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How to Achieve the Gift of Sales Management

May 14, 2012

The Gift of Sales Management is reserved for agencies who embrace and implement the following five interconnected elements of sales and sales management.Gift

  1. Value proposition
  2. Playbook
  3. Prospect qualification and service delivery road map
  4. Coaching and mentoring
  5. Success indicators

Let’s look further into how each of these 5 areas is crucial for success in Sales Management.

Value Proposition

A value proposition is the reason for an agency’s existence.  It describes how the firm creates value for others.  It allows the agency to stand out in a crowded marketplace.  When all members of the staff understand and embrace the value proposition, they become engaged and active contributors to the sales culture.

A unique value proposition is a concise, clear and compelling statement that describes why a potential customer should buy a particular product or service, how it exceeds that of the competition and why it is worthy of the price they must pay represents the first link.

Does your firm have a value proposition that explains the tangible results that your customers will receive and the unique benefits you bring to bear that others cannot?

The Playbook

The Playbook represents the capabilities of an agency including, client acquisition, account management and quality assurance strategies, systems and tools. It is the second link in Playbookthe Gift of Sales Management.

In the game of football, the coaching staff and players spend countless hours studying their playbook.  While the coach never gets on the field, he demonstrates and rehearses strategies to achieve success.  When players execute a play properly, the coach rewards the performance.  When the execution is lacking, the coach gives them a pep talk and reviews the play.  When the game is over, the players and coaches analyze results so they can continue doing what they did right and learn from their mistakes.  With the playbook, the coach is able to execute, motivate and win!

High performance agencies understand the importance of play and skill development.  It is for this reason they dedicate so much time to building their offensive (business development) and defensive (client retention/intimacy) systems. 

Prospect Identification, Qualification and Service Delivery Road Map

The third link to sales management success is a Prospect Identification, Qualification and Service Delivery Road Map.  This critical component of a Sales Management System includes strategies to fill the pipelines, criteria filter to screen out “commodity shoppers” and a planning process which flaunts the agency’s unique capabilities.

A focused and efficient Sales Management system effectively utilizes a referral network of loyal, enthusiastic clients and centers of influences to identify and screen prospective clients supported by a social technology platform.

Coaching and Mentoring

coach mentorPerhaps most important link is the role of the Sales Manager.  Effective communication, guided discovery, prospect research & qualification, interpreting account profiles and building networks are teachable skills.  The Sales Manager must be a good listener and able to communicate and connect with team members of diverse artistic talent. The most productive sales manager is a person who demands the best from his or her people. This person also has a unique ability to re-energize individuals who may have “lost the fire”.

As with a winning football program, the Sales Manager develops talent and offers feedback.  It is for this reason top notch Sales Managers follow a regimen consisting of:

  • Visioning and goal setting
  • Value proposition mastering
  • Play execution
  • Communication of expectations
  • Teaching how to overcome objections
  • Constant feedback

With a system comprised of strategies and tactics, the Sales Manager is able to maximize the performance of his or her business development team.

Success Indicators

successThe final link in the Gift of Sales Management encompasses the organization’s ability to monitor the results of the sales system. Critical indicators include activity based performance, sales funnel forecasting, quality new business appointments as well as the hit ratio. These key performance indicators allow the firm to benchmark the effectiveness of the sales process and achieve results measured against targeted goals and objectives.

In today’s challenging business environment, an organization must be relentlessly committed to success indicators and fact-based data. It is this discipline that drives performance.

With these 5 proven interconnected methods, your agency can quickly become a leader in the industry and receive the Gift of Sales Management!

For more ideas on how to break the commodity trap connect with Beyond Insurance on:

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Scott AddisThe author, Scott Addis is the President and CEO of The Addis Group and Addis Intellectual Capital, LLC (AIC). AIC is a coaching and consulting company whose purpose is to transform the process that insurance agents, brokers and carriers use when working with clients. Scott is recognized as an industry leader having been awarded the Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award as well as “25 Most Innovative Agents in America”. Scott can be reached at saddis@beyondinsurance.com or 610-945-1019.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Greg Zinn permalink
    May 15, 2012 12:09 pm

    Scott, really good reminder for what makes a solid sales mgmt strategy. Thank you.

    Hope all is well.

  2. May 17, 2012 1:46 pm

    Excellent summary. I’ll take this to our next sales meeting as a review. Thank you, Scott!

    Enjoy the day!

  3. May 21, 2012 9:35 pm

    Scott, I enjoyed reading your contribution about Salkes Management. Coupled with this, it is also worth bearing in mind the role of the Sales Leader, who takes most of your criteria and raises it one notch higher. The one key difference between the two, is that traditional Sales Managers are inclined to “light fires under people,” which usually means them having to “drive” performance.

    Sales Leaders, on th other hand, are more apt to “light fires within people,” consequently inspire many of them to optimize their performance through a sheer desire to succeed. This usually comes down to a customer-centered “purpose;” treating their people fairly and involving them; enabling their people to succeed often; allowing them to be part of a team that enjoys each other; giving their people a sense they’re trusted; and nudging each one to become a master in their field. Without these six pointers, it’s unlikely their “internal fires” will be burning at a maximum. Best, Peter

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