5 Ways You Can Leverage Sales Leadership to Close the Sales Gap

Unleash the 10X Factor to Close the Sales Gap

Do you want to close the sales gap?  Doing nothing is not an option!

Businesses are starting to open, which hopefully is a good thing. You are still responsible for generating your company’s revenue, and your colleagues are counting on your efforts and that of your entire team. Now is the time to get sales on track. Even though we are still social distancing and face to face selling may not resume until 2021, you are still responsible for sales results.

What can you do to jump-start your sales and make up for any lost sales during the last several months? When I say “you,” I am referring to frontline sales managers and sales executives.

Sales managers are the key to driving sales performance. They are the 10X factor as highly effective sales managers will impact 8-12 sales reps.

5 Things Sales Managers Can do to Close the Sales Gap

  1. Coaching (Remotely)

Sales coaching is the number one sales management activity that drives sales performance. Now that all sales calls are being done remotely, it appears that sales coaching has gone into lockdown as well.

Your salespeople have had to adapt to selling via  Zoom or telephone.  As a result, they have had to adapt their messaging.

You must ask yourself the following questions:

How have you/your frontline sales managers adapted to selling virtually?

How do you know how your sales team is doing selling virtually?

How do you know if they are on message?

I am sure you have taken some time to train your salespeople on selling via “Zoom” and have adjusted the messaging if required. Research shows that training is 4X more effective if followed up with coaching.

Assuming your salespeople are selling virtually, nothing is stopping you from joining them on a sales call or multiple sales calls. This is an excellent opportunity to see your customers, help your salespeople and observe how they are selling.

By following a Focused Sales Coaching methodology, you can then key in on the one area that the sales rep is committed to improving and effectively coach them.

Sales coaching is a pivotal factor in closing the sales gap. Coaching improves sales performance by upwards of 20%; it also improves sales rep engagement.

  1. Establishing and Following Cadence

Management cadence is a fancy word for regularly scheduled review meetings. This includes weekly, monthly and quarterly review meetings.

The importance of these regular accountability meetings, if done correctly, is that it helps keep your salespeople focused, proactive and accountable to results.

If you need to get your sales back on track, then establishing a regular cadence and following a simple and defined review process is more critical than ever to close the sales gap.

Readings: Quarterly Business Review – Drive Sales Performance

  1. Develop a Winning Mindset

The high level of uncertainty and stress you and your salespeople have had to endure can create self-doubt, survival thinking and reduce our creativity and resourcefulness.

The mindset of you/your sales managers and your salespeople is critical for success. Success begets success.

7 Steps to Nurturing A Winning Mindset

  1. Start the day with a positive affirmation. …
  2. Focus on the good things, however small. …
  3. Find humor in bad situations. …
  4. Turn failures into lessons. …
  5. Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk. …
  6. Focus on the present. …
  7. Find positive friends, mentors and co-workers.

By nurturing a winning mindset and teaching your salespeople to do the same, you will have a higher level of engagement, motivation and help close the sales gap.

  1. Executing with Excellence

Execution is the discipline of getting the most important things done, really well! The COVID lockdown has cost companies millions in dollars of sales. With fewer months to achieve your objectives, flawless execution becomes much more critical to close the sales gap.

HBR found that the number one challenge facing corporate leaders is Strategy Execution amongst a list of some 80 issues.

It is well recognized that 90% of organizations fail to execute effectively. Effective strategy execution isn’t easy; otherwise, everyone would be doing it.

3 (Not So) Simple Steps to Executing with Excellence:

  1. Develop an Execution Plan

Simply define your 3 critical success factors (CSFs). Determine how you are going to achieve and measure progress on each success factor.

  1. Leading Daily Execution 

With many distractions, it is essential to ensure your sales managers are focused on leading the execution of your plan. This requires ongoing observations and interactions (coaching) of your salespeople to make sure they are focused on the 3 CSFs.

  1. Keeping the Plan on Track

This comes back to cadence and accountability. Tracking and reporting on progress is paramount. It is imperative to be disciplined by following through on monthly and quarterly review meetings to ensure accountability to execute the plan effectively.

Download a Copy: The Strategy Execution eBook

  1. Focus Your Time 

This applies to your entire team. We all have one finite resource, our time. Depending on how we use our time and effort, it has a direct correlation to our outcomes. For you/your sales managers, it means focusing a majority of your/their time on coaching, accountability, mindset and execution.

A highly effective sales manager can impact 8-12 sales reps, which is incredible leverage when you need to make up sales quickly and sustainably.

Sales executives who understand the power of leveraging their sales manager’s effectiveness will realize massive increases in sales. Make sure you include some or all of these leverage points close the sales gap in your Recovery Plan.

If you need help developing your sales manager’s effectiveness or developing your recovery plan, feel free to give me a call. This is too important a time to not set your team up for massive success!

All our training, coaching and mentoring is done virtually!


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