May 2nd, 2011
Sales Leadership; Be Prepared
As an Eagle Scout, I have always considered the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” in all aspects of my life, this past week as the South felt the destructive power of massive tornadoes and rain it was a difficult time for many with many challenges to come. I was in Kansas working with a client, while wife was at our home in Eastern Tennessee facing the storm alone. The good news for us was we did not suffer any real damage; during many phone calls between us we discussed the situation and developed action plans, i.e. moving to our lower level, taking cell phones, batteries, radios, water and blankets. We also discussed the actions that had to be done outside the home during the short breaks between the four storms that hit us that evening, I was watching live radar and she was working the various issues; positioning the generator if we lost power, cleaning the drains that kept being blocked with leaves, sticks and grass and protecting portions of the house from raising water. In the end, it all worked, thank fully. Sales leaders face challenges every day and being prepared as much as you can be is critical success factor/CSF.
Organization skills are important aspect of being prepared. While many times salespeople are less organized than many other job roles good sales management must be highly organized because of the random nature of various events that can be disruptive on a daily basis. It is not unusual for sales leaders to walk into their offices on a daily basis and learn of: 1) a sales opportunity that might be lost, 2) an unscheduled meeting with the President, 3) a salesperson leaving the company, 4) a customer problem that needs to be addressed immediately and a host of other topics. So what can a sales manager do to help themselves?
1) Create a 90 day sales training plan, with dates, times, topics planned in advance
2) Use an effective “to-do” list to maintain priorities. HINT: I actually use sheet of paper with my short-term/high priority and longer term goals visible, I draw a line down the middle of the paper and list them on either side.
3) Focus on effective communication, much time is lost with follow up when individuals were unclear as to your directions. Re-read your emails before sending, ask others to proof important documents to ensure there is “clarity” and at the end of a meeting, ask the other person for their understanding of the actions they are to take with deadlines.
4) Always recruit! Every 60 days place advertisements and interview constantly.
These are just a few tips on improving your preparedness, I always stress in my workshops and consulting that a proactive approach to sales management vs a reactive style will always succeed. What other idea’s do you have?
REMINDER OF IMPORTANT EVENT
One of the most exciting events… The Worlds Sales Success Conference
From May 9th to the 13th a series the world’s top sales experts will present a variety of programs designed to train and motivate your sales teams.
This conference, which represents the most ambitious online event of its type ever staged, with thirty five sessions presented by some of the world’s top sales experts, over five days, will be all about succeeding, winning and exceeding expectations.
But this is more than a sales conference: Just four weeks after the Magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake and a tsunami which delivered 46ft waves, we learn that the death toll is likely to top 25.000, and recovery is going to take not years, but possibly decades, maybe even a generation, at a cost of at least $250 billion.
This is an opportunity for anyone operating in the sales space to make a meaningful contribution to the Japanese Disaster Fund (via the Red Cross. Can I count on your support? Together we can make a worthwhile *contribution.
Register for my event and all my friends!
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 13 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partner throughout North America. Move up and move ahead!