Salespeople Need to Think Strategically to Succeed
Managers naturally become frustrated and perplexed when salespeople fail to produce their expected numbers. Some managers attribute the salesperson’s inability to close deals to weak selling skills.
However, in an article on Forbes.com, Jason Jordan of Salesforce advises sales managers not to jump to this often inaccurate conclusion. In many cases, poor performance is not caused by lack of skill, but can be attributed to poor decision making.
Jordan uses the story of Peyton Manning, NFL quarterback, to make his point. The public assumed that that Manning’s failed plays in a crucial game against the Atlanta Falcons were the result of a neck injury.
Manning explained that he was still able to throw the ball accurately—the problem was he had simply decided to throw the balls to the wrong places. Manning said it was his mistaken judgment that caused him to lose, not his lack of skill.
Sales managers can help reps attain their goals by coaching them to strategize and ask relevant questions throughout the entire sales cycle. According to Jordan, sales managers should coach their salespeople to consider these questions when evaluating their sales calls:
- Are these the best opportunities to pursue?
- Are they the right buyers to meet?
- Is it the right time to meet with them?
“What sales managers should spend more time doing is coaching reps on how to make the right decisions—how to prioritize their time and target the right opportunities. We see very little sales coaching around these decisions, and it’s sorely needed. Sales skills are required, but they are not sufficient. Smart decisions must precede them,” Jordan says.
To read the original article in its entirety, please visit Forbes.com.