Although managing sales is challenging, sales managers have the responsibility of driving the performance of their sales team. This practice has been referred to in many different ways, but most often I have heard the term “ It’s like herding cats”.
Does the task of managing a sales force have to be this way? I do not believe it does. Each sales person on your team will come with their own uniqueness. The following are some challenges of a sales team.
Some will work very hard and accomplish very little, sound familiar? This is most likely “poor time management”. Another may be your top producer, but there is never any CRM activity to prove it. Perhaps challenged by technology? Some may say their deals are just so close to closing, but never actually produce a sale. Maybe they are afraid to “ask for the close?” One may use one excuse after another as to why they just don’t seem to get the sale. Does “cold calling” scare them? Do any of these conditions sound familiar to you?
These sales performance issues can be analogous to a ship without a rudder. Good sales training will address these issues. A defined sales process that enforces this training will lead to a successful path of best sales practices for your team. Breaking the sales process into five distinct categories puts each lead, prospect and customer in a certain level of the sales cycle.
The sales team will know what level their prospects are in, and more importantly you will know as well. Have some older folks that just don’t like to enter everything in the CRM database? Pen to paper will work as well. I am sure after a couple of weeks of creating a duplicate CRM process requiring them to write it down, they will take a second look at the CRM database. If any of this sounds familiar, let me know.
I would be interested in a conversation to detail the plan for an improved process and outcome for your sales team, and more importantly keep you from the dangerous job of being a “cat herder”.