We know that generally the Sales Manager is often the weakest link in a Sales Organization. We also know that the best Sales Managers spend at least 50% of their time coaching their sales people (even the top-producers and veterans). In actuality, Sales Managers should be coaching almost all the time not just during a formalized “coaching session” or “as needed” – especially in our disrupted COVID era.
Coaching is not looking at the activities in your CRM and saying , “You only had X number of calls last week, you need to do more this week.” That is just looking at numbers and not helping your sales people (or your company) be successful. That is reactionary, at a time when it is more critical than ever to be Managing Forward.
Managing Forward means coaching whenever necessary, not just at designated time or “as needed”. It means helping move business forward, deals to the next step, and calls to appointments. This coaching is the pre-call planning and strategizing and post-call debriefing. Coaching is role playing…daily. How can you practice if you’re not role-playing? Are your sales people getting enough coaching? Is the coaching strong enough? If you’re a sports fan – do you think Nick Saban coaches once a week? NO WAY! He’s coaching every moment he is constantly interacting with his players. He knows that during the game, they will win – because he’s lead them and coached them. Your Sales Managers should be doing the same.
Managing Forward means staying true to the company’s sales process. According to Dave Kurlan, CEO of Objective Management Group, only 45% of sales people follow a sales process! This means 55% of sales people (over half of your competition) are winging it! Are all of your sales people following your sales process, every time? Does your sales process have the right stages and steps? If not, your prospects and customers are not getting your company’s “sales experience”, they’re getting whatever the salesperson shows up with that day. Click here to use our free Sales Process Grader.
Managing Forward means holding sales people accountable to their commitments. Commitments to their customers, to your company, and to themselves. Your Sales Managers should be asking your sales people: “What do you have to Start doing – OR – what do you have to Stop doing, in order to meet your commitments/goals?”
Managing Forward means consistently recruiting and upgrading the sales team with “A Players”. Your Sales Managers must always have “a bench” they can go to. People may leave your company at any moment – are you prepared to recruit a new sales person who can (and will) sell? Is your recruiting process one that will actually attract top talent?
The end of 2020 is near – put yourself and your company in a position to be successful in 2021. COVID sucks, and it’s not going anywhere for awhile… it’s time to stop looking in the mirror, plan ahead, and manage forward.