Sales Management Essentials

This page contains information about the Basic Essentials of Sales Management
Essentials of sales management

Much of the content is taken from the ebook that you can download here, which is supplemented by other content such as videos, blog articles, and more. All of this content will help you to build a solid foundation for your sales management career.

On this page we cover the Basic Essentials of Sales Management role:

Hitting the Ground Running!

Malik’s 5 Fundamentals of Management

You need to be personally highly organized and self-disciplined – managing your time and where you place your focus is the starting point of management. If you can’t manage yourself, you can’t manage others.

You must understand what is important to whomever you report to and focus on delivering that. Make sure both you and your manager agree in writing what your goals are so there are no misunderstandings going forward.

This means whether it is external partners & vendors or members of other departments in the organization, learning how to interact efficiently with each is critical.

You need to figure out how to collaborate and build positive relationships with other managers – particularly those in departments critical in supporting sales such as Marketing or Customer Support

If you have mastered the first 4, then managing those who report to becomes much easier because you have cleared any external obstacles and allowed them to concentrate on selling.

Key Management Principles

The E-book “Theory Made Real: Pipeline CRM Puts Principles Into Practice” provides you with a blueprint for how to apply these timeless principles that will help keep you on track.

Focus on Results

Contribution to the whole

Easy user rights management

Administering Pipeliner rarely a full time job

Huge time and cost savings

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At Pipeliner, we operate on principles instead of values. The difference between these two terms is significant. Values are dependent upon: culture, time, era, language, business sector, geographical location, and other factors. They are highly contextualized…

No, we do not believe that automation—and further along, artificial intelligence and robotics—will replace people. Suffice it to say that automation is enabling and creating new jobs. Additionally, I believe that automation will empower the human aspect of life, not lessen or remove it. Come with me on this journey to discover how automation is not replacing life, but enhancing it!

Nikolaus Kimla CEO of Pipeliner CRMNikolaus Kimla, CEO at Pipelinersales, Inc.

Virtues of Management

The freedom that today’s technology provides requires that a responsible operating system is built on some timeless virtues.

MODERATION (Temperantia)

Moderation is key to management and in sales management, such as collect data wisely – don’t overload your team with data requirements.

FAIRNESS (Lustitia)

Fairness is characterized by being impartial and just – Treat all team members equally, be fair in how you reward, and model fairness.

CHARITY (Caritas)

Charity is about kindness and tolerance. It means setting your team members up for success or giving someone who is struggling, the chance to excel at a job better suited to them.

TRUST (Fides)

You must trust in those you lead so that they will trust you. You must make yourself worthy of their trust so that when times are hard they will come through for you.

WISDOM (Sapientia)

Wisdom is intelligence used with judgment, such as who to hire, how to manage them both collectively and individually.

FORTITUDE (Fortitudo)

Fortitude is the mental or emotional strength that enables courage in the face of adversity, such as how to manage the expectations of senior management.

HOPE (Spes)

Hope creates belief such as coaching and working closely with each member of the sales team to show them how they can reach their quotas creates belief in themselves.

Managing Salespeople

Keep your sales compensation and commission plans simple and easy to calculate. Incentivize overperformance by not capping commissions — this drives salespeople to redouble their efforts in the latter part of the year instead of taking their foot off the pedal.

Coach your salespeople and Mentor them. Then it is up to them to perform. But once you have done that and you see no improvement, you have to be willing to let them go. Otherwise, you cannot grow.

Sales is really not a team sport. It’s not like soccer, hockey or football—it isn’t a group of people all cooperating to move to a single goal. People have tried to operate sales teams this way, but it never works. You’re never going to get a group of salespeople to agree to be paid a “team commission” or some such if the team reaches a goal.

But even so, a sales manager has to create a team spirit. And because a sales team is composed of such vastly different individuals, all self-motivated, it’s definitely a tricky business

In today’s sales environment, perception is everything. Your sales reps have reputations that rapidly spread online–good or bad. Guess what? As a sales manager, so do you! If you are perceived as a manager that helps, that reps can rely on, then you’ll be able to rely on your reps, too.

And they’ll be able to recommend you, as one of their customers would recommend them.

If you have salespeople who are great at opening doors and creating opportunities but not great at closing, then rather than try to improve their closing skills keep them focused on filling the early stages of the pipeline. Focus those salespeople who are good at developing and closing opportunities on the later stages.

Everyone will be happier and more successful as a result.

There are some fundamental rules that you need to follow as a Sales Manager:

  1. Never get in competition with your salesperson.
  2. Never summarily overrule a salesperson.
  3. Never sell for them Save.

Sales is about effective results. So you need to measure those results.

For example:

  • How many (outbound) leads does a rep bring in? Of what quality?
  • How many inbound leads does a rep convert?
  • What is the average length of time for a rep’s lead conversion?
  • What percentage of leads does a rep “heat up” and make ready for primetime sales?
  • What percentage of leads does a rep convert to opportunities?
  • What is the average length of time it takes a rep to bring an opportunity to a successful close?
  • What is a rep’s closing ratio—the percentage of opportunities closed?
  • How good is a rep at upselling? At cross-selling?

Remove extraneous administration from salespeople’s jobs and allow them to focus more on high-value activities.

Pipeliner CRM has inbuilt automation and workflows that allow companies to automate many of the mundane and repetitive tasks that weigh salespeople down.

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Tom Landry, the legendary football coach, once remarked, “The secret to winning is constant, consistent management,” which is a perfect summation of what it takes not only to win Super Bowls but also to manage a winning sales team. The key for sales leaders lies in constantly focusing on those activities where they can provide clarity for salespeople, coach and improve their sales techniques, and add value to their opportunities and accounts, and doing all of this consistently within a predictable framework. To achieve this there are five fundamental management activities that effective sales leaders leverage to build and maintain successful, winning sales teams.

Focusing on the five fundamentals of effective sales management places control firmly back in the hands of the sales leader.

John Golden, CMSO Pipelinersales Inc.

Sales Technology

Selecting the right sales technology  & sales management tools will be a critical part of your success. There are many considerations so here is an ebook that will make this process so much easier.

What are the benefits for both salesperson & sales manager
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How easy is it to learn & use?
Is it flexible enough to adapt to your business?
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How fast can it be implemented?
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Can you automate key processes?
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For any company, selecting a CRM solution and sales management software for a company is a major undertaking. Gartner has just provided an in-depth guide for doing so entitled “Select the Best-Suited CRM Solution with Gartner’s Evaluation Model”.

Gartner’s guide is meant as a highly technical guide for an analyst, and we’ll be using it as a reference for this ebook. But a point I made recently is that many times the wrong people—often a combination of executive and IT personnel—make decisions for which CRM system a company should adopt.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke, Science-fiction writer

Additional Resources