path to first base requires that the salesperson conduct lots of prospecting and pipeline building. Motivation (to get started), Accountability (for alls and appointments), and tactical Coaching are all important. 2nd Prospect Needs What You Sell; They Have Compelling Reasons to Buy; They Have Compelling Reasons to Buy from You; Salesperson Has Differentiated Your Company from the Competition by Building a Strong Relationship Asking Lots of Good Questions, Showing Expertise, etc.
The path to 2nd Base requires your salespeople to have great listening and questioning skills, relationship building skills, and no need for approval so they can actually execute. Coaching (Pre-Call Strategy), Pipeline Management, (base moves) and Motivation (to execute) are important. Rd Prospect is completely qualified to do business with you and you are completely qualified to do business with your prospect.
The path to 3rd base to ask the tough questions they are often uncomfortable asking. Coaching (Post Call Debrief), Accountability (for complete qualification), and Pipeline Management (base moves) are important. Home Salesperson got the business. The path to Home Plate requires the salesperson to make both a needs and cost appropriate presentation or proposal. Coaching (Post Call Debrief), Accountability (for only appropriate proposals and presentations), Pipeline Management