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Trish Bertuzzi is the owner of The Bridge Group, Inc., an inside sales consulting firm. Trish and The Bridge Group have worked with over 240 B2B technology clients to build, expand, and optimize their inside sales efforts. We sat down with her to talk about ways to improve as a sales manager.
1. A learning culture is the new coin of the realm
A critical success factor nowadays is understanding and prioritizing how to develop a learning culture. Money is important as a motivator but what people want more than money is to add skills to their resume. Creating this kind of environment through trainings, book clubs, learning events, coaching, etc, ensures motivation and limits attrition.
Make sure you extend this learning beyond just process and sales skills. Your reps need to know about their buyers. What does a day in their life look like, what challenges do they face, how are they currently addressing those challenges? Being immersed in your buyer’s world is a critical success factor in today’s selling environment.
2. Remember, millennials have a need for speed
Millennials have a need for speed so rapid promotions are something they desire. I’ve seen a lot of companies successfully micro-promote, meaning providing a path for these employees to progress through the ranks by learning the necessary skills to get them to the next level. Think baby steps as opposed to big leaps up the ladder.
3. Get on the phone
If you are a manager and you don’t spend a few hours making calls yourself, you are getting too removed from your team. You need to test your process and understand what a day in the life of your reps is like. You know the saying; “walk a mile in their shoes”.
The benefits here are clear. You lead by example, your reps know you have the skills to coach them because you do the job and you get to interact with buyers so you can stay current with how best to sell to them.
4. Coach your reps
We know the gold standard to get reps excited is to provide three hours of coaching per rep per month – people who do this have happier reps. When coaching, focus on improving skill sets and not just doing forecast or deal reviews. Take what you learned while you were making calls and use it as the foundation of your coaching.
Don’t be all over the map when coaching. Focus on one or two key areas in each session. Coaching is not a one and done, so be sure to go back to that same rep and go over those same skills in your next session. Continuous improvement is the goal.
5. People over technology all day long
We are automating the human out of the sales process. Remember, you don’t have a true relationship with anyone until you have a conversation so make sure your reps embrace that fact. You can use email, social, etc. in order to get that conversation but once you do you better be genuine, human and prepared to have an engaging and relevant conversation. Mano y mano conversations are what launches the sales process!
About Trish Bertuzzi
Trish Bertuzzi is the founder of The Bridge Group, where she’s been helping B2B technology companies build world-class inside sales teams since 1998.