You are the leader of the sales team. You got there because you know what to do to sell your products and services. Whether your team is experiencing success or is struggling you probably have to direct your salespeople from time to time. Maybe you have to tell them exactly what to do and say to be successful. Certainly during onboarding you will spend a significant amount of time “scripting” them. You must make sure they own the stories about why your customers choose your services. They must learn the right probing questions to ask to get to the heart […]Read more »
I frequently hear this frustrated comment from business owners who originally built their business by closing deals themselves. The fact of the matter is that company founders do have a special passion for the services the company provides, for obvious reasons. It is also likely that you, as the founder, come with a greater presence than most salespeople.
You are an owner, an entrepreneur, a CEO. You can speak easily with other CEOs because you have common ground. You might also be able to provide negotiating concessions right on the spot, whereas you may not feel comfortable giving your salespeople that […]Read more »
I am just concluding the process of leasing another new car. Even though I study and teach selling and negotiating techniques, I don’t like the process any more than most people do. But I have approached this particular experience as a student of their process and I believe I have observed some things that may help other sales teams.
It is clear to me that the reason most of us don’t like the process is that we seldom have all the facts. The car dealer has much more information about the situation than we do and, therefore they carry more power in […]Read more »
You know this salesperson. She (or he) is really strong as a salesperson, but she just isn’t that likable. The unlikable salesperson doesn’t care much what people think of her. In her mind, she needs to do the job she was hired to do.
She might be highly driven to success. She might be highly motivated by money. But she doesn’t do things for your reasons. She does them for hers. Closing business is more important to her than whether people like her. She commands respect and her clients value her. Internally, though she might cause issues. She might be demanding […]Read more »
Do you have someone on your sales team who is “so nice”? He is the guy or gal that everyone likes. This individual gets along well with everyone. The service staff likes him, the customers like him, he is a team player. He is great. Except for the fact that he wastes too much time on opportunities that never seem to close. He isn’t meeting his goals consistently.
This is the sales manager’s plight. We like some people that don’t produce and we obsess and stress over those that do produce if they have difficult personalities. I see it all the time. […]Read more »
I was on a plane today and ran into an old friend who is also a very successful business leader and has been running organizations for years. She is similar in age to me and at one point we had been managers together inside a large organization. At the time we were unique in our organization in that we were both female and young – under 40 running large segments of the business. Needless to say, the two of us have spent many hours over the years talking about management issues.
On this particular plane trip, we were able to arrange […]Read more »
I hear from sales managers all the time that wish they had known certain things way back when they first started managing salespeople. Some of the common misconceptions I hear are these:
The top salespeople just need to be left alone.
It isn’t my job to motivate the salespeople. I am not going to babysit them.
It isn’t my place to “micro-manage” them. I don’t need to know what they do every day as long as they are producing the results.
I can’t get my senior salespeople to use the CRM but that’s okay, they do a good job.
My people work as hard as […]
If you own your own company and also manage the sales team, this article is for you. I have written before that it is not the optimal situation when the CEO also directly manages the salespeople, but I recognize that it is sometimes a requirement until sales support a different structure. It is not ideal because you as the company leader have to pay attention to numerous other activities and cannot devote the attention necessary to drive sales. You may have been the driver of sales earlier in the company’s history (and you may still be) so you may be […]Read more »
I was driving to the airport the other day on a busy stretch of the highway when overhead appeared a red-tail hawk that ultimately perched on a light pole. It made me realize how much more frequently I now see hawks in our area. Over the last few years, the population seems to have ballooned. Prior to maybe seven or eight years ago, I don’t recall ever seeing hawks in or around the city. I live in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio — which is a fairly populated place — so it isn’t like I live out in the country or […]Read more »
It’s a new year filled with hope and promise, a clean slate, and new sales goals. Hopefully you experienced a good year and got to celebrate a little bit, but it is time now to move on to attacking this year’s goals.
Here is a quick checklist for sales managers to make sure everyone is focused correctly.
1. All individual salespeople must know the expectations of them with regard to sales, including where the sales need to come from – new clients vs. expansion of existing clients or some combination thereof.
2. The compensation plan must be clearly articulated to each of the salespeople on […]