In the sports world, coaches and managers are evaluated on one metric: winning. In the corporate world, victories are just as important. For sales managers, it’s about winning deals and hitting quotas — and their success rate is scrutinized by executives at the highest levels of the organization.
Previously, we discussed why “linearity” doesn’t work when managing enterprise sales opportunities. Selling to the enterprise involves fewer high dollar value opportunities as compared to SMB sales. So traditional daily or weekly SMB sales activity metrics such as “How many calls did you make today?” are less useful when managing an enterprise team. The quality of each sales interaction your Account Executives have is much more important than the quantity at the enterprise level. But measuring and managing quality is challenging; it’s not something you can meaningfully track on a sales dashboard. Quality is something you have to observe and coach. Here are three critical qualitative factors to help you provide high-impact sales coaching to your AE's and improve their win rates with enterprise accounts.
For some people, the word “sales” comes along with its own set of baggage and negative connotations. Your point of reference may relate to your personal experience with an overly aggressive “sales pitch” while going on a timeshare tour on your vacation. Or encountering manipulative “fear tactics” to purchase an extended warranty when you purchased your dishwasher. Unfortunately, this connotation can also find its way into business-to-business sales situations where companies get push back from their sales engineers and solution consultants who say their job is to help customers solve a problem - not to sell them more services.
Many senior sales leaders are enamored with “linearity”- the concept that the sales process can be broken into monthly, weekly, and even daily activities.
As a sales leader, there’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the quarter and realizing your team will miss their sales goal. But focusing on the bottom-line number – closed deals – is like driving a car by looking in the rear-view mirror. It only tells you what has already happened.
Willie Sutton, an infamous bank robber, was asked why he robbed banks, and he responded, "Because that's where the money is." So why should you be extra diligent and motivated when prospecting toward the last quarter of a fiscal year? You guessed it because that's where the money is.