• April 4, 2017

Sales Managers, Deals Falling Through the Cracks?

Sales managers know from experience that the life of a salesperson is bursting at the seams with proposals due ten minutes ago, meetings beginning in 27 seconds, and prospects that needed a call back yesterday. It’s a job of juggling, and at some point, one of the balls is going to fall.

One of your responsibilities, as a manager, is to coach your sales reps on how to organize their sales life, and be the most efficient salespeople they can be. This not only leads to increased productivity – and hopefully more deals closing – but also helps relieve your stress of what deals may be falling through the cracks.

Why Reps are Juggling and Struggling

As technology advances, expectations for productivity rise. When I started out in sales – back in 1989 – I had a phonebook, a desk, and a dream. Sticky notes were my friend, and reporting back to my manager on close rates wasn’t part of my weekly meetings.

Things are different now. Due to marketing automation improvements, more leads and opportunities come in every day. Each lead, or opportunity, must be managed, organized and developed. And with the advent of CRM, managers expect their team to be able to handle a larger portfolio of leads, prospects, and customers.

Competition is also fierce and plentiful these days, which customers can use to their advantage. The average customer is used to getting what they want, when they want it. If your sales reps can’t deliver on that, it’s incredibly easy for the customer to take their business elsewhere. In addition, the ability to “google it” has made every customer a self-proclaimed expert on your product and its benefits. Sales reps need to be able to keep up with their customers’ demands, stay ahead of their competition, and do it all while reporting back to their manager on what deals aren’t getting the attention they need.

Sales Manager Stress

So if the caseload for each sales rep has increased over the years, then multiple that by the number of reps you manage, and that’s how much your responsibility, as a manager, has increased. (Side note: maybe it’s time to talk to your boss about a raise.)

With so much going on, something’s got to give! The fear of deals falling through the cracks is real. And I hear sales managers worrying about it a lot. They’re all in agreement on wanting to have have complete visibility into their reps’ activities, opportunities and accounts. And also want to proactively know what deals are on the verge of falling into the abyss.

Staying Organized

The only way you can feel like you have a grasp on all your reps’ deals is to stay completely organized. Here are five quick suggestions to work into your sales life as a manager:

  1. Don’t schedule any meetings in the first and last hours of your day – set those aside to go through your emails and organize yourself. Be sure to also work in some buffer time, to put out any unforeseen fires or give you a chance to coach your reps on neglected opportunities.
  2. Ask your reps to send you an agenda before your weekly one-on-one meetings. It helps you both get organized. Have them email you a quick summary of deals they need clarity on, prospects not getting back to them, and meetings they need you to join them on.
  3. Organize your thoughts before you speak. If you want to show your concern about deals falling through the cracks, first get your message clear, concise, and organized. Not only will it resonant more, but thinking before you speak is also a time saver.
  4. Sometimes emotion gets in the way of organization. If a rep likes working with a customer that has a deal farther down in the pipeline, they may be spending more time on working that one, and neglecting a more pressing opportunity with a customer they maybe don’t jive with as much. Help your reps remove the emotion and get them focused.
  5. Set specific goals around metrics that help you ensure no qualified prospect is being missed: number of times a contact is being follow-up with or average time between outreach. Have these goals pinned to the wall – keeping you all organized and focused.

Increasing Your Insight into Deals

There are lots of tools and technology out there to help keep sales managers on top of all their reps’ deals. Our product, Spiro: Team Edition, is one such solution. This version address the pain points for managers, making it easier for them to get a handle on what their reps are actually working on.

With Team Edition, sales managers not only have full visibility, but also have the ability to adjust their team’s priorities for the week. Spiro’s artificial intelligence powered CRM automatically ranks your team’s opportunities as high, medium or low. And if you see an account that you think needs more attention, you can easily adjust these to make sure your team is focusing on the right activities.

Managers can also re-assign accounts, opportunities and leads. If one salesperson’s overloaded portfolio is causing deals to fall through the cracks, you can push those to a less busy rep.

Summing It Up

With a seemingly endless number of leads to follow-up on, and plenty of deals in the works, sales reps have a lot of balls to juggle these days. Managers need to find a way to help ensure opportunities aren’t be neglected. Spiro helps automatically organize your team’s sales life, which takes some of the stress off of you in worrying about what’s being missed. Managing made easy.