“The sales reporting system must help the salesperson to be more successful” – Interview by John Smibert
Sales reporting can be a two edged sword – it might provide management what they need to manage the business but not help the salespeople much – or vice versa. In either case it will fail.
In this discussion with Wayne Moloney he explains why it is vital that the sales manager regulates the reporting system to ensure both senior executives and the salespeople both get what they need to manage their required outcomes. It needs to fully benefit both.
He suggests that sales managers not accept the reporting system as it is because someone else said that we need it; they’ve got to regulate the effective and efficient use of that system for their sales team.
Wayne explains why this is vital and what a sales manager needs to focus on to put it in place
View or read the full discussion with Wayne below. This interview is likely to be of interest to the CEO, CSO, sales leaders and sales managers.
Wayne Moloney is a leading business strategist specialising in sales and business development. Wayne has a very specific specialisation in ‘lean selling’.
John: Hello, I’m with Wayne Moloney again – welcome back, Wayne!
Wayne: Hi, John!
John: Hey Wayne, last time we discussed your fourth chapter in your book, which is sales management, ‘Your Roadmap to Sales Management Success’, and that was about performance management, or what you actually call…
Wayne: Performance supervision.
John: Performance supervision. Now, to have performance supervision you need to understand the data and the content, the progress, you need to be able to measure progress and so on, so you need reporting systems.
John: I know your next chapter is all about that.
Wayne: Yes. In the next chapter I talk about the sales manager being a regulator of the sales reporting system. What I mean by that is these days most organisations can have an automated CRM; even small organisations can have a cloud-based CRM and they can do that very cheaply.
John: But how many are successfully implemented?
Wayne: Well, yes. A lot of it comes down to the fact that the reason that they’re put in in the first place is management trying to track information, as distinct from management looking at what benefit that reporting system can actually provide to the salesperson to make them more successful.
John: How they can help their salespeople, yes.
Wayne: Yes. And salespeople in particular have seen the reporting system come in as something to catch them out, as distinct from measuring metrics and actually help them become more successful, and information that can be used by the organisation in future planning, and be able to make the sales team, again, more successful.
John: More successful. It makes a lot of sense to be. I’ve seen so many CRM implementations that… I use the word “fail”, but certainly have been far less than successful when you look at what outcomes they’re trying to achieve with it, and when I talk to the sales team, sales managers and salespeople, they hate it.
Wayne: Yes. And look, one of the reasons they hate it is they don’t see a great deal of benefit in it for themselves, so that’s why I talk about the term “regulation” or regulator of the sales reporting system.
John: And you’re saying the sales manager, the sales managers in an organisation need to learn how to be, what you say, regulators of that content, of that information.
Wayne: Yes. Regulation also from the business’ perspective, that the business is not asking the salespeople for information that they see as useless and can’t see its benefits, so they’ve got to regulate that. They’ve got to regulate the flow of information through the reporting system back into the organisation so they’re getting useful information for future planning.
John: So, the book is really advice for sales managers on how to be a better sales manager, and you’re saying this is one of the key capabilities, skills a sales manager needs to develop; they need to be a good regulator of the reporting system in sales.
Wayne: Yes. And not just accept it because someone else said that we need that reporting system; they’ve got to regulate the effective and efficient use of that system for the sales team.
John: And make sure the sales team are getting the value that they really should be getting out of something like this.
Wayne: If they see the value, they’ll participate willingly.
John: Okay. I like it, I think it’s something that most sales managers should be across, and hopefully it’s been of value to the viewers.
Wayne: I hope so – thanks, John!
John: Thanks, Wayne!
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- “Reducing waste in the sales process“
- “Lean Selling: Qualifying to reduce waste“
- “Align sales strategy with business strategy”
- “Sales leadership advice”
- “A sales manager is a team captain”
- “Top sales managers embrace the 3 C’s”
- “Top sales managers are tops sales planners”
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