The idea that CEOs must wear multiple hats has been perpetuated to the point of absurdity. Far too often small to mid sized companies find that their CEOs are trying to also wear the hat of sales manager. Unfortunately, you can't be both. You can't be a sales manager and a CEO, it is simply too hard. Trying to fill both of these roles will have you feeling like The Two-Headed Monster from Sesame Street! You can, however, be the leader and visionary needed to provide sales strategy to your sales managers.
Companies of all sizes, types, and locations need quality leads to continue to grow. In order to acquire those quality leads, companies can leverage a multitude of tactics, including using appointment setters and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). While both appointment setters and SDRs have a vital place in sales, the key to building the most effective team is to understand which role will fit best in your sales process and subsequently support your buyers on their journeys. In fact, selecting the wrong discipline for your sales process can lead to poor conversion rates, a negative customer experience, and a lack of growth. The good news is that we are here to help you build your own SDR team, so that you can enjoy all of the benefits of a winning sales team.
To coach or not to coach? That is the question. Well, at least the question of this blog post. Many managers struggle with the fine balance between knowing when to coach low performing employees and when to let them go or transition them to a new role. Whether you are new to your management role, or have years of experience, the following insights can help you to more successfully weigh the fate of lower performing workers.
Like the missing cog that keeps the wheel from turning, or the GPS that keeps spouting "make a legal u-turn," a broken sales process is not only detrimental to your business, but it is often easy to spot. Unfortunately, far too many companies ignore the broken sales process as they cling to outdated processes or strategies. The good news is that 2019 can be the year that you not only identify areas where your sales process is breaking down, but also take the steps needed to fix it.
Pete Rose was one of the best players to ever play the game of baseball. As a player, Rose was a switch hitter and is the all-time MLB leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), singles (3,215), and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, and the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five positions (second baseman, left fielder, right fielder, third baseman, and first baseman). Rose won both of his Gold Gloves when he was an outfielder, in 1969 and 1970. As a Coach, well... we all know how that ended up... so as a player, he was a rockstar, as the coach of his up and coming rockstars, he was a disaster!
In the words of Jeff Bezos, "Part of company culture is path-dependent - it's the lessons you learn along the way." This path-dependent approach stems from the belief that managers can help to mold employees through an environment that leverages lessons learned to encourage growth.
Inbound vs. Outbound... the debate over which leads are "better" has been a constant source of articles, blog posts, and general arguments amongst sales and marketing professionals. While this post, will spend a brief moment defining what makes a high quality lead, I don't feel the need to contribute to the debate anymore, since I have already written about this in the past. Instead, I want to spend a moment pointing out what so many articles have failed to do ... outbound leads and inbound leads are two different entities, so why are so many businesses treating them like they are the same thing?
Sales coaching vs. sales training. These two terms are often tossed around by C-level executives without truly understanding a) what their teams need to succeed, and b) how they can best help managers support their teams to increase sales and meet established quarterly goals. The challenge of course with the latter statement, is that many C-level executives don't like being told that they are not only wrong, but that they are doing their team a disservice. After all, when you have risen to the highest levels of power within your company, you like to think that you understand every aspect and that you, as the leader, are best suited for making all decisions. Unfortunately, appointing managers the task of being the "sales coach," is like accelerating in a no wake zone; not only is it dangerous, but you are inevitably dooming the entire ship to a disastrous ending.
As a C-level sales executive a major component of your job is to lead. However, another major component of their job is to inspire their sales team. Being an effective leader is about more than giving a pep talk; it requires the understanding that training is not simply for onboarding new sales representatives. Instead, by embracing the benefits of sales training and sales coaching, leaders can not only inspire their team, but they can help them reach new levels of success.
Every time a sales associate picks up the phone, sends an email, or heads to an in person meeting the goal is simple ... improve the client relationship to get one step closer to a sale. This might be a simple goal, but far too often achieving it becomes a convoluted process filled with trials and errors. While experimentation can be helpful in the sales process, it is far more effective on a company level to leverage proven methodologies that stem from a cohesive approach. A well-written sales playbook not only streamlines the entire sales process, but it enables your team to more successfully handle a variety of sales situations, while simultaneously communicating a value proposition to each potential client.