Introduction:

As a sales manager it is your primary job to ensure that you are guiding your sales reps to the best pathways to succeed. Which is why today on the funnel we discuss the best practices that you, as a sales manager, can do to guarantee overall team success. If you have any further questions sign up for a free 30 minute consultation!

 

What we’re going to cover:

  • The unique position.
  • leading.
  • The team.
  • Consistency.
  • Culture.
  • Accountability.

 

 

 

The unique position.

“I was given a Sophie’s choice and someone said to me would you take a rainmaker sales rep or a great sales manager, I would take the great sales manager all day.”

 

Growth starts with sales managers.

“Great sales managers build great teams. It all starts with the sales manager. Everybody knows that building or turning around or fixing a sales team starts with the sales manager. Growth starts with the sales manager.”

 

Move a team to success.

“Managers are positioned to of move the needle here, move a team to success. This is what good managers can do.”

 

Distractions are team killers.

“One of the worst distractions for sales managers are those sales reps that they think show promise and never really get where they need to go. So, they spend a lot of time in development and coaching and helping the sort of bottom feeders, thinking, and hoping that they’re going to move into the higher position. And it becomes a great distraction and you ignore the middle of the road players that need help to be a top player and top players that you can help drive more revenue.”

 

 

Leading.

Lead or manage?

“Oftentimes we see teams that are managed that are sort of, they’re not lead properly, they’re managed.”

Rely too much on metrics.

“They rely way too much on stuff and what I mean by stuff is sort of ‘here’s the meeting schedule, here’s the meeting cadence, here’s the metrics, here’s the KPI’s’ and that’s what they spend their lives looking at, the metrics and the KPI’s and saying you should be doing this. They’re not really leading the team, they’re managing it. And there’s a difference between the two.”

 

Lock arms.

“A good leader knows how to manage, a manager strictly manages and doesn’t know how to lead. You’ve got to stop relying on just the metrics, you’ve got to lock arms and you have to work together to become successful.

We’re going to do this together we’re going to skip down the yellow brick road. Right there alongside you I’m going to do this with you, I’m going to help you, I’m going to be a part of this, and part of that is motivating.”

Be the best. 

“If you remember in the last podcasts I talked a little bit about understanding who they are as a person, that helps. You want to help them be the best that they’re going to be in a way that inspires them to be successful, that’s what a leader does.”

The team.

Build the team.

“It can’t be a rag tag bunch of people who can’t sell, you’re not a miracle worker. It’s not your job to fix every broken person it’s your job to build a successful team.”

 

Cut the dead weight.

“Stop playing around. People who aren’t going to make it need to move on. And I will tell you this, and I said this 1000 times, by the time some managers get around to firing somebody the people who produce or do well for the company look at the managers and say it’s about time. Why did you wait so long?”

 

Focus on hiring the right people.

“You want to build a winning team, put winning people in place. Put the right people in place. Focus on hiring the right people. That’s why managers need to develop their skills and hiring.”

 

Sales Onboarding Program. 

“You will make mistakes, you will hire the wrong people, let’s get over that but reduce the risk. Hire the right people, then put a good onboarding program in place to get them up to speed. Now you have something to work with. Best practice – a good team. Stop waiting for the under performers to perform.

If you haven’t put a good hiring process in place, you don’t have a good development program, you don’t have a good onboarding program, take responsibility for where the team is right now. If you’re coming into a situation and it’s broken, start fixing it.”

Consistency.

Do what I say not as I do?

“Well what I mean by consistency is people like consistency, everybody does. You preach it as managers to your salespeople. Oftentimes we see managers say do what I say not as I do. But you need to meet your commitments, live up to it.”

 

Meet your commitments.

“Meeting the consistency, is what drives the team. Well there’s a lot of other things, yes, but if they know the rules of the game, they know exactly what’s expected of them, they know when their meetings are going to take place, they know the scheduling, they know how things are going to be tracked. It will be better for you and them.”

 

Whatever happened to?

“The worst thing you can say to a rep is ‘whatever happened to?’ They just walk up and say hey whatever happened to, and then there’s 4 people that do that other managers or owners, what the heck? And your reps feel like they’re under the microscope, so then they stop sharing and they go do their thing on their own – that’s scary.”

 

Requirements.

“They want to know what the requirements are, they want to know how they’re going to get feedback, they want to know how they’re going to get judged. And you might think they don’t notice the inconsistency but they do.”

 

Culture.

Culture matters.

“Culture matters in a very big way okay? You set the tone for that for your team.”

 

Strategy and process fail when culture sucks.

“You should have the process, you should have the strategies, you should have the goals, you should have the meetings, but it has to align with the culture. It has to be exciting and fun. It gives you a reason to show up every day. Feels natural, feels like this is what I’m supposed to do. And it just works better if everyone likes each other and they get along and the culture is one of success, support and help that’s where it’s at.”

 

Culture is the lever. 

“Cultures the lever that kind of drives everything as far as I’m concerned. If you have a crappy culture forget about it. They need to know that when they come back in the office that it’s a warm safe place, that they’re welcome. They’re not a pariah because they’re sales people. The culture embraces what they do.”

Accountability.

KPI.

“I have a rep, a friend of mine, that gets pulled in once a quarter to do presentations to senior level managers, and he’s one of the best presenters I’ve ever met. Does a great job, knows what he’s doing, knows how to present the product, knows how to present proposals, but it’s a dog and pony show for senior level management.

That’s not a good KPI that’s not something you want to do, it’s a big waste of time. You’re not really holding me accountable to anything that’s meaningful; you’re not helping me.”

Hold them accountable & clearly communicate.

“Hold them accountable to the outcome, clearly communicate exactly what it is you want them to do and how you want them to do it. You see how all this comes together?

You have a strong culture, you hold people accountable to the consistency that you’ve laid out. Find good people, put them in place, lead them while managing, onboard, steady consistent message, be consistent in what you do and manage them to the appropriate KPI’s. Not the stuff that wastes everybody’s time.”

 

Final Thoughts.

“In the next podcast, we will continue to discuss this topic, the guide to team success. About what you need to do as a manager to build a strong sales team. It’s okay to think about your failures and your successes, write them down think about where you’re missing and then only commit to do the things that you know you can do.

 

Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at jshea@alignment-group.com.  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.

 

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