January 23rd, 2012
A Sales Manager’s Recipe: What’s Cooking in 2012?
Last week after a keynote program called Gourmet Living, an attendee came up to me afterwards and discussed her challenges as a sales manager. The last three years have been tough and she was looking for new ideas for 2012 to excite her team and also to simply change up the routine.
Since my keynote program had been about creating a Menu for Your Life with many metaphors around cooking I started thinking about what her sales management recipe should be, for about 30 minutes we discussed a variety of ideas. So if 2011 left a bad taste in your mouth, use the following ingredients to create a new recipe to make 2012 your best year ever.
Become a Detective: In sales management workshops we always talk about “inspect what you expect”. Once a week; review your sales teams CRM system to ensure they are using it properly and casually ask each team member about their certain activities within their key accounts. Once they know you are actually reviewing their accounts they will be more precise and begin to be more accurate. Next, make two extra sales calls per month with each sales rep. Validate they can sell your firm and they are using the proper sales tools. These actions are not micro-management, they are designed to provide you greater opportunities to coach and grow your team.
Reduce Fatigue: Recognize your sales team might be tired or somewhat challenged based upon the last three years of tight budgets and stress. Fire them up with new products or packaging/pricing, change the game with new times for sales and sales training meetings-even re-arrange the sales offices. Once a month, take your sales team on a “field trip” to visit a customer, let the customer “sell” your team on your products/services.
Find Creative Dust: Read a book on creativity and share it with your team. The truly great salespeople are the most creative and it is true that creativity can be learned! As a sales manager, creative sales strategies will push you over your quota-get your entire team into a creativity fix.
Become an SOB: That is a Student of the Business. Invest in sales management training, books, DVD’s. Create your own network of other sales managers where you can discuss ideas, learn what is working for others and explore new sales management concepts. Push yourself to become a professional in 2012, consider visiting other offices and view how their sales managers run their sales teams. At our website you will find free video’s on “hiring and training salespeople” and other articles I have written on sales management, you might also go back and skim through our blog to look for other ideas.
While these are just a few ideas, I would enjoy reading your reactions or other recipes for success below. As a team of readers, let’s build up a complete for each as we work to make 2012 a feast we will always remember.
Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Ken’s latest book is “Leading High Performance Sales Teams”.