Five Mistakes to Avoid in Building Your Sales Force: Second in a Five Part Series

In my experience as a sales performance expert, I have learned that mistakes are better teachers than successes.  With that in mind, it is my hope that there will be some valuable lessons for you as we review some of the most common mistakes to building a successful sales force:

Mistake #2:  There is not a professional sales manager in place.

Often the owner or president will act as sales manager along with wearing several other hats.  It is a common misnomer that your sales force does not need much management; that they will just go out and sell if you point […]

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Five Mistakes to Avoid in Building Your Sales Force: First in a Five Part Series

In my experience as a sales performance expert, I have learned that mistakes are better teachers than successes.  With that in mind, it is my hope that there will be some valuable lessons for you as we review some of the most common mistakes to building a successful sales force:

Mistake #1:  Using the same techniques to hire salespeople that you use to hire everyone else.

Salespeople are different.  In fact, you, as the manager, owner, or president, want them to be different so they can effectively do their job.  Consequently, you must hire them differently.

Do not be so stuck on hiring […]

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The Power of Habit for Sales

I just finished reading a great new book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.  It is a fascinating glimpse into our brain and the power that habits can have on us, both positively and negatively.  As I was reading I could not help but think of the application to your sales force.  Do you have salespeople who routinely execute at the top of the pack?  It is almost like a habit that they will perform.  As you watch your salespeople, are there some that seem to have a morning routine, socializing with work mates, a couple stops at the coffee pot?  Do they […]

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My Salesperson is Extremely Likeable…What is Wrong with That?

I frequently talk with CEOs and Presidents who cannot understand why certain salespeople did not work out for their company.  They found them to be very likeable in the interviewing process, and customers really liked them as well.  These salespeople were friendly and outgoing and got along well with everyone in the office.  So why was it that they could not meet their sales quota?  Were they too likeable?  You might be asking yourself, how can that be possible?  One can never be TOO likeable.  Except if one needs to be liked more than he needs to close business.  Now […]

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Spend 80% of Your Time on These Five Areas and Watch Your Salespeople Excel: Fifth of a Five Part Series

Performance Master: 

As long as revenue growth is the scorecard for a salesperson, you will need to be the scorekeeper. All salespeople must be held accountable to a goal. The more easily quantified it is, the better. Break the revenue goal down to a monthly, weekly or daily goal; whatever is appropriate for your business. Hold your individual salespeople accountable for their goal. If they are not meeting an acceptable level of performance, intervene, and do it quickly. Do not accept excuses from salespeople based on the economy, the market, or the competition – just hold firm and expect them […]

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Spend 80% of Your Time on These Five Areas and Watch Your Salespeople Excel: Fourth of a Five Part Series

Recruiter:  Would you know what to do if your best salesperson left? Do you have a plan to grow the team? Effective sales managers are always recruiting. Here are a couple of quick tips:  1) When you have a positive experience with a salesperson outside your company, get to know that person to determine whether there would be a fit with your company. 2) Field all the inbound sales calls to your company so you talk with a variety of salespeople calling on your company – you may find a star.  3) Use all the electronic tools available including job […]

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Spend 80% of Your Time on These Five Areas and Watch Your Salespeople Excel: Third of a Five Part Series

Mentor: 

Are you committed to the growth of your people? As their leader, you should be. Part of your role should be mentoring them to obtain their goals. Another part of your role is to help your people grow, both as salespeople and as people. As their leader, position yourself so they look up to you as a resource for their growth and development.  Get in the habit of conducting a goal-setting workshop with your salespeople every year.  This should encompass personal goals, not just company goals.  Go through the process of getting them to visualize themselves in the future.  […]

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Spend 80% of Your Time on These Five Areas and Watch Your Salespeople Excel: Second of a Five Part Series

Most sales managers spend the majority of their time doing activities that don’t really positively impact their salespeople’s success. Being pulled in many different directions, many tend to get mired down in the paperwork associated with a sales manager’s job rather than dealing with the “people side” of the job. The results come from the people, so focusing efforts on the sales people will pay off.

Motivator:  Many managers feel like salespeople should come motivated to do the job.  Unfortunately, most salespeople need help in that area. It’s the sales manager’s job to know how to motivate his/her individual team members. […]

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Spend 80% of Your Time on These Five Areas and Watch Your Salespeople Excel: First of a Five Part Series

Most sales managers spend the majority of their time doing activities that don’t really positively impact their salespeople’s success. Being pulled in many different directions, many tend to get mired down in the paperwork associated with a sales manager’s job rather than dealing with the “people side” of the job. The results come from the people, so focusing efforts on the sales people will pay off.

Coach:  Just like every baseball player has a coach, all salespeople need to have one. The coach practices with them, runs them through drills, observes their performance, and gives them feedback on how to improve. […]

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