So, you’ve painstakingly created a solid sales strategy and shared it with the sales team. They say they understand it fully. As long as we keep checking our CRM the sales should grow exponentially.
But this NEVER happens. Why?
Because a ‘Sales Leaders’ is not a “behind-the-desk” job of inspecting sales people via CRM. Sales leaders must coach, motivate and yes inspect. Too many of them are 1 for 3.
This is the major issue with most sales managers – they get hung up on inspection and don’t dedicate enough time to coach and motivate their team. Unfortunately, like most of us, sales managers don’t have the time to flesh out a plan to make sure that their team is getting everything they need.
Luckily for you, we’ve got a few ideas that you can use to develop a sales culture in which your sales team members strive and thrive.
1. Weekly sales forecasting meetings
Performance inspection is part of our job as sales leaders but not the whole job. On a weekly to bi-weekly basis, set up a meeting with the entire sales team and allow each to provide their performance to date and forecast for the future period (month / quarter) and let THEM talk. This is NOT the sales leader’s pontification session. Each sales person should share the results / the top deals closing in the period and next steps required to close those deals with a focus on details (who / what / when).
Let’s be clear, bumping into your team members in the hallway and asking about what’s happening is NOT a 1-on-1. Take out 15 minutes to sit down with individuals to simply ask “how did the week go?”. These 15 minutes belong to the team member and should be followed by a deep-dive into the challenges their having with deals. Team meetings are great, but some voices are louder than others, so 1-on-1s are essential to get a complete picture of your team’s standing
3. Big Deal Reviews
Every quarter there are going to be a few big deals that are integral for the whole team’s success. Here we don’t inspect, we work together. Identify a key deal and work through the strategy. Talk about your competitors, the pros & cons of a strategy and what a winning scenario would look like. These meetings will give the whole team a chance to weigh-in and collectively develop their skills.
Step away from your computer, put down your phone, get out of the office and join your team out on the field. Like we said, ‘Sales Leader’ is not a “behind-the-desk” job of inspection. You need to get your hands dirty. Aid your team in the field by helping them plan, prepare and review, but DON’T take over client meetings/calls.
After each session, grab a coffee and ask your team member:
-What do you think you did well
-What might you change for next time
Then offer your own thoughts. We favour this direct hands-on approach to coaching as it is practical rather than theoretical.
5. Sales Kick-Off
What happens in sales, can’t stay in sales. It is important for other departments to know what’s going on with sales. This communication can be enabled by scheduling an annually/quarterly sales kick-off where other departments are invited to join. This kick-off would include sales leader forecasting, review sales executive specific plans and a strategy & action plan with metrics.
To sum up, strategy and CRM inspection alone won’t help you hit quota. You need a motivated and regularly coached team.
Inspection is key, but inspection will not turn a winning strategy into a win.