22 Şubat 2008 Cuma

The Challenge Of Sales Management

Having worked with hundreds of organisations during my career, where I have helped, supported and developed sales leaders, I am aware that many of those sales leaders were promoted into their role because they were top performing sales people. Yet, the role of sales person and sales leader has so many differences, which frequently result in the newly promoted sales leader feeling out of their depth and overwhelmed by their newly acquired responsibilities.

In 2004, a significant piece of research was conducted involving 2663 organisations: The report highlighted the fact that a major barrier to sales success was a failure to select and develop a sales leadership team capable of nurturing and fully developing their sales people’s potential.

The majority of sales leaders, new and experienced alike, say they do not have sufficient time or the resources to train and develop their sales teams. They are so focused on sales results, and so accustomed to achieving success through their personal pursuit of those results, that they overlook their greatest potential source of power - the power to achieve optimum performance levels from their teams.

Every sales leader who places an increasing emphasis on performance management will create more productive sales teams. As Colin Mattey, Director, BT Commercial & Brands summarises so eloquently “Performance Management has come to the fore recently in BT Commercial & Brands, and that’s a great thing, but you have to create frameworks where people can actually deal with performance management.”

I believe that the future trend for producing world-class standards in sales leadership will be achieved not by traditional classroom-based training alone. Until sales leaders are equipped with the resources, competence and motivation to want to accept the mantle of developing their own sales teams, any training is likely to be a tactical ‘one-off’ fix, born out of desperation to ‘hit that target’ rather than a sustainable planned approach that can be weaved seamlessly into the sales leader’s role.

According to Pavita Walker, Director, Organisation and Leadership Development at Barclays Group, “Sustainable shifts in behaviour will only ever be realised when sales leaders have the skills and capabilities to provide coaching ‘in the moment’. The greatest value will be created by investing in building coaching capability and providing resources for support rather than endless programmes that rarely have impact longer than a three-month period.”

As the whole sales profession continues to evolve, methods of the past become old-fashioned and redundant, overtaken by new exciting ways to boost sales in today’s global competitive marketplace. Yet, this in turn can be confusing and costly because how can a sales leader choose a method from the thousands of methods available with complete peace of mind?

Sales leaders are busy people with a huge variety of development requirements which means that the option to source development and knowledge based on what each individual wants, when they want it, can best be provided through a type of online sales library, where learning is categorised into key areas for speed of reference and provided in bite-sized chunks for easier implementation.

This principle led me to form a new and exciting partnership with Nikki Owen, Managing Director of Trainique Ltd and the creator of The Sales Activator® who also has a wealth of experience when it comes to the development of sales professionals - in fact between us, we have more than 60 years sales leadership experience.

Our first co-operative initiative is the Sales Leadership Zone™, a unique and dedicated resource for sales leaders that contains hundreds of hours of tools, techniques and support.

The Zone is a place where sales leaders can ‘pick and mix’ what they want, according to their own requirements.

From sales team development sessions and sales team health checks to online sales leader competency profiling and essential techniques for sales leaders, this site can be likened to a sales leadership encyclopaedia – it is an absolute “must have” for time-strapped sales leaders everywhere.

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