In our last email, we talked about the benefit of having someone outside the sales team, who can provide objective feedback to improve your new business team’s efficiency and effectiveness.
But how does that work when I am the management team and the salesperson?
In most of the firms I work with, the principal is still bringing in most of the deals. She is fielding all the inbound leads. She is making the pitches. She’s not alone; there’s help, but if her head gets into a bad neighborhood, who comes and leads her out?
Here are some things you might try to keep your head right so you can keep selling.
Find a way to be objective
You need to get out of your head and look at numbers regularly. Weekly isn’t too often!
- How many new leads do you have?
- How many meetings?
- How often are you offering a proposal?
- What’s your closing rate?
Having real numbers to look at can help to quell the stories that might be running around in your head.
I know you hate spending time filling in the spreadsheet – have a team member keep it up to date – but look at the trend line every week.
Return to the proven process
Every sales manager knows that when a salesperson is “off their game,” they have most likely gone away from the process that we know works. By returning to the process, the way that has worked time and again, you can get back in the groove.
This is hard to do alone, especially in a time when everything is changing! Do you have a written sales process? Have you codified “what’s worked” for you in the past? If not, do it. Without a map, how will you know you are lost?
Find a source of positive stories
When you get on a streak of bad calls, it can be discouraging. You feel like nothing is going to work, or you’re tempted to just “try something new.” (See above!)
A great sales manager will bring a success story from another salesperson to restore your confidence in the process that works. Everyone has a bad week (or month) – but when it’s your business, that bad month may make you feel anxious or even desperate. (Desperation doesn’t lead to more sales!) You need someone who will help you to get your head right!
Do you have a peer group, a mentor, or another business owner you can reach out to?
Great sales managers take out the (head) trash
It’s incredible how sales folks lie to themselves. “I know I’ve been saying this for months, but this deal is going to close this week…” No. It’s not.
Someone has to take the optimism out of our pipeline. Someone has to look realistically and point out how we’re wasting our time chasing deals that are never going to close, or that wouldn’t be right for us even if they did close so that we will focus our time and attention where it belongs; at the top of the funnel. Instead of chasing deals, chase more leads.
_I work with several clients to provide this outsider view to keep you more focused and efficient in your business development process. Hit reply and tell me about your situation to find out more. _