Category Archives: Sales Management
How to Prevent Your Front Line Sales Managers from Inadvertently Sabotaging a Sales Training Event
Sales training programs to support strategic change initiatives should be approached with the weight and attention they deserve. If this sales training is essential to getting your reps on board and in line with the new way of doing things, then do all you can to ensure its success.
If there’s one theme for the pre-training activities, that would be communication. Sales managers need to convey to their reps why the training is important and how it will impact their jobs and remind them of what needs to be done in advance of the training in order to make the most of the time spent.
In our business, we are well aware of the challenge that Learning and Development professionals face when working with sales or line-of-business leaders on growth initiatives. Sales training is often outside of the typical learning professional’s comfort zone because most have never lead sales teams or carried a bag — or haven’t done so recently. While they know that they shouldn’t be “order takers,” they end up in these situations because they don’t know to push back without ending up losing credibility or putting themselves in a political quagmire.
Most strategic change initiatives within the sales organization involve some level of training for sales reps. The training could involve learning new processes, skills, or tools that will impact sales productivity. But, how well training is deployed and sustained can spell success or failure for your initiative.
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“… like trying to fly an airplane while you build it.”
Once people get a good idea, they are sometimes too eager to pursue it in a thoughtful and disciplined manner, choosing instead to plow ahead at full speed. How many times have you begun to put something together and decided to only consult the instructions after you need help?
If change were a gesture, what would it look like? Chaotic hand waving, totally crazy and out of control, according to Richardson President and CEO David DiStefano.
To try to visualize what change would look like as a hand gesture is an interesting concept. What is not surprising, however, is that the motion would not likely be a fluid, good natured, positive, or simple one. In this video interview with Selling Power TV, Mr. DiStefano talks about change in the workplace and offers Richardson’s model to help their clients successfully navigate the change process.
Sales is a profession built on reputation and relationships, and both require credibility. It’s even more true for sales leaders, who must maintain credible connections with CEOs, colleagues, clients, and their circle of sales professionals.
Organizations need good management — no argument there. But high-performing sales teams are not a result of mere management. They are fueled by transformational leadership.
Think about it: Sales leaders either take their teams up the mountain — or into a ditch. Where do you want your team to go?
Check out Psychology Today’s take on the basics and sales leadership skills that lead to a successful career. I have found that there are six shared qualities of a good sales manager:
Live for work, work to live. Leaders are excited about being leaders. Whereas sales superstars thrive when they’re in the trenches selling, top sales executives excel in vision, coaching, and providing tools for their reps to exceed quota.Just be careful when you’re looking for a new sales leader — almost 85% of sales superstars who are promoted to sales management fail. When you promote a top performing sales rep, look for leadership and management potential. Some sales reps are best at being sales reps. Leaders lead well when they coach well. Legendary leaders aren’t necessarily great salespeople, but they are superior coaches. They use sales coaching to help members of their team continually improve. When a sales rep needs help, they don’t just take over for a quick resolution. They resist the quick fix and take the time to teach. They know individual sales are important but that long-term sales performance is what counts. That’s why the best » Continue Reading.
Written by David DiStefano, former President and CEO of Richardson
As a sales leader, what’s your first impulse when you see a member of your sales team in trouble?
If you answered, “Take over and do it for them,” pause and think for a moment. As Lain Ehmann (Selling Power) and Colleen Honan (OneSource) recently agreed:
The hardest part of sales management may be knowing when to step in and when to take a back seat as your reps learn the ropes, particularly in front of the customer. As tough as it is, it’s often critical for the development of individual reps — and your team as a whole — to let them pave their own way.