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Sales Pipeline Management for Frontline Managers

Authored by Jim Eberlin on June 16, 2017

Frontline sales managers have to coach, manage, be engaged with and sell alongside the sales team. They need to understand the analytics of how a deal moves through the sales funnel to be more effective in coaching.

Managers have to make sure their reps are hitting their number - every sales period.  Without this essential information they don’t understand what’s really happening - and their only recourse is to wrongfully punish poor performing sales reps instead of help develop them. Executing the plan and watching the metrics is a great way for frontline managers to increase quota attainment and be noticeably valuable to the organization.

Achieving quota is quite the challenge for today’s sales teams. CSO Insights research has concluding that sales reps achieving quota has continued to diminish each year from 63% in 2012 to 56% in 2016. The crux of this issue is that sales reps are not aligned with the organization’s plan, which leaves them mostly on their own without formal coaching. On top of this, frontline sales managers further aggravate the problem because instead of spending time helping a sales rep develop, they’re busy working on forecast and pipeline spreadsheets. (To see how one of our customer overcame this with his team, check this out.)

One way to solve this problem is to arm the frontline sales managers with the ability to know what to manage and what to coach on, so that sales reps are much more prepared to be successful in meeting their sales goals. This can be broken down into 5 stages:

  1. The Sales Plan - managers and reps have to be aligned
  2. Coaching & Managing Reps - both necessary, but there’s a difference
  3. Managing & Analyzing the Sales Process - remove junk from the pipeline, take action at the right time and close more deals faster
  4. Metrics - activity metrics, metrics that drive opportunities and metrics on outcomes
  5. Pipeline & Pipeline Hygiene - the most important management areas for a sales manager

You can download the full guidebook “Training Guide for Frontline Managers” for it to be easier for sales managers to be more effective in their management and coaching. With empowered sales reps, achieving quota becomes a much easier goal, and allows you focus on clearing up your pipeline and further maximize the use of your sales reps time.

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