By John Monroe
Imagine if you could give your sales team a drug that would make them superhuman selling machines for the day. If this were possible, would you take the risk and give it to your team?
I was watching Project Power, a new movie on Netflix, and my mind started racing. When your salespeople reported to the conference room each day for the morning sales meeting, what if you handed them a cappuccino and a magic pill, but you had no idea what superpower would be unleashed until they took the pill for the first time? One person might become the ultimate closer that no customer could say no to; another might have the skill of always finding the decision maker on the first call; another might be the ultimate salesperson with the power to turn every job into a million-dollar deal. Of course, there would always be the risk that they take the pill and become the nightmare salesperson who is afraid to get out of bed and won’t talk to anyone, so they just send emails by the hundreds. Would it be worth the risk?
Thankfully, you do not need a magic pill to turn your sales team into superhuman selling machines—although I can’t promise your team won’t need a shot of cappuccino to get their brains working in the morning!
In this pandemic world where we currently live, social distancing, not shaking hands, and becoming experts at reading ocular nuances over a face mask is the new normal. To keep your super sales team engaged with the client, here are four sales management strategies that every sales manager should embrace.
1 | Accept reality
Face-to-face selling will not return to the way it was before March 2020. Some of the salespeople I talk with are stuck in a pre-COVID-19 time warp and don’t know how to sell if they can’t travel from door to door. Salespeople must learn to adjust their routines and use alternative forms of communication. As the sales manager, have your people continue to create daily and weekly sales plans, set goals, and make sure they continue to add value to your customers.
2 | Embrace and leverage video
Sales managers should help their sales teams gain confidence and become comfortable using video conferencing. Holding virtual meetings with your team and conducting sales training through a webcam will build your team’s video conferencing skills. Coach them to use prerecorded presentations as an opportunity to present information about your services. These recordings can be used to add value to your client on their own timetable.
3 | Become a trusted advisor
If your team does not have a presence on social media sites you should help them develop one. Encourage your salespeople to build a presence that helps them be viewed as a thought leader in the target market they are pursuing. To become a trusted advisor, have your team become better at researching information and asking the right questions to find solutions for the customer.
4 | Measure the results
Achieving your team’s sales goals is possible if you provide the needed coaching and sales management. In these challenging times you must have weekly check-ins and review their daily activities. Now more than ever it is important for you to give your team feedback and hold them accountable to the metrics you have in place. Great salespeople rise to the challenge and will find ways to grow their business under any conditions. Help them reach their goals by having regular strategic conversations. Discussions should be ongoing and focus on discovering the customers’ needs and desired outcomes, especially considering that those needs will be changing frequently over the next few years.
It would be amazing if salespeople could take a pill like the characters in the Netflix movie and instantly have superhuman sales powers. Of course, there is no such pill, but there are great salespeople and that is because they have great managers who set expectations and define the expected outcomes. Great managers motivate their people by building on their “superhero” strengths.
John Monroe is a Business Development Advisor for Violand Management Associates (VMA), a highly-respected consulting company in the restoration and cleaning industries. Monroe is a leading expert in marketing, sales and sales management for the restoration and cleaning industries with over 30 years of experience in those fields. Through Violand, Monroe works with companies to develop their people and their profits. To reach him, visit Violand.com or call 800-360-3513.