On this episode, Sales Director Gary Pickering asks "How do you create a world class sales organization?". We describe the key attributes of a world class sales organization. The importance of developing highly effective sales managers. And the five skills sales managers need to build a high performing sales team and drive organizational success.
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It's an interesting question because you used the word "create," and we have to start with the definition of what a world-class sales organization is—and that's pretty broad.
But I'll give you what I think are a few attributes of a world-class sales organization: (1) the sales team consistently adheres to a sales process, (2) they're using the sales enablement technologies in a consistent way to apply to every single opportunity, (3) they're a highly-skilled sales team that's well training and knows how to create value for their customers, and (4)they're led by highly-effective sales managers.
When I think about your question about how do you create a world-class sales organization, it's that fourth area of creating highly-effective sales managers that allows you to build that world-class sales organization.
We use a term called the high-impact sales manager. A high-impact sales manager is proficient at hiring the best people and holding them accountable, managing a sales pipeline so they can produce accurate forecasts, managing sales performance by focusing not only on the results but the underlining behaviors that drive those results, providing personalized sales coaching to each individual so they can improve skills and win rates, and also leading that team by providing the proper motivation and inspiration to drive success.
So, if you think about creating that world-class sales organization, you want to start with the sales managers. Then you have to think about, "Okay, that doesn't seem all that difficult. What holds most organizations back?" It's two things.
One, is the mentality of sales managers. Most of those sales managers came from the sales ranks. If they moved up a long time ago, they still may have a sales mentality as opposed to a sales management mentality.
The difference is, the sales mentality is about, "What can I do? My skills, my accomplishments, and my performance." Sales manager should be empowering their team to perform, and it's about how well can their team achieve performance, this idea of performance through others. It requires not only a different skill set, but also a different mindset. So one thing that holds sales managers back is the mentality.
Two, is that they're stuck in what I like to call a daily grind. They're responding to urgent requests, they're trying to resolve customers issues and complaints, they're dealing with employee issues or problems, they're also forecasting and re-forecasting sales for upper management, and unfortunately sitting in meeting that last way too long.
In conclusion, the idea of creating a world-class sales organization is helping these managers learn to transcend the daily grind so they can hire the right people, provide ongoing management, and focus on the behaviors that drive performance, produce accurate forecasts the first time by managing the sales pipeline, providing ongoing coaching, and then leading their team to success and greatness.
By focusing on those critical elements and training the managers to transcend the daily grind, you've taken the first step to creating a world-class sales organization.
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