Power Tools : Numbers and Habits

Numbers and Habits

This is so simple and has so much common sense attached to this, but unfortunately most people or managers of a sales organization will say “Hey, Hal is dead on here, and I know it will work, so I will start to do this when I have a little more time.”

Even when the time comes and you do implement this, in most cases after a couple of weeks, sales managers will gravitate to their “old way” of doing business.

So, let me get right to the point, if you do this straight forward and simple concept and stay consistent, and yes I said consistent, in 120 days you will see at least a 9% increase in sales. That is guaranteed, and it will happen to you and your organization, regardless of what product or service your company might sell.

Here is the first question I must ask you before we begin to explore an area of management that will change the way that you interact with your sales force. Are you a practice coach or a reactive manager? In other words are you letting your day run you or are you in charge of your business day and the team?

From this moment on, remember that your job is to be a coach and that responsibility is very clear, which is to take the salespeople that work with you to higher levels of performance. You are not in the sales game any longer, which means that you are not selling any more or taking over sales calls to help save the day. You are the coach and the coach is on the sidelines watching the game and instructing, not jumping in and making plays....... period!

Let’s explore the two areas that you will focus on now, and then for the rest of your career as a sales managers or a leader of a team of salespeople.

Habits: This is where the action is, or as we say in sales profession “in the field.” The field can be a showroom at a car dealership or the many desks of a call center from a company that has inside salespeople. It can be the retail floor space at a furniture store or the office of a prospect, if your salespeople go out to make business to business calls. In other words, “the field” is where there is interaction with the customer.

This is where you work with the salesperson and observe their behavior, personality, selling skills (or lack their of), and their product and competitive knowledge. The key word here is observe. You cannot talk and try to correct them in the field. This is where you get to provide necessary feedback to help them grow and develop proper selling habits.

The time observed can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as a couple of hours. You do not need to spend all day with each and every salesperson. In fact, the more times each month that you are with each salesperson, the more you will notice different skills in different situations with a variety of personality types.

Numbers: This goes hand in hand with “field time” and why these two areas must connect with each other. By being in the field, you get to witness first hand the different personality types and their individual skill level, now you get to look at their performance.

This is accomplished by doing “one on ones.” These one on ones are to cover their individual numbers or sales quotas on what they are supposed to do each and every day. The key difference here is not to just have a monthly sales meeting after the month is over, but to meet the sales people during the month to monitor their sales targets.

The three areas you want to look at each and every week, is simple and very basic.

  1. Their calendar for the week that just ended.
  2. Their calendar for the upcoming week.
  3. A list of their prospects.

As far as I am concerned this is all that is important. I can see if they have been working by looking at heir calendar and seeing what appointments they have had. I can also see what appointments they have coming up for the following week to monitor that they are continuing to work.

Lastly, by continually checking their prospect list you can see what prospects have closed, what is still pending and what new ones that have been added.

This one on one time is not going to be once in a while or when sales are down. This must happen all the time like a work out program or anything else you want to maintain. The minute you digress from this simple action plan you will notice your sales slipping again and the probable turnover of salespeople or your team.

So don’t forget to be a proactive coach rather than a reactive manager!

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