As the leader of your sales team are you able to quickly identify market shifts, buying process changes, and the needs for new products and or services? Or do you, like 90% of the sales leaders out there seem to be playing catch up, always chasing what you should have done? “Clean Sales Management “is a practice, a methodology, which entails gathering market information in the market, belly to belly, if you will, with buyers. When you practice clean sales management you will find your sales team seems always ahead of your competitors in sales, new products, as well as overall customer satisfaction.
Like a number of us I set out in 2011 to become healthier. I drifted from my workout plan and I found myself being less intentional about what I was consuming to fuel over the last three months. I found a number of articles on “eating clean” . The basic premise of eating clean is to consume less processed foods and intentionally set out to eat foods that are closest to their raw natural state. For example, we should consume raw broccoli and carrots instead of popping open a can and quickly microwaving this canned, processed, solution. It’s about staying away from consuming junk food.
As I thought about eating clean it reminded me of how I have found the most success in leading sales and marketing teams when I was out in the market, intentionally consuming feedback from buyers directly with my teams. When I would struggle in my sales and marketing leadership is when I was so focused on forecasting and CRM system stage reports that I failed to have an intimate understanding of what was going on in the lives of my markets and the problems of our buyers. Sure, my sales teams participated in weekly conference calls provided weekly call reports, and one on one calls with my team members, however I see now those communications were processed.
Developing sales plans based on phone conversations with your salespeople is “sales management junk food.”
I heard it once “salespeople are like water and they will take the path of least resistance to a sale” and what I have experienced is they strive for quick fixes and shortcuts, often band aides to cure gapping wounds in the repeatable sales process.
When you practice clean sales management you;
- Are in the market more than behind your desk
- observe your salespeople in action, with buyers
- know why buyers buy from you…and why they don’t
- compare sales report data to what you observe at the source ( raw and unprocessed)
- stop looking for a salespersons “Ass to kick” and focus on solving problems
- identify the injuries to your repeatable sales process as the shifts occur and adjust so they do not become gapping wounds
- become stronger at conducting business triage
- find your leadership is stronger due to your direction being driven close to the source
- meet and exceed your sales goals
- meet and exceed new product sales goals
- poor performers are eliminated from your team quicker
- buyers trust your overall organization more
- sales are more profitable
- gather sales representative data points and build sales tools that address trends as apposed to chasing each salesperson’s perceived needs based on the last buyer they spoke with
So how about your organizations…are you ready to practice Clean Sales Management?
How often are your sales leaders in the market working with their teams in front of buyers?
Do you and or your sales leaders feel chained to your desk at corporate analyzing CRM updates and creating forecasts no one ever hits?
Do your competitors keep beating you to the sale with new products and or services?
Do you believe your sales team provides “raw” feedback or “processed “information based on what they think you want to hear?
One resolution I ask each sales leader to practice is to intentionally set out to work in your markets, belly to belly with buyers to insure you practice clean sales management.