Ask A Sales Leader: Melissa Clemens

melissa_clemensMelissa Clemens has experience in front line Sales, as well as in running a large, dispersed team. Her background includes product and service sales, and her Stanford English degree enhances her communication skills into a finely tuned art, transferring into sales success for her customers and herself. Listen in below on how Melissa has used sales process as the foundation of her success.

  1. Describe how your customer facing teams (or you) use your organization’s sales process.

Sales process was instrumental to revenue achievement at my previous organization. I was Head of Sales for a national media company with a large, distributed sales team. We had over 400 reps in 26 different markets. With a team of that size, it’s imperative to establish a sales process for several reasons. First, a proven sales process demonstrates what success looks like, which is critical for your organization’s credibility. If reps don’t believe their quotas are achievable, they will fail. Second, a solid sales process is the foundation for building a training platform to teach reps the skills they need to be successful. Finally, a well-articulated sales process ensures compliance with critical sales ops protocols like establishing account ownership and sales forecasting.

  1. What is your Management’s approach to coaching sales reps?

In our organization, training was a one-time opportunity for new skill acquisition; coaching was an ongoing effort to hone and improve those skills. All good managers prioritized coaching, focusing on their middle performers and delivering personalized, timely and consistent feedback to their reps.

  1. How do you reinforce sales skill development for sales reps?

We encouraged regular sales training for new skill acquisition as well as one-on-one coaching with managers to further hone and refine those skills.

  1. What advice would you give to other sales leaders?

Take the time up front to develop a sales process that is customized for your markets and customers, proven to work and replicable. Invest in a training platform that allows reps to learn the skills necessary for success within their respective markets. Invest in talented sales managers that prioritize ongoing rep coaching. Finally, don’t forget to include key sales ops functions in your overall process as they are often critical to running a healthy organization that can consistently meet or beat revenue goals.