Managing a Sales Team

sales teamFor sales managers and sales leaders, everywhere           

Although my sales process “Sell it or Schedule it” is designed for salespeople, they are not completely responsible for executing it to mastery. The inclusion of their sales manager is critical to the implementation and ownership of this process.

I just finished a 90-day sales management coaching agreement with Sherry Kollar of Furniture Warehouse Design Gallery (FWDG) in Beaufort, South Carolina.  Our engagement was for HER training and coaching only…I never had contact with her sales team. She was a willing and engaged learner who was new to this position and had been a strong salesperson – selling HER way. She now had to have a sales manager perspective, an objective selling format, and a fundamental understanding of how to train and coach this team of individuals. We just finished her third month and her store made goal (which IS her goal) and every member of her team made goal.

The big take away is that she can tell you WHY and HOW that happened….so that she can now repeat it.

I believe that Sales Managers are the most pivotal role in the sales operation. They are often good salespeople who are elevated to a new role with little support or direction from leadership. They are often saddled with managing customer service issues (business that is already in the system) instead of focusing on driving new business. And they can make or break the success of the sales team.

If you have a sales manager on your team, are you giving them everything they need to succeed?

And if you ARE a sales manager, what are you doing to develop your skills so that your team wins and making goal is NOT an option?

 

If you need help with this, call me. 877-663-9663.

 

Now, go help someone to sell something.

oxo,

Jody

Jody Smiling Photo copy

Leadership: Your Team Is a Reflection Of You

Team

For all leaders, everywhere

I recently had an impromptu conversation with one of my favorite leaders. She was talking, with frustration, about a couple of people on her leadership team who had not produced their most important deliverables for this time, this year.

As I listened intently, I asked myself – what is in the way of this happening? Where are the obstacles – tangible or intangible? I asked her if I could ask a couple of questions, which she agreed to – after a deep sigh. I asked if the actions/results that were expected were clear and understood – she said yes. I asked if there was an agreed upon deadline and milestones to achievement – she asked what I meant by that. I said, “Like a project manager, are there incremental deadlines/results that when achieved in a timeline, will likely produce the desired result by the agreed-upon deadline?” She said yes and no. I asked for more.

She said that there were but those milestones had not been met. I asked if she had on HER calendar a delivery date and time from that person. She said no. I asked why not? She said she didn’t think that had to happen, that she shouldn’t have to micromanage her leaders. I said I understand…and they have yet to produce the results….so this process to not micromanage your leaders is ineffective…would you agree? She said yes.

This is a very typical leadership conversation. Leaders who expect their reports to be able to deliver as agreed, and yet they are not delivering. AND they don’t want to have them believe that they don’t trust them, so they don’t put tighter timelines/actions in place and follow up immediately if that timeline has been missed – when evidence has shown that they need those the most.

Keep your team close until they demonstrate their ability to deliver with reliability and to a time frame. YOUR inability as a leader to hold them to their word and actions and timeframe says more about you than it does about them. Help them to win and to build the skills and structures to do that consistently before you let them loose.

Now, go help them to sell something.

Jody

Jody Smiling Photo copy

Ask Commitment Questions

For sales professionals, everywhere.
 
In keeping with the lifelong practice of asking questions is my lifelong practice of talking about them. Imagine a conversation where YOU really drive the exchange by completing EVERY response you have with a question. Think about it. Even if you answer a question posed by the other person, you keep the volley going with a question of your own. You: “Lobster is my favorite food…what’s yours?”
One of the more challenging types of questions is Commitment Questions – asking for a commitment from the other person so that occurs as a benefit to them.
Jim Grady was a partner and collaborator of mine for years and he was/isask a terrific salesperson. Early in his career, he had the good fortune of working with a top real estate agent. Jim asked him what made him so successful and the response was “I always ask for a commitment”. When he would show a property, he would ask the prospect “Do you like this?” And if they said yes, he would ask “Do you want to make an offer?” Then he would manage their response.
Simple.
Look at your selling strategy. Are you intending to ask for a commitment from the prospect – either the sale today or an appointment to make a sale tomorrow? Do you really know where the prospect is in their buying process and what they are ABLE to do now? Do you need to ask more Discovery Questions?
It’s all research and practice. Keep asking questions…all kinds of questions. And if you need help, ask for it.
Now, go sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy