Although we’re a month into the New Year, a lot of sales managers are still reviewing results from last year and setting goals for the New Year. As they reflect on what worked and didn’t work so well last year, one area that will undoubtedly come under scrutiny is the sales team.
According to bizjournals.com writer Colleen Stanley, there are three excuses that the sales team gives for less than stellar performance.
Time – Sales team members often complain about a lack of time to search out new leads. They cite managing current clients and/or handling unexpected issues. If these are true conditions within a business, then the sales manager may need to revamp the sales model and team structure to identify if there is a need for specialized roles to handle leads, client relations, and account management.
If time management is the real reason why the sales team is unable to multi-task, then some coaching may be needed. A good time study and calendar review during the coaching session may identify missed opportunities or poor use of time.
Leads – Sales and marketing both have input when it comes to leads. Sales may say that they are not getting enough “good” or qualified leads; however, the marketing team will insist that they generated plenty of valuable leads and that the sales team just didn’t know how to close the deal.
Ms. Stanley suggests that instead of getting caught in the middle of this debate, involve the marketing team in sales and involve sales in marketing. Invite someone from marketing to shadow a sales call to get a better understanding. Encourage the sales team to provide suggestions and ideas to marketing.
Price – Sales team members may state that the cost of a product or service is not allowing them to find customers. The sales manager may adjust the pricing and yet the customers are still not buying. It becomes a question of maybe it’s the product or the sales person and not the price.
A solution for this is to identify common themes among those who do buy the product or service and find out why and then apply that reasoning to get new customers. Perhaps you offer a unique customer service experience that is priceless to the buyer. Market that. Sell that. The sales team will be able to use features over price to sell the product or service and then this excuse can be eliminated.
Sales Managers should strive to get out of the business of buying the excuses the sales team is selling them. There’s a saying that when someone wants to do something, they will find a way and when they don’t, they’ll find an excuse.
During sales coaching sessions, the Sales Managers will need to make sure that they listen to what their sales team is saying and then make sure that they make it clear that they want to be focused on end results and not the excuses.
Einstein Marketing Group can help you begin the conversation about managing your sales team for maximum results. Contact us today!