Category Archives: Sales Management
Best Practices for Sales Compensation Management: Start by Aligning Finance and Sales
A Guest Post by Chris Newton, Xactly Corporation
Sales compensation and incentive plans are intended to motivate sales reps, to incent them to perform to their full potential in alignment with the business’s goals. But do those compensation and incentive plans — or the systems and processes used to implement them — do what they are designed to do? Does your plan backfire and frustrate sales reps rather than get them to sell more?
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.
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.
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.
Step Right Up: How L&D Professionals Can Help Sales Managers Sustain Change Post Training
Learning and Development must help sales managers to guide their sales reps after the training in order to sustain the changes introduced. Some sales managers may not be used to coaching and may need guidance themselves. Consider the following:
After Sales Training: Question, Observe, and Reinforce
In the first two posts of this series, I talked about what sales managers should do before training programs to support strategic change and during those programs to ensure that sales reps derive the greatest benefit. Where should sales managers focus once the training is over and sales reps are back to work?