Sales leaders – 5 tips for achieving your best from McKinsey & Co

 

Sales management

Sales management

Centered Leadership, a new book from Joanna Barsh and Johanne Lavoie at McKinsey & Co, introduces the importance of mind-sets to effective leadership. They note that unfortunately leaders often attack a challenge without addressing the underlying attitudes and beliefs that drive the challenge.

The authors focus on ideas that allow leaders to find new behaviors that improve their ability for leadership to emerge naturally.  Although the book is about leadership in general, we thought the lessons were particularly important for sales leaders.

Find your strength – As we’ve written before, sales leaders spend a lot of their energy focusing on weaknesses.  Of course everyone has areas that need improvement – but by shifting the focus to strengths, sales leaders can be more inspiring and are more likely to drive creativity and innovation in others.

Practice the pause – When facing demanding internal challenges and customer crises that generates stress, pausing and then reengaging can help shift a sales leader’s mind-set from the negative fear of failure – to a positive about success.

Forge trust – People define trust differently, so understanding how the members of your sales team perceive trust is critical to building it.  Barsh and Lavoie suggest four aspects of trust that deserve attention:

  • Reliability – keep commitments and deliver on promises
  • Congruence – align language and actions with thinking and feeling
  • Acceptance – withhold judgment and separate the person from the performance
  • Openness – state intentions clearly

Choose questions wisely – How you formulate a question has significant implications for how a conversation plays out with a sales director or sales manager. Questions like: What’s the problem? What’s the cause? Who’s to blame? Why hasn’t it been fixed yet? – more often than not leave the person on the other side of the table defensive.

When the conversation is focused on a problem where there’s a definite right answer all that might work.  But as issues become more complex sales leaders need to move away from problem-focused questions to ones that are solution focused – like: What would you like to see happen?  What are some of the alternatives we need to explore?  How can we get started to go about fixing that?

Make time to recover – Find 10 minutes twice a day to recover and recharge. Whether it’s walking up a flight of stairs, learning something new, gazing out the window, or a call or email with a friend – senior executives report that making time to recover helps them spend more time in high performance mode.

Summary – Sales productivity requires creating a superior sales team – moving from good to great starts with excellence at the top.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

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A sales leadership red flag – sales turnover matters

Sales Team Turnover

Sales Team Turnover

Sales leaders spend a fair amount of time and effort reviewing issues related to the cost of sale.  The issues can vary from travel policies and territory designs to compensation structures and bonuses.  An issue that is receiving increased attention is the cost of turnover.

For those who have not recently taken a serious look at the cost of sales turnover, we thought a quick exploration of the topic might be warranted.  Let’s take a look at some estimates of the real cost associated with sales turnover and an idea or two that have good track records for reducing sales turnover.

Defining the sales turnover problem.  In their most recent newsletter Colletti-Fiss, national leaders in sales compensation, made the following observation about the financial importance of retaining sales talent – “Our research shows that when a sales rep leaves, 20% to 80% of the business is at risk. The cost associated with replacing one sales rep – particularly top performers – is 35% to 200% of annual total cash compensation.”  The point being, at the high end, the cost is devastating.

From our own observation in markets such as high-end medical devices the customer, in this case the physician, may “go” with the sales rep if they leave for a competitor.  Does it matter?  The research from HR Chally reports sales person effectiveness accounts for 39% of a customer’s choice of a vendor – more than price or quality.  So, yes it matters.

Bottom line – sales turnover matters to the bottom line.  Consequently, it is well worth the time to know more about your sales turnover figure and to estimate the cost for every salesperson who leaves – in terms the dollar value of the existing business at risk, the cost associated with finding, selecting and training a replacement, and the opportunity cost while the new sales rep is getting up to speed which in B2B sales is longer than ever.  If you are experiencing a turnover rate near or higher than 20%, the costs are likely to be unacceptably high.

Understanding why.  If the number does prove sufficient to warrant action, what are some steps for getting it right?  First, it is important to better understand the nature of the sales turnover – who is leaving and why.  Second, correct the problem.

In regard to the first step, upgrade the exit interview process.  In some cases exit interviews are not even conducted and in many others, nobody pays much attention to the results.  You may need to change what you are doing and who is doing it.

A more involved approach for understanding the “why” is conducting a 360 assessment with your front-line sales managers.  Front-line sales managers are the pivotal job for sales success – making sure they have as much insight as possible about what is going right and what isn’t can provide a critical data set for understanding the source of the sales turnover problem.

Correcting the problem.   Obviously some of the specifics for addressing the sales turnover problem will be driven from the work done to find out who is leaving and why.  However one across-the-board intervention with a proven track record is sales training and development.  Salespeople expect an investment in their development and it works for reducing sales turnover.

In regard to expectations, a recent leadership study by Bluteau DeVenney & Company reported that the one of the most important expectations of all employees is the opportunity to grow.  As expressed by the employees who participated in the study – “we expect personal growth and development – if you don’t help us grow and learn, we’ll go elsewhere.”

Turning to the relationship between sales training and turnover reduction, the recent CSO report of over 2000 companies – The Business Case for Sales Training – reported that one of the reasons for investing in sales skills training was lower turnover rates.  The results were particularly compelling in that among those companies where sales teams reported the sales training exceeded expectations the average annual turnover rate was 10% lower than when the sales training was viewed as needing improvement.

Summary.  Sales turnover matters!  High sales turnover can have a devastating impact on bottom line revenue generation.   The good news is – there are established interventions for addressing the problem.  More attention to sales training and development is a great first step.

 

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

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Sales managers – 6 tips when transitioning to a new sales team

Sales manager with a new sales team

Sales manager with a new sales team

As most in sales leadership would share – the front-line sales manager is the pivotal job for building and sustaining sales success.  And, perhaps the most critical time for any sales manager is when first taking over a new sales team.  Getting the right start means long-term success will likely arrive quicker and easier.

So what does a great start look like and what are the hobgoblins that are likely to get in the way?  Let’s take a look using the scenario of an existing sales manager from inside the company taking over an existing sales team in another region. Here are 6 tips that sales manager:

  1. Do your homework to gain an objective lay of the land.  Drill down and learn about the territory and the sales team.  Here, the CRM system can be a best friend.  Review the team members’ performance both currently and over time. Identify the top accounts – who has them, the solutions they are using, and potential new opportunities.  Become familiar with the sales pipeline, the prospects populating it and make revisions where necessary like getting rid of no-win opportunities.
  2. Talk with senior management. Although you’ve surely talked with senior management before taking the sales manager position, now you have an opportunity to address a different set of questions. Two particularly important areas of inquiry are: what are the expectations and what are the institutional resources that are available to your team and how can you tap into them?
  3. Solicit from the sales team what is working and what isn’t.  The best time to make changes is right up front when you take over the position.  There is a short window before everything again becomes frozen – so time matters.  The first step is find out what is working and what isn’t.  Soliciting ideas from your new sales team as to what needs to be changed and how it should be changed is always a good idea.  Using your sales teams’ ideas to augment your own is a no lose step.
  4. Solicit from the sales team what they want from their sales manager. As a build on the prior tip, ask each member of the sales team what they want their new sales manager to do – and what they expect.  Some important specifics – how should coaching work and when and how should I help you sell.
  5. Share your expectations.  Sharing is a two-way street. Don’t make your sales team guess. Share your management style and what you expect from the sales team – in terms of sales performance and responsibilities as a member of the sales team.
  6. Consider a personal 360-degree assessment.  Although it is not always possible, before you leave your existing sales manager position, do an informal 360 assessment.  Discuss with your boss, your old sales team, and some peer sales managers your strengths and weaknesses in managing your sales team.  A fresh start is a great time to pause and take stock of how you might do some self-improvement.

As to the “hobgoblins” – number one is the pressure to get into the weeds before you lay the foundation for your transition.  You might score some early points but in the long- run you are less likely to accomplish that of which you are capable.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

 

 

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MedTech sales: when customers change – so must you

Transformation changes affecting medical sales

Transformation changes affecting medical sales

In times of transformational market change there are new winners and losers.  If you are a Medtech company, a piece of the puzzle for being among the winners is making the investment in your sales team commensurate with the need for change and the opportunity to benefit.

As recently reported by Booz & Company, healthcare is a striking example of an industry that is undergoing unprecedented changes.  Most healthcare organizations are uncertain about the best strategic path forward.  However, what is clear is standing still is not an option.  Among market leaders the journey of change has already begun and will continue as the future unfolds.

Although many of the long-term implications of the major drivers such as the Affordable Care Act are still vague, the article points out two mega-trends that will help shape the picture of the future:

  • consumerization – patients will have greater choice and control
  • risk migration – risk will shift from payors to providers

The article then identifies four considerations that hospitals will need to address as they respond to these trends and attempt to adapt to the changing business environment:

  • What will be our operational focus? – For example will we focus on low-cost care and high volumes or opt to become a center of excellence in a specific medical specialty?
  • How will we reduce the cost of care without impacting the quality of care? – It is clear that reimbursements will be declining so how do we transform both the clinical and administrative sides of the business to reduce costs and improve quality?
  • How do we become more customer-centric? – How do we create an improved patient experience, not just deliver better outcomes at reduced costs.  There are a wide variety of alternative care models presently be explored to achieve this goal –from Accountable Care organizations to Frontier Stay Clinics.
  • How will we deal with the shift from fee-for-service to outcomes payment models? – This shift will not happen over night but it will happen.  So how do we transition during the shift?

When hospitals change what they buy, how they buy, and what they are willing to pay for it that constitutes a clarion call to Medtech companies that every aspect of their sales effort needs to be revisited – from how they are organized, to their value proposition to their sales training.

Although again some of the specifics may be unclear, a wait-and-see strategy provides your organization no chance of being among the new winners.  Because it is clear that top MedTech sales performance will not be achieved simply by selling to the same people, in the same way, with the same message as yesteryear. 

To take a deeper dive into MedTech sales strategy, download the free white paper – Getting Sales Strategy Right - MedTech -Cover copyGetting MedTech Sales Strategy Right – click here or visit http://www.salesmomentum.com/getting-medtech-sales-strategy-right-free-white-paper/.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

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Team selling – more prevalent, more important and as difficult as ever

Team selling

Team selling

In major accounts there are a number of different strategic situations where a team sale is preferred.  The salesperson might want to bring along someone from top management either because of the purpose of the meeting or because of who is attending from the customer’s side.

Another common situation is when the salesperson is engaged in a long sales cycle and given the call’s agenda brings a person with expertise in a specific area such as: technical support, manufacturing, or customer service.

Do these situations sound familiar? These types of situations are becoming increasingly more common because the customers are looking for their suppliers to provide the expertise need to creatively address their challenges.

The growth in team selling comes not only from customer demands but also from the increased complexity of the sale, as well as, customers using teams. Customer teams often take the form of buying committees or purchasing teams.

The classic trap in situations like these is not having a team attending the meeting. Instead, it’s just two people who happen to be in the same room at the same time.

To avoid this trap, we’ve found these eight best practices to be helpful:

  • Successful teams have a compelling clear vision of the sales team’s purpose that is shared by everyone on the team.
  • Everyone must believe there is benefit to the company – and to them personally – for working as a team.
  • All of the roles to succeed are represented on the sales team and each team member is clear about their role in the team and the expectations.
  • The sales team members recognize talent alone does not guarantee team success. Attitude is critical. Positive attitudes can lead to a sales team performing at its peak; bad attitudes can rip a team apart.
  • There is a team leader. Without a leader, all teams can lose their way.
  • Sales teams often struggle making poor decisions, no decisions, or decisions by edict – led by the loudest voice – because they have no processes in place.  Successful sales teams adopt or create their own team processes that guide how they operate.
  • Successful sales teams adjust, adapt, and keep track. They make effective strategic adjustments as the sales team’s collective knowledge grows and insights are gained from the customer.
  • Last, without trust, the team members don’t believe they can count on each other. Sales teams like these cannot possibly achieve their shared purpose. Trust is not something that automatically happens automatically.

Want to take a deeper dive into team selling? Take a look at this Team Selling

Team Selling Infographic

Team Selling Infographic

Infographic from The Whale Hunters for more best practices around team selling in major accounts.

 

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®

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Getting MedTech Sales Strategy Right – A FREE Sales Momentum White Paper

Getting Sales Strategy Right - MedTech -Cover copyWhile the MedTech industry is positioned to grow in the coming years, all is not rosy. Shifting decision-makers, rising number of new influencers, pricing pressures, increasing consolidation, and consumerizing healthcare will require MedTech salespeople to redefine their sales strategies to continue growing the business. Having a superior sales force is a key to sustaining a competitive advantage in MedTech accounts.

Sales Momentum today is publishing a FREE white paper – Getting MedTech Sales Strategy Right. It’s  divided into two chapters:

1.    Formulating MedTech Sales Strategy – describes common pitfalls and shares best practices that increase the probability of MedTech sales success.
2.    Executing MedTech Sales Strategy – highlights eight areas highly correlated with winning MedTech sales strategies: staying on track, networking, building and sustaining relationships, managing the competition, selling with clinical data, selling to the VAC, selling at the senior level, making the business case.

To download the free white paper click here or visit http://www.salesmomentum.com/getting-medtech-sales-strategy-right-free-white-paper/.

And to learn more about our MedTech sales training programs, click here

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

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Sales coaching above and beyond the sales comfort zone

Sales Coaching

Sales Coaching

Salespeople sometimes have a propensity to stay in their comfort zone – doing more of what they are doing well.  There are many reasons and rewards for taking up permanent residence in ones comfort zone – like being comfortable and successful selling a particular product to a fear of change.

From a sales coaching perspective it is important to understand whether a sales rep fails to move beyond their comfort zone by choice – that is, they simply want to continue to do what they are doing.  Or, they want to break out but don’t have the skills and know how to do so.  The first situation is fundamentally one about attitude and motivation and the second is primarily about knowledge and skill.   Let’s take a look some ideas for how a sales manager might deal with a sales rep facing the second situation.

  • Establish a sales coaching priority.  Jointly establish with the sales rep that moving out of their comfort is important for their success.  Then focus your sales coaching effort on the knowledge and skills to make that happen – make sure you describe what the end-state for change looks like.
  • Minimize the risks of failure.  Trying something different involves a lot of risks from: perhaps initially reduced commission to negative feedback from customers and peers.  Where possible the sales manager needs to help the sales  rep manage and minimize these risks.
  • Reward behavior not just results.  Successful change is best-accomplished one step at a time – over time.  It is important to provide positive feedback all along the way as new behaviors are learned and applied, as opposed to, waiting until the final results are achieved for providing the proverbial pat on the back.
  • Document and broadcast success.  Usually when someone tries something new, the failures tend to be well documented.  The sales manager needs to make sure the same is true for successes – this is helpful to the sales rep and to other sales reps who might be taking the same journey in the future.
  • Collect best practices.  As sales coaching efforts unfold good ideas will emerge relative to what sales reps looking to change need to learn.  Document these best practices!

Looking back even five years, there are few markets where top sales performance  can be achieved simply by selling to the same people, in the same way, with the same message as  yesteryear.  So, “this how do we help people skillfully move beyond their comfort zone problem” is likely to more than just – a nice to do.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

 

 

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Sales calls – 7 tips for call planning – An STC Classic

A Classic - '63 Corvette

A Classic – ’63 Corvette

Although sales people may not do it as often as they should, most would rally around the notion that call planning is a good idea.  In this discussion a distinction is made between call planning and account planning.  Exploring account planning is a topic that deserves its own discussion and will be postponed for another day.  What this post does cover is the two components of call planning – pre-call planning and post-call planning.

Let’s begin with some best practices for pre-call planning.

1. Determine the call objective. The first step in pre-call planning is setting the objective for the call.  The objective should be formulated in terms of the commitment desired from the customer that moves the sales cycle forward.  Examples include: an appointment with a more senior person, an opportunity to present your solution to the buying committee, or a trial placement of your solution.  The appropriate commitment is determined by where you are in the sales cycle and the person with whom you are meeting.

2. Keep it simple. If sales people are asked why they don’t do a better job of pre-call planning, the answers heard most often are “No time” or “Too much paperwork.”  Sometimes the complaints are partially justified but when some sales people say “I just do it in my head” – that doesn’t hold water.  You have to write stuff down.  The key is keep it simple – no format for a pre-call plan should be more than one page or take more than 15 minutes to create.

3. Adopt a standard way of pre-call planning. This idea is correlated with the “keep it simple” notion.  Standardizing pre-call planning is a great way to keep it simple and to get better at doing it.  Here are six topics that work well as the basis of a pre-call plan:

  • Call objective
  • Questions you want to ask
  • Questions you might be asked
  • Points to communicate
  • Likely objections
  • Possible advances or commitments

4. Rehearse key calls. In a major sale, all calls are not of equal importance.  Those one or two key calls during the sales cycle that are most important demand more attention when it comes to pre-call planning.  On these calls, top performers not only complete a pre-call plan, they rehearse the call in a role-play with a colleague or sales manager assuming the customer role.  Yes, it takes time but this is one of those cases where time is well spent. A small difference in how a specific segment of the call is conducted can make a huge difference in the outcome.

Now let’s turn to post-call planning.  Although most sales training programs and sales managers give a fair amount of attention to pre-call planning, post–call planning is often the forgotten country cousin.  Yet in a major account, it’s a big deal too. So, let’s take a look at a couple of best practices.

1. Do it now. Perhaps the biggest trap is either not doing it at all or postponing post-call planning so long that it just turns into an exercise of completing a call report form. The best idea is to complete the post-call planning right after the call to ensure nothing falls “between the cracks”. When the call is still fresh in the sales person’s mind it’s easier to decipher what the notes and scribbles penned during the call actually mean. Again 15 minutes should be all that is needed.

2. Assess next steps. Think about what happened on the call and assess what needs to be done next.  Analyze how the results of the call might impact the overall account strategy for moving forward.  Remember great account strategies are always a work-in-progress.

3. Play it again. One insight that can be gained from post-call planning is determining what went right and what went wrong.  Ask the question: “If I could do this call again, what would I do differently?” Since “this call” will probably occur again in another account this brief call assessment should result in the call being executed a little bit better the next time.

Top sales performers are always getting better – call planning is one simple way to execute on that idea. The reason call planning is such a big deal is not just about what you write down or key into your iPad.  It’s taking the time to systematically think about what you are about to do and to learn from what you just did.  The larger the account, the more important the idea and the greater the payoff.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

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6 traps successful women avoid in b2b sales

Women in B2B Sales

Successful Women in B2B Sales

Selling in B2B accounts is not easy for any salesperson. Successful female salespeople acknowledge the power of their selling styles and how they differ from their male counterparts. That is the first trap successful female salespeople avoid – simply trying to “copy” what male salespeople do rather than acknowledging and leveraging their unique differences.

Five more traps successful female salespeople sidestep:

1. Never questioning that you belong. Successful women are confident about their education, experiences and track record so they do not seek validation every time they meet with a customer or a person inside their company. They know that doing so just feeds feelings around self-consciousness and insecurities.

2. Not seeking praise from others to define your success. These women toot their own horns – they don’t wait for their customers or their colleagues to recognize their sales successes. From closing a large complex sale to completing a successful product implementation, successful female salespeople promote their successes.

3. Not waiting for the stars to align perfectly before they act. Successful female salespeople come to every B2B sale knowledgeable about their product, competition, and the customer. They develop a clear understanding of the customer’s requirements and concerns. They also know they’ll never have complete information around the sales opportunity so they understand how to advance the sale with the information at hand.

4. Not making statements that sound like questions. Successful female salespeople are confident about their contributions and ensure their confidence comes through not only in what they say, but how they say it. They speak up and make sure they are heard. If they aren’t, they regroup and try again.

5. Not taking it personally. In a difficult sales situation when they encounter push back from the customer, successful female salespeople don’t take it personally. They focus on the substance of the issue and how to constructively fix it. While these women do not seek out conflict, they don’t shy away from conflict. Rather they have developed the ability to depersonalize the issues and keep their eye on the big picture.

Just like men, women face a host of tough sales challenges. What we’ve found from working with thousands of successful women selling to B2B accounts is: they leverage their styles, trust their intuition, and believe in themselves.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®

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Sales performance – practice doesn’t make perfect

Sales performance

Sales performance

After lunch at our favor Chinese restaurant yesterday, my fortune cookie reminded  that continued success would be ours if we remembered that – “practice makes perfect.”  We chuckled – since “practice makes perfect” is really only a partial truth.

Practice alone doesn’t make perfect.  Feedback is missing.  If feedback is lacking or poor in quality, performance is unlikely to improve.  The more complete proposition is “Practice + Feedback Makes Perfect.”

Applying this proposition to sales training, let’s use role-plays as an example, recognizing that the points apply to other types of exercises, too.

Practice.  There’s a difference between simply doing a series of activities and practice. If practice is going to work it needs to be well designed and structured.  For example, a well-designed role-play must meet the following design criteria:

  • Relevant Context.  If you are selling high-end IT services to major corporations, little is to be learned by role-playing selling widgets to mom and pop stores.  Role-plays must be customized so the practice replicates the real world.  Generic role-plays don’t provide relevant practice – that’s why they don’t work.
  • Safe Environment.  When the goal is to help learners get better at something, you want them to try new ideas – do what they are not doing – take risks. This goal requires being sensitive to the safety index in the learning environment.  A good example of what not to do is everyone’s old favor the “fish bowl” role-play done in front of the room.  It was a bad idea 20 years ago; it is even a worse idea today.
  • Targeted Behaviors.  You can’t practice everything, at the same time, all at once.  Role-plays need to be designed for the salesperson to practice a maximum of three or four correlated behaviors.  Practicing everything leads to practicing nothing.

Feedback.  When it comes to getting feedback right for role-plays a few fundamentals deserve note.  First, ample time must be set-aside for the feedback session.  Second, it should be done in small groups of 4-6 with everyone participating.  But let’s examine an all to frequent and significant problem that tends to degrade the effectiveness of feedback in role-plays.

  • Problem.  Often the person playing the customer during a role-play is a program participant. The responsibility rotates among participants from one role-play to the next. Feedback usually first comes from the salesperson playing the customer role, then the seller, and then others sitting at the table that were observing. Eavesdrop at the tables and you will usually hear the customer and observers congratulating the seller – it sounds like this “Good job, Lee.”

Sure this is feedback – but will it lead to performance improvement?  The first problem is  salespeople often cannot realistically play the customer.   They often lack the knowledge and demeanor needed to play a senior person in an organization. Second, frequently no one at the table has mastered the best practices for handling the opportunities and challenges in the role-play. The result? Due to lack of expertise, or in some cases willingness, the feedback is often useless from a performance change perspective. Add in a third factor – those sitting at the table start thinking that their chance to “do” the role-play and hear feedback is coming up shortly, so saying positive things works. Combine these reasons and that’s why you hear, “Good job, Lee” so often!

  • Alternative.  Sales managers or selected top sales performers play the customer role, orchestrate the feedback session and share best practices.  For discussion let’s pick sales managers.

First, can you justify taking a group of front-line sales managers out of the field to spend time in the classroom playing the customer roles and providing feedback to a group of sales reps during training? Absolutely – and under most circumstances it’s a bargain. In complex sales that generate substantial revenue, like high tech, medtech, or global supply chain, it’s easy to make the business case for front-line sales manager participation.

Front-line sales managers can incorporate the complexity of the sale, as well as, the nuances customers present during the buying cycle. 
 It’s certainly not justifiable to have sales managers participate in just any type of sales training program. However, imagine a sales simulation where the entire program is devoted to participants crafting sales strategy, planning sales calls, conducting sales calls, and getting feedback on customized scenarios representing strategic challenges faced by the sales force.  After all, if every sales rep was able to sell even one or two solutions they might not have closed, then the increased sales easily can justify the sales managers’ commitment.

Are there benefits to front-line sales managers?  In most cases, the front-line managers will do more coaching during the two days than in six months in the field.  Plus, the program can be structured so the front-line sales managers get feedback on their coaching.  Sales gains occur because when front-line sales managers engage in the training, because best practices and institutional knowledge are shared – providing sales reps with feedback that can immediately be applied in the field.

Leading-edge companies have made this commitment to improve the results of their investment. The model has been tested – it works to change behavior – it’s worth trying.  As the program progresses, you can actually see the performance change happen!

Summary. To bring the point about practice + feedback home, last year we were doing a simulation for a company in the oil and gas industry.  The VP of Sales had assigned his top managers to attend the program to play the buyers and he sat in at various tables to help in the feedback.  The VP was able to create a safe environment and the level of feedback he and the managers provided increased the performance change by an order of magnitude.

 

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®

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