Introduction and Overview

The overall goal of a Sales Manager is to be successful in achieving the objectives set by senior management. However, the major responsibility is to manage a sales team, which means that the Sales Manager cannot be successful unless his/her sales people are successful.

This program gives you an opportunity to learn and practice ideas, skills and tools to make your sales people more successful and you to function not only as a Sales Manager, but also as a Sales Leader.

The Profile of a Sales Leader

Typically, senior management defines the position of Sales Manager by the traditional responsibilities and metrics that are outlined in a position description. They tend to give financial performance metrics (the numbers) the most attention, which often just produces more activity and does not address factors and causes that create the numbers.

In contrast, Sales Leader's actions are directed to impact the effectiveness of his/her sales people so they successfully achieve their financial metrics. The Sales Leader focuses primarily on providing direction and support to his/her sales people that develops their ability to achieve their goals.

Sales Leaders know how to gain leverage because they know:

  • Why the numbers happen - the behavior, competence, motivation and activity of their sales people.

  • Why the numbers do not happen - gaps in behavior, competence, motivation and activity.

  • How to coach their sales people accordingly.

In this module we will look at the traditional the role of Sales Manager from an organizational perspective and transition to the much more influential and value added role as Sales Leader.

Sales Process, Skills & Tools

This module is designed to reacquaint you with the concepts, processes, skills and tools that are essential to your company's execution of its market strategy. The focus is on the working knowledge of sales behaviors that lead to success in your company's marketplace. Equipped with this understanding, you are in a better position to coach sales people-(reinforcing behaviors that lead to success) and addressing those behaviors that negatively impact success..

Developing Your Sales Team

Sales activity alone will not produce results. Excellent sales performance is built on a foundation of sales competence (Knowledge and Skills) and Willingness (the desire to do what is required to succeed). In this module, you are introduced to several tools to develop the competence and willingness of your sales team.

You will establish a Sales Effectiveness Profile for the perfect "10" sales person in your business environment. This profile defines and bench marks the specific competencies and Willingness factors that lead to success. It is then used as an assessment tool for determining the developmental needs for each member in your sales team.

You will leave this session with an acute awareness of what actions you must take to develop each member of your sales team.

Communication Styles

This module focuses on the human factors of the relationship between you and each member of your team. You will learn a practical model for understanding and communicating in a way that can be tailored for each member in your team.

All communication between you and your sales people can be improved by paying attention to the other person's communication style - the way a person talks and acts. This observable behavior reveals how an individual thinks, makes decisions and prefers to be treated.

This knowledge is valuable because it gives you the information needed to provide your sales people with the feedback they need to perform at higher levels.

Participants also receive feedback on their Communication Style based on the results of a survey sent to six business associates (subordinates, peers, bosses, clients, etc.) who know the participant well. Through an awareness of how others perceive the Sales Leader, he/she knows how to adapt his/her behavior to improve communication effectiveness.

Coaching to Develop Sales Performance

To paraphrase Peter Drucker, "The greatest leverage you have as a field Sales Manager is to have appropriate behaviors repeated when you are not there. Unfortunately most managers don't know what those behaviors should be."

In this module, you will work specifically with coaching, which involves you having knowledge and skills in the following major areas:

  • Feedback - A Tool for Improving Sales Behaviors: A background in what feedback is, why it is important and types of feedback.

  • Delivering Feedback - The Sales Leader as Coach: Guidelines for using feedback with your sales team.

  • Coaching and Joint Calls: The steps and techniques of planning and conducting coaching sessions in the context of joint calls.

A number of tools will be introduced to facilitate accomplishing the developmental outcomes you expect to achieve with your sales people.

Interviewing and Selecting Sales People

One of the most challenging tasks of a Sales Leader is hiring competent sales people. Interviewing is the most important step in a sound selection program. Good interviewing is not a formula of magical questions that will unfold the character of the applicant, nor is it a matter of making a snap judgment on the basis of any one thing an applicant says or does. Good interviewing is the process of getting valid and complete information about the applicant and, on the basis of this information, being able to make a reasonably good prediction as to how a person will perform on the job.

In this module you will learn a process for interviewing and selecting sales people that have the competencies and motivation to be successful both in a market and organizational culture. You will develop excellent interviewing skills by focusing on:

  • How you should prepare for the interview.

  • How you should conduct the interview.

  • What questions to ask to assess the applicant's competencies and motivation.

  • What common problems are encountered when interviewing and selecting sales people.

  • What legal constraints need to be adhered to.

You are encouraged to bring resumes of candidates you are actively considering so that the concepts learned may be applied to your real world situation. Participants will also have an opportunity to role play during this full-day module and thus practice their newly learned skills.

This module may also be delivered as a one-day stand alone course.

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