I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a creative firm with someone in the role of Sales Manager. Sometimes the owner/founder is playing that role, but at best, he’s a player/coach.
When I look outside the creative world, I could make an argument that sales managers are the most undervalued member of a growing company’s team.
The best sales managers make every new business person on the team better. A better new business team, with more consistent practices and more efficient processes, means more new business in the door and faster growth.
See why I’m a champion for the discipline of sales management?
Here are some ways that a good sales manager could help accelerate your agency’s growth.
They make the team more efficient by clearing out the trash in the pipeline
Every time I look at an agency’s pipeline, it’s full of deals that are never going to close. Either it’s the wrong deal for them, or the wrong client for them, or it’s been around so long that it’s effectively dead.
When I challenge the new business team, they usually fight me for a minute, but often concede that I’m right.
Chasing deals that aren’t going to close waste valuable new business time, and if you can stop, it will double your pipeline throughput inside a year.
They push the salespeople to stay more consistent by maintaining a consistent process
What’s the number one reason that good deals don’t close? The new business team didn’t follow the tried and true process.
When we get experienced in new business, we think we can “wing it.” Instead of following the step-by-step approach that’s worked for years, we try to skip steps or invent a new “better” process.
That rarely works.
I’m not saying there’s not a time for process improvement, but if you aren’t closing as consistently as you have in the past, the first place I start is to go back to the tried and true process.
They keep away stinkin’ thinkin’ by spreading positive stories and examples.
When I’m having a tough month, I look for things to blame. This process doesn’t work anymore; it’s COVID, these leads are the wrong people… You’ve had these conversations with yourself, right?
By having a broader perspective, the sales manager can pull in stories from other salespeople following the process, working with the same leads in the same market, and having success.
By doing all of these things, your sales manager keeps the pipeline moving so that the Management team can achieve more predictable revenue.
It’s a thing of beauty.
On Saturday we’ll talk about how to do sales management when YOU are the sales team!