01 Nov Now you have to ask yourself how badly you really want to Grow Sales?
Minimum requirements to manage a sales team either as a sales manager or as an acting sales manager.
First and foremost, you need to have a recurring agenda format stating the time allotted for part of the meeting. This needs to be sent to the sales team and leadership. You want your sales team to know what to expect during this weekly meeting so they can be prepared. The more prepared the sales team is for this meeting, the smoother the session will run.
The reason you send to leadership is, so they are aware of what is being covered during this weekly sale meeting. They may suggest an item they would like included during this meeting. Also, they may want to attend from time to time, or you, as the sales manager, may need them or other heads of departments to attend to help with certain action items that involve them in assisting in closing a deal. * Very important if you ask anyone that is not part of your sales team, you need to be fully prepared as not to waste their time. This will discourage them from attending further meetings.
Here are the steps.
1. The weekly sales meeting. 1 hour
- You need to have a weekly sales meeting.
- In weekly sales meetings, you start off the session with good news, whether business or personal. This kick-off the meeting start with joy and fun.
- What were the victories last week? What wins or achievements are you planning to have this week? Essentially forecasting the week.
- Where are you stuck?
- The roadblocks that they need to be removed to close or move to the next step in the pipeline.
- What are the roadblocks from other departments in the company that you need help with that could be removed?
- Actions items.
- Actions items that were expected to be completed from the prior week’s meeting.
- During the meeting, you are recording actions and who needs to execute them by next week’s meeting.Then you determine if you can fit in 30 minutes of sales training. This usually depends on the size of your team. This is a good time for role-playing, but it has to be planned ahead of time. Based on what you feel that they need to improve on.
You should try to knock this all out on Monday to provide momentum for the week, except for the weekly pipeline meeting. Set this meeting for another day during the week.
2. Next, a weekly pipeline meeting. 1 hour.
- You want to start with what deals are the closest to closing.
- Start with what can close in the next 30, 60, or 90 days.
- The number one thing is to make sure that everything that is the pipeline should have a scheduled next activity or activities. What is the next move you’re going to make to move the deal forward?
- All activities with prospective clients should be scheduled with a potential client on their calendar. Whether it is sending an email, dropping off cookies, the next call, or if you’re going to visit them. Whatever it is, it should have a date to be completed.
- What do we need to do to close a deal?
- Determine if the sales manager needs to get on the phone with the prospective client?
- Does the CEO need to get on the phone?
- What needs to be done to get a proposal out?
- Does your team have a balanced pipeline?
- If there are not enough opportunities that can close during the current month,? If the answer is “No,” you need to start, then working backward. How many discovery meetings? How many first meetings? How many qualified leads are in their pipelines?
The key is that the pipeline meeting is not a bitching session. As the sales manager, this is not a time for you to criticize the lack of sales. The pipeline meeting is to collaborate together on what needs to done to close more deals. This also a great learning session for everyone.
3. One-on-one meetings with each of your salespeople. 1 hour
Now, if you’re an entrepreneur acting as the sales manager, you should have at least three to five salespeople before you hire a sales manager. A sales manager should not manage more than 12 people max. My suggestion is that you maintain 8 to 10 salespeople.
Here is an example of the minimum time commitment to manage your sales team.
Let’s stay with five salespeople.
- You need to have a one-on-one meeting with every one of them for an hour.
- You’re reviewing their pipeline.
- Is it balanced?
- Review their weekly activities, making sure they’re doing the right actions to create more pipeline and close more deals.
- Listen to their challenges
- Remove the roadblocks that are holding back their performance
- Sales Process Reviewed
- Top Customers Contacted
- Goals/Expectations Understood
- Answer any questions they may have
- Ask them what they need or want from you to help them be more successful.
If salespeople fail, it is your fault. I recommend that you read an excellent research paper by Alan J. Dubinsky called “Salesperson Failure” Link to article
These are the steps and time needed to be a great sales manager, leader, or a person acting in this position for a 5 person sales team.
- The weekly sales meeting. 1 hour
- Next weekly pipeline meeting. 1 hour.
- One-on-one meetings with each of your salespeople. 1-hour x 5 = 5 hours
With a 5 person sales team, a minimum of 7 hours of the week needs to spent managing and developing a top-performing sales team.
If you don’t do this, then don’t complain about turnover, low sales results, cash flow issues, and everything that comes with the lack of sales.
No Excuses- make the time.
Transformation Trumps Motivation