Sales Managers Must Make Sure That This Never Happens

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You are driving down the highway and you see an enormous truck in your side mirror. The truck is moving very fast – twice your speed – and closing in quickly. You continue to look in the mirror and because of the way your side mirror is shaped, it appears that the closer the truck gets, the more likely it seems that the truck will simply run right over you. You accelerate a little, keeping watch over that mirror and then it happens. You miss the sharp bend in the road and drive off the cliff.

That little story is the real-world equivalent to something that often occurs with your salespeople. There are new opportunities to be targeted as well as opportunities that already populate the pipeline. The most promising of the existing opportunities seem to get most of the salesperson’s attention. One particular call causes the salesperson to become so excited that she devotes the rest of this week to developing an appropriate solution, value proposition, ROI, proposal and presentation. She is so focused on this opportunity that she forgets all about what is up ahead. Post presentation and proposal, she begins making follow up calls and over the course of the next month goes into full chase mode. When it finally sinks in that this prospect is not returning calls, has gone missing, and won’t be buying anything soon from her, it’s too late. She has neglected to continue filling her pipeline, has not lined up any new opportunities, has not stayed in touch with the other opportunities in her pipeline and has driven off the cliff.

It happens all the time.

It’s not the salesperson’s fault.

That’s what sales managers are supposed to be doing. Sales Managers must not only help but hold their salespeople accountable for being focused on the right activities and behaviors, at the right time, and on the right opportunities, for the right reasons. They must also provide coaching on each opportunity so that they can see what is in front of them and avoid falling off the cliff.

Last call for my Sales Leadership Intensive in Boston, October 3 and 4, when we will spend 2 days working on things like this together. If you want to attend, skip the online registration and email me directly.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

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