Mastering the Art of Questioning is Not Just for Salespeople

Mastering the Art of Questioning is Not Just for Salespeople

Managers: Improve your sales management effectiveness . . . and minimize your burden

Just as we teach salespeople to be awesome question-askers, as sales managers, we also need to be experts in the art of questioning. The questions asked may just need a little tweaking.

All too often, sales managers feel the burden of directing their sales team. If your salespeople come to you with questions throughout the day, you may feel pressure to respond as an authority. I don’t believe it’s a conscious thought; still, the burden is squarely on the sales manager’s shoulders to tell the sales team how to […]

Sales Managers: How to Win at Joint Sales Calls

Sales Managers: How to Win at Joint Sales Calls

I had a great conversation with a highly talented VP of Sales of a successful sales organization the other day. We had a spirited debate about the role that a sales manager should play in joint calls with their sales reps. So this got me thinking more deeply about how to best approach those joint calls for the greatest success. (Do you have an opinion about it? Weigh in on Twitter, or in the comments).

Of course there are two time frames when considering success, so it depends on your time horizon as to what success means.

For short term success, it […]

Implementing a Sales Process: 4 Classic Mistakes to Avoid

Implementing a Sales Process: 4 Classic Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Frédéric Lucas. This was originally posted by our OMG Partner affiliate in Canada, Prima Ressource and has been translated from French.

The sales process is the backbone of a company’s sales operations.

In this article, we describe the mistakes made by sales managers in the implementation of the sales process. So it is assumed that the company has defined a procedure for formal and structured sales.

Mistake # 1: The sales process is not integrated with CRM

Even an effective and well-structured sales process is useless if its steps are not integrated into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Without this integration, your […]

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! […]

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 […]

Are You Guilty of These Common Sales Management Missteps?

Are You Guilty of These Common Sales Management Missteps?

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 […]

A CRM Alone Won’t Fix Your Sales Management Problem

A CRM Alone Won’t Fix Your Sales Management Problem

It seems that I have been in many conversations lately about Customer Relationship Management Systems, or CRMs. I have spoken with a variety of business owners and sales team leaders who are inquiring about the “best” CRM for their situation. What most are really looking for is a magic bullet to make their salespeople do the right activities to generate enough business. I am not a highly technical person so I cannot share all the ins and outs of the different products on the market. And, I haven’t actually found one that MAKES a salesperson do what they are supposed […]

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 […]