Creating and Managing Sales Teams
For the next 19 years, 10,000 people per day will turn 65 years old, and (presumably) retire shortly thereafter. While this graying of the Boomer generation certainly has implications for health care and social policy (and for me personally, as one of those eventual retirees), it may have even more significance for the nature of the workforce and the job of the manager.
Managers (whether you’re a Boomer or a Millennial) should take steps now to deal with the new workforce. Here are a few thoughts about what you can do:
Source: Harvard Business Review
B2B Marketing Strategy and Trends
“The past cannot be changed, but the future is yet in your power”–or so goes an old saying. As a history major, though, I can tell you that it’s much easier to rewrite history than it is to leave an impact on or to predict the future.
Still, in the spirit of prediction season, I offer here 10 trends of 2012 that I think will grow even more prominent in 2013.
Managing Sales Teams
Salespeople generally have a great deal of autonomy in deciding which customers and products to focus on, how hard to work, and who to collaborate with. At the same time, sales leaders and managers try to affect the choices salespeople make using two predominant forms of influence ‘ “push” and “pull”.
Salespeople must be armed (not “pushed” and “pulled”) with a value-adding sales process, supported by the right tools, resources, and information.
Sales force leaders, managers, and salespeople must adapt to a new way of working; those who can’t adapt will not survive. It’s time to help the people change, or to change the people.
Source: Harvard Business Review
How to Keep Your Compelling Content Engine Fueled and Running Smoothly – Content Marketing Institute
Content Marketing & Inbound Lead Generation
Popular social media management platform Radian6 went through a major transition when Salesforce recently acquired the business. As Manager of Content for the newly created Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Amanda Nelson helped transition the organization’s content as part of the rebrand.
Her job is to create and curate content for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud community. She manages everything from the blog and eBooks to webinars and infographics – with the help of a content team, of course.
Amanda took some time to chat with the Content Marketing Institute about her organization’s content engine and managing an international corps of writers.
Increasing Sales Effectiveness
If you ask a sports fan whether the new team coach is driving results, a simple tally of wins and losses, and an analysis of some tell signs like player confidence will fetch you a prompt reply. But, unfortunately assessing the impact of coaching on sales results is not that simple despite its ability to improve sales performance by up to 19%.
Source: Sales Executive Council
Sales Planning Success Kit For B2B Companies
Excel-based Workbook and Sales Planning Services for CEOs and Sales Leaders
3FORWARD, a provider of sales acceleration and demand generation services for CEOs and Chief Sales Officers, today announced a new suite of sales planning tools and services to help company owners and sales leaders prepare more accurate and comprehensive annual sales plans.
3FORWARD’s SALES REVENUE ASSURANCEâ„¢ Success Kit is a multi-worksheet Excel template that allows sales leaders to accurately calculate and project the major components of their annual sales plan. Elements of the Success Kit include:
- Sales Booking Forecast and Revenue Projection
- Sales Pipeline Requirements and Stage Conversion Goals
- Lead Generation Goals and Stage Conversion Goals
- Sales Team Sizing and Quota Assignments
- Sales Metrics Dashboard
The SALES REVENUE ASSURANCEâ„¢ Success Kit is available as a standalone workbook or can be bundled with one of three different custom services packages for companies needing the benefit of external expertise and advice on sales processes, metrics and best practices.
“Successful selling today is much more science and math than art. Sales planning should be just as scientific. Our SALES REVENUE ASSURANCEâ„¢ Success Kit brings that needed structure to the sales planning process. Based on revenue goals, the model calculates how much sales pipeline is necessary, how many qualified leads must be created to fill the sales pipeline, the size and efficiency requirements for the sales team and even how much quota to assign,” said Dan Hudson, 3FORWARD President and co-founder.
CEOs and Sales Leaders responsible for their company’s annual sales plan will see immediate benefit from the design of SALES REVENUE ASSURANCEâ„¢ Success Kit. As each planning worksheet is completed it generates inputs for the next process in the sequence. Redundant data entry is eliminated from the sales planning process. Each worksheet also includes between five and twenty variables to allow for countless scenarios and simulations of the sales plan.
Creating B2B Leads
Video is now an essential part of any successful social marketing and lead generation strategy. Not convinced? According to Forbes, Three-quarters of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly; more than half watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly.
When optimizing this channel for lead generation the first step is to create videos that both entertain and educate. Your goals should be based on increasing awareness, demonstrating products, sharing knowledge, and humanizing the company. The next step is to optimize these videos with targeted keywords giving them a much better chance of reaching page one in Google search.
Source: Social Media Today
Increasing Sales Effectiveness
The best sales leaders use metrics and measures to their advantage in coaching, decision making, and strategy. As I previously highlighted, one of the powerful characteristics of sales leaders is that they use success metrics that mark progress, not just report results. The distinction between the two is that lagging indicators, as evidenced by their name, report what has happened, while leading indicators highlight milestones that portend success or failure. Sales leaders are often looking for predictive indices which give them a glimpse of what the future holds regarding performance.
Sales Dashboards and Metrics
before you start working on improving your sales forecast accuracy, it is important to set out why you are delivering a it in the first place. Knowing “why” will help you to determine how you can improve your forecast so that it is more useful to your organization. At the most basic level, a forecast is a prediction of the future. You are setting expectations inside your organization with regards to your team’s performance. Understanding how this prediction of the future is going to be used, will help you focus on the best way to improve your forecast.
Source: Insight Squared
Making the decision to replace your sales leader can be a difficult decision for many CEO’s, but it may be a necessary move to ensure the long-term future health of your firm. After the decision is reached, what is the best approach to finding and bringing a new sales leader on board? Two possible options are; keep the existing leader until a suitable replacement is found, or remove the sales leader and find an alternate method to manage the sales team until a replacement is on board.
The Best Approach To Replacing Your Sales Leader
If you know you have the wrong person in the lead sale role, regardless of how or why they got there, remove them immediately. Struggling sales leaders know they are struggling and can do a lot of damage to client relationships, team morale and future pipelines as they flounder along. Find a short-term way to manage the sales team and simultaneously start the recruiting process for a new chief sales officer.
The reality is that finding a new sales leader is at minimum a 60-90 day process that will require a significant time investment by the senior executive team to find the right individual. Leaving a low performing sales leader in place only reduces the urgency to find a new one and prolongs the problem.
Consider Hiring Interim Sales Leadership.
This approach has several advantages, the first of which is that an interim sales leader can be completely unbiased when it comes to assessing the sales team. The sales consulting firm you hire should be able to assess not only the quality of your sales team but also able to assess the health of your sales pipeline, lead generation program, and sales effectiveness.
The second significant advantage of interim sales leadership is that these outside resources can help fix issues and problems while the search goes on for a permanent CSO. This will help the new sales leader to hit the ground running rather than wasting valuable sales time trying to figure out what’s broken, this is a real plus!
A very tangible final benefit is that interim sales leaders will have tremendous experience in recruiting and hiring sales leaders. Having them part of the recruiting, vetting and even final selection process can mean an expert set of eyes and ears to help you make a good hiring decision.
If a new sales leader is in your future take the action now to invest in the right resources to manage your current team and help fix sales and lead generation processes. A little money spent now will pay off handsomely in the near term.