As a sales manager, the only way for you to grow sales and profits is through your team.
“Sandler teaches the daily practices that build or destroy real leadership in organizations including how your recruit, establish accountability, conduct effective performance reviews, and manager organizational change as markets change.”
Frank Cespedes, Harvard Business School
Sales management is one of the toughest jobs in any organization. You are often stuck between the goals and expectations of leadership and delivering on them through your team with little or no direct influence on sales.
These issues and many others are addressed in Sandler Management Solutions, an ongoing development program, grounded in proven theories, hard skills, and workable strategies. It emphasizes active skills training for coaching, hiring, and leading with applications to your specific situation.
Learn and apply the unique Sandler mix of communication strategies and human relations to your sales management role. You and your team will profit and prosper as you become a better leader.
Your ability to find and hire the best salespeople, then accurately evaluate their performances and motivate them, affects your team’s ability to succeed. Outstanding sales performance requires a realistic sales plan, including goals and the strategies for accomplishing them. Learn to effectively and supportively debrief your salespeople, grow your sales through networking, and manage a territory, while developing the best practices vital to managing, maintaining, and maximizing business with existing customers.
"As the world’s fourth-largest IT management consulting company, we compete in an extremely tight – and unforgiving – marketplace. To succeed, we need tools that make a measurable difference. After more than a decade of working together, your superb sales and sales management training programs continue to deliver the edge we need, and your training efforts continue to earn an astounding 93% approval rating! That’s why we decided to bring the sales force of our new division under the Sandler umbrella."
Management programs often revolve around “ivory tower” concepts and theoretical contextual frameworks. Participants learn the “what,” “when,” and “why” behind management theories. They are left, however, with the burden of discovering how to put theory into practice in real-world situations.
The Sandler Management Solutions program brings both the “how” and the real world into the training room. The program emphasizes active skills training exercises and skills application specific to your actual goals. It covers the attitudes, behaviors, and strategies of top sales leadership.
The first step to successful recruiting is specifically defining the position to be filled, taking into consideration the interaction of the new hire with customers. During this session, participants will develop a job profile - a functional description of a position to be filled. Then, they will develop a hiring template consisting of the primary function identifiers (PFIs), attributes of winners, and team matrix considerations, all of which describe the ideal candidate.
Interviewing is a critical step in the hiring process. In this session, participants learn how to use the hiring template elements to narrow the applicant field and ultimately select the best-fit candidate. They will explore the preparation for the systematic five-step process of interviewing. Participants will examine the elements of communication and their influence on the interview process. They will also explore various questioning strategies for developing appropriate interview questions and conducting the interview in such a manner as to reveal the "real" applicant.
Hiring represents a tremendous investment of company resources in one individual over a long period. Not only is the hiring process itself an expense, so is training, supervising, mentoring, and so maybe the costs associated with the person’s performance. Managers can rarely have a greater opportunity to maximize company resources than during the hiring process. Assessment of fit and a preliminary ranking of candidates are not activities best left to intuition or hunches. Our hunches too often are that we like people who are like us. Relying on your gut instincts can compound your strengths and weaknesses.
The SEARCH process and the development of a hiring template (PFI’s, winner attributes, and team matrix) work together to enhance your judgment in determining the best-fit candidate from your candidate pool. Now you are ready to decide whom to hire. Participants will engage in an exercise to put together all the previously presented pieces of the hiring puzzle and select a candidate from a candidate pool of five, none of whom represent a 100% fit across the board. Using the hiring tools and the information provided, they will use their judgment to determine a best-fit candidate.
To effectively manage people, the manager must not only understand them, but he or she must also understand the dynamics of interaction with and between them. In the session, participants will examine three concepts that influence these interactions. By better understanding their people, participants are in a more advantageous position to help them grow, which in turn can increase departmental productivity.
The ability to communicate effectively is an essential management tool. During this session, participants will learn that effective communication is a multi-step, closed-loop process. Each step has the potential to influence the message being communicated in a manner that may increase or decrease its clarity and ability to be readily understood. Participants will examine the three components of communication – the words, the tonality with which the words are spoken, and the body language that accompanies the words – each of which contributes in varying degrees to the total message. When all three components are congruent, they unify and strengthen the message. When they are not, they weaken or blur the message, which can give rise to misinterpretation and misunderstandings. Participants will have an opportunity to explore their communication methods and preferences.
Participants will take a brief look at four critical management roles: supervising – which derives its authority from the manager’s hierarchical position in the company; and coaching, training and mentoring – whose authority evolves from the relationship. They will examine how they invest their time in these functions and draw some conclusions about the distribution of time in those efforts.
The main function of the manager is to keep the sales team on target toward achieving its goals. To manage for these goals effectively, the manager must monitor performance by tracking actions and comparing results to predetermined benchmarks to determine if the salesperson is on target. Participants will identify actions and results to be monitored. Then, using the "Structural Analysis of a Sale" model, participants will identify benchmarks against which to compare monitored results.
Participants will learn the basic purpose of coaching, which is to enhance the performance by encouraging the appropriate application of competencies – which in turn increases motivation and demonstrates corporate support. Participants will examine two levels of coaching: tactical coaching – helping the salesperson apply knowledge and skill to selling situations; strategic coaching – helping the salesperson assess situations and conditions, plan a strategy, and act appropriately.
Participants will view training as a process – rather than an event or sequence of independent events – and examine their roles in the process. Participants will examine three elements necessary for effective performance – ability, motivation, and support – and examine how training supports those elements. They will also explore the various types of corporate training and discuss the manager’s role in identifying training needs, arranging for the delivery or training, and following up after the training. Finally, participants will apply their knowledge to developing a training program.
Participants will explore mentoring as a means of facilitating an individual’s assimilation to current and future positions while strengthening their sense of group membership and deepening their understanding of their role. The role of the mentor will be discussed, and the ingredients for successful mentoring will be identified. The elements the mentee must bring to the process for the relationship to be successful will also be identified. Participants will discover the strong relationship aspect of mentoring and how it can be adapted to enhance a team member’s performance across the board.
Participants will discover that conflict can have a positioned effect on an organization. It can be used to harness diversity – the natural differences represented among people with different points of view. Participants will discover that it is natural for conflicts to develop when people with different values, behaviors, and goals work together. However, with a structured process and the use of appropriate communication skills and knowledge of human behavior, managers can mediate the conflicts and facilitate “win-win” solutions that do the least harm and the most good for the most people.
Participants will examine the link between corporate goals to the individual salesperson’s goals and explore ways to make that link a component for maximizing individual performance. Participants will also be introduced to the three categories in which many motivational factors fall: relationship, status, and achievement. Participants will discover that the manager’s first step in creating realistic performance expectations is to determine what motivates sales team members. Then by channeling team members' efforts in appropriate directions, monitoring performance against established benchmarks, and providing appropriate support, the manager becomes the link that enables the sales team members to fulfill personal goals and aspirations and achieve company goals.
Participants will examine the process of change in the business environment and discover that it is inevitable, and it is through its employees that companies affect change. Participants will discover that people resist change, and when confronted by it, they experience a range of emotions. They will examine the process by which change takes place – a transition that occurs over time rather than overnight. Participants will become more aware that people need to understand the reasons for and benefits of the change. Participants will see that by helping their employees understand those reasons and benefits, the easier the transition will be and typically, the more quickly it will be completed. Finally, participants will be introduced to a ten-step process for systematically facilitating and managing change.
Participants will examine the various aspects of designing, developing, and conducting effective sales meetings. They will borrow the elements of a sales call “up-front contract” to help structure sales meetings and identify agenda items. Participants will explore three elements of the sales meeting process – planning the meeting, conducting the meeting, and following up after the meeting. They will also look closely at planning the meeting and exploring various aspects and considerations for developing an appropriate and effective agenda – the central core of the meeting.
During this session, participants will look at methods for classifying accounts, and then identify appropriate strategies for maximizing the return on the investment of time and energy calling on and servicing them. They will examine a five-step process for growing accounts by identifying and implementing ways to add value to the relationship, improve the processes of interacting with them, and strengthen relationships with their people.
Preparing and presenting proposals is an important part of the sales process. However, they must occur at the right time and be directed at the right audience. Participants will examine their role in overseeing the proposal process, both in terms of deciding when it is appropriate to generate a proposal and when to pass on the opportunity. They will examine a six-step system for responding to proposal requests. They will also examine the criteria for evaluating proposal requests and processes for developing and presenting effective proposals.
During this session, territory management is presented as the process of collecting and analyzing appropriate data and formulating strategies that direct salespeople’s efforts to activities that maximize the company’s return on the investment of its resources. Participants will examine a five-step process for territory management. Categories of data to collect and resources for obtaining the data will be identified. Participants will examine two methods – SWOT and matrix analyses – for evaluating the influence each category has on formulating territory strategies. Participants will use the matrix analysis process for classifying accounts to help determine the allocation of resources to meet territory management objectives.
Participants will identify the reasons for and benefits of making sales calls with their sales team members. They will examine a five-step process to prepare for, conduct, learn from, and put into action the lessons learned from joint calls. They will also examine two useful tools – a call planning worksheet and an observation checklist – to help them implement the process. Participants will identify members of their sales teams with whom to make joint calls and the reasons for doing so.
Participants will view time as a non-renewable resource that they are free to frame however they choose. They will learn to schedule their activities in a time-oriented matrix. They will learn how to handle time wasters and interruptions and look at tips, tools, and techniques to organize time effectively. They will learn how to use delegates as a powerful way of working smarter, allowing them to put their time into the areas of their work that are most critical.