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Mastering the Art of
Sales Leadership
How to build up and lead a sales force towards
massive levels of success.
By: Shawn Flynn
Sales Coach and Motivator
shawnflynnsales.com
Copyright © 2015 Shawn Flynn. All rights reserved
Introduction
Whether you just landed a new job as a sales manager or are an existing sales manager, this
guide will help blueprint the way to running a successful sales team. There are sales managers
that sit back all day and simply watch numbers and write reports. And then there are
successful sales managers – those that strive to improve results day after day and push their
sales reps to better themselves constantly. Firstly, you cannot run a successful sales force
without successful sales people – hiring the right sales reps and firing the wrong ones is the
foundation to a successful sales force. You need to have a well-defined sales process and you
need to implement it consistently. You need to look beyond the basic sales numbers and find
more advanced sales stats to paint a better picture of how your sales reps operate and where
they can improve. You have to clearly communicate your expectations to your team, and
reinforce these expectations daily. You need to be more than a boss – you need to be a
motivator. You need to provide regularly scheduled training to your team to keep successful
techniques fresh in their minds. Lastly, you need to coach and develop all of your sales reps to
improve upon weaknesses and sharpen strengths. It takes a passionate individual to run a
successful sales team, and I will break all of the above down for you in this guide.
Hiring the Right People
Hiring the right sales representatives is really the most important component of running a
successful sales force. You need to spend time before the hiring process to come up with the
exact type of candidate that you want to hire. The bottom line here is that you have to hire
winners. You have to hire highly motivated and passionate individuals; people that want to
take ownership at furthering the success of your company. I don’t care what your background
is, if you are not motivated I will not invest in you. You need to look at your employees as
investments, not as expenses. Treat the hiring process like you would treat any investment
process – do your research. Always operate under the following rule: you can teach and
develop sales techniques, but you cannot teach and develop passionate and hunger. I will hire
an extremely passionate and motivated candidate with absolutely no sales experience before I
will hire an experienced candidate that has no passion or motivation. It never ceases to amaze
me how many companies do the exact opposite. Hire winners. Period.
Firing the Wrong People
On the flip side, perhaps equally important is firing the reps that are not performing to your
expectations. Please understand fully that your sales reps are a direct reflection of your
leadership. If you are a successful leader, your reps will follow your every word. That being
said, there will always be sales reps and employees across all spectrums that simply do not
perform. They do not have the passion and motivation and show no signs of wanting to
improve. I will give everyone a chance to improve. I will give everyone a chance to show me
that they not only want to get better but actually can get better. Eventually however, you have
to cut ties. Nonproductive and unmotivated sales reps waste your time and money. Just like in
poker, you have to know when to fold a losing hand. There are hundreds of hungry sales reps
that are waiting for a chance to prove themselves to you, so take action when needed and
replace ineffective sales reps.
You Need a Killer Sales Playbook
For any sales manager, having a streamlined sales process is the foundation to long term
success. It never ceases to amaze me how many companies and salespeople alike lack the basic
understanding of what the sales process is and how to execute it properly; they just “wing it”
and expect success to follow. It doesn’t matter how strong your product or service is; you will
never hit the level of success that you are capable of reaching without a proper sales process in
place. What boggles my mind even further is the level of closed mindedness that exists in the
sales world. People are afraid and/or too proud to admit that what they have been running
with all along is a broken system. A huge chunk of sales managers fail because they never
properly set up an actual sales process. Recent studies have shown that almost half of all sales
teams do not have an official sales process or playbook. Furthermore, those that do follow a
proper sales process are 33% more likely to succeed sales quotas and expectations (credit The
TAS Group). Regardless of what field you are in, there are hundreds if not thousands of
competitors out there trying to capture the same customers that you are. And if you think for a
second that your competition isn’t working daily to improve their sales processes to keep a leg
up on you – think again.
Look at Advanced Sales Stats
So many sales managers look at only the most basic of sales stats, such as units sold versus the
number of units you are expected to sell. You have to look at more advanced sales stats if you
ever expect to push your team to higher levels. How many calls/appointments does each rep
average per sale? These more advanced stats will help you understand if your reps are taking
enough calls or making enough appointments and whether or not they are effective enough
with the calls and appointments they take or make. Sales per call/appointment are amazing
stats that allow you to compare your reps amongst each other at a much deeper level. Some
sales reps make their quota based on taking more calls or making more appointments than the
other reps. But their sales per call/appointment may be extremely low, so while they might be
making their quota, they are doing so in an incredibly inefficient manner – which creates a ton
of lost potential revenue for your company. You may have extremely efficient reps that make
their quota on minimal calls/appointments, which is good, but imagine how much more
revenue they could take in if you improved upon their ability to field more calls and
appointments. Numbers don’t lie – make the most of them.
Clearly Communicate Expectations
An unequivocal understanding of your expectations by your sales reps is an absolute must. So
many sales managers do not properly communicate their expectations to their sales team.
Your expectation of your sales reps needs to be more than simply making their quotas. You
need to set expectations for constant improvement and customer satisfaction. You need to set
the expectation that all of your reps operate with honesty and integrity. Your name and
reputation is on the line, and your sales teamis a direct representation of yourself. Set
expectations for greatness across the board and accept nothing less. And do not simply post
your expectations on a sign on the wall, clearly communicate your expectations and mission
statements and objectives daily, if not multiple times a day. You are the coach on the sidelines
calling the plays and you need to be a constant presence in this regard. Coaches and managers
of professional sports teams do not simply print out a game plan on paper and leave it on the
sidelines – they are visible and constantly communicating what needs to be done. You need to
do the same.
Become an Effective Motivator
Your job as a sales manager is much more than simply watching sales numbers and reporting on
them. You need to be a nonstop motivator – which a lot of sales managers struggle with. If you
yourself are not a highly motivated individual, it is not likely that you will be able to motivate
and inspire others. The biggest mistake that most sales managers make when it comes to
motivating a sales force is assuming that all of their sales reps are motivated by the same
things. It is your job to understand what motivates each and every one of your sales reps
individually, which means truly getting to know each and every one of your sales reps at a deep
level. The next mistake that many sales managers make is believing that motivation lasts a lot
longer than it does. Motivations is extremely short lived. You can give the best pep talk of your
career, and it will be a non-factor in a few days. You have to work constantly and tirelessly to
motivate your reps each and every single day.
Never Stop Training YourPeople
Another area that many sales managers struggle with is providing consistent training.
Motivation will only carry sales reps so far if they do not have the tools and the knowledge
necessary to convert your motivation into results. That is the key to success right there – the
ability to convert motivation into results. There are so many business that provide one round
of sales training, which typically occurs during the first few days of employment. There are a
ton of studies done on the effectiveness and lifespan of sales training, and it is pretty conclusive
that even amazing sales training will eventually dwindle away in a few months. Bad habits
slowly creep into your sales reps’ daily routines, and over time those bad habits snowball and
start to take away from your results. It is human nature in the sales game to get rusty and
complacent, which is why you need to be training your team constantly. Your training needs to
be powerful, engaging, effect, and most importantly - reinforced regularly. Schedule weekly
training sessions with your sales team. It will pay off massively – trust me.
Constantly Coach and Develop Your People
Lastly, you need to constantly coach and develop your sales reps one on, and you need to
understand that coaching is different than training. Coaching is the process of identifying areas
of weakness for each sales rep and coming up with a plan of action to improve upon those
areas. You need to set the expectation that the targeted results are to be improved over a
predetermined period of time. It is your job to come up with a plan to help your sales reps
improve, and you need to develop these coaching plans before you meet with your sales reps.
You need to meet with each rep weekly and review their current level of success on the
development plan. Treat these sessions as a positive encounter – you are helping them further
their success. The only time these sessions should turn into negative encounters are if the rep
is simply not showing signs of improvement and/or are displaying an unwillingness or
disinterest in improving upon their results. If your sales reps are not interested in improving
then your sales numbers will not improve, and your business will go stale. That is the bottom
line.
Conclusion
If you follow these guidelines and truly buy into them, you will start to see genuine
improvement in not only the sales results of your team, but also in the level of respect that they
hold for you. If you are a new sales manager, these guidelines will pave the path to success for
you. Remember that your team is a direct reflection of you. Be a leader. Be fearless.
Constantly show your team that you are there to motivate them and push them to the next
level for not only the betterment of your business, but also for the betterment of themselves.
There will be times that they hate you for it, but in the long run they will respect you tenfold
and the results will show. If you hire the right people and run your ship the way it needs to be
run and hold people accountable to expectations that you set forth, your life as a sales manager
will be incredible.

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Mastering the art of sales leadership

  • 1. Mastering the Art of Sales Leadership How to build up and lead a sales force towards massive levels of success. By: Shawn Flynn Sales Coach and Motivator shawnflynnsales.com Copyright © 2015 Shawn Flynn. All rights reserved
  • 2. Introduction Whether you just landed a new job as a sales manager or are an existing sales manager, this guide will help blueprint the way to running a successful sales team. There are sales managers that sit back all day and simply watch numbers and write reports. And then there are successful sales managers – those that strive to improve results day after day and push their sales reps to better themselves constantly. Firstly, you cannot run a successful sales force without successful sales people – hiring the right sales reps and firing the wrong ones is the foundation to a successful sales force. You need to have a well-defined sales process and you need to implement it consistently. You need to look beyond the basic sales numbers and find more advanced sales stats to paint a better picture of how your sales reps operate and where they can improve. You have to clearly communicate your expectations to your team, and reinforce these expectations daily. You need to be more than a boss – you need to be a motivator. You need to provide regularly scheduled training to your team to keep successful techniques fresh in their minds. Lastly, you need to coach and develop all of your sales reps to improve upon weaknesses and sharpen strengths. It takes a passionate individual to run a successful sales team, and I will break all of the above down for you in this guide. Hiring the Right People Hiring the right sales representatives is really the most important component of running a successful sales force. You need to spend time before the hiring process to come up with the exact type of candidate that you want to hire. The bottom line here is that you have to hire winners. You have to hire highly motivated and passionate individuals; people that want to take ownership at furthering the success of your company. I don’t care what your background is, if you are not motivated I will not invest in you. You need to look at your employees as investments, not as expenses. Treat the hiring process like you would treat any investment process – do your research. Always operate under the following rule: you can teach and develop sales techniques, but you cannot teach and develop passionate and hunger. I will hire an extremely passionate and motivated candidate with absolutely no sales experience before I will hire an experienced candidate that has no passion or motivation. It never ceases to amaze me how many companies do the exact opposite. Hire winners. Period. Firing the Wrong People On the flip side, perhaps equally important is firing the reps that are not performing to your expectations. Please understand fully that your sales reps are a direct reflection of your leadership. If you are a successful leader, your reps will follow your every word. That being said, there will always be sales reps and employees across all spectrums that simply do not perform. They do not have the passion and motivation and show no signs of wanting to improve. I will give everyone a chance to improve. I will give everyone a chance to show me that they not only want to get better but actually can get better. Eventually however, you have to cut ties. Nonproductive and unmotivated sales reps waste your time and money. Just like in
  • 3. poker, you have to know when to fold a losing hand. There are hundreds of hungry sales reps that are waiting for a chance to prove themselves to you, so take action when needed and replace ineffective sales reps. You Need a Killer Sales Playbook For any sales manager, having a streamlined sales process is the foundation to long term success. It never ceases to amaze me how many companies and salespeople alike lack the basic understanding of what the sales process is and how to execute it properly; they just “wing it” and expect success to follow. It doesn’t matter how strong your product or service is; you will never hit the level of success that you are capable of reaching without a proper sales process in place. What boggles my mind even further is the level of closed mindedness that exists in the sales world. People are afraid and/or too proud to admit that what they have been running with all along is a broken system. A huge chunk of sales managers fail because they never properly set up an actual sales process. Recent studies have shown that almost half of all sales teams do not have an official sales process or playbook. Furthermore, those that do follow a proper sales process are 33% more likely to succeed sales quotas and expectations (credit The TAS Group). Regardless of what field you are in, there are hundreds if not thousands of competitors out there trying to capture the same customers that you are. And if you think for a second that your competition isn’t working daily to improve their sales processes to keep a leg up on you – think again. Look at Advanced Sales Stats So many sales managers look at only the most basic of sales stats, such as units sold versus the number of units you are expected to sell. You have to look at more advanced sales stats if you ever expect to push your team to higher levels. How many calls/appointments does each rep average per sale? These more advanced stats will help you understand if your reps are taking enough calls or making enough appointments and whether or not they are effective enough with the calls and appointments they take or make. Sales per call/appointment are amazing stats that allow you to compare your reps amongst each other at a much deeper level. Some sales reps make their quota based on taking more calls or making more appointments than the other reps. But their sales per call/appointment may be extremely low, so while they might be making their quota, they are doing so in an incredibly inefficient manner – which creates a ton of lost potential revenue for your company. You may have extremely efficient reps that make their quota on minimal calls/appointments, which is good, but imagine how much more revenue they could take in if you improved upon their ability to field more calls and appointments. Numbers don’t lie – make the most of them. Clearly Communicate Expectations An unequivocal understanding of your expectations by your sales reps is an absolute must. So many sales managers do not properly communicate their expectations to their sales team. Your expectation of your sales reps needs to be more than simply making their quotas. You
  • 4. need to set expectations for constant improvement and customer satisfaction. You need to set the expectation that all of your reps operate with honesty and integrity. Your name and reputation is on the line, and your sales teamis a direct representation of yourself. Set expectations for greatness across the board and accept nothing less. And do not simply post your expectations on a sign on the wall, clearly communicate your expectations and mission statements and objectives daily, if not multiple times a day. You are the coach on the sidelines calling the plays and you need to be a constant presence in this regard. Coaches and managers of professional sports teams do not simply print out a game plan on paper and leave it on the sidelines – they are visible and constantly communicating what needs to be done. You need to do the same. Become an Effective Motivator Your job as a sales manager is much more than simply watching sales numbers and reporting on them. You need to be a nonstop motivator – which a lot of sales managers struggle with. If you yourself are not a highly motivated individual, it is not likely that you will be able to motivate and inspire others. The biggest mistake that most sales managers make when it comes to motivating a sales force is assuming that all of their sales reps are motivated by the same things. It is your job to understand what motivates each and every one of your sales reps individually, which means truly getting to know each and every one of your sales reps at a deep level. The next mistake that many sales managers make is believing that motivation lasts a lot longer than it does. Motivations is extremely short lived. You can give the best pep talk of your career, and it will be a non-factor in a few days. You have to work constantly and tirelessly to motivate your reps each and every single day. Never Stop Training YourPeople Another area that many sales managers struggle with is providing consistent training. Motivation will only carry sales reps so far if they do not have the tools and the knowledge necessary to convert your motivation into results. That is the key to success right there – the ability to convert motivation into results. There are so many business that provide one round of sales training, which typically occurs during the first few days of employment. There are a ton of studies done on the effectiveness and lifespan of sales training, and it is pretty conclusive that even amazing sales training will eventually dwindle away in a few months. Bad habits slowly creep into your sales reps’ daily routines, and over time those bad habits snowball and start to take away from your results. It is human nature in the sales game to get rusty and complacent, which is why you need to be training your team constantly. Your training needs to be powerful, engaging, effect, and most importantly - reinforced regularly. Schedule weekly training sessions with your sales team. It will pay off massively – trust me. Constantly Coach and Develop Your People Lastly, you need to constantly coach and develop your sales reps one on, and you need to understand that coaching is different than training. Coaching is the process of identifying areas
  • 5. of weakness for each sales rep and coming up with a plan of action to improve upon those areas. You need to set the expectation that the targeted results are to be improved over a predetermined period of time. It is your job to come up with a plan to help your sales reps improve, and you need to develop these coaching plans before you meet with your sales reps. You need to meet with each rep weekly and review their current level of success on the development plan. Treat these sessions as a positive encounter – you are helping them further their success. The only time these sessions should turn into negative encounters are if the rep is simply not showing signs of improvement and/or are displaying an unwillingness or disinterest in improving upon their results. If your sales reps are not interested in improving then your sales numbers will not improve, and your business will go stale. That is the bottom line. Conclusion If you follow these guidelines and truly buy into them, you will start to see genuine improvement in not only the sales results of your team, but also in the level of respect that they hold for you. If you are a new sales manager, these guidelines will pave the path to success for you. Remember that your team is a direct reflection of you. Be a leader. Be fearless. Constantly show your team that you are there to motivate them and push them to the next level for not only the betterment of your business, but also for the betterment of themselves. There will be times that they hate you for it, but in the long run they will respect you tenfold and the results will show. If you hire the right people and run your ship the way it needs to be run and hold people accountable to expectations that you set forth, your life as a sales manager will be incredible.