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A Six-Point Roadmap to Better Sales Potential

March 07, 2016
By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer


Every company wants better sales, even if it seems like sending sales reps to get blood from a stone. There are generally some things that can be done to help, though, and six key points—starting with the sales manager—can really drive sales, according to a report from Business2Community.


Start with fair and realistic expectations; is the sales manager able to focus on management, or is the sales manager just a glorified sales rep? While some selling is all right—it provides insight into conditions on the ground—the sales manager's job should focus on management to be the most effective.

A sales manager's sales are never going to be as good as an improved sales force's sales should generate, so make sure at least 75 percent of a sales manager's time is spent managing. Focus on this point at the highest levels, complete with activity breakdowns geared toward keeping that 75 percent management goal.

Don't forget about hiring; the sales manager must make the sales team grow, and not just in overall quality. Hiring new reps should be a priority, and making said hires into successes should be an even greater priority. Remember, growth can't be achieved without new input, so not providing that input limits the amount of growth the system can achieve.

Consider skills evaluations for sales managers, as well as sales reps; finding deficiencies in skills can be a great tool to find the best people, and get those people into the slots where the best return can be had.

Don't forget about corporate culture; sometimes even the best sales reps and managers can be a disaster in the wrong system. A toxic sales culture has perverted the best sales reps before, and it can happen to any company. Things like missing customer relationship management (CRM) tools or compensation schemes that reward wrong behavior can be a huge problem for companies.

Finally, remember accountability. The sales manager is holding sales reps accountable, but who's holding the sales manager accountable? If the answer is “no one” or “I don't know,” that's an answer worth changing, ASAP.

These points change for those who are doing double-duty as the sales manager and the CEO, but for those most part, this set of six points will likely light a fire under sales numbers. Naturally, it's not bulletproof. If no one's got money to buy, then it doesn't matter how good the sales rep, the value proposition, or the product in general is. Sales are also limited by product quality, reputation in the market, and other issues. While a sales manager can't make the brand trustworthy overnight or put a few extra dollars in everyone's pocket, a sales manager can make the most of the opportunities that exist.

In the end, we all want growth, but we all must work to get there. Keeping track of these behaviors and putting them to use should help, even if sometimes conditions don't cooperate.




Edited by Rory J. Thompson



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