OK, sales leaders — it’s truth-telling time.
The market is unpredictable right now; chances are, you’re being asked to do more with less. Times like these call for your leadership to perform a frank evaluation of where your people, processes, and technology stand. It’s time for a laser focus on operational rigor, which involves all three. But first, you have to get real. So here we go.
If you’re really honest with yourself, can you make the following statement?
We have a proven process and tech tool, leveraging real-time data, that allows our Frontline Managers to understand what makes their top performers successful and lets them coach the rest of their team on what changes to make.
Unfortunately, most leaders can’t make this statement. If that’s you, you are not alone.
More likely you…
- Still need to train your managers on how to train their reps effectively via 1:1s, role plays, etc. to have long-term impact. Most relevant now, you haven’t focused on how the manager can teach sellers to be more nimble in a down market.
- Don’t have access to activity data in a useful way to assess what’s happening and what great looks like.
- Have data, but you don’t trust it because reps manually import it as they’re trying to hit an erroneous activity-based KPI; therefore, the data doesn’t provide an accurate picture.
- Don’t hold your managers accountable for increasing overall team performance in a measurable way.
Pro tip: Do your sales managers consistently play the role of closer for their reps? If so, this is a serious red flag that they’re not taking the time necessary to upskill their teams — a serious impediment to growth.
To win in a turbulent economy, you have to use a combination of initiatives, which can each be challenging in its own right.
In our experience, getting to ‘yes’ for the statement above requires dedication to the four below initiatives:
- Clear outcome metrics — Each person on your team needs to understand what they are driving toward, believe it’s possible, and have a clear path to follow on how to do it.
- Clear data — Data on data is not the solution; instead, it eats away at your bottom line. Data that produces real-time actionable insights — and better yet, an AI enriched tool giving next-best-action guidance — is the only way to enable your managers to take the correct actions.
- Clear guidance for Managers — Even managers need frequent & relevant training on how best to train and hold their team to the required standard.
- Clear accountability — Managers must be held accountable with metrics and KPIs to help their team increase revenue.
Pro Tip: If your reps don’t understand the goal and their role in achieving it, they are unlikely to buy in to the vision. As the leader, it is up to you to unlock what drives a rep and tailor their approach to get the most out of their performance.
So, to make your existing managers the change-makers you hired them to be, I’d encourage you to get honest. Evaluate your team’s structure and seek a partner with a proven track record in helping their customers with more than just suggesting a technology purchase. A sales engagement partner that provides person-to-person consulting (for sales leaders, managers, and reps in the field). Then you will have the competitive edge that is imperative in the market we find ourselves in today.
Salesloft’s Revenue Performance Program can help with all of the above, with a focus on your Frontline Managers. We work with you side-by-side to improve your team’s performance as you implement Salesloft. A dedicated team of Consultants will lead a recurring, team-based program focused on guiding performance improvements by measuring and monitoring sales outcomes, providing best-practice-based guidance on sales strategy and engagement methods while showing you how to leverage the entire Salesloft platform to ensure you every ounce of value from your purchase.
Now that I’ve done my plug, let me get back to the primary purpose of this article: sharing knowledge. I want to dive deeper into one of the points mentioned above that we repeatedly hear from clients.
They need to train managers to train reps effectively via 1:1s, role plays, and other ways that have a long-term impact.
Managers also need consistent training so they are not just hall monitors but actual coaches so the team can win on the field. Along with equipping them to improve their team’s positive impact on the business, they need the tools to do so. One of the primary pieces of training they need is on how to do the following:
- Organize their team by categorizing their performance (high performer, high activity; Low performer, low activity, etc.), which (luckily) is relatively easy to do with a sales team
- Gain truthful insights into the behaviors that produce high – medium – and low performers
- Run effective 1:1s and team-wide experiences to teach more effective behaviors at key stages in their process
The Salesloft platform can help with all of these. Analytics enables reps and managers to have a proper understanding of what is really happening in the field; Cadences let them create a proven process for everyone to follow; Conversations and Coaching identify where process adherence and where in the process people are struggling; and Deals shows what needs to happen next to move a deal forward.
At Salesloft, we believe Frontline Managers can be the key to any organization generating revenue faster, even in today’s turbulent market. With the right technology, you can empower your managers with coaching capabilities that help them zero in on the deals where their reps actually need help. Sales engagement tech also removes the onus of manually collecting activity data on individual team members by surfacing specific challenges, tracking outcomes, and identifying key trends. Coaching capabilities can also identify the behaviors of top performers and guide the rest of the team to replicate their success. All of that, combined with a Services team that helps you onboard your team to have them performing at a higher level quickly, and you’ll be working at peak efficiency in no time.