Hunting and Account Management: Mutually Exclusive?

Hunting and Account Management: Mutually Exclusive?

I have had several conversations in the last two weeks about the differing skill sets of Account Managers vs. Hunters.  It seems that there are many sales organizations that need both of these characteristics either within the same salesperson or across the team.  Additionally, over the course of the last five years, one of the most frequent problems we have diagnosed within the sales teams we analyze is the unfortunate realization that the company needs Hunters and all they have are Account Managers or marginal Hunters.
 

After reviewing these two lists, you may notice that there are no common traits.  That is […]

Sales Pipeline Review Meetings: Boring, Time Wasting and Useless

Sales Pipeline Review Meetings: Boring, Time Wasting and Useless

Are you still conducting boring sales team meetings where the whole sales team gets prepared to share what garbage they have in their pipeline?  Well if you are, stop it.

You might think that by publicly causing all the salespeople to share their deals in front of the whole team, it will make their competitive spirit come out and cause them to do more activity to create more opportunities.  WRONG.  This is why:

It causes perfectly good salespeople to spend time preparing slides or a report to get ready.  This time could be better spent selling something.
It causes salespeople to believe that the […]

Establishing Action Plans: Important for Both Solid & Under-Performers

Establishing Action Plans: Important for Both Solid & Under-Performers

I had a conversation with a very strong sales manager yesterday. We were discussing a couple of his salespeople and their nuances. He understands the importance of metrics and helping those new salespeople focus on the things they can control, having confidence that if the salespeople do the right things, then the sales numbers will follow. He has gone through the process of having other salespeople create an action plan of what they are going to do each week, so that he can help change their behavior.

As we were talking about one of his really strong salespeople, he revealed that […]

The Only Two Reasons Why Salespeople Fail and What to Do About Them

The Only Two Reasons Why Salespeople Fail and What to Do About Them

This may sound simplistic, but there are really only two reasons why salespeople aren’t successful:

They don’t do enough of the right activities to get enough opportunities
When they perform sales activities they aren’t very good at them

You may say “So what?”  But it is critical that the sales manager know which situation is the cause of the problem, because the each problem requires a different type of intervention.  The first is more of an accountability intervention and the second requires a coaching intervention.

Accountability intervention addresses lack of activity

When a salesperson is not doing enough of the right activities, do the math […]

Batter Up! Applying Sports Theory to Sales Performance

Batter Up! Applying Sports Theory to Sales Performance

With the beginning of baseball season I find myself thinking about what those baseball players have done all winter to prepare for the season.  It is a long and grueling season with 162 games per team in MLB.  It isn’t too dissimilar from an effective sales year or career.  The best salespeople recognize that their year is like a marathon.  They have to consistently and methodically perform.

I believe that most MLB players spend their off-season preparing for the upcoming season.  They don’t sit around and eat bon-bons, expecting that they will show up for Spring Training in perfect form.  They […]

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part Five

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part Five

As the final installment in my series regarding the most common complaints I hear about the sales team, I have saved my personal favorite for last.  “My salespeople can’t close.”  I hear this a LOT.  Many times this statement is followed by some other comment such as “Can’t you teach them some closing tips?  They just don’t seem to know what to say.”

It really isn’t that easy, although there are others out there that will tell you that it is.  It isn’t, because frequently the fact that they can’t or don’t close is merely a symptom of some other lurking problem, […]

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part Four

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part Four

#4 Salespeople Who Fight for the Wrong Deal

As fourth in a series, I will discuss today another one of the five most common complaints about the sales team.  Today’s article is focused on those salespeople who try to get every deal done and fight for the ones that don’t fit.  I hear this complaint frequently and sometimes it even ends up with the sales manager or president just giving in and letting the salesperson do the deal, even when it isn’t the kind of business they really want.  Then there is frustration about the salesperson and the time they waste […]

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part Three

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part Three

#3 They Aren’t Who They Appeared To Be in the Interview

The third biggest complaint I hear from business owners and sales managers about salespeople is that they aren’t who they appeared to be in the interview.  If you hire the wrong person it is your fault not theirs.  Everybody is going to be on their best behavior in the interview.  Any salesperson with an ounce of skill will probably try to bond with you so you like them.  The good news is that this problem is totally fixable.  But the problem lies with you as previously stated.  Frequently we see […]

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part Two

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part Two

#2 They Wait for the Phone to Ring

This is the second in a five-part series discussing the 5 most common complaints I hear from business owners and sales team leaders.  Read the first installment here.  If you have been in business for more than five or six years then you may remember a time when the phone rang and you had enough or more business than your salespeople could handle.  Since the economic downturn began several years ago, that dynamic has shifted to the point where most salespeople need to actually proactively generate some of their own business.  […]

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part One

Five Most Common Complaints About the Sales Team – Part One

#1 My Salespeople Don’t Ask Enough Open-ended Questions

As a sales consultant for a number of years, I have heard countless frustrations and complaints from owners and business leaders about their sales teams, mostly because those owners are interested in an increase in sales and they don’t see it happening.  My next five articles will look at the top five.  This is #1.

My Salespeople Don’t Ask Enough Open-ended Questions.

Inconsistency or inability to ask good questions is merely a symptom of an underlying cause.   The reason they don’t ask could be caused by a variety of things.  Some of which you, as […]