Being a front-line sales manager is chaotic. You, the head of sales, seem to change every couple of years. This leads to a new vision (or hallucination) and strategic direction. Reps are less loyal every day and are being hunted by recruiters. Big data is a constant topic. New technology applications need to be rolled out. Oh yeah, and you have these things called customers that want stuff from you.
It feels like you constantly have someone reprioritizing your day, week, or quarter. This leads to reactive behavior and effort not aligned to the strategy. You can’t have this.
As the SVP of sales, lack of alignment will cost you sleep. If you sales leaders are reactive, so are the 7-10 people working for them. The sales reps closest to prospects and customers every day.
The challenge you have to solve is scaling your strategy and vision. Everyone in the organization needs to be focused on the same goals. This doesn’t mean micro managing them to tasks. It does require a focused effort to drive the right behaviors.
Getting a large sales team synchronized is no small task. A great starting point is getting your sales managers to focus on the right activities. Sales managers should have their own style while performing these tasks. They aren’t robots. But if they neglect these, you risk losing sales people, customers and ultimately revenue.
Below is the sales manager cadence from a Fortune 100 Information Technology company.
You will notice many of these activities are development focused. Observing and coaching sales people in the field. Providing micro sales training each week. Constantly sourcing and nurturing talent and not relying solely on recruiters. 1-on-1 meetings. Some of your sales managers may think these activities aren’t there job. They will ask why what recruiters and learning and development are for. The answer is that they should control their own destiny. Relying solely on others to do business critical tasks is not acceptable.
Your sales leader’s job is to make your team better, not sell deals. If they are spending time chasing business they can’t replicate themselves. If they are sitting in the office, they can’t coach effectively to real situations. When sales reps don’t feel supported, they find another place to work.
Transform the sales manager role and ensure your vision is executed daily.
Have your sales managers subscribe to the SBI blog for more sales best practices. Every day relevant sales advice is shared they can implement to improve performance.