Leading and Growing A Sales & Marketing Team
“Everything starts and ends with strategy.”
Roger Peterson is the President at Beacon Sales Advisory Group. Roger talks with us about what it takes to manage, lead, and grow your sales team so that your company can have effective strategies.
3 Common Pitfalls
Roger: “I think that it really falls into three areas. Number is one strategy. Everything starts and ends with strategy. You have to have the right focus. Once you have that, everything’s an off shoot to that strategy. Do they have a sales strategy? Are they targeting the right customers? Are they calling on those customers with the right frequency, with the right message, with the right tools? Once you have that strategy refined, what are the tools? What are the resources, what is the messaging that comes with that strategy? So you got to make sure you have that tied down.”
Roger: “The other real pitfall, are these owner operators trying to do everything. They’re wearing many hats in these organizations. They’re trying to run sales, they’re trying to run operations, and they’re trying to manage the entire business at the same time. Those are the things that I’m seeing with clients. It’s fairly consistent across the board with those clients that are having challenges with their business.”
Developing & Executing Your Plan
Roger: “There’s a number of really important keys to the plan. First of all, it needs to be very well-defined. I always like to start with the end in mind. So what are those KPIs? What are those critical key performance indicators that we want to make sure that we’re monitoring? The leading indicators, the lagging indicators, what does that sales process look like? Positioning of the product, competitive insights, team structure, and selling methodologies.”
Roger: “Number two, clear communication. What’s most important to me is that when you’re building a plan, it’s not built from just my perspective. It’s engaging others along the way that are players within the plan itself. We want to make sure that it’s clearly communicated and there’s ownership of the plan. We mentioned the importance of making sure that the value that you’re bringing to bear communicated as well. It’s a differentiator for your organization. So unique value proposition, targeted customer oriented, knowing who your customers are, and knowing the frequency that’s needed in order to cover them.”
Roger: “Then finally, it has to be actionable. You need to know what actions you’re going to take. The last thing we want to do is put together a sales business plan, put it into a pretty binder, and then it goes right on the shelf without someone touching it until the next year. That’s the last thing we want. You need to make sure the actions that you need to take from that are very clear.”
Bringing On A Sales Manager
Roger: “I always go back to the saying that you never quit a job, you quit a manager. I think that it’s really important to look at that and say, ‘okay, I need a person that someone’s going to follow.’ Where that starts and stops is really how well that person is engaging with the sales team. Making sure that person has the ability to develop and nurture a relationship with the sales organization.”
Roger: “Coaching and mentoring skills. If I’m in the field with a sales rep, I am for sure going to be giving that person some coaching. This sales manager can not be afraid to offer coaching in a constructive way. The good, the bad, and the ugly.”
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