As a new sales manager it’s easy to get caught up in a million different initiatives and lose track of what is really important: your team. After all, without a team you won’t hit your numbers. So, here are a few things to think about before your team completely writes you off as their new manager:
Assess The Sales Process
Nothing is more frustrating and crippling to your sales reps productivity then an inefficient sales process. Lack of process leads to reps storing account and contact information in Google Docs rather than putting that precious information into Salesforce. When it comes time to make tweaks to your marketing initiatives and defining your ICP, you will end up with a lot of missing data you believed you had been tracking all along.
Make their lives easier and more efficient by mapping out their current workflows and the entire sales process.
Understand all the little steps it takes to find accounts, source leads, import information into Salesforce, create opportunities, etc. You can poke holes in it and come up with a process that lets reps spend more time selling. They will love you for it. Use Lucidchart, it’s Free.
Career & Personal Development
Some of the greatest reps I have worked with make it a priority to establish their personal brand and network. They have come to know a lot of the local sales leaders because they reach out to them for advice. The challenge here is that reps often don’t know where to even begin to build a personal brand. Take time to teach your team how to initiate conversations with sales leaders in the space. This will help them to establish a personal network and accelerate their ability to learn. Your new team will appreciate and begin to understand the value of establishing relationships in sales.
Create a Culture of Practice & Coaching
There is a major lack of coaching in sales organizations. Sales reps are brought in (or promoted from a SDR role), put through a two week boot camp and then thrown to the wolves with massive quotas. Of course, the cream will rise to the top but a little coaching goes a long way. In fact, CEB found that creating a culture of coaching can increase a team’s performance by up to 19%! A great way to reinforce your training and create a culture of coaching is to hold daily 10 minute role play sessions. Every morning the Lucidchart team takes 10 minutes to call each other to simulate a live sales call. This is an opportunity for them to role play calls they have scheduled for the day and scenarios they may run into. As a manager I listen in on these to provide coaching and feedback. At the end of each rep’s role play we will drill down on one thing to focus on for the day. Nothing will gain you the respect of your new team them taking the time to coach them on a daily basis.
At the end of the day, remember that your reps are the most important thing that will contribute to your success. They are people. They want to feel invested in, cared for and coached along the way to their success. Without a team that trusts your ability to lead and coach them to success, nothing else will matter as their manager.
“Spend as much time as you can building your team’s ability to compete and win. The stronger your team, the better your results. The opposite is also true. You can’t be the super-closer and win enough business to succeed. You can’t serve the organization before you serve your team. Your quota is the combined quota of all of your individual salespeople. The most certain path to making your number it work on ensuring that each individual member makes their number. Coach. Train. Develop.”
Blake is the Manager of Account Development at Lucid Software. He is passionate about building & scaling inside sales teams with an emphasis on the sales development role. He is practitioner in the sales development training and process. Most importantly, he is a husband of an amazing woman and father of two little future sales dudes. Check out his soon to come podcast called The Pipeline Review where any profits will go to a scholarship program for sales reps better educate themselves in the sales world.
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