Top 10 Reasons Sales Managers Fail-And What To Do About It

The primary reasons that sales managers fail is that they don’t know
how to manage their people, and they don’t manage a highly effective
selling processes. Just as an engineering manager needs to be a pretty
competent engineer, so does a sales manager need to be a pretty
competent salesperson. However, in both cases, their primary
responsibility is to manage the performance of their staff. And, both
must have a good understanding of modern management principles beyond a
few readings of “The One Minute Manger.”

By contrast, most
engineering managers know that technology is evolving so quickly that
their managerial functions prevent them from keeping up with the
technology at the level of a functioning engineer. However, they know
enough about the latest technology to manage it.

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Three Reasons Why Sales Needs Fewer Leads

Yes, you read the title
correctly. Marketing campaigns that produce an abundance of leads can
actually do your organization more harm than good. Why, you wonder? For
starters, high-volume lead generation is a lot like creating a haystack
in which the sales rep is responsible for finding the proverbial
needle. Bona fide candidates do exist, but they’re often hidden among
the onslaught of unqualified leads being pushed to sales.

This is why
many sales reps cast a jaded eye toward leads generated by
marketing–it’s too hard to find the leads that translate into real
sales opportunities. By forgoing lead generation practices that deliver
volumes of mostly low-value prospects, companies can begin to focus on
identifying and targeting their most likely buyers.

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Five Vital Points for Choosing a Lead-Generation Solution

B2B marketers who are recognizing the limitations of today’s
email-marketing and Web-analytics applications for generating qualified
sales leads are switching to a lead- or demand-generation solution to
ensure a continuous stream of qualified leads.

In addition to providing the reporting that legacy email and Web
analytics products provide, demand-generation solutions automate the
progression of leads through the pipeline so that sales can focus on
only the most qualified leads.

When evaluating demand-generation solutions, keep these five points
in mind to ensure that you make a purchase that meets your expectations
and the needs of your company:

1. Look out for hidden consultants

When purchasing a demand-generation solution, marketers are
typically looking for a solution that their internal team can quickly
and easily implement to improve their lead-generation capabilities.

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Sales Process – What Can You Automate?

In the current complex and competitive market, managing the sales
process is an important factor for most businesses. By automating a
company’s sales process and efforts, one can increase its productivity.

Force Automation, or SFA, is a technique used in marketing and business
that automates the business tasks of sales. Sales tasks that can be
automated might include contact management, order taking and
fulfillment, information sharing, inventory monitoring, sales forecast
analysis, and employees’ performance evaluations. Using SFA improves
the efficiency and effectiveness of a sales team by streamlining and
speeding up processes and eliminating errors. Through this technology,
a sales force can have access to the latest information regarding
customers’ accounts and pricing.

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CRM/SFA That Accelerates Sales: The Sales Process Integration Approach

Has your company struggled with Sales Force Automation (SFA) or
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software? If so, you’re not
alone. It’s estimated that between 65 and 80 percent of all system
implementations end in failure*. Sales people don’t like working with
software, and each rep uses the system differently. Customer/prospect
data is inconsistent and poorly maintained. Management doesn’t get the
forecasting and reporting visibility that it needs. Instead of being a
productivity tool, CRM systems can easily end up being a drag on sales
team performance.

Does this description sound like what’s
happening at your company? If so, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Imagine a CRM system that provides your sales people with a valuable
tool for increasing their productivity, and growing your company’s

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Can CRM Help You Make Money?

Clear business planning is key to making sure you get back what you spend on customer relationship management projects, says Ron Condon.

Two years ago, a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit of 370 businesses of all sizes revealed that only 15 per cent of them had derived any real value from their customer relationship management implementations.

The study, which was funded by IBM, concluded: "To the chagrin of many companies – from those with double-digit billion dollar annual revenues and up to $100bn in assets, to small businesses with less than $50m in annual revenue – CRM has yet to achieve the promised return on investment goals that made it so appealing in the first place. Furthermore, in many cases, customers have yet to notice a decisive difference."

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Spend More of Your Time Selling

The majority of people in the sales force spend an average of no more than two hours out of their day actually selling. This fact is astonishing for two reasons. One, how do we as sales people manage to meet our goals. And two, why on earth are we in sales to begin with?

The lack of hours spent selling in our work week is understandable. Lets face it. The paperwork alone can take up half of your day. Not to mention the phone calls, the problem solving, putting out fires, etc.

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Breaking the Financial Justification Logjam

Does your sales force seem to be treading water on certain sales opportunities? Is the same information coming to you each month when you ask penetrating questions about prospects? Does it appear progress moving an account to closure is bogged down? You say ‘there must be a way to break this logjam.’ You feel just as stymied as your sales representatives. You wonder what moves to make and how to do them. Maybe a new (or revisited) approach is in order and an additional step or two needs to be taken.

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What is Referral Lead Generation?

Referrals aren’t generated, they just happen, right? While many businesses believe this, it is a common marketing myth. Most businesses assume that referrals just happen by chance when someone tells another person about their experience with the products or services they’ve received. While word-of-mouth has always been an obscure concept and certainly unpredictable, new Internet technologies are making it easier than ever to nudge along and follow its momentum.

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