4 Questions for Sales Managers to Diagnose and Prevent Future Sales Problems

fire-department-firefighterAs I talked about in my previous blog, getting addicted to the adrenaline of fighting fires and solving problems is one reason that sales managers can have a hard time becoming a more effective, proactive leader. When you were a salesperson, there was benefit in being a good firefighter. But not that you’re a manager, you’ve just been promoted to Fire Preventer in Chief.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][heading]Heading XYZ[/heading]

A large part of fire prevention has to do with working to improve the skills of your team so fewer fires appear in the first place. Focus your energies on team development. Role play situations with your reps so they get better and thinking on their feet; teach them the “best practices” at each step your sales process so they’ll make fewer mistakes.

And the next time a fire occurs, don’t immediately pull out the fire hose. Instead, ask yourself four questions:

1. What caused this fire?

If you don’t think through what caused this problem, you can’t prevent this problem from coming back.  again.  Was it a problem with process? Poor communication? Flawed technology?

2. What were the warning signs?

Looking back, have you seen this problem or others like it occur before? Now that you know what happened, what were the warning signals earlier on that something was going wrong?

3. Is there a way this problem could have been prevented?

Why did this problem come back around again? What could you have done… or what could you have taught your sales rep… to make sure it didn’t happen?

4. What can you do now to prevent it from recurring?

Typically, you may need to respond by improving the processes your reps use, providing them with training, and or providing more consistent coaching.

The more often you ask these four questions, the more information you’ll have that can help you develop a plan for improving your sales team. That plan should become the touchstone you use to set priorities every day.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Kevin Davis

Kevin F. Davis is the author of The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness”, which was named the 2018 Axiom Business Book Award Winner, Silver Medal. Kevin is also the author of Slow Down, Sell Faster!”.