We hope not to be too idealistic, claiming that sales leaders progress to their sales leadership role from sales. They probably struggled with sales first but then managed to master it. If you find yourself in a sales leader position and maybe struggle a little, remember that leadership is a skill, and just like with any other skill - by practice, you can learn to be good at it. It’s great if you have the predispositions, but that’s not the sole success determiner.
Most sales leaders tackle hiring, onboarding and offboarding, training, coaching, performance overseeing, sales plan setting, sales operations, and sometimes even their own sales. It is no wonder they can struggle to find a healthy balance of it and be liked and respected by the sales team.
Sales team leadership can be improved just like any other skill - by learning, undergoing mentoring and coaching, simply having a hands-on approach, evaluating, bottlenecks finding, and then repeating all of it until mastery is achieved. It’s timely and energy-consuming.
Therefore, we want to share this set of 8 tips that’ll make every sales leader AND representatives’ office life more comfortable and manageable.
Sales leaders still work with quota just like their sales team. However, the quota should match their team’s quota, meaning leaders should not work on their own customers. Once you are a sales leader, you have to lead, motivate, inspire, and help your team members achieve defined goals.
Chasing customers on your own has nothing to do with leadership. It is just a distraction. It doesn’t improve your team, doesn’t help them achieve their targets.
Sales people know how to sell themselves. It can be hard to see through their sales charisma and people skills to truly get to know them before hiring them. The final decision is probably your call, and the company relies on your pick.
Sales leaders have to hire great sales representatives who will create an even better sales team. Company size, type, maturity aside, these are 3 essential tips to stick to when hiring their sales team.
Prefer attitude to experience - we’re sure that you could find tens of people who have a broad network in your industry. These people can bring customers easily and quickly but think about them in the long term. Will they still be this kind of an asset to the company in a year or two?
Test coachability - get inspired by Mark Roberge from Hubspot - give the potential hires a case study they didn’t see before. Provide feedback on areas they need to improve in and do the very same case study again. This will show you whether they truly listen, understand and value your/other people’s input. Don’t focus on the first-round performance. Focus on the progress in the second one.
Hire hungry, humble, and smart - hungry enough to achieve and learn, humble enough to know there’s always space for improvement, and smart enough to understand what you do and why you do it.
Coaching culture is crucial for an effective team. A study by CSO insight discovers that coaching culture leads to an increase in win rate by 27,5%. Ok, now we know it’s important, but what is coaching culture anyway?
Coaching culture is crucial for an effective team. A study by discovers that coaching culture leads to an increase in win rate by 27,5%. Ok, now we know it’s important, but what is coaching culture anyway?
work with team members individually,
develop their skills,
help them achieve their objectives,
fix behavior that doesn’t bring any results,
and support them in activities that bring results.
have regular one-on-one meetings set with your sales reps
ask questions to guide them to their objectives instead of telling them
have evaluation based on numbers and not feelings
share know-how within the team
and, most importantly, there has to be trust between the leader and sales representative
As a leader, you have to spend time with your team to help them achieve their quotas. Still, each team member has to be accountable for their progress regarding quota and personal development.
The very first requirement for accountability is that your salespeople believe in the possibility of achieving the objectives. Once they believe, you should be their support on the path to hitting the quota.
Regularly, in a healthy sales department, at least 70% of them should achieve it.
By supporting, we mean, for example, that if they aren’t on track with their goal, you help them by asking how they would fix it, what happened they got off the track, analyze it, reflect on mistakes, and design a new action plan. Do not solve their problems on your own.
If each of your representatives’ problem was a monkey sitting on a table, you would have a zoo in your office by the end of the week. Guide them to solve the problem but don’t do solve it of them.
Sales quota must be something the whole sales department goes after. Each sales representative should know their quota and know how much was and still is to be delivered.
See the potential and predispositions in your team. Analyze their skills and allocate them just the roles that fit them.
Do this with your current team and be careful when hiring - if you have a salesperson with experience in enterprise sales, it doesn’t mean that this person would be successful in selling small solutions.
Vice versa, some people just don’t enjoy managing complex deals; they like quick wins every month. Make sure you have the right person for the right role.
The absolute must for your sales department is to have a sales process. Not only it’s the primary deal guide for your sales team, but it also helps you analyze what happens with each of their opportunity in detail.
You can’t fix someone’s performance and improve sales skills just by asking how many calls or meetings they made.
Once you start analyzing their calls and meetings closely, you’ll discover the reasons behind the low performance (meeting wrong clients, using an incorrect value proposition, asking wrong questions, etc.).
By giving frequent feedback (on each weekly/monthly sales status or review) on sales quotas fulfillment, both you and sales representatives know whether you’re on track, discover bottlenecks, fix blockers, etc.
Paying this amount of attention shows quota is important. If you discuss it once in a time, your team will not remember it.
Let your sales team do what they were hired for. You and your team have to always think about how you could increase the number of hours spent with clients.
Even though it’s important to do desktop research on your customer, or complete a lead list, have a designated assistant do this. Minimize all the repetitive manual tasks. E.g., sending emails can also be automated, so save precious time.
When applying our practices to your team, please, use common sense. Although some of the tips mentioned above may make you lean towards micromanagement, try to avoid it at all costs.
People don’t leave jobs; they leave managers. Therefore, consider your company’s maturity and culture, and pick a strategy that works for you the best.
Changes always hurt, and it’s a long process. But do not add to it by clinging to details. Be patient, and the results will come sooner than you think.
In this chapter, we’ll tell you how to measure your sales performance — we’ll describe 8 metrics that are essential for your business growth.READ NOW