October 4, 2019 Comments Closed

9 Warning Signs That Every Sales Leader Should Know

Posted by:CLIFTON WARREN onOctober 4, 2019

It’s often said that great athletes don’t always make the best coaches and managers. They know what to do, but they cannot communicate how to do it.

I often see this in small- to mid-sized financial services firms. The owners, partners or directors, who are effective sales professionals in their own right, are having difficulty transferring their knowledge and experience to producers within their business.

They become increasingly frustrated with lack of growth and the sales capabilities of their people.

Top-performing firms understand that achieving superior growth requires sales leadership: someone with the responsibility for building a sales culture that will drive growth across all areas of the business.

In large firms this responsibility will often fall to a senior executive; however, in small- to mid-sized firms, the owners, partners and directors also need to wear the hat of sales leader as well as manage their own client portfolio and run a business.

What is sales leadership?

Sales leadership is not the same as sales management, where the focus is often on trying to develop under performers who may be lacking in skill or motivation.

Instead, sales leadership is about building a sales culture and holding people accountable.

Fortunately, just like selling, sales leadership can be learned.

Here are nine performance problems that you need to watch:

Low productivity – Not handling enough revenue per employee and/or employees not completing their work efficiently and quickly.

Low use of automation – Firms have invested money in the latest system, and yet employees still take notes on paper and only utilize the system when they “get a chance.”

Lack of ongoing training – Not providing training to employees on a regular basis and not holding them accountable.

Too many systems – No uniform approach to completing various business tasks. Everyone is doing things their own way because there is no “firm’s way.”

Mismatched employees and jobs – Having the right person in the wrong job or the wrong person in the right job.

Unprofitable producers – Allowing profitable producers to subsidize unprofitable producers.

Ownership subsidies – Owners and directors subsidize unprofitable producers and overpay in compensation.

Producer stagnation – Producers plateau and stop growing, resulting in any new income being low net revenue.

Low revenue per producer – The producers’ books of business are simply too low to carry the additional weight of ongoing expenses.

Top-producing firms know how important it is to understand how their business operations are doing and to regularly monitor and compare their results with other top-performing firms.

Four Key Result Areas

They achieve this by conducting a performance check at least annually to evaluate and measure four key results areas:

Income and expenses distribution

Revenue and profitability growth

Employee compensation and productivity

Producer performance

Regardless of the the type of financial services you operate, if you regularly monitor your key results areas, seek help or advice on correcting subpar performance.

Not only will you produce consistent growth, you’ll also be known as a great producer who is able to lead.

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