Strong salespeople are poised, confident and informed about their clients’ needs. Similarly, sales managers ought to be informed about the needs of their staff and know how to confidently address areas where salespeople can improve.
Each staffer is an individual with a unique sales style, and as much as companies like to craft processes to standardize sales, many salespeople still need the encouraging nudge from a manager for motivation. Offering incentives, additional training and emphasizing the importance of basic sales tactics can help an under performing sales associate and team meet or exceed expectations.
Understand the Pipeline
Sales managers can get a firm grasp of associates’ styles by following their pipelines to see how they fit into the future of the team or company. Watch and listen as they work the phone or make a proposal to a client in the field – this will give you a sense of how they might meet (or fail to meet) their sales goals. All of that plays into the overall health of the business.
Meet with associates individually to get a strong sense of their methods, rather than holding boring team pipeline meetings that are less meaningful for your sales team. Sales associates don’t want to feel like general expectations or suggested tactics apply to them. Plus, shouldn’t your associates be out selling rather than sitting in a conference room?
RepIgnite suggests making a game of sales can to help increase individual autonomy, spur associates to master sequential skill levels, and foster peer competition and social interaction. But a manager must be careful about offering prizes or incentives for increased performance; those games or bonuses ought to be linked to specific lessons to create long-term improvement in sales.
Setting Measures for Success
User-friendly digital programs can help sales managers measure sales progress and pipeline management. For example, InsightSquared generates retrospectives and trends that help keep business moving along at a consistent pace. The analytical charts and graphics make it easy for associates to learn from their progress or forecasts. Simple tools like these hold people accountable and foster professional development.
No measure for success can stand alone. A comprehensive mix of mentorship, individual meetings, incentives and accountability will help sales teams evolve. Offering these, however, can be particularly tough for sales managers who are new to a company.
New managers often face expectations that are impossible to meet. That can leave them scrambling to motivate associates without having a proper plan in place to generate stronger sales numbers. As the Salesforce blog notes, it’s no longer about being taskmaster; it’s about enablement and support.
Know Your Sales Force
Sales expectations can be set. Sales results can be monitored. But that requires a management that’s willing to explore what associates face and how those measures for success impact their everyday workload. Sales managers who play an active role in developing their associates and provide them with skills to make sales will see results when the final numbers come out.For more tips on small business marketing, including sales, contact Titan Web Marketing Solutions today by calling 615-890-3600.