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

Episode · 6 years ago

Sales Executives: Enabling Your Front-Line Managers

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This podcast provides some best practices for equipping front-line managers during your sales initiative.

Hello, my name is Rachel Clapmiller andI'm the director of digital engagement at force management. I'm joined todayfor this podcast by Mad Jordan, WHO's, the head of our product development,say hello, Matt, Hoop Glad to be here. Matt has been through countless salesinitiatives with our customers. How many would you say at countless isprobably the right way to describe right is caing right and today we're going tobe talking about specifically enabling your front line managers for successwhen it comes to sales initiative. This point may seem obvious when you look atthe big picture of a sales initiat, but often it can be very easily overlocked.Absolutely. I think it's interesting that this is topic came up today rightbecause we're focused a lot on working with our customers and really helpingthose frontline managers be successful, because the reality is mostorganizations when they think about training or they think about a sales.Kickoff they're, really laser focused on the event right and then the outputsat their phocus thougt are what the...

...event does for their sellars, sowhether the celler is going to drive better margins or the sellers going todrive more revenue, it's about the event and that outcome at the rep leveland what they often overlook is how do you really equip that layer of theorganization that sits between the executive, whose initiative it is, andthe sellers who have to execute really that layer of first line managersthey're so critical to the success or failure of these types of initiatives?And so often we see companies that just ignore trying to make sure that they'reeither involved or that they're given the relevant tool sets to be successfulonce they actually get back in the office on on Day ind, when it company ais undergoing a sale, an Intiada there's a lot of time. There's a lot ofresources, there's a lot of money going behind a sales transformation effortand if you bypass, enabling those frontline managers you're not maximizeyour funds and could waste waste a lot of resources. Oh, absolutely, I can'tremember exactly the report that says it, but I think we typically quoteright. Eighty, the ninety percent of...

...all sales initiatives tend to fall onthe shoulders of the frontline managers, and so eighty to ninety percent of yoursuccess is really going to be dependent on how well you equip them and reallytrain them on how to lead this initiative from the front right. It'snot just about putting them in training with your reps, it's what additionaltraining are you going to give them because they're almost they're, almostthe insurance policy for the initiative right you're going to spend all thismoney to your point, the effort upfront, the time out of the field, the time outof the field for training and then you're just going to send them back,but if we don't give those leaders in our organizations the tools to beeffective right, we're almost doomed from the very beginning. So I look atthe frontline managers as that last line of Defense, the first line ofDefense. However, you wanted to fine it but they're the insurance policy. Howwell are they able to drive the initiative, drive the change and reallylead their teams? That's going to want that's going to be what changescompany's organizations and we talk about that insurance policy if youthink post sales initiative,...

...if I'm a sales executive and I'mlooking at the numbers and maybe they're not really where I want them tobe. A mistake I might make- is to put the blame on those rats and theyprobably shoulder some of the blame. But if you want to write the course andrecalibrate, sometimes the area O focus needs to be with those with thosefrontline managers. You know the blame obviously can be placed in a coupledifferent buckets, but what I would tell to any sales manager would be ifyou think, back about the evolution of that initiative. To what degree are youactually involved your managers in the process? Again, we talked aboutcompanies tend to focus on the training and then the outputs of training, butthey don't spend a lot of time, making sure that what goes into developing thetraining right are all all of the right inputs. And then the deliverables thatwe build are the right tools to allow us to actually drive the initiative,and so what we always try to make sure through our process to do is get those.Frontline managers involved, erly right as early as possible in the process,get their inputs understand what their challenges are and how it relates tothe initiative that you're trying to...

...drive and then, as part of theengagement develop. This specific tool sets necessary for them to be able totry it on before they have to get back in the office on Monday, but then getcomfortable with it, because their ability to translate it on Mondaymorning is why you ther see the Mo the needle move quickly, or sometimes youdon't see the needle move at all. It's because we're really not focused ongiving that leadership team, the tools or the skills or a lot of times, eventhe practice right before we just throw them out there and that's why I think alot of companies come back sixty ninety hundred twenty days later and they goman. Why didn't we get to where we thought we were going to go, and Itypically go back and say well: How well are we equipping those frontlinemanagers to drive it for Ust because we get them for a day, maybe two days, butthey spend the rest of their natural lives right out of the field with ourcustomers and who's really, given he giving him that coaching andreinforcement. So if I'm an sales executive position and I'm about tolaunch U Sales Initiative, I'm in the middle of sells at in shouldive, youmentioned, involving the frontline managers early. What are some othercheck points that I can put on myself...

...to make sure that I'm doing what isnecessary to enable those friontline managers to drive success? It'sobviously that early involvement right because again, if they draft into theend of the process well and they're, giving you those inputs they'rethinking about, and what is this going to look like when I get back in frontof my team, the likelihood of the content being built and it beingrelevant for your team is just going to skyrocket, but then also thinking aboutwhat additional training do they need again, if you think back to what wetalked about earlier, a lot of companies put their managers and theirsellers through the training for the very first time at the same time, andthey don't think about what additional skills are. My frontline managers goingto need in order to drive this for me after training, so I think you got tomake sure that they're one getting involved. That's just tablestakes forany success initiative, but the second is also making sure it can't just beabout this training ement for the raps, what additional training, whatadditional INSIGDT? What additional guidance are you going to give thefrontline managers so that they can be...

...successful in helping those troops makethe transition and if they feel enabled they're going to drive success for you?Oh absolutely, absolutely they're going to be the primary drivers of thatsuccess, because I'm I'm a rap right. I'm going to go through! You know, takecommand of the message. This is a brandew methodology, a lot of times Ikind of get sales, but I don't really know what this looks like and I mightbe even timid to try it on. But if I can look at my frontline manager, rigemy sales leader really leading from the front showing me what this looks likewhen I get back in the field, it just helps me get through that fear and getover the hurdle. A lot quicker. So it's just like our coaching model right. Thetell show, observe and feedback if you think about most trainings, that salesorganizations go through the best you can do and those one or two days, assimply tell so, who's actually going to show the reps how to actually appliedin the field. Well, it's got to be your frontline managers, and so we have tobe thinking about enabling them just as...

...much as we're thinking about enablingthe reps- and it goes all the way up the food chain right. It doesn't juststart or stop with frontline managers. It's all the way up. It's the secondline managers, thirdlines all the way up to your executive leader. How wellare we equipping that sales organization to lead from the top downand really show our troops? How they're going to do this when they get back inthe field on onthing? That's going to move the Nete! We talk a lot about inspecting,reinforcing writing the course correcting badbehaviors and that laying on the responsibility of frontline managers,but with us with a sales initiative. It's always it's just as critical topromote the success of the initiative and thet frontline manager. Can be acritical component to sharing the success of people who are using thatmethodology in the field? They are probably going to be the first peoplein your organization to witness success, rhbecause they're either going to be.You know in the passenger se driving or before a callor after call talkingabout how well the call went, they're...

...going to be the ones working with thewrech to sign the deal. So they've got to be involved in understanding. Youknow, take those pockets of success, that we have early socialize them andthat helps gets the rest of the organization to kind of make the leapand kind of get over the hurdle of the fear that typically comes out fromtrying something new yeah. It succesprate success absolutely, and Ithink you know one of the things you mentioned just a second ago as well asa little bit of a mission nomer. We talk a lot about. How do we helpfrontline managers inspect right or how do we review whether it's anopportunity or an account, and one of the things we're really trying to makesure we do, and we think it's critical for all managers is to kind of get thatout of our mindset. What we really should be doing is coaching, let meanthink about it. If I were to call at my rep and say hey on Monday morning,we're going to go through an opportunity inspection. What's the rapgoing to spend all week in thinking about they're, going to be thinkingabout getting into sales for us looking at those opportunity records feeling inall the blank holes, because they feel like they're, going to be heldaccountable on Monday morning, and that's that's really not the intent ofthose types of interactions. What we want is that the seller s going to comeprepared to talk about where the...

...opportunity is, but what they're goingto be looking for from our managers is guidance right andto. If we leave it isopportunity, inspection or account. Inspection were missing most of thevalue of those interactions. It comes from the coaching, so it's got to beabout me as a frontline manager, understanding the methodology,understanding the initiative, but then using it in a way that provides valueto my cellers. So it's not about taking the boxes. It's not making sure thateverything's filled out in sales. For us, it's about making sure weunderstand werethe great opportunities. We still have in front of US wer. Wecan drive tons of value in the deal and not letting the REP leave thoseinteractions without really understanding how to do it right,because another thing I see a lot of times when I talk to sales managers, isthey get to the end of those types of conversations and they build an actionplan right next steps for how we're going to get it done. But when you askthem about whether or not the seller can actually do those things, thay gotno idea because hey didn't spend time in this session, giving the coachingthey just did an inspection got to the...

...end as quickly as possible and shot outsome next steps. So we want to make sure that we think about enabling ourfrontline managers to be those coaches and provide value every time theyinteract with the sales team and provide that environment where thesales rep feels comfortable to say, Hey, I don't know how to do this or hey. Howam I going to get through that action tap? What can you do to help me?Absolutely I mean why else do we put these guys in that position? In thefirst place right we put them in that front line and we told them they weremanagers, because we believe they've got the ability to help those rips getIto a place they can't get to on their own. So while we think that's the case,we also have to make sure that we're enabling that and enforcing that caseso that they can help the reps learn and that enablement really drive thesuccess with your sales initiative, your sales organization and, overallanything you're doing within a company sales initiative, change management,it's all ultimately or most of it ultimately is going to fall on theshoulders to your front line. So you got to make sure your laser focus atgivting them equipped to lead from the...

FRONTO Monday morning lead from thefront on Monday morning. Let's end it there. Thank you so much Matt Jordan.Thank you all for listening be sure to connect with force management I linkedin, and twitter subscribe to, our blog anforce managementcom.

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