Is Conventional Wisdom About Sales Coaching Wrong?

Friday, July 24th, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

Conventional Wisdom

If I asked you if you coach your sellers, what would be your response? If you are like most sales managers, you would respond with a resounding, “Yes, of course!” But are you really coaching your sellers? When we ask sales managers to describe the kind of sales coaching they provide, almost every manager’s answer is the same. The response inevitably sounds something like the following:

“I spend one or two days per quarter (or year, or whatever) in the field with each of my salespeople. We meet in the morning to discuss our plans for the day and then we go on multiple sales calls throughout the day. After each sales call, I provide feedback to the salesperson. At the end of the day, we have a recap and discuss areas for improvement for the seller to focus on until our next field travel day.”

Do you see a problem with this scenario? Perhaps, you, like other sales managers, have more responsibility than ever before. In addition to managing large teams, you may also find yourself geographically distant from your teams. It is also likely that you can’t just meet each team member at the local diner for breakfast … Read the rest

Is your CRM a Coaching Tool? Probably Not…

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 - Post by Tom Disantis

CRM-ArrowThis is the third in a four-part series on Avoiding CRM Failure. Part I can be found here, and Part II here.

Now we get to an interesting and critical part of the story, because to this point, we have been talking about sales reps and sales leaders. But we haven’t focused on the role of the Front-Line Sales Manager.

A Critical Lever Left Unpulled
It isn’t news that Front-Line Sales Managers are critical for any rep-level investment because they are the single biggest driver of the adoption of these investments. This could include a new sales process rollout, a new product launch, or any other initiative where we want reps to be doing something new or different.

Despite this awareness, however, the role of the Front-Line Sales Manager is rarely (if ever) considered during a CRM rollout.

Now, this is not to say that your Front-Line Sales Managers aren’t using CRM – believe me they are. According to our research, over 50% of companies expect their Front-Line Sales Managers to hold pipeline meetings with their sales people once a week. With these meetings lasting 53 minutes on average, that is a lot of time reviewing information!… Read the rest

4 Questions Sales Managers Can Ask to Improve Time Management

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 - Post by MichelleVazzana

Time ManagmentWhat is the best way to allocate your time to be an effective sales manager? The complex nature of the sales manager role means there are competing priorities that you have to manage each day. According to a study by Dr. Adam Rapp of The University of Alabama, sales managers allocate their time across the following four types of activities –managing people, managing information, administrative activities, and direct customer interaction.

So how do you know how much time to spend on each type of activity? One way to decide how to allocate your time is to conduct an analysis of how you currently use your time and compare it to how you should use your time based on what activities have 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. You can read more about Dr. Rapp’s findings here.

Now it’s your turn. Take a look at the four categories of activities below, and ask yourself the following four questions for each activity: What is the importance of this activity to seller performance? How many hours per week am I currently spending … Read the rest

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