I am reading the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. Although the book was written in 2001, the principles are still relevant today whether using paper based organizing tools or advanced electronic tools such as smartphones and tablets. I know, you are thinking “Great here we go with yet another time management book.” Yes it is a book dedicated to organizing and productivity. As a matter of fact the sub-title is “The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.” That is what grabbed me. I must say that I am not even halfway through the book yet, and I am captured.
Sales Management Blog
Sales management tips and advice on how to improve your sales team.
I recently read Sales Competence, How Do We Know? By David Brock, and the premise was sound to the point that I even wrote down a couple notes. The article spoke about making lists of competencies, and talked about a sales competency model or framework. It all made perfect sense. The example the author gave was of a particular client who listed 150 competencies. (Whew! That is a LOT of competencies.) The general idea is to help aid in hiring the right salespeople, as well as in creating a development path for existing salespeople.
This topic of executive presence has been front and center with me lately, and has come up in a wide variety of contexts. If your sales force sells to consumers or sells products and services to lower level end users in a B2B environment, then executive presence may not be necessary, but it certainly would not hurt. If your team sells to the C-suite, or has to gain the trust of high level influencers in a complex selling situation, then the concept of executive presence is key.
I recently read this article on Inc.com. The title caught my eye, so I read it. While some of the concepts would typically be considered good ideas, like #7 Give recognition and small rewards, the article totally misses the point of motivation. I write about it here, because it is especially crucial for sales teams. Let us look at the word motivate. From the Merriam Webster dictionary, motivate is defined as : to provide with a motive : impel. While the idea that recognition and small rewards might stimulate some, it will not motivate everyone. Money motivates some, but does not others. Some are provoked by the satisfaction of doing a job well, others are not. The trick is not to motivate to the masses. The real masters of motivation, know what inspires the individual and provides the purpose for them to individually excel. In previous blog posts, I have written about this area of motivation.
In my experience as a sales performance expert, I have learned that mistakes are better teachers than successes. With that in mind, it is my hope that there will be some valuable lessons for you as we review some of the most common mistakes to building a successful sales force:
Performance Master: As long as revenue growth is the scorecard for a salesperson, you will need to be the scorekeeper. All salespeople must be held accountable to a goal. The more easily quantified it is, the better. Break the revenue goal down to a monthly, weekly or daily goal; whatever is appropriate for your business. Hold your individual salespeople accountable for their goal. If they are not meeting an acceptable level of performance, intervene, and do it quickly. Do not accept excuses from salespeople based on the economy, the market, or the competition - just hold firm and expect them to meet their goals.