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“A Sales Manager Walks Into a Company…” Part 2
Blog / Sales Management / Apr 19, 2016 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 1028 

“A Sales Manager Walks Into a Company…” Part 2

In Part 1, we began diving into some very specific pain points for a sales manager—those encountered when a sales manager is newly hired into a company. Here we tell the rest of the story.

It starts like many old jokes–“A sales manager walks into a company…” But it certainly isn’t one–just ask anyone who has been there. When a new sales manager does walk into a company and is hired, he or she is expected to take the sales team—and the company bottom line—to new heights.

It is a tough position. All eyes are on sales manager–the company executives from above, and the sales reps from below.

That sales manager is going to be faced with a number of pain points. This is part 2 of the list, in roughly the order which the new sales manager should handle them.

Note:For the sake of this blog, let’s assume that our sales manager is not inheriting a drastic situation, in which sales and the team are both doing awful. We’re going to assume that they are at least capable and somewhat successful.

Also for the sake of this blog, we’ll assume our sales manager is named Lisa.

Marketing Support

The next thing that Lisa should check up on is marketing support. As we’ll cover in more detail later, a large number of leads, inbound leads, come from marketing.

Sales also requires collateral materials such as customer case studies, competitor studies, price sheets, and many others, to assist in making sales. These also come from Marketing.

To ensure sales is fully receiving Marketing’s backup, Lisa should meet with the executive over Marketing to see how well Sales and Marketing are aligned. She should work with that executive to make sure they are.

Support from Support

Lisa is also going to need to check into how Tech Support backs up sales.

Any sales rep will tell you that the last thing needed while a sales is in progress is tech support issues while the product or service.  When  such an instance arises, tech support must be instant and near-perfect.  That’s the only way sales are consistently made.

But great tech support must continue after the sale is made, and all the way down the line. If it isn’t, there will be no repeat business.

As a note, sales are divided into pre-sales or SDR sales, sales, and then afterward they come under the Customer Success Manager. Because a sales team in creating new business has no real time to devote to existing customers, existing customers need to fall under the Customer Success Manager. We’ll be talking about the Customer Success Manager in the near future.

The Pipeline

Lisa is also going to have to pay strict attention to the structure of the sales pipeline itself. This means the sales process and it’s various stages.

The effectiveness of a sales process can be estimated by the number of sales that make it through to a close. When there are 1 or more stages where opportunities tend to stall, or which tend to be skipped over because they have become outmoded or useless, that sales process is losing its efficiency.

A sales process can be evolved from a actions performed by a company’s most successful reps. But once you’ve got a basic process, be ready to try it out, monitor it carefully, and change it as needed. Which leads us to our next point.

Once that process is up and being used, and for the moment is as correct as can be, attention needs to be paid to what salespeople are doing within each step of the sales process. You could say that the sales process is the horizontal process, whereas the vertical process is what occurs within each stage. The tasks and activities that make up each vertical process are every bit as important as the horizontal processes.

The sales process is another hefty subject, and we have created a lot of material on it. At the end of this article we have listed links to several of them for further reading.

 

The Dynamic Sales Pipeline

As anyone who has been involved with it very long knows, sales is always subject to change — it is a dynamic activity.  The is true of every  business,  and even of economies. Your products and services are also constantly evolve.

All of this means that your sales process will need to change as time goes by. Your sales pipeline must be as dynamic as the environment through which it flows

The sales manager pain point here is not only having a dynamic sales process, but also having and using a CRM solution that is just as dynamic, that can be instantly changed as needed. Most CRM systems are not that flexible—and Pipeliner specializes in it.

Pipeliner is the most flexible and dynamic CRM solution available. Try it today

To learn more about the subject of sales processes, check out these further resources:

About Author

A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipeliner Sales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople.Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

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