Category Archives: Sales Managers
Move over, baby boomers. You too, Gen Xers. In 2015, millennials became the largest segment of the American workforce, with more than one in three workers being from this generation. Figuring out how to train a multigenerational sales team presents unique challenges for sales leaders, but understanding the difference between generational learning styles will help you be more effective.
There have always been differences in age and experience levels across sales organizations, from recent graduates to those nearing retirement. This presents a business imperative and an opportunity to identify the differences and similarities in learning and communication styles and the implications for coaching and training a multigenerational sales team.
Understanding the Learning Styles of Generations in the Workforce
These days, there can be up to four generations in the workforce. Connecting and communicating successfully across this generational spectrum can strain the ability of sales leaders and those in Learning and Development. The starting point is knowing your audience:
1. Traditionalists (those born before 1945): Generally speaking, most workers in this generation are strongly committed to their organizations. They value teamwork, collaboration, and the development of interpersonal skills. Their learning style is commensurate with these characteristics: they like teamwork and collaboration in the classroom.
2. Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964): Boomers tend to be very competitive and are success-driven. They look for professional growth, are receptive to change, and consider training to be one » Continue Reading.
Sales Assessment Help Sales Managers Make Sure that they have the Right People in the Right Roles
The traditional role of a sales manager has evolved from being a boss to acting more as a coach. This change requires knowing your team and offering the right kind of feedback to help them be more successful.
What research tells us is that the focus of this feedback should be to build on existing strengths. Instead, managers are more likely to focus on weaknesses than strengths, and they’re frequently likely not to have a dialogue on either strengths or weaknesses (i.e., essentially ignoring a person) rather than talk about either strengths or weaknesses.
Author and researcher Tom Rath, who champions strength-based leadership, conducted a survey in 2004 to discover how a manager influences employee engagement or disengagement. From the results come these statistics: the chances of becoming actively disengaged were 40% if the manager ignored the employee; that figure shrank to 22% if the manager focused on the employee’s weaknesses, and it dropped to 1% when the manager focused on the employee’s strengths.
Similarly, numerous researchers have found that people who use theifr strengths at work perform better, have greater energy and higher self-esteem, are more engaged at work, experience less stress, and remain longer with their employers.
This strength-based approach seems counterintuitive to conventional wisdom about identifying weaknesses and correcting them. Time is often spent on trying » Continue Reading.
5 Key Elements for Rolling out a Global Sales Training Initiative
I am an American who has lived outside the US for 27 years. I’ve worked in 42 countries, lived in the Far East for eight years, in Europe for the last 19 years, and am now based in the UK. At Richardson, Europe Limited, I am a consultant, facilitator, trainer, and coach. I work with European firms, FTSE 100 global companies, and many, many foreign subsidiaries of US companies around world.
The Benefits of Sales Enablement Tools for Sales Managers
In a previous blog post, Advice on How Sales Enablement Tools Can Increase Efficiency, SAVO’s CEO Mark O’Connell talked about a number of benefits from sales enablement tools for sales reps. Here’s what he had to say about benefits for sales managers.
What is a Chief Sales Officer’s biggest gripe about their forecast? Many point to CRM algorithms used to identify at-risk opportunities. These don’t improve visibility because they’re dependent on data input by sales reps, and sales reps only tell sales leaders what they want to hear. As a sales manager, I need to know the productivity of my teams, a deal’s likelihood of closing, and when it’s necessary to intervene on a deal.
Creating the Skill and the Will to Unlock Sales Manager Coaching Power
Sales managers are the force multipliers of productivity and key players for supporting change in your frontline sales force. Research from the Corporate Executive Board indicates that when training is complemented by in-field coaching and reinforcement, productivity is quadrupled from 22% to 88%. However, many sales managers are promoted based on their ability to sell, and the characteristics that contribute to a sales manager’s success as an individual contributor run counter to their role as a developer of others. Some sales managers lack coaching know-how and skill, while others don’t make time to coach.
Sales Training Programs: Mission Impossible or Mission Accomplished?
Let’s face it. For learning and development leaders without a sales background, being assigned to develop sales training programs can feel like the kiss of death. Even for seasoned sales training leaders, it isn’t a walk in the park.
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.”
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.