November 1, 2011 by Bob Hill
Posted in: closing, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Leadership, sales management, Special Report - Sales & Marketing, training
Sometimes the cause of flat sales is less about the economy and more about what’s going on internally.
Managers need to remain cautious to avoid the common pitfalls that could have a negative impact on their salespeople, according to Nuts & Bolts of Sales Management author John Treace.
In a recent article, Treace listed seven “deadly sins” of sales management that could spell doom for an entire department. We’ve broken those seven down to three central areas every manager needs to monitor and attend to on a regular basis (or face the consequences):
- Dust-ups with Marketing. Service and Marketing are the two departments Sales should always work hand-in-hand with. And yet, at most companies, Sales and Marketing are constantly at odds over allocation of resources, the tone of collateral and the implementation of new ideas. More than 85% of world-class companies have their Sales and Marketing departments completely aligned (compared to less than 30% of average companies). Sales and Marketing should be located next to one another (in the office), should attend each other’s meetings, be CC’d on each other’s emails, and gain group consensus on any/all major decisions effecting both departments.
- Metrics. It’s a manager’s job to diagnose where a team is coming up short and prescribe the right solution. But if closing rates are the only/primary metric being focused on (or rewarded), chances are reps will never identify or sharpen the skill areas that are really holding them back. Sales managers needs to step back and pinpoint where the initial problem is occurring, then attack that area on all fronts (rather than simply demanding salespeople pick up the pace).
- Follow through on consequences. People rarely alter their behavior if there’s no consequence for ignorance. While every Sales department claims to have consequences in place to discourage certain behaviors, very few managers follow through on those consequences, especially if they involve considerable ramifications. That creates a vacuum in which reps don’t feel any urgency to change what they’re doing or even maintain minimum performance standards.
Source: “The Seven Deadly Sins of Sales Management,” by John Treace, Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, 10/3/11.