Leadership means showing the way.
That’s what someone recently reminded us on Twitter as a response to the fact that 44 percent of executives think their teams are ineffective at managing a sales process.
— George Seybold (@GeorgeSeybold) January 3, 2016
We thought this was a great topic and wanted to explore it a little more.
How To Help Your Reps Manage The Sales Process
Start with why.
More accurately, we’ll start with why.
If you don’t have a tight handle on this, it will impact the outcome of your sales quota, forecast, people’s jobs, the potential for an IPO, or even the company going under.
Helping reps manage their sales process means providing them with the right amount of training, curbing them from getting happy ears, preventing them from taking a lone wolf mentality and more — all things that affect sales performance, and all things that will eventually impact your bottom line.
Proactively manage the process.
A common pitfall among sales organizations is that the leader sets up the process and then never looks at it again. Furthermore, they don’t hold salespeople accountable.
What’s going to motivate your reps to stick to the sales process if they don’t have to answer to anyone?
As a modern sales leader, you must define the activities that comprise the sales process, as well as set up metrics and key performance indicators to measure them. Then ensure that reps perform strongly around all of it — and in the right order.
If a rep says they’re ready to hop on a discovery call, but they skipped the activity of finding the 3-4 people who can make a buying decision, it’s your job to inform them they have to go back and complete that step before moving forward.
Build your process, stick to it and hold people accountable.
Be mutually invested.
To get a win-win relationship with your sales reps, both sides need to devote time, effort and energy to the sales process.
It’s easy for management to point a finger downward and claim that reps “just don’t get it” and vice versa. But you — as the sales leader — have the responsibility to invest in your reps. In turn, they should be investing in your sales process.
Steps to set your sales reps up for success:
- Ensure that the KPIs in your sales process are clear, actionable and attainable for your reps. Make sure those KPIs drive day-to-day activities that enact stage progression.
- Establish effective coaching sessions around those KPIs. Empower your reps with the skills and techniques they need to refine their performance.
- In your weekly one-on-one meeting, review open opportunities with your reps and ask where they are in the sales process. Find out how they got to that stage, and what they have planned for next steps. If necessary, course correct.
The responsibility to help your reps manage the sales process is yours. Don’t just be an “update” leader who only wants to know what’s closing — show them the way!
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