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Expert Q&A Series: Managing the Sales Grind

Today I am interviewing Ben Altman, a Sales Consultant at Bering McKinley. BMK Sales Consultants focus on helping professional service providers find, hire and produce highly-producing sales teams that achieve revenue results. For the past 20 years, Ben has walked in the shoes of both the salesperson and the sales manager selling a full spectrum of technology and non-technology services. Today, he works alongside owners and sales managers to build strong internal sales teams that produce results. 

Expert Q&A: Professional Sales & Sales Management

 

Q: Why do you say, "sales is a grind?"

Salespeople need consistent, steady reinforcement and encouragement to stay motivated and accountable on follow-up and follow-through.” While many managers fear that encouragement may foster lazy behavior, clear, consistent goals with steady focus and motivation are one of the secret ingredients to overcoming the grind that comes with constant objection. 

 

Q:What is the biggest obstacle that keeps salespeople from selling?

Complexity. Complexity kills sales deals. Your solution or service offering may be complex, but your salespeople are straightforward. Your sales team has one goal, and that is to close the deal. Do you offer several different types of solutions and “managed” packages at different prices? Can your entire sales team quickly and succinctly speak to that value? More options and more pricing may not be better; it may just be more confusing.

 

Q: Does an Owner make a good Sales Manager? Why or why not?

Addressing the elephant in the room, owners do not make good sales managers. The owner’s objective is to grow the business. They should not be mired in details of specific sales opportunities. An owner may also be tempted to push a deal too hard because money is tight. Having a sales manager to discuss frustrations and buffer issues keeps salespeople focused on generating revenue.

 

Q: I want to promote my top sales person to the Sales Management position. Is this a good idea?

Managing and selling pull from different skill sets, and many owners have come to regret the day they promoted their best salesperson to Sales Manager because they are no longer selling! The sales manager's number one job is to manage the personalities that win business and to manage the details that close deals faster. 

 

Q: We hired the ideal sales candidate only to be disappointed when they failed to produce? What went wrong? 

Most service providers operate using an immature sales model. Most technical owners and leaders do not know what to look for when hiring a salesperson, and there is no perfect salesperson out of the gate. You must understand the profile of a successful salesperson and then stick to a pre-hire checklist that will help you find candidates that stand a chance of performing to expectation. Allow for training time to see results. 

 

Free (Sales) Advice

A strong sales engine results from a clear vision, effective sales management, simple offering, and a rewarding compensation plan. If any or all of these components are missing or loosely communicated throughout your organization, your sales will lag. Address gaps in your vision, management, and offering. Take the extra time to hire well. Don’t be afraid to work with an outside sales expert to gain proven practices and overcome unknown gaps that keep your sales team from performing to expectation.

 

Professional Sales & Sales Management Consulting  

 

Sales image 1 A sales department to have the highest sales volume, they need someone cheering them on and making sure nothing is falling through the cracks. We fill the gap in sales management to build the network, increase outbound prospecting; and continue to beat the drum of best practice day in and day out.

 

Sales image 2Track industry expertise in 1-day around topics like:

  • Mastering sales in the MSP world in uncertain economic environments
  • Effectively tracking sales activity & opportunities to your advantage
  • Conducting business conversations around budget, and other topics like these

 

Sales image 3At Bering McKinley, we work with hundreds of Solution Providers every year. As a result, we leverage a massive pool of talent looking for a new home to find the perfect candidate for you. Let us help you find the right sales talent to hit your revenue goals.

 

Sales image 4 Many of us come to the job with little to no industry training. Both Sales Professional and Sales Manager Certification provide 12 hours of instructor-led training around best practices, industry norms, and KPI targets.