In our last blog, we shared a story about a sales manager who needed to learn how to adapt to remote management. We shared recommendations based on that scenario to help sales managers who have had to transition from in-person sales departments to working from home (WFH). We believe following the recommendations will help sales managers reduce stress, minimize frustration, strengthen the sales team, and increase sales.
Now, let’s turn the tables with another story about a sales associate who we will name Jonathan. Jonathan has been working with his company for a few years. Each year he has reached and surpassed his goals in sales. When he worked in the office full-time, he would poke his head into his manager’s office whenever he closed a sale. On the flip side, his manager would stop by Jonathan’s desk whenever he had a question or was paranoid about the status of each lead. The interactions were usually brief, but disruptive to Jonathan’s typical day. In fact, because of their frequent interaction, Jonathan did not always update the CRM right away. He would have a backlog of information that would eventually get entered but did not feel the need to update the CRM in a timely manner.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the whole sales department moved to a work from home model. Because Jonathan does not see his manager, he does not think about giving him updates on the fly. However, the sales manager does, so he is frequently emailing, calling, or texting Jonathan to the point that Jonathan begins to say, “I wish my sales manager would leave me alone.”
What can Jonathan do? Should he tell his manager to leave him alone? That probably would not go over to well, but there is something Jonathan can do. In fact, there are a couple of things that he can do that will naturally lead to fewer interruptions by his sales manager.
Update the CRM in a timely manner. Jonathan needs to update his interactions in a timely manner. When he gets off the phone, he needs to make an update. If a customer needs a quote, he needs to record the request and delivery date of the proposal. Keeping the CRM updated not only helps the sales manager sees the status, but the sales manager will not feel the need to call Jonathan frequently for updates. It also helps Jonathan to get into a good discipline of working efficiently because he does not have to schedule a time to update the CRM with his backlogged information.
The sales manager also needs to use the CRM more often so he can review notes, quotes, completed actions, and what each salesperson’s future tasks are. Once the Sales Manager starts adding comments and tasks for each salesperson’s leads and accounts, the salespeople will start using the CRM as well.
Communicate when you finish a task. Throughout the day or the week, Jonathan’s sales manager tasks him with follow-ups and additional responsibilities. Jonathan always makes a point to get his tasks completed or at least puts them on his schedule to do, but he doesn’t tell his sales manager. Actually, he doesn’t do it on purpose. He sees the tasks and quickly moves on to the next item of business. This leads his sales manager to take time to call, email, or text asking for updates. Jonathan can minimize interruptions and frustration if he takes 30 seconds to enter notes or a completed task into the CRM and then his manager will see the results.
Use the Sales Funnel to communicate the status of each opportunity. Jonathan’s sales manager created 5 stages for each prospect to produce the company’s sales funnel. The stages are Show’s interest; Asks for a meeting; Asks for a proposal; Submits a proposal, and Won/lost the proposal. When an opportunity is updated in the CRM, the prospect moves to the next stage. To reduce the number of times Jonathan is interrupted by the sales manager, Jonathan needs to update the prospect’s status. As the prospect moves one stage to the next, the sales funnel is updated automatically and the sales manager can see each opportunity, the value of the opportunity, and which salesperson is responsible for the prospect.
We can all relate to Jonathan. It is a good idea for all of us to take these recommendations into consideration and make changes as needed, so we aren’t mumbling, “I wish my sales manager would leave me alone” under my breath. At CCC, we practice these recommendations with our team and it makes a big difference. We can set up your CRM so that you as the business owner or sales manager are in control and less time is wasted on bugging the sales team. Watch as your salespeople promote online communications through the CRM so that the entire team is up to date in real-time. Our team will help your sales teams to become more effective in a work from home model. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-332-0613 if you would like to schedule a webinar for your sales team.
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- On July 28, 2020