In the fast-paced field of sales, managing a team requires a hands-on approach. Constant engagement, support, and development are mandatory when handling individually focused salespeople. In this episode, Ctrl.io CEO and co-founder Emmet Florish discusses his experiences in leading a sales team with SaaS-Story in the Making Host, Matt Wolach. He touches on the common mistakes managers often make and provides the best approach to solve such issues.
Florish shares advice for software leaders and sales managers who are beginners in the industry on hitting their targets while maintaining a healthy relationship with their people and how his team development software, Ctrl.io, can help.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: 166, How to Manage Your B2B Sales Team Effectively
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor.
Guest: Emmet Florish, CEO and Co-Founder of Ctrl.io
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Interpersonal Skill is Essential
As a leader, having interpersonal skills is necessary. All influential leaders need to develop this trait. Interpersonal skills are social skills leaders use to interact with their team, and it entails emotional intelligence. Florish emphasizes that a sales leader needs to “realize that every sales rep is different.”
When dealing with his sales reps, Florish says he has colleagues he can crack jokes with while other members might be sensitive. Florish advises sales leaders to be mindful of how they communicate with their teams.
Continuous Support Goes a Long Way
Sales managers tend to focus more on CRM issues, and as a result, they forget to engage with their people. Florish says while CRM admin is a huge task, managers should also look into their people’s achievements and give them the support they need.
Matt backs this up, saying, “people get locked into being CRM managers instead of being people managers. They’re focused on looking at the numbers, the CRM and this, they kind of just look on the computer and watch the numbers the whole time instead of getting out there.”
Talk with your people. Meet with them. Work with them. Roleplay with them. Make sure they have the support. Don’t leave it up to just watching the numbers on the screen.
Do Your Research
For sales managers starting, “it’s tough out there,” Florish says, so it’s a must to do a lot of research. “Know your ICP and your industry to make sure you’re providing something that solves a problem.”
Like what he did as the CEO of Ctrl.io, Florish is aware that the market offers task management tools for teams, but with the help of his co-founder, they did thorough research on what they can offer specifically for sales managers.
What sets their platform apart from the competition is that Ctrl.io consolidates documents, emails, communication channels, calendars, and reminders all in one platform. Their primary focus is on providing an event timeline, follow-up and status updates, quick notes, and prebuilt templates for pipeline reviews and coaching sessions.
Know What to Expect from Your Reps
One of the challenges that sales managers, especially those in startup companies, face when leading a team is mismatching expectations from their people. Emmet Florish points out that this stems from the fact that some sales managers tend to prioritize the numbers first, then focusing on sales reps’ productivity. This is where Florish’s software, Ctrl.io, helps bridge many gaps between the leader and the team.
Mismatch in expectations or misunderstanding what was discussed can cause many problems, he points out, so a product management tool is necessary to avoid conflicting priorities. Ctrl.io allows sales managers to see what needs to be done by quickly jotting down the important notes from a conversation so they know what to expect from their sales reps while effectively communicating with them.
The platform provides a follow-up to avoid mismatching, keeping task management and product management all in place. That way, sales managers can get the deals done and spend time with the team at the same time.
There’s a Fine Line Between Managing SMBs vs. Enterprises
Managing teams in different environments comes with its challenges. For example, Florish notes that some tactical level things are different between SMBs or transactional sales teams versus the enterprise companies.
For enterprise companies, Florish states that coaching, mentoring, and developing sales reps are the first steps before expecting massive deals. However, for SMB or transactional sales teams, the most common problem is being too data-driven or CRM-focused that sometimes, people blame the CRM when it’s the process that needs to be tweaked.
Florish says many salespeople in SMBs get blindsided by the significant number of enterprises. However, enterprise teams can still learn from SMBs. For example, planning your business, scheduling your deals, and creating a different type of pipeline on different days are crucial for enterprises.
On the other hand, for SMBs, Florish suggests learning about account mapping and relationships and having more than one champion in sales. Finally, he stresses the importance of having a plan of engagement and setting expectations for sales leaders.
Identifying the Next Big Thing Pays
The key to becoming successful in sales is adapting quickly. But, Florish says, “what gets you up along those routes doesn’t keep you there. So you have to adjust and do things a little bit differently.”
Adapting quickly enough in the fast-paced nature of sales can help anchor the team towards growth. Florish adds that constant reinforcement in coaching should be done, and Matt calls it “identifying the correct next right thing.” This pertains to knowing what to do at a particular stage – while the previous route worked, a team should carefully identify if the same action would still work at this point.
What worked 10 years ago might not work at this point, and what’s working at the moment might not be as effective in the future. Florish remarks, “What you did to get there doesn’t keep you there,” indicating that sales teams should be as fast-paced as the industry they are in.
Avoid Jumping to Conclusions
Florish sees another problem that most sales managers do with their SDRs, and that is jumping to conclusions after seeing call data without thinking critically about what is going on. “There might be two or three or four different paths. Sometimes, the SDR just didn’t pick up the phone, right? So figure out what you’re doing,” he remarks.
In terms of problems with the SDR, Florish tells sales managers to think about their next move. “Is that really the right approach? Is it because he didn’t have enough leads? Is it because he was tied up talking to marketing about something?”
Watch the episode for more great tips.
[02:45] “Investing in time and coaching and developing your sales reps is the way to go for success.”
[23:14] ” Know your ICP and your industry to make sure you’re providing something that solves a problem.”
[14:58]: “Both [SMBs and enterprises need] constant training, constant retraining, guidance from sales managers. Make sure they’re continuing to improve, continuing to evolve and get better at what they do.”
[19:54]: “Make sure that you’re communicating with your people, supporting your team, giving them everything they need.”
To learn more about Emmet Florish and Ctrl.io, visit https://ctrl.io/.
You can also find Emmet Florish on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/emmet-florish-8217172/. For more information about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.
As part of the founding team in his first SaaS product, Matt owned the sales & marketing processes. But he struggled to sell and gain traction for the company. It took years of learning and tweaking before Matt created The Perfect DEAL Process, an innovative yet easy-to-implement method for closing more software deals. To find out more, visit https://mattwolach.com/about-matt