Imagine the scenario, you are a sales manager, you spend over 80 percent of your time dealing with your sales team, and sales reps, yet you are missing that exceptional selling experience. Market experts say that successful sales managers should spend a larger chunk of their time in dealing with customers, and managing up-selling.
The reality is quite different, only 14 percent of a sales manager’s time is spent in actual selling activities; the large part of it goes in coaching various sales rep and driving overall team growth.
To truly drive your sales team to growth, you as a sales manager need to maintain a one-on-one connect with each team member. You are aware that if you get a deeper insight into their individual style of working, you would be able to maximize each one’s capabilities and skill sets to drive for better sales targets.
So when you connect with each sales rep on a weekly one-on-one you get an opportunity to talk openly about the individual issues. You are able to get a clearer picture on individual performance, and where each of your team members might be stuck and how those issues can be resolved.
The weekly one-on-one should not be a simple meeting, but you should be able to leverage the insight you get into their productivity metrics and their individual selling strategies. You can opt for sales management tools to get a clearer view on each team member’s performance.
Even if you have heard the whispers about how much your sales people hate the meeting and look for ways to avoid it, you as a team manager should hold strong and stick to the day and time that you have decided on every week. This way you and your team members can schedule their other activities.
Unless there is something seriously pressing, avoid changing the time and day. Ideally, the duration of the meeting should be between, half hour and 45 minutes, anything longer can be distracting.
Encourage your team members to come to the meetings with their individual agenda. In fact, encourage them to start the discussion. Make it clear that this half hour or 45 minutes is their time, meant to work out issues that might hinder their performance. This is the time when you understand each rep’s work style and can discuss the obstacles they face in achieving a task, and their accomplishments for the week. In fact, the weekly one-on-ones give your reps an opportunity to voice their problems, and even share their ideas. As a sales manager you can help them overcome obstacles that hinder their individual performance and impact sales target as a whole.
7 Easy Steps to Ensure Effective One-on-One meeting with your Sales Rep
You might have some ideas that you would like to share with your rep on an individual level based on his or her work style. This also shows you to be a forward thinking manager. Always try to offer answers to their questions. In fact, you can ask them to share their thoughts on what’s working and what’s not, and what can be improved upon. Then discuss these points with workable solutions from your end.
To get a better understanding of the work style of each member, and the kind of ideas they might appreciate, track your rep’s weekly deliverables and activities. You might help out with identifying the possible problems and offer pointers to close the deals. During the one-one-one, it is important to talk about the performance metrics of each rep to get a better understanding of how they are approaching each of their targets. This is when you work out if your sales rep is meeting the right set of customers, and executives, working on enough proposals, and how are they delivering on the sales promises made to the customers.
Only after you have reviewed the current set of deliverables of your sales rep, should you talk about the work in the pipeline. Also it is a better idea to have pipeline reviews as a whole sales group.
Before your close your one-one-one with your sales rep, appreciate the person’s achievements, and encourage them to work on their strengths. This is also when you bring out your expectations from each individual, and define the KPIs. Showcase why you have certain expectations based on their strengths. Take 5 to 10 minutes to document the meeting. This brings clarity to the ideas shared, and may even give you a cleaner view of the path ahead. You can also ask your rep to talk about how the engagement can be improved upon. This will help in building a culture of trust between you and your team, and impact overall performance of your team.