What’s your sales strategy for your sales team? How effectively communicated is your sales strategy? How aligned is your team? In this article, we’re going to look at how to become an empowered, entrepreneurial sales manager and how to operate like the CEO of a territory, motivating sales teams to achieve amazing results by exceeding sales targets. Create A Sales Plan Sales leadership is all about having a plan. It’s important to take accountability by setting a vision for how the year is going to unfold. Define sales priorities and align the sales plan to company’s corporate theme and goals. Look to corporate leadership for priorities. Localize and tailor priorities. If your company hasn’t set a clear theme for the year, it’s your job as sales manager to step up and create one yourself. Sales teams will appreciate it. It offers guidance and focus. Prioritize Sales Metrics and KPIs As an entrepreneurial sales manager you’ll want to take stock of the health of the business. Keep key performance indicators— such as pipeline, revenue, win rates, new logos, number of deals per salesperson—top of mind. Take responsibility for knowing your business. Prioritize these key sales metrics across the realities of your sales pipeline and set stretch goals that will push your team. Successful sales teams and companies have great alignment across a set of metrics intended to drive actions that move the business. Be honest about the gaps that exist in your team’s pipeline and work out a strategy for immediate action in the upcoming year. Assess Your Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses Take inventory of your sales team’s strengths and weaknesses to be proactive about hiring and recruiting a strong sales team. Who on your team should be thinking of a new career? How effective is the coverage model? Consider industry focus, geographic distribution, and product mix of your franchise. Create a 12 Month Team Vision & Calendar Visualize what your sales team will look like at the end of the twelve months. Visualize success for you and every salesperson. Have that picture of the celebratory dinner where everyone is sharing his or her success stories. Think of your customers. Think of the must-win accounts you will close this year. Create a story that will become your future. Write down your story and goals in a 12 month vision statement to share with your team. Be transparent, and hold yourself accountable to the team for stretch goals. Turn your vision into a calendar. Have your sales team do a similar exercise. Inspire them to think bigger. Have them visualize and write down their goals and stories at the start of each month or quarter. Motivate Your Sales Team Here are some questions to use as planning and motivational strategies. Ask your team to compare their current plan and story with a bigger potential. Personalize these questions to your style and business:
- How will you make your number? Or how will you blow your number out beyond belief?
- How Will you close the pipeline in front of you today? Or How will you hunt, find, and close loads of new pipeline?
- How Will you help customers be successful? Or will you transform their businesses?
Use these questions in emails, team calls and quarterly business reviews. Let’s make every one of our salespeople a superstar. Empower yourself, and become the CEO of your sales team. It’s up to you to help your sales teams reach their full potential.