Many people assume that top sales organizations exist only at the Fortune 100 or Fortune 500 level. Not so. The best-performing sales teams execute best practices regardless the size of the sales team. The good news is that there is no need to reinvent the sales-management wheel. Just duplicate and install these proven three best practices into your sales organization.
#1: Hire an emotionally intelligent sales manager. Sales management requires a lot of talents, some of which are holding salespeople accountable for sales metrics and results. A great sales manager is the official ‘bar raiser’ at the company.
Holding salespeople accountable requires two emotional intelligence skills. This first is assertiveness, the ability to state what you need nicely. The second is empathy. The best sales managers care about their team. And because they care, they are willing to combine assertiveness and empathy to deliver tough love conversations when necessary. They establish and follow through on standards for sales activity, metrics, values and results.
Salespeople may not like tough love in the beginning. But I can assure you that they love it when they achieve more sales, commission and work in a great environment.
#2. Develop a sales playbook. Many companies make the mistake of following the philosophy of, “We hire veterans -- they already know how to sell.” Translation: “We’ve decided to stop learning and to rest on our laurels.” It’s time for a reality check. Observe any professional sports team. The coaches recruit veterans that have been playing for years. And yet, every winning athletic team has a playbook. Athletic teams don’t allow each athlete to run his or her own playbook. Neither do effective sales organizations. Smart sales managers know they can’t possibly coach 15 different sales playbooks.
Document your selling stages, and the associated skills and tactics within each stage. Create compelling questions and value propositions that help your sales team members look like the professionals they are. Develop a sales playbook and you will develop a winning sales team.
#3: Be clear about your target clients. A good mentor taught me this concept early in my sales-training business. His advice eliminated a lot of practice proposals because he helped me identify prospects that would value and pay for my services. I only work only with organizations that value education and outside counsel. That means they write checks and invest time.
Look at your own business. Maybe you work best with rapidly growing companies because they don’t have the time or bandwidth to install systems and processes. Perhaps your best customers are organizations that consistently invest in new technology because of their intense focus on being No. 1. Top sales organizations don’t waste time with prospects that are never going to buy from you.
Improve your sales organization by hiring for Sales EQ and Sales IQ. Create a sales playbook with your company’s winning plays. And get clear about who you best serve. As the old saying goes, “Fish where the fish are.”
Want to discover why emotionally intelligent sales cultures win more business? Join Colleen on October 18th at 10:00 am PDT when Data.com Connect Presents Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success. Register today!