Hit the Simple Button to More Sales
Sales managers are always on the lookout for a better, faster, or smarter way to drive sales. They consistently turn to familiar solutions—sales training, technology tools, recognition and incentive programs, or sales processes. What they fail to see, however, is how they unconsciously sabotage progress by making use or execution too complicated, comprehensive, and overwhelming.
The reality is that if sales managers chose to hit the “simple” button as they move forward implementing solutions, they could get more improvement and results in less time. There are four common areas where managers tend to miss the opportunity to hit the simple button. As you review each one, ask yourself if you’re a barrier to success or if you’re truly enabling breakthrough.
Focus on the Few Breakthrough Sales Activities.
Most sales organizations have a sales process or methodology of some type. Often, however, the process becomes “blotted” with too many “best practices,” which are really just ordinary practices, low-impact activities or nice-to-have tools that don’t add significant value. Or frequently the process has become overly tied to one part of the sales cycle to the detriment of the emerging sales activities required for breakthrough. To what degree are you contributing to the lack of focus by expecting salespeople to do everything? Take charge and help your salespeople hit the simple button by ensuring each is laser- focused on the few high-impact activities that will make the biggest performance difference.
Prioritize the Right Use of Technology Tools.
Take a close look at your organization’s technology and CRM tools. Are they being used to help salespeople become effective and efficient in performing mission-critical sales behaviors? Or, instead, are they being used to capture data that’s designed primarily for use by management to monitor activity and forecast sales, or by other departments to diagnose or leverage customer information? Has the key functionality and the value of the tools for salespeople been lost as they attempt to deploy the full capabilities of the tools provided? Tools lose much of their value if salespeople get discouraged by the amount of time required to use them or if the value of their effort is not visible or directly related to generating business. Choose to hit the simple button by prioritizing which functionalities of the tool are most vital to the salespeople’s success. Then hold your staff accountable to using that functionality.
Diagnose the Critical Leading Indicators of Sales Progress.
It’s widely accepted that pipeline management is an important aspect of measuring sales effectiveness and progress. Unfortunately, most sales managers spend too much energy and attention on the pipeline’s later stages. There is also a tendency for sales managers to mandate detailed and frequent updates that keep them in the know but add little value to the salespeople. With most of today’s sales challenges and opportunities residing in the beginning stages of the pipeline, the problem is obvious. Has your pipeline focus become too intensive and lopsided, emphasizing the backend of the sales process at the expense of what’s happening at the front end? Choose to hit the simple button by tracking the few vital indicators that enable quality diagnosis of the entire sales process and stop wasting time on what is less relevant.
Drive What Matters Most.
Most sales managers know their role is to keep their people focused and accountable on doing the activities that drive sales. Yet, often what they do has just the opposite effect. Unconsciously, they pass down organizational expectations and add them to the demands of their people—without proper filtering—causing salespeople to get confused, overwhelmed, and distracted. In today’s environment, all salespeople need help prioritizing their time. Now, more than ever, it’s the sales manager’s responsibility to cut through the clutter and bring a clear focus to what matters most to everyone on their team. How good are you at making sure that only the high-impact expectations occupy your salespeople’s minds and that non-essential expectations are moved to the “junk” bucket?
As you plan for the next year, quarter, month, or week, consider the potential impact of hitting the simple button. There’s a reason so many are embracing strategies such as “less is more” and “simplify”. It’s because they work. If you would like help getting more impact out of your existing tools, processes, programs, or how to do “simple,” give us a call. It’s simple – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org call 952-217-0425.