Mark Sanborn, author of ‘The Encore Effect’ writes, "What if a CEO or organization leader had such a reputation for effectiveness that as a leader-manager he/she never had to look for new employees? There was always a long line of job applicants ready to do whatever it took to work for him/her. (Example: In 2006, Google received one million job applications and made 5,500 hires.)”
So the question is: How do great sales managers create the ‘Google affect’ in their organizations?
• Raise the Bar to Entry
Strong sales organizations know that rock stars want to hang with rock stars. Instead of making it easy to join their company, they install hiring processes that are designed to screen, eliminate and only allow the best to join. Google’s culture begins and is maintained with a rigorous hiring process.
If you don’t have a documented process for hiring, there is a good chance you are still hiring from the gut, bringing bias to the interview, and keeping a fair amount of finger crossing in your final selection.
• Create Cultures of Accountability
Great sales managers know how to take a team from startup to grownup. Effective sales leaders know that even good, disciplined salespeople work best when there is a culture of accountability. This starts by having systems, processes and metrics for performance in place. If you don’t have anything to measure, you can’t inspect, which means you can’t expect. High performing sales organizations have metrics for hiring, on-boarding, business development, sales and client retention.
• Be Excellent Teachers
Marshall Goldsmith authored the book, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.” This pretty much sums up the challenge for a tops sales producers transitioning into sales management. What got them to management was their ability to sell and close business. This skill has zero value if they don’t have the ability to teach and transfer skills. Sales managers are only as good as their sales team.
• Create Community
We may be living in an increasingly virtual world; however, people still want connection. Look at all the different groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Strong sales leaders are connected with their sales team, regardless if they are local or global.
Arunas Chesonis, CEO of Paetech, has a Friday afternoon conference call with his 4,000 employees every week. People on his team look forward to the call because it’s an update on what’s happening, where the company is headed, and includes a good deal of humor. The salespeople might be located all over the country, however, are connected to the mission and vision because of the video conference.