Time is vitally important to the success of a salesperson—time to research prospects, time to hone the sales pitch, and time to communicate with potential clients.
A successful sales manager must go out of his or her way to guard the time of their sales reps—and that means eliminating unnecessary distractions, which can be many in today’s world, says my latest guest on PowerViews, Chris Snell, inside sales manager for Care.com. The website helps people find babysitters, nannies, childcare and senior home caregivers.
Chris, who previously worked for Green Leads LLC, AG Salesworks, and MEDITECH, talks about the challenges of generating leads in his niche business. Here are some highlights from our conversation, which can be viewed in its entirety below.
“Used to be lucky if you had an email to go on”
Click to start video at this point—Nowadays there’s a huge push for social selling, with sales reps turning to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for leads. Sales reps should be thankful in that regard, Chris said. When he was starting out and exploring leads, he considered himself lucky if he had an email address to go on.
“Meetings can keep reps from their jobs”
Click here to start video at this point—I asked Chris about the challenges of managing an inside sales team, and he cited three things a successful manager needs to do in support of their team.
1. Coach. Chris said he still has a lot to learn, and sitting in while a sales rep speaks to prospects is a two-way educational street.
2. Motivate. It can be difficult to know what drives particular sales reps.
3. Guard the time of sales reps. Chris said his team has lots of meetings, which is good – but only to a point. He has to be on guard to make sure his people aren’t being taken off the phone and kept away from meeting their goals.
“How much motivation should be financial?”
Click to start video at this point—Some sales reps are only motivated by money, Chris said. But others—for instance, recent college graduates—would like to be rewarded with other things for reaching sales goals. For instance, maybe an iPad or a PlayStation. Knowing what goals to set for your team members is all about knowing your team members on a personal level.
“Suit up, stand up, sign up”
Click to start video at this point—I asked Chris what recommendations he had to improve performance and he had some unique insights. First, he recommended that sales reps “suit up” every day, even if they’re working from home, because dressing well makes you more confident. Secondly, sales reps should “stand up” at work. Granted, this might look a bit out of place in a cube farm, but Chris said (and I agree) that you always feel more confident when you’re standing up. Finally, “sign up”—and by that he means, “Put a sign up that reads, ‘Don’t disturb, I’m selling.’” Unorthodox? Maybe. But it definitely lets people know that you’re serious about work.
You can connect with Chris and learn more about his work at Care.com via the following resources:
Email: csnelljr at gmail dot com
The next PowerViews will be with Ardath Albee. Stay Tuned.
By Dan McDade