Sales Management Essentials

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

Much of the contentContent Content refers to a material or document released in various forms (such as text, image, audio, and video) and created to inform, engage or influence specific audiences. 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

Malik

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 organizationOrganization Organization is a cohesive group of people working together and formally bound by a shared identity (e.g., one team, company, club, etc.) and a common purpose (e.g., business growth, athletic victory, etc.)., 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.

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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…

There certainly is no sales enablementSales Enablement Sales Enablement is a strategic process that provides a company’s sales professionals with tools, technology, training and other resources that improve their performance at customer engagement and at generating value for all stakeholders in the sales process. “magic bullet”—you utilize it and bang! instant results! People today will jump on any train when they hear it will bring immediate positive painless change—even as they know there is no such thing. It’s like trying to win a gold medal without doing any training, even though you know that can never happen.
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.

Managing Salespeople

Keep your sales compensationCompensation Compensation is the total payment and benefits an employee receives for rendering work — covering basic salary, allowances, commissions, bonuses, health insurance, pension plans, paid leaves, stock options, and other benefits. and commissionCommission Commission is the amount of money a sales professional earns for reaching a specific sales volume or for executing one or more business transactions. 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 inboundInbound Inbound refers to interest (could be sales or marketing driven) that comes in – e.g. cold emails to you, submitted forms on your website, press inquiries, etc. 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 upsellingUpselling Upselling is a selling technique where a seller introduces a more expensive, an upgrade, or add-on to a buyer to increase the average order value.? At cross-sellingCross-selling Cross-selling B2B is when a customer purchases a product and they are offered a second product at a discount or as a reward.?

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 goldenJohn 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.

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For any company, selecting a CRM solutionSolution Solution is a combination of ideas, strategies, processes, technologies and services that effectively helps an organization achieve its goals or hurdle its challenges. 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.

C. ClarkeArthur C. Clarke, Science-fiction writer

Additional Resources