A Sales Manager’s primary responsibility is to ensure that their sales team has the tools, skills and knowledge they need to achieve their targets.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
Except it’s not… each sales person will differ in their specific areas of strength or weakness, and the obstacles they’re facing will vary over time.
So, assuming that the Sales Manager is holding regular 1-2-1 reviews with their team, the challenge is to avoid them becoming too long, unstructured, or worse still, pointless.
So here are five simple questions a Sales Manager can ask their team members to maximise 1-2-1 reviews and ensure that the process is as constructive, efficient and time effective as possible.
1. Tell me About Your New Leads
Ask sales rep about the leads that have entered their pipeline since your last review. In addition to allowing you to keep tabs on how (and where) your team is growing, checking in on this factor also prevents the “boom and bust” cycle of sales, wherein reps close a big deal, and then realize they don’t have any other work coming down the pipeline.
2. What Progress Have You Made?
If you’ve got a sales rep who consistently over-promises and under-delivers, you’ll notice that they tend to hang onto the same reported progress from weeks or months ago, while making very little genuine progress now. To assess your sales reps and their progress fully, ask them specifically about the progress they’ve made during the time since your last meeting. This allows you to keep a finger on the pulse of your team’s sales pipeline, identify the top-performers, and understand who may not be bringing their best efforts to the table.
3. How Much Commitment are you Getting From Your Leads?
If your sales team are writing proposals, but getting no interest and not closing any deals, they’re never going to be successful. This might simply be down to poor coaching but it could also be the fact that your team simply doesn’t have the sales strategy needed to support such efforts, or that they’re paying too much attention to how many leads are in the pipeline, and not enough to the quality of individual leads.
No matter what the reason is, asking this question during your 1-2-1’s will enable you get to the bottom of the issue and come up with a sales training model or approach to rectify it.
4. Which Lead do You Think Will Close Next? Why?
This is an essential consideration in the world of pipeline coaching. Whilst some sales teams focus on driving sales reps to close every single lead in their pipeline, this is unrealistic, and it will have a long-term, negative impact on the mindset and motivation of your sales reps.
With this in mind, start asking questions that encourage your sales reps to focus on the highest-value, most purchase-ready prospects and why they’re likely to close. This approach is essential to the long-term success of your team and will work wonders to keep reps motivated.
5. What can the Team (or Myself) do to Help You Succeed?
Be open about asking your reps what they need, how you can help, what they feel they’re not getting enough of, how you can support them in progressing through a deal. Once you’ve have their answers, take real and proactive steps to make them a reality. When sales reps see that you are supporting them and taking their needs into consideration as you build out your training programs, it’s easier than ever before to create a sustainable team that meets its goals every month.
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