Some sales managers are the best customers. What do I mean? They let their salespeople sell them on a bunch of ideas many of which are barriers to reaching sales goals. Only certain salespeople are the ones selling their sales manager. Are you getting sold? Here’s how you can tell if you’re a sales manager getting sold.
What situation is most likely to get sales managers sold?
The salespeople who are making their sales goals most likely aren’t the ones “selling” their sales managers. The salespeople not making their goals over a period of time are the ones to watch more closely. Certainly, some salespeople won’t make their goals occasionally. That’s not a major concern. The salespeople who often miss their sales goals are the ones who most need to create stories about the true situation of their prospects and customers.
Managers can ask questions to uncover these “created” situations. Instead of asking when the deal will close, managers should ask about who are the decision makers at the account, what situation they have that needs the company’s products or services and what’s their purchasing budget. Gaps in any of these answers indicate there’s not much there. The deal won’t close and maybe you’ll find the prospect isn’t even a prospect.
Managers are sold on the numbers.
Pay attention to the goals you set for your salespeople. Some sales managers make the numbers of calls the sales objective. I disagree. Sales is about results, not effort. I know that doesn’t sound fair. It’s not fair.
Salespeople aren’t punching a clock. The ones who make their numbers are often working evenings and weekends. I don’t micromanage people who make their sales numbers. More power to them when they make their sales goals the first week and have 3 weeks left in the month.
Sales managers should set goals for results instead of calls. I had one clever (former) salesperson reaching his number of telephone calls. The only problem was he was calling the same person multiple times. He was documenting each call slightly differently. The times on the calls were very short. He didn’t record most calls as required.
Managers, you will be sold if you don’t watch the numbers or set meaningful goals.
Managers are sold buying hope.
I wish I had a nickel for every sales meeting I attended and heard a salesperson tell a sales manager that the deal was going to close soon. One problem with that statement is ‘soon’ means different things to different people. The salesperson thinks soon is any time in the future. The sales manager thinks soon means this quarter or when he needs to meet his sales goals. The reality is that soon is meaningless.
These salespeople sell this idea every sales meeting. They hope the sales manager doesn’t remember the previous statement of the deal closing soon. Weeks creep to months and then quarters. By year end, there’s no contract or viable prospect.
Sales managers, don’t be sold on hope. You can’t meet your sales goals with hope.
Sales managers, remember you are hiring salespeople to sell. Clever, lazy salespeople will try to sell you. You are not their prospect. Now you can stop getting sold.