The Importance of Sales Manager/Account Executive One-on-Ones
Often skipped, yet critically important: 1:1 meetings between a sales manager and an account executive. These meetings serve as a forum for discussing pipeline management, personal check-ins, and viable opportunities. Yet time and again we hear of sales managers and leadership teams pushing aside 1:1 time for other business activities… a critical mistake.
So why are 1:1s so important? By setting aside dedicated time for discussion, both the sales manager and account executive (or SDR/BDR) can review progress, identify areas for improvement, and share ideas for moving deals forward. This type of collaboration fosters a culture of accountability, builds trust among manager/employee, and helps move pipelines forward.
One critical aspect of the formalized 1:1 meeting agenda is pipeline management. During these meetings, the sales manager and account executive can review the pipeline and identify any opportunities that may be stuck in the sales process. Sales managers can quickly identify deals that might be slipping and ensure the account executive is on-track to meet their quota. I like to personally advocate that this is the time where a sales manager can identify which deals they need to get involved in personally, asking “should I join the next call?”
Personal check-ins are also essential during 1:1 meetings. A good sales manager understands that their account executive is a human being with personal and professional challenges. By demonstrating empathy and understanding, sales managers can build trust with their team members, which ultimately leads to increased engagement and motivation. Any emerging issues are able to be addressed early- preventing larger issues down the line. This type of relationship building can go a long way in building a team that is willing to push through adversity.
Finally, viable opportunities must be discussed during 1:1 meetings. The sales manager should review the account executive’s top opportunities and provide guidance on how to move these deals forward. This type of coaching helps to ensure that the team is aligned on the most critical deals and that the right resources are being dedicated to the right opportunities.
While 1:1 meetings are essential, a formalized process is critical to success. By establishing a standard agenda and format for 1:1 meetings, both the sales manager and account executive know what to expect, and the meetings become more efficient and productive. The use of a shared template for notes and action items helps to keep everyone accountable and ensures that items are followed up on promptly.
By focusing on pipeline management, personal check-ins, and viable opportunities, these meetings foster a culture of accountability, build trust and show support, and help to close more business. A formalized process is essential to ensure that these meetings are productive and efficient. If you need help developing a formalized process for your 1:1 meetings, AMB International can help. Reach out to us for customized and flexible support.