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SalesPOP! Top Contributor Spotlight: Ken Thoreson
Blog / Sales Management / Dec 13, 2017 / Posted by Bruce Boyers / 3610 

SalesPOP! Top Contributor Spotlight: Ken Thoreson

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On what he loves about SalesPOP! and sales itself, advice for new sales managers, why sales managers and salespeople really do need to believe in their product or service, what kinds of plans a sales manager should have in place for achieving goals and quotas, and how a sales manager can get their team truly involved with their sales process.

It is Ken’s passion for sales that drives him to be a top contributor to SalesPOP! He says, “SalesPOP is an ideal resource for salespeople and sales managers who care about increasing their professionalism, and our content and focus is on exactly those issues. Having an impact on people’s lives, both professionally and personally is always the payback you get from speaking, consulting or even writing. I find the feedback and the energy of the readers attractive.”

Ken provides keynotes, consulting services, training and products designed to improve business and revenue performance. For the past 4 years Ken has been ranked in the Top 50 Sales and Marketing Influencers by Top Sales World Magazine. He is also the author of 5 sales books, including his latest, SLAMMED!!! For the First Time Sales Manager.

Love of Sales…People

Interestingly, it’s the people involved and have kept Ken in sales all these years. “People in sales tend to have high levels energy, creativity and a good attitude,” Ken says. “I always say that if it isn’t fun, it isn’t selling. Great sales organizations have terrific levels of positive culture, so why wouldn’t I want to be involved with those kinds of people?

“Salespeople who struggle generally don’t take the time to study, read and use valuable resources like yours.”

Advice for New Sales Managers

Ken has worked closely with, and has successfully advised, sales managers, and has great advice for that sales manager newly on the job. He says, “In my third book Leading High-Performance Sales Teams I covered some of these issues, and I wrote my latest book, SLAMMED!!! specifically on this topic.

“A new sales manager can be in one of several situations: 1) a first-time sales manager moves up in their existing company, 2) a sales manager begins work at a new company, or 3) is the company growing or declining in revenues? However, in any of these scenarios, it is important for the Sales Manager to build trust with their team and assess their abilities. Once this has begun, the Sales Manager can create their list of what needs to be done or fixed and lay out a plan that over time allows them to develop a self-managed team. The plan would entail training, compensation, recruiting, metrics, etc.

“In most cases when we consult with an organization we start by simply changing the format of the weekly sales meeting, this changes the tone, tempo, process and organization. The sales team will sense the change and understand there is a new leader.”

Belief in Product or Service

Ken points out the absolute necessity for sales managers and salespeople to truly believe in what they are doing.

“In my keynote programs I often speak on the need to ‘build belief,’” Ken says. “It is critical, and it is the emotional aspect of sales leadership that many people don’t do or don’t know how to do. Many new sales managers focus on only the ‘numbers’ or training and recruiting. Without real belief, salespeople won’t have the emotional aspects of selling that allows them to break through with the prospect and sell the company’s products or services. I like to suggest there are 3 rules in selling: emotion, emotion and emotion. You must have it, you must transfer it and the prospect must take emotional action.”

Achieving Goals and Quotas

From all his work with sales managers, Ken certainly knows what kinds of plans it takes for a sales manager to achieve goals and quotas.

Ken says,“In our Online 8-week Sales Management Boot Camp we cover that extensively. They include the pure Sales Business Plan, the Account Plan (if appropriate), the Salesperson’s Business Plan, the Quarterly Sales Training Plan and the Salesperson Development Plan. Obviously, a Sales Compensation Plan is necessary as well. Each of these plans are designed to make the Sales Manager/Salesperson a proactive player versus a reactive player.”

Involvement with Sales Process

In order for a company to compete in today’s lightning fast world of commerce, a sales process is vital. Ken knows this, and knows that for a sales manager to really survive and succeed, must get the sales team truly involved and working with that process.

“First there must be a detailed written sales process document, defining what each sales step is, does and what is expected of the salesperson and how to update CRM appropriately,” Ken details. “This will ensure CRM/pipelines are accurate, this will require detailed on-going training each month.

“Learning to coach salespeople is an art, and knowing how to do that is a critical success factor, when we are teaching Sales Managers about sales process we stress several issues:

1) the Sales Manager must understand not only ‘what’ the sales process steps are and ‘How’ to do them, but they need to know the ‘why’ they must be executed. By knowing the why, they can explain, train and coach more effectively.

2) In our Boot Camp we focus on two aspects:

a) teaching the Sales Manager the concept of Inspect what you expect. This means the Sales Manager must make calls with the sales people, they must hear and see them execute the sales process, and

b) they must build into their CRM systems detailed sales process maps, and the Sales Manager must review at least one sales person’s detailed CRM usage daily to ensure the salesperson is following up appropriately, entering data correctly and using the various capacities of the software.”

Check out Ken’s blog, and learn more about Ken and his services.

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    About Author

    Bruce is a freelance writer and a 20+-year marketing veteran. During his career he has worked very closely with salespeople, achieved an understanding of how they can best be assisted by marketing, and gained a keen insight into the innate and singular abilities they demonstrate day in and day out.

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