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As A Sales Manager, What Would Your Top 3 Activities Be?

by David Brock on January 19th, 2009
David Batup raised an interesting question on the Sales Best Practices group in LinkedIn. He posed the question: As a sales manager, what would your top 3 activities be?”

I couldn’t limit myself to 3, but my response is below:

“Nice question:

Strategically:

1. Make certain you have a strong sales process in place, everyone understands why it’s important, and how to use it in managing their own territories and activities. Make sure you have the right tools in place to support the effective execution of the strategies and processes. Make sure your people understand how to use them.
2. Clear identification and communication of priorities, focus, and metrics. (both within the sales organization and to the rest of the enterprise) Metrics need to be both forward looking (perhaps activity and funnel metrics) and historic (bookings, revenue).

Tactically:

1. Leverage the normal review process (funnel/pipeline, territory, account, deal reviews) to reinforce the sales process and priorities. Use these reviews as opportunities to communicate and reinforce priorities, to coach on skills, to provide ongoing performance feedback. Make sure you are measuring and tracking against metrics.
2. Travel with your people, but in a value added way. Dive into deals where you can support them in improving the strategy, accelerate the sales cycle, improve their odds of winning. Use the windshield time to communicate, coach, mentor. Catch them doing things right and reinforce these good behaviors. Avoid the tendency to take over the call/deal and be super sales person, but help build the sales person’s capability to effectively and efficiently manage the process.
3. Keep aware of what is going on in the industry, with your customers, competition, and company. Communicate to your people, make sure they understand what it means to them and how it impacts what they should be doing. Continually identify best practices and new ideas and communicate.
4. Support, defend, communicate what your team is doing internally. Make certain people within the company understand their contribution. Listen to people internally and see where you and your team may need to make changes and take corrective actions.
5. Address performance issues immediately, don’t wait until the performance review, don’t avoid addressing them. “Nip them in the bud.”
6. Network within your industry, keep a short list of potential candidates, nurture them. Keep current with what’s going on.
7. Integrate your coaching into the normal “day to day business” rather than “coaching/mentoring” sessions. Those will never happen.
8. Finally, become agile in leaping over tall buildings with single bounds 😉 Start with low buildings!”

David, great question, thanks for raising it!

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