May 26, 2017

#468 Using Questions to Mentor Sales Reps. With Bridget Gleason.

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:21] The President was on the way to NYC the day of this recording, so streets were closed, and cars were relocated.

[7:42] The topic is sales questions. Bridget asks how should sales reps go about getting more out of their managers — assuming the manager has something to offer? Reps can look for skills the manager has, that they want to learn.

[10:59] Top-performing reps may be self-sufficient, and not need much input from their managers. Their managers might ask how they can help top-performers achieve their goals. It’s important to have those conversations.

[11:31] Bridget talks about a potential manager interview, and how she ponders what her reps would learn from the manager. A person who has no apparent skills to teach will be eliminated.

[13:18] The biggest challenge of new sales managers is to determine how to add value to their reps. Andy tells of his first promotion to a manager. He studied sales books to improve!

[14:33] Bridget looks for inquisitiveness and self-directed learning in every person she hires. Her last manager hire was an aggressive, curious, and motivated learner.

[16:11] Andy looks for creative problem-solving. He recalls the pressure of his first management role. When he got past his initial tension, he looked outside the box to try new things. Bridget points out that creativity requires autonomy to design.

[19:54] Andy’s daughter sought advice from Andy on how to negotiate a better job offer. Then she did it her way instead, and the negotiation went as she wished.

[20:42] Bridget looks for people who will consider suggestions, but also use their own instinct, brains, and skills, to come up with better solutions, if they can. They may need to get  approval, but they shouldn’t ignore their own better ideas.

[22:31] Salespeople need to take risks. Andy’s career was built on risks he took with the sales system — because he was succeeding. Too much prescription may hold back success.

[23:38] Managers and repeatable processes sometimes make it difficult to experiment. Can reps color outside the lines, and still meet mutual objectives?

[25:16] Bridget talks about the one-on-ones she holds with her reps. Each one is different. She makes suggestions, and listens to their input, to come up with good expectations and meet the required numbers they all have.