I have spent a third of my life in sales or sales management. I have seen sales organizations create success but I have also seen numerous ways others that have created failure.
My goal is to take what I have learned (that has worked and not worked) – the amazing and usually simple things that can be done to set up a sales team with the right balance of structure and systems to help non-superstar sales people achieve superstar level results.
My desire is to assist as many organizations create the most amount of success possible for themselves. If an organization is achieving great results then that means their employees are happy and attaining their own goals, and they are generating Raving Fan level customers!
In my experience there are nine categories that a Sales Team/Organization should focus on optimizing relative to sales and revenue goals. Within each section there are some basic questions that management/ownership should be able to answer. [If they/you can’t answer them all, or you do not like the answers – keep scrolling to the bottom]
1. Sales Strategy – Selling techniques, consistent sales formula, scripts, rebuttals
Is there a well-established sales formula for success on how to make the sale consistently?
Is this formula simple enough for a new rep to use and succeed at?
Are your reps intentional about creating Raving Fans during the sales process with the goal of generating future referrals?
2. Sales Management – Leading, coaching, goal/quota setting, performance improvement, feedback, accountability
What type of marketing lead system are you using for your team, and is that the best lead source for your rep skill level and office culture?
Do you know the optimal amount of leads that your reps should be handling per day? How are they doing relative to that benchmark of volume?
What is your target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)? What is your team’s CPA during any given period? What is your minimum performance requirement for the CPA for a single rep?
Do your managers’ focus on bringing up the ‘bottom’ or helping the top reps achieve more? (Or a combination)
3. Sales Training – New rep training, ongoing education, learning management systems
Do all your reps receive the same initial training program? If you were to start another office location, is the training built such that reps in the new office would get the same training?
What would happen to your training program (short term) if your trainer were to quit tomorrow?
How do you measure your trainer’s performance to determine the quality and effectiveness of their output?
4. Sales Call Analysis & Feedback – Live/Recorded sales interaction monitoring, consistent feedback sessions
What percentage of your front line managers’ day or week is spent reviewing live or recorded rep sales interactions with the goal of finding ways for the rep to improve their effectiveness?
How often do your managers give structured feedback to a rep based on their sales interactions?
How often do your managers give unstructured (spontaneous, in the moment) feedback to a rep?
5. Closing Percentage Consistency – Slump avoidance, expected closing results
How do you handle performance improvement coaching when a rep gets themselves into a slump?
Do your managers know how to identify the early warning signs that a rep is headed towards a slump?
Do the managers have a time table based on historical sales team performance statistics of when rep slumps general occur?
6. Script Writing & Analysis – What to say, when to say it, how it’s being said, correct balance with scripting
Do your new reps have structured scripting to use until they reach reset performance milestones?
What is the expected closing percentage for a rep who uses your scripting or sales process?
How often do you make changes to your scripting/objection responses/sales process with the goal of increasing closing performance?
7. Call Center Management – Proactive and reactive management, constant performance awareness
Do your front line managers know at any point in the work day where each rep is at with their current lead/call or what they need to be doing next?
Do your front line managers know at any point in the work day how many leads each rep has spoken with and how many sales they have closed?
8. Systems & Processes – Managing to strengths, systems for consistent results
Do you have the right people on your management team and in the right positions?
Are your sales reps in the correct place for themselves based on their personality type and skill set?
What systems and processes have you built to ensure consistent, predictable, long term results?
Even if it not your goal, have you built your sales organization in such a way that you could open up multiple separate locations and yield consistent results? (McDonald’s model)
9. Reporting, Analytics & Analysis – KPIs, data analysis, scheduled reporting
Do you know your expected Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at the rep/team/branch/org level?
How often is management reviewing metrics to determine if corrective actions are necessary?
Do front line managers have access to key data points to help the team win during the day?
If you could answer all of those questions and your sales team is performing at or above the needed levels – congratulations. Keep doing what you are doing!
If you did not know the answers to all those basic questions, or you team is underperforming or is inconsistent from one week to the next, then we should talk. I can provide performance improvement guidance to help short and long term, and it might make sense for us to work together to get your team to where you envision their performance to be.
If you do not have a sales team for your product/service but know that you want one, and when you read through all those questions and categories you feel overwhelmed as to how to build and manage it all – then we should definitely talk. I truly enjoy building out, testing, and growing new sales departments and teams.