While the aforementioned pillars are crucial to your process, it’s vital to keep in mind that they serve as aprons under which every step of the sales management process gets subsumed. Although it varies from business to business, the sales management process often entails.
Planning – Managers must first establish the goals of their agents and develop a sales plan to help them realize those goals. Setting goals, allocating areas, creating lead generation strategies, and collaborating with marketing to position goods are all part of this. This phase assists managers and their salespeople in reducing background noise so they can concentrate on selling to potential customers rather than wasting time looking for leads. Remember: When market circumstances change, new items are updated or produced, and your team expands, managers should review their sales planning process. Planning well helps teams monitor their success, brings sales and marketing together, and increases rep motivation. Make sure you establish pertinent metrics and the tools you’ll need to track and evaluate them as you develop your strategy (e.g. CRM, marketing automation software, sales engagement platform, etc.). In this manner, crucial information won’t go overlooked, and you’ll have the numbers to support the outcomes of your strategy.
Recruiting – Finding and keeping the ideal personnel for the job isn’t always simple; in fact, the average turnover rate for sales reps is roughly 34%. The secret is creating and running a sales team that salespeople want to join, stick with, and advance on. Start your search for applicants by focusing on those that exhibit inquiry, planning, and forethought. Select those who are receptive to criticism since this demonstrates that they are coachable and flexible. Following hiring, you’ll need a solid onboarding procedure that fosters a feeling of community, cooperation, and support among new employees. Provide them all the resources and tools they require to be successful so they don’t have to spend numerous hours memorizing scripts, scouring sales materials, or asking their colleagues for clarification. As they offer a single, easily-accessible source of truth for all things sales-related, centralized platforms can be helpful in this situation.
Training– To keep your sales personnel engaged, effective, and successful, traditional sales training approaches are no longer sufficient. Modern, continuing teaching is required in today’s hyper-hybrid purchasing and selling market, and competitive firms are taking note. In truth, 89% of sales managers claim to be funding (or intend to fund) rep training. Constantly improve your reps’ abilities to make sure they are data literate, able to have data-backed discussions, and good at developing relationships. A CRM that collects sales data is a good place to start, but management must also teach (and retrain) their agents to turn that data into insightful information. Your best bet in this situation is to use robust sales enablement solutions, which offer real-time training—even during sales calls—and assist managers in spotting problem areas right away. Reps can continue to be as productive as feasible while managers can promptly address problems at-scale.
Managing – A sales manager’s responsibilities go beyond simply providing training during specific times of need. Moreover, it involves giving advice throughout daily operations and giving tailored comments (both positive and negative). For managers who are already overworked, this task may seem time-consuming and difficult. But, the goal is to foster a culture where useful feedback is given frequently and early. To find out how each rep like to get feedback (e.g., format, cadence, pet peeves), managers should take the time to sit down with them one-on-one and build a strategy for doing so. Powerful tools that collect and analyze KPIs, give transparency into reps’ agreements, and connect salespeople with both their short- and long-term goals make it incredibly simple to complete this crucial piece of the sales management jigsaw.
Evaluation– Your sales plan should be viewed as a live, breathing organism. To fulfill the demands of both customers and employees, managers must be able to review and refine their strategy objectively. To find out what’s causing their team’s successes and failures, they should maintain a close check on the sales funnel, customer and employee feedback, and KPIs. A competent manager is able to interpret, evaluate, and transform data into meaningful changes. Using buyer sentiment analysis, which offers insight into a prospect’s emotional reaction to a sales engagement, is one approach to do this. Managers now have instant access to a variety of data on customer sentiment thanks to intelligent technology, enabling them to replicate their success or make necessary course corrections.
Assessment – In order to discover gaps and possible possibilities, you need a thorough understanding of your team’s performance. A sales dashboard is the most effective tool for measuring performance out of all the ones you can employ. Sales dashboards standardize, organize, and graphically display all of your sales data on a single, easily accessible platform. In order to better properly estimate and create sales plans, they assist managers in assessing team performance and progress according to their objectives in real time. With the appropriate application, managers may create sales dashboards that make use of the most recent data for more knowledgeable coaching on procedures, tools, special deals, and other topics. Furthermore, efficient technology reduces the time needed to manually input data, prepare reports, locate account information, and more.
Pay – It’s reasonable to assume that the majority of your sales representatives aren’t putting in excessive hours just for the fun of it. Although some people may be inspired by the prospect of having an effect and winning over clients, the majority are driven by other benefits. When it comes to motivating your staff, monetary rewards (such as gift cards, bonuses, or a new iPhone), public acknowledgement (such as team meals, shout-outs, and appreciation days), or even more time off, may all make a significant impact. Managers should take the time to learn what motivates each member of their team since flexible incentive programs increase employee engagement, and a highly engaged workforce results in a 21% increase in profitability.