I remember the famous Aussie Hugh Jackman hosting the Oscars and in his opening routine he said that when he heard the news, he had texted another movie star to tell them that he'd been invited to host the awards again. Hugh then said, "I got a text reply almost instantly; it read: WTF!" He then said, "My wife Deb asked what response I'd got back." Hugh paused for effect. "He said, Wow That's Fantastic!"
Sales managers need to encourage their sales people to make tough decisions in being productive. Qualifying out of a deal could be a smart decision, or it could be laziness. Which WTF response depends on the situation but the art of sales management is to stay positive in the way we lead and to instill the principle that 'less is more'. Volume kills quality and it's easy to be 'the busy fool.' The best way to create success is through careful targeting, senior engagement, strong qualification, and then out-investing the competition in deal pursuit.
Make sure you know what a well qualified prospect looks like by profiling your very best customers. Equip your sales people to engage in intelligent conversations at senior levels and then establish value and differentiation; or qualify out. As a sales manager; be an encourager, coach and strategist... get out of weeds of spreadsheets and CRM reporting. Instead challenge your sales people to be their very best and challenge your boss to let you invest more time in the field to mentor and coach in driving excellence in execution.
Tony Hughes is ranked as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific and is a keynote speaker and best selling author. This article was originally published in LinkedIn where you can also follow Tony's award winning blog. Also visit Tony's keynote speaker website at www.TonyHughes.com.au or his sales methodology website at http://www.rsvpselling.com/.
Main image photo by Flickr: Emilio Küffer
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