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Did It Get Done?

That is a question most executives worry about and often have to ask their direct reports. This is especially true when thinking about sales management. In some situations, the president of the company may be responsible for managing the sales team or maybe they are attempting to manage a sales manager(s). In either case, attaining revenue objectives becomes a critical success factor -- to the point where it might be distracting from achieving other responsibilities of sales management.

However, the job of sales leadership demands more than revenue focus. In fact, in my training programs and client consulting engagements, I tell my clients that it is not sales management's job to achieve quota -- that is the salesperson's job! It is the job of sales leadership to hire, train and manage the team properly and position them for success. That is why "Did it get done?" becomes a critical question. Ensuring that the necessary basic foundations are being achieved becomes important.

If the issue of not "getting it done" seems to be occurring with a client, we implement the following process to train and keep everything in focus. On Friday afternoons, each field sales manager submits a weekly report and, at the end of the month, a simple standard form or checklist that was created to ensure that all the bases are touched. Here are a few examples from a typical checklist:

  • Attended on-site sales calls with reps to observe sales behaviors and to coach?
  • Listened to phone calls to observe sales behaviors and to coach?
  • Scheduled a well-planned weekly sales team meeting to discuss results, new plans and build excitement?
  • Reviewed new salesperson applications and executed interviewing plans?
  • Randomly inspected CRM updates by salespeople to ensure they are updating it correctly?
  • Scheduled monthly sales training meetings and topics that are planned with specific dates/times?
  • Scheduled monthly one on one meeting with each direct report?
  • Confirmed future marketing programs

The key element is not to make the checklist exhaustive but detailed enough that the fundamental aspects of the job are accomplished. I have seen many growing organizations begin to fail simply because the basics were being overlooked. Without a foundation, the system begins to fall apart.

Our clients have also taken this approach to each department within the organization. Building a prescriptive approach and holding direct reports accountable will almost always propel the organization to the next level.

What other items should be on your sales manager's monthly checklist? 

Posted by Ken Thoreson on October 27, 2015 at 12:39 PM


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