Boston, MA (PRWEB) August 05, 2014
Many CEOs are reluctant or unable to manage their sales teams for fear of 'jinxing the rain makers.'
The result: sales managers who are left to operate using 'management by intuition' and personal bravado—a sure recipe for disaster.
Here’s what savvy CEOs know about directing the sales function without having to manage it themselves—and the payoff in "planning the work then working the plan."
I. IT TAKES A VILLAGE
While CEOs typically play an active role in driving performance improvement across multiple areas of their organizations, many tend to let sales run itself.
That’s a big mistake.
To be effective, CEOs must actively lead all parts of their village, including the often elusive sales organization. And leading means demanding transparency and accountability.
Typically, new sales managers bring their own 'personal sales systems' with big promises of success—plans that CEOs never really see but nonetheless trust. Then, when sales managers leave, those plans leave with them.
It may be true that on an individual level sales is an ‘art,’ and artists do their best work when left alone. But at the macro level—the one that guides the entire sales organization and determines larger success—sales cannot thrive on whim.
Smart CEOs know the value in a company-owned sales planning and management model that assigns accountability, gives a real time view of selling activities and is easy to access by all. A sales planning system also ensures a company’s sales data and intelligence is kept in-house and survives the ‘revolving door syndrome’ common to sales departments.
Remember: the ‘right’ connections and individual ‘magic’ will never consistently bring in big deals and fulfill quarterly numbers.
II. CONTEXT IS KING
Information without real insight is empty. Thus, without a planning system in place to provide context, a CRM system is nothing more than a random collection of disconnected data records that say nothing about where you are, or where you're headed. Too often, sales teams rely on intuition and 'common sense' to drive the process. The result are sales plans that are: ad hoc, created ‘on the fly’, ’poorly executed and difficult to maintain given daily changes in the marketplace.
The solution: a management model that assigns accountability and provides a real time view of selling activities.
“Revenue generation must be a facts-based process. Talent and experience will only take you so far,” said Al Rossini, CEO of Precision Sales Engineering. “Generating leads is meaningless without consistent, proven methods that turn prospects into customers.”
Sales planning is the foundational process that gives context to CRM in the form of visible, measurable objectives for everything you and your team works on. That context also empowers managers to execute sales plans and communicate clearly with teams, enabling a talented sales force to work at their greatest capacity.
III. SALES CRM IS USELESS WITHOUT STEWARDSHIP
Any tool is only as effective as the skill with which its operator applies it.
CRM is only useful when applied to proactively manage sales teams toward clear objectives, establish metrics for success and accurately reflect what the sales force is doing daily to achieve results.
Without checks and balances along the way, an imprecise and unfocused use of CRM only as a record keeping system without a sales planning platform to stand on can be more destructive than having no CRM at all.
When sales projections are supported by facts rather than hope (hope is not a strategy) and the CRM system is used as a unified sales planning and deal management tool, success will follow.
About Longitude Unified Sales Planning:
Longitude Unified Sales Planning™ by Precision Sales Engineering is a 'native' Salesforce application built to work seamlessly with all standard and custom Salesforce functions. Longitude Unified Sales Planning™ empowers businesses to create 'living' actionable sales plans for any role in your extended sales organization. Longitude™ eliminates disconnected, 'dead document' sales plans.
Longitude Unified Sales Planning™ includes: ready-to-use (model) Sales Management Plans & objectives; ready-to-use (model) Sales Rep Plans & account portfolios; ready-to-use (model) Account Plans & strategies; and all standard Salesforce functions including Accounts, Leads, Opportunities, and more.
Longitude Unified Sales Planning™ - powered by Salesforce - eliminates the 'risk' of sales rep's floating in the field without a clear sales plan linked to their account base for daily reference, guidance and accountability. Now, sales plans and sales execution are unified in a single system.