When it comes to ensuring a salesperson’s success, effective sales management is essential.
Calls for my help with an underperforming rep typically go like this:
Manager: “My sales rep isn’t closing deals. Should I let him go?”
Me: “Well, that depends. Was he trained? Does he know what’s expected of him? Is he using a sales touch plan? Are you holding him accountable?”
Manager: “Well, I hired him with experience, so I assumed he knew what to do.”
Me: “I’ve found that even people with experience need 3 things: 1) clarity about what is expected of them, 2) training to deliver your firm’s solutions, and 3) to be held accountable and coached consistently.
Manager: “Maybe I have some work to do before I give up on him…”
If you’re responsible for managing salespeople, do these five things to optimize their success.
Ensure your rep has a quality target account list. Downloading a generic list of companies and handing it to your rep doesn’t qualify. Look at your clients and where you are most successful. Who is your firm’s ideal prospect? What industries are growing in your market? What skills are in high demand that your firm can provide? Optimize your rep’s success by making sure he’s fishing in the right pond.
Give your rep a scripted sales touch plan. Top salespeople are consistent and persistent. Success in today’s digital world requires a variety of marketing tactics just to get a prospect’s attention. The right sales training will come with a detailed touch plan designed to get a response from the hiring manager. “Today, you’ll do this and say this. Three days later, you’ll do that and say that.” And so on…
Make sure your rep knows exactly what he must produce to achieve his quota. This requires reviewing your new business development history for an estimated win rate. You’ll want your rep to carry a pipeline of qualified prospects large enough for him to exceed his quota based on that rate. If you have no historical data, start with a conservative 25%.
Provide weekly activity metrics and track progress. Not knowing what your rep is doing each day is unsettling. Visibility to the quantity and quality of his sales activity is crucial. Start with the Top 5 KPIs: how many touches, meetings, contracts, job orders and placements does he need to attain each week? Monitor these in your CRM.
Have weekly one-on-ones. What gets measured gets done, but these meetings aren’t just about reviewing his numbers. Routine meetings with your rep enable you to coach him through obstacles to success.
Finally, if you’re light on staffing sales experience yourself and want more help, just call us!