Sales & Sales Management Expertise

How Do You Determine the Success of Your Sales Managed Environment®?

Tags: SME, sales management, improving sales results, how to manage salespeople, sales managed environment

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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:

  1. Setting standards and accountability
  2. Coaching for success
  3. Recruiting
  4. Motivating
  5. 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?

  1. You have metrics for success that are consistent with company revenue and profit goals.
  2. You have standards for success that drive success rather than foster mediocrity.
  3. You have “smart” numbers to help you predict your progress towards meeting and exceeding your standards for your metrics.
  4. You inspect what you expect – activity, effectiveness and results.
  5. You pro-actively recruit – you have a candidate pipeline.
  6. You coach people to improve skills and change behavior.

But, ultimately, you determine success by:

  1. Achieving goals.
  2. Getting better individually as well as a team – more people carrying the load/higher percentage of producers hitting 100% of the goal.
  3. This year’s quintiles (sales team divided by production 1/5s) out-perform last year's.
  4. Sales activity/effort is where it needs to be to be successful.
  5. 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

Recruiting – How to find, attract, and recruit an all-star sales team – tool kit.

 

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.

Key to Successful Selling – Manage Your Players to These 5 Rules of The Game

Tags: Sales, SME, Selling Success, sales management

I’m reading Fast Company magazine this morning and realize I don’t get out of it what I used to.  It’s probably a combination of how I’ve changed, how our company has changed and how the magazine has changed. This got me thinking about other articles I’ve read about how selling has changed and the “keys” to selling in today’s market.

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I did a quick Google search for “keys to sales success” and here are some of the articles that Google found:

But, this is what I think – the keys to successful selling really haven’t changed that much… if at all.

In 2005, I read Dave Kurlan’s book, Baseline Selling.  Dave took the fundamentals of effective selling and used the baseball diamond and baseball terminology to explain his sales process. If you think about baseball, or look at old baseball videos or pictures, you will find that the game today is essentially exactly the same game that was formalized in New York about 1840.

I am convinced that the “game” of selling is exactly the same game that Frank Bettger (Author of How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling) was playing in 1952.  I read his book over 15 years ago, but I didn’t know this fact about Frank until today – he played professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. With that in mind, let’s stick with the baseball theme.

The Rules of the Game for Successful Selling

  1. Take batting practice every day - Practice
  2. Take what the pitcher gives you – Focus on what problem your prospect has to solve.  Leave your product briefcase and brochures in the car.
  3. Swing at YOUR pitch – Just like a batter faces lots of pitches and only are a few are ones he can really connect with, you will face lots of prospects, but only work with those that you can really work with and help.
  4. When the 1st base coach is waving for you to keep going, go to second base. When you find out that your prospect has a “have-to-fix-problem”, that doesn’t mean you try and steal home.  Go to second and make sure they have the money to fix the problem. Go to 3rd to make sure they are committed to investing the time, money or resources to fix the problem.  Before you head for home, make sure you can score when you get there – the prospect is committed to making a decision.
  5. In the first inning, you might strike out, hit into a double play, walk to first, get hit by a pitch, get stranded on first, etc. You have to shake all of that off because you have 8 more innings to play. Anything can happen as long as you keep going and getting at bats.

Additional Resources:

Drafting better players – Hirebettersalespeople.com

Sales Management – 9 Keys to Coaching Sales Success

Free book for your salespeople – Why is Selling So Damn Hard?