Excuse the entrepreneur in me, but I just don’t understand managers that can’t make decisions? In a small business like ours, stalling on taking action (even for 1 month) can literally mean sink or swim. I’m so accustom to taking action and working through the issues as they come – that it perplexes me when big business managers can’t make a decision.
This blog is written for you, the sales rep. There are typically 7 or 8 of you, to 1 manager. That means there are 7 to 8 lives, your families, and your sense of sales pride on the line each day. Yet many of you (even as a collective team), have a tough time pushing your manager(s) to take action.
What do I mean by taking action? This can be a host of things
- 1. We need better sales tools to help amplify our lead generation efforts.
- 2. We need better analytics to understand our opportunities & threats.
- 3. I’m new to sales; I need greater training investment to help me succeed.
- 4. The buyer has changed, how can we best leverage online, digital, social?
You the sales rep can’t afford indecision. You took this job because you saw a great product and innovative executive team in the interview process. But now it’s 1/3 through the year, with only 9 months left before you hit quota, or don’t… and you’ll be suffering the consequences.
What can we (the sales reps) do to help our managers?
- If he/she’s afraid to put their stamp on it, suggest a pilot. Why do people love finger foods, because they can taste a little of everything, without committing to 1 meal. If your manager is someone that is timid to put their name on a full project, have 1-2 reps test a concept/strategy. You’ll need to be supportive and help ensure success, so the manager looks like a hero.
- Educate your manager with a deep understanding of value. This is a great example for Sales 2.0 tools like Marketing Automation, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, etc. Sales Managers haven’t moved forward with these tools because “we don’t know the ROI”… even though your organization is already on the back side of the adoption curve. Ironically, you know that your entire industry is using these tools, and crippling your sales opportunities because you don’t have them. You need to find a way to get your manager onto a great webinar, video, demo (make sure you scout out a solid sales rep on the Sales 2.0 tool side, a dud rep will ruin the deal for you). Seeing is believing – make your manager see the value, and see the opportunity cost of your competitors having these tools.
- Work outside-in. This is effective for sales training. Many programs will allow an individual sales rep to be trained on a specific topic (like Social Selling). This allows you to present your findings and success, encouraging management to do a larger investment roll-out.
The morale of this blog is to empower you, the sales rep. If you don’t hit your numbers, your manager still gets a pay-check. But if you don’t hit your numbers, you don’t and won’t in the long run. Take the initiative to shake the status quo from your company, and test & trial. If what you’re doing isn’t working right now anyways, why not try what best-of-breed companies are already mastering?
The Bottom Line:
If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you really need to start to take action. The following blog posts on utilizing Social Selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out 42 LinkedIn Tips
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