Sales Management Training 9 Tactical Strategies to a World Class Sales Culture

Do you find that your company sales
culture could be stronger? If so, you’re not alone at all. In fact, the world of business has just
become so much more dynamic in just the past few years. In fact, since 2000 alone, a whopping 52% of Fortune 500 companies
have either gone bankrupt, been acquired, or disappeared completely. And at this current rate, about 50% of all S&P 500 firms
will be replaced by 2027. And at the same time, the
average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 firm was
around 75 years in 1960. Today, it’s less than 15 years, and it’s declining all the time. And so specifically in the world of sales, the data is in some cases equally bleak. The average tenure of a VP of sales has dropped
precipitously from 26 months just about seven years ago
to now 19 months today. And that’s across all
industries and geographies. Quota attainment has dropped as well from 26% about five years ago to 53% today. But there are some tactical
and tangible strategies that you can implement as a
manager or as a business owner to start building that
world class sales culture. In this sales management training video, I’m going to show you the nine strategies to a world class sales culture. Check it out. Number one, thoroughly
assess your existing team. Now, I cannot tell you how many managers or business leaders come to
me and say, “You know what? “I need you to train my people “because they’re just
doing a terrible job.” And now, that may sound
logical to some people. It’s completely illogical when
you really think about it, because the reality is is that there are probably
some people on that team who shouldn’t be on that team. And so what we want to first
do as a manager or as a CEO or whomever it is, we want to assess the
existing sales organization. We really want to understand. Are the people on this
team the right people in the first place? And if they’re not, then my suggestion is, either remove them to another department where they might be happier
in places like operations or in customer service or let them go and find a job elsewhere. You need to have a team of
people who are coachable, who are buildable, who are
willing to implement the ideas. And if not, then quite frankly, everything else we’re
going to be talking about moving forward is going
to be a waste of time because you need to have those
right people from the start. So assess the existing people, and what I’d suggest you do is
rate them on an A to F scale. So A is obviously superior performers. F is obviously someone that just really needs to be elsewhere. If anyone is below a B minus, then they’re probably not
the right fit for your team. You want to be focusing only
on those higher performers. Number two, use a hiring process for identifying superior talent. Now, you may not be actively
involved in the hiring process of your organization for sales people, but if you’re a manager or even a CEO of a good size organization,
you need to make sure that the strategy and that
the process for hiring talent is really going to yield
superior performers. And so that means having a
systematic process for hiring that has multiple steps
that forces salespeople, potential sales hires, to
demonstrate their selling ability throughout that hiring process. This is something that I implement with my clients all the time
because we need to understand that the people we’re hiring
are going to be the right fit. Now, nothing’s 100%
certain, but what you can do is you can mitigate a
lot of that uncertainty around that hiring process by making sure that it’s systematic, it’s intentional, and it uses all the existing
tools that are available to make sure that someone
is a superior fit. And some of those tools
might include things like online assessments to make sure that you’re getting people ho are not just a fit behaviorally but are also going to be a cognitive fit using pre-screened calls that are going to test
someone’s ability on the phone throughout the interview process to make sure that they’re the right fit. Using role plays, having
this all structured out, knowing exactly what questions
are going to be asked in the hiring process to make sure that you’re getting the
best possible hires. Number three, know the strategic
math to growing your sales. Now, this isn’t a very long video, so I can’t get too deep
into the weeds here, but what I suggest every manager, every CEO, every sales leader does, is understand the exact math that is going to go into increasing sales. Now, there are only three ways
to actually increase sales. First, you need to increase
the conversion rate of every opportunity
that’s in front of you. Next is you can increase the
average sale size of each sale, so selling bigger sales, and then lastly is increasing
your sales pipeline, so the actual raw number of prospects that you’re getting in front of. Now, most organizations
tend to focus on the first and the last. They think about “How can we
increase the conversion rate?” And they’re thinking, “How can we get in front of more people?” But very often, the
easiest one is actually, “How can we increase the average sale size “of each individual sale so
that our sales increase?” And by the way, if you combine
all three of those together, it has a multiplicative effect such that you can actually double sales by increasing each of those
areas by only about 26%. And so you can actually make
smaller tweaks to each area to have a knock on effect that’s huge. Understanding that math is
going to be so important to understanding exactly how we’re going to ultimately grow our sales. Number four, implement
leveraged prospecting. Now, I cannot tell you how many CEO’s or managers or CSO’s come to me and
say, “You know what? “We want our salespeople to
be making more cold calls.” And my first response is always,
“Well, help me understand. “Is cold calling the most
effective use of their time?” Now, in some cases, it kind
of can be, but very rarely. Now, this doesn’t mean that making a call to a person you don’t know is ineffective. It just means that the
act of a pure cold call which is that the other person
has no idea who you are, they’ve never received anything from you, and they’re just getting
a random phone call, that’s probably not
going to be the best use of a salesperson’s time. What we want to do is
we want to use leverage to make sure that every
action of our salespeople is going to have the highest likelihood of leading to either a
meeting or leading to a sale. And so leveraged prospecting simply means that in our prospecting efforts, that we use every tool possible to make sure that salespeople are going
to be most effective, and so that typically looks something like having a real sales prospecting campaign that salespeople are following. So that will include a combination
of emails, phone calls, LinkedIn messages, voicemails
left, packages sent, right? You want to give the
prospect lots of content throughout this process or lots of ideas that they can then implement so that way, by the time you actually
get the person on the phone, it’s most likely to lead to
some kind of a real next step. We want to have leveraged prospecting. We don’t just want our salespeople
to be making more dials. We want to make sure that those dials that they’re
making are most effective. Number five, have a
structured sales process. (sighs) This is a tough one because
this is so difficult for a lot of organizations because so many organizations
are looking here, and then they’re looking here, and they’re all over the place, and so at the end of the day, they just end up usually just
letting their salespeople do whatever it is that they’ve
decided is their sales process. And the problem with this is
that it’s like herding kittens. Everyone is going off
in different directions. Everyone’s doing different things, and so there’s no common sales philosophy within the organization,
and quite frankly, what most salespeople are just doing is probably not the most
effective use of their time. Bring in a structured sales process that walks salespeople
through how to get prospects on the phone or how to
get in front of prospects. What does that initial
discovery process look like? How are they then presenting? What are do the proposals look like? And then how are we, once
we actually close a sale, how are we onboarding prospects into our general processes? Really structuring out that
sales process is so key, and depending on the size
of your organization, if you’re small, then it’s probably just finding
some basic sales training where you can have a structured process. If you’re a bigger organization, you can really customize that process to make sure that it fits
exactly in line every step, every question, every line is understood so that way even if people
aren’t following it exactly by the script, there is a
process that they can follow, and we can manage to that exact process. Number six, track
discovery meetings closely. Managers, CEO’s, CSO’s, VP’s of sales, always, always say, “Marc, what is the most important KPI “or what is the most important metric “that we can be tracking
of our salespeople?” There is no one answer to that question, but if I were to generalize and come up with one answer that is most likely to be
accurate for most organizations, it would be that the most
important metric to track of salespeople from an
accountability perspective is the number of discovery meetings that salespeople are setting. And discovery meetings are
those initial sales meetings that are in the calendar,
that are scheduled, and that are to be kind of
that first introduction. If managers are tracking that number, then you’re going to have
the most likely indicator of that salesperson’s success because discovery meetings is
the ultimate leading indicator of success. It’s telling you if a salesperson has tons of discovery meetings on their calendar, then you probably have a pretty good idea that they’re likely to be successful in the following months. So using your CRM to really
track those discovery meetings and making sure that salespeople are setting
enough discovery meetings because 90% of the issues that I see in terms of a prospecting perspective that organizations have or from an accountability perspective is simply that salespeople
aren’t setting enough of those discovery meetings, so they have this empty pipeline, and all of the issues snowball from there. Make sure that the one
thing you’re really tracking besides, of course, sales numbers, is the number of discovery meetings that salespeople are setting
or that they have on the books. Number seven, let your
CRM do the heavy lifting. I always ask managers and owners and CEO’s the same question, which is, “Do you know exactly what
your salespeople are doing “on a day-to-day basis?” And what’s amazing is that so often, managers cannot answer that
question in the affirmative. They say, “Oh yeah, you know, “I think we generally have an idea.” I say, “No, no, do you know
exactly what they’re doing “on a day-to-day basis? “Can you track that? “Can you see what’s actually happening?” And most, most managers, even VP’s of sales, even in pretty
sophisticated organizations, simply cannot say yes to that question. But the success of the organization
depends on your ability to know what salespeople are doing. This isn’t about being Big Brother. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s about letting your CRM be able to present to you a story of what salespeople are actually doing, and so that way, you don’t
have to stop in on their office or kind of poke your head in and say, “Hey, what’s going on today? “What are you doing today?” It’s the exact opposite. It’s that you can see exactly
what’s happening in the CRM. You know exactly how many
meetings they’ve scheduled, how many calls they’ve made, ow many referrals they’ve asked for, whatever it is that you’re very
clear on those key metrics, and that they’re being tracked in the CRM so that way, you don’t have
to play that Big Brother role. Let the CRM do the heavy lifting so that way, when you’re
in your sales meetings, it’s already understood what’s happened and that there’s a lot
of transparency there. Everyone knows what others are doing, so that way, we can really hold
our salespeople accountable in a way that’s helping
them grow their businesses. Number eight, run a
structured sales meeting. Ah, have you ever been in a meeting that was just completely unstructured, and it’s just all over the place, and it’s just haphazard? And suddenly you look on your watch. It has been 19 minutes, and you’ve accomplished exactly nothing? Well, this may be the experience
that your salespeople feel when they sit in on your sales meetings. Now, I don’t mean to be
aggressive about this, but it is so important that managers run
structured sales meetings with their salespeople,
that there is a clear agenda to every meeting, and
that in every meeting, there is going to be a
clear set of commitments that each salesperson is 100%
committed to accomplishing over a specific period of time. Likely a period of time that will then lead to
the next sales meeting when we will then check
up on those commitments to see if they’ve actually done what they’ve said they were going to do. You start to run those
structured sales meetings, and it’s amazing how meetings
suddenly become more valuable. Now, a structured sales meeting means that it is regularly
scheduled, there’s an agenda, and that the followup is consistent. And so you may run a meeting once a month, or you may run it once a week, depends on the type of
organization that you have. There’s a lot of factors, but
what you want to make sure is that it is completely
consistent, and so that way, salespeople can start to
expect that consistency, and that’s where accountability
starts to drive performance, when they start to know that
there’s real consistency. Be sure to run that
structured sales meeting. Number nine, coach with intention. Coaching is one of those things that most managers know they
need to be doing more of it, yet they don’t do much of it at all. It tends to be very reactive. It might mean that hey, you know, occasionally I’ll visit
with the salesperson, and we’ll go in, and we’ll
meet with some of our clients or prospects, and
there’s no real intention behind that coaching. It’s just kind of random, and
then the manager sits down and says, “Hey, so, you know, let’s talk “about what was good, what was bad.” You know, they do the old sandwich thing, which is good, bad, good thing. But that’s not really intentional, and that’s not going to really
help your salespeople grow. So as a manager, when
we coach with intention, it means that we have a systematic process to coaching people. One of the things that I teach my clients is how to coach in a way that is leading to the answer but not leading with the answer. It’s really hard for a
manager to not just say, “Hey, so I just watched what you did, “and here’s what I think
you should do differently.” It’s really easy to do that. We tend to as managers be very driven, and we just want to
get right to the point. But what we actually want to do is have a systematic
approach to asking questions of our salespeople to actually
get them to lead themselves to the answer, and so what
I often think about is, you almost want to use
that ideal sales process as the coach with your people. We never want to just jump
to the solution in sales. We want to ask questions to
help the prospect see the value before we present. Same thing comes with coaching. We want to ask questions
of the salespeople. I call it the rule of three. Anytime you have a coaching
point that you want to make, ask three questions to get there. You know, let’s say you’re in
a meeting with a salesperson, and you know, they really just completely
botched the budget part of the conversation with the prospect. Rather than saying, “Hey, you know, “you really want to be
getting right into budget,” you start with, “So,
George, walk me through. “What do you think could
have been done differently “in that meeting?” And maybe they recognize the budget thing. Maybe they don’t. You say, “Well, you know, “help me understand the budget piece. “What was your takeaway “in terms of what their budget really is?” And obviously budget wasn’t discussed, so now we want to dig into
that and keep asking questions to get them to articulate
that there was a challenge. That is what coaching with
intention is all about, whether you’re the CEO
managing the VP level, or you’re the VP managing your managers, or you’re the manager
managing your salespeople, or you’re the business owner
managing your own salespeople, we need to be coaching with intention. So there are the nine strategies to a world class sales culture. I want to hear from you. Which of these ideas did
you find most useful? Be sure to share below
in the comment section to just involved in this conversation, and if you enjoyed this video, then I have an awesome free resource of the key pages and worksheets guide that are going to literally
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5 comments on “Sales Management Training 9 Tactical Strategies to a World Class Sales Culture

  1. Sales in our industry has sky rocketed!!! We have more than tripled in sales from 200k a month to 1 million a month in sales

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