A common problem our Sales PlayBook addresses is poor sales management. So when I mention it, I often get: “What? We have a great sales manager!” That’s because the term “sales management” needs a little clarification, so let me do that now.
Sales Management vs. A Sales Manager
To be clear: sales management relates to an activity, not to a person. In fact, sales management is typically most relevant to salespeople. I believe that salespeople should manage how they sell before the sales manager does it.
So what’s a salesperson to do? What can a salesperson do to manage themselves before being told what to do by a sales manager? How can a salesperson clean up their poor sales management habits?
Sales Management for Salespeople
Below is a checklist for what should be managed by salespeople and reinforced by the sales manager (if applicable) for good selling. This comes straight out of our Sales PlayBook:
- Complete tasks and calendar appointments.
- Adhere to the Prospecting Action Plan.
- Work opportunities and update their status in the CRM system.
- Log activities in the CRM system.
- Review recent changes in the PlayBook.
- Review tomorrow's tasks and appointments.
- Develop agendas for all sales calls.
- Develop and send D.E.A.L. documents after each sales call.
- Post success stories when appropriate.
- Update best practices areas in the PlayBook (Problem/Opportunity Matrix, Common Objections & Pushbacks, etc.) when appropriate.
- Participate in the weekly sales team meeting.
- Take notes, if assigned, and post them on the team meeting page in the Sales PlayBook.
- Prepare for planned discussions, when appropriate.
- Set weekly goals and track accomplishments.
- Review all opportunities and update the status, if necessary.
- Meet with your manager to review your goals and opportunities.
- Develop a monthly Prospecting Action Plan.
- Review your Prospecting Action Plan with your manager.
- Review monthly reports provided by your manager.
- Review all accounts and reset their Client Evolution (Suspect, Prospect, Customer, Client, Advocate, Partner) status, when appropriate.
- Develop a quarterly Territory Plan.
- Review quarterly reports (these include key performance indicators) provided by your manager.
- Prepare for and participate in an annual performance evaluation with your manager.
- Participate in the annual forecasting process.
Sales Management for Sales Managers:
- Provide coaching & mentoring.
- Assist in the development of and adherence to processes.
- Assign leads to salespeople.
- Monitor opportunities and activities in CRM system.
- Monitor industry-wide news to identify prospecting opportunities.
- Review Playbook and CRM updates for your sales team.
- Facilitate the weekly sales team meeting, using the best practices described on the Weekly Sales Team Meetings page in the PlayBook.
- Solicit success stories from your team and document them in the Success Stories page.
- Review best practices from the PlayBook and update them if applicable.
- Set activity and opportunity goals and monitor the results.
- Review your salespeople’s weekly goals & accomplishments and respond when appropriate.
- Update your individual salesperson’s coaching journals.
- Conduct one-on-one meetings with each of your salespeople.
- Run weekly reports out of CRM system and review.
- Review your team's sales appointments and make sure each has an agenda.
- Review all new D.E.A.L. documents.
- Set monthly goals:
- Number of new D.E.A.L. documents
- Number of new opportunities
- Review monthly goals and your team's performance on the previous month's goals.
- Review each salesperson's Advocate and Partner accounts to make sure they are being supported according to the quarterly territory plan.
- Review your salespeople's prospecting action plans and provide feedback.
- Review company performance with the entire management team.
- Run and review monthly sales reports.
- Set quarterly goals and review your team's performance on the previous quarter's goals.
- Run and review quarterly sales reports.
- Manage your sales team as they review their accounts according to the Client Evolution model and adjust them if necessary.
- Develop territory plans with your salespeople, specifying both sales and marketing activity.
- Prepare and deliver quarterly performance management reports to each sales team member.
- Deliver sales team bonuses and awards.
- Prepare and deliver annual performance management reports to each sales team member.
- Set annual revenue goals for your department or area and for each salesperson.
- Set annual budget for your department or area.
- Meet with the entire management team to set goals and align on strategies for the coming year.
I hope these lists help as you manage your sales activities. As you have no doubt heard many times before: practice makes perfect.