Category Archives: Sales Management

December 17th, 2015

Sales Leaders and Their Leaders

sales leadership

This three-part series on the sales management process began with Part I: Why Sales Leaders Need to Craft and Control It and Part II: Team Cadence Builds Accountability and Results. Now, I’ll address the remaining, critical element of communicating upward by scheduling one-on-one reviews with senior leaders.

There are many reasons for maintaining regular and scheduled one-on-one meetings with your senior leader. Within the hierarchy of your organization, your leader is an essential link to the next higher levels of management, often to the C-suite itself. Rule of thumb is to never surprise your boss, positively or negatively; but, beyond that guidance, you need to keep them informed of your plans, your progress, and how you are addressing any challenges. Think of your leader as your champion, representing your work and value to higher levels of the organization. At the same time, your leader is your conduit to those higher levels, funneling key information from above and providing key updates on initiatives back to you.

One-on-one meetings allow you to have a consistent touch point in which you can convey the status of each component involved in the sales management process. Your updates should be comprehensive, spanning what your team has accomplished since the last meeting, pipeline results, and activities underway that will lead to future results and provide value.

Meetings provide a framework to discuss how you are managing your team, what your people do, where they » Continue Reading.

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October 13th, 2015

How can sales leaders help move their team members from vendor status to true strategic partner?

sales-leadership

At Richardson, we have a wealth of senior-level experts who facilitate training sessions around the world. All of them have line-management experience in complex sales environments, and they draw on their real-world understanding to engage sales managers and executives in improving performance and changing behaviors.

In our first Sales Expert Series, we ask them to share what they see when working with clients and offer tips based on what leads to the best results. Here is our first insight.

What suggestions would you offer to sales leaders to move their team members from vendor status to true strategic partner?

Nancy Sells

The first step is to ask these questions: What does a true strategic partner look and sound like? What does this really mean from the customer’s perspective? What do you do daily to achieve this status? As a sales leader, the way to move team members toward becoming strategic thinkers is not by telling them what to do but by asking them what they think.

With the answers to these questions, select just one aspect of being a true partner, then make it the focus of your weekly team meeting with the ground rule being that everyone has to contribute. The topics could be anything from how to get to know a customer’s business as well as they do to becoming more global in thought processes, or something as specific as adding more polish in verbal communication. After all, a primary » Continue Reading.

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April 2nd, 2015

The Best Sales Leaders Understand Their Dual Roles

best sales leaders

The Best Sales Leaders Understand Their Dual Roles

It’s fair to say that most sales leaders got promoted to their jobs because they were good salespeople. And, as we all know, being a good salesperson isn’t the same as being the best sales leader. In fact, sometimes the best salespeople don’t make good sales managers; and sometimes, the best sales leaders were not good salespeople.

The trick is to recognize the difference between being a super salesperson and being a leader of salespeople.

To understand your role as a sales leader, you also have to understand your role as leader because they’re intertwined.

A leader is someone who shows the way. A sales leader shows the way and helps his/her salespeople to get there on their own.

The problem with this dual role is the tendency for sales leaders –– who were super salespeople –– to take over. They want to step in and solve their sales reps’ problems by doing it for them rather than coaching them in the skills needed to do it on their own. The sales managers feel that salespeople will learn how to succeed through observation.

In the sales leader role, there’s quite a lot to grasp about what it really means to achieve results through others. If you want the accelerated impact of sales success from ten people vs. just yourself, you have to start by thinking about what you did that made you successful. Also consider » Continue Reading.

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August 4th, 2014

Six Emerging Competencies for Sales Success in the Age of the Empowered Buyer

Six Emerging Competencies for Sales Success in the Age of the Empowered Buyer

It’s been well-documented that buyer behavior is changing, with power shifting from sellers to buyers. The primary reason for this shift is availability of and access to information.

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April 28th, 2014

For Experts that Sell, A Surprising Key to an Effective Sales Meeting

For Experts that Sell, A Surprising Key to an Effective Sales Meeting

Experts, circa 2014, sell.  Are you a portfolio manager, consultant, lawyer, investment banker, engineer, architect, or estate planner?  As an expert, you are highly educated and credentialed and have deep industry and subject matter knowledge.  Though not in a typical sales role, you may be asked at times to participate on a sales call or pitch.  The request may be driven by clients who increasingly want to meet and gain comfort with the person who will be creating their portfolio, solution, deal structure, strategy, or design.  Or, the request may be driven by your firm, which has decided that your participation is essential to win the work.  Regardless of how you feel about selling, the comments below are designed to help you contribute to a winning sales effort when asked.

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April 10th, 2014

“Just Say No!” Do Your Job, Not Someone Else’s

“Just Say No!” Do Your Job, Not Someone Else’s

You have a job to do. Most people are (or complain about being) overworked to some degree and are not looking for more to do. Yet, we often let ourselves get dragged into situations that distract from our primary responsibilities and fill up our calendars needlessly. What might seem like a harmless request (“Hey, Joe, do you have a minute?”) can quickly turn out to be a horrible drain on your time, energy, and productivity.

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March 24th, 2014

The Importance of a “Heads Up” Approach to Planning and Leading

planning-and-leadership

The Importance of a “Heads Up” Approach to Planning and Leading

Successful Leadership Isn’t as Easy as Riding a Bike

Now that the weather is warming up, I’ve been seeing more bicyclists on the road. I was talking to a cycling friend recently who told me something surprising. He said that on long rides of 30 or more miles that require pedaling multiple hours at a time, it’s often not your legs that hurt, but rather your neck and shoulders. This stems from maintaining a fixed posture for a long period. How do riders prevent that discomfort? By forcing yourself to look up, turning your head from side to side, rolling your shoulders, and changing the position of your hands on the grips.

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February 7th, 2014

Opportunities and Challenges: Bersin’s Human Capital Predictions for 2014

human-capital

Opportunities and Challenges: Bersin’s Human Capital Predictions for 2014

 We often come across research reports in the industry from thought leaders who we respect. If human capital management is of interest to you, we recommend “Predictions 2014” by Bersin by Deloitte, a human resource-focused consulting subsidiary of Deloitte. The subtitle gives a good idea of what this report is about: “Building A Strong Talent Pipeline for The Global Economic Recovery — Time for Innovative and Integrated Talent and HR Strategies.” The link for the report can be found by clicking  here. Take a look. You will find it useful.

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