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11 Components of a Sales Management Track

Sales enablement

Aerial view at group of business people working together during sales kickoff meeting

May 24, 2023Blog

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Most sales kick-off meetings forget one person: the sales manager. To create a truly effective sales kick-off meeting, sales enablement leaders need to include a sales management track. Too often the planning for a sales kick-off meeting ignores this essential group. As sales enablement leaders begin to plan a sales kick-off agenda, they must consider how they will include their sales managers. Specifically, they must address the range of skills needed to develop agility, the key to success in today’s market.

To help create a high impact sales management track, we’ve outlined 11 capabilities to include in your next sales kick-off.

1. Driving Salesperson Accountability

The sales leader must individualize goals by creating them with each seller. An individualized approach is what helps the seller see the goals as a reflection of their specific actions. The sales leader must also identify the metrics that will be used to track these goals. These metrics must focus on each link in the chain of events that lead to a closed deal.

2. Leading Sales Team Meetings

The most effective sales team meetings focus on structure as much as message. The right structure has three parts: updates, recognition, and one capability. This simplicity keeps the meeting brief and sellers engaged. Sales leaders need to update the team on company progress and goals. Recognition builds morale while underscoring best practices. Finally, sales leaders need to build a new capability by setting the context for the skill and using interactive exercises to demonstrate its value.

3. Strengthening Sales Culture

Culture is the support structure on which the selling organization sits. The sales leader is responsible for developing the culture by first defining it. This step must happen in collaboration with the sales team so that the goal is shared. Next, the sales leader must distill the intended culture into a single, clear statement. Finally, leaders need to focus the team on a consistent set of practices that align with the intended culture.

4. Coaching with Agility

Effective coaching seeks to develop, not direct. Developing the seller’s skills means forming an agile approach that can adjust to their changing needs. A “sprint” is what powers this agility. A sprint is a repeating set of three actions: prepare, engage, and advance. Preparation means getting clear on the purpose of the coaching conversation. Engaging is about seeking the seller’s commitment to a certain action or behavior. Advancing is about creating accountability and executing regular follow up.

5. Conducting Vital Conversations

A vital conversation focuses on a particular area of the seller’s work that must change. Without a model, these conversations can take unexpected turns. An effective model prepares the manager by focusing their efforts on five key questions: Is a vital conversation necessary? Is the issue supported by facts and data? Is there a clear talk track? Is there confirmation of the plan? Is any prework needed?

6. Managing Different People Differently

Driving the individual’s performance is about understanding what drives them. These factors include if the person is an introvert or extrovert, their level of motivation, and their experience level. Additionally, the sales leader needs to understand what combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation compels the seller. With this information, they can individualize the coaching routine and determine factors like frequency, amount of feedback, and recognition.

7. Leading World Class One-on-Ones

An effective one-on-one conversation covers six areas. First, sellers should be encouraged to open up and share a long-term goal. Second, sellers need to hear what is working well. Third, managers need to share what is not working. Fourth, both individuals should review recent accomplishments. Fifth, the manager should ask how they can provide help. Sixth, both should agree on an action plan.

8. Motivating Sales Professionals

In a professional setting, three key needs motivate people the most: power, achievement, and affiliation. When power motivates a seller, this needs stems from a desire for reputation and self-esteem. In sellers that seek achievement, they have an urge to compete and find motivation in challenges. Lastly, those that seek affiliation have a drive to develop strong interpersonal relationships. The opportunity to work in a collaborative environment best motivates this group. By motivating the sales team by their individual needs, sales enablement professionals improve efficiency and output.

9. Coaching in the Field

Great coaches look at the field, not just the scoreboard. Field coaching is different than one-on-one coaching because it is specific to a moment. It often happens when a pursuit is in play. This does not mean that field coaching is spontaneous. It requires preparation and feedback. During the preparation, the sales leader is responsible for learning the details of the seller’s current pursuit. When coaching, the sales leader needs to step in only when not doing so threatens the sale. Conversely, the sales leader must know when to step back out.

10. Pipeline Management

Pipeline management brings early visibility to challenges that might otherwise prevent the sale. Making pipeline management work means first helping the seller to see that it is not just a management practice, and that it has benefits to the sales professional, also. Sales leaders must first clarify their goals for each component of the pipeline, including product mix, spread of opportunities across stages, and deal size. Next, sales leaders must analyze the pipeline to isolate problem areas. Finally, this process must be repeated over the long term.

11. Opportunity Review

Even the most effective selling skills are of little value unless they focus on the right pursuits. Opportunity reviews ensure better qualification, more accurate forecasting, better resource utilization, and more closed sales. An effective opportunity review emphasizes outcomes over activities, centers around data-driven decisions, and is selective about what opportunities to review.

Apply these 11 components to more than just your sales kick off meeting. Maximize success at every stage of selling with Richardson’s sales leadership training programs. Program content includes solutions for building capabilities in leading change, coaching, and sales management disciplines. Visit our sales leadership program page to learn more about our program offerings.

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