The best sales leaders are without a doubt heavily involved in the oversight of their day-to-day sales process. Getting granular with the issues that your team is dealing with–the objections, the rejections, the missed targets–is crucial to understanding what your sales team needs from its leader. Being an effective leader also means that you are able to back up and see the bigger picture, including the structural problems or challenges your team faces, and the long-term goals that have been committed to. While it can be tempting to stay "in the trenches" with your team, your primary responsibility as the leader is to analyze, plan and achieve success.
Strengthening or regaining your understanding of big picture will help your team be more effective not only in the long-term, but can also impact the next quarter’s results. Here are a couple of important strategies you might consider:
Don’t Let Bad Habits Develop
One of the most damaging things that can happen to a sales team is that they become complacent–especially if they are delivering subpar results. Even the best sales reps can lose their edge over time, since bad habits tend to start slowly and gradually and build to the point where they have a significant impact on overall performance.
As the sales leader, it is imperative that you find a way reduce the time that it takes you to uncover and address potential issues of process compliance and effort. Ensure that your sales process has a defined experience that is to be delivered at each stage of development. Find ways to have the execution documented so that you understand if the process has been followed. These metrics will also assist your understanding of why a rep is underperforming. It is very important to distinguish between lack of effort/execution and poor skills.
Stop Throwing Away Your Discovery Process
Discovery is arguably the most important step in the sales process. Without it, you and your team won't know how best to appeal to potential customers, align value or build a meaningful relationship. It is important to have a robust discovery process that is also recorded and tracked. For many, this is a new concept, as discovery is usually put into notes in the CRM system where is it is not accessible for easy review or analysis.
The Insight Sales Process™ helps you document and capture your discovery as data, which can then be used for accurate forecasting, value and strategy alignment and represents a new framework for sales effectiveness management.
Meeting with your sales team and mapping your Discovery Insights is a valuable team-building activity. List them all and determine at which stage they should be targeted. Which are most important? Can you quantify the weighting? What responses are expected? Do you have experiences defined to help the reps build the trust required to comfortably ask these questions? This exercise and it’s review will provide an ongoing discussion for continuous improvement of the discovery process and will pay performance dividends in quick order.