Sales Leaders: Do You Inspect What You Expect?
If you have ever managed a sales team, you have heard this before, "Inspect what you expect." Today, we will look at taking our leads that our marketing team has now handed to sales and understanding the importance of knowing where those leads are through the sales cycle.
One of our top priorities, outside of closing these leads, is making sure we do not lose leads in our sales cycle. In sales, we have all done this on some level and at some point. Either not annotating correctly, or changing the status of our leads to identify progress through the cycle. It happens. We get busy, we take another call, or things just happen and we forget. As
managershowever, we must make sure we are on top of this. Having the right process and systems will help.
If I remember correctly, we had upwards of 10 lead statuses that we consistently used in our systems with Apollo. As a manager, I could pull up a report in the morning and identify team and individual bottlenecks in minutes. Each status was clear in definition; however, it is always a good practice to ensure this is spot checked and, if need be, reinforced in quick team huddles or meetings at least every quarter.
Having worked or consulted in different inside sales environments, training in this area is crucial. If I have an employee that has come from a competitor or a similar industry, they may have a different approach on how they update their lead statuses.
Although their experience is great and you obviously hired them for a reason, they must now learn your system, not the other way around. Stay on top of this and it will get easier for you and your team from and efficiency and communications standpoint.
Have you heard this one;
Employee: “Don’t worry boss, I know where my leads are at.”
Manager: “Good for you, now I need to know. What happens if you’re sick, or busy and need help? We would have no clue what’s going on, right?”
I have been in numerous sales management meetings and have seen peers feel the pain of not knowing where their team’s leads were in the sales cycle. Very embarrassing to say the least. When your bosses boss knows where you’re at, and you do not…MAN DOWN! You may not be in sales management too long.
This may sound simple to most, but it can be an issue. This was always a top five issue for me in taking over underperforming teams. To make it smoother on you and your team, sit down with them and discuss the why. Why is this important to them, to the team, and the overall health of the company? You have to know, and so should they. This also makes one-on-ones more efficient. We’ll get to that in the next post.
CRM and Call Analytics Integration
How do we solve this? First, we must have the right systems in place. Your CRM and your Call Analytics platform must be able to “talk” to one another efficiently and effectively. Some systems are able to transcribe conversations for you directly into your CRM which is a huge bonus as a time saver for both your team and for you as the manager.
Second, you must be able to use the system. Make sure that once you adopt any new CRM and Call Analytics system that you have the proper support and training. Some companies provide recorded video training, where others provide a more personal one-on-one approach. Take full advantage. Make sure you are asking both providers and then make the time to sit down and actively listen while getting all of your questions answered.
All of the bells and whistles sound great during the demo, but the systems are only as good as the end user. Carve out sufficient time to learn your new system with your providers. Be unapologetic about gaining more knowledge for you and team. If you get the feeling that you are bothering them in some way, that’s not your problem. It’s their job. Do not be shy about asking questions.
About the author:
Noah Carmichael is an Executive Coach and Director of Inside Executive. Noah works with business owners, executives, and their teams on a one-on-one or group basis in areas ranging from personal and professional development to operational strategy and sales accountability training.
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