3 Tips for Becoming a More Informed Sales Manager [eBook Excerpt]

3 Tips for Becoming a More Informed Sales Manager [eBook Excerpt]
September 24, 2015

You’d be hard pressed to find a sales organization that doesn’t measure results in some way, shape, or form. But are sales managers looking at the right data? Are they gaining insight into how prepared their sales force is to deliver the results that they are forecasting? Do they even have a means to measure those leading indicators?

Our exclusive eBook, 22 Tips for Better Sales Readiness, offers tips to help ensure YOUR sales organization’s readiness—from onboarding on Day 1 to learning and coaching throughout the sales process.

The excerpt below highlights three tips that will ensure sales leaders are in-the-know when it comes to their sales reps’ knowledge, behavior, and overall performance.

Tip #1: Know What Your Reps Know

When it comes to providing resources for sales readiness and training, you don’t want to just send out content to reps and hope for the best. You need to be able to actually SEE if reps have completed virtual training, reviewed product updates, read executive messages, been briefed on competitive information, and so on, to ensure they are ready to have the high-value conversations that are expected of them.

Content analytics can help keep your finger on the pulse of sales reps’ level of preparedness without being face-to-face. At the very least, you should be able to see which reps have opened and reviewed content items, while virtual training resources should make it easy to track comprehension and completion.

Tip #2: Use Content (Analytics) as a Proxy

Ok, so you know what your reps know. But do you have a way to correlate that sales knowledge and sales behavior to sales performance? In other words, can you see how the things reps know (training) and do (activities) affect their ability to sell? If not, then you have a blind spot that could be keeping you from ensuring your reps – all your reps – are as ready as they need to be.

Again, content analytics can help.

Managers can’t be in every meeting and on every sales call – but your sales content can be. Just as you should be able to track reps’ engagement with training content, you should be able to see what they are using and sharing, what engages customers most, and what contributes best to revenue. In this way, your content can provide a window into what’s really happening during sales interactions, so you can identify the strategies that work best, and coach reps accordingly.

Tip #3: Control the Show

When it’s time for reps to give a presentation, do you know what slides your reps are showing? Can you tell if they are ready to present the message that you want them to deliver?

A recent SiriusDecisions study found that, of all the content assets available to reps, sales presentations still make the biggest impact on B2B buyers’ purchase decisions. (Yes, not all salespeople rely on slides during meetings – but many still do.) As such, it’s important to ensure that reps are presenting approved, up-to-date slides that reflect your message as you want it to be portrayed. You don’t want them using some PowerPoint deck they’ve had since 2008 or worse – creating their own slides from scratch. This is especially critical for highly regulated industries, such as finance, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals, where compliance is a major concern.

Keep reps on message with continuous access to the most up-to-date, approved presentation content so you can be sure of what they’re presenting, and reps can present confidently…every time.

For more tips on preparing reps to sell efficiently, effectively, and productively, download the full eBook today.