Look at a successful sales team’s leaderboard and, chances are, you won’t see the sales manager’s name near the top.
Yes, they can sell. But that’s not how they use their time. The best sales managers strategize, teach, coach, inspire…they devote themselves to helping the rest of the team succeed. Here are 10 things they do every day.
Most sales activities take place during business hours. That’s time you want to be actively involved in helping your team succeed. You have an inbox to clean out, administrative tasks to plow through and data to review. Do this before the day starts. That way you can head into the work day with well-informed priorities.
The best sales managers know their sales cycles and conversion rates. They know how much pipeline they need to hit quota. If you’re lucky enough to have a packed pipeline, prioritize opportunities. If it’s low, go into your bag of tricks, i.e. strategies, to fill it. Make sure you have the pipeline you need to hit or exceed your goals.
Forecasts can change every day. A surprise, quick win may translate into higher numbers. An unexpected loss can mean there are even more threats in the pipeline details. Make updating forecasts a part of your daily routine. That way you won’t have to drop everything to deliver a forecast when management asks for it.
Don’t hide out behind your desk. Get up, walk around and observe your team at work. Listen to their conversations and sales calls. For sure, you’ll gain insights into their sales skill. Equally important, you’ll gain insights into their management, teamwork, and camaraderie. Note the positives and negatives. It will help you design development programs.
Schedule and spend at least one day a month in the field with each rep. (Or a half day on the phone if you manage an inside sales team.) Then follow up each appointment with a mini post-mortem. Discuss what went well, what could have been done differently. Customers generally don’t mind. Many are happy to know that management is paying attention to their business.
In addition to accompanying reps in the field, spend at least one hour a week with each rep in a pipeline meeting. Don’t let this meeting devolve into a discussion on close dates and probabilities. That’s for forecasting. Instead, focus on the rep’s opportunities and what can be done to move deals along.
Too many sales managers wait for a deal to reach its later stages before they offer help. By that point, they can’t make much of a difference. Instead, look for early- and mid-stage opportunities. That’s where your experience and contacts may be able to help the most. Helping in the early stages can lead to more late stage opportunities. And sales.
Even if it’s just a few minutes over coffee. You can find out what campaigns are in the works. What’s driving the most Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). And you can share intelligence about which pitches, customer segments and products are getting the most traction. Marketing and sales should be as close to perfectly aligned as possible.
Don’t wait to be asked before you deliver what’s needed. Take every interaction as an opportunity to get the pulse of your team, your customers and the market. Write down your thoughts. You’ll build a healthy backlog of relevant training session ideas for your team. And management will especially value your insights the next time they plan a GTM.
Sales has always been a person-to-person business, but technology is taking a bigger role. Every step you take to implement a proven technology puts your company, and you personally, one step ahead of competitors. The early adapters of CRM revolutionized pipeline management and forecasting. They achieved this success despite the arcane computer commands and interfaces.
And now there’s a simple, radically advanced and disruptive CRM interface.
Rollio replaces arcane commands and menus with an interface a simple, plain language interface. Reps simply talk or text activities and outcomes into the CRM, and the Rollio Artificial Intelligence agent updates the CRM for them. Reps who use it who spend virtually no time entering data. Instead, they spend more time selling. Click here to see the competitive edge Rollio can give your team.
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