There are many responsibilities that lie on the shoulders of today’s sales leaders. In addition to taking the lead in solving difficult to manage situations, sales leaders are charged with making critical decisions that affect the future of their company. Here is what you need to know about how to tackle the challenges you face as a sales leader:
One of the most difficult challenges sales leaders face today is when and how to establish a sales process. Begin by analyzing and assessing a sales methodology that fits the culture of your company and industry. Next, consider the nature of your sales team. Do they work remotely or in your office? More and more sales teams have virtual offices. This presents a unique challenge for sales leaders who want their salespeople to be held accountable to a sales process. Regardless of your organizational layout, you must create a standardized and documented sales process. Once your team is following a sales process, you’ll have a higher level of accountability and accuracy in reporting. The end result will be an improvement in your closing ratio.
Another common challenge for today’s sales leaders is the hiring process. Too many sales leaders struggle with hiring the right people to fit into their company’s culture which leads to a high turnover rate and roller coaster sales. Another error in hiring occurs when sales leaders hire talented salespeople instead of trainable salespeople. Remember, no matter how talented someone is, they still must be trained on how your company operates. If a salesperson struggles during his training process, inevitably he’s going to struggle in the field and on his internal team.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
Many organizations struggle with a clash between sales and marketing. The clash usually occurs because of inconsistent messaging. The marketing team creates a campaign with the expectation for follow up, and the sales team visits with prospects and clients and says something completely different. This results in frustrated clients and eventually a loss of business. To attain sales and marketing alignment, go back to challenge number one, your sales process. Once your sales process is cemented and sales and marketing agree, prospects and clients will notice a higher level of consistency and you’ll close and retain more business.
You’ve heard the saying time is money. Nobody wants to waste their money. However, there are too many moments when your salespeople waste time on activity that will not generate sales. The most valuable asset for salespeople is time. If your salespeople are in the field, day after day, they must be generating revenue day after day. Your job is to be an effective sales leader by helping them drive sales. To be an effective sales leader, you must teach your sales team how to be intentional with their time.
Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Today’s sales leaders must keep their teams up-to-date with the latest and greatest in technology. If you are not relevant, you risk falling behind your competition. Remain on the forefront of technology and you’ll stay a step ahead of your competition. As you update technology, be sure that everyone in your organization receives adequate training. To get the most out of your new technology, teach your team how to leverage it so it can be as effective as possible.
Take the time to examine each one of these challenges and develop strategies for each. You shoulder many responsibilities as a sales leader. However, as you take the lead in solving these difficult to manage situations, you will advance your company forward, well into the future.
Founder of RedRock Leadership