March 12th, 2012
The Sales Manager that Does It All
First of all, the title of this blog is impossible and second of all, it wouldn’t be right.
No matter what size of sales organization you manage the sales leader that assumes they are responsible for everything or solving every problem generally fails to achieve the ultimate objective. With the majority of new sales managers we find them wanting to make the sales team feel they are delivering value and helping the salespeople on the various tasks, problems and complaints they bring and therefore they tend to attempt become the main cog in the sales organizations. Nothing can be further from the primary goal.
First, the sales manager must recognize that it is their job to make the salespeople independent of them, not dependent on them. When I find that the sales manager is the first and last person to leave the office, I know this could be an issue.
Second, when I review the “to-do list” for the sales manager and find topics that don’t belong there; I am convinced this dependency factor exists.
The ideal sales manager shows up on time, takes a nice lunch break and leaves before his/her’s sales team. How does this happen?
- Focus on hiring only quality salespeople, I have written extensively on this, but without, the Sales manager is always struggling and generally fails.
- The sales manager must recognize it is not their job to make quota every month, it is the salespersons. Once this is clearly understood, the next elements fall into place.
- Every six months, each salesperson must create a personalized salesperson’s business plan. This is more than a simple forecast, but a plan on how they will achieve their quota. In fact we like to suggest they have to forecast 3 times their quota-by account, their own training plan, activity objectives, and personal goals.
- The 90 day sales training plans are prepared each quarter, with dates/times and topics carefully designed. Salespeople or other individuals within the firm are assigned the responsibility for delivering the training. The sales manager only plans the training.
- Individual salesperson reviews are held once a month, formally each quarter.
- The Monday morning sales meetings follow the pre-planned agenda/format and are positive events.
- Sales Contests are fun and are planned on a yearly basis.
- Individual salesperson coaching on sales skills occurs during regularly scheduled sales calls, not just whenever it happens…
- The sales manager has figured out the recipe for the business. They know what metrics to measure to comfortably predict revenue and each salesperson knows and measures these metrics themselves.
What is the over theme in this blog? Being under-control. There are systems are in place, the salespeople know the plans, they are held accountable and fully understand that management is there to support them, not take care of them. If you want a more complete list and to help you develop a prescriptive approach to sales management, go to our website: www.AcumenManagement.com and download a free white paper: The Job of Sales Management.
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”.