3 Quick Wins for New Sales Managers
New sales managers are often promoted from the ranks of the most successful account execs. When you were a business development rep (BDR) or account exec (AE), you learned how to grind out the activity numbers (sourcing leads, sending emails, making calls). When you developed the necessary conversion skills (setting demos, generating opportunities and closing deals), you started crushing it.
Getting promoted to a sales manager brings a whole new set of challenges. Being a great AE does not necessarily translate into success as a sales manager, and many sales managers are put in the role with little or no training. Now, hitting the number depends on the performance of a team of people. The job is to motivate and coach the team to perform at a high level, just as you did when you were a BDR or AE. The key is to become effective quickly. Being an effective sales manager isn't about rah rahs and fist bumps (though they don't hurt) and "fake it until you make it" is not a good plan.
Here is a simple way to be effective right away as a new sales manager. There are three skills you must master quickly.
1. Motivate reps to be as good as the top performers on the sales floor.
2. Identify activity levels that need to be increased, give feedback and track improvement.
3. Figure out where sales skills may be deficient, provide specific coaching and track improvement.
In this post, we'll review each of these skills and show you how Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecards can be the every day tool to manage your team to success.
Perhaps the most powerful way to motivate sales reps is to compare them to their peers. If you are a new manager who is inheriting a team, it's important to get a read on how all of your reps have performed over the last year. This doesn't need to be complicated. For a team of AEs, this can be as simple as tracking calls, demos, opportunities created and bookings.
In this example, Adam has inherited a team of AEs, and the data from Adam's Sales Rep Scorecard immediately reveals who is performing and who isn't. Adam has work to do to improve the performance of the AEs at the bottom of this list, especially Ricky, or Adam will need to recruit replacements.
Fix Sales Activity Problems
When Adam sits down with Ricky at his weekly one-on-one, the Sales Rep Scorecard will show Ricky where he stands in cold numbers. When the reality of the situation is clear, the first thing to do is to examine if Ricky is spending time on the necessary sales activities. In this example, it's clear that Ricky's call volume is near the bottom of the list. Adding the ranking numbers makes this very clear. The numbers show that most of the other reps make a lot more calls to generate Opportunities, and Ricky is at the bottom of the stack. This can be the kind of "proof" that Ricky needs to commit to increasing call levels. In other words, when Adam says, "you need to make more calls," Ricky is more likely to listen.
Adam also added a column to show the amount of pipeline created, and Ricky is once again at the bottom of the list. The message to Ricky is that calls translate to Opps and Opps represent Pipeline. Once these metrics have been discussed, the Sales Rep Scorecard automatically updates them so Adam and Ricky can track progress every week.
Figure Out Sales Skills Problems
Being a successful AE isn't just about activity. It's also about results. Translating activities into results requires skills. The key for new sales managers is to figure out where there may be skill problems. If you know where the problems are, you can coach and teach.
Let's go back to the story of Adam's new team. Ricky needs to improve his activity levels, but does he also need coaching to improve his skills? Sales Rep Scorecards can also be used to shine light on this. In the example below, Adam has added a ratio called Value per Opportunity to the Scorecard. Value per Opportunity is average selling price (ASP) multiplied by close rate. It can also be described as the expected value of an opportunity.
This metric shows that Ricky has a real problem with turning Opportunities into deals. This gives Adam a clear focus for coaching. He needs to take a strong look at whether Ricky's Opps are being properly qualified. Then, Adam needs to assess whether Ricky has important closing skills such as the ability to overcome objections and the ability to control a process.
Again, using Sales Rep Scorecards, these metrics are automatically updated and can be tracked to see if this performance improves.
Here is a great white paper about Tracking Sales Rep Targets with Rekener.
Check out this blog post on Leading Indicators for Sales Managers to Track
Request a demo of Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecards application.
- Start a free trial by connecting your Salesforce or HubSpot CRM account.
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Alex is CEO and Founder of Rekener. Previously, he served as President and COO at ZeroTurnaround and as President of the Delta Division of BBN Technologies. At ZeroTurnaround, he grew high velocity inside sales by 6x in 3 years. At BBN, Alex co-founded RAMP and AVOKE, both recurring SaaS businesses based on BBN's world class speech recognition and natural language processing tech. Alex started his entrepreneurial career as founder and COO of NBX Corporation, which led the transformation of business telephone systems to Voice over IP. Alex’s companies have generated $500M in liquidity events and more than $1B in sales.
Sales Rep Scorecards
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