Some of our readers have been loyally following our posts from the beginning, way back in 2012. Others have discovered Braveheart’s Sales Management Blog more recently. If you stumbled upon us in the past year or two, you likely missed some of our most popular posts.
Here are our top five most widely-read posts of all time (plus three of our favorites). If you haven’t read these Braveheart classics yet, I think you will find them still relevant and full of useful insights.
Published on December 5, 2013, this post is short and sweet. In it, I addressed Objective Management Group data that revealed a shocking 82% of sales managers are ineffective as sales coaches, which is what they should be spending a full 50% of their time doing. Laying out the problems we commonly encounter in sales managers, I asked how managers can fulfill their primary role (to grow their team so that the team can grow revenue) when they are only spending 10% of their time coaching. (Obviously, they can’t).
Published on April 17, 2014, this post distilled the reasons underlying salespeople's failure down to two buckets:
- They don’t do enough of the right activities to get enough opportunities
- When they perform sales activities, they aren’t very good at them
The reason I made that distinction is because each of those problems requires a different approach from a sales management standpoint. So it is important for a sales manager to know which of those conditions is at work.
If the problem is that a salesperson isn't doing enough of the right activities, it’s an accountability issue that can be corrected by working through the math of success and making a plan. On the other hand, if they aren’t good at what they are doing, they need a lot of coaching in the form of practice, pre-briefing, and debriefing. Read the post for additional ideas on how to correct these problems.
Published on May 15, 2014, this post compared the skills needed to succeed at account management to those needed to succeed at hunting. Both are important roles within sales, but to hire for it effectively, you have to understand which one you need. More importantly, this post illustrates how unlikely it is to hire one person to fulfill both of these roles successfully. The two roles share zero common traits. Someone who excels in one role is very unlikely to excel in the other.
Published on June 5, 2014, this post was inspired by an interview I did for BusinessInterviews.com. The five most common mistakes I see made by sales managers are:
- Lack of consistent sales process
- Not caring what motivates their people
- Paying attention only to the revenue or business closed
- Hiring based on personality
- Not spending enough time coaching their salespeople
Read the post to get additional insights about the circumstances surrounding these mistakes and some ideas about how to fix them.
Published on May 8, 2014, this post explains why the group-share approach to sales pipeline review meetings is dead on arrival. If you are still doing group sales pipeline meetings, you must read this to understand why it’s holding your sales team back and encouraging fluffy pipeline syndrome among your salespeople. Plus, see six other better things that you can do instead of the group pipeline review meeting.
Here are three newer Braveheart posts that we think are just as share-worthy:
Published on April 16, 2015, this post addressed the costs of hiring mistakes and the reasons why hiring mistakes are so prevalent. Even more than other types of mis-hiring, the cost of bad sales hires adds up quickly due to lost opportunities and lost revenue. Three of the common reasons that sales hires fail are:
- Failing to recruit on an ongoing basis, which encourages hiring for expediency over excellence
- Hiring on gut instinct rather than through objective analysis
- Lack of an adequate sales-specific onboarding program
On January 22, 2015, I wrote this post about the reasons why CEOs tend to struggle with sales management. There is a 6-step cycle of downfall that I’ve often seen occur with overwhelmed CEOs trying to juggle this role with their other responsibilities. I also provide some relief with six basic rules that can help ease their burden and allow the sales team to succeed. If you are in this position, don’t forget to grab a copy of our CEO as Sales Manager Toolkit.
On July 30, 2015, I revisited some of my earlier posts from the 5-part series “5 Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team” and compiled them into a single post. The five most common sales defects are:
- Your salespeople aren’t asking enough open-ended questions
- Your salespeople wait for leads to come to them
- Your new salesperson didn’t turn out to be the person you thought you were hiring
- Your salespeople go after the wrong deals
- Your salespeople don’t close
Each of these problems is then broken down into possible causes, possible solutions, and whether or not it is even fixable by the sales manager. It provides an easy-to-digest overview of the myriad underlying reasons and fixes for what may present as the same problem. Read it here.
Thanks for reading the Braveheart Sales Management Blog! If you have a sales management conundrum you’d like to see addressed in a future post, submit it in the comments.
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