Every Company and Sales Leader hits the spot when they need to grow, change, improve or revamp the sales team. It seems to come in fits and starts. It usually comes right after a miss.
Even if your team is successful, you will find that is incredible (unsustainable) amount of energy is going toward this success. Sales is an on-going grind and being good at it means being committed for the long-term.
Before we get started, remember, as a leader, your job is to drive the bus. If you don’t like where your team is., it is your job to get them back on the bus and rive somewhere else.
This article should help you get more out of the effort you are already putting in, smile a little more and get the team moving forward.
Treating Training as an Event:
Sales Leaders are generally excitable by nature. It is one of our bigger strengths and can be one of the blind-spots.
We don’t get excited about on going training, especially if it takes the budget for an additional sales-person. Training then becomes hap-hazard, reactionary, and unpredictable. Inclusive training means a good on-boarding process. Most importantly, it means making a weekly commitment to improvement.
A commitment to training means that you are taking little bites of the elephant every week. This includes:
- Sharing best practices – What is working. Conduct Post –Modems on deals Won and Lost.
- Improving strategy – Identify why people buy and what are the overall trends you are seeing. Your Pipeline Management should guide this.
- Product knowledge – You have to stay constant. Details matter and are not just for Sales Engineers.
- Competitive landscape – We live in disruptive Environments. Your team cannot lag.
- Tactics – How are people winning, getting meetings, etc? Highlight what is working.
- Review of marketing/positioning collateral – You need to know what you have in order to use it effectively.
Minimally, this should be 60-90 minutes a week depending on size of team. Make it fun, make it interactive, put responsibility back on the team to teach each other. Also, make sure you include other departments to help round out your team.
If you are committed to it, your team will be as well. Training and continual improvement needs to become a way of life.
Too Loose on Deal Accountability
Most sales leaders give their people too much rope. I’ve been there and don’t that. If you ask the sales people, they will say, their leaders are too tight. So don’t let that be the judge.
This isn’t about Micromanaging. That will kill your team. This is about having a repeatable coaching process that improves the rep while increasing the visibility of the real deals to the organization.
Keep is Simple and Repeatable. This should be at the core of your 1-1 coaching sessions. Your team should should come prepared this meeting because they no what to expect.
Reps need to be able to answer the following questions:
- Buyer – Who Signs the deal? Are we Engaged with that person?
- Trigger Date – What happens if they don’t sign on that date
- Budget – What do they currently spend to solve this problem
- Competition – If they don’t go with us, what will they do?
- Committed Next Step – Where, When, and with Who.
Hold your team accountable to Close Rates and Accuracy. It will change everything.
Not Focused Enough on Pipeline Creation
There is a crazy-train most business live on. Especially growing businesses. It is that it takes so much energy to close out a flurry of deals at the end of a quarter or month that Ole-Mother-Hubbard’s cupboard is bare starting the next cycle that everyone is frantic… and here we go again.
Set a minimum standard of pipeline creation each week/month. This means you have to understand the data about what people are closing, etc. Then manage to it.
End of month, quarter, year will still be crazy. Buyers are still buyers, but your goal is to increase predictability, visibility and deal size while decreasing the “Crazy” unpredictability Factor.
You have to keep the engine fed. Rank people and keep a high visibility on tomorrow’s success. Your team has to feel this is a major part of their job.
This should help tighten up the team.
Have Fun, Build Healthy Habits and Go get it done.
Let me know if I can help.