If an outside sale is truly a sales process, then there are steps involved for each sale. Since we agree on this fact, it makes sense to manage salespeople towards each of the steps in the sales process. The best way to manage these steps is taking them one at a time, moving forward each step toward the sales close. Essentially, you want to begin with the end in mind which Steven Covey suggests as the second habit of successful people.
Too often a sales manager loses track of the importance of the sales process and focuses on the activities. I remember when I was selling copiers how the sales managers’ focus was only on my sales activities. This tyrant of a sales manager challenged me each day. My calendar needed to show 3 appointments, 20 cold calls and 50 telephone calls. The fundamental belief that sales activity would lead to sales was flawed. It wasn’t the activity that made me successful; it was the steps I was taking toward each sale.
The forward thinking sales manager will always work backwards from the goal of a closed sale. When a sales manager’s focus is on the sales process, they will always know if a potential deal is real or not. A few questions about where prospects are in the sales process and how the prospect got there will reveal the true situation.
Steve Martinez is the founder and CSO (Chief Sales Officer) with Selling Magic. The Business Development company is sales oriented and a CRM pioneer in automating and customizing ACT or Outlook with the best practices of sales management for increased sales. http://www.sellingmagic.com
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