Yesterday, I attended my third Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Sales Leadership event. This event was all about the pitfalls (“sins”) of managing a high growth sales team. (Highly relevant for me as we grow at SalesWise.)
The panel featured:
- Mark McGraw of Sandler Training (moderator)
- Gavin Harris, VP of Sales at SalesFusion
- Adrian Fallow, AVP of Pardot (Salesforce)
- Earne Bentley, Director of Sales at Origami Risk
My main take-aways:
- The 3 Sins of sales management (from Mark): (1) Poorly designed selling philosophy (culture). (2) Too tolerant of mediocrity. (3) No system for selling or managing sales.
- No surprise the panel touched heavily on instilling and persisting a great sales culture. Common phrases throughout the panel included: “surround yourself with top talent”, “raise the bar”, “do not tolerate mediocrity”, “structure”, “understand a sales candidate’s ‘fire’ or motivator”, and “on-going training”.
- “Think like a big company” – this really hit home for me as I have been rather capricious in putting down learnings from selling (and marketing) SalesWise. I have a lot of knowledge of what works, what doesn’t work, and the like, but it’s all locked away in my head or in disparate sources (notebook, computer files, etc.). I should document everything in a single place – a living, breathing sales playbook accessible by all.
- Instilling structure in the sales organization ensures high productivity and a sustainable sales culture. It highlights the top performers and separates the laggards. Cull the laggards as quickly as possible (they can be like poison), and the average of your team immediately rises.
- Promoting high-performing sales reps to leadership positions does not always work. It can also have an exponential effect of decreasing sales (you took your best performer, after all) while poorly leading an established sales team. Recognize not all reps should be leaders, but it’s a leader’s job to disseminate the learnings of high performance to the rest. Recognize, too, rep coaching should be tailored to the individual.
- 10 x 10 = 100. The first “10” is you’re only aware of 10% of the whole problem. Dig deeper. “x10” represents the fear of addressing the problem is actually 10 times the reality. Consider your delivery to be productive. And “100”… because problems are typically solved 100 days late.