ACTG Sales Management Blog

Sales & Sales Management Expertise Blog  

Jeni Wehrmeyer

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Should Your Company Hire a Fractional Sales Manager?

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Fri, Feb 09, 2024

Many companies are struggling with finding talent in today’s environment, and it is particularly difficult to find top-notch sales management talent. Depending on the industry, this role can be a very expensive one to fill, and it is critical to get it right. Every organization needs to grow revenue, and this person is the driver of keeping your sales team focused on the right activities, target clients, industry knowledge, technology solutions, and most importantly, sales skills. The list of responsibilities is long. Unfortunately, most sales managers have no formal training in leadership, management and coaching skills, so how do you find the right person?

There are assessments in the marketplace to identify the strengths needed for sales leadership and we recommend and utilize the Sales Management Insights from Objective Management Group. These assessments can be used to screen candidates to see if they have the skills needed to lead your team to achieve the revenue growth goals of your company.  But sometimes, it is very difficult to find quality sales management candidates.

What is a Fractional Sales Manager?

Simply stated, a Fractional Sales Manager would run the sales management activities for your organization without being an employee. They would become well-versed in your company’s sales systems and culture, but they spend part of their time with your organization and the rest of their time working with other companies, so hence the “fractional” title. And of course, your company pays a fraction of their cost. They are part of your company, not part of your payroll. Something to consider as you evaluate your options:  We know from 30 years of data that: Salespeople reporting to a sales leader with strong coaching skills tend to have 28% more close-able late-stage opportunities.

Many companies do not have strong sales managers and struggle with finding the right person for that critical position.

Your Company Might Consider Hiring a Fractional Sales Manager if You:

  • Have a team of less than 10 salespeople
  • Are tired of trying to find the right sales manager
  • Don’t have the budget for a full-time sales manager
  • Senior leadership is not equipped to coach and drive accountability
  • Company does not have a consistent sales process
  • Sales team is lacking motivation and are not driving leads
  • You need to drive revenue and grow!

What Activities Would a Fractional Sales Manager Perform?

Every company is different and has nuances that they must address and therefore, they have varying needs, so it is important that you are able to select from the custom components and activities that a Fractional Sales Manager would perform. Here are the activities that you could consider for a customized Fractional Sales Management program:

  1. Robust Sales Meetings – Your Fractional Sales Manager will schedule and run sales meetings, establish standards, and keep your salespeople on track. These meetings are the ideal time to provide sales ideas and track the results. An experienced Fractional Sales Manager (FSM) will uncover new motivation in your salespeople.
  2. Weekly Huddles – A Fractional Sales Manager will make sure your salespeople are focused on the right activities and report on the metrics that matter, mobilizing the team and adding a competitive tone.
  3. Monthly Pipeline Review – The Fractional Sales Manager will dive into your pipeline details, continually upgrading your prospects and coaching your people on the quality of leads, which is an essential component to driving results.
  4. 1-on-1 Coaching –Each individual on your team needs personal help to drive skill improvement and optimize calls. Your Fractional Sales Manager will spend the time needed to get to know them, their sales goals and provide 1-on-1 time to help them close more deals.
  5. Updates with Leadership – Your Fractional Sales Manager will keep the leaders updated and report on accountability measurement improvements.

Let us know if we can help your company with a Fractional Sales Manager. We’ve been doing this for over 30 years- 30 years of experience developing sales leaders to more effective levels of performance management and coaching. Our Fractional Sales Management program is targeted and strategically aligned with the companies we work with, so there is an immediate lift in productivity and revenue.


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Topics: Sales Training, motivating sales people, achieving sales success, sales training tips, Fractional Sales Management, fractional sales manager

4 Rules to Help Your Salespeople Have Better Initial Calls

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Fri, Feb 02, 2024

How important is it that you or your sales team close more business, more quickly at higher margins? We can guess that it is pretty important.

If you think are leaving dollars on the table and need to find a solution to that problem, there are two things I want you to recognize:

  1. Your current sales process is perfectly designed for the results you (or your team) are getting today – if you are not closing as much as you believe you should, then there is something in your process that must change.
  2. That change starts at the beginning – the phone call to set up the appointment.

The quality of the phone call will always determine the quality of the appointment. If your salespeople must have better initial calls, then they must improve the quality of the phone call. 

To get you started, here are 4 rules to share to help your salespeople have better initial calls:

  1. How you say what you say is more important than what you actually say. You must ask questions and then really listen. If you tell stories, use metaphors and analogies. You need to have appropriate eye contact and body position, voice inflection, and background especially in today’s virtual world.
  2. Nobody really wants to talk to you – this seems like a harsh rule- but if you know this going in, that will help you be better prepared to nurture the discussion.
  3. You have 10 seconds to make a GREAT first impression. If you show up late for the zoom call or meeting, you’ve already lost. If you don’t have compelling and CEO-like questions to ask that really engage your prospect, you are behind the 8-ball. If the prospect cannot connect with you in the first 10 seconds, everything is downhill from there.
  4. Finally, practice and record your opening dialog. Listen to it. If you were someone you’ve never met before - would you engage? (Sales coach, you should listen and provide feedback that is helpful to your salespeople)

Salespeople must have a strategy or plan for success going into the meeting. Not a plan that is developed in the car during the drive to the appointment, but rather one that is thought out in a pre-call strategy session. Here are your two objectives:

  • The overall objective should be to have a go or no-go at the end of the meeting – that doesn’t mean buy or don’t buy, it just means that you move to the next step or don’t.
  • The secondary objective is discovering as much as you can about your prospect’s motivation to meet and have the discussion you are having. Normally this involves a pain they want to eliminate or an opportunity that they want to leverage. Find out their compelling reason to take time out of their schedule.

One thing we know for sure, prospects don’t take time out of their schedules unless there is an underlying reason. A salesperson’s job is to find out what that reason is.


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Topics: Sales Training, motivating sales people, achieving sales success, banking sales training, sales training tips, sales coaching best practices

Achieving Sales Team Excellence – the Motivation Competency

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Thu, Jan 25, 2024

The dream of every dedicated sales leader and the key to achieving sales team excellence is understanding what drives and inspires their people to perform at their highest potential. What are the competencies and behaviors of those leaders who seem so talented at helping others achieve their very best? We rely on the pioneer and #1 sales management evaluation by Objective Management Group to help understand exactly what it takes to ‘motivate’ a sales team. Simply stated: The Motivating Competency measures how effectively a sales manager understands what motivates their salespeople and how they can keep them motivated.

Motivation Activities to Drive Sales Team Excellence

Let’s break this definition down into activities that have been identified by the assessment that as a sales leader, you can utilize to help motivate your people. If you want to be an effective sales leader with a strong motivating competency, you will:

  • Know What Motivates Salespeople - By learning what uniquely motivates your salespeople, you will likely find that they will work harder and more effectively because their actions will support their goals. 
  • Give Recognition - By more regularly praising your salespeople when they are positively performing, you can raise their self-image and may find that they are more effective.
  • Run Effective Sales Meetings - By making a conscious effort to include motivation in your sales meetings, you can help ensure the motivation of your salespeople does not wane and protect against negative sentiment.
  • Beliefs Support Motivation - Some of your beliefs related to sales management may be misaligned with the role and importance of motivating your sales team. In other words, to be effective, you must believe it is important!
  • Have a Good Self-Image - Your strong self-image helps you be brave while selling, and it also helps you motivate your salespeople. With both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors in play, it is often difficult to understand but you must have the courage to get personal and build relationships with your salespeople. 
  • Develop Strong Relationships - By addressing areas for growth in the Relationship Building Competency, you will be able to build stronger bonds with your salespeople that will provide insights into how you can motivate them. More on the Relationship Building Competency in our next post in this series.
  • Take Responsibility - Your tendency to consistently take responsibility helps motivate your salespeople, as they know that you will not blame them for negative sales outcomes.
  • Won’t Accept Mediocrity - You have high expectations for your salespeople and don't except mediocre performance, even if that makes your salespeople unhappy with you.
  • Have Goals and a Plan - By improving your personal goals management system, you can also motivate your salespeople to be more goal oriented.

Take a moment to review and rate yourself on these 9 competencies of a successful motivational sales leader. It has been stated that motivation is an inside-out job meaning that as a sales leader, you must understand what motivates your people internally in order to help drive the external results – more clients, more sales, larger average accounts, more network, etc. You cannot create motivation in your people, but you can become better at understanding how they are motivated to tap into what it takes to drive their individual inspiration. One by one, taking the time to more fully understand these motivational factors for each salesperson on your team, will help you get closer to achieving sales team excellence.


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Topics: Sales Training, motivating sales people, achieving sales success, banking sales training, sales training tips, sales coaching best practices

A Non-Disruptive Transformation for Community Banks

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Fri, Jan 19, 2024

For centuries, community banks have invested in their local communities and promoted relationship banking. They have been founded on the bank's knowledge of community families, their spending histories, or their small business's finances. Enter the world of high-speed tech, digital banks and AI, offering options never even dreamed about ten years back. Protection of those community bank roots is critical – to take care of the people in the community they serve. How do community banks offer a non-disruptive transformational approach to leverage all of these tech options yet still serve the client in a personal, relationship banking manner?

Drawing from this recent article in Inc., How to Revitalize Your Industry Without Needing to Disrupt It, “Non-disruptive transformation is a journey back to the roots, where the customer is not merely a transaction but the focal point of every endeavor. As industries evolve, this approach offers a blueprint for sustainable growth, ensuring that innovation serves the fundamental purpose of meeting customer needs and enhancing their experience.”

While all financial institutions are heavily investing in the technology necessary to stay competitive and viable in today’s virtual world, the community bank must not lose site of it's original mission to personally serve that client. At the other end of those tech systems and data are the frontline people in your bank and answering your customer service lines. Are they as skilled as they can be to have engaging conversations? Are they skilled enough to listen to learn, probe for deeper understanding, not pitch solutions too soon and become financial guides for their clients and prospects? That is the role of the new community bank. To leverage all of the information at their fingertips, provide seamless knowledge and advice in a holistic and personal manner for their local families and businesses.

To do this in a non-disruptive way, banks can focus on developing their people, their most important asset. As you hire and bring new people in the door, make certain that they have the skills to ask those courageous questions and delve deeper. It may require an investment to upgrade the skill levels of those who work in the local branch and operate in a business development role, developing them to a great level of advisory service.

Drawing from the Inc. article again; “In the ever-evolving landscape of industries, non-disruptive transformation emerges as a strategic and sustainable approach to innovation. Businesses can carve out a niche while maintaining continuity and stability by focusing on fundamental tasks, breaking the status quo, and returning to the industry's original concept.”

Success in the future for community banks lies in aligning and differentiating with the core values that have defined the industry's essence for centuries.


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Topics: Sales Training, motivating sales people, achieving sales success, banking sales training, sales training tips, sales coaching best practices

Achieving Sales Team Excellence: The Impact of Supportive Beliefs

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Fri, Dec 08, 2023

This is what it takes to be successful at building and achieving sales team excellence: You must love coaching and the game of selling. You must thrive on developing others to be the best versions of themselves. It must be about helping others gain the spotlight, success and financial rewards or a job well done.  It requires sacrificing ego and the need to be right for the other person to discover their path, develop their skills and become the expert.

There are assessments in the marketplace to help people identify if they have what it takes. We use Objective Management Group’s (OMG) Sales Manager Evaluation. Three key findings are identified and scored:

  1. The Will to be Successful specifically in the role of manager or sales leader
  2. The Sales Manager DNA
  3. The Sales Manager Competencies

In this series, we will break down several of these 3 findings to help sales managers zero in on what might be preventing you from achieving sales team excellence.

The Impact of Supportive Beliefs

OMG's research has found that high self-awareness is especially important for sales managers. Self-awareness helps you better understand the belief systems that you are consciously or unconsciously bringing into interactions with your salespeople or any customers you directly interface with. It also helps you understand how you might interpret a salesperson or client's response to you. Below we've listed 7 Self-Limiting Beliefs that could be preventing you from achieving sales team success, along with the corresponding Supportive Beliefs that you can develop with training and coaching.

Self-Limiting Belief: I don't need to manage my salespeople's daily activity
Supportive Belief: It is my job to manage my salespeople's daily activity

Self-Limiting Belief: I don't need to know what motivates my salespeople
Supportive Belief:  It is important to understand my salespeople's personal goals and financial needs

Self-Limiting Belief: I don't need to upgrade the sales force
Supportive Belief: It is important to regularly recruit new salespeople

Self-Limiting Belief: Raising my people's self-esteem is not a high priority
Supportive Belief: I must encourage my salespeople to get the most from them

Self-Limiting Belief: Prospects that need time to think before making a decision will eventually buy from us
Supportive Belief: Prospects that need time to think before making a decision will not end up doing business with us

Self-Limiting Belief: My salespeople need to make presentations
Supportive Belief: My salespeople should make presentations to fully qualified prospects and only when necessary

Self-Limiting Belief: I don't need a strong relationship with my prospects in order to sell them
Supportive Belief: I am able to quickly develop strong rapport with prospects

As you review and reflect on these 7 beliefs, how do you score on each?  What can you and will you do differently to change your coaching behavior and skill levels?  In our world today with the many digital and AI-programmed interactions, we have entered into a new reality when it comes to achieving sales team success. In order to stay ahead of the competition, companies need sales managers or coaches with supportive belief systems who can track each individual’s sales activities, coach, and hold them accountable to behaviors that will sustain and grow revenue.

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Topics: Sales Training, motivating sales people, banking sales training, sales training tips, sales team motivation, sales coaching best practices, how coaching drives sales growth


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    About our Blog

    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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