Last week after presenting a keynote program called Gourmet Living, an attendee came up to me afterwards and discussed her challenges as a sales manager. The last three years have been tough, and she was looking for new ideas for 2018 to excite her team and to simply change up the routine.
Since my keynote program had been about creating a Menu for Your Life with many metaphors around cooking, I started thinking about what her sales management recipe should be. For about 30 minutes we discussed a variety of ideas. So, if 2017 left a bad taste in your mouth, use the following ingredients to create a new recipe to make 2018 your best year ever.
Become a Detective: In sales management workshops we always talk about “inspect what you expect”. Once a week; review your sales team’s CRM system to ensure they are using it properly and casually ask each team member about their certain activities within their key accounts. Once they know you are reviewing their account and activity they will be more precise and begin to be more accurate. Next, make two extra sales calls per month with each sales rep. Validate they can sell your firm and they are using the proper sales tools. These actions are not micro-management, they are designed to provide you greater opportunities to coach and grow your team. Inspect what you expect!
Reduce Fatigue: Recognize your sales team might be tired or somewhat challenged based upon the last three years of tight budgets and stress. Fire them up with new products or packaging/pricing, change the game with new times for sales and sales training meetings-even rearrange the sales offices. Once a month, take your sales team on a “field trip” to visit a satisfied customer, let the customer “sell” your team on your products/services. Build Emotion and Belief in your company, products/services and impact on your client’s business.
Find Creative Dust: Read a book on creativity and share it with your team. The truly great salespeople are the most creative and it is true that creativity can be learned! As a sales manager, creative sales strategies will push you over your quota-get your entire team into a creativity fix. The great Sales Managers are the most creative in problem solving and sales strategy.
Become an SOB: That is a Student of the Business. Invest in sales management training, books, DVD’s. Create your own network of other sales managers where you can discuss ideas, learn what is working for others and explore new sales management concepts. Push yourself to become a professional in 2018, consider visiting other offices and view how their sales managers run their sales teams. At our website you will find free videos on “hiring and training salespeople” and other articles I have written on sales management.You might also go back and skim through our blog to look for other ideas. Slammed! Is our 8-week online Sales Management Boot Camp, check it out.
While these are just a few ideas, I would enjoy reading your reactions or other recipes for success. As a team of readers, let’s build up a complete recipe for each of us as we work to make 2018 a feast we will always remember.
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