When you hear the word scale, what is the first thought that comes to mind? Most often, the word scale describes growth in size. When it comes to a sales organization, the word scale is often used to describe the phenomenon of hiring more sales people, increasing the overall sales target of the organization and crossing your fingers that it leads to a better number. While more sales people can lead to more sales, there is another type of scaling that is often overlooked, but is most certainly more important for a sales organization to sustain excellence. This type of scaling is what we refer to as scaling success.
When considering how to best cultivate sales leadership talent, you should look first at yourself and the leadership style you exemplify. When you lead your team, do you tend to be more:
- Charismatic – Leads through personality and charm that builds dedication
- Visionary – Leads through views of the future translated into specific goals that create a shared sense of purpose
- Tactical – Leads by consistently laying out expectations and delivering on commitments
Often times, leaders stick with one style because they perceive that it is getting results or because it is how they were lead earlier in their careers. However, a highly functional sales team requires all three styles in their portfolio to be called upon when appropriate.
SOAR Performance Group is pleased to announce the promotion of John Thackston to the new role of Vice President of Client Engagements. In this new role, John will have responsibility for driving full lifecycle engagement with clients. This includes driving awareness, relationship nurturing, solution design and delivery for on-going client value creation to support business development initiatives and delivery of solutions through the team.
One question that I am often asked by sales executives, sales managers and even sales reps is: “How can I improve my sales pipeline?” This question comes up most frequently at the end of the quarter or year, when sales professionals have often realized that they are not where they want to be relative to their goals. Many will have even started to answer the question themselves by coming up with “magic ratios” such as having 3x the amount they need to close in their pipeline. One VP of Sales even told me, “I just tell my guys to put more in; if there is more going in, there has to be more coming out.” If it was only that simple! There are three ways to improve your sales pipeline:
How many times have you or one of your sales team members had “the perfect opportunity” suddenly stall out or turn to a competitor as it comes down to decision time? I spoke with a VP of Sales recently who confided in me that only 30% of their forecast deals closed. Let that sink in for a moment; that isn’t 30% of all opportunities, but 30% of deals that are FORECAST TO CLOSE! How can anyone run a business with numbers like that? My blood pressure starts going up just thinking about it.