The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

5 Things Sales Managers Want From Their Teams


Sales Managers are often faced with ever-increasing challenges, only one of which is making sure the team is delivering the results the company demands. Working to understand their perspective, we are diving in to identify five key things sales reps should be aware of in order to be not only an A-player, but a valued member of the team.

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Welcome to the btob Revenue ExecutiveExperience, Onm your host Chad, Sanderson and today we're going toespeaking with Brian Burns about the five things sales managers walt fromtheir sales reps and team members, we're listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated ELP in executives, traintheir sales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're lookingfor techniques and strategies for tools and resources. You've come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in tree to one welcome everyone, andbefore we jump into the interview today, just a quick reminder: We want to buyyou a cup of coffee. In order to do that, we need you guys to fill out afeedback form. That's on our website, BTB ravizeccom. We want to hear fromyou guys about what you want to hear on the show what we can do better toimprove it and, if you've written a review for us lately, you know. Let usknow that you've done that as well and if you haven't please do, but at theend of the day, what we wantes your feedback in in order to do that, we'rewilling to take everybody who gives us feedback, put you in a hat once a week,pull out a name and send you a gift, tificate starbucks, for a cup of coffeeon us. If you happen to be in the Denver area, we're happy to, of course,meet you person and do that can also make those arrangements, but reallywould like your feedback. So please take just a few minutes and fill outthat feedback form for us today. We're going to be working with Brian Burns.Again we're going to be tackling you know the top five thing sales managerswant from their sales raps. We see a lot of sales, reps today' struggle, notonly with the way that the sales landscape is changing, but also kind oftheir place in an ever changing organization. So bridan and I kind ofput together the top five things we think you guys should be aware ofthings that you can learn from an implement in order to make you moreeffective in your organization. Maybe give you a little bit betterunderstanding, Af what your sales managers are up against. So withoutfurther ado, let's up into the interview who were talking earlierabout you know what a managers really want to get out of sales people. Whatdo they really need? What's one of the things that you have, I would say, probably cooperation isone of the begones right. He want them to to be able to actually go with theflow right. Sales is a challenging profession to begin with, revenueexecutives struggle with all of the impacts that they're having on theirteam, and you know having your reps, be able to cooperate as the salesorganization moves, cooperate on process changes and things like thatbewilling, a willing participant, I think, is critical. So managers feelcomfortable with the team. They've got: that's it. You know because salespeople are tend to be. You Know Really Independent. You know because they say the extremely yeah, because you know at least half oftheir income is a variable and if that's not working they're, not happy.Oh a oand yeah, but managers also have you K, ow the responsibility to thecompany about getting things done and not just deals so yeah, I agree wit becompletely wikoeration you and have talked about it too. We were both Imeanind S, individual tributes. We were Lone Wolves, so I'm not. I could say that I probably was was notone that fits easily into that category. I definitely and you can alsoovercooperate meaning true yeah. I've had some reps, like that. On teams likeit's like, okay, we're going a little bit far here. Let's get back to work,yeah wherethey're, all they care about is making their manager happy insteadof their customers. And you know you know: Ie worked with one guy who youknow hired his best friend and I remember driving around Atlanta with myboss, and he called my boss no less than five times, and only one of the calls was aboutwork. NOIT was all about. You know what kindof refrigerator to buy what kind of car should het lease it or buy it, and Iwas just rolling my eyes goine. You know. I don't talk to anybody that muchright, but you know he always got the best territory. You know the bestengineer and everything, but you know a...

...good manager just wouldn't allow thatright. Butif I had it for number two wasperformance, you know, and everyone would think old performance is numberone and it's like wel. You know when performance is there it'sgreat, but when it's not there, then you definitely need to cooperate. I think the guy calling about therefrigerators was trying to cooperate because I'm going to Ehet theperformance Asim there, and you know that you know the the badside of performance is when it's not there. You know what gets blamed andwho takes responsibility. You know you know you hear a lot of the wining aboutthe territory, the product, the timing, the economy and those are all trueright and maybe they're exaggerated, but I think a good rap is the one thatkind of owns that responsibility to making it work under the case thatyou're at well yeah I mean look, sales raps are hired to you, know, move salesdeals through the funnel, and so, if you're, if you're, not the thing, Ilove by sales, is it's black and white, pretty much like you're, either doingit or you're, not tand, it shows up in your numbers and, if you're notperforming, then you know what are you doing? You're wasting your time, themanager's time. I think the sales reps that ihave seen that have been to themost effective are those that truly own the fact that they have to put up thenumbers in order to do that they have to back into the activity right. I'veseen I used to call it follow the moneyexercise like wed, run the raps through okay. Here, here's what you want toearn this is. We know what the stats say on you know, calls and prospecting,and- and we know what our win percentages are right- do the math.It's not it's not advanced Algebra. It's no, maybe not easy, but it's notadvance ALTBA. Do the math back into your activity level and then do thatactivity consistently. So you get the reliable performance for the companyand for the manager and that's what you see if you buildthose habits, you know instead of the what I typically see the quarterlyroller coaster yeah. You know where the first two weeks of the quarter peopleare on vacations, my managries say everyone's on vacation and havingbabies. Yeah, we've timed our pregnancy, so thebirth happens, the first two weeks of a quarter, that's a sales person and thenthey have the quarterly meeting and then the quarterly review and beforeyou know what the first month is over and now you get two more months to goand then the last month of the quarter, everyone panics and and then tries topull in deals. The deals get a little shady. The discounts go up, concessions are made and then the cyclestarts all over again and what I always trid to do is like. Let me even thisout a little bit. You know every Monday looks like every other Monday. Oh yeaht the beginning of the quarter. I still have to do a lot of stuff, I'm at thequarterly meeting, but I still have to work and if you can build those dailyhabits that that really makes your performance more linear and then,instead of luck based Wood- and I think that's the key right and it's one ofthe things I mean, I'm think you and I've been around long enough- that weknow that sales reps back in the day, always struggled with that consistencyin that forming of habits, and today that's even a bigger challenge. I think,especially for some of the millennials that are out there because of all thedistractions o shorter attention. SPANDS thiy want it now immediategratification. You know what I haven't seen an AI solution or anything come up.That's going to change the fact that that consistency of behavior t aconsistency of Havit is what's going to produce the results and the performancethat you need and if you don't focus on that at the end of the day, you'regoing to be on that roller coaster. That's really the last thing thebusiness wants or your manager wants right, and that brings back focus,which isn consistently is. What I hear when I talk to great reps today isinstead of you know the old you know work hard focus seems to be coming up,because there are so many distractions I mean you could literally spend yourwhole day just in link IDN navigate her...

...oh yeah. Not that is a waste of time,but it's you have to do a little bit of it, but if you do too much of it,you're not doing what really counts, and you know you get this littlecomputer in your pocket all the time, vibrating and beeping and making allkinds of sounds that can really suck up your time powerful, but you have tohave that proactive control over it. Well, it requires discipline right, itrequires a discipline and- and I would say that that you know if you throwtime management in there as as like a subthing like, if you can't manage yourtime effectively and understand you got to block it I' Look M, I'm the biggestone of the biggest tec, guys on the planet. Some new gadget comes out, I'mall over it right. I am that Queen Essential Sales Guy always looking fora silver bullet, but I spent my time looking for that silver bullet onSaturday and Sunday, because oneday through Friday, I've got to be hustling.I got to be selling, I got to be on on my routine and it's the only way tomake sure that your pipeline stays consistent and Predictabale, which isreally what your manager wants. What the business wants right. So, if you'renot doing that, the emotional toll on yourself and your manager goes throughthe roof and just not going to be a as effective, especially if you can'tfocus and dedicate yourself to that. You know predictable, routine yeah.Definitely for number three I had team work. Ithink you know when I was a leader. You do want people to be part of thecompany, and you know sales has this kind of natural, not aggression, but the natural course of things is not toget an order right. Ports of things is to lose a deal and when you do get anorder, everyone would like it to look pristine right and EAH sign. Ourcontract agree to our terms, pay our way on our time schedule, and what doesa customer want to do? They want to pay their way on their paper right and their time frame and that friction?You know the sales reps in the middle with that, and sometimes you know earlyin my career, I just you know- would cram it down people's throat. I call upthe CEO, I go. Look I got the deal, I need your help to get it booked and,and he would do it, but then you know he would break a lot of eggs makingthat on, like you know, and they wouldn't blame him. No, no may well and it's always harder,sometimes to sell. I found back when I was an indirvial contributor. It washarder to sell internally that it was to sell o the customers, like the you,could almost negotiate with the customers easier than I could negotiateit turnline, because man, if you had to walk into you, know Chiep legalofficers room and be like hey. They want to change this term or that termit was like. Calamity ensued right and you always was kind of new that, and Ithink if today, especially with you know, you see account based sales and aCOMPI's marketing happening if a manager is really good. If a leadersreally good at building in that team essence into you know across the salesorganization, you get better results, not only the internal team like canyour sales team work as a team, but can they work with the rest of theorganization and if a sales rep can do that, I think you're still going tohave the stortos word. Look. Your CFO doesn't want to change the terms yousee it a once to be paid yesterday, ther CFO, once we pai ants to pay youin ninety days. Right, there's always going to be thet, but I think it'seasier to overcome and address those challenges. If you have that type ofyou know, teambased culture that has to be led led by example, from the salesleadership, yeah yeah and if it doesn't exist, then a lot of finger, pointinghappens and from a rep standpoint. If the horder doesn't get booked, we'refooked on time or booked correctly, it's not going to help you get yourcommission check, Igright, so tis part of like what raps with a lonewolf thing, can go too far, where you have to kind of be understand that youknow you don't own the company...

...tellme hegoes you're, not running thecompany, yet Bryan. So well, it's an interesting! It's aninteresting ta comedy because they tell you- and I did the same thing when Iwas running team was like hey. You need to act like Youre, runing, your ownbusiness and then that would backfire on me because I then the re right, therap, would turn around and think. Well, I'm running I'm running my business. SoHey! I need you guys like step up. Come on do this! Okay, now wait a minute.Maybe I went too far with that right, but the end of the day. If, ifeverybody is focused on one goal- and that requires I mean- I think it's abigger challenge than just for sales right- you see it a lot with all theseorganizational transformation, things that go on. I think it's harder forespecially larger organizations to break down those silos and sales. Youknow everybody looks at Sales Wthrough that cliched lens right still. Eventoday, you still look at sales that way, Othose are sales guys. Don't don't worry about them, it's kind of like don'tfeed the animals at the zoo right, just don't play with the sales guys, and Ithink it takes more. You know. Sales leadeurships got an upward managementand I can kind of you know horizontal management challenge as well to drivethat team work in order to create the environment that will reinforce that inha cit in Hiso, her sales organization, and then you know, generate the resultsthat he's looking for yeah and I think managers get really frustrated when therep won't do that, because Rthey the manager has to clean it up, and youknow I've been in that situation with reps, where you have to get the jobdone for them internally, and that is part of the manager's Job Sur. It's notsolely the managers job and- and I think the real test of teamwork is howwell sales people work with the marketing team yeah, because too often I've said this myself.I said I've given up on them. You know- and you know, because they're justdoing the wrong thing and they insist on doing it because they get rewardedon the wrong thing. They get rewarded on the number of leads or context theyget, and especially today, contacts are pretty much free right. You know fiveten years ago, you know getting a list of you know: valid contact, informationwith names, emails phone numbers and a little bit of detail in the company wasexpensive and time consuming. Today, it's free so t the marketing has a different role.What they want to do is attract people who are actively looking or could be aqualified prospect, and that's really hard. You know, because people don'tneed to convert the way they use to. You know that they can live withoutyour e book and going to yeah without a bout I mean, if you lookat it like both sales and marketing and I'm all right, maybe we're biased,because we live and make our money in this market. But I think salesmarketing are both dealing with a speed of technological change. Combined withyou know, changes in Nviren, you know access to data and and their buyinghabits. That makes it really difficult as individuals to individualorganizations to be effective. So when we go back to that teamwork thing, ifyou can get sales of marketing on the same page, you have a much morepowerful engine. It is not something I have seen consistently done, though,and I wish I had the answer. I probably Mak make a million bucks and retire,but it's one of those things that I see people struggle with and I think itstarts with. Like you said, the willingness from both sides to you know,engage in a team based approach. That's it and it's mostly based off of Rupportand reward system, and if the reward system is in place, meaning it's basedoff of you know real revenue, not vanity, metric or counting contacts.Then you have a chance and and the salespersonis going to know what theyreally want. You just can't say: Hey. I want people who want to buy in the nextquarter. Well that marketing can't do...

...that right. You know, but they can setup. You know, Webinars, they can' set up partnerships; they can set up roadtrips, they can do. You know account based advertising. They can sponsorthings, they can get you in front of qualified people and and they've gotbudget. They usually have more budget than sales. You kwwe're kind of constrained to asteak dinner in a flight yeah, I better be a reasonably pricestaker to Sifiwas Gointa, want it some answers. We GOTT put a lot of names on no Joe Smith, Joe Smith. was there withme, I swear, he was Tewe, that's it they do have budget, and but they also have to know what they'redoing you know, because I've been with marketing people that tuiyll set up.You know a breakfast at a trade. Show that really doesn't attract the rightpeople, but they think it does, and you know, they're more activity focused than sales people, and I think, if youas a salesperson, can kind of guide them into the right trade shows theright activities to kind of explore it and work withthem. Then then, and then give them feedback on what is working. I thinkthat, as a manager, I think people would lovesales reps to do even if you've been in sales for decades, new technology, newbuyers and new dynamics create challenges. Your team may not be readyfor value. Prime solutions enables you to focus on sales on the prospects andcustomers, not the noise and the sales framework you implement with them issimple, scalable and proven check out value Prime Solutionscom, and ask howthey can help. You be your target. What was your next one? I really for me there's a lot of. I see a lot of it. Idon't know if I would put this one o. The top five, but is when I keepscoming up, is I've seen a lot of managers want to have their sales rapsincrease their business acument right, especially in BTB sales, maybe not beto be in rea or BDC in retail. But when you look at the complexity of the sale today andbeing able to quantify value, going back to you know being able to analyzea business and we're not talking, you know, hours and hours, we're talking ojust be able to look at the you know financial statements if theire publicand figure out, if there's some financial health there or not, and thenhelp your people build the internal business case right, so that that levelof just General Business Acumen- and I think this could when you and I talkedabout specialization another episode- and I think this becomes part of thechallenge that we're seeing is they get more specialized. Hales people get morespecialized. There seems to be a lack of the macro understanding of howbusiness es work and how executives work. So when you know it's, this alsohelps with the selling internally. If your rep can come to you and say, Hey,I'm working with company ABNDC they're, trying to you know, increase revenue bytwenty percent person. I'm talking to is focused on this business issue andit quantifies out based on you, know, efficiencies and cost like this. Yourmanager has a much better case to be explaining internally rightand helpingget marketing and sales on the same page, because they're speaking the samelanguage using that business acument is kind of a courtfoundation, and I justdon't see out see a lot of reps focusing on that.Maybe because it feels to I don't know, maybe t doesn't feel heavy enough.Maybe it doesn't feel important enough, but that general level of businessacumen is one that I've seen. Managers ask for it's one of the things we get.The most calls on right is: How do I uplevel my sales rups business acumen so thatthey're, just better in general, at working with customers andunderstanding business end telling a consistent story? Yeah? I think that'sa good one, because you know in the bigger deals that I've done when youbring your CEO in to talk to their CEO you're like wow, that's a verydifferent conversation than I typically have opisit. They are talking about marketshare Growth Rad. You know incom...

...evaluation, market CAP, competitivepositioning and I think it comes down to you know. Reps are really focused on.You know how to beat the competition, how to get the technical win. It's kind of you know, internall, it'snot natural, there's nothing really driving it. It's something that I thinkindividuals have to want to learn about, and especially, if you're in, like avertical, you know if you have petroleum or finance or telecom orfederal, if you don't know their vocabulary and what's hot and what theycare about, then your conversations won't be very long, not yeah, they're,really not going to be, especially when you know weeverybody talks about. Weneed access to power, or you know whatever fals methodology, it is ifs.Somebody's got a word for it right. We need access to the power people thatpeople are actually going to sign. A check, well fact of the matter is thatthey think differently. They're thinking about the business they're,not thinking about your feature, they're, not even quite honestly,they're, not even thinking about the problem you're trying to solve for yourprimary contact, those power people, those executives, theyre thinking aboutthe business differently, and I'm not saying you have to be in an NBA tofigure it out. It doesn't again: it's not rocket science. It takes a littlebit more of that focus and you know determination that we've talked aboutbut be able to understand how those executives and those power people think.So you can have the credibility to have a conversation. You don't have to haveall the answers, but you at least need to know what they're talking about whenthey say things like margins right and how those are calculated or they're.Talking about market share right or they're. Talking about you know,entering a new market or a product portfolio. Things like that, if you'renot able to. If you have that look on your face, like my dog, does when Ithrow the ball the wrong way right, like TV yeah, the power people just aren't going toplay, and so I think it's it's really frustrating for that. I've seen forsales managers when the reps just don't they don't have that and they strugglewith how to got to get it, how to provide it. So I mean, if reps arewilling to take again, be that willing learner, take a step towards educatingthemselves on how executives think I think they'll go a long way with tmanagers and again with technology ind the Internet- and you know all thesedata sources and even the free ones, there's no real excuse for not knowingthat Rigtyou know, even if the company's private you can tell whofunded them who's on their board. Oh you know, what's their history, whatare they writing about? You know: What's their view on certain things,what do they care about? You know how do they compare against theircompetition? You know on Linkedin, you can see you know the number ofemployees, the growth where they're coming from how long have they beenthere? You know all of thes stuff will give you an idea of what that person'sgoing to care about. You know th if the person's only been there for six monthsto probably not going to want to make a big change right or you know, if it's a family business,you know it's, you know it's about. You know their lifestyle on their legacyand their reputation. Things like that. You can very quickly learn about it. Itthere's! No, you don't have to go, get a business degree and it really all you ven do is probablyspend an hour before that big meeting and when you do get in front of thatpowerful person that can sign the check at the economic buyer. Whatever youwant to call it, they don't care about you, your company, your product, and if you can't talk about somethingelse, what they care about, that conversation's going to not goingto be very, very long or very fruitful, and it doesn't again it doesn't take.It doesn't take a lot of time to figure figure mout the stuff out I mean Ispent. I did a reinforcement session with the clients team yesterday andhave been real time, told them to give me a company name and the gave me acompany name and in seventeen minutes I had done the research knew what theiryou know. Financial Health Hav been en...

...showed them. It doesn't take long. Itdoes t take a long to do it now. It might have back when all the datawasn't there. I remember when we didn't have access to tall this right. Therewas a thing called the library that Weh right and tha great place to spend aSummeri. Well yeah it was great, but but now you can do im, it's all righthere. Your fingertips, I think the trick may be. You know, deciphering itdeciphering. What's important and I think that really comes down tofocusing on how executives thing and what's going to be important to themand just have that general that General Business Acumen, yeah yeah and I do acouple of episodes. I did one with a CEO when I asked him, you know whatdoes he care about as far a when a new sales wrep approaches him or what doeshe care about when they're doing a large deal and it wasn't anything aboutthe product it was about? You Know How 's it going to impact the culture ofthe company Howas I going to impact eproductivity growth, rage,competitiveness and it's not just O, know toplinerevenue and bottom line cost, that's a huge part of it, but everyone talksabout you got to get deeper into it and start thinking about it and you knoweven go up to your own co and just ask them. You know: What do you care about?You K, whenit', some, it amazes e, as that was funny, came up yesterday, I'm,like you guy, look. You have access to a CEO, you're son Te con yeah go askhim: What does he care about like it's again? It's just not it's not hard, andI think I wonder sometimes I'm I kind of nonsecers wonder sometimes if all ofthis information and the different facets are becoming much clearer, likewe can see kind of the pieces of the puzzle, but the overall number ofpieces in the puzzle are getting smaller and more complex because of allof the information now that people have access to. They don't know where tofocus on what to work on first right, so sales managers when they're, puttingtogether an enablement plan for their teams, a O. Well, do I focus first onyou know getting them product knowledge or business acument or do I focus onyou know getting into work with marketing? Or do I focus on hey this?Is Our CRM and we're going to spend you know two weeks, so you don't screw upthe data right. It's just. I think it's getting to be a little bit more complexof a puzzle than it used to be, and I definitely know some sales managersthat are struggling with that yeah and I think, as a rap, you got to say: Lookyou're going through you university, meaning that you are the dean. You know the INTERATA is your campusand your motivation, you know, is: What's saving you the money to not goto that NBA school and you know because the barrier you don't have to find thebig building with the pillars and the the old guy and with a robe, to learnfrom a smart person, anymore they're on youtube, theyre own podcast, thereonaudible and you don't have to even pick up a book. You just pug in yourear buds and you can learn everything you need to do it and th. I think the value of businessacument is that it's going to get you higher up in the Orgu. Bigger deals,faster deals, more reliable deals exactly, and that should be motivationenough. I think theone other I had was internalchampion and I think this is really what I always thought. The manager'sjob was. I always valued the manager who was my internal Championnot justchampioning me, but championing the right thing. You know what productfeatures do we need? What marketing campaigns should we have? Whatcomplents should look like? You know? How do we reduce the friction? Insteadof you know, making us constantly as raps adapt to the system, and you know I've worked at. You know Igot acquired by a huge company and they were still using. You know, literally,you know, mainframe stuff with an htm, nowl interface coball programmers anyou would it would bring up the interface and I'd have some manageallare you using kickes or wax or Jacksons, and I'm like that. They sendme a link and I go. I think it's...

...loading you know and like okay go tocolumn, venty three, you didn't fill that in all sorry, that was three monitors away. Icouldn't see seventy thirty yeah and you that's. You know, but everyone'skind of Goin to be that internal champion. Ol Pick your battles, but youknow getting the the corporation to you know. Do the right thing is kind ofeverybody's responsibility. Instead of just everyone being a little soldier,you know continuing to do what isn't working well an especially especiallywhen you see Y organizations that are investing in I've got one client isdoing a big organizational transformation. Initiative is basicallyto breakdown those silos that just kind of naturally happen. Well, the only waythat works is if everybody involved, regardless of the team you're onor. Thepart of the Org Youre in, are focused on the overwriting goals for theorganization and are willing to listen, as somebody else is telling you whatthey're trying to do, and you have the patience to Li hear them. You got tohear them and then be able to turn around and champion what your teamisdoing in a way that, hopefully they will understand. So it requires muchmore communication, and I can remember man when I first started running teams.I had people that, wouldn't even that you didn't want to talk to anybody elsein the organization like I filled Ot my forecast, I'm talking to you boss, Idon't need. I don't need to talk to me else. I'm not going to mess with themarketing stuff. They don't get it. I don't have the time I'm out here. Youknow hitting the streets pound in the pavement and I think there has to be,especially as organizations grow in order to be more cohesive, likeeverybody has responsibility to understand, not just their role in theorganization but the whole as well all right, everyone that does it for thisepisode of the B Tob Revenue Executive experience. We appreciate you guyslistening again. If you want a cup of coffee Y, stop by the website be to berevezeccom, fill out that feedback form when you guys in the drawing for thecups of coffee, hopefully we'll get to meet some of you in person. If youhaven't had a chance, yet please go to itunes or to stitcher or whateveryou're. Listening to this podcast in right us a review, we use treviews tohelp us figure out whith best guests and topics to cover on the show. It'sbeen an absolute pleasure to work with Brian Burns and have you guys listeningto today, if you guys want to get in touch with us, please just shoot us anemail at accelerate at value. Prime SOLUTIONSCOM CENITOR suggestionscomments, feedback, we're looking for all of it want to make sure the show ishappy and healthy for you guys, so please don't hesitate to reach out anduntil next time we value prime solutions wish you and yours nothing,but the greatest success you've been listening to the BTBrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show in Itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

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