Training in sales management is crucial when it comes to ensuring that sales quotas are met. All too often we see key salespeople parachuted into sales management positions to save the day. But the reality is that sales management requires far more than just being able to sell well.
It requires planning and mapping. A successful salesperson may have been used to reacting to instructions to get to a destination, but they now have to plan how to get to that destination as a sales leader. It’s a massive change in job role. Any goals that are set by a manager should be realistic, attainable, timely, specific and, of course, measurable. This is where sales management training is so important. By finding the right coach to perform sales training with both your leaders and sales team, you can rely on their experience to help make these goals truly obtainable. A coach can help set these goals/outcomes and then enable the team to meet them through intervention and coaching. Goals can range from improving IT skills with an ITIL exam online or by trying new sales techniques. An assessment can then be performed by the coach, enabling the outcomes and knowledge retention of your sales leaders and teams to be measured.
Such an approach will help your teams meet the goals as closely as possible, and can give you the benefit of having an experienced, external sales leader on hand to assess your sales capabilities. And, yes, this can all be done while simultaneously meeting business sales quotas and targets over a set period of time.
Don’t Forget Key Account Management
A sales capability assessment is always a good idea as it ensures that you get an external view of the strengths and capabilities of your sales managers and people, allowing you to drive change where it’s needed. However, an assessment can also focus on an area that sometimes comes in second place to lead generation: retention.
It’s so important to get Key Account Management (KAM) right. It’s something that has only really come to fruition in a more formal manner within the past few decades, but all B2B suppliers should understand the importance of keeping your current key clients happy. With sales training often geared up towards lead generation and closing, it’s important to make sure that your current customers aren’t getting left out of the benefits and attractions that you may be using to generate leads. Despite the importance of KAM, it often fails and is pushed to the side. It’s an important part of sales management training, but it’s more than just a technique that should be trained to salespeople – it’s an organisational change. It requires new behaviours that aren’t just exclusive to the sales department, but behaviours that are displayed by staff at all levels. For example, what if a client is promised priority access to your products and/or services? This isn’t a matter exclusive to sales; it’s an issue for your operations department too. Despite this, it’s extremely important that KAM is constantly in the minds of your sales leaders. However, they do need the right training. Simply dropping a successful salesperson into this role will not ensure better retention.