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“Leading from the Front in Challenging Times” is the latest survey from the Sandler Research Center (SRC). It compiles and analyses data from a global collection of hundreds of sales leaders and managers.
The global sales space has been completely transformed over the last year with a virtual selling environment prevailing for almost all sales organizations. Sandler’s research reveals that 71.4% of participating sales managers and sales leadership report that their sales process has changed as a result of transitioning to remote commercial trading. Unfortunately, 63.2% don’t have a plan.
If you’re a sales leader, you are tasked with striking a delicate balance. Your job is not to sell for the members of your team – selling is what you hire, train, and retain good salespeople to do, after all. Yet your job is to help shape the business development strategies that make the most sense for your business, for the salespeople who report to you, and of course for your customers.
Many of you reading this article right now have a team (or teams) of people that report to you in some form or another. As you think about those people, your time spent leading them, managing them, coaching them, developing them, working with them, and yes… all of the other things you have to do as part of your roles or responsibilities, it doesn’t leave much time to add on a thorough accountability process to that list… or does it?
Holding salespeople accountable: This is one of the major challenges of managing a sales team – regardless of whether it’s a traditional team where people show up for work at a central physical location, or a team working remotely, or a team at a call center. What, exactly, is the best way to do this? And how do you do it without falling into the trap of micromanaging people?
I remember taking a parenting class when my boys were young. The big takeaways from the class were the requirement to tell your child what the consequences of their behavior would be and to be clear on what you expected from them. I recall my boys’ mother and me saying to each other on numerous occasions, “We can’t get mad at them if we weren’t clear with our expectations.” Sometimes, the principle sounded like this: “Don’t punish them if you didn’t tell them they would be punished.”
What kind of salesperson should you always be on the lookout for? What specific traits does the ideal sales hire always possess, no matter what industry you’re in, and no matter what your market looks like?
One of the things I talk about often with sales leaders who are eager to maximize their team’s performance is the principle of reinforcement. All too often, we think of training for salespeople as a one-and-done initiative, as something we can check off a list once the "training" event is over and consider finished. Actually, the training we have invested in is next to worthless if it is not reinforced over time, incorporated as a personal priority, and made an ongoing topic for discussion within a personalized sales coaching plan. Reinforcement is thus one of the neglected secrets of effective sales leadership.
Many managers are surprised to hear us suggest that it’s important to meet one-on-one with every salesperson on staff at least every other week. Some even say it’s impossible! But it’s not. If you keep the meetings brief ... if you think of these interactions as check-ins rather than as opportunities to “fix” people …
In addition to following the basic principles of not presenting too early and ensuring that the presentation is delivered as one component of an effective professional sales process, there are four steps sales professionals can follow to ensure more effective presentations.
There is much research proving that proper sales coaching can lift your sales 20% or more. Not only does coaching increase revenues, it also builds a culture of self-sufficiency, growth, and retention.
All too often, what holds salespeople back in terms of reaching their potential is not a missing sales skill or an improperly applied technique. More often than managers like to imagine, the problem is a failure of leadership.
If I asked a group of sales leaders, what motivates their salespeople, money is going to come up more often than not. And yes, money is important as it does pay the bills. And for some, money can be used as a scorecard. But are true high performers only motivated by money?
January is coming. As a leader, this may mean the implementation of strategically necessary change initiatives that affect the sales team in 2019, such as the restructuring of territories or the revision of the team comp plan.
With Q4 upon us, it makes sense to start thinking carefully about what has worked – and what could be improved – in your prospecting plan this year. Here are three ideas to consider that have helped salespeople we’ve worked with to create better “cookbooks” (daily and weekly action plans) for effective prospecting. You may want to consider adopting all three of them as this year closes … and as the next year approaches.
People will work much, much harder for their own reasons than they will ever work for your reasons. You, as a manager, have an obligation to find out exactly what those reasons are. And the very best way to do that is by leading with kindness.
In today’s world, many managers don’t get to develop people the way they would like. It’s harder and harder to spend quality time with all the team members so managers must make sure each interaction delivers value for everyone. This means creating structure and clarity around all interactions with the team–or, as David Sandler put it, eliminating mutual mystification.
Rule number 20. Mentor to a success profile. Create a success profile that people can grow into. Mentoring is where you're going to spend five to 10% of your time. It's a key aspect of leadership, but we don't do it often enough, so you need a process for it.
Rule #5: Eliminate miscommunication. What was said? What was heard? Check before you respond. You know, every person has three recorders that were taping since they were born. We have a Parent, an Adult and a Child. Three roles that we still have today if you think about it. But these tape recorders were starting and stopping at different times. And it affects how you interact with your team and how your team interacts with their sales force, even today.
When workplace productivity flounders, it is easy to give in and let the sluggish behavior drag out, leading to flat or declining results from the staff. If you notice a lazy attitude taking hold in your office, a quick response can save your office and refresh the staff's energy.
Stop sluggish behavior from occurring with these tips for increasing workplace productivity