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Sales Management Process: How to Improve Your Sales Team’s Effectiveness in a “Reset” Economy
Guest articles > Sales Management Process: How to Improve Your Sales Team’s Effectiveness in a “Reset” Economy
by: Danita Bye
Tune Your Sales Engine for Peak Performance
In manufacturing, nothing is made until a sale is made. If a manufacturing business were an automobile, the sales departments would be the engine, the driving force that moves the entire organization forward. So take care when you’re considering cuts. Cut too deeply and you may not have enough horsepower left to take you through this recession.
In an global economy that’s being “reset”, changes in staff are unavoidable, and it seems reasonable to make those changes across the board. But tough times are when you need the motive power of your sales department most. These days, instead of stalling your entire business by dropping the revs on your sales engine, it’s best to tune it with a redoubled emphasis on coaching your team.
Coach Your Salespeople to Maximize Performance
In the same way that not every manufacturer is suited to every market, not every salesperson possesses the personal characteristics and skills needed to sell effectively in an economy like this one. That’s why so many salespeople who burned up the sales track just a few years ago are stalled out and directionless today. And it’s also why coaching your salespeople in the following areas is more necessary now than ever:
Desire: Salespeople with this quality don’t “have to”; they “want to.” Because they’re motivated by money, prestige, and an overwhelming urge to be the best, they do what’s necessary to reach their own goals – goals which are often loftier than yours.
Commitment: There’s an old saying: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Desire, while necessary, is not sufficient. To succeed, salespeople must be committed to doing what others won’t. They must be willing to risk security for reward. They have to push hard enough that they risk hearing “no.”
Accountability: I call this quality a “responsibility reflex,” an automatic willingness to be held accountable for failure and expect recognition for success. In contrast to salespeople who blame outside factors in a knee-jerk fashion, salespeople with the responsibility reflex refuse to rationalize or externalize. They accept challenges and relish being held accountable for – and rewarded for – their efforts.
Comfortable talking about money: When it comes right down to it, money’s what business is about, right? To sell in this economy, a salesperson has to be comfortable with that and able to bring up the subject in a forthright, confident, and timely fashion. The successful salesperson knows the value of what they sell and won’t beat around the bush when it comes to talking dollars and cents. And they’ve come to terms with the fact that their value to their own companies lies in the revenue they create.
Little need for approval: I’ve yet to come across anyone who didn’t appreciate a pat on the back from time to time, but the best salespeople don’t let a need for approval get in the way of making the sale. They’ll ask the tough questions and won’t accept waffling answers. They will ask for the business and risk getting shot down. They won’t stand for put-offs, stall-outs, and unclosed sales.
When the economy is recovering from the reset– and it’s likely to be resetting for years to come – tuning your sales engine for peak performance takes precedence over cuts. By narrowing developing your sales team in the qualities needed to succeed when the road is rocky, you’ll be giving yourself the green light for better sales now and record-beating performance when the market accelerates again.
Nationally recognized sales management and leadership expert Danita Bye built her reputation on building and inspiring process-oriented, no excuse, high-performance sales teams that deliver bottom line results. With her unique Fortune-100-turned-entrepreneur perspective, Danita helps CEOs and company presidents take their businesses to the next level. Her practical, no-nonsense approach to sales management, combined with her leadership acumen, enables sales leadership to increase sales, creating predictable revenue streams.
As a 10-year veteran of the Xerox Corporation, Danita consistently achieved award winning sales performance before leaving to become an equity partner and national sales manager for a Minneapolis-based medical device company. In this capacity, she increased annual revenues from $300,000 to a run rate of $20 million in just ten years.
Danita has authored numerous articles on sales management and leadership. In addition, she was a featured as a sales development expert on the TV show, “The Ruthless Entrepreneur,” which is currently airing on the Oxygen Network. Leadership Shift, Management Acceleration and a library of eBooks on critical sales management issues are available on the Sales Growth Specialists’ website.
Danita can be reached at Danita@SalesGrowthSpecialists.com, 612-267-3320 or 800-256-2799.
For more insights on Sales Process, visit www.SalesGrowthSpecialists.com.
© Copyright 2011, Danita Bye, Sales Growth Specialists, All Rights Reserved.
Contributor: Danita Bye
Published here on: 24-Apr-11