Characteristics of great sales organizations
Having spent the better part of my career building sales teams, I have seen my share of great sales teams. Unfortunately, I have also seen my fair share of “less than great teams” as well.
Over that time, I have compiled a list of those areas that the great sales enterprises share. I call them the “GREAT EIGHT”
Here, in no particular order, are the GREAT EIGHT:
- A well communicated sales process and sales nomenclature permeates the enterprise
- Each salesperson understands their personal sales metrics and is held accountable to those metrics
- The value proposition is well understood, and reps are savvy at presenting that Value
- A CRM is well ingrained in the organization and embraced by all
- Salespeople understand the value of marketing and embrace their Role in coordinating marketing within their territory
- The organization has a robust Strategic sales and marketing plan and there is a strong focus on execution of that plan
- Sales managers understand and engage in Coaching as an integral part of their job
- There is a rigorous hiring and on-boarding process that weeds out under performers
Certainly, there are other contributing factors, but these are the “holy grail”. Make sure you have these in place and the other issues seem to resolve themselves as the leader focuses on communicating, guiding and developing the team. Often, the root cause of our challenges is our selection of the sales leader and our inability to develop their leadership skills
The problem arises when we first choose that sales superstar that has been our top performing rep. We erroneously assume that because they were a great salesperson, they will automatically be a superstar manager. This assumption has proven wrong more often than not. The great salesperson approaches the sales leadership position thinking that the same attributes which made them a successful salesperson; tenacity, perseverance, sound tactics and an ability to sell will translate to sales management.
In fact, the attributes top sales leaders must possess are; coaching and development skills, strategic planning and execution, empathy, high EQ among others. The following editorial must be discounted if in fact you have the wrong person at the helm.