May 3rd, 2016
Sales Management Shouldn’t be a Horse Race
First of all I don’t enjoy gambling and second, I really don’t know how to read a horse racing program. When it comes to betting on a horse race I tend to look at the color of the Jockey’s silks or the name of the horse.
Last weekend a group of East Tennessee friends and I attended Keenland horse racing track near Lexington KY for an afternoon “at the races”. With a lot of laughs, good food and a few beverages we netted out with a loss of $26-overall a good day. It occurred to me later on the drive home that our random decisions of determining which horse to choose and how much to bet, simply showed our ignorance and certainly a casual attitude to our investments. (To be truthful the biggest bet we made on any race was only $10.)
During the past 18 years of consulting with hundreds of firms and certainly talking to thousands of people I have witnessed the same ignorance and casual attitudes in managing sales teams. That happens because of many reasons; lack of good pure sales management training programs, lack of previous exposure to sales leadership mentors or poor management styles.
It happens in so many aspects of the job of sales leadership. I have often written about the many aspects of how to build a high performance sales team and the many challenges that any sales manager faces on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. You can find my white paper on the 40 Actions Sales Managers Must Take to Build Predictable Revenue.
The challenge is to keep it simple with a focus on: inspecting what your expect and building on accountability. What do I mean?
Unlike reading a jammed packed statistical Racing Program-that does not make sense to me and acting randomly, sales leaders must follow the Acumen Recipe.
- What is your vision for the next 24 months? What are your goals?
- Do I have a quality recruiting and interview/selection process for new salespeople?
- Is there a new hire on-boarding program designed to ensure the new people are ready to sell?
- Do you have a quarterly plan to train your sales team on: products/services, sales skills, company operations?
- What are the 5 metrics you are using to predict future revenues and sales performance?
- Does your company have a strong value proposition and can your sales team articulate it?
- How are you creating an emotional buy-in by of your sales team to your organization?
- Is your sales compensation plan achieving the strategic goals of your organization?
- Are you following up on the details? Inspecting that your salespeople can sell, can discuss your products/services the way you want them to? Are you holding them accountable for results-is a real world way?
- Is everyone having fun? (This is a major focus most sales managers miss.)
Step by step you can logically and systematically become a high performing sales organization. If you have a challenge understanding this 10 step sales management “race program”, then let me know. It is our goal at Acumen to improve your odds of winning.
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 18 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.
He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2015. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!
Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.