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Sales Leadership as an Economic Stimulus

Most people fix their eyes on Washington, D.C. and Wall Street when they want to assess the health of the economy (or propose ways to fix it). But everyone who reads this blog knows that nothing happens unless a salesperson sells something.

I am firmly convinced that VPs of sales, sales directors and sales managers are the linchpins that drive growth in any organization. They set the direction and culture and create the intensity required for success. In the current economy, it is the sales team's responsibility to jumpstart their business. That will, in turn, impact other organizations and eventually the economy. 

This will be a massive effort, but we can start today! Here are a few ideas to start your own "sales leadership stimulus program":

  1. Make sure every salesperson has a 90-day business plan with activity goals, account strategies and revenue objectives. Vision and action must be in alignment.

  2. Schedule a sales skills training event at least every other week Assign members of your sales team to train each other.

  3. Develop a "cross-sell/up-sell" plan for each of your existing customers. Determine what products/solutions each client currently uses and what other products/solutions you can sell to them.

  4. Create a specific "current client contact campaign" using No. 3 above. Assign each salesperson x-number of clients to contact per week and track sales results for 90 days.

  5. Ask each of your vendors for funds or gifts to use in a companywide sales contest between now and the end of the year. (Read my book Creating High Performance Sales Compensation Plans for other ideas.)

  6. Implement scheduled "tele-sales blitz days" with your sales team. Schedule a minimum of two hours a week during which everyone brings up prospects for new business. Track daily results for appointments. Make this a fun time.

  7. Once a month, take your sales team to a satisfied client's office for a tour and demonstration of how they use your products/solutions. This will build belief in your company -- something that's required for salespeople to be mentality tough in these times.

  8. Develop a peer group of other sales leaders -- share your ideas and ask for advice.

  9. Build a fun team event wherein you roll out your goals and programs and express enthusiasm to execute your plans. You must always be the positive leader, with excitement, energy and focus. Your team must believe in your plans.

What are ideas that I forgot? Leave a comment below and let's keep the ideas flowing to help everyone succeed.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on September 20, 2011 at 11:59 AM