Tag Archives: sales leadership

Which Half of Your Sales Management Effort is Working?

John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half!”

This is, of course, the reason frequency is such an important element of marketing.

It is also an important element of selling and of sales management. We must be diligent in our efforts to maintain a proactive and persistent posture when selling, and we must do the same when engaged in sales management; which many believe is simply a “higher level of selling.”

The key reason for this fact is that we can never be sure about which component of our effort is going to be effective at any specific time.

In other words, time spent coaching a Rep today may, in fact, pay off immediately or it may not pay off for a month or two; time spent presenting good reasons for a policy or procedure may not truly result in team buy-in on the spot, but might do so over time. Just like John Wanamaker, we just can’t be sure.

If we fail to interact with our customers, prospects or sales people with sufficient frequency, and if we fail to reaffirm the value associated with our products, services and our organizations, as well as our personal value, then we will most likely fail as sales people and sales managers.

This requires consistent, straightforward and strategic communication. Not only must we possess strong communication skills, but we must also (as the term implies) plan our approach. While many tend to think about communication in terms of “speaking,” the truly critical skills are:

  • Planning
  • Probing
  • Listening
  • Proactive style

As prudent sales managers, we must be aware of the critical role our communication plays in the day-to-day execution of our jobs, and the significant impact it has on the people we lead… how it can help us engage the team!

Thus the importance of the above-listed critical skills.

We should also be ever-aware of the importance of establishing and reaffirming our personal value — the value we provide to our sales team each and every day; the value we provide by helping them achieve success; the value we provide by helping them maintain focus on the right things; the value we provide by helping the close business; and the value we provide by continually reminding them that the job can be done and they can do it.

Sales Leadership

The culture of any given enterprise is most often a reflection of its leadership, and the sales force tends to mirror that culture when interacting with customers and prospects.

“I’ve never seen a company that was able to satisfy its customers that did not also satisfy its employees,” said Larry Bossidy former CEO Allied Signal, Inc. “Employees will treat your customers no better than you treat your employees.”

Others suggest that an organization tends to sell in a fashion that is directly related to how the organization buys — in other words, if the organization evaluates suppliers and makes buying decisions based primarily on price, then they also tend to sell at lower margins; and vice-versa.

Either way, as leaders, we have a profound impact on how our sales people interact with the marketplace each day, because the direct and implied messages they convey to our customers are based upon their impressions of our position on a range of issues — from how we evaluate and buy things, to how we talk about and treat customers.

Similarly, if the sales force is not enjoying high-levels of success in the marketplace, our cultural approach to improving their approach — i.e., building upon strengths versus focusing on weaknesses — can significantly impact their success or failure.

So what can we do to positively lead or impact the selling process?

Here are 5 steps you can take…

Read more…

Sales Leads?

leadership4Looking at a familiar phrase from a different perspective, how does your organization’s leadership lead or impact the selling process?

Many experts agree that the culture of any given enterprise is a reflection of its leadership, and that the sales force tends to mirror that culture when interacting with customers and prospects.

“I’ve never seen a company that was able to satisfy its customers that did not also satisfy its employees,” said Larry Bossidy former CEO Allied Signal, Inc. “Employees will treat your customers no better than you treat your employees.”

As leaders, we have a profound impact on how our sales people interact with the marketplace each day, as both the direct and implied messages they convey are based upon their impressions of our position and posture on a range of issues, including how we talk about and treat customers.

Similarly, if the sales force is not enjoying high-levels of success in the marketplace, our cultural approach to improving their performance — i.e., building upon strengths versus focusing on weaknesses — can significantly impact their success or failure.

As stated in a report by Optima Media Group entitled Driving Corporate Culture for Business Success, “The CEO and the senior management team is the single most critical success factor in a culture change effort; they must personally live and role model cultural ethos.”

If this perspective rings true to you, read the full article for a list of five ways to positively lead or impact the selling process.

Sales Leads?

leadership4
Leadership can positively impact the sales process… or not!

Looking at a familiar phrase from a different perspective, how does your organization’s leadership lead or impact the selling process?

Many experts agree that the culture of any given enterprise is a reflection of its leadership, and that the sales force tends to mirror that culture when interacting with customers and prospects.

“I’ve never seen a company that was able to satisfy its customers that did not also satisfy its employees,” said Larry Bossidy former CEO Allied Signal, Inc. “Employees will treat your customers no better than you treat your employees.”

Read the full article for 5 ways leadership can positively impact sales…

Managing Quotes…

We came across a collection of insightful quotes recently, each of which applies nicely to those of us who might be involved in sales management or who are leading a team:

“The wishbone will never replace the backbone” —Will Henry 

“If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” —Ben Hogan 

“Every leader has a signature presence, a set of leadership assets that are as unique as their handwritten signature.” —Kathryn Cramer, Author 

“For myself I am an optimist… it does not seem to be much use being anything else.” —Winston Churchill 

One of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever face in life is whether to walk away or try harder.” —Unknown

“A leader is a dealer in hope.”—Napoleon

“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.”—John Maxwell