If you're in the market for some DIY sales management training, you've come to the right place. We've compiled 5 checklists for you to use with your sales managers in any organization.
We often talk about the importance of process in selling, but good sales management is a process too. Consistent effective sales management behaviors support the sales team and let them know what to expect.
It's important to remember that everyone could use some training from time to time, even once they have advanced to a leadership position. Being promoted to a manager position doesn't necessarily mean you've been trained or are experienced as a leader. In fact, it probably indicates that now is a great time to consider new ideas, training, and so on. One of the easiest tools to implement a sales management system is a basic checklist.
With our checklists, you will feel more organized, and will be able to keep yourself, your leaders, and your teams on track as you hit checkpoints in your sales process and in the year.
Here’s how you can start using checklists to hold your sales managers accountable and improve performance.
What Needs a Checklist (and What Doesn’t)
Look at your sales and sales management process. What are the core behaviors? How often should each of them be performed?
We recommend developing a set of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual checklists. The goal is not to micromanage, but instead to set clear expectations for key behaviors.
Here are some examples of what to include:
- Assign leads to the sales team.
- Review all opportunity updates in the CRM system.
- Review activities/call notes.
- Review PlayBook updates.
- Review weekly reports.
- Facilitate the weekly sales team meeting.
- Review your team’s weekly goals.
- Meet one-on-one with each of your salespeople and update your coaching journal.
- Identify at least 2 sales meetings to attend with members of your team.
- Review monthly reports with the management team.
- Review the team’s performance against the forecast.
- Work with your team to develop their Prospecting Action Plans.
- Set goals with your team.
- Update the sales team on monthly numbers in your sales team meeting.
- Review quarterly reports with the management team.
- Provide quarterly performance management reports to each salesperson.
- Develop quarterly territory plans with each of your salespeople.
- Conduct performance evaluations with each of your salespeople.
- Develop an annual sales forecast.
- Set an annual budget for your team.
- Participate in a strategic planning retreat.
We’ve found that these checklists are especially helpful for managers who have more responsibility than sales management, especially those who have their own sales goals or are office/branch managers. This simple structure can let them know what to focus on when they are “wearing their sales manager hat.”
How and When to Introduce Checklists
This past year has been particularly stressful, so be sure to approach this sales management training with care and ease into this process of establishing accountability.
We encourage our clients to use this sales management training to roll out your newly standardized sales management process. Don’t just distribute the checklists. But rather, train the team to accomplish the tasks on the lists. Provide an opportunity for them to brainstorm and share best practices. Then introduce the checklists as an accountability tool.
This way, your managers are able to discover what opportunities for improvement lay ahead in their own way. Every organization is different, so feel free to tweak each list as you see fit and allow your managers to do the same.
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Hold Sales Managers Accountable to the Checklists
Lastly, it's important to clarify your expectations with your sales managers. Get their input as you develop the checklists, then establish a system for accountability.
Think of it like a pre-flight checklist – you wouldn’t want to get on a flight where they’d stopped halfway through completing it! In the same way, effective sales management requires consistency.
Good sales management doesn’t happen by accident. Instead, it’s a process and can be standardized.
Using a simple tool like checklists can help you make sure your sales managers are aware of their responsibilities and are held accountable to getting them done. This also gives you a great foundation for evaluating performance and setting clear expectations with managers who aren’t performing up to standard.
This is a key part of systematizing your organization's sales function; the more you have a standard procedure for success, the more your whole team will improve.
The Ultimate Guide to Sales Management
This eBook was written to help solve the top 10 challenges and problems that sales managers and sales VPs experience. Learn More
Try using checklists to support your sales management process and let us know in the comments if and how it works for you! We love hearing from you readers.
Want to learn more from CFS? Follow us on Twitter @CFSPlayBook and check out our podcast Let's Talk Sales!