Do You Have the Right Sales Managers?Dan Perry
February 13, 2014 — 1,917 views
The first half of the year just ended. Sales Manager dashboards have been updated. The numbers could be better. The end result: Making the number for the full year is in jeopardy. “How can I get current SMs to perform and get them involved?" the Sales VP asks.
Turning your Sales Managers Now
Let’s face the facts. Only 40-45% of most Sales Managers make their first half of the year quota. You as the Sales VP are relying on 20% of your managers to make it. You have to get the majority of your current Sales Managers to step up. Most Sales VPs indicate their SMs have a lack of fundamentals and focus. They don’t ride in the field with customers. Don’t coach their sales people to a Sales Process. But more importantly let internal administration and corporate requests distract them.
The Sales Manager Execution Guide allows you to establish the non-negotiable activities needed immediately. Let’s look at three of the most important SM activities:
- Establish Big Deal Strategy Reviews. Big deals are needed. They make the number. Set a rule that a big deal is a minimum of 2X the average sales price. They take a team effort to land. Sales rep isolation can lead to losing these deals. Too often Sales Managers don’t dig into the tactics of these opportunities. For example, Sales Reps get stuck with influencers. Sure they are stakeholders but they don’t hold the decision making authority. These reviews establish who might be the best person to reach out. Why not have our CIO reach out to their CIO? Why not have our VP of Operations call theirs? Use all the resources available in the company. Establish these weekly reviews now. What is more important to make this year’s number?
- Field Coaching Customer Visits twice a week. Sales Managers blow this off more than any other action. Yet how can a SM provide the coaching without seeing customers with the rep? This allows a SM to view the Sales Rep in their true state. All the training and coaching meets the moment of truth with the customer. Deals are won and lost with these major interactions. It also will allow your SM to push the deal forward. To get a next step when sometimes a rep won’t ask. Sales Managers need to be at these meetings frequently.
- Coaching to your Sales Process. We participate in coaching sessions between a SM and Sales Rep frequently. Too often, the coaching turns into deal strategy. And this deal strategy is based on gut instinct. The SM is not following a Sales Process. They are not diagnosing where the buyer is in their journey. And revealing actions the rep should take based on how they would do it. As a Sales VP, you should listen in several of these sessions. Pay attention if the conversation is Customer focused or internally focused. The improvement of these coaching sessions leads to immediate sales.
These are 3 of the 10 non-negotiable activities Sales Managers need to do now. Download the Sales Manager Execution Guide for the other activities. Assessing your team against these non-negotiable activities will help you prioritize their actions. It can also help you answer if you have the right sales managers.
The front line sales manager is the most important position in the sales force. It is where your sales strategy meets the daily tactics. They will make or break the number. With half the year over, can you afford to do nothing? Know which Sales Managers are good and which ones are great. Deploy the non-negotiable activities immediately for this year. And determine the SMs you need to upgrade and begin that process. Or July 1st will arrive again next year with the same result. Can you survive another miss?
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Dan Perry is the 2014 Top Sales World Gold Medal Award Winner for Best Sales Blog Post and writes on SalesForce.com and in Power Selling Magazine. He is a frequent guest speaker on SLMA (Sales Lead Management Association) Internet Radio and made Evan Carmichael's Top 100 Sales Experts to follow on Twitter.