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In challenging times we are finding sales people "qualifying" more gently, which is not a good thing. Here's what I mean: We are finding our clients with good levels of pipelines, but with weak prospects. We are finding that salespeople are busy in motion, but not in direction. That is, they are busying doing things that salespeople should be doing, but not with the right prospects. Bottom line: They're just happy being busy.

As strategic sales managers, our job is to make sure salespeople are working enough opportunities and to assist them in highly qualifying the right opportunities and providing coaching on the right strategies to win the business. Here's what you can do:

  1. Everyday you see or talk to members of your sales team, ask them what their number one priority is for the day and then ask them what their number two priority is. If they are not meeting a prospective client to move a sales forward or prospecting, it's time to straighten out their priorities.

  2. Spend extra time strategizing on every opportunity. And one way to focus that strategy is to read my sales management strategy planning guide from Acumen Management (send me an e-mail if you want one). My clients worldwide use this guide to analyze a sales opportunity -- what has been done, what can be done, what information we know, what information we don't know. It will help you increase your win/loss ratio.

Everyone must focus and execute at higher levels of intensity in tough times, keeping your team on their toes, with the proper mental attitude and with a focus on winning -- it's the job of a professional sales leader.

Free sales management videos and white papers here.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on May 21, 2009 at 11:59 AM


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