Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sales Management: Top 10 Things that keep Sales Managers up at night

As a sales centric organization, we are always interested in understanding what is important to Sales Managers & Leaders. We came across an interesting white paper article from Focus Media – Top 10 Things that keep Sales Managers up at night.

While they may not be the 10 ‘most worrisome’ items, what is interesting is the universal nature of the concern.

1.  Do the reps have a sales process. Which one may be irrelevant, but for now do they have one?

2.  Are they qualifying toward a sweet spot? I’m concerned if they’re chasing anything that moves. This implies qualifying skills, knowing the sweet spot and knowing how to qualify in or out relatively efficiently. Failing fast is an underrated skill.

3.  Rep turnover. If it’s high, even by design, there are some leaks in the foundation.

4.  How to shorten the sales cycle.

5.  Win percentage. Factor losses to ‘business as usual’ into the equation.

6.  Do my team and I know why we are winning and losing?

7.  How much sales coaching is my team getting? Am I coaching effectively?

8.  Is my team engaged? Professionally and personally.

9.  The customer! How do our customers perceive us? Are they satisfied? Are we addressing their needs? Are there additional needs we could be addressing?

10. Have I built an effective machine? In other words, do I know the right kinds of behaviors/activities and the metrics attached to those behaviors to get the results that my team needs to produce, and do I have a dashboard or investigative means that gives me a pretty quick, accurate assessment of where the team stands at any point in time toward getting those results.

Robert Koehler, Focus expert and Global BI Field Sales Enablement at Hewlett Packard

It is interesting that the top 10 things that keep Sales Managers awake is not how they are going to invest all the commissions and bonuses they are going to make or that their team is made up of rock stars.