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 B Tob Revenue ExecutiveExperience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson, and today we're going to be speakwith Brian Burns about the five things sales managers want from their sales repsand team members. You're listening to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience, apodcast dedicated to help with the executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimizegrowth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you'vecome to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two one. Welcome everyone, and before we jump into the interview today, just aquick reminder. We want to buy you a cup of coffee. In orderto do that, we need you, guys, to fill out a feedbackform that's on our website. BE TO BE REV exaccom. We want tohear from you guys about what you want to hear on the show, whatwe can do better to improve it and if you've written a review for uslately, you know let us know that you've done that as well, andif you haven't, please do. But at the end of the day,what we want is your feedback and in order to do that, we're willingto take everybody who gives us feedback, put you in a hat once aweek, pull out a name and send you a giftificate starbucks for a cupof coffee on us. If you happen to be in the Denver area,we're happy to of course, meet you in person and do that. Canalso make those arrangements, but really would like your feedback. So please takejust a few minutes and fill out that feedback form for us. Today we'regoing to be working with Brian Burns again and we're going to be tackling,you know, the top five thing sales managers want from their sales Reps.we see a lot of sales reps today's struggle not only with the way thatthe sales landscape is changing, but also kind of their place in an everchanging organization. So Brian and I kind of put together the top five thingswe think you guys should be aware of, things that you can learn from animplement in order to make you more effective in your organization maybe give youa little bit better understanding of what your sales managers are up against. So, without further ado, let's step into the interview. Who we're talking earlierabout. You know, what a managers really want to get out of salespeople? What do they really need? What's one of the things that you have? I would say probably cooperation is one of the big ones, right,if you want them to be able to actually go with the flow. Right, sales is a challenging profession to begin with. Revenue Executive Struggle with allof the impacts that they're having on their teams and, you know, havingyour reps be able to cooperate as the sales organization moves, cooperate on processchanges and things like that. Be Willing, a willing participant, I think,is critical so managers feel comfortable with the team they've got. That's it, you know, because sales people are tend to be, you know,really independent. You know, because they say the least stremely. Yeah,because, you know, at least half of their incomes a variable and ifthat's not working, they're not happy. Oh and when? Yeah, butmanagers also have the responsibility to the company about getting things done and not justdeals. So yeah, I agree. Be completely well wateration. You andI have talked about it too. We were both, I mean, intohis individual tributes. We were lone wolves. So I'm not. I could saythat I probably was. Was Not one that fits easily into that category. It definitely and you can also overcooperate, meaning true. Yeah, I've hadsome reps like that on teams. Like it's like, okay, we'regoing a little bit far here, let's get back to work. Yeah,where they they're all they care about is making their manager happy instead of theircustomers. And you know, you know, I've worked with one guy who,you know, hired his best friend and I remember driving around Atlanta withmy boss and he called my boss no less than five times and only oneof the calls was about work. It was all about, you know,what kind of refrigerator to buy, what kind of car? Should he leastit or buy it? And I was just rolling my eyes, going,you know, I don't talk to anybody that much. Right, but youknow, he always got the best territory,... know, the best engineer andeverything, but you know, a good manager just wouldn't allow that.Right. But I had it for number two was performance, you know,and everyone would think all performance is number one, and it's like, well, you know, when performance is there, it's great, but when it's notthere, then you definitely need to cooperate. I've think the guy callingabout the refrigerators was trying to cooperate because I'm going to better. Performance wasn'tthere, and you know that. You know the the bad side of performanceis when it's not there. You know what gets blamed and who takes responsibility. You know. You know, you hear a lot of the whining aboutthe territory, the product, the timing, the economy, and those are alltrue right and it maybe they're exaggerated, but I think a good rep isthe one that kind of owns that responsibility to making it work. Underthe case that you're at. Well, yeah, I mean look, salesreps are hired to, you know, know, move sales deals through thefunnel, and so if you're if you're not. The thing I love aboutsales is it's black and white, pretty much like you're either doing it ornot, and it's it shows up in your numbers and if you're not performing, then you know, what are you doing? You're wasting your time,the manager's time. I think the sales reps that I've seen that have beenthe most effective are those that that truly own the fact that they have toput up the numbers. In order to do that, they have to backinto the activity right, I've seen we used to call it follow the moneyexercise, like we'd run the reps through. Okay, here's what you want toearn. This is we know what the stats say on, you know, calls and prospecting and we know what our win percentages are. Right,do the math. It's not. It's not advanced Algebra. It's not.Maybe not easy, but it's not advance Sald. But do the math.Back into your activity level and then do that activity consistently so you get thereliable performance for the company and for the manager. And that's what you see. And if you build those habits, you know, instead of the whatI typically see, the quarterly roller coaster. Yeah, you know where the firsttwo weeks of the quarter people are on vacation. Is My managers say, everyone's on vacation and having babies. Yeah, we've timed our pregnancy sothat the birth happens the first two weeks of a quarter. That's a salesperson. And then they have the quarterly meeting and then the quarterly review and beforeyou know what, the first month is over and now you get two moremonths to go and then the last month of the quarter everyone panics and andand then tries to pull in deals. The deals get a little shady,the WHO discounts go up, concessions are made and then the cycle starts allover again. And what I always try to do is like, let meeven this out a little bit. You know, every Monday looks like everyother Monday. Oh yeah, it's a beginning of the quarter. I stillhave to do a lot of stuff, I'm at the quarterly meeting, butI still have to work. And if you can build those daily habits,that that really makes your performance more linear and then, instead of luck basedwould and I think that's the key right, and it's one of the things.I mean, I think you and I've been around long enough that weknow that sales reps back in the day always struggled with that consistency and thatforming of habits. And and today that's even a bigger challenge, I think, especially for some of them millennials that are out there because of all thedistractions as shorter attention spans. They want it now, immediate gratification. Youknow what, I haven't seen an AI solution or anything come up that's goingto change the fact that that consistency of behavior, that consistency of habit,is what's going to produce the results and the performance that you need. Andif you don't focus on that, at the end of the day you're goingto be on that roller coaster and that's really the last thing the business wantsor your manager wants. Right, and now brings back focus, which consistentlyis what I hear when I talk to great reps today is, instead of, you know, the old work hard focus seems to be coming up becausethere are so many distractions. I mean you could literally spend your whole dayjust in linkedin navigator. Oh Yeah,...

...not that it is a waste oftime, but it's you have to do a little bit of it, butif you do too much of it, you're not doing that what really counts. And you know, you get this little computer in your pocket all thetime, vibrating and beeping and making all kinds of sounds that can really suckup your time powerful but you have to have that proactive control over it.We requires discipline, right, it requires a discipline and and I would saythat that you know, if you throw time management in there as like asubthing, like if you can't manage your time effectively and understand you got ablock it. I would look. I'm the biggest, one of the biggesttech guys on the planet. Some new gadget comes out, I'm all overit, right. I am that quintessential sales guy, always looking for asilver bullet, but I spend my time looking for that silver bullet on Saturdayand Sunday, because Monday through Friday I've got to be hustling, I gotto be selling, I got to be on on my routine, and it'sthe only way to make sure that your pipeline stays consistent and predictable, whichis really what your manager wants, what the business wants, right. Soif you're not doing that, the emotional toll on yourself and your manager goesthrough the roof and you're just not going to be as effective, especially ifyou can't focus and dedicate yourself to that, you know, predictable routine. Yeah, definitely number three. I had teamwork. I think you know whenI was a leader, you do want people to be part of the companyand you know, sales has this kind of natural, not aggression but thenatural course of things is not to get in order. Right course of thingsas to lose a deal. And when you do get an order, everyonewould like it to look at pristine right and yeah, sign our contract,agree to our terms, pay our way on our time schedule. And whatdoes a customer want to do? They want to pay their way on theirpaper right and their timeframe. And that friction. You know, the salesreps in the middle of that and sometimes, you know, early in my careerI just you know, would cram it down people's throat. I callup the CEEO, I go look, I got the deal, I needyour help to get it booked, and he would do it. But then, you know, he would break a lot of eggs making that on.Let you know, and they wouldn't blame him. No, know me welland it's always harder sometimes to sell. I found back when I was aninterview contributor it was harder to sell internally that it was a cell of thecustomers like the you could almost negotiate with the customers easier than I could negotiateinternally because, man, if you had to walk into, you know,chief legal officers room and be like hey, they want to change this term orthat term. It was like calamity ensued, right, and you alwaysit was kind of new that and I think if today, especially with youknow, you see a count based sales and a copies marketing happening, ifa manager is really good, if a leaders really good at building in thatteam essence into, you know, across the sales organization, you get betterresults, not only the internal team, like can your sales team work?Is A team, but can they work with the rest of the organization?And if a sales rep can do that, I think you're still going to havethe struggles world. Look, your CFO doesn't want to change the terms. You see, if it wants to be paid yesterday, they're CFO,once we pay, wants to pay you in ninety days. Right. There'salways going to be that. But I think it's easier to overcome an addressthose challenges if you have that type of, you know, team based culture thathas to be led, led by example from the sales leadership. Yeah, yeah, and if it doesn't exist, then a lot of finger pointing happens. And from the REP standpoint, if the order doesn't get booked,we're booked on time or booked correctly. It's not going to help you getyour commission check right. Right. So is part of like what reps witha lone wolf thing can go too far where you have to kind of beunderstand that. You know, you don't...

...own the company. That's tell me. He goes. You're not running the company yet, Brian. So well, it's an interesting it's an interesting tecotomy because they tell you, and Idid the same thing when I was running teams, is like Hey, youneed to act like you're running your own business. And then that would backfireon me because then the right, the rap would turn around and think,well, I'm running I'm running my business. So, Hey, I need youguys like step up, come on, do this. Okay, now,wait a minute, maybe I went too far with that right. Butthe end of the day, if if everybody is focused on one goal,and that requires I mean I think it's a bigger challenge than just for sales. Right, you see a lot with all these organizational transformation things that goon. I think it's harder for especially larger organizations to break down those silosand sales. You know, everybody looks at sales with through that cliched LensRight. Still, even today, you still look at sales that way.Oh, those are sales guys, don't don't worry about them. It's kindof like don't feed the animals at the zoo, right, just don't playwith the sales guys. And I think it takes more. You know,sales leaderships got an upward management and I can kind of you know, horizontalmanagement challenge as well to drive that team work in order to create the environmentthat will reinforce that in his in his or sales organization and then, youknow, generate the results that he's looking for. Yeah, and I thinkmanagers get really frustrated when the rep won't do that because or they the managerhas to clean it up. And you know, I've been in that situationwith reps where you have to get the job done for them internally, andthat is part of the manager's job. Sure it's not solely the manager's job. And I think the real test of team work is how well sales peoplework with the marketing team. Because who often, I've said this myself.I said I've given up on them, you know, and you know becausethey're just doing the wrong thing and they insist on doing it because they getrewarded on the wrong thing. They get rewarded on the number of leads orcontact they get. And, especially today, contacts are pretty much free. Youknow, five, ten years ago, you know, getting a list of, you know, valid contact information with names, emails, phone numbersand a little bit of detail in the company was expensive and time consuming.Today it's free. So the marketing has a different role. What they wantto do is attract people who are actively looking or could be a qualified prospect, and that's really hard, you know, because people don't need to convert theway they used to. You know that they can live without your ebookand going to yeah, without a doubt. I mean if you look at itlike both sales and marketing, and I'm all right, maybe we're biasedbecause we live and make our money in this market, but I think salesand marketing are both dealing with a speed of technological change combined with, youknow, changes in buyer and, you know, access to data and andthey're buying habits that makes it really difficult as individuals, to individual organizations,to be effective. So when we go back to that team working, ifyou can get sales and marketing on the same page, you have a muchmore powerful engine. It is not something I have seen consistently done, though, and I wish I had the answer. Probably making it make a million bucksand retire, but it's one of those things that I see people strugglewith and I think it starts with, like you said, the willingness fromboth sides to, you know, engage in a team based approach. That'sit. And it's mostly based off of purport and reward system. And ifthe reward system is in place, meaning it's based off of, you know, real revenue, not vanity metrics or counting contacts, then you have achance. And and the salesperson's got to know what they really want. Youjust can't say hey, I want people who want to buy in the nextquarter. That well, that marketing can't... that right, you know.But they can set up, you know, webinars, they can set up partnerships, they can set up trips, they can do you account based advertising, they can sponsor things, they can get you in front of qualified peopleand and they've got budget that they usually have more budget than sales. Youknow, we're kind of constraint to a steak dinner and a flight. Yeah, it better be a reasonably pressed stake or the see if I was goingto want it. Some answers put a lot of names on it. No, Joe Smith. Joe Smith was there with me. I swear he wasthere. That's it. They do have budget and but they also have toknow what they're doing. You know, because I've been with marketing people,that they'll set up, you know, a breakfast at a trade show.That really doesn't attract the right people, but they think it does. Andyou know, they're more activity focused then sales people and I think if you, as a salesperson, can kind of guide them into the right trade shows, the right activities, it to kind of explore it and work with themthen then and then give them feedback on what is working. I think thatas a manager, I think people would love sales reps to do even ifyou've been in sales for decades, new technology, new buyers and new dynamicscreate challenges your team may not be ready for value. Prime solutions enables youto focus on sales, on the prospects and customers, not the noise,and the sales framework you implement with them is simple, scalable and proven.CHECK OUT VALUE PRIME SOLUTIONSCOM and ask how they can help you beat your target. What was your next one? I really for me there's a lot ofI see a lot of and I don't know if I would put this oneof the top five, but it is one I can keeps coming up.Is I've seen a lot of managers want to have their sales reps increase theirbusiness acumen right, especially in B tob sales. Maybe not be to bein read or B Toc in retail, but when you look at the complexityof the sale today and being able to quantify value, going back to,you know, being able to analyze a business, and we're not talking,you know, hours and hours we're talking, but just be able to look atthe you know, financial statements, if they're public, and figure outif there's some financial health they're not, and then help your people build theinternal business case right so that that level of just general business acumen. AndI think this could when you and I talked about specialization on another episode,and I think this becomes part of the challenge that we're seeing. As theyget more specialized, sales people get more specialized, there seems to be alack of the macro understanding of how business is work and how executives work.So when you know it's this also helps with the selling internally. If yourrep can come to you and say, Hey, I'm working with company aBNC. They're trying to, you know, increase revenue by twenty percent. PersonI'm talking to is focused on this business issue and it quantifies out basedon, you know, if it season costs. Like this, your managerhas a much better case to be explaining internally right and helping get marketing andsales on the same page because they're speaking the same language. Using that businessacumen is kind of a core foundation and I just don't see how see alot of reps focusing on that. Maybe because it feels too I don't maybedoesn't feel heavy enough, maybe it doesn't feel important enough, but that generallevel of business acumen is one that I've seen managers ask for. It's oneof the things we get the most calls on, right is how do Iuplevel my sales reps business acumen so that they're just better in general at workingwith customers and understanding business and telling a consistent story. Yeah, I thinkthat's a good one because, you know, in the bigger deals that I've done, when you bring your CEO into talk to their CEO, you're likewow, that's a very different conversation than I typically have. You know,is that they are talking about market share, growth rate, you know, incalm evaluation, market cap, competitive...

...positioning, and I think it comesdown to, you know, reps are really focused on, you know,how to beat the competition, how to get the technical win. It's kindof you know, internally, it's not natural. There's nothing really driving it. It's something that I think individuals have to want to learn about and especiallyif you're in a like a vertical you know, if you have petroleum orfinance or telecom or federal. If you don't know their vocabulary and what's hotand what they care about, then your conversations won't be very long, butjust not. Yeah, they're really not going to be, especially when youknow, we everybody talks about how we need access to power or, youknow, whatever sales methodology it is. Somebody's got a word for it.Right. We need access to the power people, people are actually going tosign a check. Well, fact of the matter is they think differently.They're thinking about the business they're not thinking about your feature, they're not evenquite honestly, they're not even thinking about the problem you're trying to solve foryour primary contact. Those power people, those executives, they're thinking about thebusiness differently and and I'm not saying you have to be in an MBA tofigure it out. It doesn't. Again, it's not rocket science. It takesa little bit more of that focus and, you know, determination thatwe've talked about. But be able to understand how those executives, those powerpeople, think, so you can have the credibility to have a conversation.You don't have to have all the answers, but at least need to know whatthey're talking about when they say things like margins right, and how thoseare calculated, or they're talking about market share right, or they're talking about, you know, entering a new market or product portfolio, things like that. If you're not able to if you have that look on your face likemy dog does when I throw the ball the wrong wind right like TV,yeah, the power people just aren't going to play and so I think it'sit's really frustrating for the that I've seen, for sales managers when their reps justdon't don't have that and they struggle with how to got to get it, how to provide it. So I mean if reps are willing to takeagain, be that willing learner, take a step towards educating themselves on howexecutives think, I think they'll go a long way with the managers and againwith technology in the Internet and you know, all these data sources, and eventhe free ones. There's no real excuse for not knowing that. Youknow, even if the companies private, you can tell who fund at them, who's on their board? Oh, you know, what's their history?What are they writing about? You know what's their view on certain things?What do they care about? You know, how do they compare against their competition? You know, on Linkedin you can see, you know, thenumber of employees, the growth, where they're coming from, how long havethey been there? You know, all of the stuff will give you anidea of what that person is going to care about. You know, ifthe person's only been there for six months to probably not going to want tomake a big change right or you know, if it's a family business, youknow it's you know it's about. You know their lifestyle, on theirlegacy and their reputation, things like that. You can very quickly learn about it. There's no you don't have to go get a business degree and itis really all you can do is probably spent an hour before that big meeting. And when you do get in front of that powerful person that can signedthe check out, the economic buy or whatever you want to call it,they don't care about you, your company, your product, and if you can'ttalk about something else what they care about, that conversation's going to notgoing to 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 itfigure most of the stuff out. I mean I spent I did a reinforcementsession with the clients team yesterday and I've been real time. Told them togive me a company name and the gave me a company name and in seventeenminutes I had done the research, knew...

...what their, you know, financialhealth had been and showed them. It doesn't take long. It does nottake a longer to it now I might have back when all the data wasn'tthere. I remember when we didn't have access to all this right there wasa thing called the library and that we write and the great place to spenda summer. Heay. Well, yeah, it was great, but now youcan do it's all right here your fingertips. I think the trick maybe, you know, deciphering it, deciphering what's important, and I think thatreally comes down to focusing on how executive thing and what's going to be importantto them and just have that general that General Business Acumen. Yeah, yeah, and I I do a couple of episodes. I did one with aCEO when I asked him, we know, what does he care about as faras when a new sales repped approaches him, and what does he careabout when they're doing a large deal? And it wasn't anything about the product. It was about, you know, how's it going to impact the cultureof the company? How's it going to impact you productivity, growth rate,competitiveness? And it's not just top line revenue and bottom line costs. That'sa huge part of it, but everyone talks about you got to get deeperinto it and start thinking about it and, you know, even go up toyour own CEO and just ask them, you know, what do you careabout? You know when some it amazes. That was funny. It'scame up yesterday. I'm like you got, look, you have access to aCEO your sore corner. Go ask him what does he care about?Like it's again, it's just not it's not hard and I think I wondersometimes, I'm this kind of nonsachrist one er sometimes, if all of thisinformation in the different facets are becoming much clear. Like we can see kindof the pieces of the puzzle, but the overall number of pieces in thepuzzle are getting smaller and more complex because of all of the information now thatpeople have access to. They don't know where to focus on, what towork on first, right, so, sales managers when they're putting together andenablement plan for their teams. So well, do I focus first on, youknow, getting them product knowledge or Business Acumen, or do I focuson, you know, getting them to work with marketing? Or do Ifocus on, Hey, this is our crm and we're going to spend,you know, two weeks so you don't screw up the data? Right?It just I think it's getting to be a little bit more complex of apuzzle than it used to be. And I definitely know some sales managers thatare struggling with that. Yeah, and I think as a wrap you gotto say, look, you're going through you university, meaning that you arethe dean. You know, the Internet is your campus and your motivation.You know, is what's saving you the money to not go to that NBAschool. And you know, because the barrier, you don't have to findthe big building with the pillars in the the old guy and with a robeto learn from a smart person anymore. They're on Youtube, they're on PODCAST, they're on audible and you don't have to even pick up a book.You just plug in your ear buds and you can learn everything you need todo it. And the I think the value of business acumen is that it'sgoing to get you higher up in the Org. Bigger deals, faster deals, more reliable deals exactly, and that should be motivation enough. I thinkone other I had was internal champion, and I think this is really whatI always thought the manager's job was. I always valued the manager who wasmy internal champion, not just championing me but championing the right thing. Youknow, what product features do we need? What marketing campaigns should we have?What complants should look like. You know, how do we reduce thefriction instead of, you know, making us constantly as reps adapt to thesystem? And you know, I've worked at you know, I got acquiredby a huge company and they was still using, you know, literally,you know, mainframe stuff with an html interface. You know, coball programmers. You wouldn't. It would bring up the interface and I'd have some manageralway, you use in kicks or wax or Jacks has, and I'm likewhat? They send me a link and I go, I think it's loading, you know, and like okay,...

...go to column seventy three. Youdidn't fill that in. Oh sorry, that was three monitors away. Icouldn't see seveny there. Yeah, and you that's you know, but everyone'skind of got to be that internal champion. Know, pick your battles, butyou know, getting the corporation to you know, do the right thingis kind of everybody's responsibility instead of just everyone being a little soldier, youknow, continuing to do what isn't working well, and especially especially when yousee organizations that are investing in I've got one client is doing a big organizationaltransformation initiative. Is Basically to breakdown those silos that just kind of naturally happen. Well, the only way that works is if everybody involved, regardless ofthe the team you're on or the part of the org you're in, arefocused on the overwriting goals for the organization and are willing to listen as somebodyelse is telling you what they're trying to do, and you have the patientsto leal hear them. You got to hear them and then be able toturn around and champion what your team's doing in a way that hopefully they willunderstand. So it requires much more communication and I can remember, man,when I first started running teams, I had people that wouldn't that. Youdidn't want to talk to anybody else in the organization. Look, I filledout my forecast. I'm talking to you boss. I don't need I don'tneed talking about else. I'm not going to mess with the marketing stuff.They don't get it. I don't have the time. I'm out here,you know, hitting the streets, pound on the pavement, and I thinkthere there has to be, especially as organizations grow, in order to bemore cohesive. I think everybody has a responsibility to understand not just their rolein the organization but the whole as well. All right, everyone that does itfor this episode of the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. We appreciate youguys listening again, if you want a cup of coffee, stop by thewebsite. BE TO BE REV exectcom. Fill out that feedback form. Whenyou guys in the drawing for the cups of coffee. Hopefully we'll get tomeet some of you in person. If you haven't had a chance yet,please go to itunes or two, stitcher or whatever you're listening to this podcastin. Write us a review. We use those reviews to help us figureout which best guests and topics to cover on the show. It's been anabsolute pleasure to work with Brian Burns and have you guys listening today. Ifyou guys want to get in touch with us, please just shoot us anemail at accelerate at value prime solutionscom. Send US your suggestions, comments,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 outand until next time, we value prime solutions with you and yours, nothingbut the greatest success. You've been listening to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show andItunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Untilnext time,.

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