In the fast-paced, target driven world of sales, Managers’ tend to focus so much on the target or quota performance of their teams that they neglect to allocate time towards the growth of their team members. Correcting the locus of sales leaders is where proactive sales management plays a critical role.
As highlighted in our previous articles we need to be managing the process of sales and not just the outcome. You are doing reactive management when you only control the outcome, exclusively focusing on target achievement. If you find yourself in a situation of not achieving the target at the end of the month, it is too late to do anything about it.
Businesses don’t need the services of a sales manager if the only aspect being managed is to monitor sales quota performance. If this is the only role the sales managers play in your organisation, then you don’t need them. You can save money by having the financial manager monitor the figures. It would be ideal if your sales manager also plays a part in evaluating sales strategy, competitors and most of all, grow your teams’ ability to build relationships, create enough opportunities and close as many transactions as is humanly possible.
Proactivity defined as: “creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened.” How does this then relate to proactive sales management?
Proactive Pipeline/Funnel management:
Start with the end in mind.
Set Expectations. By expectations, we don’t mean only financial targets and quotas. By expectations, we mean activity expectation as well. How many new clients do we need to make contact within a day, a week and for the month? The same principle must apply for the number of sales pitches, quotations, sales or deliveries as well as after-sales follow-ups. You are going to end up using these activities—quantitively, but also qualitatively.
Monitor and motivate.
Once you have established the expectation, the proactive part comes into play. Everyone involved now know what is expected and need to take action by making contact, doing sales pitches, and delivering quotations. As a sales manager, you start monitoring the actual activities against the set activity targets. First, you do it quantitatively. Make sure that they achieve the numbers.
To motivate the team, you also need to look at the qualitative value of the interactions and activities. Read through the notes on each interaction. Soon you will be able to spot the gaps. Now you are in a place where you can do proactive sales management.
If you establish that an individual is behind on the numbers on any of the activity types, you can put your coaching focus on that aspect. For example, if someone is behind on making contact with potential buyers by the end of week one, you know where to focus proactively. If they don’t make the numbers in week one, it is almost certain that they will not make the numbers in week four. Not having sufficient contact with potential customers can be the cause of not achieving the sales value needed. Consistency is vital, get the team to be consistent in the actions required in the process.
Spot the gap and coach.
Proactive sales management is at the heart of our sales game. It’s not all about quantitative management, but also about the quality of our interactions. By studying the detail and identifying the problem areas, the sales manager can grow the individual member to be self-reliant and consistent in sales performance. Coaching and training each member of the team to be the best that they can be will strengthen the effort.
The Sales Game is proactive sales management in a box.
Why does the Sales Game Model matter?
It helps you to implement a motivational system that addresses the core competencies to achieve. It also ensures that you have enough sales to exceed your sales targets without only realising at the end of the month that the team has not attained its objective.
As mentioned above the sad truth is there is nothing you can do about it at the end of the month.
With the sales game model, you can plan activities needed to exceed sales targets, monitor these activities and coach and support team members throughout the month to ensure arrival, without the pain of collecting data everywhere.
Not only does the sales game model provide a clear path to success, but it also forms an integral part of Accrete, which offers sales management in a box, while providing plenty of CRM features for the salespeople to use in their everyday job.
By using this model, you will ultimately succeed in growing a strong team that consistently exceeds sales targets. If you want to find out more connect with us.