5 Tips to Foster Independence in Your Sales Force

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

IndependenceSales management is meant to provide direction, tools, and resources to help sellers succeed in their role, but there’s such a thing as too much support. Successful sales forces have both a high level of support from sales management and sales reps with a high level of independence.

If your sales reps are in constant need of support from sales management, your sales force may be suffering from a culture of dependency on sales management. If you are seeing signs of dependency among your sellers, consider the following five tips to foster more independence within your sales force.

1) Delay Responding
Don’t respond to every email or phone call from your reps immediately. Give them time to think through a problem on their own. Experienced sales managers typically wait an hour before responding to non-urgent requests. It’s amazing how many problems get resolved in the hour it takes to respond.

2) Ask for Solutions
Resist the desire to take shortcuts by immediately solving seller issues. When sellers come to you with a problem, ask them what they’ve already tried, and what else they are considering. If they don’t have a plan, ask them to come back with a few possible … Read the rest

CRM – The Great Divide Between Leadership And The Field

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - Post by Tom Disantis

(Note: This is part 1 of a 4-part series)

Great-DivideWhy do we invest in CRM?

It’s an interesting question, and when I ask it to sales leaders and sales ops executives, I tend to hear back answers that focus on “making it easier for our reps to sell” or “improving rep productivity.”

But the REAL reason we invest in CRM is actually quite different.

In fact, do me a favor. Close your eyes for a moment (well, at least pretend that you are closing your eyes as you continue to read…) and imagine that you’ve rolled out your CRM successfully to the field.

And now – with this CRM system, you now have:

  • complete visibility of front-line sales rep activities
  • better and more predictive data

And with this information, you can:

  • make more timely decisions
  • shift resources around in advance of market trends, and
  • accurately anticipate revenue flow into your business.

I mean, this is nirvana, right? All provided to us by our CRM system!

Now, open your eyes. And take a look at the bullet points above. If we’re honest with ourselves for a moment, the bullet points above have nothing to do with making our reps’ lives … Read the rest

Why CRM Fails – And What To Do About It

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - Post by Tom Disantis

CRM-FrustrationI can’t tell you how many times I have heard the story. The promise of CRM fails to materialize despite huge investments in time, energy, and certainly financial resources.

It’s no secret that many organizations struggle with getting the hoped-for returns from CRM investments. In fact, this might be something that your company is dealing with right now. Perhaps you’re on the hook to drive CRM implementation, and you’re frustrated by the lack of consistent CRM adoption across your sales organization.

Or maybe you’re about to launch CRM, and are (rightfully) concerned that the outcomes will fall short of expectations.

The good news is that the key to getting CRM right is well within your grasp. In fact, you can take the lessons we’ve learned from our research here at Vantage Point to get much more from your CRM investments and achieve the promise that such a powerful tool provides.

For the next several weeks, I will be writing a series of articles based on our research and experiences at Vantage Point on how to get CRM right.

Article 1 – The great divide between leadership and the field will discuss the most common factor across all failed CRM rollouts … Read the rest

10 Signs You Have a ‘Culture of Dependency’ in Your Sales Force

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

How independent are your sales reps? Are your sellers in constant need of support from sales management? If so, it can wreak havoc on your schedule, productivity, and success as a sales manager. Never mind the fact that it also limits the effectiveness and development of your sales reps.

However, before you cast the blame on your sellers for their lack of critical thinking and problem solving skills, take a long, hard look at your sales management style. It could be fostering a Culture of Dependence without you even realizing it.

Below are 10 signs you have created a culture of dependency within your sales force:

1. You are seen as the subject matter expert within your sales force

2. You provide extensive direction to sellers outside of sales coaching sessions

3. You feel overwhelmed because you’re always working to close deals your seller’s can’t seem to get over the finish line

4. Your ego is boosted when your sales team needs you to step in and assist (especially to close a deal)

5. You are frustrated by sellers’ inability to think on their own

6. Your position as sales manager is not scalable

7. Your sellers have feelings of … Read the rest