First, it makes sense to define a Sales Managed Environment® (SME™). For the last 15 years, we’ve built, developed, refined and implemented the principles we associate with a sales environment that is “managed”. The major components of SME™ are as follows:
- Setting standards and accountability
- Coaching for success
- Upgrading the sales force
Using this as the basis for what the SME™ looks like, we next need to determine if, in fact, your environment has been built and is being executed for success. So, how do you determine that?
- You have metrics for success that are consistent with company revenue and profit goals.
- You have standards for success that drive success rather than foster mediocrity.
- You have “smart” numbers to help you predict your progress towards meeting and exceeding your standards for your metrics.
- You inspect what you expect – activity, effectiveness and results.
- You pro-actively recruit – you have a candidate pipeline.
- You coach people to improve skills and change behavior.
But, ultimately, you determine success by:
- Achieving goals.
- Getting better individually as well as a team – more people carrying the load/higher percentage of producers hitting 100% of the goal.
- This year’s quintiles (sales team divided by production 1/5s) out-perform last year's.
- Sales activity/effort is where it needs to be to be successful.
- The data demonstrates that the team is more effective and efficient at executing the sales strategy and sales process.
So, the question(s) become(s) – is this happening? If not, why not and, if so, why?
Not to focus on the negative, but let’s assume for a second that at least 3 of the 5 items determining success are not happening. Where do you turn? What do you do? The first thing is to determine why. The answer to why is this – failure of sales management.
As a leader, that is why you have a structure that includes sales management. If you don’t, then part of the problem is that you don’t have a sales management structure or you don’t have sales management executing to the structure.
Unfortunately, if you are the sales manager, then this is a tough pill to swallow... but you have to anyway. This is the job/responsibility you accepted when you said yes to the job, yes to the responsibility and yes to the compensation. There is no avoiding this conclusion. However, you can fix this and there are resources to help you.
Certainly, as a company, we provide our unique set of solutions, but generally speaking, this is what you should be thinking:
- What systems and processes do I need to have/build to support sales growth and a sales team built for growth?
- What assessment tools exist to help me evaluate my skills and the skills/tendencies of my sales team?
- What do I need to do differently in the area of recruiting to get more “A” and “a” players and stop hiring those that won’t succeed?
- What is an effective coaching process I can implement so that I can be more intentional and impactful in my coaching? How do I change behavior and improve skill?
Resources for you to examine:
Assessments: Cost of bad hires questionnaire
Sales Management Booklet – 9 Keys to Sales Management
Understand this: I’d love the opportunity to help you build a sales team built for growth. Contact me and we can look at the options. However, I know that you have access to lots of resources, so whatever you look for, start with these three – assessment, sales management and recruiting.