#10 – Putting the Formula Into Action (STSF Core Components)

By David Masover

Hi, welcome to episode ten of The Sales Team Success Formula™

The first 10 episodes of the podcast are designed to be like an audiobook version of The Sales Team Success Formula™, but I didn’t actually write the book – I did these podcasts instead!

In other words, if you really want to take a deep dive into exactly what The Sales Team Success Formula™ is, how it works, what the pieces are, and what it’s going to do for you and your team, listen to episodes one through ten.

It’ll take you a couple of hours to get through all ten core content episodes just like an audiobook would, but by the time you’re done, you’re going to have all the details.

You can start with Episode One that’s going to give you an overview of the formula and then decide if you want to listen to the rest. 

Here in episode ten, we tie up the formula with a nice neat bow by reviewing what we’ve covered, showing how all of the pieces fit together, and mapping out how to put it into action – and how much time it’s all going to take you. You can see that in the graphic below about the Meeting Time Matrix – but here is the bottom line.

When you invest the work to set up the infrastructure – which will take you some time and effort – you’ll come out on the other side with a highly functioning and effective total sales team and it will take you a lot less time to manage, giving you more time to help it grow.

Sound good? Then check all of this out!

Here is the link to the Review Meeting Time Matrix mentioned in the episode: Review Meeting Time Matrix

Here is the link to the Quad Chart I spoke about in the episode: Quad Chart I

And here is what you will find in the other episodes:

EPISODE 1:  Introducing The Sales Team Success Formula™

EPISODE 2:  Target Client Profiling

EPISODE 3:  Effective Sales Messaging

EPISODE 4:  The Four Level Sales Process™

EPISODE 5:  Personal Sales Plans

EPISODE 6:  KPIs & Metrics

EPISODE 7:  Sales Tools & Tech

EPISODE 8:  Call Reviews

EPISODE 9:  Deal Reviews & Pipeline Reviews

EPISODE 10:  Putting the Formula Into Action

Thanks for your interest in The Sales Team Success Formula™ – and here’s to your success!

Transcription

Hey tenacious listener – well, we’re finally here – episode 10 of The New Sales Team Success Formula Podcast. I’m your host David Masover and I’m really glad you made it to this episode – we’re at the end of our initial deep dive exploration of the core elements of the formula, and in this episode we’ll tie them all together and show you just how powerful and how efficient this infrastructure can be for you and your sales team.

We set out in episode number one of this podcast to define what is The Sales Team Success Formula and how it could help your B2B sales organization thrive and grow with more consistency, transparency, effectiveness, a stronger and more positive sales focused culture, and a spirit of excellence, execution, and ongoing improvement.

Then, in episodes two through nine we mapped out in detail the elements behind the three legs of The Formula represented by the triangle graphic we’ve referred to throughout these first episodes – those three things being:

1) What reps need to be doing with prospects and customers and how to do these things effectively

2) How the right metrics, KPIs, tools, and tech can support both execution for salespeople and analytics and insights for managers, 

3) And finally what exactly front line sales managers can do to leverage what’s been built with reps, metrics and tools into a support and accountability structure to support ongoing growth and the pursuit of sales excellence at the organizational level.

Along the way, one of the critical things we kept hitting on was not only what do we need to do to get each of these pieces as right as we can – first as a point of departure then as a basis for ongoing improvement through consistent review and revision – but we also repeatedly touched on the critical concept that its the integration of these elements that will really drive success for your reps, for their boss, and for the team and the company as a whole.

  • So we took the key activity of salespeople called reaching out to the right people and communicating in the most effective way, dug into metrics and tools to support that, then mapped out how the front line sales manager can use periodic call review meetings to enable consistent improvement in that key sales function
  • Then we looked at the key activity of salespeople called managing individual deals and mapped that out into the four level sales process, tied that to metrics and tools to support that, then mapped out how the front line sales manager can use periodic deal review meetings to enable consistent improvement in that key sales function
  • And finally, we looked at how salespeople can stay on top of all of their deals and reach for a defined and agreed to set of goals each period through their personal sales plans, and tied those to a highly efficient and effective model for pipeline and accountability meetings with the front line sales manager.

So each core sales function in the first corner of the triangle, is tied to analytics and execution tools in the second corner, which is tied to front line sales management efforts in the third corner – all of which comes back to salespeople in the first corner – and the virtuous cycle of growth and continuous improvement is driven by that integrated dynamic.

So now that we are at episode ten, not the last of the podcast but the last in this introductory and foundational series – kind of like an audiobook presentation of The Sales Team Success Formula as a whole – let’s look back to recap all that we’ve accomplished here, how we’ve integrated that work into a cohesive system, and how this infrastructure that we’ve created can help your entire sales organization thrive on an ongoing basis.

But more practically, let’s look at how your front line sales manager – the person that your salespeople report to – whether that is a sales manager, a VP, a COO, a CRO or even the CEO of a smaller firm – how this infrastructure and knowledge that is baked into The Sales Team Success Formula can help the front line sales manager execute effectively along these principles and practices to achieve the goals we’ve set out and, do so in a measured and manageable amount of time.

As a quick reminder, in the first episode we explored the idea that it is the front line sales manager – that person that the salespeople report to regardless of their job title – this role is the secret to success in your sales organization as a whole because they are the bridge between front line sales efforts and the company as a whole, but we also pointed out the three big challenges that many front line sales managers have – namely, 

  • Not much time for reps given the other responsibilities that are on their plates;
  • Not enough skill and knowledge about how to most effectively execute their key core function of supporting and holding reps accountable to the specific things that will lead to success;
  • And they almost always lack the infrastructure to get that core function done efficiently, effectively, and in a measured and manageable amount of time – which is a big part of what we have built here in the Sales Team Success Formula.

What we have built with the Sales Team Success Formula is a clarified map of the core functions of the salespeople, a solid connection between those functions and the metrics and tools that can help execute and measure them, and a series of sales management functions that mach up to those core sales functions and leverage the metrics and tools to execute on the management side.

That’s a powerful dynamic right there – clarity about rep execution, tools to help execute and measure that execution, and  a structure that leverages all of that into better execution ongoing and over time.

These things combined lend a ton of support to the skills and infrastructure pieces of the puzzle, but time is often the part that front line sales manager struggle with most – so let’s spend a few minutes now bringing all of that home to clarify how all of this can apply to your organization and also how it can fit into the busy schedule of your front line sales manager – the lynchpin to your sales teams success.

As we’ve noted throughout this program, the key core functions of the front line sales manager should revolve around 1) supporting the salespeople to help them to be more successful and 2) holding them accountable to the commitments that have been agreed to about executing work and achieving results.

As in every sales organization, there will be other things for the front line sales manager to do. Managing the CRM and the reports that come out of it and other tech, participating in management meetings with other departments, putting out fires, and many other things.

The core underlying principle of The Sales Team Success Formula is that a front line sales manager that is engaged with reps the right way can maximize performance across the organization, and to a far greater extent than any other activity they may be required to do and in a much more impactful way than anyone else in the orgaization has the capacity to do. I hope that by this point that this is eminently clear and that the value of this has been firmly established in your mind.

But in the face of reality and the time constraints that come with it, let’s get really clear now about how the Sales Team Success Formula makes the execution of these support and accountability functions easier, more time efficient, and more effective for the front line sales manager than in an environment that does not have the benefit of the infrastructure that has been created according to the principles of The Sales Team Success Formula that we have explored together up to this point.

Let’s consider what we’ve achieved in this respect so far:

  • We’ve Co-Created Clarity with all of the team, agreement around the core functions and elements of execution that reps work with every day in the pursuit of new business:
  • A clearly defined Target Client Profile, and the discipline to ask, ‘should I be investing my time with this person or not?’
  • A problem/solution focused set of messaging strategies and components to help make communications with prospects and clients more sticky, impactful, and compelling.
  • A Four-Level Sales Process to help reps and management alike know when it is time to move a prospect from one stage of the sales process to the next and what has to happen before that move is made (the second level of the sales process), and also a clear set of best practices for executing each part of the process along the way (the third level of the sales process).
  • A Personal Sales Plan to help reps know where to stay focused across all opportunities and time frames and how to approach these opportunities for maximum impact.

This level of clarity among the salespeople and with management, generated in a way that was co-created and clear for everyone, establishes universal best practices with buy in at a framework level that can be executed by all regardless of the personal flair each unique individual might bring to the equation.

Think about how much time your front line sales manager and management in general spends clarifying expectations now. While these practices won’t eliminate all of that, it’s going to go an awfully long way towards eliminating most of it.

In the ground breaking management book “First Break All the Rules”, author Marcus Buckingham points out that the one thing that employees want more than any other is clear expectations.

While this will always be a moving target, some serious progress has been made through the work that we have done together here. Reps know what to do, how to do it, and who to do it with. Clearly. Unambiguously. And in a way that they helped create for clarity and ownership.

That’s going to help your front line sales manager execute the rest of their work much more easily and much more effectively, but that’s not all we have given them.

We have also developed and given them a clear set of KPIs and metrics that measure what really needs to be measured, and integrated tech and tools that both help the reps execute efficiently and gather data to help the manager analyze performance and results, support the reps in becoming more effective, and holding reps accountable.

We’ve also given a clear map for the kind of reviews that the front line sales manager should be having with team members to streamline and optimize what reps say to clients and prospects (call reviews), how to manage individual deals (deal reviews) and how to manage all other deals (pipeline reviews).

All of the elements of the “what reps should be doing section” not only help reps execute better, but help managers do their work better – and integrated system of upward effectiveness:

And – in addition to that, we’ve helped the front line sales manager do all of this is a measured and manageable amount of time – which is critical, as we’ve discussed. Whether the front line sales manager is a sales manager, the CEO or anything in between, these people are busy and pressed! 

As important as it is to optimize revenue and the team responsible for it, it has to happen in a time effective manner. We’ve made a lot of progress here as well.

There is a table that you can download from the episode notes that maps out how much time all of these review meetings from the front line sales manager should take, and I won’t try to recreate it here in an audio podcast like I did with the triangle graphic – but here’s the gist of it:

Call reviews and deal reviews are optional, pipeline reviews are not.

If you have strong reps that are crushing it, you don’t need to do anything more than pipeline reviews which will take you less than 30 minutes per month per rep.

The real magic of this Sales Team Success Formula is that it is a pathway to this seeming nirvana!

Let me explain.

Call review and deal reviews are ways to nail down with your reps what good looks like in calls and deals.

We mapped that out when we co-created target client profiles, messaging, and the four level sales process.

We captured insights around that with the KPIs and Tools that we deployed based on our clear understanding of these core and key rep activities.

And by having periodic review meetings that are focused and clear, and that are designed for support and accountability towards a pre-defined and agreed to reprenstation of what good communication and what a good deal looks like – we can take reps who want to improve, and get them to a place where call reviews and deal reviews are not necessary.

So in the first few months as you roll out The Sales Team Success Formula, front line sales managers might be spending 30 minutes a week with each rep on call reviews PLUS another 30 minutes a week on deal reviews PLUS any other meetings that might be required for specific issues or personal growth coaching or team meetings or whatever else is important to you and your organization – and that’s an hour plus per rep per week plus the monthly pipeline and review meeting.

That might seem overwhelming to you, but remember – the idea here is that over time, your motivated reps will latch on to what good looks like, get better and better at executing that on their own, and you can reduce the frequency of the call review and deal review meetings.

Once your motivated reps start to catch on, you can go to bi-weekly, or monthly, or do the meetings in a group format and reduce the time you spend on these reviews while enjoying more and more effective and productive execution.

And remember – your pipeline reviews are the permanent fixture that is there to catch who is slipping.

Each month you will spend 15-30 minutes per rep in a pipeline and accountability review meting as described in episode nine to make sure they are hitting results, that they have a healthy pipeline for the upcoming month, and if not, then you can decide to turn up the dial on activity reviews. These activity reviews, call reviews, and deal reviews that are known and effective tools that you can now use as interventions to get motivated reps who are struggling back on track.

So this is pretty huge – of course we want our sales teams to thrive, and we want to help them do that, but without the right infrastructure we don’t feel like we have time to make that happen.

The Sales Team Success Formula is specifically designed to give you that infrastructure to elevate team performance AND to keep on top of it AND to get it back on track when it slips – quickly, effectively, transparently  without friction, with buy in, with agreement, and with your reps in the spirit of support and accountability.

Pretty cool – no?

As this model suggests, stronger reps will need less of the meeting time that front line sales managers can be spending with reps, and as your front line sales manager has more and more of these meetings, your reps will be getting stronger and stronger, allowing your front line sales manager to work on getting obstacles out of their way, sharing best practices, optimizing tools, ensuring effective lead generation, recruiting stronger and stronger reps, supporting those reps who need help the most, and holding reps accountable to the commitments they have made.

Imagine the upward trajectory of your sales organization when you have a Front Line Sales Manager focusing their energy on maintaining the momentum of the fly wheel within the systematic and highly effective sales team infrastructure you have built!

Along the way in this podcast series we have listed a bunch of fantasy like things for you to imagine about your sales team – like management spending less time and getting better results from the team as a whole; management having more visibility; having a culture of performance, execution and accountability; and the peace of mind this would all bring.

Not to mention doubling the conversion rate from leads to closed deals within a few months of starting the program as many clients of the formula have experienced.

And remember that we tied all of that back to specific work of the Front Line Sales Manager?

Well, this is how all of that comes together.

If you are the CEO or other senior company leader and you are managing the sales team yourself, you can now do so in less time and with much more efficacy.

And if you ever wanted to bring on a sales manager or promote someone to that role, you now have a clear map of how to do exactly that, and a blueprint to help them get off to a solid start.

So many frustrated CEOs and other company leaders hire a sales manager or promote from within and hope that the person in the new role will get everything figured out.

They usually don’t, and this results in huge frustration.

But now you have a clear map.

An operating system for your sales team.

A finely tuned sales engine…

A Sales Team Success Formula

That’s what this is all about.

So – one last thought about the front line sales management role to close out this episode…

You may have noticed that when I was talking about the review meetings and how often you should do them with different reps and different skill and success levels, I kept on referring to motivated reps – well, what about the others?

You know this is true – as you think about your sales team now and all of the salespeople you have known throughout your career, some are eager to learn and execute, some have a positive attitude about growth and change and the team – and others just don’t.

So what do we do with those who don’t?

No worries – the clarity and infrastructure we’ve created can help us a lot with that too.

To illustrate this point, let me reach back to a mental model from my 2012 book, Managing the Sales Process, to show you how this can work.

As I’ve said repeatedly in this program, the ultimate job of the front line sales manager with respect to the salespeople who report to them is very clear – supporting reps and holding them accountable.

Once we have created clear expectations around execution – which is, of course, a core element of The Sales Team Success Formula – that clarity allows us to functionally represent the execution of that core job function in a simple quad chart.

That quad chart in that book is deliciously simple – did the rep get the results they were after, yes or no, and are they making the efforts to reach for those results, yes or no. There are only four possibilities here, and a clear approach for each one.

  • The happiest of quadrants is the one with reps who are making efforts and getting results – this, of course, is awesome. Your job is to help them any way you can.
  • Reps who are getting results and not following the plan of your efforts – this is a wildcard. The word prima donna comes to mind for me, what about you? In this case, you have to assess any potential cultural damage that might be happening here to help you decide how to handle this.
  • Reps who are not getting results but are making efforts – these people are trying – give them help for a measured period of time to see of you can help them improve their results. 
  • But reps who are not getting results and not making efforts – these are the reps who need to shape up or ship out!

Deliciously simple and clear. 

What was true back then is still true as I describe it to you here a decade later. When the sales manager is on top of efforts and results, their work is clear.

  • Reps are either making efforts, or they are not.
  • Reps are either reaching clearly defined results, or they are not.

When these things are clear for all involved, it’s simple to know where a rep is at and what to do about it.

But for this to work, efforts and results both need to be based on clear expectations.

In almost every sales organization I have ever seen, leadership believes that this is the case, but the truth is far from that.

The good news for you is that by following all of the principles baked into The Sales Team Success Formula, you have seen what Co-Created Clarity looks like around what the salespeople do, how it should be measured, how it should be supported by tools, and how the front line sales manager can support and hold reps accountable to all of that in a very measured, efficient, and highly efficient way.

Once all of that has been clarified, your path to total sales team success relies on asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • Is there room for improvement in my sales team around the elements described in The Sales Team Success Formula?
  • If so, is there room for improvement when we integrate these elements together more effectively?
  • And finally, how much do we stand to gain if we approach and manage the complete sales team from this kind of an integrated and holistic approach?

I hope that by this point, you can see that the answers to these questions point to the actions you need to take.

Actions I have mapped out for you in this program.

The path that The Sales Team Success Formula is built around.

But as Morpheus said to Neo before meeting The Oracle for the first time in The Matrix, “…I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”

Will you?

I hope so.

Because now – as we finish the initial exploration of core elements of The Sales Team Success Formula and how it can be applied to your total sales team, you know just what to do!

So this is the end of the first ten episodes of The Sales Team Success Formula podcast, but not the end of the formula and not the end of the podcast.

In future episodes of the podcast, we’ll move away from this pure teaching audiobook format and get into things like interviews with clients who have implemented the formula, sales experts who offer different takes on different elements of the formula, deep dives into areas of detail that give clients trouble or that can use more explanation, and anything else that an add value for you as you apply the formula to your B2B sales organization.

In the meantime, if you’d like to find out what the formula can do for you and your team, head over to my website at www dot sales team success formula dot com and sign up for a one-on-one consultation and assessment with me and let’s talk about whether this program is your best next move for B2B sales growth and scalability.