Sales Coaching Blog

Management Tips from Harvard Business Review

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

April 27, 2011

Below are some of our favoriate Sales Management Tips that have been shared by the Harvard Business Review's online site.

It consistently offers good information for people in management. Check it out! CLICK HERE

2 Rules for Making
Global Meetings Work
 
With people spread across locations and time zones, global teams can struggle to run effective meetings. Distance isn't an excuse for bad meeting etiquette though. Here are two policies that can make your far-flung team's meeting easier:
  1. Share the inconvenience. It's not fair to force a few people in Delhi to always take the call at 3am local time. Rotate your meeting time so that everyone shares the burden of an inconvenient time.
  2. All together or all separate. The dynamic of a meeting can be thrown off if some people can see and talk to one another offline. If one person is separated from the rest, ask everyone to call in from their desks. This means no one unduly benefits from side conversations or
    facial expressions.
Help Your Employees Listen
 
Many worthwhile initiatives fail because of communication breakdowns: management thinks they've shared the relevant information and yet, somehow, employees never heard it. Here are three ways to get employees to listen even when they don't want to hear:
  1. Test your message. Informally try out the message with individuals or groups, especially those you suspect will resist. Improve your communication based on their input.
  2. Incentivize. It may seem silly to bribe people to listen, but it's better than letting your initiative fail. Serve breakfast or lunch to get more people to show up at communication meetings. Offer rewards to people who can answer a survey about the messages.
  3. Follow up. Make sure people heard and understood what was said. See if they have questions or feedback.
Become a Leader Before
Others See You as One
 
Healthy organizations reward people who take initiative to lead, not just those with the formal authority to do so. Too many emerging leaders assume they can't make a difference in their current positions and resolve to wait until they're in the corner office to take real action. Experience and legitimacy are helpful, but they are not prerequisites to leadership. Take a look at the informal power you have — gained through your network, your ability to influence, or your passion — and begin using it now to make change in your organization. Patience is a leadership virtue, but sometimes you shouldn't wait for permission to lead.
3 Ways to Assess
a Candidate's Cultural Fit
 
Many hiring experts recommend hiring for fit first and skills second. The theory is that you can teach capabilities, but not values. And, organizations need employees who mesh with their core values. Here are three ways to assess whether an applicant will mesh well with yours:
  1. Observe interactions. Candidates can tell you they hold the firm's values, but it's far better if they can show you. Ask interviewees to participate in group exercises or interact with employees to test whether they demonstrate those values in an almost-real-life situation.
  2. Be clear about your culture. Be open and honest about what it's really like inside your organization. Some candidates will self-select out if they feel they can't fit in.
  3. Interview for values separately. When possible, assess for values with a distinct process. You will likely learn something you would've missed if you were trying to screen for values and skills simultaneously.
Get Your Good People to Stay
 
Few leaders succeed without great talent supporting them. So retaining your star employees is not only good for the company, but for you as leader. Here are three ways to keep your best people around:
  • Trust the team. Give your people the opportunity to use their unique strengths every day. Allow them to do what they are best at.
  • Make connections. Spend time every day checking in with individuals to see how they're doing — personally and professionally. Avoid private or sensitive topics unless your employee brings them up.
  • Respect individuality. Recognize your people's individual needs, and customize assignments, perks, and recognition accordingly.

In a previous blog we shared some tips/ideas that we have learned from our membership community, which is made up of executive sales managers. TOP 20 LESSONS from Executive Sales Managers: http://www.ecsellinstitute.com/blog/bid/57776/Top-20-Lessons-from-Executive-Sales-Managers

Topics: Best Practice, executive sales management, sales management resources, Resources for sales managers, ideas for sales leaders

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