The employee that was promoted to the sales manager position at a financial services company was talented at selling, but he stretched his time too thinly between continuing to sell to his contacts, taking on more strategic responsibilities, business travel, and managing more and more of the company. The organization needed additional sales management assistance, but was not ready to hire a full-time employee.
Warren Whitney’s Deb Angstadt joined the company as a part-time interim sales manager. Deb’s approach was to work with each of the sales reps one-on-one, providing individualized coaching to each employee. Deb:
- Worked with each sales rep to identify their strengths and weaknesses, as they related to the Sales Funnel and sales fundamentals. Through this analysis, Deb found that some salespeople were stronger in closing a deal, while others were stronger in cultivating prospective clients; she tailored solutions accordingly.
- Helped them understand the fundamentals of contact management and building a “drip” campaign (constantly making contact with potential customers on a monthly basis, whether or not the contact directly results in a meeting or sale).
- Helped each salesperson create a 12-month sales plan to achieve their goals. The sales plan enables sales reps to identify exactly how and when they will contact potential clients and build relationships to yield more business.
- Met with each representative on a regular basis to review progress and brainstorm next steps, ensuring accountability and adding discipline to the sales process.
The reps with whom Deb has worked report that the most powerful outcome has been a renewed sense of commitment and focus that they feel with regard to their sales activities. They find value in the clarity that she is able to give their sales efforts and feel energized by the process. What began as a relatively concentrated weekly process has evolved into more of a maintenance program of bi-weekly or monthly sessions.
On a more tactical level, Deb has initiated the foundation of a company e-marketing program designed to directly support the sales program. This has included a combination of individualized e-newsletters for a number of the representatives and their industry sales groups, as well as e-marketing to support company-sponsored events that provide prospecting opportunities. As a result, the company has increased its e-marketing touches from zero to more than 3,000 highly targeted contacts annually. In addition to generally supporting brand awareness and building prospect relationships, some of the electronic touches have resulted in direct leads that have resulted in closed business.
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