Expert Advice for Annual Sales Management Strategy Planning

I had the great pleasure of appearing with an all-star cast of Inside Sales experts giving advice to Inside Sales leaders for 2018 sales management strategy planning.  Check out the video hosted by Ambition and featuring Jared Houghton, Trish Bertuzzi, Steve Richard, and myself.  Tips to find:

  1. Account Based Revenue / Marketing Strategies
  2. Cohesive People Strategies
  3. Interviewing / Hiring Tips
  4. Onboarding and Ramp Reduction Tips
  5. Everybody Doesn’t Get a Trophy
  6. Developing Managers
  7. Leaders as Sellers Too!
  8. And more!

Check it out here and share with a friend.

Also: 8 Signs That Your Rep Onboarding Program Is Broken

Highlights: 10 Key Takeaways from Our Experts

1. Start With Where: What Channels Should Drive Revenue?

2. War For Talent: Recognize the Need for New Hire Training.

3. Stop Selling Pens: Make Candidates Reach a Gatekeeper.

4. Use Call Recordings: Let New Hires Hear Voice of the Customer.

5. Network Hiring: Use LinkedIn Connections As Candidate References.

6. Selling is Driving: You Don’t Learn By Riding Shotgun.

7. Be Human: Personalize Your Communication.

8. Measuring Reps: Focus on Activity::Outcome Ratio.

9. Create Snipers: Balance Research and Calls.

10. Focus Coaching: Prioritize B-Players + New Hires.

 

Did you promote your top Rep to Manager? Whoops!

Think of your very best rep.  Like ever.  Pulled deals out of the air like little cloud gifts from heaven at month end.  Broke new business, mastered the upsell, just couldn’t TOUCH their results.  Was she a little high maintenance?  Always had an emergency?  Bet he never quite did the “I – dotting and T – crossing: like he was supposed to?  Man, what a salesman.

Do. Not. Promote. Him.

Really.

Top reps (very tippity top Reps) make lousy managers.  Sure they want it!  But that’s because they like to WIN, get RECOGNIZED, get PAID.

What they don’t like is administrative crap, coaching other reps, and putting the rest of the team before themselves.  Hint: these might be critical skills.

If you’re looking to promote internally, here’s a list of a few things I use to spot future super-managers.  I hope you’ll add to the list!

  • B rep.  Really.  Your “A Reps” are probably making too much money to stay in management anyway.
  • The volunteer.  The one who doesn’t mind you delegating a task like putting together a presentation, training the team, or researching a product.
  • The mom.  You know who loves to care and feed the young.  That’s the nurturing spirit a manager needs!
  • The coach.  NOT the preacher (the “Here’s-how-I-do-it” guy) but the person who loves to be shadowed and then spends 30 minutes asking questions and checks back later.
  • The accidental leader.  Who sets the culture on your team without trying?  Who do people look to for approval or answers but who isn’t officially in charge?  A natural.

Your turn! What do you look for in a Rep that tells you she might be your next manager?

PS here’s a link to a quick video about sales management and how it’s a different job.

Clueless Party of 1…My First Year In Inside Sales Management

In 1998 I moved to Phoenix to take my first Inside Sales Management job at Insight (NYSE: NSIT). We resold technology to the Fortune 500. Mine was a new team with a new leader building new books of business. Read: It suuuuuucked.

There aren’t a lot of “un-tried” leads in the Fortune 500, and my brand new team and I were all struggling. The memory of it is still pretty vivid for me – feeling completely overwhelmed. The frustration at constantly saying “I don’t know,” twenty seven times a day, and the very late nights trying to figure out what I should be doing and then just doing email instead. . .

Today I remember these times to help me guide the Factor 8 team in developing and delivering Management and Leadership training for Inside Sales Managers. As most of you know, we don’t go for BS theory classes at Factor 8, we try very hard to solve real-life problems and impart immediately-applicable skills in class.

Man I wish I’d had that training back then. Scary that some of you out there were BORN when I was doing this. Sometimes I still feel like that 23 year old trying to pretend I knew what I was doing (But I digress).

So what do you remember? I’ll get the ball rolling with the top five things I didn’t know, should have known, wish I’d known. Please share one of yours. What’s a key skill for sales managers that someone should teach them in year one? (Or, if you’re living this right now, what is something you wish they would teach you??) Can’t wait to see the list!!

  1. The management screens and responsibilities in CRM (seriously, tell me I had to release orders, that might have helped)
  2. Meeting prep. I spent 8 hours preparing for my first team meeting. Ridiculous.
  3. Motivation tactics. Month one I sent out emails to rally the troops behind our first quota . Awful. Really? Email?
  4. Cadence. What meetings should I be having? When? 1:1 or group?
  5. Who’s who in the zoo? Who do I call to get a credit line extended? A product ordered? An account moved?

PS: My old boss from 1998 interviewed me for his Management / Leadership Blog last year. We talked about my first year in leadership and how to be successful. Here’s the link: https://managermojo.com/make-people-successful/.

PPS: Besides Factor 8, I think that the AA-ISP has great management training content for new Inside Sales leaders. Check it out here: http://www.aa-isp.org/AISM-outline.php

PPSS: And if you want to see what Factor 8 does with live training for managers and leaders, contact John Healy: john@factor8.com.

LB

What’s Wrong With Bob?

It’s so simple, so obvious, you couldn’t help but be drawn in.  Bob is your top producer.  Bob knows the systems better than anyone on the team.  Bob can sell with his wireless headset tied behind his back.  So when the time came to hire a manager for the team you had no doubt in your mind.  Bob was the choice.  Now you’re 6 months into your “Bob the Manager” experience and it’s a complete disaster.

Bob is frustrated, his team is frustrated, you’re frustrated, and the numbers are tanking.  How can this be?  You keep asking yourself…what’s wrong with Bob?

The answer is that you hired Bob based on his abilities as a rep, not his ability to be a manager.  They are two different jobs, and being good at one does not automatically make you good at the other.  Think about when you first hired Bob out of school.  Did you hire him because he was a good student or because he showed the skills, attitude, and characteristics of your top sales reps?

You didn’t assume that because he was doing well at his current job (student) that he would automatically be good as a sales rep.  You hired him because he was able to display skills that were consistent with people who are good at sales and then you trained him to do the job.

You need to take the same approach when hiring a Manager – screen and hire candidates based on how well their skills and abilities match up with the profile of a strong sales leader. And by the way, then you need to train them!  (Doh!)  I mean really, do they need to be a strong closer or an accurate forecaster?  Truth is, great sales reps actually have to UN-learn some skills to be a great sales manager. . .and they’re not going to know how to do it without some development.

I’ve attached a clip from last year’s AA-ISP Leadership Summit that talks about why this is such an important topic, and what you can do about it.  And the fact that it made my Top 10 list means that you can rest assured that you’re not the only one that’s made this mistake.

Here’s a sneak peek at the 4 tips for Sales Manager development, watch the video for all the details:

  • Provide Management training and job training (yeah, they’re different!)
  • Stay away from vague management / leadership theory
  • Whenever you train your reps on a new skill, train your managers on how to recognize and coach it
  • Check out the AISM accreditation from the AA-ISP.

If you’re not already planning to attend, there is still time to register for the AA-ISP Leadership Summit where there are LOTS of great tips on developing your management team.

Let me know if you’re attending and we’ll get you hooked up with a discount!

And if you want to get more sales management development tips, follow us on LinkedIn . . . by clicking here or check out our website!

LB

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His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.

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His stet corpora nostrum in


eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id. Duo ne liber primis, eu vel meis idque. Eum quis homero perfecto at, no vel quot probo. Mundi congue ei vel, ne vitae admodum noluisse ius, aeterno quaestio argumentum ut vel.His stet corpora nostrum in, eu vel soleat ancillae assueverit, eos at everti inermis. Cu assueverit ullamcorper nec. Cu admodum sententiae vis, pri delenit placerat iudicabit id.

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