Sales Management Hacks that Will Work for You

BY Tim Londergan
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Remember when you were just starting in sales? Initially, you crashed a few times. Took some hits and made some mistakes. You experimented. Good old trial and error. Then, when some creative thinking and your intuition kicked in, you figured out some tricks that actually worked! Now you have additional responsibilities which include coaching your sales team among many other duties. It’s time to take a few minutes to study some sales management hacks that will work for you.

Gone are the days of cold calling a prospect, securing a meeting — if you even get one — and closing a sale. Both you and your team know that much of the power sits in the hands of the prospect. Today, much of the initial sales information has been transmitted before your seller even gets the first meeting. In all likelihood, the prospect has narrowed down their choices to two or three select vendors before they agree to meet with your company’s representative. In this new sales environment, now heavily influenced by technology, sales reps need to connect with customers and overcome the same basic obstacles but using a modern approach.

Sales Management Hacks that Will Work for You

Your role is to lead and coach your sales team through the many obstacles they face. Here are just five to consider:

Identifying and communicating with the decision-​makers. If they are not already active on LinkedIn, get your team engaged and trained. Leverage this tech tool to build their own credibility and to identify key decision-​makers. One individual is probably not the only person who is going to have input on getting to ‘yes’. Identify them all and then figure out how to meet with them. If your team is fortunate enough to have a marketing department, engage them to provide lists of prospects by business category.

Uncovering the budget. You may know this as an often-​touchy subject. Of course, there are tools available, such as, AdMall, that provide guidelines in terms of percent-​to-​sales estimates. In addition, your seller should politely, but firmly, suggest that their client determine their budget prior to soliciting bids. Stress the importance of an advance figure in the interest of a timely and more accurate proposal. Frame the interaction through the lens of recommending a program that best suits the prospect's needs and expectations.

Working with prospects who do not want to commit. Have your seller break it down. What, specifically, is of interest and what components are still in question? The goal of this question is to get clarification. What exactly needs to happen before moving forward?

Understanding the prospect’s values. Is the organization most concerned with good customer service, high quality products, speedy delivery, or ease of use? Once the prospect is talking about these areas, your sell can determine what is needed and how to position themselves to meet those needs.

Establishing credibility. Pre-​call intelligence is undeniably the most effective tool your sellers can possess. Salespeople who make the effort to find something of relevance to the buyer that they can share, instead of just trying to get by on personality, are perceived as more credible. Local account intelligence reports from AdMall are the essence of strong marketing insights for sales call preparation.

Create a safe working environment. As your team comes back into the workplace or continues to work virtually, you need to assure a setting where everyone can communicate openly and listen emphatically. Encourage them to use time management software and find creative ways for them to connect with each other. Schedule check-​in time with each team member. Ask about not only work-​related matters, but also how the person is doing overall and how you can be supportive. 

Simply put, it is a different business world today. Your role is more complex. Sellers may have more tools, tech and processes to worry about than ever before. The basics of sales have not changed as much as the avenues by which to arrive. Your creativity and sensibilities are again on display as you embrace many of the sales management hacks that will work for you.