Today we have a guest post by Jeff Purtell, the Chief Operating Officer at Acquirent, a leading provider of outsourced sales solutions for middle market to Fortune 500 companies. He offers good insights for anyone managing a sales team.

It is a fine line for any manager — the difference between breathing down your salesperson’s neck and making sure they are tracking toward their goals and objectives for the day, week, month, quarter and year.

While no rep will say they like to be micromanaged, no manager likes to see when their salesperson is behind and it is too late to catch up. So, how do you avoid being that manager who is always cracking the proverbial whip yet also driving results?

Here are 5 methods that have worked well for me in the past with sales reps or teams that I have managed:

  1. Create daily or weekly competitions – when your reps are reporting their activity results in order to qualify for a prize (even as small as a g $5 gift card), it does not feel like you are constantly checking in.
  2. Teach them to manage up – give your sales team a reason or context for the importance of why you need to report numbers to senior management or clients.  Now they are reporting, but with an understanding of why.
  3. Make the monitoring about them – how does the call review, pipeline review or other weekly meeting translate to their pocket?  How does it translate into more commissions and more money for them?
  4. Establish an internal service level agreement – beyond just the number of calls, opportunities, appointments and closes that typical teams manage to, make sure your sales reps also buy into the turnaround time on follow-up activities or the process in CRM that they have to use.
  5. Make dashboards visible to all – sometimes the best way to manage results is not to do it at all and let a rep’s internal pride and competitive nature be your best friend.  Once you measure results and activities, make them clearly visible to the entire team or company in the form of dashboards.

At the end of the day, if you have a rep who will not respond to any of these techniques, chances are they will not be a top performer in your organization or any sales team.

For those with the internal desire to be the best, when they are also part of the solution, you will get the results you need without having to become the micromanager you did not respond well to in your early sales career.

Jeff has experience across a broad range of disciplines that provide a unique view and understanding of sales talent and processes. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and a proud new father!






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