Melissa Guller, Sales Manager (Sample Project) | Skillshare Projects

Melissa Guller

Head of Marketing Engagement, Teachable

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Melissa Guller, Sales Manager (Sample Project)

About Me

  • Hi, I'm Melissa, the course instructor! You can read more about me in my extended bio, but I currently manage 5 direct reports and an extended team of around 10 total team members.
  • I was promoted into my first management position based on the sustainable systems I kept building for my teams. Anytime I encountered a problem, I'd ask, "Isn't there a better way?" I always wanted to set my team up to succeed, and that led to my first management position.
  • The biggest challenge I'm currently facing is building an awesome culture for a remote team. I want to make sure that everyone feels as connected as they would in person, so I spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve both connections and communication.

My ROADMAP

Here's the sample ROADMAP for the course, from the worksheet. We're using a fictional Sales Manager:

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Real-Life Application

I took the Management Mirroring technique back to my team. I really wanted to figure out how to best help each of my (fictional) sales reps develop their skills and help us hit our target. Chris, one of my newer representatives, was really excited to participate in the exercise.

A bit of background on Chris. He joined our team 2 months ago, and has just under 2 years of sales experience. He's a naturally quiet guy, but customers really respond to his calm demeanor on the phone, and it's clear that he's practiced and confident making a sales pitch. He's new to our company and systems, and he's also not used to working for a company as small as ours, where he has to handle a lot of his own customer service requests. 

Let's take a look at Chrs's worksheet, which he completed independently as a self-evaluation.

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As you can see, Chris isn't enthusiastic about customer service skills or Zendesk, our ticketing tool. (After talking with him later, I realized that he's feeling unsure of his skills, and after some encouragement and a few tips from his teammates, he'll be ready to start tackling tickets.) 

It makes sense that Salesforce and Zendesk are tasks Chris needs to learn. (I need to teach him, or arrange for someone else on the team to be his guide.) 

Let's take a look at how Chris prioritized his skill list:

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Chris knows that he needs to focus on upselling the customer, and as his manager, I couldn't agree more. When I ask him why he isn't enthusiastic, he tells me that he knows how to have the conversation, but as a quieter guy, this is where he starts to feel a bit pushy. What Chris needs from me is encouragement, not teaching. I'll explain to Chris that our products are incredibly valuable to our customers, and that if we're solving a pain point for them, they would be absolutely thrilled to pay us for a solution. In fact, I could argue that withholding our products from our customers is a greater disservice than giving them the opportunity to say yes. I also reassure Chris that I know he's wonderful at talking with customers, and that I have no doubt that he can authentically work the upsell into conversation. I also recommend a few coworkers he can talk to, if he's looking for additional guidance. 

By mirroring Chris's need for encouragement, but not teaching, I've avoided the pitfalls of micromanagement and successfully helped develop a valuable skill that benefits both Chris and the team's greater ROADMAP.

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