How to Fix the 5 Most Common Sales Team Defects

How to Fix the 5 Most Common Sales Team Defects

I wrote about this a few years ago in a series of blogs but I wanted to do an update that sums up the common causes of problems with sales teams — and their fixes— in a single article. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list.

Here are five of the most common defects in sales teams:

1. Your salespeople aren’t asking enough open-ended questions.
2. Your salespeople wait for leads to come to them.
3. Your new salesperson didn’t turn out to be the person you thought you were hiring.
4. Your salespeople go after the wrong deals.
5. Your salespeople don’t close.

Problem #1: […]

Sales Managers: Stop Fixin’ to Get Ready…Overcome Change Paralysis

Sales Managers: Stop Fixin’ to Get Ready…Overcome Change Paralysis

Editor’s note: Today’s post is from Karen Brown, a Sales Growth Specialist with Braveheart Sales Performance. Karen will be a regular contributor to the Sales Management Blog. She brings her unique insights from nearly 30 years of business management and sales leadership experience, which she applies to help sales teams achieve their goals and increase their profits.

Change is hard. That is a fact. Some would say it’s a statement of the obvious.

Talking about change is not hard. Creating a vision of change is a very engaging exercise that can consume what would otherwise be time filled with productive activities. It’s easy […]

No Excuse for Allowing Your Sales Team to Make Excuses

No Excuse for Allowing Your Sales Team to Make Excuses

Do you ever get frustrated by the reasons why your salespeople can’t or don’t meet their goals? Do you feel like you are nagging them to sell more despite all the reasons why they tell you they can’t?

Here’s some helpful advice:

Quit allowing your salespeople to make any excuses.

Granted, it’s not a revolutionary idea . . . but you have to give yourself permission to actually do it. If you fail to do so, your salespeople won’t grow, change or improve. They will just stay the same. And, consequently, you will be frustrated and sales will suffer. Before you know it, […]

4 Easy Steps to Help Your Salespeople Become Independent Thinkers

4 Easy Steps to Help Your Salespeople Become Independent Thinkers

I just re-read a very good article by Janice Mars of SalesLatitude and thought it was worth sharing.

The point of the article is that sales managers are inundated with salespeople and their questions and frequently get in a rut. They accept the role of reacting to salespeople and their questions all day long. They become the bottleneck, as Janice states. It is a dysfunctional dynamic.

I submit that there is a more dangerous problem that erupts. The sales manager’s favorite salespeople are the ones that don’t need much interaction ─ because they make it easy on the sales manager.

Beware, sales managers! […]

Top 5 Mistakes Made by CEOs Managing Sales (and How to Fix Them)

Top 5 Mistakes Made by CEOs Managing Sales (and How to Fix Them)

I had a meeting yesterday with the CEO of a small business that currently has six people on their sales team. He is stuck in an awkward place because they are now big enough that they need to have a sales team, but they still don’t think they are quite big enough yet to have a dedicated sales manager. This is a tough spot that tons of business owners find themselves in. He needs to build sales to propel the business to the next level (so he can justify hiring a rock star sales manager). But until then, it means […]

How to Use LinkedIn and Reachable for Referrals

How to Use LinkedIn and Reachable for Referrals

In my last article I spoke about the importance of asking for referrals and introductions. I described how one can accomplish this either the old-fashioned way, through asking, or by using LinkedIn or Reachable. I have been asked to explore these online applications a little bit further. So here goes.

We will start with the premise that receiving a referral or introduction far exceeds any cold calling one can do in terms of return on investment. Additionally, we will assume that your sales teams are already involved in seeking referrals the old-fashioned way.

Here is a simple primer on using LinkedIn for […]

3 Top Sales Coaching Tips Stolen from Lacrosse

3 Top Sales Coaching Tips Stolen from Lacrosse

I was at a college lacrosse game this weekend between two top ten teams. On paper it should have been a close game; one team ranked second in the country and the other ranked 10th. It ended up being a blowout.

I learned some important things about the impact that a coach and her actions can have on the entire team. I believe they apply in the sales world as well as in the sports world.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of a coach:

a person who teaches and trains an athlete or performer
a person who teaches and trains the members of a sports […]

Six Sales Management Tips for Six Years of Braveheart Sales

Six Sales Management Tips for Six Years of Braveheart Sales

This March marked our sixth anniversary in business. It is hard to believe and fills me with a sense of accomplishment and pride. But it also makes me think, “Wow, we still have so much to do to help middle market and small sales teams excel.” There is still lots of work to be done.

In recognition of our six years, I would like to share my favorite six tips I have learned along the way about sales management.

#6 Work through the math of success.

All salespeople need to understand what they need to do to produce enough opportunities to close the […]

Sales Leaders: Quit Telling. Start Coaching.

Sales Leaders: Quit Telling. Start Coaching.

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 […]

Why Can’t My Salespeople Close Business The Way I Can?

Why Can’t My Salespeople Close Business The Way I Can?

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 […]