Yesterday, I received Selling Power Magazine's online sales management newsletter and, as usual, they failed to distinguish between sales and sales management. One of the features was the 5 Sales Management Best Practices. I'm always interested when this is a topic because I've been one of the only sales development experts talking about this for the last 15 years. The article featured Steve Gielda, partner at Advantage Performance Group, and his report, 'World Class Sales Force Best Practices'. Was this a joke?
First, the article asks, 'Which techniques are truly best practices and which are merely recommendations by a self-proclaimed expert?'
Well, I'm one of the experts although I haven't had to proclaim myself one for more than a decade. Then, Gielda exposes himself as a self-proclaimed expert by his choice of the top 5 sales management best practice. According to Gielda they are:
1. Understand and develop customer needs.
2. Develop trust in the client relationship
3. Know your customer
4. Full knowledge of capabilities and customer applications and the ability to bring to bear internal or external resources in service to the customer
5. Manage competitive threat over the course of an opportunity pursuit
So what are we to make of this list? The first thing you'll notice is that none of the five 'practices' are sales management practices. And while they're all sales and/or marketing practices, I wouldn't even place them in the top 5 sales best practices. As a matter of fact, if you want to see my list of sales best practices, you can find them at my Lens, The World of Sales and Selling. What are the real five sales management best practices?
5. Growing the Sales Force
Personally, I found the Selling Power article to be akin to naming passing, receiving, blocking, tackling and kicking as the five baseball best practices.
(c) Copyright 2006 Objective Management Group, Inc.