There are several changes that a sales VP needs to make to be more successful. That includes modifying the sales representative recruiting, on-boarding, and training process. Moreover, by boosting the productivity of the sales team, identifying sales opportunities, and planning strategically, a sales VP can propel the company to a new height.
The responsibilities of a Sales VP is beyond measure. One needs to manage his or her sales representatives and sales functions while developing sales strategies. That sounds overwhelming, isn’t it? Not only does a sales VP need to have good team management skills, but also needs to be able to make plans strategically and analytically. Since there are a lot of moving parts, managing all of these functions timely and effectively is key.
1 Recruit the right talents
Here are the top eight challenges that a Sales VP most commonly faces:
Recruiting talents is the key to business growth. A report conducted by XANT states that it costs approximately $4000 per year to train a new sales representative. In spite of that the human resource department spends a fortune in the applicant shortlisting process, they do not spend enough on training the new recruits. To ensure a company has the most productive employees, one can consider training existing staff consistently instead of recruiting new ones when unnecessary. You can read more about possible alternatives to the existing hiring process in the article, “What Are Sales VP Doing Wrong in Growth Strategy and Human Management”.
2 Motivate the Team
Almost half of the sales VP, according to an article from the Sales-Mind, mentions that their salespeople do not have adequate sales skills to close the target number of deals. While it is essential to be aware of the lack of skill set of the bottom performers, it is equally important for the Sales VPs to develop the right sales mindset for their team through coaching.
From the same article, 86% of sales representatives report that they occasionally have negative thoughts that could potentially sabotage their efforts. A good sales leader should prioritize staff development and coaching so as to make his or her sales team more focused, resilient, and motivated. To establish a consistent coaching culture, sales VPs need to be aware of the emerging corporate problems resulting from human factors. By knowing more about the problems, VPs can resolve them more effectively.
3 Optimizing sales processes to boost productivity
Having a sales system for your business alone will not increase the business revenue, if the nitty-gritty standards are not implemented faithfully on every sale representative. In fact, 82% of CEOs described their sales process as “poorly defined” or “badly followed”. For instance, clarifying what “leads qualification” means significantly to the organization. An ambiguous line between qualified and disqualified leads blurs both parties’ understanding of each other’s situation. It would hinder the company’s ability to deliver value.
A consultative process reduces uncertainty arisen along the way, and it provides clear metrics indicating performance at each checkpoint. As a result, sales representatives can structurally identify the right direction that will lead them to sales success. It involves the steps of targeting, qualifying, exploring, accessing, solving, negotiating, closing, frequently following up.
4 Proper training and grooming
A good Sales VP should keep asking the lingering question — How do I improve the productivity of my sales representatives to get more quota from my existing reps?
In a fast-paced market, there are always new skills we need to learn, and situations that we need to adapt to. It is indeed important to recruit the right people with the right skill sets. It is more important to coach them from time to time!
67% of CEOs said that their Sales VPs were not spending enough time in training their sales representatives. Sales VPs are responsible to keep them up-date-to with the latest technology trends in terms of CRM and better lead prospects.
5 Find and engage resources across functions and organizations
Sales VPs are responsible to ensure the organization can execute their business strategies as efficiently as possible. Carrying this heavy responsibility of growing the processes, capabilities, and capacity of the Sales Representatives, it is important to equip them with not only training but also the tools to handle complexity!
Identifying the cross-functional and cross-organizational resources that can deal with their corresponding problems is critical in getting the job done right. This requires the sales VP to analyze the sales team performance and spot the pain points. Understanding the team and providing the needed resources is vital to push the team forward!
6 Focus on profitable activities
90% of CEOs said their salespeople focused on low payoff activities or called on the wrong people. It is important to define what productivity means to the team. Being busy does not mean being productive. Prioritizing tasks is important, but timing is the real catch!
Top performers know what they are doing, why they are doing it, and who they are doing it with. You need to keep track of every task and have a detailed plan for each stage so that you can work toward goals productively. Given the length and uncertainty of the sales process, you need to minimize risks from bad decisions.
7 Utilizing the right resources
From above, we can see the importance of recruiting the right talents, training the existing employees consistently, providing the right resources to work with, and prioritizing important tasks. When you have all the resources in hand, knowing what to do is one thing. Knowing how to strike a balance between current tasks and required work is equally important.
After all, it is the responsibility of the Sales VP to understand and access the capabilities of every individual in the organization. Making the right judgment under the given deadlines, is all about being able to scale the team capabilities and leverage one’s talents and strengths.
9 Identifying new growth segments
As competition continues to intensify, Sales VP faces challenges in finding niche segments with high margins and high growth potential. There is no secret to this. Only strategic planning and analytical thinking matter.
Why you need one page
As we know, the sales process is complicated. A salesperson spends most of the time researching the client’s background but less time in the actual sales meeting. 1Page will generate the client’s relevant information from any software like Email, CRM, Storage on one reader-friendly page. With this information, sales representatives can spot the specific needs of each individual and tailor their pitching script accordingly. As the researching procedure becomes easier, sales representatives can spare more time in meeting more potential clients and ultimately close more deals. Moreover, this allows companies to simplify this employee training process as now they can rely solely on 1Page to prepare for meetings.