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5 Keys to Leading Sales During Uncertain Times
It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a major impact on the economy. In 2020, the world was brought to a halt as people were quarantined at home and many workplaces transitioned to remote work. This sudden change caused a rapid decrease in demand, and many industries saw their sales numbers plummet. However, now that things are returning to “normal”, we’re seeing a lot of industries recover. Many businesses have been able to adapt to the new landscape and are seeing their sales numbers return to pre-pandemic levels. It’s clear that the pandemic has been a major disruption, but it’s also clear that the economy is resilient and can bounce back from hardship.
I am no economist, but it seems that some of the recent problems – worker shortage, supply issues, etc.- just took longer to reveal themselves and the recent interest rate hikes are an attempt to correct things.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your business will always face both good and bad times. You’ll celebrate record growth and stare down stunning losses. The key is to always stay professional and informative, regardless of the situation. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to weathering any storm that comes your way.
Leading your team to weather the storm in uncertain times
Do I have the Right People in Place?
- Leadership: Leadership is one of the most important aspects in any business. Are your leaders holding their direct reports accountable to their sales targets and the leading indicator activities that assure productivity is on course? Do they own the team’s success and work to find solutions? Make sure you have someone in place who knows how to get the most out of their people through coaching and development.
- Sales Team : Are your salespeople hitting their goals consistently? Do they generate enough revenue and efficiently move prospects through your defined sales process? We all have bad streaks, but if your team is putting in the right activities, sales pipelines should reflect progress that gives you confidence the deals will follow. Sticking to the fundamentals of the sales process and continually working on deal positioning are essential. If your people aren’t doing that, then it’s time to assess if they are the right people on your team.
- Platform for Success : Do you have your sales organization set up for optimum performance? For your team to succeed, roles and responsibilities need to be clearly outlined, target markets must be defined, your value proposition needs to enable your go-to market strategy, etc.
Drive the Right Sales Behavior
- Align with Company Objectives :The most important step in establishing a strong framework for growth is understanding what your business needs and wants from you. This serves as a compass to guide your sales plan and ensures strategic growth in establishing a strong framework for growth is understanding what your business needs and wants from you.
- Design The Right Sales Compensation Plan: Incentivize your salespeople to perform not only every quarter but each and every day. Make sure they know what they are being measured on and how they can meet expectations. Create a sales environment where they can excel. The Best Efforts Will Be Rewarded With success.
- Create Score Card Visibility : One of the most important aspects of sales success is having visibility into the key sales activity data. create a dashboard that shines a spotlight on the dials and levers that control sales success. This visibility gives you and your team the actionable insight to course correct as needed to ensure goals are met.
How to build an accountable sales culture
- Keep Stats and Track Performance : Make sure you identify the ‘right’ metrics. As a simple example, conversion metrics are much more valuable than counting sales calls because they tell us howSuccessful our operations have been over time! Don’t bog down your team with useless data entry–instead capture vital info that measures success in order to improve future efforts.
- Own the Process :Your sales team needs to know that their success depends on their own actions. They must follow the steps you outline for them in a proven sales process and work to improve their results. They need to understand that their results are driven by the effort they put in.
- Be the Coach: Clear communication is the key to success for any team. The best way you can help your sales leaders be successful, it’s by providing them with consistent one-on-one meetings where they’ll get feedback on what needs work and how their performance will directly impact whether or not bonuses are given out at year end. A coach typically has very open dialogue about strategy in order create an environment that encourages collaboration among teammates; this allows everyone involved — from top performers down through those who aren’t hitting numbers—to focus more efficiently than ever before
How Should I Structure My Sales Team to Meet Growth Goals?
- The Ideal Sales Structure : It’s easy to think there is one way of organizing a successful sales team, but every industry has its own unique framework for success. There are still some key roles you must fill no matter what your product or service offerings.
- Hunter vs. Farmer Selling Roles : There are two basic functions of a sales team: bring in new customers and retain/grow current accounts. You need the right people for these roles to succeed.
- Proper Support for Sales Teams : The modern salesperson is a busy person. They’re constantly being pulled away from their important work to answer phones, track down missing shipments or complaints from customers who want things resolved right away so they can go on with life as if nothing happened – which happens all too often! To help combat this problem it’s best that you create structures in your company where certain tasks are delegated instead of having everyone do everything under one roof- especially when some jobs require more expertise than others does.
How Long Does It Take to Fix a Sales Team?
- Discovery & Assessment : The first step is identifying the moving parts of your organization and highlighting the large gaps and large successes your team is experiencing.
- Design & Implement: I design processes, tools and systems to fit each business’s individual needs in this crucial stage.
- Adoption: This is where we see the fruits of our labors. At this point, we’ve gone through the stage of rewiring how your sales organization operates, implemented multiple processes, and are starting to see the revenue goals take off. This is an ongoing phase – you will continue to iterate and improve.
While you can’t control the environment you live in, you can decide what your response will be.
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If you’d like to discuss additional ways your salespeople can sharpen their skills to generate and convert more leads, contact me through any of these methods: (404)271-6767 or [email protected] , or book a call through my Scheduling Tool.
Another helpful resource I offer is a custom report you will receive after investing 2-minutes taking my Sales Agility Assessment.
I also invite you to follow me on LinkedIn to gain exposure to future article posts that will offer more valuable selling insights.
I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.
Dan is the President of Transcendent Sales Solutions, a company that empowers companies with sales strategies to accelerate revenue growth.