Most Sales Leaders are promoted because they had an outstanding track record in closing deals and/or overachieving Sales targets. As a result, their manager asked if they would like to become the ‘Head of Sales‘, meaning: Leading a number of Sales Professionals to enhance Sales performance, increase deal win-rates, opening new accounts, etc. However, being excellent at Sales does not imply you can lead (or coach) other Sales Professionals from being Good to Great whilst accelerating Sales.
What organizations tend to-do is providing all kinds of Sales Training to the Salesforce, but no Sales Leadership training for their new – but important – Sales Leader. With this short article I want to highlight 3 key elements that can help you to accelerate sales by improving the Sales Engine:
Setup 1on1 meetings with your Salesforce to validate their (1) recent results, (2) what is planned for the upcoming period (pipeline) and (3) what key activities are setup that drives sales. By focusing on those 3 agenda points in the recurring 1on1 meeting, both you and the Sales Professional focus and have clarity what is expected till the next meeting. One thing is critical here and everyone should understand this: ‘No activity means no Sales’, therefore agree clear activities at the end of this meeting with logic and clarity. You lead these meetings and don’t let your Sales ‘Sell to you’ (E.g. changing the agenda, discussing market trends, etc.). Regardless if you have 100 FTE working for you or 20 FTE, making time for each individual will not only help them to drive more sales but also you to understand what is really happening on the ‘Salesfloor’ and the possibility to intervene early if required.
Holding regular Sales Meetings is critical to creating a high-performance Sales Team. Present and highlight recent successes, company Sales objectives, latest figures (budget VS Outlook), and Sales strategy moving forward. Also here, ensure you lead this meeting but give people the opportunity to raise their voice when something is unclear or they have questions as lack of clarity can break the effect of these meetings. Your goal, as a Sales Leader, is to drive these meetings that your Salesforce is fully energized and pumped-up to get more activity going. Next to that, whilst going through the top 15 deals (or to the level required) will also provide a positive side-effect, and that is competition. YES, competition within your Salesforce is something healthy! So, please stop with Sales Meetings that are only focussed to send a message or have chitchat, focus on activities.
If a deal is signed, or the H1 figures are (over) achieved, celebrate this with your team. Brief everyone in the Sales Meeting but please… don’t send out an e-mail to the entire team how great they are, but do it personally. Walk to the Salesfloor and give the team a handshake and thank them for their contribution to this success. Pick up the phone and call them for 2 minutes. Embrace them with respect and be humble. This is what people remember and more importantly, you show them leadership and commitment, this cannot happen by E-mail.
Are those 3 elements new? NO, but often simply forgotten or not executed due to lack of time, lack of correct prioritizing, etc.
Your thoughts on the 3 elements above?