coaching

Sales Manager Training – The Key to Developing A World Class Salesforce

Sales manager training and development is the key to developing a world class salesforce. I can say that unequivocally based on my personal involvement in roughly one hundred and fifty sales transformations over the last thirteen years.

Why is it that some sales forces succeed and others fail when they have roughly the same kinds of products, draw from the same talent pool, pay roughly the same compensation plans, and have nearly the same structures. The answer is crystal clear when you dive deeply (like my team and I do week after week, month after month) into what makes sales forces tick. The answer has nothing to do with highly differentiated products or low prices.

The difference maker is the sales management team and how well they execute their craft. Think about it. Sales managers set the pace and the focus for the sales organization. They play THE PIVOTAL ROLE in making sure that sales tactics align with and support the sales strategy, which is linked inextricably with the business strategy. They work to make sure that salespeople are focused on the right opportunities. Within the context of those opportunities, sales managers ensure that salespeople are talking to the right people about the right issues and opportunities at the right time. They play the role of coach, cheerleader, and head trainer all at the same time.

Or, at least, that is what sales managers are supposed to do. Are they not?

Image courtesy of “jscreationzs”

Let’s consider that question with respect to YOUR SALES MANAGEMENT TEAM. How do your front-line sales managers spend their time?

What do they do to keep salespeople focused on the right opportunities?

How do they go about developing the skills of your client-facing field representatives or telephone sales representatives?

What do they do to hone their craft as leaders and coaches in the small amount of time they might have week in and week out?

Have you really considered those questions?

If not, consider taking one or more of the following actions today:

  1. Read our guide, “Five Fundamentals of Effective Sales Management” today. Consider where your sales management team might have opportunity to improve, to lead more effectively, and to drive better sales results. Which of the five fundamentals resonates most with you as you think about your sales management team?
  2. Jot down the really important business and sales outcomes you want to achieve over the next two to three years on the top of a sheet of paper. Below that, write out where you are now with regard to achieving that outcome (e.g. current sales, current sales practices), and write down what your sales management team will have to do to achieve your desired outcome. Are their gaps between what your sales managers are capable of today and what they will need to do early next year or the year after?
  3. Put your sales management training and development plan in writing. Does it make sense? Are you investing sufficiently into the people who are most closely connected with your sales organization’s success?
  4. If you would find value in a consultation with people who focus all of their time and energy on sales manager training and development, then please contact us by clicking here or email us at sales@usr-llc.com to set up a conversation. I personally guarantee that the conversation will prove valuable and useful, whether you choose to embark on a sales management training program with USR or not.

 

United Sales Resources provides actionable intelligence and practical advice to sales leaders, so they can drive better sales results. If you would like to discuss this post with Matt McDarby or learn more about how our sales leadership coaching and advisory services help our customers to grow, then contact us for a brief tour or a conversation.  Thank you again for your time!

United Sales Resources to Launch Sales Leadership Advisory Services

Sales Leadership Coaching Firm Will Offer Advisory Services And Content Library Starting In Early 2015

12/1/14 — ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND — United Sales Resources, LLC (USR) announces today that it will launch new sales leadership advisory services and a world-class knowledge base for its customers in the first quarter of 2015.

“We are very pleased to announce our new advisory services offering, as it will create a new path for our customers to take advantage of our research, expertise and insights on effective sales leadership,” said USR’s founder and President, Matt McDarby.

When released in early 2015, the new offering will empower sales leaders of all levels of experience and capability to lead more effective sales organizations and to accelerate their company’s growth. The new Sales Leadership Advisory services and knowledge base will distill the USR team’s sales leadership expertise into actionable intelligence, insight, and practical advice for business leaders seeking to grow their sales.

“We listen closely to our customers, and we have learned from them that there is a great need for practical, real-time advice focused on the issues facing sales leaders today. If they have questions, for example, about structure, sales process, pipeline management and forecasting, improving performance, or perhaps simply winning their company’s next big deal, we want to be their go-to resource for guidance. Think of it as a way to have support from a world-class sales leadership advisor any time you need it, regardless of the issue or opportunity you need to address,” said McDarby.

USR’s Sales Leadership Advisory Services will include access to an online knowledge base that will be available to customers starting in January 2015. The knowledge base will include exclusive content, research, and tools geared toward sales leaders seeking better sales performance and results. Advisory services and the knowledge base will be available on an unlimited basis to customers in exchange for a monthly or annual subscription fee.

About United Sales Resources, LLC

United Sales Resources (USR) helps small and medium-sized companies to win new business and grow.   Headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, USR provides world-class research, coaching, and advisory services to companies seeking better sales performance and results.  For more information, please contact United Sales Resources at (888) 877-1956, extension 102, or visit our website at www.usr-llc.com.

Media Contact: Matthew McDarby United Sales Resources, LLC, 301-325-4851, matt@usr-llc.com

One Person’s Perspective Is Just That

In complex sales, getting one person’s perspective is just that. And how well does that one buyer’s perspective usually reflect the whole story?

Over the years, I’ve spent a great deal of time both observing and coaching professional salespeople in the field.  I marvel at how often salespeople, even those that are good, solid performers take the word of a single buying contact as gospel.  In other words, they seek only one person’s perspective, and they don’t bother to seek others’.

As a professional salesperson myself, I understand that it is a lot easier and certainly more efficient to go to one source of information rather than going to many sources.  Validating the intelligence that one can gather and confirming the whole truth takes time.  It also has a clear payoff.  Yet many salespeople still won’t take the time to seek more than one buying contact’s perspective.

Is it because of laziness? Is it fear? Is it just a lack of awareness that causes people to accept one (buyer’s) version of the truth?

Maybe it’s some or all of the above.  I am really not sure.  Rather than try to determine with certainty the reason behind this single-buyer-perspective syndrome, let’s look at the effects.  Following are the top ten things that happen when you get one (and only one) person’s perspective throughout a buying cycle:

  1. Poor assumptions about the buying process.  Assuming that one person really has the authority and the capability to make a buying decision without validation, input, or approval from others is deadly.  Very few companies allow their people to buy that way any more.  There’s too much risk.
  2. Positioning the wrong capabilities or emphasizing things about your capabilities that the customer won’t ultimately value.  If you only know what one person in an organization values, how can you demonstrate value to anyone else?
  3. Wasted time.  Chasing down information, writing proposals, revising proposals, making offers…it all takes a lot of time.  If you have to do it several times over because you didn’t anticipate that others would be interested in weighing in on what you propose, then you’ve wasted a great deal of time.

    Why would you take this guy's word for it?
    Why would you take this guy’s word for it?
    (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
  4. Skipping some really important conversations with key players in the customer’s organization.
  5. You lose or… Heaven forbid… you win but set your solution up for failure.  Depending on just one buyer’s perspective creates a great deal of risk that your solution will not address the needs and outcomes that others desire.  Prepare for frustration and disappointment if you lose.  Prepare for dissatisfied customers if you win.  Either way, it’s not good.
  6. Wasted resources.  See #3.  You’re probably wasting others’ time and valuable resources in addition to yours.
  7. Selling to the wrong person.  See #6 and #3.  If you’re selling to the wrong person, it probably means you’re not really in a buying cycle at all.  You’re just making friends, which is nice, but it is not what you are paid to do as a professional seller.
  8. Selling not once but several times.  Back to the drawing board!  You didn’t bother to get Sally’s perspective, so it’s time to sell to her now.
  9. Getting blind-sided.  Is there anything worse than finding out that someone else’s perspective mattered more than the person on whom you were focused?  One feels really dumb when that happens.  Getting blind-sided sucks.
  10. Surrendering control over the buying process… to  someone who may not have your best interests in mind.  Some buyers like the attention of salespeople.  In fact, they’ll take it all day long, as it makes them feel important.  So hand over the reins to that one buyer who’ll be happy to give you his perspective on everything but not bore you with anyone else’s perspective.  He’ll take care of you in the end.  Right?

With that top ten list behind us, the question I pose to you is, “Why would you take one buyer’s word for it ever again?”

No, really.  Why would you?

Comments and feedback are welcome, as always.  Please feel free to share on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, or forward this post along to others who might enjoy the discussion.  I love new friends.  I will be back soon with another post and with a really exciting announcement about USR and our new Total Customer Strategy offering.  Stay tuned!