Sales Management: This means almost HALF of your reps are missing their goal. Unless you have some unbelievable ‘rainmakers’ on your team, you are probably missing your quota as well. With the end of the year approaching, most CEOs and VP of Sales are thinking about INCREASING your Sales Management quota for next year.
What are you going to do?
Making your quota for 2012 requires changing things. The status quo is no longer acceptable. You have to increase your sales team’s quota attainment. If your quota has been set properly, the sales reps on your team will need to hit at least 65% of their quota. This means 6.5 out of 10 sales reps must be 100%+ to quota.
Can you make this happen without LOWERING the quotas?
You make your number by coaching to your sales process. You make your number by coaching to success metrics (Close Rate increase, Sales Cycle Length decrease etc.) You make your number by coaching to deal strategy.
3 Ways Sales Management can make quota (by coaching):
# 1 – Delivery of your message. The way you DELIVER your message has a direct impact on the perceived CONTENT of the message. The way you use effective words and pitch in the message is critical in your point to be taken. Most successful coaches talked at a faster rate than ‘normal’ and their emphasis was is consistent throughout their delivery. They BELIEVED in their message and the ‘receiver’ thought the coach had their best interest at heart.
Remember: You can’t fake confidence.
MIT’s Sloan School of Management had 42 MBA students write and then present a business plan. The students, all who had previous business experience, were ranked in three areas: persuasion, content and style. Even though the three areas were ranked separately, if a student ranked HIGH in ONE area, they scored well in all areas. When separate judges just READ the plans, they chose differently than the judges who witnessed the presentations.
#2 – Situational Coaching. Don’t peanut butter spread the coaching. One size does not fit all. New hires need different coaching then tenured reps. Average performers are coached differently than Top performers. You must change your style to the sale rep you are developing. Assess where they are and use the below chart as a rule of thumb:
(Resource:Situational Coaching by Ken Blanchard)
#3 – Regular Cadence. Establishing a fixed schedule that allows you the ability and opportunity to coach at all times is critical. You must be in the field with your sale reps. This results in situations which you can observe their behavior and develop them. Use the scenario, their exact words to help them improve on flawed behaviors. Things like questioning skills, non-verbal communication, adherence to following the sale process etc. These will improve their productivity. Use this table for guidance:
Sales Management Coaching Situations
Planned One On Ones (in the calendar)
Set an agenda with regular items formally reviewed each session. Sales Rep comes prepared with tools, responses and action items
In the Moment
Coach specifics that were just observed or discussed. The most critical and impactful of all coaching, this needs to be done on a regular occurrence (Like Daily!)
Scheduled Semi Annual Reviews
Formal sessions discussing long range development usually tied to success metrics (quota attainment) and competencies. You must develop an Individual Development Profile and monitor the progress.
Making your quota is much more than simply filling the team’s pipelines and closing sales. It is coaching your sales rep and developing them into ‘A’ players. It is training to the sales process. We work with many sales managers who have ‘jumped off the Ferris wheel of doing deals’ to creating awesome sales reps.
One of the most significant sales management changes witnessed is by Brent Babbs. Brent took over a struggling sales team in Chicago moving from ‘A’+ sales rep to sales manager. Brent carried the quota for the team for many years being recognized as a top sales rep in the company. When he was promoted, the first year Brent was 99.9% of quota for his team. Good enough to get his bonus but definitely not practicing the three steps outlined above. His team made the quota because Brent sold all the deals. His reps would get him into the prospects and (as one sale rep told me) Brent would take over and close the sales. He had no turnover in sales reps that year (because they made all the commissions on the back of Brent).
The following year, Brent dedicated himself to coaching his people. He devoted his time to the steps above and had awesome results (top SM in a company of 65 SMs). He subsequently got promoted. He made his sales team quota by not selling all the deals himself but coaching his sales people to sell while he coached them to improve.
Do you exhibit Brent’s early characteristics? Can you change? Devote your energy to the 3 ways to make your quota and you will do it!