4 Ways to Increase Adoption of Your Sales CRM

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The biggest problem with your CRM is that salespeople aren’t using it. And without salespeople on board, a CRM isn’t much help.

If you’re ready to get the most from your CRM, here’s how to get your team on board.

1. Input Data in the System

Without data, a CRM is useless. So, at CallProof, we launch our CRM with data already entered.

We start by interviewing the management. We ask, “If I started working with you today, how many prospects should I have in my database?” If a sales rep doesn’t have prospects, that’s their number one excuse for not using a CRM and for their consequent low activity. We want to eliminate all the objections to using the system. So, once we know how many prospects a salesperson needs when they start, we enter data for them.

We first collect their current prospects’ and clients’ information and enter it into the system. Then we find more prospects from a variety of lead sources. This way, your salespeople start off with a full database of their current contacts, plus new prospects they can reach with the push of a button.

Data is key. That’s why we load the initial data for you.

2. Establish Norms

Once you have the data, establish a process for using the CRM. Every sales team has their own sales opportunity file system or “steps of selling” process. So make sure your team understands classifications of clients and selling sequences. Clarify when a new prospect goes into the CRM — when you first get their information or after you’ve made contact?

Then create norms for classification. How should you identify customers? Do you distinguish between a pharmaceutical lead and a doctor lead? Know how you plan to sort clients. Are certain lead sources classified differently — like trade show leads? When you create a way to see where customers come from, you’ll understand which of your resources work best.

A clear process for sorting clients and understanding the onboarding process is critical. So make time for a management meeting that includes key salespeople to evaluate your process before you train the entire team. First, you have to build the plan. Then you can use the CRM to deploy it.

3. Teach the Process

After you’ve established your methods, we make the CRM work for you. We’ll teach you how it functions best for your company. Via training calls, we show you what the screen looks like when you’re adding a client, what to do when you’re done with a client, how to order notes, and how to sync the emails. We’ll use the app screen and web portal so the team becomes familiar with each CallProof interface.

4. Provide Ongoing Training and Support

We also record each training call so future salespeople have access to the same information. When new sales reps join your team, you’ll be able to onboard them right away with access to the pre-recorded training. We even use a company called Thinkific to host our content and provide a quiz at the end of each video. Why? Quizzes help people focus on the training material. Without them, they aren’t as engaged. So we help you hold your team accountable.

With intentional data and training, we make adopting CallProof an easy transition for your business. CRMs don’t have to be a struggle for your sales team. When a CRM really works for you, adopting it is easy.

Are You Unintentionally Killing Your Sales Team’s Motivation?

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How many iconic inspiration posters have you seen? You know, the ones with landscape photography and some quote that’s supposed to change your life.

Sales managers: you are that poster.

Your most critical role is to motivate your sales team. Sure, it can be tough, but if you’re not lifting people up and removing obstacles from the salesperson’s path, you’re not doing your job.

Sales managers exist to manage resources (leads, time, people) in a way that secures the most sales. And motivating your team is one of the most vital ways you can manage your human resources.

But do you have any habits working against you? These 5 motivation killers may be taking your sales team’s drive.

Motivation Killer #1: Poor Timing

Bad things happen. Products defect, recalls are issued, delays happen. Of course you need to keep your sales team in the loop, but time your delivery right.

If you plan a morning sales meeting centered on the bad news, you’ve jeopardized motivation for the entire day. Instead, make morning conversations all about motivation. Start the day with sunshine and rainbows where everyone’s a winner.

Save bad news for the end of the day. If there’s a defect on a product or a tough conversation that needs to happen with a sales rep, wait until the sales day is over to deal with it. There’s no need to sacrifice a whole day of sales for bad news.

Motivation Killer #2: No Leader Board

Let’s say one of your salespeople closes a big deal. But when they come back to the office with their big win, they don’t get much appreciation. Sure, they may get compensated, but you shouldn’t underestimate the value of recognition.

When your salespeople close deals, then high-fives, celebrations, email accolades, conference call shout-outs, and leader board postings give them a sugar fix. And what happens when you get a sugar fix? You want another one. If you want to keep people hustling, you should keep handing out the recognition.

I can always tell top-selling companies based on their leader boards. If there’s no sales board, they aren’t fully recognizing good performances. Likely, their team is lackluster. But a leader board that is updated daily, where everyone can see it, keeps salespeople talking about the wins and motivated to climb the chart.

Related: 61 of the Best Sales Quotes To Keep You Motivated

Motivation Killer #3: Negative Influence

We’ve all met Negative Nancy or Negative Ned — that person who’s always bringing down the mood. When they get a lead, they immediately write it off saying, “They never buy anything,” or “This won’t ever close.” That kind of language asks for negative results. As these people spout off their negativity, it will probably lead to a more negative culture overall. These are the same types of people who underperform, mess something up, and then blame it on someone else.

You want the opposite type of person working for you. You want people who admit their mistakes and learn from them. Those people make comments like, “Whoa. I really messed up that sale. I answered his objection wrong, and I think it cost me the deal. I know better for next time.” And when people admit mistakes to the group, others learn from it too. Working in a collaborative environment results in high productivity. Sales teams in non-collaborative environments will never reach their potential.

Motivation Killer #4: Giant Lunch

What you eat is what you produce. Sure, it’s fun to go out for good food and good company. But plan accordingly. If you want your team to be productive afterwards, then choose wisely. Carb-filled, greasy, heavy food ruins the rest of the afternoon. If you want to splurge on this type of meal, save it for the right time — maybe a Friday afternoon when you don’t intend for them to make many calls after the meal. Otherwise, opt for healthy food that won’t weigh down your team.

Motivation Killer #5: Unobtainable Sales Goals

Every salesperson needs a baseline for sales numbers. If you’re new to an industry, set your goals wisely. Managers of smaller sales teams might pick one of their sales reps and ask others to replicate their performance. But how does that sales rep compare to the norm?

Maybe they’re a terrible salesperson but you have no one to compare them to. If so, you’ve created a false ceiling for someone new.

Or maybe they’re in the top 1% and the goal isn’t realistic for the average salesperson. Once someone realizes they can’t possibly meet the goal, their motivation goes out the window.

Instead, incentivize activity. If you don’t have real sales statistics to work with, then focus on the quality of calls and activities. Instead of incentivizing them on closes, incentivize them on the number of appointments made, and then deal with closing percentages. Once you discover achievable closing percentages, you can establish realistic sales goals.

If you’re accidentally making one of these mistakes, it’s time to change. After all (to quote one of those motivation posters), “Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try.”

Conference Calls Are Killing Your Sales Team – Use This Free App Instead

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Ever feel like the phone is broken when you’re communicating with your sales team? You talk, but the words just aren’t getting through — especially during conference calls.

Conference Calls Are the Worst

Everyone hates conference calls, but why? To have a “successful” call, we have to stop what we’re doing. None of us can be busy during the time we talk. Now, multiply that by the number of people on a conference call. Each person has to stop the clock, engage in the conversation, and eliminate distractions. That’s highly unlikely — especially if it’s just to hear everyone’s weekly updates.

During a typical conference call, everyone’s distracted. Because they only have to pay attention to the audio, they can continue multitasking during the call. So you’ll pick up the background noise of each person’s location. Some people may be taking their kids to school. Others are grabbing their breakfast at a restaurant before work. By the time an entire group dials in, you can expect plenty of audio distractions.

Plus, there’s no good way to take turns talking. So you’ll deal with the awkward interruptions people experience as they reply at the same time.

Even dialing in can be an obstacle. You dial the 800 number, but then you have to enter the access code. If you’re driving, then trying to find the email, copy the access code, and type it in is extremely difficult (and impairs your driving!). Then, once you’re in the call, the audio can malfunction or someone dials in late and needs a full recap.

Bottom line: conference calls are too hard to focus on. Even the best conference calls are a poor substitute for a face-to-face interaction when everyone’s engaged.

Why Use the Marco Polo App

Marco Polo takes the age-old idea of the phone call and makes it better. Whether you’re calling a group or an individual, you get to respond face to face on your schedule, and avoid all that wasted time. Here are a few of the perks.

1. Works With Everyone’s Schedule

Instead of being stuck in a conference call, Marco Polo frees you up to enter the conversation on your timetable. So, rather than setting an alarm to dial in and going through inevitable hassle and distraction, you get the message and reply anytime.

It’s also a great alternative to individual calls. Phone calls trap us in endless loops of voicemail and call-backs. If I need to advise someone on my team, I can call, but often people can’t pick up. I leave a message, they try to return the call, I’m busy. And so the cycle begins. We end up playing phone tag until the message becomes more cumbersome than helpful.

But with Marco Polo, I plan what I’m going to say, then I say it to the person via video. They respond when ready. And if one of us forgets to respond, that app reminds us intermittently.

Related: Sales Managers: How To Get Over Micromanaging Your Salespeople

2. Offers the Insight of Face-to-Face Communication

True communication consists of more than words. As we interact face to face, we benefit from non-verbal cues. People can neutralize their voices to mask emotions, but it’s much more difficult to disguise facial expressions. If I have a conversation with an under-performing salesperson via video, I’m more likely to understand what’s going on than if we’d only talked on the phone. Audio simply doesn’t tell the whole story.

3. Reduces Wasted Time

People need time to think. When we don’t have to respond immediately, we form more developed ideas. In a conference call, there’s a pressure to reply right away. However, if you present a problem via Marco Polo, I can think through solutions and respond with more valuable input.

Video also encourages people to get to the point. Most people don’t want to send a video of themselves thinking and stalling for the right words. It makes them self-conscious. So they come to the conversation with their thoughts prepared and save everyone’s time in the process.

4. Motivates Your Team

As a sales manager, you should spend about 80% of your day motivating people. Your job is to remind your team of the obvious. Remind them what to focus on and praise them when they do a great job. Marco Polo gives you the opportunity to publicly praise them face to face.

When I look at sales data, I jump on my app and send a quick video saying, “Great job!” to my team. Then I name the people who really stood out in their sales. When I send this out to the team, the top performers feel great, while the people who weren’t named are usually motivated to win recognition the next day.

A lot of sales organizations send out emails to report their wins, but so much is lost in email. A video communicates much more.

How Do I Use Marco Polo?

1. Create a group with each member of your sales team.

Marco Polo identifies people by phone number. So just enter the numbers of salespeople to create your sales team group.

2. Check in with the team via the app.

Instead of a Monday morning conference, click on your Marco Polo app, get on the group, tap on the group, and say, “Good morning team! Looking forward to seeing your game plan today. Reply with your goals for the week!”

You can also use this to communicate other items on the sales meeting agenda, such as company updates or upcoming opportunities.

3. The team gets a message notification and replies.

Each person will get a notification when new messages come in. After they listen, they can make their own recording.

You’ll get replies like, “I’m ready to crush it today! I’ve got three appointments today and four more this week. I expect to close the Johnson deal by Thursday at 4:00.”

Related: 4 Simple Strategies for Becoming a Better Sales Manager

4. Listen when ready.

Just like that, you end up with a face-to-face report from each salesperson you can listen to right away, or when it’s convenient!

What About Reprimanding?

A good manager praises in public and reprimands in private.

With these recorded updates come extra levels of accountability. If someone isn’t meeting their numbers and closing expected deals, go back and listen to their reports. Then talk to those salespeople one on one. Marco Polo backs you up and directs your conversation. Maybe you say, “In your Monday report last week, you said you would close the Johnson deal on Thursday at 4:00. Why didn’t that happen?” You can even play back their report to fact-check.

Meanwhile, Marco Polo also gives you another way to praise your highest achievers. Give top salespeople kudos in the group thread. You want everyone to know they’re a rock star!

Why Does Marco Polo Work?

Give the app a try, and you’ll be hooked. Why? It’s a “time-shifting” app for meetings.

Meetings and conference calls force everyone to be on the boss’s schedule. Everyone stops what they’re doing to be in a meeting they don’t want to be in. Even your best sales meeting ideas keep people in the office when they want to be out selling. But with Marco Polo, you time-shift your agenda. You change the clock so meetings are convenient for the manager and the team.

But you don’t sacrifice the face-to-face benefit and can still set a schedule of expectations throughout the day. Set timelines for the meeting (maybe 8-4 on Monday) and set deadlines for status updates. Then the reps chime in anytime, and you listen when you’re ready.

Plus, if you want to emphasize something, use the text feature. You can easily overlay text on videos or pictures. Sometimes I’ll just type Goals? to remind everyone to send me an update.

Sure, traditional sales meetings and conference calls have their perks, but Marco Polo utilizes the best aspects of each.

marco polo app sales teams

On the surface, this app looks like an easy way to chat with family and friends. But it can also transform your business. You’ll be able to establish a higher level of accountability while giving everyone a little more flexibility in their schedule. Marco Polo frees up your salespeople to sell… while keeping you in the loop.

4 Simple Strategies for Becoming a Better Sales Manager

becoming a better sales manager

No one likes having a manager. People like being a manager – keeping control, checking on everyone – but very few people would choose to be managed.

In sales, we think of managers as the bosses who make sure everyone else is doing their job. They monitor the team, hold others accountable, and deal with problems. But the best managers never need to check in. Why? Because they know what happens in the field without having to ask. They follow the activity of their sales team.

Strong, active salespeople leave a trail of sales and activity in their wake. Sloppy salespeople leave a mess behind them. Either way, a manager knows what’s happened based on CRM data re: calls and appointments.

If the manager ever has to ask a salesperson what they are doing, it means they aren’t doing anything. It’s like they’re sitting in a boat in the water without going anywhere – there’s no wake, no ripples, no activity.

So, if managers already know what’s happening, then their job needs to make a shift. It’s time to stop managing and start directing.

Change Your Title

A sales director benefits the organization much more than a sales manager. These words have the power to produce very different results.

Manager implies “boss”, while director implies “guide.”

Rather than manage, supervise, and evaluate, a director coaches and cues individuals to help them become more successful. Sales directors deploy their resources strategically to get the best results.

Cue Your Team

Most people need direction. Consider movie directors. They give direction to each actor and stagehand so that everyone knows the plan and understands when to do their part. Similarly, in orchestras, directors keep everyone on the same sheet of music and cue players at the right time.

A sales director does the same thing. They give direction to their team to produce the best product. Jack Daly illustrates this in the way he teaches about objections. He knows the best salespeople answer objections the exact same way every time. So he equips his team with successful responses to each main objection. Then they hear objections as a cue for their pre-planned response. Consequently, they overcome those objections more often than not.

Strategize to Reach Potential

Directors also empower their teams in a way that’s best for the organization. They figure out the strategies for working with different businesses. Then they put in the right reps at the right time to close sales. Directors come up with a plan, and then coach their team in how to execute it.

Foster a Coaching Relationship

A sales director also fosters better relationships with the team. When you change the title, you change the team’s perspective of the role. Directors act as more of a coach than a boss. Most people in sales are independent – and sales allows freedom. They want to be their own boss, not feel like someone is measuring their every move. When you act like a director, they’re more likely to see you as someone they can turn to for guidance.

With the mentality of director comes a proactive approach to working with salespeople, as opposed to a reactive management approach that only steps in when there’s a problem. So, if you’ve been spending your time managing a sales team, it’s time to change. Become their director so you can lead both your team and your organization to greater success.

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The #1 Reasons CRMs Fail

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You can almost feel the collective shudder when you mention the words “new CRM” to salespeople. The last thing a salesperson needs is another thing to do! And adding a new CRM often feels like just one more responsibility.

Most people hate trying new CRMs (for good reason) because it gives them another task to think about but doesn’t generate profit. What they don’t realize, is that CallProof isn’t just another CRM. It’s a tool that eliminates some of their responsibilities, letting them focus on what they do best — sell!

Salesperson Buy-In

Managers — it’s time to start selling again. If you want a CRM to work, your salespeople need to use it. So sell it to them.

As you prep your team for CallProof, remember they’ve been through new CRMs before. Most (if not all) have created more work, making their jobs tougher. CallProof simplifies. It generates the reports so your salespeople don’t have to.

Here are three reasons why your salespeople will love CallProof and why it’s worth the learning curve:

1. It gives them more time to sell.

Those reports salespeople hate filing — CallProof takes care of them. Each call and appointment are filed by client and time. Then, when your salespeople need to see a client’s history, it’s at their fingertips. Now they don’t have to waste time filing reports. Instead, they can spend that time meeting new prospects and working with clients.

2. It streamlines their day.

Interrupting sales time to take notes and fill out spreadsheets diverts your salespeople’s attention. Toggling between “sales mode” and “report mode” disrupts their focus and makes them less productive. CallProof works alongside your sales team — automatically logging their appointments and calls. Also, they can voice-record notes on-the-go without ever having to sit down to document.

3. It communicates with you, the manager.

With automated reporting, as a manager you know what’s happening in real time. That eliminates the need for some of your salespeople’s check-ins, freeing them to focus on their daily sales. Then, if you see an area where you can help, you have the info you need to get the right tools in their hands.

Spend time explaining these perks to your sales team. Sure, learning a new process is a little painful in the beginning, but they’ll see a difference quickly. With this CRM, they can sell like they always do. The only thing that changes is that more tasks are automated so they can sell more.

If your salespeople don’t buy in, the CRM won’t work. But with a little time educating them about how much better their jobs will be with CallProof, you can have great reports, they can focus more on selling, and you all can reap the benefits.

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How the Right Mobile App Can Skyrocket Your Auto Glass Sales

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Would sales call software make a difference in your sales? Sometimes apps seem more like a convenience than a necessity, but the right sales app can change your game completely. Why? It actually gives you information and protects it like no spreadsheet can.

People only buy auto glass when they have an accident, right? When people need a new window, they call their insurance agent, not the auto glass company. So you face a unique challenge of influencing the referrer, not the buyer. To complicate it, you need to see as many people as possible during a day, maximizing time by location.

So how do you influence an influencer? Build relationships. Get to know local insurance agents. Become friends on Facebook so you know what to talk about (or not talk about). Remember their kids, hobbies, likes/dislikes. Why? You want them to remember you and be the one they recommend.

Benefits of a Sales Tracking App

Sales tracking apps help you do all that (and more!). It keeps you in those face-to-face meetings and minimizes drive time. Plus, it provides you real-time information on your clients while keeping your notes stored securely. Here are the top five ways sales call software improves your business.

1. Keeps Data Accessible

You need a place where you can quickly find your prospects’ data and access it easily. Here, you can see all your notes and data from past visits. CallProof takes this a step further and allows you to generate a map of these clients to optimize your day.

You can log into CallProof and see the 10 insurance agents you want to see that day on a map. Click on the agents you want to visit to optimize the route. Now you know which one to start with and which one to go to next.

When we navigate your stops, we generate an extra 25% increase in the number of people you visit. Any CRM can organize data; the key is organizing your route. Plus, it factors in current traffic issues to save you even more time.

2. IDs Prospects You Haven’t Called

Our system also reminds you to contact the prospects that you haven’t talked to recently. As it tracks your follow-ups, we organize the reminders from oldest entry to newest. This way, your clients hear from you in regular intervals.

3. Gives Up-To-Date Business Info

There’s a high turnover with insurance agents. We integrate with Google Business directory to see the most recent information on each company. With this tool, you can find new agents in the area and know when your old contacts have moved.

A lot of organizations buy leads but the data can be 10+ months old by the time it gets to the sales team. Some organizations we work with even come in using data that they bought years ago. When they start using CallProof, their contact world completely changes because their data is up to date.

4. Tracks Referral Sources

Sometimes it’s hard to know whom to thank for your referrals. And a thank you goes a long way. With CallProof, you can create special numbers for agents to distribute to their clients. Then, when a customer calls, you know who referred them and can give credit where it’s due.

5. Continues Relationships If Your Salesperson Leaves

You’ll have turnover in your organization. So set yourself up to easily fill the shoes of someone who leaves. If you’ve been using a sales tracking app, you know the clients for each of your employees. CallProof keeps track of call history, plays previous conversations, and documents each meeting. Plus, it’s out of the salesperson’s hands. If they decide to leave, good terms or bad, they can’t manipulate or deny access to their data. The manager always maintains access.

Sales call software works. Let it work for you.

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The Sales Manager’s Guide to Working With Millennials

sales manager guide working with millennials

Remember the “Fragile Egg” experiment? Back in Home-Ec class (before the days of automated baby-dolls), students babied an egg for a week. We prepared a shoe box, put tissue in it, and carried a raw egg around hoping no one would bump into us and break it.

Well, that’s what it often feels like to employ a millennial. Delicate. Stepping ever-so-carefully so you don’t “break” them.

Millennial salespeople aren’t always this fragile—everyone is different, of course—but certain issues seem to come up more with this age group. If you want to successfully hire and manage millennial salespeople, here’s your guide to millennials in the workplace.

Challenges to Working With Millennials

My generation grew up with our own struggles and our own challenges. It was the ‘80s. We worked at one job, we didn’t have the internet, and we had to figure out a lot of things on our own. Maybe that’s why millennials can seem hard to manage. We were raised in different worlds. But working together can work if we know how to bridge those differences.

Most of the challenges that come with millennials in the workplace center on the phone. Why? For one, phones bring distractions, and distractions keep people from selling. With incessant buzzing that delivers information, updates, and conversation, it’s difficult to focus on the job at hand.

Start by coaching salespeople who struggle with these distractions. Suggest they cut the problem off at the source by turning off notifications for anything not work-related during the work day. Then, rather than having to resist the temptation to check the chime, they can keep their mind on work.

Millennials also face the challenge of using the phone differently. Their phone use has little to do with talking, and much more with text and emojis. Back in the ‘80s, if you wanted to ask someone out, you called and navigated the nuances of conversation. Now, you swipe left. That being said, millennials may have great potential for phone conversations, but they lack experience. They need you to teach them how to make calls because it’s just not a skill they’ve had to develop.

Top Strategies for Everyday Management

With a predicted 3 out of 4 workers being millennials by 2025, you’ll be hiring one in the not-so-distant future if you haven’t already. And with an average cost of $24K to replace each millennial, you’ll want to make sure you hire the right ones.

Beyond coaching employees in phone use, these three strategies will equip you for navigating your sales manager responsibilities with millennials.

1. Find Their Motivation

Good salespeople want, even need, to prove themselves. When you hire anyone, figure out why they want to work there. Do they want to earn money? If you’re in a performance-driven workplace, that’s who you want to hire. Do they want to be the best? When they see sales stats posted, you want the person who does whatever it takes to be number one.

If you find someone who just wants the flexibility of a sales position, they’re probably not the right fit. 89% of millennials prefer to choose when and where they work rather than working a 9-to-5 job. Make sure the self-directed schedule isn’t the only reason they’ve applied.

2. Encourage a Friendly Culture

Millennials thrive in a relational workplace. They crave the real-world community and a place to belong. So foster a culture of friendship during the workday and after hours. Form a team in a kickball league, or do something else that gets everyone outdoors and active.

In regular operations, change up the sales teams and leaders so people get to know each other. Some companies have Friday lunch together. They all eat together at a certain place and time, and some even cater lunch for the whole office once a month.

Your goal is to facilitate conversations people wouldn’t naturally have. When people (of any generation) feel like they belong to their organization, the benefits abound. They take less time off, they find more motivation, and they stay there longer. It’s really a win for everyone.

3. Balance Criticism With Compliments

Most people don’t enjoy conflict, but it’s particularly avoided by millennials. You’ll inevitably have critiques for your younger employees, so phrase it intentionally and put the criticism in context.  

When I have a new hire, I let them know, “You’ll make lots of mistakes and that’s okay. It’s my job to give you feedback, so you can be the absolute best salesperson.”

Then, when I have criticism, I balance it with compliments. In fact, make the positives outweigh negatives. For every one critique, give seven compliments. This works to soften the blow criticism delivers. It’s not just constructive criticism you want, it’s contextual criticism.

When you hire the right people, shape your office climate, and critique carefully, you’ll help your millennial salespeople find success. Millennials are the most educated generation in American history. And with the right management, they can be a great addition to your sales team.

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5 Must-Read Books for Sales Managers

 

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Books gravitate to the hands of those experiencing something new: a new city on vacation, a new challenge at work, a new hardship that has you sitting in the hospital. In these transition times, we take ourselves off autopilot. Life becomes less routine and we become more aware. In that awareness, we open ourselves to new concepts.

Reading is all about seeking new ideas. So if you’ve found yourself in a place where you’re searching for information to improve your approach as a sales manager, here are my top five must-reads.

1. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Dan Pink

drive daniel pinkWhat motivates us to work hard, achieve success, and feel satisfied? Pink claims the secret is our innate desire to make our own choices, learn and create new things, and to positively contribute to the world. Pink challenges the conventional wisdom of incentivization and encourages leaders to try a fresh approach to motivating your team- an approach that centers on building autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

As you read Drive, you’ll learn more than how to motivate your team. You’ll learn what motivates your buyers. And, people who understand buying behavior make the best salespeople.

 

 

2. Hyper Sales Growth: Street-Proven Systems & Processes – Jack Daly  

hyper sales growth jack dalyIn this book, Jack Daly discusses three important areas that will help your business to grow. First of all, you should work towards building a winning culture in your company. You can do this by creating an environment that motivates your employees to come to work and moving away from the idea that work is boring.

The second area that Daly discusses is Sales Management. As a Sales Manager, you are not supposed to grow sales but to grow salespeople. Increasing the quantity and quality of salespeople will grow your sales as well.

Finally, Daly focuses on sales. He discusses the systems and processes that make the best sales professionals different from the others.

Jack is renowned for offering super-practical advice in his books. Hyper Sales Growth breaks down realistic, actionable steps you can take to motivate your salespeople.

3. 5 Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni

five dysfunctions team patrick lencioniLencioni provides his reader with an insightful explanation about the struggles that teams experience. According to him, five dysfunctions are the core of the problem. He has created a model and designed actionable steps with which a team can improve itself and move away from common problems.

Once again, Lencioni has published a compelling story with an intriguing yet logical message for aspiring great teams. If you’re a team leader, 5 Dysfunctions of a Team will provide you with a model you can use to improve your team and overcome obstacles.

 

 

 

4. Think Like a Freak – Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

think like a freak levittIn this book, Levitt and Dubner take problem-solving to a new level. Through an array of stories, they teach us how to retrain our brains to see the world a little differently.

Their blueprint for solving problems includes putting away the moral compass, thinking like a child, persuading people that don’t want to be persuaded, and appreciating the upside of quitting.  

When we think outside the box, we’re more productive, creative, and rational – which isn’t the norm.

 

 

 

5. Start With Why – Simon Sytek

start with why sinekSome people are successful no matter their plot in life. Others may managed success once but can’t seem to repeat their profit. As Sinek studied global leaders with the greatest impact, he found they all think, act, and communicate the same: they all start by asking, “Why?”

Whereas any business can tell you what it does or how much profit it nets, only a few explain why their organization exists and why it does what it does. These are the organizations that inspire others and generate loyal customers. Start With Why prompts people to ask the “Why?” questions about our products and services questions that make a difference in the entire sales approach.

 

 

 

What books have made a difference in your sales leadership approach? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

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How to Save 10+ Hours a Week on Manual Sales Reporting

save-time-sales-reporting-compressor

Hours a week? Sounds crazy, right? But your sales team spends countless hours each week just reporting what they did. We added up some real-time numbers to see how much time you can realistically save with automated reporting.

The Salesperson’s Time

On a typical day, a salesperson spends about 20 minutes manually entering reports. That’s 100 minutes per week per employee. Multiply that by 52 weeks a year, and you’ve got 86 hours (more than 2 weeks) each employee wastes typing in data.

Related: A Day in the Life of a Successful Salesperson

From the salesperson’s perspective, that’s time they could have used to make sales. Add a group meeting each afternoon where everyone shares their daily activity and you’ve just doubled the amount of time your sales team isn’t selling.

The Manager’s Time

What happens to that data? The sales manager compiles it into one spreadsheet to analyze daily activity. Even if the manager spends only 20 minutes a day working with the data, they’ve lost the same 2 weeks a year as the employees.

sales report

Instead, managers could use this time to act on the actual data. They could be mentoring and motivating their sales team. Yet, they’re using part of each day to compile spreadsheets.

Yesterday’s or Today’s Data?

Automated data reporting saves actual time, but it also salvages days that started off wrong. Managers, when you’re working through manually reported data, you see yesterday’s information. If you notice a sales rep had an unproductive day, you can’t intervene to make that day better. It’s over. What if you saw their reports in real time?

Related: Time is Money: 4 Ways to Reduce Costs for Your Salespeople

When you get data as it happens, you can act on it immediately. Let’s say it’s 12:00 and I look at my team’s activity. If I see that one guy hasn’t done anything, I can call him and say, “Hey, let’s get back to work. Let’s see what you can get done in the last few hours today.” Maybe there’s something holding him back, or he just got demotivated by a tough prospect. As you see his data suffer, you have the chance to motivate him again.

With yesterday’s data, there’s nothing actionable you can do. But real-time data shows you when to step in so you can salvage the rest of the day.

The Solution

You save time and boost sales when you see activity in real time. Make the switch to a sales activity tracking program, like CallProof. It automatically tracks emails, calls, and meetings, usually without sales reps entering anything.

Automated sales reporting gives you and your team weeks back each year. In fact, if you have 10 sales people, making this change adds the equivalent of one extra sales person a day.

The bottom line: Manual sales reporting costs each manager and each sales person about 2 work weeks a year. And it reports old data.

It’s worth making the switch. Who wouldn’t want to save all that time?

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How to Create Your Own Sales Training Portal With Podcasts

podcast sales training portal

A growing company creates problems. In sales, your team plays a central role in that growth – and in creating problems. As the business expands, no longer can you, the owner, spend time mentoring each employee. So how do you continue to provide quality training to all employees?  The answer is simple: a custom built sales training portal using podcasts.

I ran into this problem when I started expanding my wireless stores. I wanted to maintain the culture I had worked so hard to create, but couldn’t possibly meet with each sales rep. Enter my solution: A sales training portal. By creating a library of training podcasts, I gave each employee access to the information they needed to be successful in our company. Consequently, this also boosted our success as a whole.

Why Podcasts?

Podcasts are simple. All you need is a phone or computer that records audio, which comes standard on nearly every device. There’s no need for high-end video equipment, backdrops, and editing professionals. You don’t need “fancy” visuals that, in reality, never end up looking as good as you expected. Podcasts get to the point by allowing you to have a “conversation” of sorts with your salespeople.  

RelatedHow To Effectively Train Millennial Salespeople

Podcasts are also consistent. When you’re taking on new hires, you want to make sure they get access to all the information they need. When you train someone face-to-face, you may give a different spiel from one person to the next, or you may leave out an example that would have resonated with the trainee. Worse, you may delegate the training to someone else and they may change the content itself.

Instead, try this: Make a list of everything it takes for a person to be successful. Paint the story of a day in the life of a top salesperson in your company. Organize your topics, jotting down notes of stories you want to tell and examples you want to give. Then, record yourself explaining this “day in the life” piece on your computer. That recording then becomes your first training podcast for employees.

How Can You Use Podcasts in Your Sales Training Portal?

Podcasts give new hires access to your strategies while also giving current salespeople the chance to learn. You may want to make a podcast that talks about objections to the sale. I learned from Jack Daly that most products only have 10 objections. Successful salespeople handle those objections the same with every client.

For your second podcast, sit down with the top 2 sales reps in your company and ask them how they handle the top 10 objections. For example, when a client says the price is too high, how do they reply? Once you capture their responses on an audio file, your sales team can learn how to navigate those obstacles from the best.

As you record, use stories to your advantage. Podcasts aren’t the medium for technical information, but they work well for relationship selling advice. Stories allow you to show how sales theories work in the real world. Once people hear how you applied a strategy, they can better conceptualize how they might use it in their own sales.

Related: How To Hire Salespeople Within Your Budget

For example, your top salespeople recounting their “Top 10 Deals and How They Found Them” could make a great piece. Maybe they share stories of talking to someone at the gym or grocery that ended up in a sale, or maybe a spouse’s friend referred them a client. These examples connect the dots so green employees can see where prospects fit in their world.

When to Listen

The beauty of podcasts is that they live forever. They also can live just about anywhere. Once you save your audio recording like a podcast, your team can listen to it in the car, at the gym, and wherever else they end up in their daily lives. In fact, an ambitious new hire may listen to everything you have before their first day.

To encourage use of the sales training portal, create an email drip for new hires. Gradually feed them these files over their first few weeks to get them in the routine of listening. For general salesperson training, consider giving them a one-hour recording each week. Then, have sales managers give a quiz at the end of the week to hold them accountable.

We all value a “lifelong learner” in the workplace. Why not make that learning so much more accessible? We’re not talking about PowerPoints and conference rooms anymore. We’re dealing with presentations that keep your attention in the middle of rush hour.

Imagine a brand new employee coming into the office with 20 hours of audio training. Think about the culture of a place where people are striving to get better at their jobs even when they’re on the treadmill. That’s what a sales training portal can do for you.

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4 Great Podcast Episodes to Include in Your Onboarding Process

Of course, we won’t leave you without some solid recommendations on podcast episodes you can include in your onboarding. These episodes will teach your new hire a few tricks to set her on the path to success.

The Startup Chat #14: Cold Email

This amazingly actionable podcast hosted by Steli Efti (Founder of Close.io) and Hiten Shah (Founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg) focuses mostly on startup topics, but that doesn’t mean you can’t glean useful insights from the very experienced hosts. In this episode of the podcast they talk about cold emailing leads and few people are as successful at this as Steli Efti.

Advanced Selling Podcast #321: Networking Tips For Salespeople

The Advanced Selling Podcast hosted by Bryan Neale and Bill Caskey has been going on for over 300 episodes without losing steam. Here’s one great episode on networking and we all could do with more of that – right?

Salesman.red Podcast: When is The Best Time to Close The Sale? With Tibor Shanto

Another excellent podcast stock-full of interviews with interesting guests. Listen to this episode on getting the timing right for closing the sale.

The Sales Evangelist #231: Learn to Use LinkedIn & Sell More

Leveraging your social media presence – and especially LinkedIn – can send your sales soaring. In this episode of the brilliant podcast “The Sales Evangelist” you’ll learn how.