I am Captain of The Obvious

For a moment, allow me to be “Captain of The Obvious” in the sales world:

“You don’t know what you don’t know”

And another famous cliché:

“It is what it is”

Let me explain why I’m using clichés to begin this post. The essence of what it means to be a Sales Manager in today’s marketplace is to work in clichés. You sit in sales meetings reviewing pipelines, arguing (again) the definition of a “qualified” deal with each rep. Your team members passionately describe how “good” their deals are, but half their opportunities are “stretched” over 60 days, and nothing seems to be moving. You need to hire a new rep, but takes 3 months because your HR person “doesn’t have a good job description”. More important, you sense the frustration in your management team peers, and worse your CEO keeps asking, “Why can’t we change this situation?”

Arguably the clichés above point to a certain resignation in the sales organization, and in management itself, that these problems are commonplace. And by commonplace, it follows that somebody ought to know how to fix these issues, or at least know enough to have a plan for addressing them. But when push comes to shove, the “why” question continues to be asked and the problems seem to be chronic. Continue reading “I am Captain of The Obvious”

Advertisements

Are you a Sales MANAGER or a Sales MAN-ager?

It’s often the case that “good” Sales people are promoted to Sales Management.  I personally know of only one exception where a “good athlete” manager (who was the Purchasing Director) was promoted to become a Sales Manager.  I myself graduated from selling to Sales Management  (Click here for the story about how I became a top performing Sales Manager).

Are you are Sales MANAGER, or are you a Sales MAN-ager?

 

Continue reading “Are you a Sales MANAGER or a Sales MAN-ager?”

Don’t Confuse Sales with CRM

CRM has had a huge impact on executive perceptions about what it really takes to manage sales teams.  I credit CRM vendors for selling the benefits of CRM while minimizing the extensive planning and implementation effort that went into accruing those benefits. (Hence, the phrase, “Never confuse selling with delivery!”)

Because of this, I think that senior management and Sales leaders mistake what is done in CRM for sales management.   Yes, you can monitor sales pipeline and activities in CRM, but what did you do to establish the fundamentals behind these outputs before you started using the tool?

I would argue that managing Sales has nothing to do with CRM at all.  After all, there was Sales before there were computers and CRM tools. Certainly CRM helps you perform sales and management tasks more efficiently, but it’s only a tool.  It’s not the endgame.

Continue reading “Don’t Confuse Sales with CRM”

My Sales Coach

I am a big fan of Harvey Mackay.  Recently, I had the opportunity to read his new book, “The MacKay MBA of Selling in the Real World”.  The reason I like Mr. MacKay’s books (I have read or own most of them) is that I subscribe to his philosophies about belief, trust, confidence, and most of all, seeking out people as coaches.  While I may never actually speak with Mr. MacKay or meet him face to face (one of my personal life goals), he plays an important role in my selling efforts:

Harvey Mackay is in fact, my Sales Coach. Continue reading “My Sales Coach”

It’s Easy to Do Things Poorly

Working with a variety of senior executives, sales managers and sales contributors on a daily basis provides me with many opportunities to observe how committed they are to success. What success means to me is that you must mind the details, communicate more exceptionally and do the extra work that makes the difference between average and top sales performance. It includes updating customer content and activities in CRM when you know that takes extra time and effort, always sending a brief but appreciative thank you message to a potential customer, or going the “extra mile” when a customer makes an unusual request.

In Sales, it’s easy to do things poorly.

Continue reading “It’s Easy to Do Things Poorly”