As such, sales enablement practitioners need not only an understanding of the skills each sales rep should have for each role but also the intersections and differences between the various types of reps. Then, they should be able to tailor readiness programs and delivery to match the specific needs of various sales personas. Readiness programs — onboarding, sales training, coaching — can often become a firehose of information, lacking the structure and formality to make knowledge stick long-term.
In designing readiness programs, advanced sales enablement practitioners will integrate adult learning best practices to help structure information in a way that is easiest for reps to digest.
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To ensure there is consistency in the way the information is deployed in the field, sales enablement practitioners should also be involved in the certification process, ensuring the certification requirements match what is being taught and emphasized in training. The most impactful sales readiness initiatives do not just teach skills, they actually change behaviors. That is how sales enablement can truly move the needle when it comes to sales performance.
Sales enablement experts have mechanisms to assess the impact of training programs, analyze gaps in sales performance, and connect both to identify opportunities for behavior change. Content that offers unique insights helps sellers better connect with buyers. But if reps are unable to find content when they need it or do not know when to use it, quality content can get lost in the shuffle and go under-utilized. Sales enablement professionals have a responsibility to guide sales reps to the information that will bring the most value to their customer interactions.
All sales enablement professionals should have a solid understanding of the sales processes and what sales materials are needed to guide the seller and buyer though the journey. This requires cross-functional collaboration with teams such as marketing, sales, and product management in order to understand the content currently available, the gaps in content, and the methods for sharing content with the sales team.
At the most basic level, practitioners should know where all content repositories exist and the purposes for each and be able to help project manage across teams to ensure proper use of these repositories. More advanced sales enablement practitioners will utilize the information gleaned from conducting routine content audits to manage and organize sales materials, including guidelines for other departments on creating content for sales consumption and for sales reps on how to use each piece. Practitioners at this stage should be equipped to drive the strategy behind content that will be used by the sales team by clearly identifying the intended use case.
A priority initiative for sales enablement practitioners at this level should be to create guidance for all of the material that sales reps will need for common selling situations they will encounter. In order to accelerate the velocity of the sales pipeline, expert sales enablement practitioners will weave sales content and guidance into the sales process based on buyer personas.
Then, practitioners should also pay close attention to the usage and consumption of sales content, tracking how certain types of content perform both qualitatively and quantitatively to continuously refine the strategy for sales content and guidance to ensure a solid return on investment. In fact, helping sellers engage buyers more effectively is where much of the need for sales enablement stems from — and it should remain a key pillar to sales productivity. First, sales enablement practitioners need to have a deep understanding of who the buyer is and package this information into well-defined buyer personas for sales reps.
In creating that alignment, sales enablement will provide guidance to sales reps on not only what to say and show, but also when to do so. As more people are involved in a purchase decision, the likelihood that the group will come to a consensus that results in a purchase decreases significantly. Due to this complexity, sellers need to be able to multi-thread — to sell to multiple personas involved in a deal.
Advanced sales enablement practitioners will be able to equip sellers with what to know, what to say, and what to show buyers throughout each stage of the sales cycle when there are multiple stakeholders involved in a purchase decision. As an expert, sales enablement practitioners are proactive in gathering data on buyer engagement thus far and connecting that to sales performance to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.
This includes both quantitative analysis of when and how buyers have been engaged as well as qualitative feedback on what has worked well with similar buyers in the past. Some of these sales manager responsibilities can overlap with those of other related roles depending upon the size and internal structure of your organization.
Especially when it comes to titles like Sales Director or Head of Sales positions, which tend to be more senior and concerned with organizational strategy, than the average sales manager role. Check out this side-by-side comparison between an open sales manager role and an open head of sales role to see the subtle and not so subtle differences:. The head of sales job posting clearly highlight just how much of the job function is concerned with strategy and direction rather than the active management of people that shines through in the sales manager posting.
That position is a whole lot different than spending most of your day working directly with individual sales reps, helping them to close more deals and achieve revenue targets—which is what a sales manager does. If you want to become a sales manager, start with perfecting and then showcasing these key skills throughout your interview process.
While much of your job as a sales manager will be focused on enabling your existing team to continue performing better over time, keeping new candidates coming in the front door to replace those that either move up or out—and add to the strength of your sales team—is just as important. However, by far the best way to improve in your ability to spot and incentivize top talent is to, well… start doing it today.
Express your interest in eventually moving up and ask to sit in on some interviews with your manager. Spend a few minutes each day reaching out to potential candidates and starting conversations you can learn from over time. Ask yourself what does a sales manager do that I could start doing already now? Take an interest and predict which people end up making it furthest in the interview process. Who goes on to become a top-performing rep? When sourcing candidates for internal sales jobs , keep this in mind:. When you hired and trained top sales talent, one of the most important skills is to constantly keep them engaged, put new challenges in front of them, and give them the support they need to master these challenges.
The best sales people are often competitive by nature, and a great way of channeling their competitive energy into productive channels is to have a sales leaderboard reps can use to keep score.
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One tip to get the most out of sales leaderboards: Don't just track results deals closed, revenue generated, etc. Instead, also track activities that drive results: Number of calls made, number of emails sent, number of Opportunities a sales rep created, and so on. The purpose of a leaderboard is not just to celebrate your top-performers, but also to acknowledge those who are putting in extra effort. Well, not quite. Successfully navigating each of these activities with your team on a regular basis—helping them through the inevitable stormy weather along the way—takes a massive amount of initiative.
Start a purpose-driven club and organize events that get other employees off their feet, taking action. Experiment within your own role with ideas to spearhead positive change, rather than waiting for top-down change to come your way.
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Launch your own side project and show you can execute on building a business. How about with coaching fellow reps through a particularly challenging deal? Are multiple reps experiencing the same challenges? What kinds of blockers are standing in the way to hitting quarterly targets?
Grow in your ability to not only identify, but answer these kinds of questions and your value as a sales manager will be all but proven already. Similar to building your experience as a leader, proving your ability at launching into the mental space of an individual rep and being able to help them troubleshoot the best way to negotiate around an objection, is something you can start doing today.
Like it or not, implementing processes and regularly planning are both essential to maintaining a successful business model as your sales team grows and the company scales over time. When Steli first ran his own sales team, he was admittedly a pretty lousy sales manager. As a sales manager, Steli learned that it was more important to have everybody do a really good consistent job than to just have a couple of sales rockstars out blazing their own trail while everyone else falls behind and underperforms.
Having an easy-to-follow sales plan, packed with process documentation, scripts, templates, and ongoing training ensures your team members are all on the same level, makes sure your team performs consistently and hedges against the likelihood of some reps falling behind others. No matter how hard you hope, wish or pray, a sales plan will never be one of those set it and forget it organizational documents. Want to see a sales plan in action?
Grab your free sales plan cheat sheet right here. And if things aren't on track, ask yourself what does a sales manager do when her team isn't going to hit their goals? In order to better prepare yourself for becoming a sales manager, it makes sense to have experience compiling and working with a sales plan, right?
Sales Management (Higher Diploma)
The primary learning outcome of this specialization is the improvement of the sales planning and management competencies and skills, by providing a set of concepts, models, tools, and techniques to support the development of the sales plan structure, which will support the sale plan development.
Welcome to Course 2 - Sales Strategy - This course is designed to discuss the application of intelligence analysis in the sales planning process. And this approach contributes to integrating the sales planning process into the corporate strategy of the company because, in the strategy analysis and formulation process, we apply models, frameworks, tools, and techniques that also apply to the sales planning and management process. Therefore, the expected outcomes of this course focus on the transition from traditional to strategic sales planning, by discussing and applying the concepts recommended to support the development of the strategic guidelines.
The concepts, models, tools, and techniques discussed and practiced during the course focus on the improvement of value creation from the sales function empowered by intelligence analysis, a process which typically applies in the strategy analysis front. The discussions go through how intelligence analysis can support the sales function, by providing methods to connect strategy to marketing and sales planning processes. The outcomes of your analysis on the assignment case will be evaluated through a peer-review process.
As a primary learning outcome of this course, we emphasize the improvement in the analytical competencies and skills to develop sales planning and management. And the learning process goes through the application of the models and frameworks that contribute to supporting these processes.
This course is aimed at professionals who seek improvement in conceptual support to the sales planning process, especially with an emphasis on applying selling models and frameworks methodology. At this point of the Strategic Sales Management specialization, you have an excellent understanding of the integration of sales planning to the strategy of the company. You also have a vision of major prescriptions and recommendations to support this integration, and proceed to strategic sales planning by applying intelligence analysis.
Now, in this course, selling models and frameworks will be discussed, from a conceptual standpoint to add methodological structure into the sales planning process. Therefore, throughout the modules of this course, the subjects discussed will include topics of sales management module 1 , the selling models and frameworks module 2 that support sales planning, which relates to the hard skills that may be applied. In the third module of this course, soft skills are brought to the discussion, since they comprise an essential component because sales functions include many aspects of the human interactions.
Please follow the steps of the course, and for academic objectives, we would recommend you to do it in the sequence of modules proposed, though you may take them in a different order. We look forward to having you during the course modules and lessons. This course focus on what is considered by most academics and practitioners as the biggest challenge that sales professionals have to face.
As we discussed in Course 1 — Effective Sales, strategy, and sales must be integrated to support a high potential for value creation through the sales functions.
Is Marketing the Same as Selling?
We also mentioned that strategy and sales integration can be supported by marketing functions. The discussions then went through sales strategy supported by intelligence analysis Course 2 , sales models and frameworks to support sales planning Course 3. By the consequence, at this point of this specialization, you are in a good position to go further in the sales planning and management functions. The primary learning outcome of this course is to prepare you to apply concepts to support this alignment, with prescriptions and recommendations that contribute to improving the alignment.
To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device. This Specialization doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit.
Check with your institution to learn more. This Specialization is comprised of 5 courses, and each of them is designed to take one month. Five months is the expected time to complete it. For this specialization, you will need a general knowledge of business concepts, models, and tools.