10 Things I Do that Sales Managers Should Too

I'm not gonna do a lot of set up here. This list is for sales managers whose job it is to get salespeople to sell more today than they did yesterday. It's not for founders, CEOs or sales VPs when they're thinking strategically about scaling growth, but it could be for those same leaders when they are managing salespeople because they don't have a sales manager. Whether you have one salesperson or ten salespeople, these ten things will help you grow them individually and consequently grow your team sales bigger than you ever imagined.

Uncover their personally meaningful goal.

It's not about quota or being able to pay their bills. It doesn't have to be a new car, house or vacation, but it has to be over and above paying their bills. It has to be personal. It has to be a reason for them to get up early, work hard, stay late and do what's necessary to get it done. Here's some examples that I wrote about last year. Right now, I'm helping one guy earn an extra $40,000 this year so that he can get his own apartment in NYC with no roommates! I also have a salesperson that wants an extra $50,000 that he'll use to start his real estate empire. It's not unusual to uncover a $100 - $200,000 goal, personally meaningful is more important than size. One more thing. I have this conversation BEFORE I take them as clients and you should have the conversation before you hire them. It sets the tone that you are going to help them reach their goals, so that the company can reach theirs.

Understand the analogy

When your salesperson is talking to a prospect, the conversation is not about the salesperson's goals, quota, needs, bills to pay, etc. It's about the prospect's compelling reason to change. The prospect's consequences of doing nothing. The prospect's issues, obstacles, struggles and world. Likewise, you have a team quota, personal goals, issues, etc., but when you're talking with your salesperson, it's all about them. Their goals and what they need to do to attain them. Their obstacles, struggles and self limiting beliefs. It's not about you. It's all about them.

Plan without hope.

Salespeople are conditioned to be optimists and leaders are constantly talking about metrics. So, if a leader says that one out of three buy and the average sale is $20K, the salesperson will think "I'll do three demos a week. One will buy $20K. I'll have $1 Million for the year. (I hope.)" You need to take hope out of the equation and replace it with faith. Remember the guy that needs $50K to start his real estate empire? He sells a thing for $450. He needs to sell $600K to reach his goal and earn his $50K extra. The company has some that bought multiple units for a total of $100K. We could make a plan that hopes that some customers will buy multiple units, but if we set our behavior to hit the $600K with single units, it might be more work, but it removes hope. So, he's looking to sell 7 units at $450 every day. He talks to 21 new prospects every day looking to have 7 of them buy. Here's the thing. If somebody does spend $20K or even $100K (and they will), he can take a few days off or make a bigger goal. All my client (or your salesperson) has to do is talk to the right number of people every day. It's then our job to make sure they say the right stuff, the right way at the right time.

These are the first three things that I do with everyone that I work with. It gives you direction and sets the path.

Next up: My coaching methodology.

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