January 01, 2013 By Ken Thoreson
Most sales managers get fired for not hitting the desired sales goals. The issue, normally, is that they lack of salespeople selling their products/services.
Here are four basic actions sales leadership must take to succeed.
Build an Active Recruiting Plan
You must know what your average transaction value is vs. your yearly or monthly sales objectives. Do you have enough salespeople to achieve your monthly number of required sales transactions?
A sales manager must look out 90-120 days knowing future revenue objectives and understand manpower requirements. Recruiting is sales leadership’s marketing campaign for sales leads. Build an ongoing program to ensure you have the right talent in place to exceed your goals.
Know Your Pipeline Metrics
This is something I have written about before, but it is what can bite the sales manager. You must know the accurate value of the pipeline 90-120 days out, depending upon your sales cycle.
Do you have enough opportunities to achieve your upcoming monthly quota? If not, what can you do to ensure you build up the pipeline values so that you will have enough opportunities to achieve the monthly objective? It’s December, what is your March pipeline value? Do you have the necessary values to achieve March’s goals when it’s March 1?
Is Your Team Trained?
Recently, at one of my new clients; my client,
Recently at one of my new client’s, a technical team member and myself listened to two salespeople give a demonstration for a major sales opportunity. It became obvious to the president that the salespeople were not professional or even capable of handling the meeting. It was enlightening and a crucial step towards increasing the need for continued focus on sales training.
The sales team had been neglecting our recommendations to improve their skill level, and now there will be an increased buy-in by management and peer levels to focus on sales skills:
- Make more sales calls with your team
- Build in a quarterly salesperson skills evaluation process
- Increase more role playing in your sales training meetings
- Build a quarterly sales training programs
Improve Your Business Acumen
Make sure you read the local business sections in your local papers, the Wall Street Journal and business magazines/websites. Also, make sure to read read three business books a year and join a sales leadership group of other sales managers to learn how others are increasing their leadership skills. This step will improve your ability to discuss the business trends of the day with prospects and your sales team, increase your stature within your management team and improve how you manage your team.
Follow these four steps and your odds of surviving the normal 18-month window that most sales leaders live under will improve.