Activity Does Not Always Equal Achievement

 

Failing to focus salespeople’s activity reduces efficiency and consequently reduces results, because there is not a salesperson alive that believes they have enough time in their working week to complete all the activities they want to achieve! Time is a huge constraint on their activities so that when their manager asks them for more, it is no wonder that they are overwhelmed.

Secondly, but equally important, salespeople often are not clear about how to identify the prospects most likely to have a genuine need for their product or service. Without an objective way to prioritise which prospects to contact first and/or an efficient strategy for contacting them, salespeople are doomed to waste a large percentage of their time. Another huge dilemma for many salespeople is how to divide their time between servicing existing clients and generating new business from new prospects.

Existing clients frequently make requests for service that could be dealt with by support staff. But salespeople who lack a disciplined, future-orientated plan for generating new contacts and sales often find themselves spending more time attending to “urgent” tasks for existing accounts instead. A common approach among salespeople can be summarised in the saying “If you throw enough mud against the wall, some of it is bound to stick.” This approach is exhausting, demoralising, extremely unproductive, and very expensive in the long term.

Far too frequently, competent salespeople are expected to channel their own activities into the areas that will produce the quickest wins. Unfortunately, left to their own devices, they don’t develop and pursue a formal strategy for moving a sale tangibly forward during each prospect interaction; neither do they have a clearly defined set of goals against which to measure the progress they are making. Typically, their judgment is based on gut reaction and is purely subjective i.e., “Oh yes, I’ll get that order, he likes me”, because salespeople have to be optimistic by nature. They end up “dancing around” with prospects, in the hope that eventually they will get to their chosen point on the dance-floor i.e. -the sale. In this scenario, the customer has complete control.

 

Today’s News:

Over at Top 10 Sales Articles, we have announced the February Top Sales Article Of The Month, and you will most certainly enjoy it – just click on the banner above.

Over at TSE Dailies, today Maureen Blandford is in interview with: Dave Brock, of Partners In Excellence

Try COUNTERintuitive

“In these challenging times, many of us think that we need to drive harder to keep up. Not so, says Dave Brock, with Partners In Excellence. There’s not a selling organization today who couldn’t benefit from letting up on the gas to better gauge their situation.”  Another banner click away below.

 

Tomorrow: News of a brand new book and an upcoming event, plus of course the JF Guest Author Spot – so be sure to join me.

Why We Need A New Type Of Salesperson For A New Type Of Customer

 

The traditional customer call once seemed indispensable to the selling process; the time and expense involved were just a basic cost of doing business. In recent years, however, the business community has come to regard the sales call as an expenditure for which there are substitutes.

For many companies telemarketing and direct email have made the sales call a choice not an inevitability. This is not surprising when various studies suggest that getting one sales person in front of one customer now costs $1500 – this cost has trebled since 1983. As a consequence professional salespeople have to be more effective than ever to justify the investment in a face to face effort.

To help companies meet this challenge, we need to examine how outstanding achievers have adapted to the rigorous demands of current markets.

In essence, we can draw seven primary conclusions and taken together, these findings paint a picture of the current state of the sales environment and you can discover what they are by downloading this week’s FREE eBook - simply click on the banner below.

 

 

Today’s News: So, now you can listen in to the “TSE Dailies”

As you put the key in the ignition of your day, tune in to a power-packed interview with one of our experts – specifically designed for our subscriber community.
 
We know you have a variety of challenges and opportunities. In Sales of course, but also in Management, Teaming, Economic Conditions, and more. We’ll stay on top of issues critical to you.
 
We designed this tool to be an easy add-on to your morning office routine. And, all interviews will be archived, if you miss one or you want to share with your team.”

Yesterday, my Irish friend, Niall Devitt was in the hot seat and you will not want to miss his words of wisdom – it’s a pleasure just listening to the accent! Just click on the banner below to listen in.

 

Tomorrow: My guest is one of the real “big-hitters” when it comes to sales team development – my good friend from Texas, and best selling author, Paul McCord

The Sales Management Acid Test

 

Pick up a typical company report today and what words do you find? Verbs like analyse, forecast, plan, assess, and schedule, are used in pursuit of organisations that are efficient, productive, and predictable.

What set of people are required? Obviously, people who are efficient, effective, proficient, competent, productive, and co-operative.

I believe we need to go beyond – we need to be inspired, motivated, creators, who are enthusiastic and able to consistently deliver against our key objectives.

We should be developing individuals who are not afraid to challenge paradigms, who are prepared to go that extra yard in search of excellence and who understand that success is 80% attitude and only 20% aptitude.

For a group of people to remain consciously competent at optimum performance levels, they require frequent injections of stimulation, motivational guidance, prompting and directing, otherwise they can easily lapse into becoming unconsciously competent or worse, unconsciously incompetent.

The primary objective of a professional Sales Manager has to be:
“To achieve consistently superior results, through the performance of every key individual.”

The Acid Test: When thinking about your own sales force:

– Do you understand their motivators – what is driving them?
– Do you have visibility of their numbers – year to date, forecast vs. required performance?
– Activity levels – are they working hard and smart enough?
– Engagement – are they talking to the right level in their prospects/accounts?
– Messaging – are they capable of delivering an appropriate message at the right level?
– Qualification – are they only spending time on deals where they can compete and ultimately that they can win?
– Closing – are they constructing successful campaigns and closing business?

Summary:
Top performing Sales Directors and Managers understand instinctively when a situation requires them to Direct, Coach, Support, or Delegate but learning these skills takes time and practice and underpinning this advanced approach to management must be a range of core competencies…

 

Today’s News: I am convinced of the value of “social media” of course. I am a big fan of LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo et al, but I am still not getting the most out of the experience, and I have written myself a “must try harder” note. If you are like me, you will enjoy this excellent post from Brian Carroll, over at The Customer Collective: “Can a social media like Twitter boost your lead generation results?”

Earlier in the week, Jill Konrath asked this question: “Are you still trying to figure on how to get LinkedIn to work for you?”

“If so, then you need to meet Patrick O’Malley. He’s a true LinkedIn Wizard who has helped me take my profile to the next level. Check out this video.”

Click here to learn more about Patrick O’Malley, his LinkedIn expertise, coaching & training programs. He has more great articles, videos and tips on his website.  

Finally, you may also be astounded at some figures I read yesterday:

“LinkedIn adds 400,000 users a WEEK, Facebook is adding over 400,000 a DAY. Twitter has grown 900% in 6 months. A year ago, MySpace and Facebook were the same size.  Now Facebook (at 160 Million) is twice the size of MySpace and the gap is widening.

What is happening?  Business users, predominantly LinkedIn users, are adopting these other well-known platforms as a sort of “add-on”.

Twitter recently turned down a $500 Million offer from Facebook!  LinkedIn is valued at $1 Billion, Facebook was once valued at $15B (now estimated closer to $4B), General Motors is worth $2.5 Billion.  None of these make a dime.

Their value is in YOU and their relationship with you.  They are built to be sold and you go with the sale.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  You wouldn’t want to be left behind would you?

With 30+ Million customers, LinkedIn has 350 employees and recently had to layoff 35 people.  People wonder why they can’t get their problems resolved.”

If you would like to follow me on Twitter, you will find me here

Tomorrow: I am travelling and writing next week’s blog posts on the hoof – as ever, wherever you are, have a great weekend – JF

Will 2009 Sound The Death Knell For Sales Training As We Know It?

 

During the seventies, eighties and nineties, it was common for large corporations such as Hewlett Packard, IBM, and Compaq etc to put their new sales recruits through a twelve to eighteen-month training program.

Today, salespeople consider themselves extremely fortunate if they receive an initial two weeks of induction training or product familiarisation workshops.

So what has changed? Have companies discovered that training is not necessary?

On the contrary, training appears to be even more important today than it was thirty years ago and it is becoming more critical all the time.

Lower Training Budgets But Higher Expectations:

The dichotomy facing Sales Directors is how they reconcile the fact that most corporations today provide less upfront training for their sales staff than in years past, yet attach increasing importance to staff development?

This should not come as a surprise, because current stock market thinking provides a powerful disincentive for firms to invest in their people on an ongoing basis. An organisation’s investment in their human capital, in the form of training and other forms of education, is not separable from general expenditure. It therefore appears as a cost on the corporate balance sheet.

Tough Choices:

Unfortunately, as a consequence, many Sales Directors have concluded that their only realistic option is to cut back on training and instead look to recruit sales professionals who, in theory anyway, already possess the necessary skills needed to do the job. They then send them out to win business armed with what they know. However, most of those same Sales Directors are discovering just how difficult it is to find skilled salespeople who have all of the essential skills and personal traits. And anyway it is not possible to equate experience or seniority with success. As I often say: “Some sales professionals have ten year’s experience, most have one year’s experience ten times”

In skills development, there are many similarities to sport i.e. does an athletic champion stop training as soon as they win their first medal? In music, does a concert pianist stop rehearsing as soon as they have given their first recital? In art, does the artist stop improving after they have enjoyed the first exhibition of their work? The answer in all cases is obvious and we should apply the same common sense principals to the ongoing development of our sales teams.

The reality is that selling in today’s climate is both an art and a science. Selling is a profession that demands a far wider range of skills than ever before, skills that require continual fine-tuning and constant practice.

In Summary – Ongoing Reinforcement and Development Is Essential:

The operative word here is “ongoing”. Even if salespeople have undergone progressive sales training, there’s no guarantee that they will be successful. It is common knowledge that skills grow rusty over time and salespeople are prone to pick-up bad habits along the way or to simply skip steps and take shortcuts that can lead to long-term trouble. Perhaps even more important these days, is the fact that markets, competition, technologies, and customer preferences are all in a constant and accelerating state of change. This fact requires that sales people are able and willing to rethink their sales strategy and approach frequently and receive a regular top-up of skills and motivational coaching.

Unfortunately, the task of selling never becomes any easier and as competition continues to intensify, sales people will face issues that can be extremely difficult to deal with i.e. decreased product uniqueness, increased competition within ‘safe’ markets, longer sales cycles and shorter product life spans. Every organisation that intends to survive in the re-engineered environment which arrived with the new millennium must, in my view, respond to those realities.

 

Today’s News: I am delighted to confirm that Top Sales Experts have formed an alliance with a dynamic  new company called Meeting To Win, who have a very innovative solution:

“Sales Managers, have your Monday morning sales team meetings gotten boring and routine?

It’s a challenge to come up with new ideas every week to keep meetings interesting, motivating and productive. Wise managers are outsourcing this challenge to Meeting to Win.

You can take meeting preparation off of your to-do list for good! All you have to do is add Meeting to Win to your team. Each and every week a new, fresh, creative team meeting agenda will be sent to your inbox. You simply follow the agenda for weekly sales team meetings that your team will love and actually look forward to.

Our goal is that each week your sales team leaves your weekly sales team meeting better equipped to compete and win.

Subscribe today and your first 3 agendas are complimentary. Once Sales Managers are using this resource, they don’t know how they ever lived without it and, even so, you can cancel at anytime.”

Just click on the banner below to find out more about them

 

Tomorrow: We still have a lot of cosmetic work to complete on TSE 2.0, so I will be very busy, but wherever you are, have a great w/e, and be sure to join me on Monday – JF

Our Sales Teams Are Our Forward Line – If They Are Not Scoring…

 

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change” – Charles Darwin

If ever there was a need to re-examine the way in which we are all approaching business, it is now: It’s time to challenge paradigms; look outside the square; understand that just because that has always been the way we have sold, that it will work for us in the current climate. If we keep doing what we have been doing, we will keep getting what we have been getting.

Whatever got you where you are today will not be sufficient to keep you there. A rapidly changing environment is the regular background against which organisations must develop.

Change is continuous and will become more rapid as we move forward over time. Senior management must be capable of reacting to those changes and be prepared to take advantage of them and yet stay within the overall framework and agreed strategy.

The role of strategy is fundamental if the people within an organisation are to be enabled to make the level of contribution of which they are capable. Strategy, based on a good grasp of the core competencies of a business, is an essential precursor to achieving optimal shareholder value.

Dependence on salespeople is key to delivering the latent capability of a business. Our salespeople are the greatest source of competitive advantage we have and that is precisely why we should continue to invest in them and fully develop them. This is particularly true now that in most market sectors competitive advantage is continually being eroded – i.e. International barriers are coming down, selling time is becoming limited, competitors are getting smarter, fewer and fewer names are appearing on companies’ databases, and product uniqueness is rare. Conversely, undeveloped personnel can bring down a company through inadequate performance, leaving the competition to harvest the marketplace.

If your organisation wants to permanently increase it’s sales results then it needs to approach sales differently to create “the difference that makes the difference” in order to positively impact bottom line performance.

In Summary:
Organisations and salespeople who have 100% commitment to doing whatever it takes to elevate their sales to a whole new level are the ones most likely to succeed. Trying to operate a sales organisation without total commitment is like trying to drive a car without fuel. But every organisation has the potential to harness the power of their salespeople just as surely as oxygen pumps life into the human.

 

Today’s News: January’s “Article Of The Month” has just been announced over at Top 10 Sales Articles and it is a belter, written by….. well why not check it out for yourself?

Other than that, news is scarce today, I guess everyone is eagerly anticipating…

Tomorrow: It all kicks off, and I for one cannot wait – here is the countdown

“We are coming…Are you ready”

How Roger Bannister Challenged Self-Limiting Beliefs

 

In 1957, Roger Bannister became the first athlete to break the four-minute barrier for running a mile. Prior to Bannister’s achievement, on that evening in May at the unassuming Iffley Road track in Oxford, most athletes considered a sub-four-minute mile impossible. But that same year, sixteen other athletes also ran a mile in less than four minutes.

Did they become super-human overnight? Or, more simply, did their beliefs change? That is the way it works – if one person can do it, we can all do it, we just have to believe we can.

Our Colleagues Can Exert Positive Pressure:
Like those milers, salespeople have their own unique sets of beliefs, some of which limit their potential in sales. For instance, during a recession, the members of a sales force may all believe that strong sales are impossible. But if just one person increases their sales, what seemed an inevitable fact will suddenly appear more like a thin excuse for poor performance.

We Must Challenge Negative Beliefs:
Sales Captains who challenge negative beliefs with good questions can help create shifts in mindset. Take a look at these examples of negative beliefs and examples of questions that challenge them.

Statement:
“Our solutions are too expensive.”
Response:
“Compared with whom?”
“Compared to what?”
“How do you know?”

Statement:
“I’m hopeless at cold calling”
Response:
“According to whom?”
“What prevents you from being good at cold calling?”
“What would happen if you were good?”

Statement:
“My sales target is too high this month, I’ll never achieve it”
Response:
“What do you need to do so that you can?”

While challenging questions may not instantly create a belief change, over time, they can enable salespeople to shift their perceptions of their beliefs, recognising that there are other possibilities and options available to them.

Developing Self Worth:
Organisations that recognise the importance of helping their salespeople develop a strong sense of self worth are many times more likely to produce high performers. Self worth is vital to everyone but especially to salespeople who hear “no” more often than they hear “yes, I’ll buy”. A salesperson’s self-esteem can sometimes take a hammering, but organisations that find ways to build their salespeople’s self-esteem reap an invaluable dividend. Self–worth translates into attitude, that small thing that makes such a big difference.

In Summary – The most successful salespeople take care of their attitude and they understand that:

Great Attitude = Great Results,
Average Attitude = Average Results,
Poor Attitude = Poor Results.

The second commonality with successful salespeople is that they expect to be successful and they want it badly enough that they bring about its happening i.e. fulfilled expectation.

 

Tomorrow: I am heading back to Paris. It has been a great week and I’ll be here for you on Monday as usual – JF

Building Productivity,Creating Direction & Rewarding Change

 

For companies to remain competitive now, their sales organisation must be able to respond positively to changing economic tides. As businesses strive to establish customer orientation, sales partnerships and a strategic approach to selling, they are demanding more and more from their salespeople but ensuring that these new methods are widely practised and smoothly implemented falls to sales management.

Building Productivity:
Sales productivity is a strategic issue. That’s why problems in this area stem from salespeople being unclear about their company’s priorities i.e. what their message should be and what they should be selling.

The trend in industry of removing layers of management between the sale force and the general manager presents a challenge to those sales managers who remain. To begin with, the sales manager becomes an essential link between company strategy and what takes place in the customer’s office. He or she must not only grasp the corporate vision but be able to communicate it to the sales force in terms of the real effects on sales practices.

Creating Direction:
Sales managers with an intimate feel for the selling process succeed because their staff regard them as part of the sales team but coaching the team is as important as playing in it. In other words, sales managers must be prepared to provide training, feedback and support to every individual within the team.
Once committed to the training process, they must routinely reinforce new ways of behaving in real sales situations. They must provide a clear sense of direction on a daily basis, not just at the monthly sales meeting / quarterly review / annual appraisal.

The very best sales managers engage in frequent coaching and feedback, even when their sales people work in remote locations. While encouraging salespeople to air their problems openly and discuss their concerns, sales managers must be able to offer clear and specific feedback for improving sales performance.

Rewarding Change:
The sales manager is charged with translating the company’s reward system into specific improvements in sales performance. Both salespeople and corporate managers count on the sales manager to recognise and reward outstanding achievement, formally and informally.

The process of promoting new attitudes about the customer and the role of the salesperson can be frustrating and slow. Reverting back to recent research there is compelling evidence to suggest that companies will see results sooner if they recognise and reward salespeople – “you get more of the behaviour and results that you reward.”

The trend in sales compensation appears to be away from commission to guaranteed salary, from compensation based on orders to compensation based on delivery and sign-off. Interestingly some organisations we know, base their ‘salesperson of the year’ award on the basis of customer satisfaction or customer retention rather than sheer volume of orders or activity.

 

Today’s News: Three Top Sales Experts are presenting over at Business Expert Webinars this week: Cheryl Clausen, Anne Miller and Leslie Buterin – you can get all the details here

Tomorrow: On The JF Guest Author Spot, Colleen Francis – “Make 2009 the Year You Reinvent Your Sales!”

Reconstructing the Pieces of the Sales Puzzle – A FREE Ebook

 

I first began to recognise the need to be able to benchmark sales performance more objectively and more rigorously over twenty five years ago. The motivation to do this was strong, because I knew I was wasting thousands,if not hundreds of thousands of pounds on sales skills training programmes which were not providing me with a proper return on my considerable investment. But I needed to prove my theory, because without an accurate analysis of my requirements, I would continue to abdicate that responsibility to the training providers, most of whom had only their own interests at heart.

So, with this quote from Drucker, “The most effective way to manage change is to create it” firmly in my mind, I set about my task – a task that became a journey, which began in 1981 and is still ongoing…

By taking an analytical approach, I arrived at the following equation:

Attitude + Skills + Process + Knowledge = Success

My initial reasoning was this: Attitude is fundamental to any achievement, because individuals with the right attitude are far more likely to embrace the essential Skills, recognise the control that Process brings and have the desire to continually expand their Knowledge.

Skills are the ‘tools of the trade’ and have to be developed on an ongoing basis. They also need to be specific, because too much time can be wasted over-burdening employees with inappropriate and irrelevant skills without any identifiable plan for their future requirements.

Process brings organisation, efficiency and control – both for the individual and for management. Effective process provides objective analysis and indicators, which can be benchmarked and accurately measured.

Then, there is of course a need to build in Knowledge – and that must include knowledge of products, industry, market sectors, competitors, business, own company and last but not least, self!

Attitude:
Let’s then begin by looking at Attitude. I was fortunate enough to have discovered the “Hertzberg Theory “- Professor Frederick Hertzberg has promoted a theory of motivation, which goes a long way forward from the original theory of “Carrot and Stick”, or indeed its extension ‘The Reward Theory’  still used by many managers and companies to try and exhort greater efforts from their staff.

It stems from two statements:

What makes people happy and motivated at work, is what they do.
What makes people unhappy and de-motivated at work, is the situation in which they do it.

Hertzberg suggested that managers needed to become familiar with three new letters that would become increasingly important in the management of people in the future. The three letters are……………..

You can download the FREE ebook here and continue reading.

 

Today’s News:A message from fellow Top Sales Expert, Kendra Lee:

Free Email PowerProspecting Teleseminar!

Get the latest email prospecting tips

Email is the #1 tool for prospecting – surpassing the phone according to a KLA Group survey of sellers. Yet it’s even easier to delete than a voicemail because you don’t have to skim it to make a decision.

So what’re you going to do to entice contacts into opening your prospecting emails?

Top IT seller, sales advisor and business owner Kendra Lee’s book Selling Against the Goal won a silver medal award from Sales Book Awards – a joint venture between The Sales Corporation & Sales Gravy - and she wants to celebrate with a FREE teleseminar to answer this question – just for you.

Come to this 1-hour teleseminar for fresh techniques that work without gimmicks and tricks:
 What never to say
 Enticing subject lines
 Lead-generating salutations and signatures
 Add your personal style and build instant rapport
 Sample emails
 Follow-up strategies that grab attention without hounding
 Ask your toughest questions on email prospecting

Join Kendra January 29 at 12:00pm Eastern.

Normally $79, this session is FREE to our first 75 readers who sign up. Just enter the coupon code “WIN”.

As an added bonus you’ll receive:

A session recording, handout, and copy of the Email Prospecting chapter from Selling Against the Goal, all included with your registration.

Remember: enter coupon code “WIN” to attend for FREE!

Tomorrow: Lee Salz is in the JF Guest Author hot-seat – “The Unprecedented Sales Management Challenge for 2009″

Sales Leadership – Building a Shared Mental Model

 

The role of a Sales Leader is to translate the organisation’s vision, mission and values into a meaningful context that sales teams can relate to and feel excited by. If this is achieved then the Sales Leader will have created a sales team with a shared mental model. This transforms an ordinary sales team into a high performing one.

For clarity, here is a brief description of the following terms:

An organisation’s vision is a guiding image of success formed in terms of a huge goal. It is a description in words that conjures up a picture of the organisation’s destination. A compelling vision will stretch expectations, aspirations, and performance. Without that powerful, attractive, valuable vision, why bother?

A mission statement communicates the essence of an organisation to its stakeholders and customers, and failure to clearly state and communicate an organisation’s mission can have harmful consequences around its purpose. As Lewis Caroll, through the words of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland says, “If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
 
Guiding principles are the consequence of a mission statement that are intended to inform or shape all subsequent decision-making, which also provides normative criteria allowing policy-makers to accept, reject or modify policy interventions and activities. They are a guiding set of ideas that are articulated, understood and supported by the organisation’s workforce.

Values are beliefs which the organisation’s workforce hold in common and endeavor to put into practice. The values guide their performance and the decisions that are taken. Ideally, an individual’s personal values will align with the spoken and unspoken values of the organisation. By developing a written statement of the values of the organisation, individuals have a chance to contribute to the articulation of these values, as well as to evaluate how well their personal values and motivation match those of the organisation.

The Human Capital Development Model, created by Krauthammer International, is a logical process that can take top management concepts, and translate them into a context that has real meaning for staff at all levels.

The key to bringing this model to life is to answer the following questions:
• Do my team understand the organisation’s vision and how their role moves the organisation closer to achieving it?
• How can my sales team translate the organisation’s mission into one that is relevant to them?
• How do the organisation’s guiding principles impact on the day-to-day responsibilities of sales people?
• Which of the organisation’s values does my sales team relate to?
• How can we interpret these values so they become compelling for each sales person?

An effective sales team understands the big picture and the context of their team’s work to the greatest degree possible. That includes understanding the relevance of their job and how it impacts the effectiveness of others and the overall team effort. Too often, sales people are asked to work on an activity without being told how their role contributes to organisation’s vision, much less how their efforts are impacting the ability of others to do their work. Understanding the organisation’s vision promotes collaboration, increases commitment and improves quality.

An effective team works collaboratively and with a keen awareness of interdependency. Collaboration and a solid sense of interdependency in a team will defuse blaming behaviour and stimulate opportunities for learning and improvement. Without this sense of interdependency in responsibility and reward, blaming behaviours can occur which will quickly erode team effectiveness and morale.

Today’s News: I mentioned yesterday that we have a really big week coming up and it all kicks-off tomorrow, with the announcement of this year’s twelve finalists, who will be battling it out for the “Top Sales Article Of The Year” award.

I should explain that the public poll will account for 50% of the marks and the other 50% comes from the panel of sales experts, who I will be introducing tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Tibor Shanto is my guest on The JF Guest Author Spot

What Constitutes A Successful Sales Team?

 

 

A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”

Description taken from The Wisdom of Teams (Harvard Business School Press, 1993).

For a sales team to remain consciously competent at optimum performance levels, they require frequent injections of stimulation, motivational guidance, prompting and directing, otherwise they can easily lapse into becoming unconsciously competent or worse, unconsciously incompetent.

The primary objective of an effective Sales Leader has to be to achieve consistently superior results through the performance of every sales person.

When thinking about your own sales force:

• Do you understand their motivators – what is driving them?
• Do you have visibility of their numbers – year to date, forecast vs. required performance?
• Activity levels – are they working hard and smart enough?
• Engagement – are they talking to the right level in their prospects/accounts?
• Messaging – are they capable of delivering an appropriate message at the right level?
• Qualification – are they only spending time on deals where they can compete and ultimately that they can win?
• Closing – are they constructing successful campaigns and closing business?

A successful sales team is one that is set up correctly, responds to the responsibility it has for the task, seeks constant improvement and sees its Sales Leader as a fundamental support to its success. A sales team in this situation will do well and is more likely to go on doing well than a sales team who are just told what to do.

The Sales Leader’s role is one of catalyst – constantly helping their team to keep up with events, to change in the light of events and to succeed because it is always configured for success.

 

Today’s News: I am delighted to announce the launch of Phase One of the new Resource Center, over at Top Sales Experts, which includes “The Best Sales Blogs In The World” – including this one! More than thirty of the world’s top sales gurus are taking part in this project. Do go over and have a look

       

We are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of Phase Two on January 13th next year.

Tomorrow: On The JF Guest Author Spot – Colleen Francis – be sure to join us.