Sales Management. Simplified.: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results
I love sales and helping salespeople excel at developing new business. But what I love even more is experiencing a high-performance, results-focused, winning sales team with solid leadership, smart talent management, a strong sales culture, and a sound sales process. My two primary goals in writing Sales Management. Simpliﬁed. are to bluntly share the reasons so few sales organizations today exhibit these characteristics, and to offer a simple, actionable framework that sales managers and senior executives can adopt to create dramatic and lasting sales performance improvement.
I was compelled to write this book because of what I’m observing in companies where I consult, coach, and speak. Everywhere I turn, sales managers are overwhelmed and often confused, and executives are frustrated. Managers are working harder and longer than ever, yet accomplishing less. The noise from supposed sales “experts” is deafening. We have more sales tools, toys, gimmicks, and processes than any human being could possibly digest, and we are constantly being told that “everything has changed.” Instead of returning to the tried-and-true basics of sales management, sales leaders live daily searching for new answers.
This book is divided into two distinct parts. Part One delivers the straight truth about why so many sales organizations are failing to deliver the desired results. Be forewarned: I did not hold back or mince words. My intention is for Chapters 1–16 to serve as a loud wakeup call. Very often, what is believed to be a sales problem turns out to be a leadership and culture problem. So, if you are a sales leader or a corporate executive and your salespeople gave you this book, please don’t hold it against them. Be angry with me for stirring the pot. If they had the guts to ask you to read this, believe me, they want to succeed as badly as you do!
In Part One you will read true stories about real sales managers and real executives in real companies, big and small. My hope is that seeing their situations will cause you to pause and take a long look in the mirror to evaluate yours with fresh eyes and a new perspective.
I’ll tackle topics ranging from company leadership diverting and distracting sales managers from their primary job and burying them with unimaginable amounts of crap, to silly compensation plans that reward salespeople for babysitting customers acquired years ago. I shine the spotlight on self-proclaimed “sales expert” executives who deﬂate salespeople with their pontiﬁcating and micromanagement, while also reminding charismatic, visionary entrepreneurs that their salespeople require a tad more clarity and support than they tend to realize.
After reading Part One, sales managers may think twice before putting on the ﬁre chief’s helmet and attempting to solve their company’s every problem. Hopefully, many will come to agree that you can’t effectively lead a sales team via email or with your head buried in CRM screens! And above all, sales managers will become convinced that much of their time is spent on low-value, low-payoff activities instead of on the sales leadership essentials outlined in the second half of the book.
Part Two presents a very simple, practical sales management framework that any company or leader can implement. We will examine the characteristics of a healthy sales culture and learn how to create one. Managers will be challenged to radically reorient their calendars to maximize time spent on high-value activities that include conduct-ing regular results-focused 1:1 meetings with each of their people; leading productive sales team meetings that energize, equip, and align their teams; and working alongside salespeople as a true coach, manager, and mentor.
In Chapter 18, I take you behind the scenes for an in-depth look at the single healthiest sales culture I’ve ever experienced. Chapter 20 offers practical tips to signiﬁcantly ramp up accountability without coming across as a micromanager or demotivating salespeople. Chapter 21 not only paints the picture of what sales team meetings can be, but also offers ideas for agenda items and help for exhausted sales managers who carry too much of the burden for leading sales meetings.
Chapter 23 challenges you to rethink the sales roles at your company as I make my best case that zookeepers won’t hunt no matter how hard you push them—and that you’d have more sales if your few true hunters were freed up to do more of what they do best. I also describe practical ways to keep your A-players happy and on your team, and how to coach up or coach out your underperformers quickly.
Chapters 24 through 26 cover the sales leader’s responsibilities to point the team toward strategic targets, to arm the team with the weapons necessary to win, and to monitor the battle in real time. These managers also get one ﬁnal reminder that they’re ultimately judged by the results of their team, not the amount of work they do. Therefore, they must master the art of becoming selﬁshly productive to take back control of their calendars and focus on the sales management essentials that truly move the performance needle.
Thank you for joining me on this journey to ﬁrst look at what may be hindering sales performance and then at simple ways you can start getting exceptional results from your sales team.
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|February 11, 2020|
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