Every business owner I’ve interacted with has highlighted sales as the factor most critical to their organization’s success. Yet, when asked how much time they spent with the sales team, the answer shows a huge gap between their words and actions.
Most business leaders have to wear multiple hats all the time. Various departments keep demanding their attention, and most of their time gets spent in addressing daily issues, or fire-fighting. Thus, business leaders end up working as glorified yet underpaid employees in the companies they build.
The results are not good. Because people don’t get monitored for their work, they don’t remain accountable for their actions, and things function in a haphazard manner.
All this directly affects not just productivity but also the turnover of the company.
To make your company function the way you had dreamed of when you started it, you must stop trying to do everything yourself. Instead, you must analyze whether your people are doing what they should to enable your business to achieve its goals. This is where the importance of a manager becomes evident.
The Importance of a Sales Manager
Like I mentioned earlier, sales are the number one priority for most CEOs and business leaders. Yet, they struggle to improve effectiveness in this area for multiple reasons.
1. Shortage of Time:
Monitoring the sales team requires time and effort. Because CEOs and leaders get dragged into various activities, they often fall short of time to conduct sales reviews in a timely and disciplined manner.
Such reviews are essential, not just to know what your salespeople are doing, but also to hold them accountable. A sales manager conducts sales weekly, fortnightly, and monthly sales reviews. This keeps salespeople on their toes because they’re aware that someone will hold them accountable for their deliverables.
The Virtual Sales Managers of EMC-Squared conduct sales reviews in a structured manner, bringing predictability into the process. We also report the outcomes and actionable insights through easy-to-understand dashboards. These insights enable you to implement processes that make your salespeople perform better.
2. Limited Expertise:
Not all leaders have the resources to coach the sales team on raising the bar and improving their sales results. Since their knowledge is spread across fields, they might lack in-depth expertise to take the sales team to the next level.
Dedicated sales managers don’t just have expertise when it comes to sales, they also possess the expertise to coach and train people who report to them. They align teams towards goals that benefit the organization with real-time coaching and performance management and motivate people to perform better. This leads to improvement in productivity and a boost in revenue for the organization.
The Virtual Sales Managers of EMC-Squared go a step further by also sharing resources with you that you would not have access to internally. Leaders can refer to these resources at their convenience to follow up on the performance of their salespeople.
3. Challenges for Leadership:
Finding good manpower is a task in itself, especially for the SME sector. That’s why many leaders often refrain from telling hard facts to the sales team and holding them accountable. This means people who perform do not get rewarded and those who don’t get away scot-free.
Sales managers, through their experience and reviews, are able to identify the performers and weed out the pretenders. They provide leaders with enough proof in the form of solid data about the same. Leaders can then use this data to reward the performers and pull up the people who need to get their act together.
The Virtual Sales Managers (VSMs) of EMC-Squared, through periodic monitoring and mentoring, provide leaders with accurate data on individual salespeople’s performance. Armed with this data, it becomes easier for business leaders to make decisions that benefit the business.
4. Missing Tracking Mechanisms:
Data is the most effective aspect to truly measure the performance of people. But many businesses lack tracking mechanisms like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools that store and analyze customer and sales data.
To meet their KPIs, sales managers ensure that the salespeople increase their usage of the CRM to record their meetings and outcomes. This data also serves as input for reports that are handy for performance management and to predict short- and long-term sales pipelines. Rather than waiting for salespeople to miss their quotas to take action, data enables sales managers to take action early and correct the situation.
The VSMs of EMC-Squared don’t only train your salespeople to increase usage of the software, but also show them how this data turns into results. They also provide your salespeople with the best strategies to improve their performance based on this data.
Another low-hanging fruit that companies often miss out on is the easiest form of sales — contract renewals. This mainly occurs because of the lack of a mechanism to track when contracts have to be renewed. By increasing software usage, your people are able to tap and close this easy sale faster.
5. No Formal Sales Process:
According to Harvard Business Review, there is a direct correlation between effective sales pipeline management and strong revenue growth. But managing such a pipeline comprises of a formal sales process, something that a disturbingly large number of companies lack.
Due to all the points mentioned above, a sales manager is able to reinvent the sales process and by clearly defining it and explaining how the sales review will flow. They also define milestones and ensure that all members are aware of expectations from them at each stage. This adds the much-needed element of predictability in your sales process which in turn, directly affects your company’s revenue.
Sales professionals are a valuable asset for leaders. Such managers can focus on important tasks to make the sales team achieve (if not exceed) its goals. Your job becomes much easier when the data is organized, made sense of, and presented in a manner that gives you action points to take forward.
If you would like to know how our Virtual Sales Management team can benefit your business, let’s connect for a no-obligation meeting.