Activity-Based Sales and The New Sales Manager

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 - Post by admin

iStock_000001211469_LargeGuest post by Urmas Purde, co-founder of Pipedrive.

I first became a sales manager at 21. I had a lot of energy — and no idea about what a manager’s priorities should be. I didn’t know what to focus on, so I tried to focus on almost everything. I never took the time to think about my new job or to understand what I was trying to do in that role. Thinking about my new job would have seemed like a waste of time; I had things to do! Well, I burned myself out. I failed miserably because I didn’t think my new duties through.

The moral of this story: New managers have to take some time at the beginning of their new jobs to understand their goals, their priorities and most importantly their actual role. If you were promoted from the sales team, it might be time to hand over your clients to a salesperson and focus on being a manager now. If you’ve been hired to manage an existing team, now is the time to get to know them and your new company.

For new managers, leading a team of reps can seem overwhelming and mystifying. It’s … Read the rest

The Current State of Sales Manager Training: 4 Lessons from New Research

Monday, May 2nd, 2016 - Post by MichelleVazzana

HiResOrganizations are rapidly coming to the same conclusion: sales managers are the key lever in driving improvement in sales. Whether a company targets higher market share, better account penetration, or some important outcome, sales managers are the principal mechanism for success. The key question is, “how do we best equip those all-important sales managers to get the job done?” Well, training is an important enabler to better sales management. In a recent research study examining the sales manager training of 213 firms, Vantage Point and the Sales Management Association shed light on the vital connection between better sales management and better sales results.

A Commitment to Training

First and foremost, organizations must be committed to training sales managers in order to drive better outcomes. In our study, a full 41% of participating companies did not have specific training initiatives aimed at the sales manager population. The companies with such initiatives in place—59%– outperformed the others, by 16%, in achieving their sales objectives. That’s a pretty startling difference. Let’s examine what those high achieving companies are doing and why it works.

What Companies Train

The type of training organizations provide to their sales managers matters. A lot. Unfortunately, about half of … Read the rest

Improving CRM Adoption: Making your CRM “Livable”

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 - Post by Tom Disantis

CRMHave you ever lived in an apartment or house that you didn’t like? Maybe it was your college dorm room, or the first apartment after college that you could afford.

What do you remember of this place?

Were the walls so thin you could hear the neighbors talking?

Was the space too small or not laid out correctly, so you always felt cramped?

Were the floors made of linoleum or concrete so you could never keep warm and everything echoed?

For this article, let’s call this place “House Have To”—you had to live here because you needed a place to live, study, or work, but you didn’t actually like living there. You never really felt like you were “home,” and you didn’t look forward to returning there at the end of the day (which is probably why you spent so much time with your friends).

Now think about a place you really enjoyed living in. Maybe it’s the dream home you have now or a nice apartment that gives you just enough space in the city you love.

How do you feel about this place? You like the space, the warmth—it feels like “home.” And I bet you enjoy … Read the rest

3 Critical Questions Every Sales Manager Must Answer

Monday, February 15th, 2016 - Post by Tom Disantis

I have a quick question for you…

How confident are you that you will hit your revenue target by the end of the year?
100%?
50%?
0%?

When I ask this question of sales leaders, the answers I receive tend to fall somewhere in between 100% and 0%. Obviously, certain failure is not a common response but neither are we completely certain we will succeed.

Which is interesting, because sales leaders spend a lot of time with their sellers talking about their revenue targets. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that we constantly reminding them of their progress against their target when we meet with them. And if they fall behind, we are quick to point this out.

So why then, despite these constant reminders, do we sales managers think our sellers will not help us attain our revenue target? We know where we need to be – we have communicated that expectation to our sellers – and yet, if you think back to the question we started with, very few (if any) sales leaders are 100% confident they will be at their revenue target by the end of the year.

This is even more important … Read the rest