- Vice Chairman, Global Head of Technology, Media and Telecom - CTPartners
- Managing Partner & President of Leadership Services - Heidrick & Struggles
- Managing Partner - Korn Ferry
- SVP Sales - Software Publishing Corporation
- Director - IBM Channel Operations
- All 7 Best Practices
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Sales is the lifeblood of your organization. But, for a lot of reasons, your sales team is not performing as well as it should.
Sales is a team sport. In order to be effective, a sales organization must innovate for customer satisfaction and success. Sales people must learn and self-correct to adapt in a competitive market. They must ask for help from their managers as well as from each other, actively teaming in order to leverage everyone’s skills and experiences.
Solving the problem in the right way takes guts. You need to change the organization’s behavior and you have to do it from the ground up, not the top down. You can’t fix it the problem by throwing technology at it because technology just reinforces bad behavior. You can’t fix it with training either, because training increases knowledge but it does not change behavior.
For example, a new sales manager may require a great deal of training in the skills necessary to succeed in their new job. But the pressure for quick results has everyone working on boosting this quarter's numbers and not on the long game. Training an individual does not change the organizational behavior.
Front-line sales managers are often chosen because they are outstanding salespeople. But there is a big difference between being a sales star and knowing how to turn other people into sales stars. Effective sales management is about coaching and developing sales people, building firm-to-firm relationships, creating partnerships with the sales organization's internal supply chain, and creating a proactive territory strategy.
You need to build a sales force based on teamwork, trust and transparency; an organization that actively looks for customer partnership opportunities; an organization in which each player reinforces the other, nurturing and mentoring are second nature and competitiveness is reserved for the competition. You need to build a fearless sales "team."