November 30, 2020

by Mike Weinberg

This Sales Leader Transformed Her Team with Smart Talent Management & Serious Accountability

While many sales leaders talk about increasing accountability and better defining sales roles, this CRO demonstrated the courage and commitment to actually do it! Listen to how Dana Upshaw beat the odds and COVID, and transformed her team with these two key sales management initiatives:

  1. Creating a clear distinction between sales hunters charged with acquiring new business and account managers charged with maintaining and growing existing relationships
  2. Significantly ramping up accountability heading into 2020 and maintaining a focus on results and pipeline health throughout the Covid-19 crisis

The transformation has produced a sales increase YTD, despite selling into strong Coronavirus headwinds wreaking havoc on their customer base. And these results were achieved after trimming the size of the sales force due to disruptions in the market caused by the pandemic.

Enjoy hearing real-world sales leadership challenges and success my client and friend, Dana. She is truly is one of the most talented, driven, and focused sales leaders I’ve ever observed. I had a ton of takeaways from this energizing interview and you will, too!

A few highlights

  • 5:09 – More than “lip-service” – the courage and commitment to redefine roles
  • 7:23  Salespeople were distracted and had lost focus
  • 8:09  – The real “opportunity cost” from not focusing on “top of funnel”
  • 10:48 – Working with the CEO
  • 12:58 – The existing structure was not working
  • 18:02 – The biggest lesson and biggest surprise from restructuring
  • 19:26 – Accountability is not a sexy topic
  • 20:21 – How did Dana know she had to help her managers ramp up accountability?
  • 22:36 – Salespeople can always list distractions and excuses
  • 24:09 – Three critical questions that Dana’s managers ask at every 1:1 accountability meeting
  • 26:05  Accountability is NOT a dirty word
  • 27:48 – The Sales Management Accountability Progression: Results then Pipeline then Activity
  • 30:39 – How Dana used the Covid lockdown to remove excuses and increase prospecting activity
  • 32:49 – Mike mind-blowing summation of what Dana’s initiatives and focus has produced
  • 36:54 – Mike’s takeaways from the interview
  • 39:39 – Challenge questions to maximize your value from this episode

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