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Nine steps to getting your sales force to over achieve.

1.

Evaluate Your Sales Force Let me clarify what I mean by evaluate. You know the results you are getting from your people, but do you know why you are getting those results? You may know some of the “why” but do your people know?

Salespeople are an interesting group to manage and train. The best tend to be self motivated, independent and risk takers, which means they don’t take kindly to being told what and how to do things.

It has been my experience that the most effective way of training your salespeople is to help them achieve individual realization. Our evaluation process enables your salespeople to see for themselves the improvements they need to make. When you achieve individual realization, you are already halfway towards making the changes you need to improve the results you are getting.

2.

Sales Process Documentation Figure out the strategies and tactics you use to acquire a customer. The metaphor we use is the one outlined in Dave Kurlans’ book, Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know About the Game of Baseball. The bases (right) illustrate points in the sales process. Do you have your process documented? When you do this your salespeople know which activities to leverage and when. If you don’t, it is no wonder your salespeople appear to be focused on the wrong things at the wrong times. You will say to yourself, “if they could just manage their time better they would sell more” and you will send your people off to a “time management” seminar in hopes that it will cure them. In reality, it is not about time as much as it is about focus and direction.

Sales Force Development is an integrated approach to organically and systematically growing sales. This process focuses on improving the people, systems and strategies that impact sales performance.

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1. The batter’s box is Lead Generation. Have you identified your ideal customer before you get to the plate and start swinging? 2. Home to First is all the activities it takes to get an appointment with someone you suspect will buy. 3.

First to Second is all the activities it takes to determine their buying motives.

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Second to Third is all the activities it takes to determine their timeline, budget, and decision process.

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Third to Home is all the activities it takes to close down a deal.

4171 NW Urbandale Drive, Urbandale, IA 50322 515.262.9509 800.550.9509 pmgllc.net © 2009 The Performance Group


3. Sales Management Skill Development Develop the people who develop your salespeople —the ones developing your revenue. Do this so they can support the salespeople who must execute the strategies. You will want to train them on coaching, mentoring and holding your salespeople accountable, because these three learned skill sets don’t come naturally to your managers. 4. Recruitment Typically, what we find from our Sales Force Audit is that 20% of the sales force is in the wrong seat. An improved sales selection process is needed to hire salespeople who can and will be more effective at executing the sales process. 5. Sales Skill Development Use this to develop those salespeople who can’t yet execute the strategies. 6. On-going Field Coaching Your sales managers, who were trained ahead of your salespeople, should be able to effectively coach their salespeople to reinforce what they are learning in the training.

7.

Compensation and Incentives Compensation drives behavior. The correct compensation plan targets the behaviors and activities that your salespeople need to complete in order to execute the sales process. (See step one.)

8. Systems and Processes The structure that makes this all work is your systems and processes. Your systems should support your efforts instead of your efforts supporting the systems. Your processes ensure quality and consistency. Both your systems and your processes need to support the mission of the sales force. 9.

Accountability Most managers do this poorly because they don’t know what to hold their salespeople accountable to. Once identified and monitored, key accountabilities increase the salesperson’s odds of success.

Avoid these pitfalls if you want sustainable results: • Resist the temptation to embrace the sales fad of the moment. Some companies see strategy as key and continue to change their approach when one after another fails. Ironically, the strategies fail only when there isn’t alignment and the people can’t execute the new strategy. • Many companies provide sales training but fail to provide it in the context of the strategies, or before the strategies, sales management, systems and processes have been fortified. • Some companies see compensation as the key and fail to provide their people with the skills and tools needed to leverage the compensation plan or take advantage of incentives.

When a Sales Force Development program is utilized, companies will see a dramatic improvement in effort, urgency, consistency and results. When a Sales Force Development program is embraced, companies will see an improvement in morale, retention and selection. When Integrated Sales Force Development has been made a part of the company’s culture, sales and profits are insulated against fluctuations in the economy.

4171 NW Urbandale Drive, Urbandale, IA 50322 515.262.9509 800.550.9509 pmgllc.net © 2009 The Performance Group

Getting Your Sales Force to Over Acheive  

9 foundational steps to sustain revenue performance

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