We live in a sales world now where tech is deified. We all love us some CRMs, automation suites, AI advancements, etc. It’s seemingly all we write and talk about out there in the “thought leadership” ocean. But what if a lot of this is BS, and really the key is old-school monitoring employees and sales reps? Seeing how they’re doing? Guiding and coaching? What if a return to simplicity is the key? It might be, but then we’ve got other problems….
Why the focus needs to be on monitoring employees
Good point here by sales enablement professional Chris Kingman:
Most platforms will make a claim to solve a few problems your sellers have: reduce wasted time, contact more people, dial faster, etc. But all of this is for nothing if your sellers don’t have the necessary skills to articulate challenges and values. Think about it this way: A Tesla is more fuel efficient than, say, a ’69 Mustang. But if you don’t know how to drive, both are ineffective. All the sales technologies in the world cannot fix a terrible sales call (except a time machine, I suppose). You have to know that your sellers can handle objections, bypass gatekeepers and can listen and articulate value.
Indeed. That’s why you can’t just focus on technology and platforms. Some of the automation stuff will work without good sales principals, yes. But you’re never going to close and drive revenue unless your sellers can sell.
How can you make your sellers better at selling?
This is where the idea of monitoring employees comes in.
If you have bad sellers — and by “bad” I mean under-performing their quotas — then you need to monitor what they’re doing in terms of sales calls, scripts, rehearsals, follow-ups, going through objections, etc. Talk to them about their approach, their process, their conversational touch points, all that. Monitoring employees is key, so long as …
… you can’t get weird
Weird monitoring of employees is essentially micromanagement, and absolutely no one likes that – you don’t add value to the seller! Instead of making your sales reps better, micromanagement will drive them out the door — possibly into the hands of a competitor where they might even thrive.
Here’s the essential deal:
- Simply monitoring employees and asking for check-ins and various documents to be filled out, but that’s it? Micromanagement.
- Monitoring employees and then using your observations to work with them, guide them, help them overcome their flaws as they develop a career? Way more effective than buying a new, souped-up CRM.
The key is in making the people ready to close. It requires a few steps (acknowledging the issue, monitoring employees, working with them, developing them, and not giving up on the process), but it’s valuable. Technology also is valuable, of course. It has a very important role in sales. But technology purchasing without this employee development piece? The results won’t be there.