How Sales Managers SHOULD Spend Their Time?

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

If sales managers could just put in an order for more time and have it arrive at their office door, all would be well in sales management. But that’s not reality. The reality is, sales managers are pulled in multiple directions every day, which often results in more reactive than proactive efforts. So if you aren’t going to be given more hours during the day any time soon, how should you spend the hours you do have?

According to a recent study by Dr. Adam Rapp of The University of Alabama, sales managers typically spend their time on four types of activities: managing sellers (32%), managing information (26%), direct customer interaction (23%) and administrative activities (15%).
Categories of Management Effort

Which of these activities do you think has the most impact on sales force performance? According to Dr. Rapp, time spent managing the sales team has the most significant positive impact on team performance. In fact, managing the sales team is the most important activity you can do as a sales manager.

While managing the sales team is the most important activity, it can also be one of the most challenging to fit into your busy schedule. Even if you can’t increase the amount … Read the rest

Why CRM Fails, Part II – Creating Alignment to Ensure Adoption

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 - Post by admin

by Tom Disantis

(Note: This is part 2 of a 4-part series)

CRM-FailureIn my last article, I explained a key reason for CRM underperformance, which is the difference between how sales leaders view CRM compared with how salespeople view CRM. In this article, we solve this problem by aligning business results (that sales leadership is focused on) with high impact sales activities (that our reps should focus on), and then embedding this alignment into your CRM system.

What are the right high impact activities?

To answer this question, we have to take a step back by first asking ourselves, “What activities can CRM measure and track?” In fact, we asked many companies this question as part of the research that went into our book, Cracking the Sales Management Code.

Guess how many different metrics you can track in CRM? Over 100? Over 500? It was over a thousand! No wonder sales managers and sales people struggle with adopting CRM.

So we have to bring some order to this chaos. But how? I mean, we can’t ask our salespeople to figure out what metrics they should be focusing on in your CRM by themselves. It’s just too overwhelming, … Read the rest

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 admin

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 … Read the rest