March 26th, 2012
No Foolin-Sales Leadership Should be Thinking Summer
This past week during a consulting session with a client, with both the President and their sales manager we discussed several points that I thought would be good items to bring up in this week’s blog. April 1st is right around the corner and I want all of you reading this not be this year’s fool.
The first point, which is not an unusual topic, was to ensure both the president and sales management were in agreement as to weekly priorities. Often I find the sales manger focused on important activities during a their hectic weekly schedule; putting out fires, solving administration issues, coaching/mentoring, recruiting, oh and trying to ensure sales are being achieved. Mean while the president is frustrated that other key objectives are not being completed. While time management is a major topic for sales leaders, what I almost always recommend is that on Friday afternoons the President and Sales Manager’s meet to agree as to the priorities for the coming week and to discuss the achievements/problems of the past week. This is what I call managing your sales manager. On my web site, you can download The Job of Sales Management, it was created for this specific purpose, it defines the 40 top actions that sales managers must work on to achieve predictable revenues. By following this simple recommendation everyone is focused on the “agreed to” priorities.
The second point is about summer. What I mean about sales management thinking about summer is not about vacations-it’s about forward thinking. In my discussions this past week, it was obvious both the president and sales manager were thinking week to week, while that is important to attain revenue goals, it becomes a treadmill that brings exhaustion-both mentally and physically to everyone. As a result of the conversation I recommended the following actions:
- Know what your revenue objectives are for the next 5 quarters and make sure you match your hiring plans to achieve the goals. Know when you need to hire salespeople in time to be trained to achieve your sales objectives.
- Prepare a planned organizational chart that extends over 18 months, this will help in number 1, but also provide you an awareness of your resource needs.
- Create your sales dashboards for a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and even year-to-date analysis. By doing this you will see a better trend analysis and you will be paying attention to both short and longer term results.
- Plan and define your sales training plans quarterly, with topics, dates/times and people responsible. (frequent topic in this blog)
- What sales promotions, contests, and sales games do you have planned for the second quarter and even this summer to maintain revenues and to create fun?
Advanced or forward looking planning will greatly reduce the stress and improve the functionality of the sales manager. It will also reduce the natural stress that is created when managing a sales organization and working with the executive team within your company.
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”.