Do you want to have a winning, high-performance, results-focused sales team with solid leadership, smart talent management, a strong business culture, and a consistent sales process? If the answer is yes, the book "Sales Management. Simplified.", by Mike Weinberg, was made for you.
The two main objectives of this work are to share the reasons why few organizations have these characteristics, and to offer a simple and actionable structure that managers and senior executives can adopt to create a lasting improvement in sales performance.
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The book "Sales Management. Simplified.: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team" examines today's problematic sales departments and offers a comprehensive plan on injecting energy and vitality into your sales force.
The author Mike Weinberg teaches managers how to implement a simple structure for sales leadership, promote a healthy and high-performance sales culture, conduct productive meetings, and more.
Published in 2015, by Amacom, the work has 224 pages and 24 chapters.
Mike Weinberg is one of the most trusted and sought after sales experts in the world today. He is also a speaker, trainer, consultant, and best-selling author.
His mission is to simplify sales and create high-performance salespeople and sales teams.
Also, Weinberg founded The New Sales Coach, a consultancy specializing in new business development and sales management.
The work "Sales Management. Simplified." is recommended to sales managers and leaders at any level, from an experienced sales leader to someone who has just started.
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Sales work is somewhat unusual. Salespeople are not paid hourly or for the amount of "work" they do. Selling is producing results. And the results depend specifically on increased revenue, prospecting for new customers, and generating new business.
The author Mike Weinberg says that what amazes him are founders who run the company as CEO or have a heavy hand in sales management.
He often faces those controlling CEOs who are more concerned with a salesperson's level of activity than if they are reaching the numbers.
The choice report for these micro-managers is the call report, not the monthly or quarterly sales report. There are chief executives and business owners who create a sales culture in which producers don't judge production versus purpose, but activity.
These executives prefer to read details about what happened on sales calls and how many customers the salesperson is prospecting, rather than directing them to actual sales results or opportunities in the pipeline.
This is wrong and self-destructive on several levels.
As it is explained in the book "Sales Management. Simplified.", you can't build a productive, healthy, and sustainable sales culture without a focus on goals and results. This is especially true if you want to maintain a high level of sales talent within the organization.
Level "A" players want to be pressured, they expect to take responsibility for exceeding goals, and they don't tolerate being micromanaged.
Reflect on some questions:
In a particular company, where the author Mike Weinberg went, the sales manager was not ashamed to choose the best leads and sales opportunities for himself.
In essence, he had become a threat, a formidable internal competitor, and he no longer passed on trust and integrity to his team.
It is tempting to ask a key employee to handle more than one role, but, like sports teams that abandon the notion of player-coach position, so do sales organizations.
According to the book "Sales Management. Simplified.", if a smaller company cannot afford a dedicated manager, it is preferable to see the president or another key executive (as long as this person is not the head of operations) serving in a part-time sales management capacity.
The author Mike Weinberg suggests dividing the sales management into three clear categories:
"Leadership and Culture" may seem like a general or vague phrase. So, here are some questions proposed by the book "Sales Management. Simplified." to guide you:
If you improve the answers to these questions, you will obtain a significant increase in a sales organization.
Talent management is the next piece of the sales management puzzle.
Senior executives and sales managers agree that talent is a big problem. No one disputes that statement.
Some leaders face "sales talent" because they feel overwhelmed by the immensity of the question. They say they don't know where to start approaching talent management.
While working with a senior executive a few years ago, the author Mike Weinberg created a mini-structure to help better segment, strategize, and address the various talent deficiencies of the sales organization.
Splitting talent management into the following four subcategories was so beneficial in this project that he started using this process as his ideal model for all sales talent:
The sales process, particularly the new business development process, is the third piece of the sales management puzzle.
There are certain main management responsibilities when it comes to the sales process.
Mike Weinberg explains in his book, "Sales Management. Simplified.", that managers should help to point team members in the right direction to strategically reach appropriate customers and prospects.
After that, the manager has to confirm that the salespeople are using the necessary sales weapons and are proficient in using them.
Finally, since victory depends on a successful execution at the point of attack, the manager must monitor the sales battle, checking if the troops are executing their plans and keeping the course.
For the author Mike Weinberg, you don't have to be a sales expert to effectively lead a sales team to victory.
You have probably read about the power of a healthy, results-focused culture, in which the manager usually meets with each salesperson, holds productive sales team meetings, works in the field alongside team members, and becomes a master at managing talent.
All of these aspects of sales management can be handled very well by someone who is not a sales specialist.
If you are 100% responsible for your team being adequately equipped to sell, it doesn't necessarily mean that you need to be the local expert, sales technician, and trainer.
The author noted in the book "Sales Management. Simplified." several situations in which very effective sales leaders had little sales acumen or experience.
This is more common in smaller organizations, where an owner or senior executive also serves as a part-time sales manager.
And although it is less common in larger companies, with professionally managed sales teams, he met some people who ended up in sales management positions at large companies without having been a salesperson first.
These executives had no problem admitting that they were not sales specialists and were happy to seek help from others when it came to equipping and training their sales teams.
The sales team requires a full arsenal of essential weapons and help to become proficient in using them, whether from you, an associate in your organization, or an outside expert. You are responsible for making that happen.
If one of your main jobs as a sales leader is to arm your team with effective sales weapons, the number one priority in the sales process should be sharpening the team's most critical weapon.
A different, succinct, attractive, and customer-focused story changes everything. According to Mike Weinberg, an effective story:
William Miller, in his book "ProActive Sales Management", also believes in the importance of creating a culture in the company: culture is a powerful and intangible force. The expectations that a culture creates are a big part of its personality and influence.
For Jeffrey Gitomer, author of "The Sales Bible", success and excellence only come with preparation and opportunities, coupled with a good dose of motivation and creativity. Also, the author says you need to be equipped with all the tools, tactics, and (creative) phrases to be able to interact with people.
Finally, in the book "Dealstorming", the author Tim Sanders points out that the sales manager must be aware of the problems that the representative is facing when a potential sale appears to be going down the drain. Until a satisfactory solution is found, the seller should not contact the customer.
There is no single business plan model for everyone. The author Mike Weinberg affirms that each manager is free to adapt the team's plan to their own preferences and to what makes sense for that particular business.
Therefore, we offer in this summary of "Sales Management. Simplified." a simple model for an individual salesperson's plan that can be useful as a starting point:
Use this plan to regularly check that team members are doing what they declared necessary to be successful.
What makes it so powerful is that you are able to use their own words to monitor your employees' progress and hold them accountable. Individual written business plans are a gift for the sales manager!
What did you think of Mike Weinberg's lessons? Leave your feedback about this book's summary!
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