Sales managers play a critical role in driving the success of their organization. They’re the people charged with reinforcing methodologies, coaching sales reps, communicating up in their organization and ultimately meeting team revenue goals. The good ones are expert multi-taskers and that’s why we often say that sales managers have one of the most difficult jobs in their organizations.
Managers are a key component to your sales organization’s ability to maintain sales productivity right now. Enable them effectively. Distinguish yourself as a sales leader by finding areas where you can provide the most support to your front-line managers.
What Managers Should Be Doing Right Now to Maintain Momentum
Keeping Sales Teams Focused
Elite managers are working daily to keep their reps focused on the buyer in this virtual and uncertain environment. Right now, your managers should be picking up the phone to check in on reps and ensure they’ve got what they need to move deals forward. Managers who understand the importance of getting busy in difficult times, will proactively check in with sales reps and encourage them to do the same with their important buyer contacts.
Buyers are facing new challenges and they need sellers to listen to them. Your most capable sales managers will understand this and encourage reps to dig deeper in their deals and their territories. Managers can use the questions below to have conversations with their reps to ensure they are focused on their buyers:
What new or past buyer contacts can sales reps reach out to?
Where do current deals and opportunities stand?
What new challenges are buyers facing?
What new problems are forcing buyers to act?
What are buyers looking for to come out of this situation poised for success?
What deals are facing similar challenges?
These conversations between sales teams and managers can help to uncover key insights and even success stories that breed coaching moments and new opportunities in other deals.
Having these conversations will also help managers gauge where current opportunities lie and what support their sales reps may need to keep deals moving forward. These answers will give your managers an edge when it comes to training and preparing sellers to win these deals and ensure a high-value close.
Preparing & Practicing Sales Reps
Right now, sales reps can’t “wing it” in their opportunities, they have to be audible-ready to make an impact in their sales conversation. Preparation will make the difference between sales calls that move opportunities forward and ones that stall or fall victim to a “no decision”.
Now more than ever, managers should be requiring pre-call planning, role playing and voracious deal qualification. Here’s a list of critical activities your sales managers should be incorporating in to their day-to-day management routine:
Joining in on sales calls to witness sellers in action
Sales deals can often be painfully fragile, especially in this environment. To ensure deals move forward and forecasts stay accurate, managers must hold salespeople accountable to the sales and buying process.
Managers must ensure there is alignment in every deal around:
Where the buyer is in their process right now
Where will they be when things begin to return to normal
What PBOS, required capabilities and critical metrics have shifted
How they are measuring the ongoing success of their deals
How effective their champions remain in their organizations
Help your front-line managers succeed. Ensure they establish a plan of attack for what good looks like and how they can best support sellers in their execution right now. Share these resources with your managers to help them establish a process to create repeatable sales productivity from their reps.