TQM for Sales Leadership? Yes! | Action Selling

TQM for Sales Leadership? Yes!

April 2019 – Issue 179

web ecoach - TQM for Sales Leadership? Yes!

A WORD FROM DUANE SPARKS

Dear Sales Executive:

What’s the secret to becoming a great sales leader and creating a great sales culture? Obviously, it has to do with HOW you lead a sales team, right?


So, here’s a valuable secret: It’s not about personality. It’s all about processes. If you don’t have the right management processes in place, you won’t be able to achieve the outcomes you need.


Does the term “processes” make you think of any famous management approaches that are designed to achieve continuous improvement? Yeah, me too. Let’s explore this.


If you have a question about how to become a great sales leader with a team that just keeps on improving, click on “Ask The eCoach“.


We are committed to your professional success.


Duane Sparks
Author of Action Selling

TQM for Sales Leadership? Yes!

ecoach 179 - TQM for Sales Leadership? Yes!

The primary role of all sales leaders is to deliver profitable revenue to the company. To be a great sales leader, therefore, you must focus on how that can best be done. If you want your sales team to function as a well-oiled machine for producing revenue and great margins, you need to do a great job of creating an environment for success.

In other words, you need to create a great sales culture. To do that, you have to put the people and processes in place to produce enough revenue and profit margin to achieve the goals set in front of you. The key word there is “processes.”

A process is a set of linked actions that are taken to create a desired outcome. When it comes to the sales leadership process, our desired outcome is profitable revenue. Just like Total Quality Management (TQM), Six Sigma, Kaizen, or any other continuous-improvement methodology, the Action Selling Leadership Process is a set of linked actions designed to function within an overall sales-improvement system. Here’s what it looks like:
We will go into detail about the steps outlined in the diagram in upcoming editions of eCoach. For now, suffice it to say that the nine “Acts” are linked actions—sub-processes, if you will–that support the three primary roles of a sales leader. Put them all together, and you have a great sales-management process, one that enables you to pursue continuous improvement.

In other words, this is a sales-leadership process that lets you create a sales culture that just keeps getting better and better.

At this point, let me just offer a few observations about the critical importance of processes to effective leadership—and to sales leaders, in particular:
  • Every outcome is the result of a process.
  • The most successful leaders manage processes, not people. Good processes allow you to better manage the people who work for you.
  • Documented processes are necessary for achieving high-quality results. If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t understand what you are doing.
  • Only a process can give you continuous improvement.
  • The best people can be brought down by a bad process. Fix the process, and good people will succeed in their work.
  • The greatest gains from sales training occur when every employee who has contact with customers is able to follow the same sales-communication process. That’s when a great sales culture emerges.
One final thought: Not all processes are critical. The most important ones are those that are executed often, have a direct link to individual sales performance, and underlie business growth. In the next edition of eCoach, we’ll look at six sales-leadership processes that qualify as “critical.”

Download our latest free white paper that describes the most successful way to develop great sales leaders and a great sales culture. Unhappy with Your Sales Culture? (Start With an Overhaul of Your Sales Leadership Process)
Action Selling in Action
Not many companies understand process improvement better than BergenKDV. This is a Top 100 certified public accounting firm with deep expertise in efficiency.

Bergen partner Lee Roberts, who serves as director of sales, values the Action Selling process because it provides a repeatable communications methodology that every customer-facing employee can use to continually improve.

“Last week,” Roberts says, “I was on a sales call with a team member that I haven’t worked a deal with since 2016. The Action Selling process allowed each of us to know where the other was at every stage of the sales interaction, and we ran a beautiful meeting.

“We think in terms of process now,” Roberts continues. “Action Selling Leadership is a perfect fit for anyone who wants continuous improvement.”

For information about how to make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485. For a fuller explanation of the process-oriented approach that offers the most successful way to develop great sales leaders and a great sales culture, see our free white paper Unhappy with Your Sales Culture? (Start With an Overhaul of Your Sales Leadership Process)