Sales managers can help their reps with these challenges in various ways. In this blog, I share with you 5 inspiring ideas from industry authorities. For these ideas, I add my own suggestions for how you can easily apply these concepts for more productive and cost-effective sales.
#1 Have a defined and measurable sales management system
Research indicates that a sales-management system improves the likelihood of sales reps achieving their quota as much as 23%. Unfortunately, when trying to help their sales team, managers may wrongly focus on traits they model for the rest of the team: communication, organization, confidence, and time management skills.
Sales reps, however, say they need someone who understands their individual needs and can help them get better at the behaviors necessary to meet and surpass their quotas -- someone who can extract and share the current team best practices so that everyone can benefit from them. Most of all, they are looking for predictable, reliable, and proven-in-the-field coaching to help them better identify and solve customer needs.
#2 Set and manage the heartbeat of the sales team with cadence and consistency
A sales team thrives when all the components of the sales and management process follow regular standards and schedules (cadence and consistency). The best method for this is with sales tools that track sales activities in real time and allow all sales-team members to communicate instantaneously. When sales reps don't feel a need to stop and check in or work against intermittent review of "events," they can give more energy to selling and immediately incorporate managers' immediate feedback with deals in motion.
#3 Help sales reps realize their value and expertise
Some sales reps feel subservient to their clients. For them to rise above this low level, help your reps realize that their knowledge, when shared with prospects and customers, adds value to their sales calls. Indeed, the sales rep is the ultimate expert.
#4 Help sales reps overcome complacency
A surefire way for reps to stagnate is to be complacent - a quiet pleasure, but a false security. The remedy is to go back to what built your account base in the first place: new business. Reps should proactively prospect on a daily and weekly basis.
#5 Find new customers who are like your best customers
Perhaps low sales performance is due to the low quality of reps' customers. To overcome this situation, use your ideal customers to guide your prospecting approach to attract more of these types of clients.
CRM and InfoGrow's CRM Call Planner help salespeople make better sales calls
These sales-improvement techniques - a sales-management system, real-time tracking with instantaneous feedback, value-added sales calls, proactive prospecting, and cloning ideal customers - can be done best with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system equipped with mapping software.
To further increase the benefits of these sales tools, InfoGrow has developed CRM Call Planner, with which sales managers and reps can:
- View leads, accounts, and contacts by any database criteria, such as sales volume, number of employees, and type of company - all on color-coded maps.
- Focus on their most profitable accounts and discover previously missed opportunities.
- Increase productive time (both travel and face-to-face contact with clients) by making more calls per trip.