Top Five Sales Management Mistakes

Top Five Sales Management Mistakes

I was recently interviewed by BusinessInterviews.com and one of the questions was “What are some common mistakes you see sales managers making that can be easily avoided or corrected?”  Well the real answer is that if they were easily avoided or corrected then the sales managers probably wouldn’t be making them, but I didn’t say that exactly.  You can read that interview here.   It got me thinking though about those common mistakes that sales managers make and I have come up with my Top Five List.

5.  Lack of Consistent Sales Process

Of the hundreds of sales teams we have evaluated, I would […]

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Teflon® Man Improves Success in Sales

Teflon® Man Improves Success in Sales

Have you ever had a sales rep who was emotionally volatile?  Okay maybe you are saying, “Is there any other kind?”  We find it to be a problem that is not necessarily acknowledged or respected.  Instead we tend to accept volatile behavior from salespeople as part of the territory.  If you do, you are doing your reps a disservice and you are allowing them to miss out on sales that they otherwise might make.

I get it.  We expect our salespeople to be animated, charismatic, even emotional.  The reality is that if they are emotionally volatile, then they are likely missing […]

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Hunting and Account Management: Mutually Exclusive?

Hunting and Account Management: Mutually Exclusive?

I have had several conversations in the last two weeks about the differing skill sets of Account Managers vs. Hunters.  It seems that there are many sales organizations that need both of these characteristics either within the same salesperson or across the team.  Additionally, over the course of the last five years, one of the most frequent problems we have diagnosed within the sales teams we analyze is the unfortunate realization that the company needs Hunters and all they have are Account Managers or marginal Hunters.
 

After reviewing these two lists, you may notice that there are no common traits.  That is […]

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Sales Pipeline Review Meetings: Boring, Time Wasting and Useless

Sales Pipeline Review Meetings: Boring, Time Wasting and Useless

Are you still conducting boring sales team meetings where the whole sales team gets prepared to share what garbage they have in their pipeline?  Well if you are, stop it.

You might think that by publicly causing all the salespeople to share their deals in front of the whole team, it will make their competitive spirit come out and cause them to do more activity to create more opportunities.  WRONG.  This is why:

It causes perfectly good salespeople to spend time preparing slides or a report to get ready.  This time could be better spent selling something.
It causes salespeople to believe that the […]

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Establishing Action Plans: Important for Both Solid & Under-Performers

Establishing Action Plans: Important for Both Solid & Under-Performers

I had a conversation with a very strong sales manager yesterday. We were discussing a couple of his salespeople and their nuances. He understands the importance of metrics and helping those new salespeople focus on the things they can control, having confidence that if the salespeople do the right things, then the sales numbers will follow. He has gone through the process of having other salespeople create an action plan of what they are going to do each week, so that he can help change their behavior.

As we were talking about one of his really strong salespeople, he revealed that […]

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Systematic On-boarding Programs Predict Success

Systematic On-boarding Programs Predict Success

As part of our work with clients, we sometimes help them improve their hiring effectiveness and efficiency by introducing an assessment into their hiring process. I have found that hiring managers occasionally get lulled to sleep believing that because the candidate was recommended by the assessment, and HR screened them that they will just step into the position and be a superstar. I wish it worked that way, but it doesn’t. As I discussed in this recent article there are six steps to successful sales talent hiring, and on-boarding is one of those steps.

Even the best, most precise process to select […]

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The Only Two Reasons Why Salespeople Fail and What to Do About Them

The Only Two Reasons Why Salespeople Fail and What to Do About Them

This may sound simplistic, but there are really only two reasons why salespeople aren’t successful:

They don’t do enough of the right activities to get enough opportunities
When they perform sales activities they aren’t very good at them

You may say “So what?”  But it is critical that the sales manager know which situation is the cause of the problem, because the each problem requires a different type of intervention.  The first is more of an accountability intervention and the second requires a coaching intervention.

Accountability intervention addresses lack of activity

When a salesperson is not doing enough of the right activities, do the math […]

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The Six Steps to Effective Sales Talent Hiring

The Six Steps to Effective Sales Talent Hiring

One of the services we provide our clients is training to improve their sales talent hiring effectiveness.  The facts are stark.  Without a good process most companies have excessively high turnover rates, and the cost of that turnover is great.  National statistics indicate that it costs the employer between 3x and 5x the salesperson’s total annual compensation for each bad hire.  Fortunately there is a repeatable process that if the hiring managers will follow, will produce predictably great results. Here are the steps.

Determine whether you want to be proactive or passive in your approach.

What I mean is this.  Passive is […]

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Batter Up! Applying Sports Theory to Sales Performance

Batter Up! Applying Sports Theory to Sales Performance

With the beginning of baseball season I find myself thinking about what those baseball players have done all winter to prepare for the season.  It is a long and grueling season with 162 games per team in MLB.  It isn’t too dissimilar from an effective sales year or career.  The best salespeople recognize that their year is like a marathon.  They have to consistently and methodically perform.

I believe that most MLB players spend their off-season preparing for the upcoming season.  They don’t sit around and eat bon-bons, expecting that they will show up for Spring Training in perfect form.  They […]

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