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Another Take on Sales Management -1 September 3, 2015

Posted by David Dirks in Building A Sales Organization.
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David Dirks

David Dirks

What is the biggest ally and also the biggest enemy of the professional sales person?  In my view, it’s time.  Time is that precious commodity which is used up at a constant rate and can never be reversed.  Sales professionals have two choices: Either maximize the time they have every day  or squander the time.  Let’s first look at the ways time is squandered:

  • Natural procrastination.  We all have inside of us some level of procrastination with some people endowed with more if it than others.  As sales managers, we have to realize that some level of procrastination is necessary – it’s a tool we humans often use to give ourselves a break between assignments or stressful events.  Other times it’s just a way for some to give way to their natural level of laziness. Either way, recognize that it exists and cannot be wished away.
  • Focusing on what we like to do.  But not spending much time on those elements of our sales profession that perhaps we like less.  In other words, what comes easier to us is often a joy to do – what doesn’t come easy feels like a drag – even if we know it’s the path to sales success.
  • No ability to prioritize effectively.  Prioritizing by itself isn’t hard – anyone can randomly prioritize.  Are they prioritizing their sales process in the order that gets them closing more deals?
  • No consistent sales process.  Some sales people develop their own sales process that allows them to maximize their time and efforts.  Then again, some don’t and seemingly flit around doing things differently every time.  As sales managers, we have to be able to understand how each of our sales team members sells and why they do it the way they do.  This applies mostly to those who are average or sub par in their sales results.  The peak sales performers have their sales process and work it consistently.
  • Little or no sales coaching or trainingConsistent sales performance is honed over time and requires and investment of time on the part of the sales manager.  Just letting them go off into the distance without regular coaching equals opportunity lost and time squandered.
  • Sales compensation that doesn’t motivate in the optimal ways. You have to ask yourself: Is our sales compensation plan calibrated to get our sales teams focused on the best practices that result in the best sales results?  Great sales organizations are those that understand that they have unique “best practices” – those habits that have proven themselves successful over time.  And they find ways to train and compensate their sales teams to following along and implement what works best.
  • Round peg, square hole. Some people just aren’t suited to sales.  Help them move on and find a satisfying career field somewhere else.  You are squandering their time and yours.



1. Sales Forecasting - May 19, 2016

Hey David,

Nice points. Personally, I know that great sales people are not born, they are developed. As you mentioned, it takes great time management skills, tools and coaching to become a great sales person. Of course, it helps when you have a great product too.

Hope to check out more of your posts soon.


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