Monthly Archives: November 2012
Sales Management Process: The Black Hole of Sales Strategy Execution
Have you ever stopped to think about what you need your sales management to do to help you run your sales force? If you asked five sales managers to map out a day, week, month, and quarter in their lives, would you get a consistent response? The answer is probably a strong “no.”
Establishing a Sensible Sales Process: Low-hanging Sales Improvement Fruit
How often does your organization talk about wanting to increase sales? Surely during annual planning and budgeting exercises, but I’d also guess during quarterly, monthly, and even more frequent reviews of sales and performance figures. Some issues may have obvious fixes, but you’ve also likely pursued various strategies to move the needle across your sales organization.
Free Benchmarking Report: Be More Thankful for Your Strategic Accounts!
As we all know, farming additional business is always desirable, but renewing existing business is essential. Planning, developing, and executing an account strategy requires skills and abilities that need to be kept current. As we head into the Thanksgiving break, Richardson is excited to offer you a complimentary report from CSO Insights called Account Management Analysis. Here is some data that you might want to read more about in this report:
Getting the Message Right: The First Step in an Effective Change Management Process
Step 1: Refine the message
The first step in an effective change management process is for leadership to get the message right. And the way to do that is to try to connect what each person’s role in the change is, back up to the highest-level organization vision.
Many leaders have a tendency to speak in lofty terms and insider jargon while extolling their “big picture” vision — no matter who their audience is. True, they need to get their pitch down pat and reinforce their conviction through repeated telling of their story. But leaders should also realize that each audience is different, which includes having a unique perspective about what they’re hearing and its impact on them.
There comes a time when businesses grow and mature to the extent that it makes sense to ditch the informal ad hoc ways of a startup and standardize functions and processes. The freedom and flexibility of how work gets done is often favored over the negative-sounding corporate way of doing things, such as adopting company-wide systems and procedures. True, each business unit, function, and location have subcultures within the overarching corporate culture that give those groups a tight-knit feeling and identity. However, they cannot be subordinate to or in conflict with the culture, goals, and objectives of the broader organization. That includes getting on board with new initiatives, such as automating a new sales methodology.
Impact of Automating Your Sales Methodology
The figure below from Revegy, Richardson’s CRM enablement partner, illustrates the impact that automating your sales methodology can have on increasing win rates while reducing losses and no decisions. While Group A realized improvements in all categories and increased incremental revenue, Group B suffered from old habits and failed to sustain what success they had.
As with any change, you’ll need to anticipate hearing “That’s not how we do things here” and be prepared to counter those objections with sound reasons to get in line, including not only benefits to the sales organization and company but also the individual sales reps.
5 Reasons to Automate Your Sales Methodology
Here are five reasons to automate » Continue Reading.
Leading Your Sales Organization through a Change Management Program
The most difficult part of change management isn’t coming up with new great ideas — it’s getting people to change their behaviors. How can sales leaders manage the people side of change to achieve the required business outcomes?
Businesses change and evolve, the pace and frequency of which vary depending upon the scale and scope of the change. As the leader of the sales organization, it’s your job to ensure that your sales teams and sales reps follow suit and comply with the new way of doing things. Otherwise, it’ll be your job.
Most changes that impact the sales organization involve modifications to processes (e.g., the sales process), documents (e.g., order entry forms), and roles and responsibilities (who does what during the post-sale implementation). As sales leader, it’s your responsibility to identify the best practices to be implemented. Change management programs help you get your people to engage and sustain effort in actually making those best practices part of their regular routine.
Sales people are paid to go out and sell, which should be their primary focus. You need to minimize distractions and make sure that they have the necessary tools, resources, incentives, and support to succeed. However, sales reps also need to realize that they work for a company, not for themselves, and that the company has specific goals, objectives, processes, and preferred ways of doing things. It might not always » Continue Reading.
The following is an excerpt from Sales Coaching, Making the Great Leap from Sales Manager to Sales Coach by Linda Richardson
When sales managers are asked why they don’t coach, they usually say it is because they don’t have the time. Looking at the workload of today’s managers, the “no time” obstacle rings true. Coaching does take time, especially for the player/coach, who must focus on his or her own business as well as coach. In the short run, coaching takes more time than not coaching. And “real coaching” — what we refer to as development coaching — can take more time than “one minute” coaching (saying, “Good catch, but here’s what’s wrong and here’s what to do”). Such “triage” coaching does make sense in emergencies — but not as a way of life. But despite the time pressures, our experience with thousands of managers shows that time is not the primary reason they don’t coach.