The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 5 years ago

How to Enable Your Front-Line Managers

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This podcast features best practices for enabling your front-line managers to reinforce a sales methodology

Hello, thank you for joining us for this podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller. I'm the director of digital engagement at growth play, and today we're talking about one of the most pivotal roles in a sales organization, the front line manager. John Kaplan joins me to talk about enabling them as part of your sales initiative. Ahi, Rachel, great to be here. I've heard you say it before, John, that front line manager one of the hardest jobs in sales. I think it is. You know you're managing up and managing down and you're often caught in the middle and that you know the realization for a frontline sales manager is that everything goes through this level, that that frontline sales manager, and it actually becomes a bottleneck. So when you're trying to lead a sales initiative, the attention you pay to that possible bottleneck, as you mentioned, to enabling those managers, is really critical. Yeah, no one carries more of the weight of driving the initiative than the front line sales managers because they have their fingers on the pulse of the Sales Organization. They're the first line of defense for correcting bad behaviors. So do you think a...

...lot of sales organizations wrongly overlook this role, and if so, why? Yeah, I think they do. You know, first, they hardly ever train them. We hardly ever see companies focus just on frontline sales managers to train. And then, secondly, companies rare early stand in the moment of what they're asking these frontline sales managers to do. So that leads to the problem of you feel like you're trying to put ten pounds in a five pound bag. So why don't they train them? They so focus on the rapper. Yeah, I think the I don't think anybody's doing it on purpose, but our experience is is that most companies focused on that that, you know, that closest to the customer avenue, which is the the sales wrap, and then miss a huge area of opportunity to actually develop the sales managers around how to and coach and inspect the behaviors that you're trying to actually bring to the sales organization. So when you're talking about training your sales team, sales...

...transformation, launching a new sales initiative, you really want to make sure you had that frontline manager buying their your boots on the ground and it's one way to make sure you do that is to have a strategic plan for them throughout the sales initiative. So let's run through some best practices for creating that strategic plan for your frontline managers. Really good, I think contents a great area to begin. You know the content has to be relevant to what they do day in and day out. You know you have to involve them in its creation, and so we have a saying a growth play and it's called built for you, buy you. What that means is is that we get maximum involvement from the sales organization, specifically from the frontline sales managers. This does two things. You involved them early on and you're able to get them invested in the success of the initiative, and then it also increases the immediacy of the application after you roll it out to your Reps. your frontline managers aren't going to sign off on any content that's too difficult or not relevant for the reps to execute in front of customers. So ask yourself that question. How...

...does this relate to that front line manager? And when you think about that actual event, that the big training event, the events where you're in the front of the room. John. We always want to make sure that the front line managers have a role. Why is that and what you suggest? Yeah, it's hard to reinforce an initiative if you can't speak from a position of authority. You want your frontline managers to be experts in your methodology so they can coach, inspect and reinforce it. We have a saying that you want the initiative to happen with them, not to them, whether it's leading small groups or providing feedback during role plays. Make sure your frontline managers have a leadership roll during the training, you know, offen at growth play. This is why we actually kind of highlight a day either before or after the training, which focuses just on frontline sales managers and it exposes them to the learning initiatives, but also makes it really, really clear cut on their role and expectation of their leadership rolled during the event. You wanted to be that...

...their role to be clear during the event, but you also wanted to be crystal clear post event, because your front line managers are really responsible for reinforcing that initiative. Right. You know, we call it providing the how you can't just tell your managers to coach to the methodology. You need to tell them how, and it's important to establish a road map and a cadence that helps your leaders manage, inspect and reinforce and, to the extent possible, always try to simplify through automation. So, if I'm taking an initiative and I really want to make sure I'm doing everything I can for those front line managers, not forgetting about them, what's the bottom line when it comes to what I need to be doing for them as a sales executive? Really good. I think the bottom line is the first thing you have to realize is that everything tends to go through a front line sales manager. So you got to be selective, get them involved in the process and enable them for success...

...with great adoption and sustainability road maps and always try to simplify through automation. It's a great bottom line. Thank you so much, John, for joining us. Thank you for all of you for listening. Don't forget to subscribe to these podcasts on Itunes and soundcloud.

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