HARDISON’S TIPS – DECEMBER 10, 2021 – Things that Prevent Your Sales Team from Being Successful -2
6.Don’t: Don’t ignore marketing . . . marketing is your friend. Marketing and sales have always been joined at the hip, and this is even more evident than ever in the social media age. Some companies still don’t understand the difference, and so it may take some education of senior leadership to drive the point home. Recognize that investments in inbound marketing, lead generation and outbound marketing to create qualified leads can dramatically improve the performance and productivity of your sales organization.
- Don’t: Don’t confuse activity with results. As tempting as it might be, don’t be misled by the activity of your sales team versus the results they produce. The number of cold calls and meetings, the time spent out of the office, client meals and entertainment expenses and proposals made are all great, but only to a point. Be extremely diligent about separating these “activities” from the results your team actually produces. Your sales executive who rings the bell in terms of phone calls and meetings may not be delivering the results you are looking for.
- Don’t: Don’t assume you have a good sales culture . . . it takes work. How do you know? It takes tremendous focus to truly create a positive sales culture. You must have the right leadership with supportive senior management, hire the right kind of people, create a positive working environment, support each other, implement appropriate compensation plans, instill a “team first” mentality, and develop an open and honest communication style across the organization to build a strong sales culture. Not many companies can pull this off, but making the effort towards getting there will bring its own rewards.
- Don’t: Don’t take sales process for granted. Everyone thinks that sales is the last place that needs process, but nothing could be further from the truth. Especially in complex B2B sales, a sales process that is followed with rigor pays great dividends. A proven sales process will ensure that you are progressing opportunities through your pipeline, that everyone agrees on the characteristics of the opportunities that are moving forward, that proper checks and balances are in place and that sales and delivery are all on the same page. See my blog “The Pipeline Quality Challenge: 5 Ways to Get Your Pipeline Back in Shape,” for more information on this topic.
- Don’t: Don’t settle for unproven or average sales leadership. At the end of the day, it comes down to proper sales leadership to ensure that your sales team is hitting on all cylinders and achieving the results your company desires. There is no substitute for experience in creating and building high-performing sales teams and avoiding the pitfalls laid out in this article. Great sales leadership comes from a combination of knowledge, successes, failures and most of all, character. Don’t settle for less.