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TopLine Leadership Blog

How To's for Sales Leaders

5 Ways to Stop Sales Rep Attrition

There is nothing more frustrating for a sales manager than to have a senior-tenured sales rep resign.

Many companies are coming to realize that the #1 reason why productive salespeople leave is because of their relationship with their sales manager. The decision a sales rep makes to quit your company doesn’t occur in an instant. When there is too little coaching from the sales manager and very little feedback (other than negative), a salesperson becomes gradually disengaged with what is going on. He or she perceives they are not growing and they begin to wonder if the grass may be greener somewhere else.

Here are five things sales managers can do to prevent sales rep attrition:business man quitting
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Great Sales Coaches Help Reps Learn from a Loss

Blog image sympathyNobody, no matter how good they are at selling, has a 100% win rate. That means all of us have to learn how to deal with losses. As a sales manager, your job is to help your team learn from these losses. A lost sale is a failure only when we, individually and as a team, don’t learn from it.

Having a positive attitude is especially important in the sales profession. And when a salesperson loses a big deal, it is easy for them to get down. That’s a normal human reaction. But if your salesperson stays down, that’s not good. And one way to help salespeople process their lost sales quicker is to teach them how to “look for the lesson” in every lost sale.
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The 5 Biggest Mistakes New Sales Managers Make

Your transition from salesperson to sales manager is one of the biggest challenges in the sales profession. It requires a complete change in thinking. Overnight, you go from being in control of your own destiny to having your performance ratings determined by the results other people produce.Problems we Solve

In fact, the more successful you were as a salesperson, the more difficulty you will have in the transition. Successful sales reps-turned-managers have a very hard time giving up the things that made them successful in their original sales job.

Many new sales managers understand they’re facing a big change. What they lack is a clear understanding of “OK, now what do I do?” Without guidance, they’re prone to making five big mistakes. Here’s an overview of those mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
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Two Sales Coaching Strategies to Boost Sales Performance

Recently I conducted a webinar for a large company whose sales managers had completed our Sales Coaching & Leadership Workshop a few months earlier. I started by asking them, “What is the most significant change you’ve made in your sales management style in the last 60 days?” There were two themes I heard about most.Busy person graphic

The first was, “I start and end every day with coaching. Big change!”

Though coaching is something that sales managers tell me they want to do more often, they all seem to struggle with truly making it their #1 priority every day. Why? Because they’re too busy responding to emails, dealing with unexpected problems, answering calls and texts, finishing work from the day before, etc.
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Creating Your Coachable Sales Team

What is coachability? When I ask sales managers in my sales management workshop this question most of the time there is confusion as to the correct definition of coachability. Just because a salesperson seems to have an agreeable and receptive nature doesn’t mean they are coachable.Blog image file for coach

At one level, determining coachability is simple: if a sales rep changes what they are doing based on feedback and your constructive suggestions, then they are coachable. If they smile and nod and thank you for the great advice but don’t subsequently make any changes, they aren’t coachable.
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Boost Sales Team Morale in 3 Weeks

How do you boost sales team morale in just 3-weeks?

Calendar Image Recently a Sales VP who had just attended one of my Sales Coaching & Leadership Workshops asked me that very question. He was under a lot of pressure from his CEO to improve sales team health and increase sales, so he needed some concrete steps he could implement immediately. Here’s what he and I came up with for his 3-week plan.

Week 1: Update Roles & Responsibilities

The company this VP worked for had undergone some major shifts in recent years. Their market was expanding, partly through increased specialization of offerings. The VP now realized that the job descriptions for the sales rep position were out of date and didn’t accurately reflect the changes in the business and markets that had occurred.
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Why Salespeople Don’t Use CRM & What to Do About It

Albert Einstein had a sign on his office wall: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

Albert should have been in Sales Operations, because his sign explains why so many companies who make huge investments in CRM systems like SalesForce.com and others can be totally frustrated with low sales rep adoption rates and inaccurate forecasting results: Not everything that can be counted counts.

Why do so many salespeople resist the usage of CRM systems? One reason is that because of flawed CRM funnel structure, sales managers are unable to coach salespeople effectively. While managers can monitor activity levels after-the-fact, flawed funnel structure inhibits managers’ ability to coach sales skills, strategy, knowledge, etc. So your reps don’t sell more when they put information into CRM, and they wonder, “Why am I doing all this extra work? What’s in it for me?”
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A Tale of Two Sales Funnels

This is a story about two companies’ sales funnels. One company has a sales funnel that improves win rates, the other doesn’t.

“Company A” uses the most common approach, orienting its sales funnel to the steps of its sales process: qualifying, solution identified, quotation provided, demonstration delivered, etc. You know the drill.

Company B uses a funnel based on the customer’s buying process. Each stage of the funnel identifies specific actions that customers take when they are moving forward in their buying process. It is these “customer go forward actions” that salespeople seek to achieve as they progress an opportunity through their funnel.
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Four Simple Tips for Better Sales Coaching

Looking for practical advice on how to do more and better sales coaching? Here are four tips to get you started.Image we are here to help

1. Stop doing e-mail first thing in the morning. Instead, coach somebody.

You know what happens when you check your e-mail. There’s some  “hair-on-fire” issue waiting in your in-box that demands your immediate attention. But nine times out of 10, it’s a distraction that is important to somebody else but not to you. And once you head off down that road, another distraction pops up. The next thing you know your day is gone and you never had a chance to coach anybody.
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