You’ve just introduced the latest sales targets to your sales team. Sure the targets seemed a little aggressive, but achievement isn’t as sweet without a challenge. Just keep in mind that although you may be ready to take your sales objectives to the next level, your sales team may not be ready.
Those responsible for a sales team have their own unique way of managing and leading, yet most have challenges when it comes to keeping their teams focused and motivated. If you want to build a proactive, results-oriented sales team that achieves top sales results, consider implementing these five strategies.
1. Assess Sales Skills
The first thing to consider is do you have the right people on your sales team? Everyone who is in a sales role is not necessarily suited to selling. Most good sales people are genuinely interested in people, outgoing, ambitious and have just the ‘right amount’ of competitiveness. These attributes are not always observed during an interview because candidates may present themselves one way and turn out to be another.
In order to make good hiring decisions and to assess the skills and abilities of current sales people, some companies are using sales skills assessment tools. With data derived from these tools, an objective look can be provided for sale people’s strengths, skills and specific areas that need improvement. With this information performance plans can be made for current sales personnel and parameters can be set for the skills that are required for new-hires.
Ensure your team has access to training that will help them develop their skills and understand the techniques and attitudes they will need to be successful. Work with each team member to develop a training plan with courses that will address their needs as well as areas that need improvement identified in a skills assessment. There are many good sales training programs available and it’s worth investigating them so you can use training to get your team up to speed quickly.
Coaching (instead of a staid traditional management style of ‘command and control’) is generally seen as a viable way of cultivating good employee morale and building successful employees and teams. As a coach you’ll want to focus on developing your people. This means supporting the effort and growth of your sales people rather than pointing out failures or errors. Get in the habit of using situations – negative as well as positive – as learning opportunities to help develop your people.
Conduct regular coaching meetings with your sales people to be supportive in helping them develop and hone their skills, techniques and behaviours. Work at creating an environment where ‘failure’ is seen as a learning experience, not the end of the world. Through coaching you have an opportunity to really empower your employees by giving them the latitude to make decisions and take actions.
Understanding what motivates your sales people will help to manage their performance. What motivates each of your sales people likely won’t be the same for each person. This is where behavioural assessments can provide some direction and insights into individual motivators. When the right motivators are used, it’s possible to improve the day-to-day performance of your sales people and long-term business success.
5. Celebrate success
It’s important that any achievement is recognised. As individuals on your team or the team itself achieves goals create ways to recognise and celebrate success. Depending on the effort involved in achieving the goal, the recognition and celebration can be big or small. Often times we forget how important words are. A simple “thanks” or recognition delivered in front of peers from a manager, such as a pat on the back and ‘job well done’ can have a huge impact.
It’s virtually impossible to achieve targets without the effort of your sales team. Having a team that works together to achieve consistent results is essential if you want to see sales growth. Using these five strategies will help keep your sales personnel focused and motivated to improve their sales performance and your team’s overall success.
To learn more about our industry leading behavioural and sales skills assessments and how they can be used to benefit your organization, contact us.