All companies want to win more sales. More sales equals greater profits. So why has winning more sales become the unreachable dream?
The first place to start is by looking at your sales people and discerning why they are not performing. Often, companies will invest in sales rep training, CRM systems and buy new toys in an effort to improve sales rep performance. While these initiatives may have some impact on the sales performance, overall, the long-term sustainable impact on performance is negligible. Once the short term impact of these initiatives wears off senior sales management will begin looking for the next fix.
You have been sold that the initiatives listed below, will help you win more sales. I say NOT!
1. New Selling Skills Training:
Let’s say you source and deliver the “best” selling skills training program. Without on-going reinforcement from sales managers 90% of the learning is lost in 30 days. Six months out the training has zero impact on sales without sales managers providing coaching and support of the training.
2. New CRM System
Ok, you decide to invest in a new CRM system. Implementing a CRM system has a substantial impact on an organization in terms of cost, the resources required to integrate and support the system. Without star sales managers to ensure the sales reps understand and actually utilise the CRM system, the implementation will be a bust.
3. New computer hardware:
Congratulations, you decide to invest in iPads for the sales force. These are the latest and greatest in terms of power, portability and connectivity. Again they are a nice toy, but ultimately, they will have little impact on sales performance unless your star sales managers are reinforcing the benefits and utilization of the iPad features to make it truly purposeful.
The foundational piece in any high performance sales organization is the front line sales management team. The men and women who make up this team are instrumental in winning more sales. Sales organizations that hire, develop and retain the best front line sales management team are the ones that will perform the best.
The front line sales management team is the starting point for building a high performance sales organization that will win more sales.
There is little value to investing in selling skills training, CRM systems and expensive computer hardware, if you don’t have star sales managers in place. All of the initiatives I have mentioned cannot be implemented as effectively or have a sustainable impact on performance if there are not star sales managers to coach, develop and reinforce the initiative.
I have spent the first 10 years of my career learning that there are foundational elements to winning more sales. I have spent the next 10 years working with companies to develop that foundational piece.
Back to my first question: So why do many companies fail to exceed their sales objectives?
The first place to start looking if you are not exceeding sales objectives is your front line sales managers. Do you know what the competencies of star sales managers are? Are you assessing your sales managers against those competencies? Are you developing your sales managers to be stars?
Before you invest one dollar in any initiatives to win more sales, you need to assess if you have the right front line sales managers in place. It’s time to change your thinking about winning more sales. Winning more sales starts with your front line sales managers, hire the best, develop them to be better and retain them at all costs.
About the author
Steven’s mission is to inspire sales leaders, managers and sales people to achieve their…